Esports Replacement Of Formula 1 Broke Records As It Pitted Top Real-World Drivers Vs Sim Racers
Think there won't be any high-octane motorsport starring the world's best drivers this weekend? Think again.
Esports has stepped in where F1 has had to take a back seat, giving racing fans their fix. Leading drivers from Formula 1 - including Max Verstappen - IndyCar plus Formula E pitted their skills against the best sim racers in 'The Race All-Star Esports Battle' last Sunday.
Round 2 on Saturday will be streamed live on SPORTbible - and fans desperate for action can expect to see some of the world's best drivers race head-to-head once again.
Rapidly set up after the Australian Grand Prix was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Round 1 attracted record-breaking live numbers on The Race YouTube channel.
It pulled in an incredible 90% more live viewers than any esports racing event in history on any streaming platform. It's now been watched by over 600,000 fans - but Saturday's race could well beat those numbers.
Round 1 attracted some of the world's leading drivers: not only F1 hotshot Verstappen but Indy 500 winner Simon Pagenaud and Formula E star Antonio Felix da Costa. But the race was won by esports star Jernej Simoncic.
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With drivers desperate for wheel-to-wheel action, organisers Torque Esports have had top drivers - real and virtual - pleading to pit their skills each other for Round 2, staged at the iconic Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on Saturday.
"We're raising the bar for Round 2 and setting an incredible challenge for the esports simulator racers," said Darren Cox, president of Torque Esports.
It's back - there will be no equal to our sequel!
The @wearetherace All-Star Esports battle returns this Saturday at https://t.co/Ts2Wq3NE83
18:00 ' 17:00:flag_gb: ' 13:00:flag_us::arrow_right:
10:00:flag_us::arrow_left: ' 4:00:flag_au: ' 14:00:flag_br:
Check out last week's highlights!#TheRaceMustGoOn#StayAtHomeEconomy pic.twitter.com/n4SgEidR50
- Torque Esports (@TorqueEsport) March 18, 2020
"Real-world drivers will compete through heats and qualifying but then the esports virtual racers will have their own separate sessions for a chance to make the final - the top two will start from the rear of the grid and will race for a bonus prize of $10,000 if they can charge through the pack to take the overall win."
Saturday's race starts 5pm UK time - and it's free to stream live on SPORTbible.
Commentary is led by Formula 1 caller Jack Nicholls and ex-F1 racer Jolyon Palmer. Gentlemen, start your virtual engines.
Topics: Formula 1