UK sim racer and inaugural F1 Esports champion Brendon Leigh, who joined the Ferrari Driver Academy’s esports team earlier this year, has encouraged aspiring sim racers to take part in this year’s Ferrari Esports Series.
The first qualifiers – which run between April and July and feature four hotlap sessions – will take place on the UK’s world-renowned Brands Hatch circuit. They’re open to drivers across the UK and Europe.
The winner of the Ferrari Esport Series will have the opportunity to become an official esports racing driver for the Ferrari Driver Academy esports team at Ferrari’s HQ in Maranello.
The 2021 tournament will use Kunos Simulazioni’s Assetto Corsa game and will feature four of Ferrari’s real-world vehicles, including two exclusively available to drivers who register for the Series: the Ferrari 488 Challenge Evo and the brand new Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo.
So far nearly 10,000 sim racers from across Europe have signed up for the 2021 series – twice as many compared to last year’s inaugural season. The 2020 series was won by 21-year-old Italian sim racer Giovanni Da Salvo.
Brendon Leigh said: “If you love sim racing and want to test your skills amongst the elite drivers of Europe, then the Ferrari Esport Series is a great place to start, and I encourage talented sim racing drivers to get involved.
“You never know – it could be you that is in with the chance of driving with us on the FDA team next year.
“The competition is fierce, and you have to work hard – but being a professional esports driver as part of the Ferrari team in Maranello has changed my life: I sincerely offer the best of luck to all participants in the 2021 Series.”
Two additional elements have been added to the competition in 2021.
Registered players will be offered the chance to participate in various prize draw events throughout the season, with a selection of to-be-announced prizes up for grabs.
2021 will also feature a new Car Livery Contest. Participants will be able to create and submit liveries for the four cars used by the Series via a website. The best liveries will be shared on Ferrari’s social channels, and the most popular design in the Ferrari community will be incorporated into the game and used during the official Series races.
The news comes after Twitch reported a 115% rise in racing car content on the streaming platform. The number of hours broadcast in the three biggest sim-racing games (F1 2020, iRacing, and Assetto Corso) rose to 219,000, with monthly hours watched increasing by 94% to 3.2 million year-on-year between August 2020-January 2021.
Players from across the UK and Europe can register via the official website at www.ferrariesportsseries.gg.
Streams will take place on the Ferrari Esport Twitch Channel on the last Tuesday of the month from August 31st until the grand final on December 14th.
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.