CARROLL TESTS FORMULA E CAR
Walter Hayes Trophy winner in prize FE Marrakech drive
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