Young UAE racing enthusiasts dreaming of a career as a Formula One driver have been given fresh incentive with the launch of a new esports centre designed to speed the journey into competitive motor sport.
Immersive Esports, a state-of-the-art destination for sim racing enthusiasts now open on Dubai’s Umm Suqeim Street, offers 30 race simulators, MotoGP simulators and Virtual Reality treadmills spread over two floors.
It has been established by Dubai-based automotive events and motorsports consultancy, Pole Position, the pioneer of sim racing in the UAE, whose long-term goal is to deliver a young Emirati driver into Formula One.
“Immersive Esports is an important part of this strategy, and its goal is to give drivers the tools they need to achieve their dreams by making a name for themselves in the motor racing world,” said Pole Position Founder and CEO, Ryan Trutch.
Yashish Manohar, the first UAE based sim-racing driver to make the transition to real-life racing, says the new esports centre can help others keen to follow his path.
“It provides a very realistic racing experience, and will help young drivers develop the skills they need to make the jump to real-world motorsports,” said Manohar, who was introduced to sim racing by Pole Position during the pandemic.
He now looks set for a bright future after some impressive displays during the first Renault Clio Cup Middle East season. Last month, the 17-year-old member of the YAS Heat team finished third overall, and second in class, in the new series at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit and Dubai Autodrome.
“Yashish is a shining example of how sim racing can propel young people of determination into the world of competitive motor sport,” said Trutch, who will launch an Immersive Esports franchise in the coming months, allowing others to buy into the concept.
Sim racing, or eMotorsports, is virtual car racing in which a computer simulation on a PC or games console realistically creates the experience of real life motor racing.
It has continued to boom since its initial growth in popularity during the pandemic, leading to the emergence of sim racing series that have attracted top drivers, including double Formula One world champion, Max Verstappen.
“Fundamentally, sim racing is the cheapest form of motor sport,” says Trutch, who is backed by 37 years’ experience in UAE motor sport. “It has millions of enthusiasts worldwide, and allows young people to engage with a generation of gamers, while lowering the entry barriers into motor racing.”
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