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  • Writer's pictureJustin Prince

NGK & NTK Esports Cup Round 2 Race Preview: Motorland Aragon

This week, the NGK & NTK Esports Cup returns to the virtual MotorLand Aragón for its second round of the 2024 season.

Dozens of drivers from across the world are expected to take part in the third and fourth races of the campaign on Jan. 19 when it races at the Hermann Tilke-designed Spanish circuit.

In December, Alexander Thiebe and Sergi Maturana won the first two races of the season - and for the series, the first ones on iRacing - at Circuit Zolder.

“At the beginning (at Circuit Zolder), during qualifying, it was a bit frustrating as I couldn't complete any laps. Starting so far back, an accident in Race 1 deprived me of the chance to make a comeback. However, with the inverted grid (in Race 2) and starting in second place, everything was in our favor to win the race,” said Maturana. “This week … the goal is to be in the top 10 and qualify for the final round at Nürburgring.”

As drivers get ready for the second round of the season, here is what competitors to expect this week:


Who: The Points Standings Entering Round 2


Vince Peeters, who had the most consistent round in top split at Zolder, enters Spain with a 32-point advantage over Thiebe. Gael Valero, who had to create a Five-Minute Strategy in Round 1, rounds out the top three in the standings, 36 points behind.


Where: MotorLand Aragón

Location: Alcañiz, Aragon, Spain

Layout: National

Track Length: 2.646 km (1.644 miles)

Turns: 13


For the second time in series history, drivers will be racing in Spain. In its last appearance on the schedule, Alex Mosin and Sinan Gunay went back and forth for the lead in both races, making contact several times. Mosin and Gunay won a sprint race a piece at the circuit, with Mosin picking up a round-high 58 points.

With Aragón being a newer track on the iRacing service, Valero thinks there are no proper reference points for lines, braking marks, etc. To him, those reference marks “might be where the biggest difference” in pace comes up.

“More than the track itself, we're driving the National layout, which cuts down a significant part of the circuit,” said Valero. “It makes the start/finish straight from the hairpin the longest. It definitely changes the dynamic of the racing from the GP layout.”

Maturana, who competed in the Campeonato de España de Karting at the facility last year, expanded on Valero’s point, thinking it would be hard for drivers to break away. Maturana also expected slowdowns to be an issue.

He and his Astro Racing teammate, Darwin Romero, focused on long runs during their test sessions earlier in the week.

“Consistency will be crucial on this circuit, and driving smoothly without overheating the tires will be important,” said Maturana.


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