Aston Martin Red Bull Racing has announced an expansion of its esports team via a partnership with G2 Esports, who will provide operational support and talent management to create “an ultra-competitive sim racing squad,” according to a press release shared on its official website.
The drivers announced for the 2019 Red Bull Racing Esports Team features a trio of ForzaRC professionals that could prove to be unstoppable in the next season of Microsoft’s esports racing competition. They include three-times ForzaRC World Champion Aurélien “Laige” Mallet from France, 2018 ForzaRC Series 1 Champion Robin “b0x” Betka from Germany (formerly of Noble Esports) and ForzaRC American Champion Zach “Venom” Taylor from the USA, who helped lead F4H Motorsport to victory at the 2018 ForzaRC Pre-Season Invitational Team Competition.
The other drivers include Frederik Rasmussen from Denmark and Sebastian Job from England, who will spearhead the team’s efforts in iRacing World Championship activities, alongside Patrik Holzmann from Germany and Graham Carroll from Scotland. Meanwhile, Nestor Garcia from Spain will be fighting for the title in the FIA Gran Turismo Sport World Championship, whilst Cem Bolukbasi from Turkey and Joni Törmälä from Finland will both be on standby alongside the other drivers to represent the Red Bull Racing Esports Team in the 2019 season of the F1 Esports Series. In total, five of the sim-racers mentioned should already be familiar to fans of F1 Esports for representing Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso in the 2018 F1 Esports Pro Series with both Cem Bolukbasi and Joni Törmälä being F1 Esports finalists.
“It is tremendously exciting to see this new direction being taken by the team,” says Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner. “We took part in F1 Esports last year and the response was incredibly positive. We are a Team who has always backed youth and this opportunity provides us with the potential to engage with a wider and younger audience, whilst becoming competitive in a rapidly expanding and exciting new discipline. I can’t profess to be an expert in the field yet, but I look forward to seeing how our rapidly expanding team fares against the best sim racers in the world.”
“We are extremely excited to have two of the strongest and most successful brands in their respective worlds join forces,” adds G2 Esports Head of Gaming Operations Danny Engels. “Esports racing connects our virtual environment with the real-life sport in a peerless fashion. The accessibility of sim racing offers a new entrance into motorsports for both experienced racing lovers and new fans. The line-up of drivers representing the Red Bull Racing Esports Team is the most successful group in the entire sim racing space and will fight for World Championships across multiple games and platforms. I’m confident that this will be our year!”
Moving forward, the Red Bull Racing Esports Team will compete in several titles across a variety of esports competitions, including the iRacing World Championships, the Gran Turismo Sport FIA Championship, the LeMans Esports Series on Forza Motorsport 7, and as mentioned already, the Forza Racing Championship. Red Bull Racing also expects to expand to further tournaments in the future, hosted on Project CARS 2, rFactor 2, Assetto Corsa and RaceRoom.
In terms of Forza, the Red Bull Racing trio could prove to be one of the fiercest line-ups in the history of the scene – and the competition is certain to heat up as we approach the next season of the Forza Racing Championship esports series later this year. In January, the Canadian-based esports team Lazarus announced the formation of its own racing division, headlined by ForzaRC drivers Tobin “Racerz” Leigh and Daniel “ForceOne” Nyman, both formerly of Veloce Esports, as well as Ross “Rossi” May, who previously drove for Japspeed Racing. This was also combined with an acquisition of F4H Motorsport, including a takeover of their drivers, resources and assets.
Looking forward, the racing esports scene continues to be boosted to all-new heights across multiple newly-released titles on PC and consoles as more and more professional organizations begin to contract players and compete for themselves within the space. Forza, Gran Turismo and Formula 1 all have strong esports foundations, and with all three titles primed to further expand their compeititve racing initiatives throughout 2019, this year should prove to be an exciting one that’s full of action both on and off the track!
Alan is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. As someone who enjoys spending all his free time playing video games, he keeps the website updated with new and relevant content, including news stories, reviews and opinion pieces for the games he likes writing about the most. He also tweets too much, probably.