Munich. This Saturday, BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers Maximilian Günther (GER) and Alexander Sims (GBR) will compete in the opening round of the ‘ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge’. Last weekend’s dress rehearsal for the virtual season of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship was very successful for Günther, who emerged victorious. A starting place at BMW SIM LIVE 2020 is at stake for the sim racers, who go head to head in their own specific race within the event.
Season 6 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship was just five races old when it was suspended after the Marrakesh E-Prix (MAR) at the start of March. At that point, BMW i Andretti Motorsport drivers Sims and Günther were second and fourth in the Drivers’ Championship. Both will now go in pursuit of points in the virtual BMW iFE.20, starting this Saturday. The street circuit in Hong Kong (CHN) hosts the opening round of the ‘ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge’ – both for the regular Formula E drivers and for some of the best sim racers in the world, who will take part in their own races over the course of the virtual Formula E season. Two of them race in BMW i Andretti Motorsport colours.
“I am delighted that Formula E is returning to the racetrack, virtually, with the Race at Home Challenge,” said Stefan Ponikva, Head of Brand Experience BMW. “Our works drivers, Alexander and Maximilian, finally get another chance to demonstrate their excellence in the BMW iFE.20. Esports and sim racing are currently enjoying a huge global boom. We are giving Formula E our full support as it enters this discipline, and are pleased to be able to offer the winner of the sim racer competition a very special prize, one of the coveted starting places at our BMW SIM LIVE final in Munich at the end of the year. I am fascinated to see which Formula E sim racer we will see there!”
Pole position and victory for Günther in the test round.
Virtual Formula E took to the track for the first time last Saturday with a test round. A first, which was to prove extremely promising for Günther. He followed up pole position with victory in the race. Team Redline’s Kevin Siggy (SLO) finished runner-up in a BMW iFE.20 in the sim racers’ race.
“The first race, in Monaco, went very well with pole position and the race win,” said Günther. “I am looking forward to the coming weekend in the virtual Formula E championship. It is unusual not to be racing in our real cars, but it is still a great opportunity to put on a great show for the fans.”
Double duty for Günther this Saturday.
This Saturday, following his Formula E appearance, Günther will do battle for the professional racing driver title in the season finale of the sim racing event ‘THE RACE All-Star Cup’. At stake is 30,000 dollars in prize money, which will be donated to charity. In Formula E’s virtual season too, the focus is on the charity, with the series working closely with UNICEF.
“Up until about five weeks ago, I had never taken part in a sim race. Since then, I have had a lot of time to practice and have been improving all the time,” said Günther. “That is the secret. You have to gain an incredible amount of experience to be able to get every last tenth of a second out of the car.”
Sims is still a sim racing newcomer.
Sims, who has only had a race simulator at home for a few days, is not quite at that level yet. “I obviously practiced for the test round, and now for the first race where points are up for grabs, but so have my colleagues,” said Sims, “so I don’t expect to be able to challenge at the front so soon. I just want to keep improving and enjoy racing.”
Round one of the “ABB Formula E Race at Home Challenge” begins this Saturday at 16:30 CEST and will be streamed live on the following platforms: