While the real world on-track racing has finished for the British Racing & Sports Car Club has been completed for 2023, the time has now come for drivers to put away the race cars and dust off the sim rigs as the opening round of the BRSCC Winter eSports Series for the 2023/24 off-season. 

Once again, iRacing is the platform and the Mazda MX-5 Global Cup Car is the weapon of choice for some 35 BRSCC club members and racers, as the series gets underway on the Silverstone GP circuit for the opening rounds. From this week’s opening races at the end of November, through December, January and February, competitors will take part in up to eighteen races across another five venues on top of Silverstone – Brands Hatch, Donington Park, Oulton Park, Knockhill, Brands Hatch and the season finale at Laguna Seca in the USA.

In terms of the contenders, all of the top three from the inaugural Winter eSports Series are back for another go, with defending winner Mikey Doble now returning with a season’s worth of British Touring Car racing under his belt. The 2022 BMW Compact Cup champion steadily got quicker throughout the series and his consistency worked wonders to help him end the Series on top. He’ll have second placed Will Redford and third placed John Higgins Jnr to contend with again, Will in particular looking for redemption after he lost out on the title at the final round at Laguna Seca after spinning out at the Corkscrew.

With the car of choice again being the MX-5 Global Cup Car, naturally the second season has once again attracted a plethora of names from within the BRSCC’s bustling Mazda MX-5 paddock. Names of note include Ted Bradbury (who impressed many in his first season of car racing to end up third in the MX-5 Championship), Jack Noller (part of Williams eSports), Will Blackwell-Chambers (whom a massive thank you has to go to for all his efforts on the admin side of the series), Jon Pethick and Pete Smith from MX-5 Clubman, regular SuperCup front runners Tom Seldon, Leigh Britten and Tom Griffiths, and the return of former three time SuperCup champion turned team boss Luke Herbert. Steve Roberts is also another ex-SuperCup racer who is back for another go this year too.

While Mikey Doble returns, he does so with two more members of the Doble clan alongside him – Joe and Isaac. Joe was been plying his craft again in the BMW Compact Cup in 2023 and will look to try and stay with Mikey on the virtual track as best he can, while Isaac is taking his first steps into racing and will be hoping for good results to boost his confidence. Also representing the Compact Cup on the eSports grid will be Matt Kendall and James Barratt, both hoping they can make a solid start this evening. Plus, five time Compact Cup champion Steven Dailly is preparing to showcase his eSports skills against the rest of the grid this season, and could pose another threat to Doble’s title defence.

There’s representation from the C1 Racing Club paddock on the grid too, preparing for much shorter races than the longer epics they’re used to in the real world. Chris Etheridge from the #blessed team, Richard Harwood from ROK Motorsport and Matthew Parkes from Parkes Motorsport are all present here and we’re sure there’s going to be an internal battle between all three drivers to see who comes out on top.

Others to keep an eye on will be Bob Bannister and Team Northbrook Racing team member Ari Barker from the CityCar Cup paddock, Rhys Lewis will be the second Civic Cup racer on the grid along with Redford, and Close Racing team boss Michael Close is also giving the eSports series a crack to see how well his real-world driving skills translate.

Also, there’s a handful of current non-racing BRSCC members that could end up causing one or two surprises. Chris Humphreys is swapping his orange marshal overalls for a pair of virtual racing ones as he prepares to see how he stacks up against a field of racing drivers, regular BRSCC photographer James Roberts is rather fond of the MX-5 in iRacing and will hope it serves him well on this occasion, plus two potential young racing stars of the future are also lining up in the series too – Tom Monhemius and Finlay Lines, the latter the son of Maximum Motorsport, TCR UK and Civic Cup boss Stewart Lines who will want to show off all the skills developed through his karting experience in past seasons.

The scene is set for what should be another fascinating evening of eSports racing with the BRSCC, so make sure to tune in LIVE to all of the action on the Club’s YouTube channel to find out who takes the first victories of the season.

You can watch the live stream for the Silverstone season opener below:

A big thanks goes to Will Blackwell Chambers, SIM1 Racing Simulations and Hydrorace for their support of the 2023/24 BRSCC Winter eSports Series.

Scott Woodwiss


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