April 19, 2019 / 1:25 AM / a month ago

F1 esports champion Leigh to make real race debut

FILE PHOTO: 2018 F1 Formula One Esports Series - GFinity Arena, London, Britain - October 9, 2018 Brendon Leigh of Mercedes-AMG Petonas Esports poses during a media event Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Formula One’s esports double world champion Brendon Leigh will make his real race debut this weekend in a Formula Ford 1600 race at Snetterton in eastern England.

The 19-year-old former kitchen porter, who had yet to pass his driving test when he won the esports title for the Mercedes team last year but has done so now, became the sport’s inaugural virtual champion in 2017.

FF1600website.com said Leigh, who will race on Saturday and Sunday, had already done three days of testing to prepare for his debut with the Kevin Mills Racing team.

“He was fast straight away,” it quoted team boss Kevin Mills as saying. “He wasn’t too different to my other two drivers really. His laptimes were fairly similar. He’ll go well.”

Leigh shed more than 20kg last year as he transformed from a chubby teen to a lean, professional gamer, working out at the Mercedes team factory with a Formula One trainer.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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