Circuit Paul Ricard Hosts the Third Round of GT Rivals Esports Invitational

24 April 2020 TCR, TC, TCA
  • 33 drivers to take part in the third round of GT Rivals on Assetto Corsa Competizione 
  • 10 GT3 manufacturers represented across a diverse grid
  • New entries bring fresh talent into the French circuit of Paul Ricard

With two rounds down, SRO America’s GT Rivals Esports Invitational heads to the South of France where real world pro drivers and sim racers will take on Circuit Paul Ricard in Assetto Corsa Competizione. First opened in 1970 near the village of Le Castellet, the track's most famous feature is the long Mistral straight. Named after the wind that blows from southern France into the Mediterranean, it stretches to 1.8 km (1.1 miles) and will see GT World Challenge drivers reach top speeds in excess of 290km (180mph).

Nissan and Audi have both tasted victory, but eight other manufacturers look for glory. Entries from Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Ferrari, Honda, Lamborghini, Mercedes-AMG, Nissan, and Porsche make up the 33-car grid. With the real world pros also becoming more acquainted with the Assetto Corsa Competizione sim, competition should be closer than ever throughout the field. 

Bryan Heitkotter continues to be a leading contender driving the Nissan GT-R GT3. The Laguna Seca winner managed a Top 5 finish at Misano after damaging his car. Kenton Koch returns in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3 seeking redemption after a disappointing Misano round. Same goes for early-favorite Karl Wittmer, who made the switch to the Honda NSX GT3 Evo but was limited in Misano due to an early drive-thru penalty. 

Misano runner-up Kevin Boehm looks to continue moving forward in the CrowdStrike Racing Mercedes-AMG GT3. He’s joined by TC America teammate CJ Moses, making his debut in Mercedes-AMG machinery. Pirelli GT4 America race winner Kenny Murillo will also make his debut driving a Mercedes-AMG, joining TC America racer Steve Streimer. 

Other new additions include Pirelli GT4 America SprintX Pro-Am Champ Jon Miller, driving the ST Racing BMW M6 GT3. He’ll be joined in Ferrari machinery by IMSA Prototype Challenge driver Thomas Merrill and race alongside fellow Ferrari drivers Dakota Dickerson and Nikko Reger, who have both shown strong pace in the first two events. 

IMSA’s Paul Miller Racing driver Corey Lewis joins the fun, competing in the Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo like his real world racer. Plus, the Canadian Nelson Mason who’s raced in the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship will also take to the track in a Lamborghini. They’ll join Nicolai Elghanayan who’s made the switch to Lamborghini machinery ahead of Round 3. 

Five Porsche’s make the grid, Pirelli GT4 America racers Jason Bell and Derek DeBoer piloting the Porsche 991.2 GT3 R. Champion Motorsports sim racers Ernest Dela Cruz, Dominic Guerin, and Dave Hassar round out the Porsche contingent. 

The Honda camp continues with a strong line-up of racers teaming with Wittmer including GT World Challenge America powered by AWS pilots Shelby Blackstock, Kyle Marcelli, formula-car racer Jacob Abel, and PWC champ Tom O’Gorman. 

K-PAX Racing drivers Guy Cosmo and Patrick Byrne hope to have a clean race to show their strong pace in the Bentley Continental GT3. Parker Chase and sim racer Keith Briscoe will fly the flag for Audi Sport, driving the Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo. Classic BMW’s Toby Grahovic returns in his BMW M6 GT3 entry looking to move up the grid. 

The Aston Martin V8 Vantage GT3 proves to be a strong option and popular choice. Alec Udell makes the switch to the British marquee, joining Koch, Jason Alexandridis, Kevin Anderson, and James Pesek. Sim racer Eric Andersen from Champion Motorsports will also make his debut in the Vantage at Paul Ricard. 

Round 3 at Circuit Paul Ricard will feature our first race under the lights, with the event taking place after sunset. Brining a new element to the GT Rivals series to challenge drivers and showcase another dimension of sports car racing. 

GT Rivals Esports Invitational utilizes Assetto Corsa Competizione, developed by Kunos Simulazioni and published by 505 Games, featuring the real atmosphere of the GT World Challenge powered by AWS series. Designed for esports, Assetto Corsa Competizione is bringing sim racers into an immersive experience behind the wheels of today’s top GT3 racers. 

Tune-in this Sunday at 3pm ET on SRO channels to catch all the action. Don’t miss out on our exclusive giveaways! This week will feature an ASUS TUF Gaming A15 laptop as well as a one-day Skip Barber Racing School. 

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