- HPD enters Esports competition with first-ever HPD JAS Esports Pro Team
- Drivers will enter a global qualification process to seek out the top sim racers
- HPD JAS Pro Team to compete in GT World Challenge Esports Championships
Honda Performance Development (HPD), the leader of Honda and Acura high-performance motorsports racing programs in North America, is joining with European-based JAS Motorsport to expand its commitment to cultivating the next generation of racing talent through sim racing.
In partnership with SRO Motorsports America, the HPD JAS Esports Academy will search for the best sim racers using the Acura NSX GT3 Evo platform on Assetto Corsa Competizione. The driver search will span three continents – North America, Europe and Asia – to select a team of talented sim racers to become factory Esports drivers under the HPD JAS banner.
“HPD is thrilled to expand its challenging spirit through our HPD JAS Esports Pro Team,” said John Whiteman, Commercial Motorsports Manager, HPD. “The HPD JAS Esports Pro Team is an extension of HPD’s commitment to motorsports activities at all levels of racing; bringing the adrenaline of driving Honda and Acura racecraft to a new generation of racing talent.”
“This is a unique opportunity for racers, both virtual and real-world, to put their skills to the test,” said Mads Fischer, Commercial Manager, JAS Motorsport. “JAS is looking forward to offering talented sim racers in Europe and Asia a chance to refine their racing through the HPD JAS Esports Pro Team.”
Initial entry into the HPD JAS Esports Academy will begin on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 with open qualifiers to determine the top 25 drivers in each region. Following the qualifiers, a live streamed feature of races in each region will determine the drivers selected to join the HPD JAS Esports Pro team from predetermined criteria, including finishing position, pace, racecraft, strategy and more.
Upon completion of the Driver Search on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, the selected team members will gear up for the kickoff of the SRO Esports season competing in the various GT World Challenge Esports Sprint and Endurance Championships around the world.
Staying true to HPD’s vision and mentorship around programs like the GT3 Driver Academy, this new Esports venture will support the team’s sim racers to build the skills necessary to compete in the virtual world. Drivers will have access to HPD coaching sessions, discounted rig equipment, and marketing support from HPD and SRO marketing executives to help them perform their best – both on the virtual and real-world track.
Lastly, because sim racing is so close to its real-world component, team drivers will have a real-world opportunity to drive a Honda factory racecar through partners JAS Motorsport and Skip Barber Racing School. Selected drivers from North America will earn a three-day racing school experience provided by Skip Barber Racing School, with testing in TC America Honda Civic Type R and Civic Si TCA racecars. Similar real-world racing opportunities will be available to European and Asian selected team drivers through JAS Motorsport, including mentorship from JAS Motorsport staff members, a test day in the Honda Civic Type R TCR, and a Honda NSX GT3 Evo Experience.
Qualifications open on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 12:00am PDT and close on Friday, May 14, 2021 at 11:59pm PDT. To register, visit http://bit.ly/hpdesports
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About Honda Performance Development:
Honda Performance Development, Inc., (HPD) has a rich heritage creating, manufacturing, and supporting Honda Racing and Acura Motorsports customers since 1993. From pinnacle racing in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES and IMSA Sports Cars to commercial racing programs, HPD powers the dreams of professional and amateur racers from age 4 to 40+. HPD is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and leads all of Honda and Acura’s high-performance racing programs in North America. HPD specializes in the design and development of powertrain, chassis, electronics, and performance parts, as well as technical and race support. HPD offers parts and race support to Honda and Acura amateur and professional motorsport racers, and is continually expanding its palette of racing programs that make Honda racing products available to all racing styles, from karting and Quarter Midgets to the highest levels of pro racing.
For more information about HPD and the company's racing product lines, please visit: http://hpd.honda.com.
About Honda and Esports:
Honda has a significant presence in gaming and esports and is the exclusive automotive partner and official automaker of Team Liquid and the Riot Games League of Legends Championship Series. In addition, Honda’s Head2Head gaming channel is now in its third season on Twitch. Through Honda’s gaming partnerships, the brand aims to grab the attention of the youthful audience behind the explosive growth of esports. These deeply enthusiastic fans share a similar passion for Honda, as Honda is a top brand with first-time buyers and Millennial, Gen Z and multicultural consumers1. Honda Performance Development joining forces with European-based JAS Motorsport not only expands its commitment to racing talent through sim racing, but also one-ups Honda’s marketing commitment in the gaming space.
About JAS Motorsport:
Founded in 1995, JAS Motorsport is one of the world's leading touring car teams and constructors. Initially fielding Alfa Romeos in the ITC, JAS became a technical partner of Honda in 1998 and has been at the forefront of its activities with touring cars, rallying and, more recently, GT racing. In 2012, JAS was chosen to develop, in partnership with Honda R&D, the Civic WTCC with which it claimed the Manufacturers' world title a year later. JAS designed and built the Civic Type R TCR, which has claimed 38 major titles so far (23 with the current model), and is also responsible for the build of the NSX GT3 Evo race car; itself a winner of 15 championship crowns.
About SRO Motorsports Group – The global leader in GT racing
With nearly three decades’ experience at the forefront of a continuously evolving industry, SRO Motorsports Group is the established global leader in GT racing. A busy 2021 season will see events staged under the SRO banner on five continents, highlighted by the prestigious Total 24 Hours of Spa.
The company's expanding portfolio of series includes Fanatec GT World Challenge Powered by AWS categories in America, Asia, Australia and Europe. Each retains its unique identity, while also allowing competing brands to dispute a global manufacturers’ title through their continental representatives. What’s more, a groundbreaking new initiative for 2021 will see virtual racing come together with the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Endurance Cup, where a series of e-sports contests will count towards the real championship.
Staged since 2016, the flagship Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli sees world-leading manufacturers compete through their local teams at marquee events across the globe. Considerable emphasis is placed on amateur competitors, too, with the GT Sports Club concept combining a relaxed environment with highly professional standards for drivers using GT2 and GT3 machinery.
SRO also works with the FIA to organise and promote the FIA Motorsport Games, a multi-disciplinary event in which drivers compete in the colours of their national flag. A range of international and domestic series catering for GT2, GT3, GT4 and touring car machinery also form part of an extensive on-track programme, while the burgeoning sim racing scene has taken on considerable importance through the SRO E-Sport GT Series.
In addition to promotion and organisation, the company operates the SRO Race Centre by MMC service facility at Circuit Paul Ricard, and provides the ultimate driving opportunities at world-renowned venues through Curbstone Track Events. Combining a passion for performance with industry-leading experience, SRO continues to play a key role in shaping the future of global GT racing.
1. Source: Strategic Vision