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  • Writer's pictureJustin Prince

NGK & NTK Esports Cup Race Day: Round 1 at Circuit Zolder

It’s race day for the season opener for the 2024 NGK & NTK Esports Cup as drivers look to start the campaign off right at Circuit Zolder.

Today, drivers will be racing their fixed-setup Toyota GR86s in two 25-minute sprint races around The Funfastic Circuit to kick off the seven-round campaign. The top 40 drivers based on iRating will be competing in the top split race, broadcast live by RaceSpot TV on

Niterra EMEA GmbH’s social media pages.

“I feel very excited,” said Simufy Esports driver Aday Coba Lopez. “Being able to race with great drivers in this type of race motivates me a lot and is really what convinced me to compete here.”

In Lopez’s opinion, Circuit Zolder is “one of the most complicated circuits” he has experienced on the iRacing.com service. That is because of the track’s tight chicanes. Peter Zuba, who drives for Race Clutch, explained earlier in the week about how off-track penalties could be the biggest factor of both qualifying and the race. To Lopez, it is because the braking zones in the chicanes are too close and too narrow.

“I think the biggest challenge will be Zolder without a doubt,” said Lopez. “Of the entire calendar it seems to me to be the most complicated circuit, and being the first of the season makes it even more difficult.”

Other drivers like Sergi Maturana have more positive feelings about the circuit. While he expects Lap 1 to be dangerous “like in any race”, he also has fond memories involving his sim racing career at Zolder.

“Zolder has always been special to me,” said Maturana. “It's a circuit I really liked during my first experience there back in 2018 when I secured the Pole Position in an American championship with my first eSports team, Champs iRacing. The circuit has many areas, especially the first chicane, for overtaking and it will be a challenge for all of us.”

With only the top 40 drivers in the season points standings expected to receive invites to the campaign’s final race at the Nürburgring, Maturana said the main challenge of the season will be the variety of circuits.

“The greatest challenge for this championship, at least for me, will be to maintain consistency and keep high motivation and confidence throughout the entire campaign,” said Maturana. “There will be very technical circuits like Motorland Aragón and Imola.”

Round 1 of the NGK & NTK Esports Cup starts at 19:00 CET (12:00 EST) on Niterra EMEA GmbH’s social media platforms.

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