GAMER fans of the FIA World Rally Championship will be able to experience all its drama and excitement at their fingertips in their own global eSports WRC Championship next year.
Using the official video game WRC 5, gamers will compete in multi-player tournaments simultaneously with rounds of the WRC season, starting from the historic Rallye Monte-Carlo in just five weeks’ time.
The 2016 eSports WRC Champions will be crowned after a “live” shootout finale on-site at Wales Rally GB in October.
Users of PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will compete in separate categories. The season will be in two halves, comprising five qualifying rounds and a semi-final, before the three top drivers for each platform are invited to the decider in Britain on 27-30 October.
Each eSports rally weekend will involve action-packed competition from Thursday to Sunday. Players will have one opportunity each day to record their best time and claim a semi-final place.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said his organisation was committed to making WRC available to fans whenever, wherever and however they wanted.
“Gamers will feel the same adrenalin and pressure experienced by their counterparts on the WRC’s special stages, fighting for tenths of a second in challenging conditions and a pressure-cooker atmosphere with a world title at stake,” he said.
WRC 5 was launched in October and allows players to drive 78 different special stages, six each from all 2015 rounds of motorsport’s toughest championship, including Coates Hire Rally Australia.
Gamers can select from 20 World Rally Car drivers – including stars such as world champion Sébastien Ogier, Kris Meeke, Thierry Neuville, Elfyn Evans and Robert Kubica – and their teams.
Features allow gamers to adjust major components such as suspension, brakes and ride height and experience the heartache of nursing their car to the end of a stage with mechanical problems or damage after crashing off the road.