CHARLOTTE, N.C. (September 7, 2020) – The Third Annual Podium eSports Daytona 500 will be held on Feb. 7, 2021, Podium eSports has announced. It will once again be the main event of Podium eSports Speedweeks, which returns for the second year in a row.
The Podium eSports Daytona 500 is iRacing’s largest tournament-style Daytona 500 event and one of the largest independent special events in all of iRacing. In its first two years, over 175 drivers have competed for a shot at a spot in Sunday afternoon’s 43-car, 200-lap, 500-mile feature race. The Podium eSports Daytona 500 has also paid out over $12,000 in prize money across the first two editions of the event.
The most notable change to the 2021 version of the Podium eSports Daytona 500 is the removal of time limits. During Qualifying Day of the 2020 Podium eSports Daytona 500, three drivers were sent home early due to a software glitch with time limits. Podium eSports refunded those drivers. For 2021, the decision has been made to eliminate time limits from the event entirely.
“It’s no secret that the decision to time limit races hurt us more than it helped us with the 2020 Podium eSports Daytona 500,” said Podium eSports CEO James Pike. “With time limits gone, the chances of the best 43 drivers on Qualifying Day racing their way into the 500 should increase significantly.”
While time limits are gone from the Podium eSports Daytona 500, tire limits will be introduced for all Qualifying Day races and the feature race on Sunday. The tire limits will mirror those used by NASCAR where possible.
“We love how tire limits have forced drivers to think about strategy and look forward to seeing how they will change the Podium eSports Daytona 500,” said Podium eSports Chief Innovation Officer John Theodore. “Drivers will have to be more selective when taking tires and it should make the Podium eSports Daytona 500 even more realistic than ever before.”
Podium eSports Speedweeks begins at 9 p.m. ET on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. More information on all Speedweeks events, including the Podium eSports Daytona 500, will be announced at a later date. All races of Podium eSports Speedweeks will be broadcast on twitch.tv/podiumesports. For more information on Podium eSports, visit www.podiumesports.com.
Podium eSports Speedweeks Schedule
|February 1||1987||Daytona 2007||80|
|February 2||ARCA||Daytona 2007||80|
All Speedweeks races will start at 9 p.m. ET.
2021 Podium eSports Daytona 500 Schedule
|February 5||Time Trials||7-11 p.m. ET|
|February 6||Qualifying Day||12 p.m. ET|
|February 7||Third Annual Podium eSports Daytona 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 of the best broadcasts in sim racing, launched in January 2019. Podium eSports uses the iRacing.com Motorsports Simulation to deliver the most entertaining broadcasts on the service. 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 Sim 500 eSports Racing League, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Anthony Alfredo, the CARS Tour 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.