The FIA Formula E squad, alongside ten of the world’s best simulation drivers, are currently touching down in Las Vegas ahead of one of the most prodigious simulation races of all time. Competing to win a share of the $1 million prize fund, the eRace hopes to be the biggest and best spectacle that the world of simulation racing has ever seen. In this blog post I will take a look at what you can expect this weekend from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and learn all about the VISA Vegas eRace.
“This is the highest profile sim racing event of all time, and when I say sim racing I’m talking about the whole of virtual racing,” Dom Duhan states. “This is bigger than any Gran Turismo event, it’s bigger than any Forza, Project Cars or sim racing championship event ever.”
Duhan, the team manager and owner of Team Redline who will have several of its drivers competing in the Vegas eRace, talked to the official Formula E website about how this eRace in Las Vegas could be a game changer when it comes to the popularity and significance of simulation racing within mainstream motor racing. Having sim racers compete against the entirety of the Formula E field is important for the acceptance of simulation racing, although many members of Team Redline will have raced against professional racers before. Formula 1’s youngest ever race winner, Max Verstappen, is a name that is featured on the ‘meet the team’ page, in addition to the recent winner of the McLaren Autosport British Racing Drivers’ Club (BRDC) Award, Lando Norris.
Duhan continued, “Being on laser-scanned tracks and facing guys who are damn quick helps [the driver’s] sharpness. That is what Max [Verstappen] did immediately. There are a few videos of his outside move at Blancimont [in iRacing], which he then did the next weekend in real life at the grand prix!”
The Vegas event is very much based on a ‘real’ ePrix weekend, with practice sessions, qualifying and the super pole shoot-out, then followed by the race itself. Fanboost is also available for the three drivers with the most votes and there will be a manatory car change in-race as well as a podium ceromony.
All enteries to the eRace, including sim drivers and full-time Formula E pilots, will all scoop a garunteed $20,000 with the winner walking away from Vegas with an incredible $200,000. The fastest lap will also be rewarded with $10,000 and the racer in pole position will be delighted with the $25K they will have secured for starting the race in the first grid box. The prize fund for this simulation race totals to a crazy $1 million, one of the biggest finacial prizes sim racing has ever seen.
Prize Breakdown (USD)*
Fastsest lap = 10,000
Pole position = 25,000
1st place = 200,000
2nd place = 100,000
3rd place = 50,000
4th place = 42,500
5th place = 35,000
6th place = 32,500
7th place = 30,000
8th place = 27,500
9th place = 25,000
10th place =22,500
11th-30th place = 20,000
*according to FIA Formula E
The 20 quickest drivers from qualifying will be entered into the 28 lap feature race, which is where the drivers will battle it out for a a chance to win the huge jackpot on offer.
An ePrix would not be complete without the now iconic duo of Formula E commentators Jack Nicholls and Dario Franchitti of IndyCar fame, who will once again be reunited to provide commentary on the international feed. The eRace will be broadcast through http://www.fiaformulae.com and also through http://www.twitch.tv. There is also live broadcasting of the event on numerous television channels across the world.
As well as the eRace on Saturday, there will be many other important and valuable subjects covered at the Sports Business Innovation (SBI) at CES in Vegas. Panels will talk about how ‘technology is driving the ever-changing landscape of sport’, ‘the future of eSports’ and how to ‘target and engage the next generation of fans’. Moderators and speakers at the event include the likes of Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag, Motorsport Journalist James Allen and President of the FIA Jean Todt.
The Formula E Visa Vegas eRace and its build up will start at 1:30pm with the race live at 4:05pm, 12:05am GMT (+8).
Full Entry List
Sam Bird (GBR) DS Virgin Racing
Nelson Piquet Jr. (BRA) NextEV NIO
Stephane Sarrazin (FRA) Venturi Formula E
Maro Engel (GER) Venturi Formula E
Loic Duval (FRA) Faraday Future Dragon Racing
Jerome D’Ambrosio (BEL) Faraday Future Dragon Racing
Nico Prost (FRA) Renault e.dams
Sebastien Buemi (SUI) Renault e.dams
Lucas di Grassi (BRA) ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Greger Huttu (FIN) Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Felix Rosenqvist (SWE) Mahindra Racing
Mitch Evans (NZL) Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Nick Heidfeld (GER) Mahindra Racing
Jean-Eric Vergne (FRA) TECHEETAH
Aleksi Uusi-Jaakkola (FIN) Andretti Formula E
Robin Frijns (NED) Andretti Formula E
Antonio Felix da Costa (POR) Andretti Formula E
Olli Pahkala (FIN) Mahindra Racing
Ma Qing Hua (CHN) TECHEETAH
Jose Maria Lopez (ARG) DS Virgin Racing
Enzo Bonito (ITA) TECHEETAH
David Greco (ITA) Renault e.dams
Graham Carroll (GBR) DS Virgin Racing
Adam Carroll (GBR) Panasonic Jaguar Racing
Aleksi Elomaa (FIN) Venturi Formula E
Daniel Abt (GER) ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Bono Huis (NED) Faraday Future Dragon Racing
Petar Brljak (CRO) NextEV NIO
Patrik Holzmann (GER) ABT Schaeffler Audi Sport
Oliver Turvey (GBR) NextEV NIO