July 28 (Reuters) - Ferrari launched their own virtual GT championship on Tuesday with Formula One driver and avid gamer Charles Leclerc offering advice to competitors hoping to secure a place in the Italian team’s esports lineup next year.
The series, for over-18s resident in Europe, will be run for amateur and professional esports racers on the Assetto Corsa platform, with the first qualifying rounds starting in September.
The finals will be held in November with the winner who emerges after three races offered the chance to join the Hublot-sponsored Ferrari Driver Academy esports team.
Ferrari won the official Formula One esports championship last year, their debut in that series, with Italian David Tonizza.
“I think it was just a natural step now to enter into our own sports championship,” said Nicola Boari, Ferrari’s Chief Brand Diversification Officer. (Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Ken Ferris)