McLaren today announced a partnership with CJ Wilson Racing which will see the Austin based sportscar team organize and promote one of the qualifying rounds of the British marque's innovative gaming initiative, the World's Fastest Gamer.  The overall winner of which will be offered the best job in esports – a role with the McLaren Formula 1 team as one of its official simulator drivers. The unique agreement will deliver global audiences and interest from both traditional Motorsport fans and those new to the sport – a key priority of the programme.

The “CJ Wilson Racing 570 Challenge: Powered by McLaren Scottsdale” is a 5 round championship with qualifying kicking off on 3rd July on Forza Motorsport 6 for the Xbox One. The events will be run by long time CJ Wilson Racing partner, The Online Racing Association (TORA). Live races will be held and broadcast on Tuesday evenings US time during the summer. CJ is no stranger to esports racing having organised a successful series backed by WFG founding partners Logitech G in 2016 as he transitioned his professional sporting focus from Baseball to Motorsport. With a long-term aim of racing at the Le Mans 24 hours he has personal experience of how important gaming and simulation is to Motorsport. 

CJ Wilson Racing Driver & Team Owner, CJ Wilson:  Racing is unlike any other sport, for example there is no way to accurately simulate baseball whereas the entirety of your driving inputs and controls can be tweaked and honed online and judged or graded. You can race in the simulator exactly as you would at Silverstone, COTA, or Monaco. While competing at the highest levels of Motorsport is a completely unique experience- with today's simulator and even console technology- the merging between simulation and reality is closer than ever.

Executive Director of McLaren Technology Group, Zak Brown:  McLaren group is committed to bring Motorsport to new audiences and having CJ on board is another step in this process. US major league sports are moving into esports so to have a personality from Baseball such as CJ, who also has Motorsport credentials and an existing relationship with us, shows our commitment to innovating in this space. With Silverstone and our other partners we are building a really strong group to deliver this multi year programme with.

IDEAS+CARS CMO Darren Cox:  Having CJ and Silverstone appointed as the first qualifying events of Worlds Fastest Gamers is another example of personalities and rights holders from traditional sport seeing the opportunity that exists in esports. The digital versions of real sports are now seeing exponential growth in esports with Football, Baseball and now Motorsport leading the way.  

And this is just the beginning; over the coming years McLaren and I envisage that multiple entities globally will hold ‘Official Qualifying Events’ for World’s Fastest Gamer. There is no better example of open competition in motorsport and it delivers the best job in esports.

Matt Hunter, The Online Racing Association:  I'm proud that TORA has been asked to be a part of the World's Fastest Gamer process. The fact that a major player in the motorsport world such as McLaren is engaging with the massive virtual motorsport community must be seen as further validation of the level of talent and professionalism that exists in the sim racing world. 

Hopefully this process will mark a step change in how virtual racing is perceived in the wider motorsport world and congratulations must go to Darren Cox and McLaren for their vision and belief. I very much look forward to a high level of competition in The CJ Wilson Racing 570 Challenge: Powered by McLaren Scottsdale.

Very best of luck to everyone who competes for the ultimate prize in sim racing.

You can get full details of the CJ Wilson Racing 570 Challenge Presented by McLaren Scottsdale by clicking here

For more details about the World's Fastest Gamer, please click here.

Declan Brennan