The return of some of our favourite codes and competitions is tantalisingly close, but for now e-sports betting is keeping sports fans and punters occupied. The BP Supercars All Stars Eseries has been one of the major events providing relief to the sports-starved masses – and the fiercely fought virtual-racing competition has provided ample entertainment over the past month.
The Esupercars series is halfway through its schedule of 10 rounds, taking viewers to virtual versions of the most famous racetracks on the planet.
V8 Supercars drivers such as Scott McLaughlin, Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup – as well as Formula 1 and IndyCar superstars making a cameo in the eseries – have torn up the tarmac at Phillip Island, Silverstone, Mount Panorama, Watkins Glen and Nürburgring from the safety of their lounge rooms every Wednesday night.
But there’s still plenty of high-octane action ahead as the battle for the Esupercars championship – and the banter between the drivers – intensifies ahead of its 10 June conclusion.
— Motorsport.com (@Motorsport) April 16, 2020
McLaughlin leads the way, van Gisbergen on the charge
Scott McLaughlin, the real-life 2018–19 Supercars Championship winner, holds a 74-point lead at the halfway mark of the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries drivers’ championship.
The Kiwi drove his virtual Ford Mustang for Shell V-Power Racing to two firsts and a fourth in the opening round. Although he has won just two of 14 races since, McLaughlin has consistently found the podium, and reclaimed the overall championship lead with a first and a third in an incident-packed round 5.
— Supercars (@supercars) May 6, 2020
Despite just one win to date, Monster Energy Racing’s Cameron Waters and his Ford Mustang sit in second spot. The Victorian – seventh in last year’s Supercars Championship – has shown a remarkable ability to finish in the top half of almost every race.
Pre-competition favourite Shane van Gisbergen shapes as McLaughlin’s biggest threat. After a disappointing start, the New Zealander has chalked up a season-high five race victories in his Holden Commodore ZB and is just 96 points off the pace in third.
A delayed penalty cost van Gisbergen the win in the opening race of round 5 at Spa – handing top spot to McLaughlin – but by taking the chequered flag in the third race of the night, he has kept the Red Bull Holden Racing Team star within striking distance.
— Supercars (@supercars) May 7, 2020
Chaz Mostert (-275) and Anton De Pasquale (-294) round out the top five in the Esupercars standings.
Wildcards add Eseries intrigue
Dutch Formula 1 big gun Max Verstappen amplified the attention around the Esupercars series by entering the round 2 races as a wildcard. He performed superbly, with podium finishes at Silverstone and Barcelona.
Aussie IndyCar veteran Will Power – who had three Supercars seasons during the early 2000s – returned to his roots by guesting in round 3. The 38-year-old recorded a best finish of sixth across three races at Mount Panorama.
Inclusion of international stars growing category’s profile.
— Supercars (@supercars) May 7, 2020
British F1 wunderkind Lando Norris was the big drawcard in round 5 and has confirmed he will be back next week. NASCAR champ Joey Logano and Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi are among the other internationals to have spiced up the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries with wildcard cameos.
But the most remarkable wildcard display came in round 5 from a Gold Coast 17-year-old. Broc Feeney, a rookie in the Dunlop Super2 Series after winning the Super3 title last year, claimed victory in just his second race last week.
— Broc Feeney (@brocfeeney93) May 6, 2020
Southern style as Esupercars series gears up for Round 6
The Wednesday night live-streamed action continues on 13 May as the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries heads to the USA’s south. The Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas, and Florida’s Sebring International Raceway will host the three races.
Van Gisbergen ($2.00 at the time of writing) and McLaughlin ($3.10) start among the favourites again for Race 1 at the Curcuit of the Americas, while de Pasquale ($2.70) – the only other driver with multiple wins – will be eager to consolidate his excellent recent results and stay in the championship hunt.
The likes of Jamie Whincup ($51) and Will Davison ($34) have also been in good touch in recent weeks and could provide solid value for punters. Norris ($6.50) shapes as a smoky after finding his feet in round 5.
The competition makes its way to famed venues Daytona Speedway and Talladega SuperSpeedway in round 7 (20 May).
— Speedcafe.com (@speedcafe) May 6, 2020
It may be a couple of months before we see the Supercars Championship back on the track. But the Esupercars series has proved a worthy gap filler, with the drivers’ ferocious competitiveness shining through, despite the lower stakes. Don’t expect the rivals to take their foot off the gas in the remaining five rounds.