Graham Carroll is no stranger to a race track. Having previously competed as a professional racer and found himself in the Avon Tyres Formula Ford 1600 National Championship last year, he knows his way around a race car. But how does he compare in the virtual world?
Carroll, alongside 29 others including 20 full-time Formula E drivers, will be taking part in one of the world’s biggest simulation races at CES in Las Vegas this weekend. Having secured his place finding great success in a series of Road To Vegas online elimination rounds, Carroll will be backed by Britain’s Sam Bird and three-time WTCC Jose Maria Lopez in the DS Virgin Racing team.
Talking to Carroll before he departed for Sin City, the Scottish driver explained how he stopped racing several years ago and then stumbled across simulation games, later finding out about the Visa Vegas eRace through social media.
“I stopped racing back in 2008 due to budget issues,” Graham tells me, as he prepares for one of the biggest weekends of his racing career. “I then came across sim racing about two or three years ago and loved it.
“I heard about the Visa Vegas eRace through social media and a few team mates going on about it around four months ago. It’s crazy to think it is race week already! Preparation has been flat out these competitions don’t come around everyday I so need to make the most of it.”
As mentioned, Graham will be under the wing of British team DS Virgin for the weekend. Although not officially a part of their race team, Carroll will race under their name and be equipped in their merchandise.
“The DS Virgin Racing guys have been mega in letting me drive the sim at their factory. I’ve been using their gym too. They’re an awesome bunch and I can’t wait to get out to Vegas and have a good week with them.”
With this eRace looking to be the biggest competition in sim racing history, how does Carroll think sim racing will develop and grow from this experience?
“I hope the Visa Vegas eRace maybe pushes other series to run their own eSports competitions so events like these can happen more regularly!
“I think the future with Sim Racing and Formula E looks great. They have only been involved for a short period of time and already, and I’m sure everyone would agree, it’s shaking the whole sim world up. I think its great having Formua E involved.”
Will Vegas be the start of a new career for Carroll? He seems to think so.
“You never know who you will meet in Vegas, you’ve just got to have a good weekend and see what happens.”
Image source: http://www.graham-carroll.co.uk/