Start your engines! It’s time to leave the physical world behind and jump into the digital. Sports around the world have been canceled due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For some, nothing is happening. For others, they’ve taken the opportunity to move into the digital realm. Motorsport is a perfect example of one that could thrive in a virtual world. That’s exactly what the Virgin Australia Supercars has done. They’ve moved the whole sport online! All the drivers, all the teams, all the sponsors. They’re here for the fans. So get set — it’s the Supercars All Stars E-Series!
Supercars All Star E-Series
After the current pandemic shut down all motorsport, Supercars, like Formula 1, moved to the digital world. In this E-Series, all 25 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship drivers will be taking part. The All Stars E-Series will take place over 10 rounds. Starting next week, drivers will log in from their homes and compete with their virtual Ford Mustangs and Holden ZB Commodores. Each driver will have their car skinned just like their physical-world cars. The platform of choice has been set to iRacing, a realistic online racing simulator.
Why an E-Series?
Why would Supercars — or any other sport for that matter — dive into the virtual world? There are plenty of esports getting lots of attention right now. But the CEO of Supercars, Sean Seamer, says it’s about entertaining the fans. Plenty of people are stuck at home, wanting to watch their favorite drivers or see some car racing. It’s about providing those people with something, perhaps even something extra. During real-world motorsport racing, it’s often difficult to listen in on the drivers or see their facial expressions. With iRacing however, things will be different. The Supercars All Star E-Series will shine a light on drivers like never before. Webcams will be set up in various places for broadcasting, both in the game and in the drivers’ spaces. Fans will be able to see the drivers’ faces and hear them chat during the race.
Seamer said in the official press release it’s about keeping the fans happy: “This is about entertaining content. While we expect a strong and robust competition, ultimately this is designed to keep Supercars fans entertained during the period when we can’t race on the track…”
He also said to expect a variety of formats across the series. These include “traditional two-race formats in earlier rounds… enduros, mystery rounds, night races and reverse grid races.”
Crowing a champion
Like the usual Virgin Australia Supercars series, the All Stars E-Series will feature a Championship cup. Drivers will accumulate points each round, and a winner will be crowned at the end of the season. The drivers themselves are eager to test themselves too.
Jamie Whincup, seven-time Supercars Championship driver, says he’s excited to be part of the series. He said in the official press release: “We always want to put on a good show, so it’s great for the sport and the fans knowing we can still race while the season is on hold. I usually back myself, but the young blokes have the advantage here.”
BP as Supercars All Stars E-Series naming rights sponsor
Just yesterday, BP was announced as the naming rights sponsor. BP is the official fuel supplier for the Supercars prior to round one of the 2020 season. With the shift to a virtual environment, you’d think there wouldn’t be a need for real-world fuel! Adam Arnold, the General Manager – Marketing & Innovation, BP Australia had a difference approach. Arnold said in the release that they are keen to be offering something for the fans during this time:
This E-Series, featuring Championship drivers is a great offering for Supercars fans to still connect with drivers and teams, whilst still respecting all the very important social distancing measures that have been put in place to keep us all safe. We are proud to add to our significant partnership with Supercars, to help bring some entertainment and positivity to everyone during this time.
Seamer welcomed BP’s support of the E-Series. He stated: “After partnering with Supercars as our official fuel supplier this year we are excited to now extend our successful collaboration with BP further into the esports world.”
You can watch all the action starting April 8 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. AEDT and every Wednesday night onwards. The BP Supercars All Stars E-Series will be broadcast on Fox Sports 506, Kayo, TEN Play, SkySports in NZ, and Twitch.