While their parents might’ve detested the idea of their child wiling their time away playing endless rounds of Gran Turismo, some of those eager pupils made it pay. Over the last decade, dedicated gamers have managed to sneak their foot into the world of professional motorsports, and some major marques have kept their eyes peeled for talent in this new arena. Porsche, always looking for a new crop of drivers, embarked on their own quest to find the best e-racers, and determine just how well a virtual education pays off in the real world.
With massive partnership with the E Sports League (ESL), Microsoft, and Turn 10 on their Forza Motorsport platform, Porsche’s GT3 RS Challenge set several young drivers on their way. First, the “Virtual Clash” put 12,000 drivers against one another in the virtual world, then they were whittled down to the fastest 8, who battled again at the prestigious href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmBOiRAXibY”>the Gamescom final.
Of those 8, Porsche took the best 4 and strapped them into an actual Carrera S at Leipzig; learning how to fine-tune their inputs to suit the real thing. After making the necessary adjustments to their steering, braking, and throttle application, they graduated to the GT3 RS and a new track: The Hungaroring. The fastest of the 4, Anto, was then flown from Budapest to Barcelona, where he got to try his hand at driving a bonafide racing car at the ragged edge of adhesion.
Anto’s exploits should push any aspiring racer to consider the burgeoning platform that is e-racing. While simulators were once derided, we’ve seen that experience online can translate onto the actual racetrack. With the instruction of Andre Lotterer and Timo Bernhard, Anto was able to exploit a GT3 Cup Car around Circuit de Catalunya, and get a taste of that which he’s dreamt about since he could remember. Since then, Anto’s progressed into the Lamera Cup and continues to chase his dream.