The Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) Hublot Esports Team, the works GT racing driver, Miguel Molina and seven other Ferrari drivers will be on track for a charity event this Sunday, 29 March at 17 CET, in the SRO Esports Charity Challenge, a virtual motor race run on the temple of speed that is the Monza circuit.
A worthy cause. The event has been organised by SRO in conjunction with Kunos Simulazioni and AK Informatica and is aimed at raising money for the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which is supporting the WHO (World Health Organisation) in its fight against the pandemic which has claimed so many lives and touched so many countries, leading to the general cancellation of sports events including motor sport. The reason Monza has been chosen as the circuit on the Assetto Corsa game is that the legendary Italian track should have been hosting, as every year, the opening round of the Endurance Cup of the GT World Challenge Europe.
Format. Entry to the race costs a minimum of 15 Euros, which goes to the charity. The entry list features 80 names, to which are added ten competitors chosen from those who took part in qualifying over a single lap on the virtual platform linked to the championship. Therefore the total number of entries is 90 and they will be split into two semi-final groups of 45 each. The top 20 in each race will reach the grand final. That consists of 15 minutes of qualifying, followed by a one hour race with no compulsory pit stops.
Sim drivers against real drivers. The SRO event will see real drivers go up against some of the best sim racers in the world, including the three who drive for the FDA Hublot Esports Team: the F1 Esports Series world champion, David Tonizza, the latest signing, Enzo Bonito and Amos Laurito, who will be at the wheel of one of the team’s Ferrari 488 GT3s this weekend, although this year he has taken on the role of Team Analyst, helping the other drivers in the Maranello squad, in the virtual Formula 1 championship races. There will be other representatives of the Maranello marque taking part, including official GT race driver Miguel Molina, who last year raced in the real Endurance Cup, alongside Davide Rigon and Mikhail Aleshin. The Spaniard will be the wheel of a virtual version of his usual number 72 488 GT3.
The other Ferrari drivers. There are a further seven Ferraris out on the virtual track, driven by a collection of drivers who race or have raced cars from the Maranello marque. They are Englishman Chris Froggat, third in the Endurance Cup in the Pro-Am class last year and a past winner of the Trofeo Pirelli Am in the Ferrari Challenge Europe; Daniele Di Amato, twice Ferrari Challenge Europe champion and third in class in Pro-Am class in the Italian GT Championship and Germany’s Daniel Keilwitz, a Nurburgring specialist. Then there’s South Africa’s David Perel, a Ferrari Challenge Europe driver, Louis Prette, and the Italians Domenico Petralia and Matteo Cressoni, the latter one of the winners of the 2016 and 2017 IMSA GTD championship along with the Dane, Christina Nielsen.
Programme. The race can be seen on-line on the SRO platform and on YouTube on the GT World channel. On Sunday, it all gets underway at 13.30 CET with a recap of qualifying, followed by the two semi-finals. Qualifying for the grand final is at 16.40, with the hour-long race starting at 17.