Wal­ter Hayes Tro­phy win­ner in prize FE Mar­rakech drive

Motor Sport News - - Racing News - By Scott Mitchell

Wal­ter Hayes Tro­phy win­ner Gra­ham Car­roll drove a For­mula E car in the build up to last week­end’s Mar­rakech eprix as a re­ward for win­ning the series’ first ma­jor sim-rac­ing event.

Car­roll won the in­au­gu­ral event in the elec­tric sin­gle­seater series’ Road to Ve­gas es­ports com­pe­ti­tion, which will pit 10 mem­bers of the pub­lic against the 20 For­mula E driv­ers in a sim-rac­ing shootout in Las Ve­gas for a to­tal prize pot of £800,000.

The 26-year-old swapped his reg­u­lar Ralph Fir­man-de­signed RF16 for the Spark SRT_01E on his trip to the Moroc­can FE event, and de­scribed it as “like Christ­mas day”.

“This thing was like a bus at the rear,” he said.

“The car­bon brakes were re­ally dif­fer­ent and the re­gen­er­a­tion re­ally af­fects the brakes. And there’s no engine noise! It’s just been awe­some. I’ve never re­ally got any ma­jor break, but this was un­be­liev­able.”

Ded­i­cated sim-racer Car­roll set up the irac­ing team Apex, which cur­rently boasts For­mula Re­nault Eurocup cham­pion Lando Nor­ris and Ginetta Ju­nior cham­pion Will Tre­gurtha in its sta­ble.

The qual­i­fy­ing races for the Ve­gas com­pe­ti­tion utilises RFACTOR 2 soft­ware on PC, with each com­peti­tor re­quir­ing a steer­ing wheel and pedal set-up.

Car­roll’s vic­tory in the first of the four Road to Ve­gas races means he is in con­tention for one of the 10 slots avail­able for the show­piece event in Jan­uary de­spite en­coun­ter­ing a steer­ing wheel is­sue in the sec­ond race.

The win­ner of the event will earn £160,000, while start­ing nets £16,000 and there are also bonuses for pole po­si­tion and fastest lap.

Car­roll added he thought sim rac­ing had the po­ten­tial to grow into its own pro­fes­sion­alised area of motorsport.

“I’ve not qual­i­fied yet, I’ll be­lieve it when I see it,” he said. “I think if I get a top five in one of the two re­main­ing races I’ll be locked in.

“I’ve been treat­ing it like a job. Where can you win £160,000 in prize money? I think it’s the fu­ture to be hon­est.”

Car­roll swapped FF1600 for FE Car­roll had a FE test run

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