It's been six months since casting began for the BMW-powered Jochen Schweizer SimRacing Team. There were over 600 participants competing for the remaining open spots on the team. Over a series of intensely competitive eRacing challenges, four winners emerged, and are now officially part of the team. We look back on the entire event.
With eRacing's popularity continuing to rise, and with more support now from big name's like BMW, the level of competition has skyrocketed. The performance of these 600 hopefuls has been breathtaking, as they battled to earn a spot on the Jochen Schweizer SimRacing Team. Over a series of four challenges, four contestants broke away from the pack and demonstrated their absolute mastery of the wheel.
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The Qualifying Round
One lap, one BMW Z4 GT3, and 600 contestants. The Jochen Schweizer SimRacing Team took no prisoners in their tryouts. They challenged contestants to begin with a simple test: get the fastest lap time in Z4 GT3 to qualify. Only 31 succeeded and made it to the next round, while over five hundred had their dreams cut short.
The Jochen Schweizer SimRacing Team is based in Munich and wants to compete competitively in the racing simulation Assetto Corsa. Given the kind of fierce competition they'll be up against, it's no wonder they asked so many contestants to attend, and why they were so keen to look for the absolute elite in the sport.
Challenge 1: Racing In A BMW M2 CS
Challenge 1 was going to reduce those 31 drivers down to 16. They had to use a BWM M2 CS and compete in more extended races on three tracks (Brands Hatch GP, Silverstone, and Nürburgring). With current restrictions, 27 of the drivers competed from their home PC, but there were four lucky drivers allowed to perform in the Jochen Schweizer Arena.
The races themselves were a phenomenal tour–de–force for the sport; the difference in victory and defeat was counted in milliseconds, and every driver was competing with their dreams on the line. This was always going to be a tense challenge, and at the end of it 15 drivers were eliminated, leaving only 16 for Challenge 2.
Challenge 2: Technical Know-How And Interview
Challenge 2 became more complex. The drivers were tested on their technical know-how under stressful conditions. The participants had to find and fix errors in the set-up and still set a competitive lap time.
Then the competitors were interviewed by a jury, where they paid particular attention to their demeanor and self-confidence. At this stage in the competition, any one of them could go on to represent the team, so the judges had to be sure of their character and ability to compete professionally.
A total of ten drivers were selected from the 16 who had competed in Challenge 2.
Challenge 3: Skills On A Real Race Track
In Challenge 3, the candidates were then asked to prove their skills on a real racetrack. On the BMW test track in Maisach (Bavaria, Germany), they had to complete a series of skill–tests in a BMW M235i and BMW M3 Competition. During the casting, the jury around Jochen Schweizer; Max Sandritter, Max Maliar, and ex–DTM driver Martin Tomczyk, were keen to stress that SimRacing was not so far removed from real racing. Six candidates were able to prove themselves in this challenge, cornering on wet roads and speeding around the tarmac to qualify for the fourth and final challenge.
Challenge 4: Teamwork
The participants had been tested for their raw speed around the track, for their set-up knowledge in Assetto Corsa, for appearance and driving talent in the racing car - and now for the fourth and final challenge they had to demonstrate teamwork. This might sound trivially easy compared to the other tests, but it's an absolutely essential part of the sport - as organizers repeatedly made clear.
The candidates had to act as a team, take on leadership roles and responsibilities, and all the while work in a results-oriented manner. The four winners of the Jochen Schweizer SimRacing casting were finally chosen: Lorenz Hoerzing, Jarno Koch, Ralf Piringer and Jan von der Heyde
The winners proved how valuable they were as racers, going against hundreds of other competitors, and demonstrating incredible talent. On and off the track, these four have also shown a confident, and team-orientated attitude. They earned their places on the Jochen Schweizer SimRacing Team - powered by BMW. The team is completed by captain Max Maliar and professional racing driver Max Sandritter.
It was a fantastic competition to have spectated, and one I'm sure many fans would dearly love to have attended themselves. The Jochen Schweizer SimRacing Team is based in Munich presently, but the eRacing community is waiting with bated breath for news of international expansion.
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