A field of racing drivers including six Formula 1 stars raised over $70,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts after organising a three-round charity esports series, which was won by Charles Leclerc.
Most of the drivers streamed their perspective on Twitch, with a target fundraising goal of $100,000 for the World Health Organisation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
The final two rounds of the six-race virtual series on Codemasters’ F1 2019 took place at Catalunya and the Red Bull Ring.
A three-way fight for the lead characterised the opening race, with ex-F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne battling with poleman Arthur Leclerc and Alexander Albon’s younger brother Luca.
Vandoorne passed Arthur soon after the one mandatory pitstop, but Arthur reclaimed the lead from the Belgian driver.
Mercedes Formula E driver Vandoorne was able to reverse the positions with a similar move on the final lap and went on to take his first win in the series from seventh on the grid.
Ferrari junior Arthur was forced to settle for second place ahead of Luca, with Charles triumphing in a thrilling three-way fight for fourth place ahead of Formula 2 driver Louis Deletraz and 2020 Williams F1 rookie Nicholas Latifi.
The second race in Austria witnessed a thrilling tussle between Charles and Alex Albon. The duo battled lap-after-lap, which went down to a final lap face-off.
The senior Albon was able to replicate Max Verstappen’s real-life defence of his position at the 2019 Austrian Grand Prix against Charles to take the race win on the road.
However, multiple corner-cutting penalties for Alex demoted him to third place and handed Charles the win. Luca Albon took P2.
This was enough to secure Charles the unofficial series title.
Haas F1 reserve driver Deletraz was fourth ahead of Renault junior Christian Lundgaard and Real Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
Lando Norris had a single 10th place to show for his efforts in the final round. Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was running third on the opening lap of the first race before he spun into the wall.
George Russell’s tough run in the series continued with no points-finishes in this event.
The six F1 drivers will race again in Sunday’s F1 Virtual Grand Prix and will be joined by Carlos Sainz Jr for the very first time.
The total raised exceeded an impressive $70,000 by the end of the event, with the fundraising carrying onto until midday Saturday.
For more on the exciting world of Esports, check out Motorsport Games.
Published at Fri, 17 Apr 2020 19:15:15 +0000
The resumption of the coronavirus-halted 2020 NASCAR Cup Series has been delayed further, after the May event at Martinsville Speedway has been postponed.
The coronavirus pandemic, which has now infected well over one and a half million people worldwide since the outbreak began at the start of the year, has caused chaos with the 2020 motorsport calendar.
All major international series are on hiatus at present, with only a handful having held any events at all this year.
Following the Daytona 500, NASCAR had to abandon plans to continue its season behind closed doors at Homstead and Atlanta, but had hoped to resume action at Martinsville on 8-9 May.
However, these hopes took a knock a fortnight ago when new social distancing measures were implemented in the state of Virginia where Martinsville Speedway is located.
On Friday, NASCAR confirmed the postponement of the event – though reiterated its desire to still host all 36 scheduled races this year, with May still the intended resumption date.
“NASCAR is postponing the scheduled events on 8-9 May at Martinsville Speedway,” a statement read.
“Our intention remains to run all 36 races, with a potential return to racing without fans in attendance in May at a date and location to be determined.
“The health and safety of our competitors, employees, fans, and the communities in which we run continues to be our top priority.
“We will continue to consult with health experts and local, state and federal officials as we assess future scheduling options.”
In its own statement, Martinsville Speedway said it will continue to work closely with NASCAR officials on a rescheduled race date, while maintaining contact with local and federal health officials for the latest information on the ongoing pandemic.
“We want to thank all of our dedicated fans who were set to join us during our May race weekend and our first NASCAR Cup Series race under the lights,” said speedway president Clay Campbell.
“The well-being and safety of our patrons, NASCAR stakeholders, employees and our community continues to be our number one priority.
“We appreciate your patience and understanding during these challenging times and we look forward to having everyone back in the near future to help us make history once again at Martinsville Speedway.”
This announcement comes just weeks after NASCAR confirmed it would be delaying the introduction of its Gen7 cars by a year to 2022 as part of cost-saving measures.
The new generation of car was hoped to entice a fourth manufacturer back to NASCAR for the first time since 2012.
In lieu of real-world racing, NASCAR has been hosting Esports events featuring many of its star names.
However, this hasn’t been without controversy.
After ‘rage-quitting’ a race, driver Bubba Wallace lost a sponsor, while Kyle Larson lost his Ganassi seat, his major sponsors and is under indefinite suspension by NASCAR for using a racial slur during an online race this week.
Published at Fri, 17 Apr 2020 17:32:39 +0000