The ABB FIA Formula E Championship has entered into the world of gaming with the ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge, with all donations from the competition will be directed to UNICEF’s coronavirus fund.
This innovative virtual racing series will feature two seperate grids running in parallel, one comprised of drivers from the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and the other filled by some of the fastest gamers and influencers.
Drivers and gamers will compete using rFactor 2 in a number of online events taking place over a nine week period from the isolation of their homes.
Races will be staged each Saturday, starting with a pre-season event on April 18, before the first points-scoring event the following week which will be accumulated over the following nine weekends, building to the Grand Final on June 13 .
Current championship leader Antonio Felix Da Costa said: “We miss racing and I cannot wait to get back on track.”
“Motor racing is actually one of only a few sports with transferrable skills across both the real and gaming world. So it will be interesting to see how we get acclimatised to the conditions.”
For the first race, 14 Formula E drivers have so far been confirmed; including both Audi Sport Abt Schaeffler drivers Lucas di Grassi and Daniel Abt, BMW’s Alexander Sims and Maximilian Guenther, current points leader Antonio Felix Da Costa, Mercedes’ Stoffel Vandoorne, Venturi driver Felipe Massa, Envision racer Robin Frijns and Mexico City race winner Mitch Evans.
The Formula E Race at Home Challenge will take place every Saturday for nine consecutive weekends, starting with a non-points scoring pre-season event on Saturday April 18.
Points will be awarded for the remaining eight events with extra points for the Julius Baer pole position and fastest lap, with double points awarded for the grand final.
Gamers will need to qualify for each round ahead of time to compete in the gamers race for each of the nine events, with the quickest 18 drivers over the course of the qualifying window will automatically progress to the main event and be joined by a selection of influencers and familiar faces from the motorsport world.
Each driver in their respective events will be under immense pressure to deliver in the one-shot qualifying system to determine the order of the grid.
The race will be even more intense as it will adopt a battle royale format, where the last-placed driver at the end of each lap is eliminated. It will continue the process of elimination until just 10 drivers remain, leaving a last lap sprint finish to decide the points-paying positions.
Points will be carried over from each event, with the top three gamers will automatically qualify for the next event.
Fans will be able to watch two live races each weekend which will able in a 90 minute broadcast on the series YouTube, Facebook page, Twitter and Twitch channels.
A selection of broadcasters may offer live coverage and highlights from April 25.
Formula E commentator Jack Nicholls, Indy 500 winner Dario Franchitti and long-standing pitlane reporter Nicki Shields will be part of the remote presentation team.