Sports fans going through COVID-19 hell might be pleased to learn that Disney’s ESPN cable sports network will give them some virtual relief tomorrow, by launching a televised virtual racing series live on ESPN2 for the first time from Torque Esports.

The series, called “The Race All-Star Series – Fully Charged by ROKiT Phones,” will include the All-Star Cup, with real-world racers from Formula, Formula E, IndyCar and others formats challenging top sim racers in a virtual context. The program is also to include a Legends Trophy including former Formula 1 world champions such as Emerson Fittipaldi, Jacques Villeneuve and Jensen Button and Indy 500 winners Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, and Tony Kanaan.

From the virtual world, viewers will get to see the World’s Fastest Gamer 2017 winner Rudy van Buren and the rest of the world’s top esports racers fight with top real-world racing stars.

Torque Esports, Eden Games (Gear Club Unlimited 2), sim manufacturer AllInSports and others have partnered to present the virutal racing event for ESPN viewers. Torque Esport launched last month running 90-minute highlight packages and was the first such event to reach up to 600 million viewers across 60 broadcasters also including CNBC and Eurosport.

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Starting Saturday, the series will bring to the living room screen top professional drivers in a virtual context. Because the real-world drivers often train on simulators, the sim racers got a day-long test in an F1 team’s simulator.

The Legends racers will compete to win $10,000 for their favorite charities. Saturday’s All-Star Cup and Legends Trophy races will be shown live on ESPN2 from Noon Eastern time and will be replayed Sunday on ESPN2 at 1 pm ET.

Torque Esports said it brought the live-streamed event concept to ESPN “to fill the racing void on March 15 when major events were canceled including the opening rounds of the Formula 1 and IndyCar championship.”

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By Greg Tarr

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