New esports series offers two real F4 drives | FOS Future Lab
ROKiT, title sponsor of the Formula 4 British Championship, has teamed up with RaceRoom for an esports competition which will see two winners take their places on the F4 grid in 2023.
“Racing Star” is open to all 14- and 15-year old British citizens who are legally resident in the UK, and is free to enter. Not only that, it’s free to take part, as the initial online competition will take place in the free-to-play RaceRoom Racing Experience (R3E) software. As long as you have a PC capable of running R3E, you won’t need to spend a penny to compete – and you can sign up through the game itself.
There’ll be five online qualifying rounds using R3E, all using the in-game Tatuus F4 as used in the real F4 British Championship. Uniquely, the competition will run two individual series, with one for male drivers and one for female drivers.
Participants will have two weeks to set a qualification time for each round, with the top 20 in each series invited for a live broadcast online final race which will see the best finishers awarded points. The full calendar is as follows:
Round 1 – Silverstone – 5th February (final)
Round 2 – Red Bull Ring – 19th February (final)
Round 3 – Monza – 5th March (final)
Round 4 – Spa-Francorchamps – 19th March (final)
Round 5 – Hockenheim – 2nd April (final)
Once the five rounds are completed, the top scoring 16 male and 16 female drivers across the season will then be invited to a live grand finale at the University of Bolton’s “National Centre for Motorsport Engineering auditorium” in May. There, the drivers will race against each other on professional-grade “Racing Unleashed” simulators to determine a male and a female winner.
These two drivers will then go on a driver training course, which will see them mentored by Motorsport UK through their Advanced ARDS racing licence, track training in KZ karts, and F4 track and simulator training. After that they’ll form the ROKiT F4 team, which takes to the grid for the 2023 season, starting a potential career in motorsport. While ROKiT is running this first competition in the UK only, it has already revealed plans to expand into other territories for future seasons too.
The 2022 eSports WRC Championship calendar has also been revealed, again featuring 13 rounds before the season-ending final, but with five new events to challenge the participants as Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, and Spain join the championship.
Open to all players of WRC 10 across any platform – PC, PlayStation 4 & 5, Xbox One and Series X – the esports WRC series gets players to set their fastest times in-game on two or three stages from each of the host rally events, with four days to perfect their efforts. The fastest eight players globally pick up points towards their overall total, with the best 12 scores of the 13 rounds included.
The calendar seeks to stick as close to the real WRC schedule as possible, with each of the events taking place shortly before the corresponding stop in the real-world. That means that it should look pretty familiar to rally fans:
Round 1 – Monte Carlo -14th-17th January
Round 2 – Sweden – 18th-21st February
Round 3 – Spain – 4th-7th March
Round 4 – Wales – 18th-21st March
Round 5 – Belgium – 1st-4th April
Round 6 – Croatia – 15th-18th April
Round 7 – Japan – 29th April-1st May
Round 8 – Portugal – 13th-16th May
Round 9 – Italy – 27th-30th May
Round 10 – Kenya – 17th-20th June
Round 11 – Estonia – 8th-11th July
Round 12 – Finland – 29th July-1st August
Round 13 – Greece – 12th-15th August
Although the series is officially sponsored by Toyota – and the brand supplied a brand new GR Yaris to the 2020 and 2021 champions – players can use any of the top-tier WRC cars available in the game to set their times.
Among the favourites will be Lebanon’s Sami-Joe Abi Nahkle, who topped the regular season leaderboard for both 2020 and 2021 and claimed the overall title for 2020 in the delayed final last year. However his big rival, Lohan Blanc from France, took back his crown in 2021 to make it three championships in four seasons.
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