Bentley takes on COVID-19 by way of eSports, raises funds for charities to fight virus

April 2, 2020

British luxury carmaker Bentley is keen on fighting the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in style. By challenging the world of digital motorsports, it managed to raise money for charitable institutions that help people survive the pandemic.

Last March 29, four Bentley racing drivers “onboard” race-prepped Continental GT3s took on 46 other contestants (36 real-world racers and 10 sim racers) in the SRO E-Sports GT Series Charity Challenge.

SRO, organizer of the multiple real-world racing series, hosted the event from Monza, Italy, using the Assetto Corsa Competizione, a popular racing simulation video game. Just like many of its close rivals, Assetto Corsa Competizione blurs the line between real-world and virtual motorsports with its near-perfect digital design and physics representation of actual racecars and tracks. The action transpired via livestream on YouTube.

A grid of 50 GT3 cars battled it out for honors. Bentley works driver Al Buncombe, K-PAX Racing’s Andy Soucek, CMR’s Arjun Maini and JRM’s Martin Plowman each took to the “wheel” of a Continental GT3 in the one-hour sim race. They all hail from Bentley’s teams of motorsports-oriented customers.

Prior to the event, Bentley drivers have worked closely with Bentley Motorsport’s technical team in developing the car. “While it is of course disappointing to have to postpone rounds of the 2020 racing season, the health and safety of everyone is paramount. So, we have taken the skill set of our motorsport department and put them into action in the virtual world,” said Bentley’s Director of Motorsport, Paul Williams.

He noted the team’s drivers and technicians were busy during the week leading up to the sim race as they worked on the setup of the virtual Continental GT3. Worth noting, Williams said, is that the virtual car’s lap time around Monza is representative of its real-world performance on the track.

Fans can follow the action via @BentleyRacing on Twitter and @BentleyRacingOfficial on Instagram.

About the Author

Randolph de Leon
Randy is a person with disability (PWD), a partially-blinded person with only his left eye functioning. Since childhood, the automobile has always been his passion, and is able to express it through photography and most recently, through writing as well. Outside the motoring beat, Randy spends time manning the media aspect of his business which he co-founded with his sister/college classmate. It's called Dragonlight Wellness and Solutions, a multi-business venture centering on improving peoples' lives through earning.