07/31/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 07/30/2020 19:24
OULTON PARK, England (Friday, July 31, 2020) - World's Fastest Gamer winner James Baldwin is set to make his GT race debut this weekend with the world watching thanks to a new streaming deal between the British GT Championship and Engine Media's (TSX-V: GAME) (OTCQB: MLLLF) motorsport media brand, The Race.
Baldwin last year battled nine other gamers for the chance to earn a real-world race drive worth more than US$1 million. After a 10-day tour from Las Vegas through California - Baldwin was selected as the winner by World's Fastest Gamer judges Jann Mardenborough (former GT Academy winner and Nissan Super GT racer), Rudy van Buren (inaugural World's Fastest Gamer winner), Juan Pablo Montoya (F1, IndyCar, NASCAR and sportscar race winner) and Ferrari F1 legend Rubens Barrichello.
The 22-year-old Brit will drive a McLaren 720S GT3 with Michael O'Brien for the team co-owned ex-Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button - Jenson Team Rocket RJN.
Baldwin's first race as the winner of Engine Media's World's Fastest Gamer program will take place at the 17-turn, 2.692 mi (4.307 km) Oulton Park circuit in the Silver Cup class of the Intelligent Money British GT Championship.
Race fans will now get to watch the action live on The-Race.com's YouTube channel - with British GT joining the channel's impressive schedule that features the latest Formula 1 news plus live-streamed action from Japan's Super GT Championship, the Nurburgring Endurance Series and more.
Engine Media's motorsport media channels The Race and WTF1 have become a market-leading online home for motorsport action in 2020. This year, the two brands' YouTube channels have earned nearly 50 million views combined, attracted more than 610 million YouTube impressions, and had a combined watch time of almost 4.2 million hours - the equivalent of more than 479 years.
'Adding the British GT Championship to The Race YouTube channel is another way that Engine Media is 'joining the dots' with the World's Fastest Gamer program,' Engine Media co-CEO Darren Cox said.
'For World's Fastest Gamer, we brought together the best of the best in esports to give one finalist a remarkable opportunity to transition from gamer to racer. One of those finalists joined the competition after qualifying via the Gear.Club game on mobile - produced by Engine's gaming studio Eden Games in France.
'We're very much looking forward to James' first race this week and can't wait to watch the action live on YouTube.'
Note: British GT live stream available in all markets except North America.
ROUND 1&2 INTELLIGENT MONEY BRITISH GT CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday, August 1
Practice 1: 9:30 - 10:30
Practice 2: 12:10 - 13:10
Sunday, August 2
Warm-up: 12:00 - 12:15
Round 1: 13:15 - 14:15
Round 2: 16:45 - 17:45
All times UK (BST)
JAMES BALDWIN Q&A
Q: What has the build-up been like for your race debut as World's Fastest Gamer?
A: 'It has been a long wait but it's finally here! I think I'm a bit stronger than I was at the test early this year in France, and my fitness coach Simon Fitchett says I'm a bit stronger as well.
'That test in France gave me a lot of confidence then, but I haven't spent much time in the car in the intervening months. I don't think I've forgotten how to drive, but the car will still be a little unfamiliar to me with the limited running because of how the world has turned out this year.'
Q: How much are you looking forward to racing at Oulton Park?
A: 'Oulton Park is a track that is certainly going to be a huge challenge for the start of my racing career. It's quite narrow, bumpy and risky and if you go off - there are lots of walls.
'Luckily we've got the Friday test at Oulton before the weekend and I feel confident I can get up to speed fairly quickly. I've spoken to a few guys that I know that have driven the McLaren in various other championships that have given me some advice too.'
Q: Have you been able to prepare virtually for the first race weekend?
A: 'I've been driving the McLaren 720 GT3 a lot on the sim. The sim is really good, but it's still not quite the same. It's helped me in really interesting ways though including memorizing where the buttons are on the car.
'When I go into virtual reality with the goggles and sit in the car in the game, the buttons are in the exact same place and they're all labelled up the same as well.
'If I need to find the windscreen wiper button, I know exactly where that is now from the sim and it makes a huge difference. I remember at Paul Ricard I was going down the straight and just before the fast right at the end of the straight, a warning light came up. I wanted to get rid of it immediately but then I thought 'oh, no, I better focus on the corner otherwise I'll miss it!' So, it really helps to know where the buttons are.'
Q: Can you believe this incredible opportunity from winning World's Fastest Gamer is finally here?
A: 'I'm obviously very excited, but I'm trying not to think about it too much because that's when things like nerves and doubt start to creep in.
'I'm just ready to get to work, to show up on Friday and start working with Michael [O'Brien] my teammate and the rest of the team and engineers so we can figure out how to go fast very.
'It's quite a nerdy thing to say, but I'm looking forward to helping develop the setup of the car for real. I've been doing it with my mates on the sim, but doing it for real in such a professional and experienced environment with Jenson Team Rocket RJN - I think that's going to be really cool.'