It’s the Race of Champions this weekend and it’s a pretty special one as, for the first time, some stars of esports will be competing against established racing drivers like Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard.

One of the members of the ’Sim Racing All-Stars’ team is the winner of World’s Fastest Gamer, Rudy van Buren, with his teammate being decided in an esports competition ahead of the main event. One of those competitors is Brendon Leigh, winner of F1’s inaugural esports competition in Abu Dhabi last year in a dramatic finger-wagging showdown.

The problem for Brendon at the Race of Champions is that even the esports contest features a bit of real-life driving – and until now, he’d never driven an actual car before! Not ideal when you could be racing legendary drivers on an international stage…

So, before heading out to Saudi Arabia, Brendon had to learn how to drive with the Esports+Cars programme, as well as undertake a fitness and training regime. He said:

“Getting to drive a car for the first time ever was a really surreal feeling…just sitting in the car was really cool for me but then to get the chance to drive it full speed around Bedford Autodrome was just awesome!”

Meanwhile Esports+Cars boss Darren Cox admitted:

“When I arranged for Brendon to attend the Race of Champions I was not aware he had never even driven a road car before!”

From sim racer to driver to actual racer in a matter of months. Not bad, eh?! The eRace of Champions takes place on 2 February with the winner going through to compete in the Nations Cup later that day. We can’t wait to see how they all get on!