CHARLOTTE, N.C. (December 22, 2020) – Podium eSports has announced further details regarding the format and registration for the third annual Podium 500, to be run Feb. 7, 2021. These include a $10 entry fee, the return of the $1,000-to-win purse, and the addition of a new race to be run on Thursday, Feb. 4.
As part of the format changes, all iRacing members are now eligible to register for the Podium 500. Members who hold a Class D Oval license or lower and / or a 1500 Oval iRating or lower will begin their Podium 500 campaign with the Podium 500 Preliminary Race.
The Podium 500 Preliminary Race will be a 100-lap race run on Thursday night, Feb. 4, at 9 p.m. ET. Podium eSports will broadcast the event on twitch.tv/podiumesports. The race will use many of the same settings used in the Podium 500. The top eight finishers from the Preliminary Race will be eligible to join all registrants with a Class C or higher Oval license and an Oval iRating of 1500 or above in Friday night’s Time Trials. All drivers who register with a Class C or greater Oval license and a 1500 or greater Oval iRating will not compete in the Preliminary Race; they will automatically be eligible for Time Trials upon registration.
Podium 500 weekend will continue on Friday with Time Trials, which are unchanged. Drivers have a four-hour window to enter a server and set a qualifying time. Times from all servers will be collated, combined and then snaked to set the starting grids for the eight heats that begin Podium 500 Qualifying Day on Saturday. The drivers with the two fastest times will lock in to Sunday’s feature race and may skip Qualifying Day if they choose.
For the 2021 edition of Qualifying Day, the heat races will be moved up an hour from their start time a year ago, and the broadcast will be split into an afternoon session (with the heats) and an evening session (with the LCQs and Duels). In the past two seasons, over 175 drivers have competed throughout the day to earn a place into the 43 spots that make up the field for sim racing’s Great Virtual Race.
Like the heat races, the Podium 500 on Sunday will also move forward, with an approximate start time of 1:08 p.m. ET. Drivers will once again compete for a four-figure prize, as the winner of the 2021 Podium 500 will receive $1,000. All drivers who make the feature race will at minimum receive their money back.
iRacing members may register for the 2021 Podium 500 by visiting www.podiumesports.com/podium-500/. All 2021 Podium 500 events will be broadcast on twitch.tv/podiumesports. For more information on Podium eSports, visit www.podiumesports.com. For more information on iRacing, visit www.iracing.com.
2021 Podium 500 Schedule
|February 4||Preliminary Race||9 p.m. ET|
|February 5||Time Trials||7-11 p.m. ET|
|February 6||Qualifying Day||12 p.m. ET|
|February 7||Third Annual Podium 500||1 p.m. ET|
2021 Qualifying Day Schedule
|Session||Race Time||Laps||In-Sim Time|
|Heat 1||12:15 p.m. ET||20||Afternoon|
|Heat 2||1:00 p.m. ET||20||Afternoon|
|Heat 3||1:45 p.m. ET||20||Afternoon|
|Heat 4||2:30 p.m. ET||20||Afternoon|
|Heat 5||3:15 p.m. ET||20||Afternoon|
|Heat 6||4:00 p.m. ET||20||Afternoon|
|Heat 7||4:45 p.m. ET||20||Afternoon|
|Heat 8||5:30 p.m. ET||20||Afternoon|
|LCQ 1||7:00 p.m. ET||30||Late Afternoon|
|LCQ 2||8:00 p.m. ET||30||Late Afternoon|
|Duel 1||9:00 p.m. ET||60||Night|
|Duel 2||10:30 p.m. ET||60||Night|
About Podium eSports
Podium eSports, home to broadcasts on the iRacing.com Motorsports Simulation, launched in January 2019. In March 2020, Podium eSports produced the Replacements 100 from Atlanta Motor Speedway, which averaged over 20,000 live views and set a new record for viewership of an independently-produced iRacing broadcast. In its first year, Podium eSports earned over 40,000 views from 300+ hours of content. Podium eSports is partnered with the Monday Night Racing, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Anthony Alfredo, the BMW Car Club of America and the Porsche Club of America. Podium eSports races are broadcast live on the Podium eSports Twitch Channel, which can be found at twitch.tv/podiumesports. For more information, visit www.podiumesports.com.