The Legends Trophy has already had its fair share of F1 champions on its virtual grids – Jenson Button, Jacques Villeneuve, Sebastian Vettel, and Emerson Fittipaldi have all competed at some point over the last few weeks on a grid which is full of motorsport legends of all eras and disciplines.
Now, there’s going to be another – double world champion Fernando Alonso will race in today’s event at the new, banked Zandvoort layout on rFactor 2. As usual, the entire grid will drive the Brabham BT44b from 1975.
We can’t wait to see how he gets on. Jenson Button has been the man to beat in recent weeks in terms of pure pace, but there’s a whole load of drivers who are also right up there and separated by mere tenths of a second – Emanuele Pirro, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jan Magnussen, and Petter Solberg will likely be right up there.
It’ll probably be too much to expect Fernando to be right up with that bunch straight away – many drivers who’ve competed in this series have taken a week or two to get fully up to speed. Vettel, for instance, finished 15th and 12th in his two race, while three-time winner Button was a lowly ninth and fifth on his debut. 1996 Monaco GP winner Olivier Panis is also set to debut this week, so should provide an interesting benchmark for Alonso as a debutant himself.
However, the reverse grid race can open up opportunities, and it’d be a surprise if Alonso didn’t feature somewhere near the front at some point during the races. Plus, y’know, he’s Fernando Alonso, one of the most adaptable racing drivers of recent times – why shouldn’t that extend to sim racing?
The build up to the Legends Trophy (along with the All-Star cup for Pro Drivers and Sim Masters) gets underway at 17:00 BST today, with all the action live on The Race’s YouTube channel.