Together with the British Rally Championship, Motorsport UK has launched the Esports British Rally Championship (eBRC) with the allure of winning a real-life test in an EDSL Sport Ford Fiesta R2.
Held on DiRT Rally 2.0 and staged over four rounds – Wales, Spain, Germany and Scotland – with an equal split between gravel and asphalt, the eBRC is a one-make series for the Fiesta R2 – just as the Junior BRC is in real-life – and is open to all Motorsport UK licence holders and trackside members.
Championship points will be awarded to the top 10 on each round in line with the real-life BRC scoring system, with the top 10 in the championship receiving a tour of the M-Sport World Rally Team’s factory in Cumbria. Merchandise is also on offer to players who provide entertaining social media clips.
“We are delighted to launch the eBRC and the exciting opportunity to bring someone from the virtual world into real rallying,” said BRC Championship Manager Iain Campbell.
“The action in the British Championship is always intense and very close between our competitors and I expect it to be even closer in the eBRC.”
EDSL Sport team principal Alex Waterman added: “The eBRC is an incredibly exciting prospect and you only have to look at how many people play DiRT [Rally] 2.0 to see how popular the game is.
“We are truly thrilled to be able to offer a prize drive in one of our M-Sport Fiesta R2T’s as the overall award to hopefully breach the gap between ‘virtual’ and ‘real life’.
“We have seen that Esports drivers really can replicate their pace from the virtual world into real life so who knows, maybe we will find the next Colin McRae.”
An invitational series will also run alongside the eBRC, with this year’s BRC cast set to take on the virtual world.
Reigning BRC champion Matt Edwards, WRC 2 driver Rhys Yates Josh McErlean and James Williams are among the names already confirmed, with more anticipated to compete.
This series will be streamed live on both the BRC’s and Motorsport UK’s social media channels, with commentary from the series’ media manager Ben Buesenl and 2018 World Rally Championship Esports champion Jon Armstrong.
DirtFish also understands a full highlights program will be created, just like it would be were the contest happening in real life.
“The eBRC is a great concept and [it] will be brilliant to have the British Rally Championship put on a worldwide level,” said double champion Edwards.
“I look forward to getting involved in the invitational event and that will keep us sharp as we continue our rivalries whilst in isolation, and hope everyone will have a go at the eBRC. It will be great fun.”
The opening round in Wales begins on Monday (April 27) and lasts for three weeks. The overall champion will therefore be crowned in mid-July – with real-life BRC action not expected to recommence until August at the earliest due to the coronavirus pandemic.