World’s Fastest Gamer winner James Baldwin took a remarkable debut victory in the first race of his professional career in the British GT Championship opener at Oulton Park.
Baldwin won last year’s unique gamer-to-racer contest after a gruelling process, with a full season of racing for the Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren squad co-owned by 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button as his prize.
Sharing the car with Michael O’Brien, Baldwin held provisional pole for a spell before losing that lap due to a track limits infringement but still managed to qualify fourth.
He stayed in touch with the leaders through his stint in the car, with O’Brien then emerging in the lead having jumped one of the 2 Seas Motorsport McLarens in the pits, passed early leader Optimum Motorsport on track and then benefited from the other 2 Seas getting a penalty for a pitstop infringement.
O’Brien then overcame a late safety car interruption to take a superb victory for himself and Baldwin.
“I can’t believe it,” said Baldwin. “Winning my first race wasn’t part of the script when we got to the track on Friday.
“Me and Michael both have a lack of experience in GT3s. I think we have a combined experience of 25 laps in the car – it’s got to be some sort of record for the least experienced duo to ever win in British GT!
“I didn’t think when I came in we’d win the race. But it’s testament to patience being key in GT racing. Everyone kept drilling it into me all weekend, and now I believe them.”
They followed that performance up with seventh in race two, having started 10th and been delayed by a first-lap incident. Any chance of further progress was stymied by a long safety car period at the end of the race.
British GT continues with a two-hour race and another one-hour event at Donington Park in a fortnight. Every round can be watched live on The Race’s YouTube channel.
The latest round of the qualification process for the 2020 edition of World’s Fastest Gamer is underway now. Click here for more details.