Cooper Tire Europe racing on with World RX Esports Invitational Series
As it is doing in the USA with its Road to Indy engagement, Cooper Tire will continue to race in the virtual world in Europe. The coming weeks will see the launch of the World RX Esports Invitational Series, with Cooper Tire Europe as tyre ‘supplier’.
Using the DiRT 2.0 video game, online events will be held on the dates of selected rounds of the real-life FIA World Rallycross Championship that have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cooper has served as the exclusive tyre supplier to the FIA World Rallycross Championship since its inception in 2014. Amid the rapid growth and ever-increasing popularity of the championship, World Rallycross cars and tracks have featured in the recent DiRT Rally (2015) and DiRT Rally 2.0 (2019) video games, developed and published by Codemasters. To offer accurate tyre models and more realistic gameplay, Cooper supplied Codemasters with data packs comprising dynamic and static spring rates, force and moment measurements and Pacejka coefficients – named after the late Hans B. Pacejka, an expert in tyre dynamics.
The first round of the World RX Esports Invitational Series will be the Barcelona RX Esports Invitational on 19 April, using the PC version of DiRT Rally 2.0. A number of World Rallycross drivers will compete in the event, including 2019 champion Timmy Hansen, title contenders Andreas Bakkerud and Kevin Hansen, and returning two-time champion Johan Kristoffersson. Fans from around the world were also given the chance to earn a place on the grid by completing a six-lap qualification race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in the fastest time.
“In these challenging times, we are pleased to be bringing some entertainment to World Rallycross fans, and the wider motorsport community, with our involvement in the World RX Esports Invitational Series. We look forward to watching the action from the first virtual round and to welcoming back real-world motorsport when the time is right,” comments Michiel Kramer, sales and marketing director, Cooper Tire Europe.
Paul Bellamy, senior vice president of motorsports events at IMG, the promoter of the FIA World Rallycross Championship, adds: “We are delighted to have our long-standing partner Cooper Tire on board for our World RX Esports Invitational series. Together with our FIA World Rallycross Championship professional drivers and the whole World RX family, we hope to bring some much-needed enjoyment to fans around the world at this difficult time.”