- Mercedes-AMG Motorsport expands esports programme
- Five Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Teams competing in Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series
- Pro-drivers and sim racing veterans in action
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is further expanding its esports programme and is starting the third Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series (DNLS) presented by Goodyear season with a total of five Performance Teams. The season-opening event in the virtual Green Hell, the H&R 3h race, will be taking place on Sunday.
Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is expanding its involvement in sim racing and for the first time is entering five teams for this year’s DNLS season, each of them competing with “Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Performance Team” status. In charge of the first comprehensive programme in virtual motorsport is Jan Seyffarth, project manager virtual motorsport, Mercedes-AMG. In 2020, the 35-year-old had called time on his active career as a driver and increasingly became involved in sim racing.
His new field of activities at AMG also includes looking after the newly-created Performance Teams who, in similar fashion as the analogue Nürburgring Endurance Series (NLS) will be making their debut this weekend and are being supported in various areas in the process. Next to having access, free of charge, to various high-quality analyses and strategy tools, a Pro driver is also being made available for each of the sim racing teams. Providing the name and the communication through the official Mercedes-AMG channels also offer effective marketing opportunities. On the long term, the project is to create increasing synergies between digital and analogue racing.
First outing of the Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Teams in Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series
For the performance and sports car brand from Affalterbach, having a special connection with the Eifel circuit as a result of its NLS participation and regular test sessions, participation in the DNLS is another pillar of its international motorsport programme. A highly detailed digital version of the successful in-house GT3 race car will be in use.
Following second place in last year’s manufacturers’ standings, the Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Teams are taking on the upcoming DNLS season with high sporting ambitions. Accordingly, the five teams have already completed a professional preparation stage with joint practice sessions and analyses. After all, the self-defined goal is a top 3 result.
This is the 2021 DNLS
Still envisaged as a substitute for the NLS season that had to be called off due to Covid in 2020, the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series has become a regular fixture on the motorsport calendar in the meantime. The five races, all of them with a duration of three hours, are promising entertaining racing at the digital Nordschleife. Next to experienced sim racing drivers, well-known drivers from real-world racing will also be participating. The first round is the H&R 3h race on Sunday, 7 November. The season finale will take place on 6 March 2022.
The iRacing motorsport simulation will be used as the platform. Like in NLS, competitors are also racing in different classes in DNLS. Next to the GT3 class SP9, there will be Cup2, SP3T and SP10 classifications as well. The Mercedes-AMG E-Sport Teams, however, will exclusively be competing in SP9, in which, like last year, at least one driver has to come from real-world motorsport.
Promising line-up for performance premiere in sim racing
Further customer teams are to run in the course of the season, but only Performance Teams have been entered for the first race. With these five teams and a promising driver line-up, Mercedes-AMG Motorsport will be taking on the virtual endurance racing adventure. Running with starting number #4, Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team HRT has named two experienced sim racers for the first event in Florian Denzler and Danny Giusa (both GER) Coming from real-world motorsport, pro driver Daniel Juncadella (ESP) will be rounding out the trio.
Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team WINWARD (#57) is also relying on a DTM driver and will be running Philip Ellis (SUI), who will be supported by experienced sim racer Aleksi Elomaa (FIN). Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team Landgraf (#70) will have NLS class champion Marcel Marchewicz (GER) and Daniel Morad (CAN) behind the wheel while Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team Heusinkveld (#101) will have Adam Christodoulou (GBR), Mats-Thorge Huthsfeldt and Jan Sentkoswki (both GER) as its drivers. In the virtual #111 Mercedes-AMG GT3 #111 of Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team M&J Performance, Marek Böckmann (GER) and Robin Rogalski (POL) will be racing.
Prior to this weekend’s season opener, there is much anticipation of the virtual racing experience across all the five Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Teams. On Sunday, 7 November, at 1pm CET, the simulated lights will go green to get the eagerly awaited 2021/22 Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series underway.
Christoph Sagemüller, head of Mercedes-AMG Motorsport: “I am happy that we at Mercedes-AMG are becoming involved in the burgeoning e-motorsport segment even more intensely. With Jan Seyffarth, we have managed to get the right man on board as our project manager virtual motorsport. Jan has been part of the Mercedes-AMG family as a driver, an instructor and a brand ambassador for ten years and will now be taking care of the esports activities as the person in charge. I am convinced that, with his experience and his know-how, Jan will be moving forward a lot of things. I am eager for the start of the season and I am keeping my fingers crossed for all our teams.”
Jan Seyffarth, manager virtual motorsport: “We are happy to now getting virtual motorsport off to a flying start at Mercedes-AMG as well. With the Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series, we are building on one of our pillars that is NLS. We are relying on a good mix between sim racing teams and teams from real-world motorsport, similar to the situation among the drivers Multiple Mercedes-AMG pro drivers will be supporting our sim racing drivers on the simulators. Last season, we have shown good achievements in DNLS already and we want to build on these. Our aim is a top 3 result, although we are well aware that the competition is very strong. After a long preparation, we are now looking forward to the much anticipated season opener together with our Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Teams.”
Daniel Juncadella, Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team HRT: “The DNLS season is starting and I have been allowed to be there for the first race. I am proud of being part of the line-up and have intensely prepared for the season opener during the past weeks. I am expecting us to be contenders for the positions at the front. It is nice that a series like NLS is running in the virtual world as well. During my début last year, I won. Of course, I want to confirm that.”
Philip Ellis, Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team WINWARD: "We are all very excited about the first race. It will be very interesting to see where we are with our team. There are a lot of strong teams again, but we have also done very well in the last two seasons. The first race is not easy to assess, but we are optimistic and looking forward to the start of the season.”
Mercedes-AMG line-up, Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series*:
Florian Denzler (GER)
Danny Giusa (GER)
Daniel Juncadella (ESP)
Philip Ellis (SUI)
Aleksi Elomaa (FIN)
Marcel Marchewicz (GER)
Daniel Morad (CAN)
Adam Christodoulou (GBR)
Mats-Thorge Huthsfeldt (GER)
Jan Sentkowski (GER)
Team M&J Performance
Marek Böckmann (GER)
Robin Rogalski (POL)
*subject to last-minute changes
Race schedule Digital Nürburgring Endurance Series 2021/22*:
7 November 2021
H&R 3h race
12 December 2021
NIMEX 3h race
9 January 2022
Schütz GmbH Messtechnik 3h race
13 February 2022
HAPPY RACING 3h race
6 March 2022
LEGO Technic 3h race
*subject to last-minute changes