McLaren’s F1 team will soon have an official sim racer to join their ranks, and with the final phase about to begin, this has now been whittled down to 12 finalists (six of whom were selected by a panel) from an initial 30,000 entrants.
These sim racers will battle it out over a tough week of challenges to land the job. The winner will be offered a one-year contract with McLaren as a simulator driver and they’ll work with engineers at the McLaren Technology Centre in the UK. World’s Fastest Gamer, as the competition is known, is a collaboration between McLaren and Millennial Esports. Millennial Esports announced that it was set to acquire IDEAS+CARS back in June this year and the company is a big believer in the potential of sim racing.
Darren Cox, who founded IDEAS+CARS and is now Millennial’s Chief Marketing Officer, has been amongst those leading this project. Cox stated: “World’s Fastest Gamer has lived up exactly to my expectations, as well as the expectations of those from McLaren who have supported it from day one. For other people who weren’t so close to the competition I think it’s massively exceeded expectations, both in terms of the interest we’ve had and the fact that McLaren is the first F1 team to get involved in esports.
“We’re already planning season two, which will be bigger and better with more qualifying events – we’re accelerating our plans but the vision remains the same: we want to be the reference for gamers all around the world across all platforms. And that’s as the champion of champions.”
Also involved in the World’s Fastest Gamer competition has been Logitech G, GIVEMESPORT and Eesport racing innovator Sparco. The competition has already seen over 10 million views and, unsurprisingly, there’ll be extensive coverage of the Finals Week, beginning Friday 11 November, which the organisers expect will be the most watched esports racing event in history.
Zak Brown, McLaren Technology Group Executive Director said: “I’m very excited that McLaren is looking to the virtual world to find our next Formula 1 simulator driver. We have no doubt there’s some great undiscovered talent out there, who we think can help us deliver our F1 objectives. Simulation has become a very important part of our Formula 1 testing programme and the development of the race cars.
“These online gamers – especially as gaming becomes much more real – are critical. They can translate to simulation quite easily and we think we’ll find the world’s best.”
Fans can follow all the WFG Finals Week action on WFG Twitter, and across McLaren’s social pages as well as GIVEMESPORT’s Facebook.
The Finalists are:
- David Hoch (USA), 23, qualified
- Rudy Van Buren (The Netherlands), 25, qualified
- Yordi Maldonado (Mexico), 20, qualified
- Henrik Drue (Denmark), 34, qualified
- Isaac Price (UK), 22, qualified
- Freek Schothorst (The Netherlands), 20, qualified
- Aurélien Mohammedi-Mallet (France), 23, panel selection
- Bono Huis (The Netherlands), 23, panel selection
- David Le Garff (France), 40, panel selection
- Greger Huttu (Finland), 37 panel selection
- Harry Jacks (UK), 22, panel selection
- Ryan Moore (USA), 22, panel selection
A panel of experts selected six of the finalists based on their careers and performances to date whilst the remaining half dozen qualified via a number of platforms including Forza Motorsport 6 events at the likes of DreamHack and others, PC racing sim rFactor 2, mobile game Gear.Club and more.
Esports Insider says: Sim racing is evidently on the up with World’s Fastest Gamer generating seemingly strong levels of engagement and G2 picking up a sim racer, Rudy van Buren (who’s amongst the finalists), in recent times. We’ll be heading over to the McLaren Technology Centre next week to find out more!