UK sim racer James Baldwin won the eRace of Champions (eROC) virtual racing tournament finals earlier this month.
The competition runs alongside the full Race of Champions annual event, which features some of the world’s best racers, and this time some of the sim racers beat real-life racers on the physical track.
Four sim racers qualified for the world finals event: two-time F1 Esports Series champion Brendon Leigh, last year’s eROC winner Enzo Bonito, Sebastien Job and eventual winner James Baldwin.
James Baldwin beat Brendon Leigh on the physical track and the virtual one, and impressively, beat Mexican NASCAR champion Ruben Garcia on the physical track too.
On top of this, sim racer Enzo Bonito also beat Formula E champion and former F1 driver Lucas Di Grassi on the track in the Nations Cup.
“All four of us sim racers have shown what we can do. eROC is not just about the drivers, but it shows just how good sim racers can be.”
While the sim drivers didn’t make it through to the semi-finals, they showed they can compete against some of the other top race drivers out there. This was echoed in a quote from the British winner.
James Baldwin said: “I think the main purpose of eROC is not just about the drivers, but to show just how good sim racers can be.
“I think Enzo [Bonito] has also shown what we really can do, he beat [2016/17 Formula E champion and former F1 driver] Lucas di Grassi by eight tenths, which is ridiculous.
“All four of us have shown what we can do. We’ve gone through the ranks differently, we all come from different backgrounds, we’ve ended up so close and I’m the winner, but they’re all really good drivers. It’s very easy to settle on what we’ve done, but I don’t want to settle on it.”
You can check out video highlights of the event here:
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.