Anyone who has ever said that e-sports are not ‘real’ sports and that they cannot stand a chance against the real thing will have to think twice now: simulator racer Enzo Bonito officially beat ex-Formula 1 test driver and Formula E champion, Luca di Grassi.
The showdown happened on a race track in Mexico, on January 19th, during The Race of Champions, a competition that puts all the best drivers from all motorsports against each other. It has been going on since 1988 and, as of last year, the competition allowed e-sports racers to join in on the fun too.
You might wonder why at first but you have to consider the fact that racing simulators now have reached a level of realism unlike anything we ever had before: they can simulate tire wear, suspension design and overall handling of the real-world racing cars.
In addition to that, they come with actual steering wheels and pedals, leaving very little to the imagination, at the end of the day.
Bonito only had a few runs in a real car prior to entering the Race of Champions, while Di Grassi had won a Formula E race at the Foro Sol Stadium a while ago.
After successfully beating Di Grassi, Bonito went on against Ryan Hunter-Reay, former Indianapolis 500 winner and registered a solid win against him as well.
Ray Alfalla, four-time Nascar iRacing series winner stated on his Twitter, following Bonito’s win that he has “been arguing that the top sim racers are really good drivers, and would kick ass given the proper training. Now we are seeing more and more get the chance to prove it. I couldn’t be more proud of @EnzoBonito17. The future is bright @iRacing.”
The future looks bright for Enzo Bonito and we’re quite curious what challenges he will partake in next because we’re quite sure he doesn’t plan to stop here.