McLaren has initiated the Forza Motorsport 7 qualifying phase of its Shadow esports initiative, the automaker’s in-house gaming competition that spans multiple sim-focused racing titles.
Those who successfully qualify for the McLaren Shadow semi-finals will get to battle it out at the McLaren Technology Centre on Saturday, December 1st.
These will include not only Forza Motorsport 7 drivers, but also contestants who successful qualify from Real Racing 3 and the Logitech qualifying rounds. Qualifiers from iRacing and rFactor 2 will progress straight to the week-long grand finals being hosted in January 2019.
The overall winner of the contest will earn a seat on the McLaren Shadow esports team in 2019, as well as a place on its driver development program and what it calls “a money-can’t-buy motorsport experience.” This includes attendance to Formula 1 races, exclusive behind-the-scenes access to McLaren, and various other prizes, including a gaming and race kit.
To qualify for the McLaren Shadow esports contest via Forza Motorsport 7, you’ll need to be one of the fastest drivers in the game to make it into the top two positions on the leaderboard of the dedicated in-game McLaren Shadow Rivals event. This one sees you driving the McLaren 570S Coupe with all assists disabled on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in clear weather conditions.
You have until Midnight UTC on Thursday, September 15th to set your best time. Those aiming to successfully qualify for McLaren Shadow will also need to register over on their official website. You must be 18 years of age or older to compete and hold a valid passport or driver’s license.
The McLaren Shadow esports program is the next phase in the British automaker’s gaming strategy, following its successful World’s Fastest Gamer competition in 2017, which was won by Rudy van Buren. McLaren says the structure of the competition has been designed to bring “the most diverse pool of racers into the semi-finals, allowing us to identify raw talent from anywhere in the world on any platform.”
Microsoft has enjoyed a long, fruitful relationship with McLaren. Most recently, the Senna starred as the cover car of Forza Horizon 4, and the British automaker also hosted a preview event for the game at its facility ahead of release. McLaren’s own P1 also appeared as the cover star of Forza Motorsport 5 in 2013, the flagship launch title of the Xbox One console.
In an interview at the launch celebration event of Forza Horizon 4 hosted at the Goodwood Estate – the spiritual home of car culture in Britain, the head of Xbox Games Marketing Aaron Greenberg said the following of McLaren: “They’re great partners. Knowing the game was set in beautiful, historic Britain, we were really thoughtful about who is the right partner to select to be our cover car. It just worked out great because we have a history with McLaren, which you know, and in the past, we had the P1 as a cover car in Forza Motorsport 5, and we unveiled that at E3 some years ago.”
“So, to be able to get the Senna is incredible. They do a lot of work here, but we have deep, multi-year deep partnerships with auto manufacturers. And as those partnerships develop over the years, we start to think about what are the other things we can do together, and how can we integrate and what have you got going on, and what have we going on, you know, and even though there’s McLaren, I don’t want to call them dealerships, but in the U.S., the experience centres there will have Forza there as well, but it’s great, it’s how a true partnership should work, and yeah it’s been really, really special – we’ve been really pleased with them.”
You can drive the McLaren Senna in Forza Horizon 4 today on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC. It’s also available on the Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Meanwhile, those eager to get behind-the-wheel of McLaren’s latest supercars on the track can do so in Forza Motorsport 7 and compete for a chance of fame and glory in esports with the McLaren Shadow initiative.
Remember, you have until the end (Midnight UTC) of Thursday, September 15th to sign-up and set a time in the dedicated McLaren Shadow Rivals qualifying event on Forza Motorsport 7. For more details, be sure to read the official rules of the competition, as well as this general rundown of the series. Esports fans should also check out our latest recap of all the action from Microsoft’s own ForzaRC competition, which wrapped up last month at the Gfinity Esports Arena in London, UK where G2 Laige was crowned the 2018 Forza Racing World Champion!
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he delivers the latest in news stories, reviews, and feature articles to the website, as well as videos on his YouTube channel and livestreams over on Mixer.