IMSA Esports Global Championship Race Preview: Michelin 240 at Daytona

IMSA, in conjunction with iRacing, the Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO), and Michelin, presents the 2023 IMSA Esports Global Championship. Four high-profile events are scheduled over November and December for the series’ second season. 45 teams, with two drivers sharing the seat of each car, are set to compete across the GTP and GTD classes.

This Saturday, the Michelin 240 concludes the four-race season at Daytona International Speedway. Each race of the IMSA Esports Global Championship is broadcasted live on IMSA’s and iRacing’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitch social media channels, with the “Countdown to Green” pre-race show beginning at 1:30PM ET, followed by a 20-minute consolation GT4 race, the IMSA Esports iRacing Open Challenge, and then the main event at 2:00PM ET.

Last Race:

In the penultimate round of the 2023 campaign, two hours and 40 minutes around Sebring flew by in an instant. Williams Esports’ #11 BMW entry of Josh Lad and Matt Farrow paced the GTP field despite suffering from a start penalty that would cost them 10 seconds post-race. The #11 team won by over 20 seconds, more than enough to keep the win over the #91 VRS Coanda Porsche. As for the GTD class, power shifted back into the hands of the #101 Mercedes-AMG Team Apex Racing entry of Luke McKeown and Alejandro Sanchez, winning from the pole position and also handedly over their closest competition, the #170 Team Redline Ferrari.

Last Season:

In its inaugural season in 2022, the IMSA Esports Global Championship ran with GTD and Touring Car classes. The series attracted some of the world’s best sim racers and teams, some with ties to teams inside IMSA, the FIA World Endurance Championship and Formula 1.

After four races, the GTD title went to the #98 Apex Racing Team Porsche driven by Alejandro Sanchez and Kevin Ellis Jr. For the Touring Cars, the championship was won by the #176 SimRC Hyundai driven by Corentin Guinez and Kieran Harrison.

At Daytona in 2022, both classes were won by an Apex Racing Team entry, including the #98 in the GTD as well as ART’s #199 Touring Car driven by Gael Valero and Nicol Foggie.


IMSA Esports Global Championship Entry List:

45 full-time teams are due to compete, 20 in the GTP class and the other 25 in the GTD. Each of the nine cars available (four GTP, five GTD) will be balanced with five teams competing in each. The organizers of the series also reserve the ability to award an additional “wildcard” entry on a per-round basis. For the Daytona finale, eNASCAR team Rise eSports will be invited to compete among the GTP ranks. Previous wildcards include Nitro Circus, who competed at Road Atlanta; Texaco Racing by TK, who ran at Watkins Glen; and Lys Esports, who were invited to run at Sebring.

Substitute drivers for the championship contending teams are italicized.

  • GTP (20 Entries)
    • 3 Fraser Williamson | Marcus Hamilton | CrowdStrike Racing | Acura ARX-06
    • 4 Sam Michaels | Scott Michaels | CrowdStrike Racing | Acura ARX-06
    • 7 Connor Harrington | Adam Blocker | PRIVATE LABEL Team Hype | Cadillac V-Series.R
    • 11 Josh Lad | Matt Farrow | Williams Esports MAHLE | BMW M Hybrid V8
    • 15 Péter Zuba | Balázs Remenyik | Race Clutch | Acura ARX-06
    • 16 Robin Glerum | Daniel Craft | Puresims Esports | Acura ARX-06
    • 18 Pablo Espes | Michael Mariani | WAVE Italy Racing Team | Porsche 963
    • 43 Oscar Mangan | Edoardo Leo | Altus Esports | Cadillac V-Series.R
    • 46 Bence Némethi | Ilkka Haapala | Orion Race Team | Porsche 963
    • 62 Austin Young | Graham Sanders | HydroRace Geodesic Racing | Cadillac V-Series.R
    • 64 Alex Gal | Alex Ellis | Satellite Racing | Cadillac V-Series.R
    • 69 Arturo Melgar | Jaidyn Ladic | Drago Racing | Acura ARX-06
    • 71 Diogo Pinto | Chris Lulham | BMW M Team Redline | BMW M Hybrid V8
    • 89 Niklas Beu | Pedro Sanchez | BMW M Team BS+COMPETITION | BMW M Hybrid V8
    • 90 Dominik Hofmann | Daniel Alves Lourenco | URANO eSports Datagroup | BMW M Hybrid V8
    • 91 Julien Soenen | Charlie Collins | VRS Coanda | Porsche 963
    • 92 Michael Romanidis | Zac Campbell | VRS Coanda | Porsche 963
    • 95 Casey Kirwan | Owen Caryl | XSET | Cadillac V-Series.R
    • 96 Sergio Ferreiro | Pablo Lazar | Obsidian Racing | Porsche 963
    • 99 Peter Berryman | Maxime Brient | Apex Racing Team | BMW M Hybrid V8
  • GTD (25 Entries)
    • 101 Alejandro Sanchez | Luke McKeown | Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team ART | Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020
    • 102 Sven Haase | Nicolás Rubilar | Virtualcoach.gg by GnG | Ferrari 296 GT3
    • 103 Govand Keanie | Jakub Kwiatkowski | Grid and Go eSports | Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO
    • 110 Felix Quirmbach | Oskari Rinne | MAHLE RACING TEAM | BMW M4 GT3
    • 111 David Toth | James T Armstrong | Arnage Competition | BMW M4 GT3
    • 114 Tristán Iglesias | Gabi Montoro | Simufy eSports | Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)
    • 116 Ross Macfarlane | Lukas Prada | Puresims Esports | BMW M4 GT3
    • 120 Damon Woods | Jesse Jones | Dörr Esports | Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)
    • 143 Jordan Caruso | Dino Lombardi | Altus Esports | Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)
    • 144 Yannick Lapchin | Simone Maria Marcenò | Altus Esports | Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO
    • 153 Vasilios Beletsiotis | Daniel Pasztor | Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team Williams Esports | Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020
    • 155 Alessandro Bico | Daniel Lafuente | Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team Williams Esports | Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020
    • 157 Chris Shorter | Balazs Palla | Impulse Racing | Ferrari 296 GT3
    • 162 Hunter McDaniel | Stephen McDonald | Brabham Esports | Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO
    • 163 Greg Hovesen | Carl Modof | DeltaSport | Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO
    • 169 Kira Wolf | Manuel Troncoso | Drago Racing | Ferrari 296 GT3
    • 170 Gianni Vecchio | Ole Steinbraten | Team Redline | Ferrari 296 GT3
    • 171 Josh Thompson | Florian Lebigre | Team Redline | Ferrari 296 GT3
    • 175 Antti Ahola | Marvin Strehl | Team75 Bernhard by SimRC | Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)
    • 178 Maxime Mariotte | Tim Matzke | Maniti Racing | Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO
    • 188 Oscar Py | Xander Reed | VRS Coanda Junior | Porsche 911 GT3 R (992)
    • 190 Alexey Nesov | Luca Kita | Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team URANO | Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020
    • 192 Niclas Laubisch | Constantin Tscharf | Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team URANO | Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020
    • 196 Rainer Talvar | Phil Denes | BS+TURNER | BMW M4 GT3
    • 199 Salva Talens | Jimmy Antunes | Apex Racing Team | BMW M4 GT3
  • Wildcard Entry – GTP
    • 34 Matt Bussa | Nick Ottinger | Rise eSports | Cadillac V-Series.R

