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Ambrose: Legends races a possible progression for Eseries

Simon Chapman

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Friday 1st May, 2020 - 6:00am

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Marcos Ambrose

Marcos Ambrose says legends races could be the next step for Supercars to continue the momentum beyond the finish of the All Stars Eseries.

Supercars has indicated it has no plans to extend the Eseries in its current guise beyond the 10 rounds currently scheduled.

After the coronavirus pandemic put the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship on hold, the drivers have been competing in a televised iRacing-based competition.

It’s already proven popular with competitors outside of the current Supercars field attracting interest from Formula 1, IndyCar, and NASCAR drivers as wildcard entries.

After Ambrose made a wildcard appearance in a Pirtek-backed Ford Mustang, the 43-year-old said legends-style racing could be worth investigating to continue the Eseries in some capacity.

“It would be a lot nicer to race against some legends rather than those young kids, I might be more competitive,” Ambrose joked while speaking with Speedcafe.com.

“But yes, I can see so many opportunities for Supercars and other series that are around the world. I would hope that online racing is here to stay for these professional racing series.

“So if real racing comes back on the track soon – which we all hope it does – that the online racing will stay and we’ll have two series to watch and compete in and look at, and sponsors to come out.

“I think there are lots of opportunities that are going to come out of this,” Ambrose added.

“Whether it be legends races, whether it be somebody building a racing stadium with 10 rigs lined up side-by-side, whether it be that we have fresh sponsors coming in for drivers that don’t race in the main series, who knows where this is going to go? We’re breaking new ground.”

While most sports globally have been stalled due to COVID-19, motorsport has been able to take its racing online via formats like iRacing.

Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, and IMSA have all set-up competitions.

The first eSports races by Formula 1 included current Formula 1 drivers, a host of Formula 2 and Formula 3 talents, drivers from other global championships, as well as celebrities.

However, the NASCAR, IndyCar, and IMSA series have primarily focused on having current drivers race against each other.

Elsewhere, independently run Eseries’ have seen ex-Formula 1 drivers and icons from the motor racing world compete in legends-style races.

Ambrose said modern-day motorsport is in unchartered territory due to the pandemic and the online competitions have been a positive product amid the hold in play.

“It’s almost being forced upon us in hyperdrive, the COVID-19 crisis has made everybody look at this really quickly,” said Ambrose.

“The effort to go online racing by all these series around the world has been forced on them and they’re being forced to learn and see and expose themselves to it.

“It’s allowed the fans and the drivers and everyone else to be exposed to it. I think it’s going to create a lot of opportunities.”

Ambrose said sim racing could be looked at as a possible avenue for scouting talent. That’s an idea that has been explored via Gran Turismo, Nissan and its GT Academy.

“I could see how you can have a junior competitor category,” said Ambrose.

“So junior drivers that wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to have a budget to go race in the Super2 Series might be found through online racing. Who knows where this stuff’s going to go?”

It is expected the Gfinity Supercars Eseries for pro gamers will be rebooted in some capacity this year.

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