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Formula E partners UNICEF in new esports venture

Formula E and UNICEF have joined forces to create a new esports series to raise funds for the charity during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge will see two separate grids running at the same time, one for drivers who competed in the series and another for gamers.

The fastest gamer will, at a later date, get the chance to drive a Formula E car on track at a race weekend.

Charlie Martin, who is aiming to become the first transgender driver to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, confirmed that she will be competing in the series.

The series has also confirmed that they will be running the 9-week championship on rFactor 2 with Jack Nicholls & Dario Franchitti commentating and Nicki Shields presenting.

The racing will be broadcast live on the series’ YouTube and Twitch channels as well as through their Facebook page, Facebook Gaming site and via @FIAFormula E on Twitter.

The races will begin on with a pre-season test on April 18th with the races which count for the championship starting the following Saturday.

The races will continue to be held on Saturdays up to the Grand Final on June 13th.

The series will be using a ‘Race Royale’ where after only having one qualifying lap each, the driver in last place at the end gets eliminated from the race.

From there, the remaining 10 drivers will have one final lap to determine the winner and the top-10.

Among the Formula E regulars taking part will be keen sim racers Maximillian Guenther and Antonio Felix Da Costa with Da Costa looking forward to seeing how the concept played out.

He said: “I think this is a fantastic initiative by Formula E to add another esports element to the championship and provide the opportunity of a lifetime for one gamer to get behind the wheel of a real race car.

“Motor racing is actually one of only a few sports with transferrable skills across both the real and gaming world.

“So, it will be interesting to see how we get acclimatised to the conditions.

“As a driver, naturally we miss racing and I cannot wait to get back on track in a Formula E car.

“It is also nice to be racing for a good cause and I hope fans will enjoy watching the events from home."

Envision Virgin Racing also confirmed that Nick Cassidy would be participating in the opening events, replacing Sam Bird due to ‘technical issues’ for the Brit.

Cassidy, who also dabbles in a bit of sim racing, tested for the team at Marrakesh this year, setting the fastest time.

The Kiwi was looking forward to supporting the team, saying: “Following the successful test in Marrakesh I’ve kept in close contact with the team and I’m really excited to be able to support them as a sim racer for the start of the upcoming series.

Esports have grown massively in recent months and I’ve been fortunate enough to have competed in a few races already, it’s an extremely competitive environment and highlights the skill needed to compete.

“It’s great to be back in the world of Formula E – whilst in the comfort of my own home – and I’m hoping to bring in a strong point haul for Envision Virgin Racing”

Just Electric Staff

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