The Biggest Motorsport Event of the Year You Didn't Know About Is Happening Today
Coronavirus can't stop everything.
If you're a racing fan, then the coronavirus has undoubtedly put a damper on your favorite time of year. For example, this weekend's Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix—originally scheduled to be the season-opener—was canceled on Thursday with World Endurance Championship, IMSA, IndyCar, MotoGP, and just about every other series at least postponing the first portion of their 2020 campaigns due to COVID-19. Luckily, a super team of the world's greatest racers have joined together and are putting on a show Sunday that you can still watch live from the comfort of your couch.
The Race's All-Star Esports Battle is a virtual tournament-style competition taking place on Sunday, featuring ace racing drivers from across the world of motorsports. F1 pilots and avid sim racers Max Verstappen and Lando Norris are dueling it out with IndyCar greats Will Power and Simon Pagenaud, while other well-known names including Juan Pablo Montoya, Nelson Piquet Jr., Neel Jani, Colton Herta, and Felix Rosenqvist throw their hat in the ring as well.
Don't forget specialized sim racers like YouTube personality Jimmy Broadbent, Brendon Leigh, and James Baldwin, who are competing in the same events as their pro driver counterparts.
In short, 20 racers were handpicked to compete in The Race's All-Star Esports Battle with another 20 earning their spot through a single-lap qualifying session on Saturday. All users are competing on the rFactor2 racing sim and competing at famous tracks around the world including the Nurburgring GP circuit. For parity, everyone is driving the Formula ISI 2012.
Two group sprint races kicked off the day on Sunday with a last-chance qualifier closing out the preliminaries. Once those are wrapped up, 24 drivers will stand to compete in the final where $10,000 USD is on the line—not too shabby for a day on the ol' sim rig.
During Sunday's live stream, the All-Star Esports Battle became the world's biggest live gaming channel on YouTube and Twitch at that moment in time, beating out the usual top-dogs from the realms of Fortnite and Overwatch.
Stay tuned as we follow along with this field of F1 Grand Prix winners, Indianapolis 500 champs, and sportscar greats. In this dark time, we'll take any type of racing we can get.
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