Priaulx: Formula E success shows we can't underestimate esports
Ford World Endurance Championship driver Andy Priaulx believes it’s wrong to underestimate esports, after the success of Formula E.
Priaulx was present for the launch of the Le Mans esports Series at Silverstone, going head-to-head with factory Aston Martin driver Darren Turner on the simulators for a friendly competition.
He cited Formula E as a new idea in the sport, which like esports was initially met with great scepticism within the motorsport world - but has since assembled a grid almost entirely full of manufacturer entries.
“We’ve all got to watch it [esports], we all looked at Formula E and thought ‘I don’t think that’s going to work’ and look where it’s gone,” Priaulx told Motorsport.com at the LMES launch event.
“I think it will be the same with esports.
“It makes motorsport more accessible for the fans, the public and gives everyone the chance to perform and have their moment.
“Esports gets people to come and enjoy the sport, it’s what we love.
“We’ve been fortunate to race the real thing, but actually you can get a real buzz on the simulator when you’ve got a high level of competition.
“It’s all about performing under pressure.”
Skills "definitely transferable" to real life racing
#67 Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GT: Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell
Photo by: Marc Fleury
The three-time World Touring Car champion uses simulators to practise concentration and improve his ability to perform under pressure.
“I’ve embraced driving on simulators in the past five years,” Priaulx added.
“It’s great to get that additional experience and obviously the practice of concentration and the ability to perform under pressure is something you can practise on the simulator.
“Some of the skills you need on the simulator, definitely from the concentration perspective, minimising mistakes, learning the circuit and working out the racing lines are definitely transferable.
“Ultimately when it comes down to the feel, you need the experience in reality but I can definitely see how the way that software is evolving and improving.
“You can get closer and closer to reality.”
Gamers can find more information, register and begin qualifying for LMES here.
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