With pro racing series shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak, two BMW factory drivers are participating in Sim Racing events. Formula E racer Maximilian Günther and Team RLL’s Colton Herta competed in “The Race All-Star Esports Battle” run on the virtual Nürburgring, where they ran against other professional racers and sim racers.
Günther was second in the qualifying race for professional drivers, behind Formula One racer Max Verstappen, and Herta was third. Günther had to drop out of the main race, while Herta finished tenth. Other pro racers participating in the event were Formula E racer António Félix da Costa, former Formula One and IndyCar racer Juan Pablo Montoya, who is racing a Penske Acura prototype in IMSA this season, and IndyCar drivers Felix Rosenqvist and Simon Pagenaud. The win and the $4,000 prize went to Slovakian sim racer Jernej Simoncic.
Günther said, “Although the event was arranged at such short notice, it was really well organized and was just so much fun. Many thanks to ‘The Race’ and rFactor 2. In the current situation, where it is impossible for real racing events to take place, sim racing is a fantastic opportunity for all of us to stay involved and compete in more races. It is great to compete against other drivers who I would otherwise never meet on the racetrack, and to go up against such unbelievably fast sim racers, who I have a lot of respect for, in this way. I think that we all put on a great show for the fans. I can see myself taking part in more events like this in the future.”—Brian Morgan
[Photo of Maximilian Günther at sim racing console courtesy BMW Motorsport.]