With the motto #RacingForTheClimate, the RCCO World eX Championship, an e-sports racing series for electric prototypes, completed a successful first season in 2021. It was not just a competition, but a new microcosm combining entertainment and sustainability with a clear mission: supporting efforts to combat climate change using motorsports and eSports.
During the debut year, Martin Štefanko became the tournament’s first World Champion. The 23-year-old Czech from Team Williams Esports managed to beat top favorite Lasse Sørensen (TK9 E-SPEED) at the grand final on Germany’s famous Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
The first world championship format for virtual electric racing cars was unique. Like a soccer and other sports cup, the final marked the conclusion, and was held on the world’s longest and most difficult race track.
Sørensen Dropped by the Wayside
The driver who topped the first season of the trend-setting e-sports racing series was clearly Lasse Sørensen. The Danish pro racer won three of the first five World eX starts, and claimed another victory at the final round on the Nürburgring speedway.
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But that only secured him the pole position for the decisive grand final, where all the winners of the first round qualified. In addition to Sørensen and Štefanko, the list of drivers included Risto Kappet (R8G Esports), Phillippe Denes (BS + COMPETITION), Bruno Senna (Williams Esports), as well as Luca Kita and Nicolas Hillebrand (both Biela Racing Team EURONICS).
The Štefanko Comeback
Despite Sørensen’s great ride, it was Štefanko who crossed the finish line as the brand new winner. That moment will be remembered because the new World Champion was not the only one who let his emotions run wild with a loud victory cry. Štefanko’s mother, one floor below, was so happy with her son’s title victory that her jubilant shout could even be heard on the live broadcast.
“I’m very happy,” said the new World Champion. “Normally, I always doubt about myself. But today I had a good feeling and a lot of confidence from the beginning.”
“The most important final was longer than other races at World eX. That’s why I was able to take advantage of my strengths: low tire wear and good energy management; I couldn’t show that on shorter races at this series. My big thanks to Williams Esports for making it possible for me to become a professional simulation racer. Now we have won our first world title – amazing!” celebrated Štefanko.
Third place overall was Risto Kappet from Romain Grosjean’s R8G Esports team, who also finished third on the Nordschleife after a fierce fight with Luca Kita from Biela Racing Team EURONICS.
Awards for the Environment
The RCCO World eX Championship is more than just Esports Racing. With each race lap, the #RacingForTheClimate jackpot grew by €10. Overall, the participants raised €12,875 and the World Champion decides which climate conservation project will receive the prize money.
Martin Štefanko and Williams Esports chose Letcombe Brook Project, a stream running from Letcombe Regis through part of the Williams factory at Grove in Oxfordshire, England, to East Hanney. There are only 25 of these types of brooks in the entire world.
Written by I Jhonattan González