IMSA Esports iRacing Open Challenge Entry List:

The 20-minute GT4 race that will open the event will feature 25 drivers that have qualified through official Time Attack sessions, five drivers entered from five different cars. These drivers are racing for bragging rights.

  • Aston Martin
    • Lukas Lindqvist
    • Norbert Leitner
    • Alexander Davidson
    • Eric Grove
    • Charles-Étienne Boucher
  • BMW M4
    • Simone Passoni
    • Gaël Valero
    • Jérémy Roulleau
    • Timo Heyden
    • Daniel Ferguson
  • McLaren 570S
    • Aaron Vazquezz
    • Denis Grabovsky
    • Alberto Senao
    • Antoine Lacharite
    • Justin Rehm
  • Mercedes-AMG
    • Kody Deith
    • Sacha Anglesy
    • Francis Mcginn
    • Beckham Jacir
    • Hugo González
  • Porsche 718 Cayman
    • William Chadwick
    • Corentin Guinez
    • Ian Gagnon-Renaud
    • Alvar Gomez
    • James F Beumee

GTP and GTD Class Championship Outlook:

In GTP, there are about 13 entries that still have a mathematical shot at stealing a title, but realistically, there are seven teams that can get it done in the right circumstances at Daytona. After bouncing out of contention on the first lap at Sebring, the #71 BMW M Team Redline GTP struggled through the remainder after clearing the required repairs, finishing 16th and holding on to the lead just barely over the winning Williams Esports #11.

The #91 VRS Coanda slides into the picture in third, 17 points behind, while the #43 Altus Esports Cadillac and the #99 Apex Racing Team BMW are within arms reach as well. For the Road Atlanta winning team, the #90 URANO eSports Datagroup BMW, they’re 36 points out of the top spot, something that can still be overcome but with a little help as well. The #4 Crowdstrike Racing Acura is 55 points back, and if things are as crazy as they were at Sebring, they could have a legitimate shot as well.

It’s a little easier to follow in GTD, as the #101 and the #170 have both finished first or second in the three races, with the #101 leading by 23 points entering the finale. Each class has a maximum of 385 points available per race, with 350 going to the class winners and an additional 35 points for the top qualifying team. The lead could potentially swap hands after qualifying, so it will be important to pay attention throughout the night.

IMSA Esports Global Championship GTP points through Round 3 are as follows:

  1. #71 BMW M Team Redline, 887
  2. #11 Williams Esports, 877
  3. #91 VRS Coanda, 870
  4. #43 Altus Esports, 865
  5. #99 Apex Racing Team, 863
  6. #90 URANO eSports Datagroup, 841
  7. #4 CrowdStrike Racing #4, 822

IMSA Esports Global Championship GTD points through Round 3 are as follows:

  1. #101 Mercedes-AMG Team ART, 1102
  2. #170 Team Redline, 1079
  3. #190 Mercedes-AMG URANO eSports, 877

Track Facts:

Known as “The World Center of Racing”, Daytona International Speedway has a deep history in many facets of American motorsport, from NASCAR and their annual Daytona 500 to IMSA and their 24-hour battle for the Rolex 24. This track also hosts Bike Week’s Daytona 200, Daytona Supercross, Daytona KartWeek between Christmas and New Years, and a host of driving school, club, and other events. While the oval boasts 2.5-miles of intense, high-speed action, the road course that traverses the infield measures at 3.56-miles and incorporates most of the banked oval.

For more information on the IMSA Esports Global Championship, visit iracing.com/imsa-esports. For more information about the Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO), visit vco-esports.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit iracing.com.