What is Formula E's new €100,000 sim racing competition

Formula E’s €100,000 Esports Competition

rFactor 2

Formula E is once more stepping up its esports racing game. Here’s a brief guide on what to expect from the new Formula E: Accelerate series on rFactor 2.

Photo credit: Studio 397

Formula E announced a new esports competition of its own in the form of the Formula E: Accelerate series on January 7. According to Formula E itself, the venture is designed to build on the success of the ABB Formula E #RaceAtHome Challenge, which Formula E ran during 2020. However, the new series is a significant step above what Formula E has attempted before in the realm of esports. As such, we’ve compiled this little guide to get you up to speed with Formula E: Accelerate.

What is Formula E: Accelerate?

In order to answer this question, we must first establish what Formula E is for those who are unaware. Formula E is the world’s primary all-electric racing category. It boasts official FIA world championship status, as well as a host of major manufacturers from around the world such as Porsche, Nissan and Jaguar, to name but a few. The series utilizes temporary city circuits in urban centers across the globe, and is known for frantic, rough and very close racing.

Accelerate will use rFactor 2
Formula E: Accelerate will use rFactor 2 as its sim of choice. Photo credit: Formula E

The Accelerate esports series will see sim racers participate in Formula E machinery on behalf of the twelve Formula E teams themselves. In this regard, it is similar to the F1 Esports Pro Series 2020. Sponsorship from big names such as Allianz, DHL and Formula E’s title sponsor ABB all reinforce the prestige that the competition will carry, as does the participation of the real-world Formula E teams.

Qualifying and Team Selection

Before the Accelerate series could get underway for real, there were the open qualifiers. As the name suggests, anybody with rFactor 2 was eligible to take part in a time trial qualifier at the Berlin Tempelhof circuit. Qualifiers ran from the announcement on January 7 until midnight on January 13, and some big names from the F1 Esports Pro Series world have already made their participation public. Both the F1 Esports champion Jarno Opmeer and the runner-up Frede Rasmussen attempted to qualify, with Rasmussen finishing at the top spot of the timing order.

The top three finishers in the qualifiers will each be eligible for selection by the twelve Formula E teams going in to the season. After Rasmussen came Erhan Jajovski of R8G Esports, and another F1 Esports driver in the form of Manuel Biancolilla. Opmeer ended up eighth in the order, just over a tenth shy of the ultimate fastest time.

Structure and Prize Pool

A season of six rounds awaits the competitors, with the first round set to take place on Thursday, January 28 and the Grand Final occurring on Thursday, March 25. Each of these rounds will involve a twenty-five-minute race in Formula E machinery on rFactor 2. On top of this, both the fourth round and the Grand Final will also include an extra race featuring twelve real-world drivers, one from each team, the points from which will contribute towards the teams’ standings. The exact points system for both the special races and the standard rounds is yet to be confirmed, but we expect it to resemble the real-world Formula E system.

Formula E is hoping to make the Accelerate series a prestigious and major esports event, and one way to ensure that they are successful in this endeavor is to raise the stakes. As such, a whopping €100,000 prize pool is on the line. As if this wasn’t enough, there is also the chance to test drive a Gen 2 Formula E car available to the outright winner of the series. Each twenty-five-minute race will be part of a ninety-minute broadcast, and will go live on Formula E’s social and streaming platforms.

Are you looking forward to Formula E: Accelerate? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg!

My name is Jacob and I have been writing for OverTake since November of 2020. I come from the UK, but I'm now living in Berlin. I love to watch, write about and sometimes shout about all forms of racing.