Boquida with dominant victory in Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia Esports opening round in Barcelona

• Silver class R8G driver Boquida converts pole into win after first lap duel
• Tan takes Pro class honours after penalty for Aleef
• Qualifying | Race Result | Standings

Philippa Boquida put in a consummate performance to take a stunning first win in the opening round of the Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia series, the R8G driver ultimately winning by over four seconds at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

Boquida, entered in the Silver class driving a Porsche 911 GT3, saw off a number of Pro drivers to claim overall honours.

Ar Mumhhamad Aleef (SEM9 Flash Axle) made use of undercut momentum at the pitstops to get past fellow Pro class driver Dillan Tan (Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team LoR) for second place, only to be handed a penalty for cutting the pitlane entry. This meant the Mercedes of Tan finished second with the Fadhli Rachmat’s Tarmac Works Bentley Continental third.

Boquida had taken pole for championship’s opening round, the Australian admitting after the race that her car was set up for cornering speed, meaning she had to survive the chase down to the first turn at the start.

She almost didn’t make it – after getting a poor start, the Australian had to go three-wide with Tan and Rachmat into the first corner in a spirited attempt to preserve the lead.

The latter bailed out into the runoff, but Boquida and Tan went wheel to wheel through the opening corners, taking part in a thrilling duel.

This was eventually settled at Turn 5, Boquida weathering the storm and reclaiming first ­– by the end of lap one her margin was 0.5sec.

Further back, chaos ensued in the pack with several cars going into the gravel and barriers as the 44-car field tried to thread its way through the opening turns.

A front breakaway group of four cars began to separate itself from the pack – Boquida, Tan, Aleef and Andika Rama Maula (Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team LoR) were covered by 0.4sec as they ran nose to tail.

Further back, things weren’t so serene: KuiSheng Huang (LK Full Pace Racing) was turned around in the penultimate corner, his Mercedes-AMG GT3 being spun twice more as he tried to recover with the field streaming past.

The fighting in other parts of the midfield was no less intense: Zachary Smith’s Alpha Venturi Racing Aston Martin was snapping at the heels of Fickry Segeir (Gayatri Simracing), whilst at the same having to defend from Teryy Rayton’s Laundry House Audi R8.

As the pit window opened on 15 minutes, Boquida had pulled out a 1.1sec lead on Mercedes-AMG Esport’s Tan and SEM9 Flash Axle’s Aleef.

Eighth-placed Ferris Stanley elected to bring in his Gen-Z Racing 911 for an early stop, as did Jake Baldwin (Ferrari 488 Happy Laps) from 21st.

The battle remained full-on at the front, as Maulana looked for a way past his team-mate Aleef at Turn 1.

Much was made of the twelve BMW M4s entered into this race, and though they mainly populated the midfield, they were no less exciting for it: Daffa Nabiel (JMX Phantom) and Marco Wong (Z-Challenger) provided much entertainment with a competitive duel.

Race control had its hands full too: Sergey Mirenko (Audi R8 Laundry House) was handed a ten-second penalty for causing a collision at the start whilst Sean Maddison (Honda NSX HPD JAS Pro Asia) was given a drive-through for “failure to hold the brake”, as Presley Martono (JMX Phantom) also took a five-second penalty for causing an accident.

As the halfway make was passed, the battle for second continued to wear on: Tan was still clinging on for dear life ahead of Aleef, with Maulana and Moreno Pratama close behind.

It was the latter who cracked first and decided to pit, and there were other battles just as fierce deeper into the pack.

The swashbuckling Vattana Motorsport McLaren 720S of Thanathip Thalanapan was trying to take the Macau e-Motorsports Vantage of Oscar Lou at the final chicane, but this simply put the former back into the clutches of a six-car gaggle heading into the first turn.

Aleef came in just past 25 minutes, emerging in 11th, hoping to get the undercut on Tan. At first it appeared it hadn’t worked: Tan emerged from his pitstop just ahead, but looked vulnerable in the first corners of the lap on cool tyres, allowing Aleef to take advantage.

The SEM9 Ferrari driver saw his chance into Turn 5, dived down the inside made it stick. Boquida pitted shortly after, emerging with a six-second margin over Aleef, as six cars ahead were left to pit.

As the clock ticked down, Aleef managed to get the gap down to under four seconds, but it never really looked in doubt – Boquida sailed home to take an emphatic opening Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia Esports race win of 2022

The race stewards had their work cut out with the number of incidents throughout the race, with 58 noted in total. However, two of the most significant were given to Aleef: one for cutting the pit entry and another for causing a collision, dropping him from second to fourth, promoting Tan to second and Fadhli to third.

Organised by SRO Motorsports Group and Ak Esports in partnership with Mobileye, Fanatec, Kunos Simulazioni, Pirelli and The Sim Grid, the Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia Esports Championship utilises the unmatched simulation of Assetto Corsa Competizione. As the championship heads to Imola next, Tan leads the Pro points standings with 35 points, whilst Boquida has the same number in the Silver title race, leading Laundry House’s Andrew O’Hara on 29 and Wong on 25.

Top sim racing talent primed for Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia Esports season opener

  • Competitive field of 48 cars ready to race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
  • Pro and Silver contenders targeting glory on Assetto Corsa Competizione 
  • Entry List | Schedule

A 48-strong field of top sim racing talent will kick off the 2022 Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia Esports Championship tomorrow (13 April) with a 60-minute Assetto Corsa Competizione race at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya.

The 4.7km venue combines both fast and slow corners, as well as a long start-finish straight that places significant emphasis on horsepower. Asia’s finest will go head-to-head on Wednesday evening at 18:00 HKT / 20:00 AEST in the first of five 60-minute contests that will decide the 2022 title. 

