This week a new challenge has been created on the ever popular sim racing game DiRT Rally 2.0; the Czech Republic car manufacturer Škoda will be holding the Škoda Motorsport eChallenge on the virtual stages of Argentina throughout this week between 22-26 April as a replacement for the real-life Rally Argentina which was postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Rally fans all over the world can join in to race against Škoda Motorsport finest drivers and try to beat team, with big names such as the WRC2 champion Pontus Tidemand, ERC champion Chirs Ingram, the young talent Oliver Solberg, Slovakian rally champion Martin Koči and the Czech driver Petr Semerád.
“Not only the fans, but also the teams themselves can’t wait for rallying to resume. That, however, could take some more time, so we’ve decided to create our own online version of the Rally Argentina. The professional rally drivers from our customer teams with ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo cars will not only compete against each other – anyone can challenge them,” Michal Hrabánek, Škoda Motorsport CEO, said.
Throughout the event, the Škoda Motorsport will monitor the results on their website as well as on their social media channels, where fans can follow how they have progressed. To be a part of it, fans can join their club that you can find on the RaceNet platform. The event is to be held on all gaming platforms and is free for all to join.
“I actually haven’t played a lot previously, but I’m really excited to get more into it and start playing! I think that the ŠKODA Motorsport eChallenge is a great initiative and I’m proud to be a part of it. It helps me in my training, especially when it comes to reaction, coordination and focus. At the same time, it’s fun for rally fans to be able to challenge full time drivers in a new area of the sport,” Tidemand, said.
Beside the Škoda Motorsport eChallenge, Solberg is also currently helding a similar event where fans can race against eachother, named Solberg World Cup.
“I love playing DiRT Rally 2.0 and I was actually a test driver when the game was created! It is really good and the stages feel so real and also the adjustments you do on the cars are very realistic. It is really good training and helps to practice co-ordination and focus,” Solberg said.
Semerád is also one of those who spends their sparetime in-front of the TV screen, playing the DiRT Rally 2.0. Beside doing sim racing, Semerád is also spending a lot of time building and selling sim racing rigs for customers.
“I even build racing simulators, so I spend a lot of time in them. It helps me keep long-term focus, because if you want to drive well, you have to stay really focused even in the sim. They can also help with honing your style and trying new techniques. In some games, the tracks are identical to the reality, so you can learn them there and use that knowledge in the real race,” Semerád, said.
Before joining the Škoda Motorsport eChallenge, real-life Škoda Motorsport engineers are on hand to advise with setups, similar to their offering for the customer teams before heading out to a rally event.
“I decided to join the ŠKODA Motorsport eChallenge, because of course I am part of the ŠKODA family. I think I need to train a little bit but I will do my best. It’s a great way to stay at home while enjoying a tough rally at the same time. If you think you have what it takes, I’ll see you online at Rally Argentina. Show your skills!” Koči, said.