A new Legends Trophy on The Race All-Star Esports Battle package will pit drivers including Emerson Fittipaldi, Dario Franchitti, Johnny Herbert and Helio Castroneves against each other in simracing.
The Legends Trophy is for drivers aged 40 and over, using identical cars.
It will run as a prelude to this Saturday’s third round of the All-Star Esports Battle.
The format will be simple, with qualifying deciding the starting order for the Esports race conducted on the rFactor 2 racing platform.
IndyCar champions, Le Mans 24 Hours winners and grand prix racers fill the list, with two-time Formula 1 world champion Fittipaldi and three-time Indianapolis 500 winners Castroneves and Franchitti among the first to join the event.
Other confirmed drivers include F1, IndyCar, NASCAR and IMSA race winner Juan Pablo Montoya; F1 race winner Herbert; Le Mans winner David Brabham; multiple Le Mans class winner and IMSA champion Jan Magnussen; IndyCar champion Paul Tracy (pictured below); Indy 500 winners and series champions Gil de Ferran and Tony Kanaan; IndyCar race winners Bryan Herta, Adrian Fernandez and Oriol Servia plus ex-F1, IndyCar and sportscar ace Max Papis.
“Simulators are extremely important because technically, they are so close to driving the real thing,” said Fittipaldi.
“You learn the track before you even arrive – where to brake, where to turn, even before arriving at any track in the world. And the feedback for the driver, the reaction, the reflex, the coordination, it’s a mental test and mental development for a young driver.
“I wish, in my time, we had simulators. My life would be much easier!”
Fittipaldi is looking forward to doing battle against some of his old rivals.
“I’ve raced against guys like Gil, Paul, Bryan and Adrian back in the day and it will be great to do battle again. This will be a lot of fun.”
Three-time Indy 500 winner Franchitti is keen to re-establish old rivalries.
“I’m really looking forward to this event and a chance to race with my old mates and competitors once again, hopefully with some really lairy cars and on a great track,” he said.
“I got introduced to the sim world via Darren Turner and his Base Simulator business and I am loving getting to grips some mega cars of yesteryear.
“The Legends grid that The Race has put together looks tremendous with some great buddies and old adversaries. It will be interesting to see which of the old men have reading glasses and which have bi-focals!”
The current line-up has an incredible 455 F1 starts, 24 F1 wins, 2378 IndyCar starts, 177 IndyCar wins plus eight overall or class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The first All-Star Esport Battle was arranged in under 72 hours following the cancellation of the Australian GP. It attracted a live audience of over half a million viewers.
It placed some of the world’s top racing drivers against the best of the sim racing world. There was a $10,000 prize pool and the sim racers all received an appearance fee in order to boost their community during a hugely transitional time for the sport.
The second encounter drew an even larger number of real-world star racers. World’s Fastest Gamer winner Rudy van Buren triumphed, but DTM ace Daniel Juncadella and IndyCar sensation Felix Rosenqvist upheld the honour of the ‘worldies’.
The next instalment takes place at 4pm UK time on Saturday March 28. Both the Legends Trophy and the All-Star Battle will be streamed live on The Race’s YouTube channel.
Confirmed drivers for this week again include ex-F1 racers Montoya, Nelson Piquet Jr, Marcus Ericsson and Esteban Gutiérrez; Formula E stars Antonio Felix da Costa, Neel Jani, Nyck de Vries, Stoffel Vandoorne and Maximilian Gunther; IndyCar racers Rosenqvist, Alexander Rossi, James Davison and Colton Herta; DTM stars Philipp Eng, Juncadella and Bruno Spengler plus sportscar drivers Tom Dillmann, Charlie Eastwood, Jonny Adam and Nicki Thiim.
World’s Fastest Gamer winners James Baldwin and last week’s The Race All-Star Esports Battle winner van Buren lead another batch of talented online Esports racers taking on regular on-track racing rivals.