Mon 22 June 2020
The inaugural Virtual Race Of Champions on Sunday June 28, 2020 had added another three motorsports stars to its growing line-up.
Two-time World Rallycross Champion Johan Kristoffersson returns to ROC after conquering the 2019 ROC Nations Cup title alongside Tom Kristensen at ROC Mexico.
“I am really looking forward to competing in the virtual Race Of Champions,” Kristoffersson said. “Last time in Mexico it was a lot of fun, winning with Tom Kristensen. I will do my best again in the virtual world, racing against some of the absolute best drivers in the world.”
Antonio Felix da Costa will make his first-ever appearance in over ten years at ROC following a strong Formula E campaign, which sees the Portuguese driver head to the remaining Berlin rounds as the championship leader.
As a 17-year-old Formula Renault talent Felix da Costa took part in the ROC Portugal qualifier for the 2009 South Europe regional final. Now he returns to ROC as an established star of motor racing. “I’ve always been a huge fan of Race Of Champions,” the DS Techeetah driver said. “I participated when I was really young and I’ve always wanted to go back. I think Virtual ROC is a great initiative, so I’m looking forward to giving it a good crack before trying to secure the Formula E title.”
Fellow Portuguese star Filipe Albuquerque was the big surprise of the 2010 Race Of Champions in Dusseldorf, defeating Sebastian Vettel and Sebastian Loeb on his way to the individual title. The sportscar ace is currently leading the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship with United Autosports. “After winning the real-life Race Of Champions, I now want to try and win the virtual one,” Albuquerque added. “ROC always puts on a great show, so I’m sure it will be great entertainment both for the fans watching and for us drivers.”
Kristoffersson, Felix da Costa and Albuquerque join an impressive list of world class drivers, including Petter Solberg, Stoffel Vandoorne, Romain Grosjean, Andy Priaulx, Rene Rast and ROC title holder Benito Guerra, Bruno Spengler, Timmy Hansen, Raffaele Marciello and Louis Deletraz.
The event, which is organised in partnership with Motorsport Games, will follow a similar format to the real-world Race Of Champions. Some of the biggest stars from Formula 1, World Rallycross, Formula E, Le Mans and other major disciplines will go head to head in identical cars. They will face off on virtual versions of some of the most iconic venues of ROC’s rich history, such as the mixed gravel and tarmac roads of the original Gran Canaria track and the twists and turns of London’s Wembley Stadium.
The tracks have been built from the ground up in the sim racing game Assetto Corsa and have not been used in competition before, ensuring a neutral platform and fair competition for all participants. Just like in the real-world Race Of Champions, the drivers will have to showcase their diverse skill set to quickly adapt to a wide variety of machinery, including a VUHL supercar, a rallycross car and the classic ROC buggy.
Fans of sim racing all around the world get the opportunity to sign up until June 25 for the eROC Qualifier and claim a place in the eROC part of Virtual ROC. After setting their best hotlaps in ROC’s free Assetto Corsa mod, the fastest drivers will go through to the eROC part of the competition, where they will take on the first two eROC Champions Enzo Bonito and James Baldwin for a chance to compete against the real-world stars.
The event, which is organised in partnership with Motorsport Games, will take place on Sunday June 28 at 19:00 CET (13:00 US ET, 18:00 BST) and will be streamed live on the Race Of Champions Youtube and Facebook channels.
The final line-up of drivers for the event will be announced over the coming days.
Keep up with all the latest news at www.raceofchampions.com, Race Of Champions on Facebook and @raceofchampions on Twitter and Instagram. The official hashtag for the event is #RaceOfChampionsVirtual.