After an exceptionally challenging Rally Argentina, the ŠKODA Motorsport eChallenge series continues with another compelling event that takes place on the virtual tracks of DiRT Rally 2.0. This time, it will move to the fast tracks of Australia. Rally fans will have an opportunity to challenge pro drivers like Oliver Solberg, Miko Marczyk and Sebastien Bedoret.
“The response to the first ŠKODA Motorsport eChallenge was overwhelming, and not just from the fans – many drivers from our customer teams entered the virtual rally with great enthusiasm. We are looking forward to seeing more dramatic battles between gamers and pros, getting as close as possible to the experience of the real tracks - which we want to get back to as soon as possible,” said Michal Hrabánek, the ŠKODA Motorsport boss. Almost 4,000 players took part in the first eChallenge in Argentina, including many pro drivers who drive the ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 on the real tracks.
ŠKODA Motorsport eChallenge
20th to 24th May 2020
The racing will take place in DiRT Rally 2.0 on PC, Playstation and Xbox.
How can I take part?
After starting the game and creating your profile, find the “SKODA ECHALLENGE” event and select ŠKODA FABIA Rally2 evo. You can drive the rally at any time in the duration of the event.
Link to the event
Pros versus fans
“Argentina was really challenging, but it was a great fun and the competition was really strong. I like Rally Australia more, it’s faster and you need to drive cleaner. I’m really looking forward to it. In any case, I will really make sure that my internet connection works this time!” laughs Oliver Solberg, remembering Rally Argentina where his great times were marred by a penalty for the connection failure. He will return to Rally Australia in the role of an ambassador, allowing the fans to compete against his times.
The best time among the professional drivers in the first eChallenge was posted by Polish national champion Miko Marczyk, who finished in the top ten of the thousands of players. “I really enjoyed Argentina and I have fond memories of it. I drove cleanly, without any big mistakes. Still, I want to prepare better for Australia and find the perfect settings for the car. It’s faster, so we will need longer gears and, in some passages, more stability. I would like to drive the whole rally close to the limit and avoid mistakes,” remarks Marczyk, describing his preparations.
For the first time, Belgian talent Sebastien Bedoret will take part. “DiRT 2.0 is my favourite game, as it is very realistic. I watched the first ŠKODA Motorsport eChallenge and I felt it was a great idea. The battles between pro rally drivers and experienced gamers were really exciting, so I wanted to take part in the round two,” explains Bedoret.
Australia: Fast and Beautiful
During the virtual Rally Australia, it will be possible to watch the current results, the times of the best drivers and action videos of their drivers on the ŠKODA Motorsport website and social media, making it similar to watching a real WRC rally. The ŠKODA Motorsport engineers will also be on hand, giving out advice on optimal car settings, much like they do it for customer teams before any big rally.
Training is unlimited but, just as in real life, everyone has just one “hot” drive, so any mistakes affect the result. The drivers will face two runs of four stages, with an overall length of 65.6 km.
Chandlers Creek (12.3 km): Chandlers Creek is a beautiful stage with a varied environment. It includes fast passes with jumps, driving through the pastures and along the cliffsides. The fast passes of Chandlers Creek require real courage to keep the fifth in high revs, sending the car into long, flowing turns with the proper rhythm. A couple of sharp, right-angle corners, on the other hand, require a good judgment of braking points.
Taylor Farm Sprint (7 km): As the name suggests, this is a fast stage with attractive combination of corners. The Taylor Farm Sprint is the reason why ŠKODA Motorsport engineers recommend using a longer fifth gear in Australia. You also need to watch out for the unique bridge near finish. You hit it on a fast left turn and it’s easy to miss, with fatal consequences. As usual, the right-angle turns at the end of fast passes are treacherous.
Yambulla Mountain Acent (6.6 km): A technical stage that will test the drivers’ car control. Most of the time, it takes place along hillsides with almost no straights. Here, you can really practice making the car drift from one side to the other. At the same time, you have to be precise with your line, as this stage requires a good rhythm. If you miss the proper line through the corners, the car loses pace and the whole drive falls apart. What’s more, there are sharp cliff protrusions, which can knock your car out of balance, while the cliffs on the other side will devour it entirely. Getting back up will cost you a lot of time. At the end of the stage, there are two long jumps, which you have to hit in the middle of the track.
Rockton Plain Reverse (6.9 km): Once again, this is a fast stage with many sweeping corners. In the beginning, the drivers’ attention will be tested by the treacherous gradient of the track on both sides. Other than that, it’s possible to drive really fast. The corners have a good rhythm and it’s easy to drive through them in long drifts. The main challenge is the width of the track – sometimes, it’s quite narrow between the fences. Near the end of the stage, there is quite a long tarmac section with high grip, where the car behaves totally differently than on gravel.