Le Mans, France / Castle Donington, UK – September 2020
Rudy van Buren races in Porsche at Le Mans and James Baldwin set for British GT Donington return.
It will be a double World’s Fastest Gamer weekend as both WFG2 winner James Baldwin and inaugural WFG1 winner Rudy van Buren will take to the track in two incredible racing cars.
The British and Dutch racers won the first two editions of Engine Media’s World’s Fastest Gamer competition – the program which searches the best of the best from the gaming world to find the next real-world racing star.
Series one earned van Buren the “best job in gaming” as a Formula 1 simulator driver while series two winner Baldwin scored his real-world race drive worth more than US$1 million for the GT team co-owned by ex-Formula 1 World Champion Jenson Button.
For Baldwin, this weekend marks a return to a familiar circuit on the British GT calendar, Donington Park, the place where he scored his first pole position in the series. Baldwin, his teammate Michael O’Brien, and the rest of Jenson Team Rocket RJN will be looking to get back on the top step of the podium for the first time since Round one at Oulton Park.
The duo currently sits third in the GT3 Silver Cup drivers standings after a string of good results during the 2020 season, including a second-place finish last time out at Brands Hatch in their McLaren 720S GT3.
Baldwin’s World’s Fastest Gamer Series Two Team Orange coach Rudy van Buren will also be on track this weekend for the first round of the 2020 Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland at the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe during the 24 Hours of Le Mans weekend.
Van Buren has made three prior starts in the series, scoring a top 10 finish on his debut at Zandvoort in 2019. In the interim, he has been racing in Porsche Sports Cup, notching up victories on several of the tracks that the Carrera Cup will travel to this season.
“It’s really exciting to see both of our World’s Fastest Gamer winners racing in such incredible circumstances on the same weekend.” IDEAS+CARS COO Jane Chapman said.
“James is racing on a track where he’s scored a pole in this series, sitting third in the championship in his first year, and racing for a team co-owned by 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button.
“And Rudy is racing at Le Mans during the biggest sports car weekend of the year—The 24 Hours of Le Mans—in front of the who’s-who of sports car racing.
“These two are absolutely living the gamer to racer dream.”
James Baldwin Q&A
“It’s very cool that all of these amazing teams and drivers will be watching our race, but my goal is not to do well for them. My goal is to do well for me and for our team.”
“If it happens that I capture the spotlight for the big teams that will be watching when that happens and it would be great, but I have to go out there with the goal to do well for us and for our team first and foremost.”
“But, Friday practice we will line up in the pit lane and see all the big names on the garages, and of course I want to be there one day and it will be a goosebump moment, but as soon as the light goes green and the visor goes down, it’s eyes on the prize and we’ll see what comes out of it.”
Q: You were his coach in WFG2, how impressed have you been with James’ efforts in British GT this year?
A: “The guy is quick 100%. I have been keeping track of his results and when he said he was disappointed with a P2 I told him I wouldn’t expect anything less from him coming from Team Orange because obviously, we expect to win! He’s doing a great job in the championship.”
“Racing the same week, we keep in touch and obviously with social media, we see each other’s results and what has happened over the weekend. His trajectory is different from mine, which I think is great because he’s going GT3 and I’m going Porsche Carrera and Supercup and so we can prove that gamers can do well in both series.”
“I’m excited to see what he does and I hope he does well because both of us doing well is great for any future gamers that want to make the jump to the real world.”