WORDS: Ryan Jones, Lachlan Mansell
The long awaited 2020 Repco Supercars Pro Eseries is set to get underway tonight at 8:30PM AEDT with a double header at Belle Isle and a feature race at Silverstone.
There have been a number of changes for this year’s edition of the competition, most notably the increased field size of 22 full time entrants, up from just 12 last year. 10 teams from the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will field entries, headlined by the appearance of James Golding in the sole Team 18 car. Six major partners are also being represented on the grid with BP Ultimate electing to field a two-car operation with Fawzan El-Nabi and Emily Jones. Over the course of the season it is also expected a number of wildcards will make appearances, however no details have been confirmed yet as to who or when that may be.
The season will be contested over six Tuesday evenings, featuring variable round formats and even some oval racing with Michigan International Speedway slated for round four alongside Monza (which could potentially utilise the historic Italian oval layout).
The driver line-up is an assembly of perhaps Australia’s greatest iRacing talent, almost anyone could be considered a potential race winner this season. However, there are just a few that stand slightly above the pack as the ones to watch in the 2020 Repco Supercars Pro Eseries.
Ones to Watch
Warren finished third in the 2019 edition of the Supercars Eseries where he stood on the virtual podium eight times. The driver of the #2 also competed in this year’s Porsche eSports Supercup where he finished sixth despite missing both races at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Warren forms one half of a formidable line up at Walkinshaw Andretti United.
The other half of the WAU stable is filled by reigning Supercars Eseries champion and 2019 Porsche eSports Supercup champion Josh Rogers. This is a man that is regarded by many as one of the best drivers on iRacing in the world, and with the credentials he carries it is hard to argue that sentiment.
Down picked up three race wins on his way to fourth in last year’s Eseries where he drove for Shannons Racing. This year he will represent Brad Jones Racing where he will partner up with Jackson Souslin-Harlow and Jake Burton. Down is currently leading this year’s V8SCOPS championship, often touted as Australia’s premier non-professional iRacing league.
Haber is a driver with raw pace and a penchant for aggressive racing, a combination which makes him a formidable opponent on the track. The driver of the #35 made a wildcard appearance in the final round of the All Stars Eseries earlier this year where he picked up the race win at Mount Panorama.
Driver of the #98 BP Ultimate Racing entry, El-Nabi was also a recipient of a wildcard entry into a round of the All Stars Eseries. The impression made was certainly a good one as the sim-racing representative recorded a pole position and a fastest lap across the two races held in the round. This year has been mightily impressive for El-Nabi in V8SCOPS where he sits second in the standings.
While the drivers listed above are likely to be the prime contenders, the field is rich in talent with a couple of rising stars of the Aussie sim racing scene – Jackson Souslin-Harlow and Cooper Webster – both scoring drives in the series. Souslin-Harlow and Webster have both been consistently impressive in their ability to swap between cars, although neither is necessarily a Supercars specialist.
Andrew Gilliam has had some strong V8SCOPS performances this season including a stunning charge to second in the closing stint of the Bathurst 1000, while the likes of Ethan Grigg-Gault and Richard Hampstead are perennial Supercars front-runners.
Full Driver List:
- Dayne Warren, #2 Walkinshaw Andretti United
- Josh Rogers, #25 Walkinshaw Andretti United
- Jackson Souslin-Harlow, #3 Brad Jones Racing
- Jake Burton, #8 Brad Jones Racing
- Madison Down, #14 Brad Jones Racing
- Cooper Webster, #5 Seiko 5 Racing
- Richard Hamstead, #6 Tickford Racing
- Andrew Gilliam, #44 Tickford Racing
- Jordan Caruso, #12 Repco Racing
- Sam Blacklock, #17 Shell V-Power Racing
- Josh Anderson, #19 Team Sydney
- Brady Meyers, #22 Pioneer DJ Racing
- Harley Haber, #35 Matt Stone Racing
- Jarrad Filsell, #38 Red Bull Holden Racing Team
- Josh Muggleton, #81 Shure Racing
- Jake Blackhall, #97 Puresims Esports
- Fawzan El-Nabi, #98 BP Ultimate Racing
- Emily Jones, #99 BP Ultimate Racing
- Ethan Grigg-Gault, #117 Shannons Racing
- Ben Smith, #151 Kelly Racing
- James Golding, #440 Team 18
- Jobe Stewart, #999 Penrite Racing
Round 1, October 27: Detroit Grand Prix at Belle Isle & Silverstone
Round 2, November 3: Montreal & Barcelona
Round 3, November 10: Mount Panorama
Round 4, November 17: Michigan International Speedway & Monza
Round 5, November 24: Spa & fans’ choice
Round 6, December 1: Phillip Island & Interlagos