WRC agrees new partnership with eSports experts Fanatec

FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) Promoter has completed a multi-year agreement with sim racing hardware experts, Fanatec, to become the official partner of the WRC’s eSports activities.

Fanatec is the leading brand for sim racing hardware, including steering wheels, pedals and complete cockpits for PlayStation, Xbox and PC-based motorsport simulators.

Its products are an integral part of the 2020 eSports WRC Championship, based on WRC 8, the official video game of the FIA World Rally Championship. Fanatec also powered the invitational WRC eSports event in Monaco ahead of the start of January’s Rally Monte Carlo.

Thomas Jackermeier, CEO of German-based Endor, which owns Fanatec, said the company was honoured to join the WRC family and would play its part in allowing sim rally drivers to get as close as possible to the real thing: “Rally driving is one of the most intense forms of motorsport and one which is extremely difficult to practice. Fanatec is developing a range of rally products in close co-operation with WRC, which will be perfectly suited to simulate this exciting sport and to compete in official WRC sim racing competitions,” he added.

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said Fanatec’s enthusiastic support of WRC’s virtual rallying would further boost soaring interest in eSports motorsport: “We welcome Fanatec to the championship’s growing portfolio of premium partners and it’s great to see the company’s passion and commitment in creating bespoke products for WRC sim racers,” he said.

Fanatec will also back this week’s #RaceAtHome WRC Weekly Challenge.

The challenge, which opens on Thursday 23 April to anyone playing WRC 8, asks gamers to take on the mighty task of mastering Rally Argentina’s El Condór special stage.

The WRC Weekly Challenge presented by Fanatec remains open for a week and will test competitors through the fabled 7.1km WRC 8 test, high in the Traslasierra mountains.

Ciesla added: “Like all global sports, WRC is currently paused due to Covid-19, but the WRC Weekly Challenge allows sim racers to compete against their rivals on classic roads from famous rallies. It provides our existing fans, and young gamers who are building their interest in the sport, with a means to preserve their WRC ‘fix’ and we’re delighted Fanatec has chosen to support this challenge,” he added.

An all-new Fanatec WRC-branded steering wheel will be introduced for gamers later this year.

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