Over the past two years, he’s taken the world of sim racing by storm. Now, Brendon Leigh has another shot at converting his rapid Esports pace into reality, as he prepares to tackle the 2019 Race Of Champions around the stadium section of the Mexican Grand Prix circuit over the weekend of 19-20 January.
Leigh, the two-time F1 New Balance Esports Pro Series champion, was announced on Monday as one of the four finalists of the eROC event, alongside racers James Baldwin, Sebastian Job and Nils Naujoks. The quartet will face off against one another, both on a racing sim and on the physical track at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, with the winner crowned as the 2019 eROC champion.
The champion will then join McLaren Shadow racer and reigning eROC champion Enzo Bonito on Team Sim Racing All Stars, where they will compete in the real life Race Of Champions against a vast array of talent – talent that includes F1 personalities such as Germany's Sebastian Vettel, Great Britain's David Coulthard, Brazil's Lucas di Grassi, and son of Germany's seven-time champion Michael, Mick Schumacher.
The other drivers so far confirmed for the Race Of Champions are Mexico's Daniel Suarez, Memo Rojas, Patricio O'Ward and Benito Guerra, Denmark's Tom Kristensen, Sweden's Johan Kristoffersson, Brazil's Castroneves, and American duo Ryan Hunter-Reay and Josef Newgarden.
Though it’s not yet clear which drivers will be drawn against one another, the prospect of F1 Esports drivers racing against Formula 1 legends – on an historic F1 circuit no less – is indeed a tantalising one.
The Race Of Champions, held in Mexico this year, is an annual celebration of motorsport that sees racers from all different categories competing in a side-by-side track style, with motorsport legends from Formula 1, endurance racing, rallying and several other disciplines all facing off.