The world’s best virtual racers will be gunning for the medals in the FIA Motorsport Games Esports event over the next two days, starting with the quarter-finals on Friday October 28.
Following on from the success of the inaugural event in 2019, the FIA Motorsport Games returns for 2022, with more competing nations across more events than ever before. Circuit Paul Ricard, in Le Castellet, France, will be hosting this year’s event — both in terms of the location and the in-game track.
Esports returns as one of the expanded list of 17 disciplines for the 2022 event, and a total of 57 countries have sent one nominated driver each to race in the Mistral Hall at the circuit. Notably the event will be hosted on Assetto Corsa Competizione, replacing Gran Turismo Sport which staged the original tournament.
Each of the drivers can select from ten virtual GT3 cars for the event, with the McLaren 720S being the most popular choice. Its drivers will include firm favorite James Baldwin (UK), who recently completed the GT World Challenge double in winning the Europe sprint series and being part of the victorious Intercontinental GT Challenge endurance team — both times in the McLaren 720S.
Defending champion Cody Nikola Latkovski won’t be among the drivers though. While Team Australia, who he represented in 2019, is returning, it’s with GT World Challenge Asia Silver champion Phillipa Boquida; Latkovski’s native North Macedonia has not sent a competitor for the esports event.
Other returning drivers include Ferrari Velas Esports finalist Marcin Swiderek (Poland) and Porsche Esports Supercup race winner Tommy Ostgaard (Norway). There’s plenty of other familiar names from across esports disciplines too, such as Nicolas Rubilar (Chile) and Jonathan Wong (Hong Kong) who are best known for their Gran Turismo exploits.
In qualifying for the event it was Brazil’s Igor Rodrigues who set the fastest time, ahead of Chris Harteveld (Netherlands) and Baldwin, each of whom topped their group. The top ten from each of the three, hour-long, quarter-final races will advance to Saturday’s semi-finals, along with drivers from two last-chance races.
Friday’s streams will consist of the third quarter-final, starting at 1245 UTC, and then the repechage races from 1445 UTC.
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