Earlier this year Lamborghini became the latest car brand to run its own esports series, following in the footsteps of German manufacturers BMW and Porsche.
Lamborghini’s The Real Race is a five-race series run on Assetto Corsa Competizione with the top drivers from each race earning a place in the live finals held at Lamborghini’s headquarters in September.
Of the 12 who make it through to the finals, the top three will all get a VIP tour of Lamborghini’s headquarters, a visit to their R&D simulator and get a real-world track experience driving a Lamborghini.
So far nine people have bagged their place in the final, with the last three to be decided in the final race held on August 2 at virtual Laguna Seca.
Qualifiers for the final race are open now but end on July 30.
One driver who’s already earned their spot is World’s Fastest Gamer finalist and three-time Project Cars world champion, Kamil Pawlowski. He won the Nurburgring round of the competition with a 10-second lead over the next nearest driver.
Having previously focused all his simracing efforts on the Project Cars games, Pawlowski has now branched out to competitions on Assetto Corsa Competizione and rFactor 2.
He’s looking forward to the in-person final later in the year, believing he’ll be able to adapt to the different equipment and handle the pressure better than his fellow competitors.
“I feel very confident about the live final because my live performance and being on a stage really motivates me to an insane level,” Pawlowski told The Race.
“I feel really hyped! I can’t wait for the finals and I feel really motivated and really strong because I will prepare the most that I can.
“I can imagine the competition will be very, very high because on the Nurburgring round I was racing with not everybody who was competing in all the rounds but in the final we will have the best of the best.
“I will be racing guys I’ve never driven with before and I can expect everyone will be much more prepared and ready, but I also expect some people might not be confident enough and a bit distracted on driving live on different gear than at home.
“This is my strong point that I don’t have to have the same equipment as at home, I am very fast at getting used to new stuff and I hope to finish in the top three.”
The experience of driving a Lamborghini won’t be a new one to Pawlowski, as he previously won the opportunity to drive a Lamborghini Huracan at Imola after finishing third in last year’s SRO Esport GT Series.
“It was my first time ever in any fast car on any race track,” Pawlowski recalls. “Right after I put the pedal to the metal I was addicted to racing and I wanted more and more.
“I always say to everyone racing is like a drug and when you try it for the first time you can never go back and you will seek and find opportunities to go racing more and more.
“So this was my first experience and it was a real blast and a few weeks later there was World’s Fastest Gamer, a much bigger opportunity in terms of occasions and visibility because there was much more opportunities to drive real cars.
“I drove many cars, like a Porsche 911 GT3, a touring car, a dirt sprint car and on famous tracks, like Willow Springs and Laguna Seca.
“There I properly learned how to drive a real car and experienced the thrills, emotions and feelings of real racing and I got the kind of feel to compare it with simracing.”
The other simracer who qualified for the on-site final from the Nurburgring race, and will be vying for a top-three spot and a real world track experience, is G2 Esports’ Arthur Kammerer.
Kammerer was able to narrowly qualify for the final at Lamborghini’s HQ after aggressively defending the runner-up spot in the race.
He was on of the fastest on circuit in spite of having to balance his time between simracing and university work.
“I had to really fight for second and I have to say I should’ve prepared myself better in advance,” Kammerer told The Race.
“But as it is right now I’m trying to finish university and I’m right in the middle of writing my master’s thesis so I have to get my priorities straight for a bit.
“I could’ve done better I think, I also took not the correct set-up for the race.
“Qualifying second, actually very close to P1, but in the race I should’ve taken the correct set-up and I dropped back a bit and had to really fight against Jordan Sherratt for it but I managed to bring it home.”
Driving a car around a circuit wouldn’t be new to the German, having previously earned two different track experiences courtesy of his virtual racing talents.
It’s those opportunities to drive fast cars in the real world that he considers his highlights from his simracing career.
“My professional simracing career only started this year in April or May when I took part in the esports charity race for SRO on Assetto Corsa Competizione,” Kammerer said.
“Apart from there before I took part in a few privately-organised competitions, won a few there but nothing really major but there were some highlights too.
“I was able to visit Austria and drive a KTM X-Bow on the Spielberg Formula 1 track, because I won the official KTM X-Bow Battle Online two times in a row.
“Also last year I got the opportunity together with Sebastian Job, we went to Oschersleben in Germany and drove a Ferrari 488 around the race track with an instructor. Those were definitely the two standout moments before this.”
However, with the calibre of the drivers he’ll have to race against, along with the three drivers who have yet to secure their spot in the final, Kammerer isn’t overflowing with confidence about finishing in the top three come the live final.
With his university work carrying on until late September, he’s instead seeing the final as more of a social occasion and friendly race rather than a high-pressure event.
“You surely have to enter a competition like this with confidence, but as I said before my university work is taking its toll on me and right now I’m not looking to specifically prepare for the final,” Kammerer said.
“I really hope that we can have a great experience with a lot of cool people being invited and just getting to know them all, making new friendships because only the top three come out with a big prize and there’s 12 of us qualifying.
“Honestly I’m just looking forward to meeting those people and having a great time with them.”