Team Norway-fører Ole Christian Veiby og norsk-svenske Oliver Solberg deltar i Rally VM sin esport-serie.
Oliver Solberg will take on the world’s finest and fastest emerging rally talents when he tackles the FIA World Rally Championship’s eSports WRC Shootout (#RaceAtHome) Rally Argentina next week.
Prior to the arrival of COVID-19, 18-year-old Oliver would have been making the final preparations for his first trip to compete in South America at Rally Argentina proper, initially scheduled to start from Villa Carlos Paz, west of Buenos Aires, next week.
The global pandemic has, however, spiked global motorsport plans and left Oliver and co. turning to the virtual world via the WRC 8 game.
“The competition will be a cool one,” said Oliver. “The roads and the stages in the game are really technical – just like the ones in real life! It’s going to be a close race, that’s for sure.
“When you are in the simulator practising you can just push the ‘reset’ button when you slide wide or make a spin or something. But in these competitions, if you make a mistake then you are finished – the pressure is really something like what we have in the real life.
The stages chosen for the event are El Condor, Parque Tematico and Cuchilla Nevada, all classics from one of the WRC’s most iconic rallies on the calendar.
The qualifying rounds for #RaceAtHome eSports WRC Shootout start on Monday with the main competition coming in the quarter-finals, screened live on the WRC’s Facebook channel at 2100 CET on Tuesday April 21.
The semi-finals run in the same place at 2100 CET on Wednesday April 22, with the final on Thursday April 23, same time and same place.
WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla is looking forward to watching the rivalry between the series’ future champions.
Ciesla said: “While the WRC is paused as the coronavirus outbreak continues, we’ve turned the spotlight on the championship’s stars of the future for the eSports WRC Shootout.
“Of course, our drivers are missing real-life competition, we all are. But I’ve no doubt their competitive spirits and adrenaline will surge as much as ever behind the WRC 8 wheel on Rally Argentina’s tricky stages.
“Virtual driving is a fast-growing part of motorsport and this shootout sits alongside our popular eSports WRC Championship, which continues through the WRC hiatus. I hope our fans will enjoy watching the Shootout from home before competing themselves in our eSports Championship.”
The gaming simulator is pretty busy in the Solberg household right now, with Oliver and his father, 2003 World Rally Champion Petter, competing against over 9000 other racers in their own Solberg World Cup