With two rounds remaining in the inaugural ARG eSport Cup, Canterbury-based racer Jaden Ransley is eyeing up a debut sim-racing championship.
Ransley enters tonight’s penultimate round at Imola 25-points adrift of championship leader Harley Haber, with TCR Australia regular Dylan O’Keeffe breathing down the kiwi’s neck.
But even a lacklustre performance tonight won’t rule out Ransley’s title aspirations as series organisers have confirmed that the season finale will be a double points TCR enduro staged around the hallowed Bathurst circuit.
The unique event will see the 40 full-time series regulars chose their own co-drivers in a race that will ultimately crown this season’s champion.
With the title on the line, Ransley admits that his mindset has shifted towards a more long-term focus but won’t fully be deterred from watering down his ‘send it and hope’ mentality.
“As you would have probably seen, this series attracts quite a lot of carnage so I think every round is just a ‘Send It and hope for the best’ mindset but definitely coming into the last two rounds there’s thoughts about the championship,” Ransley told Velocity News.
“I think the endurance race is going to be awesome. I personally haven’t locked in a co-driver for the race but I know there are some big sim racing names that have been brought in for the race and I’m sure it’s going to be heaps of fun.”
The iRacing software the series uses allows two drivers to share the same car regardless of where they are located, meaning the enduro will undoubtedly attract the attention of some global sim-racing stars,
“Once I found out the news, I knew I needed to lock away the best sim driver as I could to keep my chances in the series fight alive,” O’Keeffe told the official TCR Australia website.
“I’ve raced against Jackson before numerous times. He is definitely quick and consistent, and he’s one of the fastest drivers in the Audi. He is really enthusiastic about being involved and has already started to test to ensure that he will be fast for the event.
“We’ll have to see how tonight goes, but I’m in the title fight, and with the double points, who knows what can happen.”
Tonight’s event from Imola will also welcome International Formula 3 racer Jack Doohan as the evening’s wildcard.
Doohan’s single-seater experience will put him as a firm favourite during the Dallara F3 race, though the 17-year-old will also be forced to deal with racing the Audi TCR in the night’s second affair.
Qualifying gets underway from 10 pm NZT and will be streamed live via the TCR Australia Facebook Page and official YouTube channel.