It's been another thrilling and busy week in the world of Project CARS esports, with top talent on display in two of the biggest racing competitions in the world. It kicked off with the finals of McLaren Shadow, McLaren's hunt to find the world's best all-around sim-racer across five different games, to join their official esports team.
Project CARS 2 was a key part of the Shadow Finals, where the game featured in an awesome VR race in the McLaren 720S at COTA. Check that out in the video above. It was definitely the closest, and arguably the most exciting of all of the races in the Shadow finals. It was thrilling to see that the drivers' heart-rates were far higher in this VR race than they were in any of the other aspect of the Shadow finals, including when they got to do some laps in the real McLaren GT4 car!
Project CARS 2's appearance in Shadow wasn't just limited to racing. The game was also used in 'human performance tests' in which the drivers' responses to stress and the pressure of competition were measured using a variety of tools. From heart-rate monitors and eye-tracking software, and even by hooking up Project CARS 2's in-game telemetry system to the same data-logging tools used by McLaren during Formula 1 race weekends.
It was a fantastic event, and victory was taken in dominant style by Brazilian driver, Igor Fraga. Not only is Fraga a top sim-racer, but he also has plenty of real-world experience, including Formula 4 and Formula 3 in his native Brazil.
Following the Shadow Finals, attention then turned to Mexico City, and the eROC finals at the annual Race of Champions. The ROC is an annual stadium event which takes place on a short circuit in the style of a rally 'super special stage' with drivers racing in single lap, time trial competition. Each year it features top talent from F1, Indycar, sportscars, rally and more. For the last two years it has also hosted a tournament for the world's best sim-racers, this time including a name very familiar to Project CARS 2 fans, Veloce's James Baldwin.
After online qualifying rounds at the end of 2018, only four sim-racers made it to the finals (see the video above). Baldwin was joined by Brendon Leigh, Sebastian Job, and Nils Naujoks. They would each have six races in the sim, before joining 2018 eROC winner, Enzo Bonito to form Team Sim-Racing, and enter the real ROC Nations Cup to do battle with the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Mick Schumacher, David Coulthard and more. The sim drivers were also tested in real cars, and had their skills assessed by Coulthard, Tom Kristensen, and Terry Grant.
Following the sim-races and the driver assessment, Baldwin faced off in a head-to-head against Brendon Leigh and won in fantastic style to earn his place in the Nations Cup. Team Sim-Racing was eventually knocked out of the stadium competition by Team Brazil, which included Indycar legend Helio Castroneves and Formula E's Lucas di Grassi. However, Baldwin and Bonito both scored individual wins against the real racing talent and showed just how well sim-racing skills can transfer to the real-world.