Formula E has launched a new esports competition which will see qualifying drivers race against sim racers, pros, and celebrities, with some rather unusual prizes.
The series goes by the name of “Formula E Accelerate”, and will consist of six rounds spread across the first quarter of 2021. All 12 of the official FIA Formula E World Championship teams will take part, with two drivers representing each team.
There’s a prize fund worth around $120,000 (€100,000) for the drivers in the series, with a minimum of $2,200 (€1,800) per driver, but there’s something slightly more special in addition. One driver will win the chance to drive in one of the latest Gen.2 race cars in the real world too, for a minimum of five laps around a Formula E street circuit.
If that sounds like your kind of thing, you can take part in the qualifying competition right now. It officially opened on January 7, and will run for just a single week — you’ll need to get your time in by 2359 UTC on January 13. There are a few conditions — you must have a stable connection to Europe with no more than 150ms ping, you must be aged 16 or over, and you can’t be or pretend to be Daniel Abt — but otherwise the competition is pretty open, so long as you have rFactor 2.
While the cars in last year’s Race At Home challenge were pretty simple, for this year there’s an extra layer of complexity. The racers will need to get used to energy management and the Attack Mode system which boosts power by almost 50hp.
When qualifying ends, the 12 teams will then be able to pick from at least three of the fastest players — although they can of course choose more. These qualifiers will then be part of the 24-driver grid, which will include well-known names from sim racing, pro Formula E drivers, and influencers.
The series itself will consist of six rounds at regular Formula E circuits, with double points available at the season-ending Grand Final. Although the precise schedule is yet to be revealed, the calendar looks as follows:
- January 28 – Round 1
- February 4 – Round 2
- February 11 – Round 3
- March 11 – Round 4
- March 18 – Round 5
- March 25 – Grand Final