FIA Motorsport Games Preview: Fanatec Esports

FIA Motorsport Games Preview: Fanatec Esports

The world’s best virtual racers are headed to Marseille in France to compete for their nation’s glory in the Fanatec Esports Cup next week at the second edition of the FIA Motorsport Games.

A total of 57 racers from FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) National Sporting Authorities (ASN) will compete – chasing gold, silver, and bronze medals next week from October 26 to 30. Esports is one of 16 different disciplines to be contested at the Games, which has attracted 72 nations and nearly 500 competitors.

Competing aboard gaming rigs supplied with the latest Esports competition components from global leader Fanatec – the racers will fight it out on a virtual version of the Circuit Paul Ricard venue on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform.

Competition for Fanatec Esports glory at the games has massively intensified since the inaugural competition in 2019. The number of entries has nearly doubled from 30 in 2019 to 57 this year.

A total of 37 nations will contest the competition for the first time, including a host of non-traditional motorsport nations – highlighting the amazing accessibility that Esports racing provides for the sport.

These countries include racers from the Bahamas, Guatemala, Mozambique, Nigeria, Peru, Andorra, Bangladesh, Barbados, Iceland, Malta, Kosovo, Uzbekistan, Albania, Slovenia, Croatia, and Ukraine.

Team UK’s James Baldwin finished fourth in the 2019 FIA Motorsport Games. He will be looking to repeat his SRO GT World Challenge Europe Esports championship wins aboard the Assetto Corsa Competizione virtual version of the McLaren 720S GT3. The Brit is also a former winner of the World’s Fastest Gamer competition from 2019.

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One of his fellow World’s Fastest Gamer finalists, Jonathan Wong, will also compete in Marseille, representing Hong Kong SAR aboard an Aston Martin AMR V8 Vantage GT3 2019.

Other 2019 FIA Motorsports Games competitors returning for 2022 include Team Poland’s Marcin Świderek (6th in 2019); Team Norway’s Tommy Østgaard (11th in 2019), and Team Kuwait’s Rashed Alrashdan (eliminated in semi-finals in 2019).

Competitors got to choose from 10 different virtual GT machines to compete at Circuit Paul Ricard next week.

The McLaren 720S GT3 was the most popular choice, with 24 drivers selecting the car, followed by nine Porsche 991 II GT3 R; six Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo 2020; six x BMW M4 GT3 2022; four Lamborghini Huracàn GT3 Evo; three Mercedes-AMG GT3 2020; three Audi R8 LMS EVO II 2022 and one each of the Aston Martin AMR V8 Vantage GT3 2019, the Bentley Continental GT3 2018 and the Honda NSX GT3 Evo 2019.

These virtual cars made from 1s and 0s will compete in Mistral Hall at Circuit Paul Ricard - the home of the SRO Race Centre at the circuit. Just beyond the fence, the steel and carbon fibre versions of many of the exact same cars will compete in the GT Sprint and GT disciplines at the FIA Motorsport Games.

Assetto Corsa Competizione works with the individual manufacturers to exactly reproduce every characteristic of the cars used in the world-leading racing simulator software. Developed by Kunos Simulazioni, the development team in Italy also work closely to recreate the precise performance characteristics of the Pirelli tyre as well as laser scanning every inch of the race track to replicate it precisely.

Racers in the FIA Motorsport Games Fanatec Esports Cup will compete in 20 racing rigs outfitted with the latest Esports racing equipment from Fanatec. The rigs feature the Fanatec Podium Steering Wheel, Fanatec Podium Wheel Base DD2, Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V3 and Fanatec RennSport Cockpit V2.

The competition begins at Circuit Paul Ricard on Thursday, October 27, with free practice and general qualifying. Quarterfinals and last chance rounds take place on Friday, October 28, before the semi-finals and the 60-minute gold-silver-bronze final on Saturday from 17:35 pm.