For the first time since 1970, Trans Am will return to Bridgehampton Race Circuit. Trans Am by Pirelli Esports Championship will visit the retired circuit, virtually, on Saturday, June 13 at 3:00 p.m. Eastern for its penultimate doubleheader.
Stream the race live:
With just two rounds left, the Trans Am by Pirelli Esports Championship has come to a head between two rivaling drivers, points leader Tyler Kicera and Josh Hurley.
Through 12 races, the pair have a combined seven wins and seven podium finishes over the course of 12 races.
Hurley secured the championship lead after winning the debut round at WeatherTech Laguna Seca, and held the top spot in the standings until the most recent virtual round at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. After scoring his fourth win of the season at Spa, Kicera knocked Hurely out of the points lead. Only seven points separate the TA2 powered by AEM drivers. (333-327 points)
“The rivalry that’s developed between Josh (Hurley) and I has pushed me to elevate my game for sure,” said Kicera. “I’ve been in a hole since the first race of the championship at Laguna, finishing ninth because of early contact. I’ve been chipping away at his championship lead at every event except Barcelona, where I lost some ground to him.
“Pole position is going to be key on Saturday, which puts the leader in control of the race on the Bridgehampton circuit,” Kicera continued. “If Spa is any indication, If I’m able to secure pole, I’ll have to be consistent and mistake free, along with just being a bit lucky in race two with the inverted start.”
Hurley will have to be on top of his game, so to speak, at Bridgepoint. The California native supplements his time out of the cockpit coaching and serving as the lead engineer for a professional Formula team. During the Esports championship finale, Hurley will be on-location for a test, and will not have access to his typical VR rig.
“This weekend I want to push extra, since next weekend I will be on the road, using a sim at the Pittsburgh raceway which I have never used,” said Hurley. “I will have very little practice time next week, so the goal is to really push hard this week and see how well I can do and hopefully grab a pole and a win.”
While the Trans Am Series presented by Pirelli only raced three times at the Bridgehampton Race Circuit, the 2.85-mile Long Island layout was a key stop during the Golden Years of the championship. With the help of technology, the NAGRA and Torque Esports team injected new life into Bridgehampton, recreating the historic Trans Am circuit exclusively for the Esports championship.
Since the track was long gone before most of the drivers entered for the event were even born, Saturday will be the first time the drivers will be compete at Bridgehampton, virtually or otherwise.
“Before Monday, I hadn’t even seen a track map,” Kicera said. “The history of the circuit is really interesting and I may take a trip out to drive under the old bridge after this, which still remains. The track is bumpy and there are a lot of nuances that are key to being quick here. There’s been some gamesmanship in the server practices the past few weeks, so I wouldn’t bank on lap times visible there being a true indication of the speed everyone has. My focus in practice has been all about working on consistency because there are a number of places on the track where the margin for error is virtually zero.”
With the real world of motorsport gearing up for its big return, Hurley has found himself with less time to prepare for the virtual rounds.
“This week has been very busy with other work projects as we’re starting to get back to work in the motorsports world, so it’s going to be short on practice time even compared to others on a track I don’t know,” Hurley said. “Bridgehampton it’s going to be a challenge but hopefully I’m up for it!”
Round 7 of the Trans Am by Pirelli Esports Championship starts Saturday at 3:00 p.m. Eastern at Bridgehampton. The day will feature a swift qualifying followed by two 20-minute main events. For added excitement, the second round will be an inverted field.
Drivers will continue to race identically prepared Corvette C7.r GTLM machines hosted on the ‘World’s Fastest Gamer – SIM edition’ JV with Torque Esports and Assetto Corsa.
Fans can stream the action by downloading the free Trans Am by Pirelli Racing app (https://bit.ly/3dxc6Lg). The live stream will also be available on the series Facebook (www.facebook.com/gotransam) and YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/TheTransAmSeries), as well as UMG TV Esports Network on Mobile (IOS and Android), Apple TV, Fire TV and ROKU.