Creventic, the organisers of the 24H Series, and the NEO Endurance Series, a privately run iRacing league, have partnered for a 24H Esports Series.
iRacing is an online motorsports simulator frequently used by sports car drivers such as Nicki Thiim and Kelvin Van Der Linde, as well as Formula 1 drivers Max Verstappen and Lando Norris. Among iRacing drivers, the NEO Endurance Series is considered one of the premier privately-run leagues that operate on the iRacing service.
The partnership between Creventic and NEO will allow the series to pay out larger winnings to the top teams as well as trophies and other prizes. It also allows Creventic to have a presence in esports, following the path laid out by the WEC with its Le Mans Esports Series.
“In a world where everything is becoming more and more digital, companies have to keep up with the developments,” said Koen Wiesman of Creventic. “Because the fan base for esports is big and continually growing, esports is the perfect way to unlock a new, younger fan base and get these fans interested in real-life motorsport as well.”
Wiesman added that Creventic hopes to create a virtual championship, with a calendar synchronised to the 24H Series events. “Of course, it would be great to incorporate some of the virtual events in our live events, to give an extra layer to the event for participants, fans, and partners,” he added.
“This partnership allows us to learn from each other,” said Neil Hekkens, one of the founders of NEO. “As NEO, we can learn a lot from a professional sanctioning body, while Creventic gets to learn about the possibilities in sim racing.”
Part of the partnership means that the NEO series will use a class structure akin to the ones present in the Creventic series. This means GT3 cars, the Porsche 911 Cup Car and the Audi RS3 LMS TCR that are available, or in the case of the Audi RS3, soon to be available, on iRacing will be used for the NEO Series.
The NEO schedule will also reflect the real-world 24H series schedule, with the series going to tracks like Imola, COTA, and Barcelona.