A new initiative for this season sees the field split evenly between Pro and Silver entries, with categorisation decided by last year’s results. The pit stop window has also been extended to run from the 15th to the 45th minute, while points are now awarded down to 15th place. 

The diverse 48-car grid features 10 brands, led by 12 examples of the new BMW M4 GT3. The only comparable number comes from German rival Mercedes-AMG, which will be represented by eight cars. Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari and Porsche all have four cars, while there will be three each from Audi, Honda, Lamborghini and McLaren.  

Wednesday’s race will be streamed live on the SRO YouTube and Twitch channels, as well as the SRO Esports Facebook page, with an all-star commentary duo of David Addison and Ben Constanduros. It will be followed by further rounds at Imola (11 May), Bathurst (15 June) and Zolder (13 July), culminating in the season finale at Asia’s most iconic racing venue: Suzuka (24 August).

No clear favourite to succeed Warren as champion of Asia

With last year’s winner Dayne Warren not on the grid, Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia Esports will crown a new champion in 2022. Andika Rama Maulana was runner-up in 2021 and thus assumes the mantle of title favourite this time around. Having previously used a Ferrari, the Indonesian will now race for Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team LoR. 

Though he finished as championship runner-up, Maulana did not win a race last term. Indeed, aside from Warren the only diver to reach the top step of the podium was Andrew Laurenson, who broke through with victory in the 2021 finale. He remains with the Laundry House outfit this season and also switches brands, swapping Porsche for Ferrari machinery. 

With its unmistakable retro livery, Laundry House is perhaps the most recognisable team on the grid – and it is well represented, too. In addition to four entries under its own name, an additional Pro car will run under the Mobileye x Laundry House banner for Ryan Hoolihan, who will use the new BMW M4. 

Hoolihan is one of several returning drivers who scored a podium in 2021 hoping to progress to victory this time around. Dillan Tan (Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team LoR) and Avila Bahar (JMX Phantom) will both drive Mercedes-AMG machinery, while Fadhli Rachmat pilots a Tarmac Works Bentley. Ryan Duong (Baked Potato Racing Audi) and Jake Baldwin (Happy Laps Ferrari) also recorded top-three finishes last term and should be in the mix once again on Wednesday. 

In addition to the Pro contenders, a further 24 drivers will compete in the Silver class. They include a pair of entries from the Laundry House squad with Andrew O’Hara using a Mercedes-AMG and Terry Rayton driving a Porsche. Philippa Boquida will also use a 911 GT3-R to represent Romain Grosjean’s R8G eSports team, while Happy Laps splits its Silver entry between a Bentley for Mitch Hobbs and a Honda for Daniel Hunter. 

Organised by SRO Motorsports Group and Ak Esports in partnership with Mobileye, Fanatec, Kunos Simulazioni, Pirelli and The Sim Grid, the series utilises the highly authentic physics and unmatched driving realism of Assetto Corsa Competizione. The Asian event comes one week after the European campaign launched at Misano, while Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports Powered by Mobileye kicks off this weekend with the Bathurst 12 Hour (16 April).

Title sponsor Mobileye has also partnered with SRO to give fans the opportunity to win a VIP weekend at a Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS event or a simulator coaching session with a top SRO Esports driver. For further information and to enter, click here


2022 Mobileye GT World Challenge Asia Esports Championship

  1. Barcelona – 13 April 
  2. Imola – 11 May
  3. Bathurst – 15 June
  4. Zolder – 13 July 
  5. Suzuka – 24 August

Autonomous and assisted-driving innovator Mobileye named SRO Esports racing series title sponsor

  • Series to be titled Mobileye GT World Challenge Esports Championships and Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports powered by Mobileye
  • Partnership brings together leading pioneers in mobility technology and sim-racing motorsport 
  • Launching the fan-voted Mobileye Innovation Award for the best manoeuvre of the race 

SRO Motorsports Group has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Mobileye, an Intel Company, the global innovator in autonomous and assisted-driving technology. 

Starting this season, Mobileye joins as title sponsor of SRO’s global esports output, which will be named the Mobileye GT World Challenge Esports Championships in Europe, Asia, and America, along with the new Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports Championship Powered by Mobileye.

As part of the collaboration, Mobileye will also sponsor the new Mobileye Innovation Award, which will be awarded to the top-performing drivers for their innovative and inspirational manoeuvres, as chosen by fans. 

“With SRO, Mobileye has found a natural partner who also embraces technological innovation in the automotive sphere,” said Diane Be’ery, Vice President of Marketing for Mobileye. “Esports are growing tremendously in popularity worldwide, with more than 700 million viewers in 2021. Mobileye looks forward to the new SRO season and engaging with these virtual motorsports fans who are digitally savvy and have a natural affinity for, and deep interest in, automotive technology and innovation.

Mobileye and SRO share a passion for automotive technology innovation. Mobileye has been leading the revolution of AI-powered assisted driving for over two decades, while SRO’s esports programme has introduced the popular world of motor racing to new experiences and new audiences in the virtual environment.

We are delighted that Mobileye has entered into this relationship with SRO Motorsports Group. This is an exciting opportunity to work alongside a highly innovative company at the cutting edge of automotive innovation,” said Stephane Ratel, SRO Motorsports Group founder and CEO. “We share this passion for innovation, having last year become the first championship to merge virtual and real racing. As such, Mobileye’s presence in both areas is a natural fit and one that I believe can bring significant benefits for both parties. I look forward to welcoming Mobileye to both the virtual and real-life circuits this season.

In addition to Mobileye’s sponsorship of virtual races, Mobileye branding will be displayed at the real-life Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS championship. Mobileye will also launch an employee engagement program utilising two state-of-the-art simulators to be placed at the company’s headquarters in Jerusalem.