It prides itself on being New Zealand’s most affordable motor racing series; an excellent introduction for aspiring drivers to get behind the wheel.
But in the space of a few weeks the 2KCUP has grown exponentially – virtually at least – to become one of the country’s largest sim-racing series.
The brainchild of SsangYong Racing Series front runners Mark Mallard and James Watson, the 2KCUP iRacing Sunday League was initially set out to keep 2KCUP drivers in touch with each other during lockdown.
But now the online series is boasting four separate grids all in excess of 30 cars, with races streamed across the internet with sizable viewing ratings.
In a world where Covid-19 did not exist, it would never have crossed anyone’s imaginations to have the likes of NZ Grand Prix victor Liam Lawson competing against 2016 Supercars Champion Shane Van Gisbergen or WEC Champion Brendon Hartley in the same race, let alone in a Mazda MX5.
And, if you are willing to suspend your disbelief that all the racing is indeed on a computer game, that is exactly what the 2KCUP Sunday League has produced.
“The series is showing why sim racing is so good,” lead commentator Ryan Jones told Velocity News.
“[It is] allowing people who would normally never come together, to race each other on track. It also showcases the immense talent on offer, with the drives going up against the ‘giants’ of NZ Motorsport, and holding their own quite well!”
Alongside a strong contingent of 2KCUP drivers, one will find several NZ motorsport and kartsport champions on the grid. As well as a handful of punters who have proven to be quite handy when it comes to sim-racing.
“As a commentator, being able to call these series is a fantastic opportunity as it allows me to develop my own voice while being on a platform where thousands of people are tuning in,” added Jones.
“You never know who’s watching.”
The next round of the Sunday League will be contested around the Tsukuba Circuit, Japan. Main event and all-comers races will be streamed via the Global Sim Racing YouTube Channel and on Velocity News.