Barbados will compete in the second edition of the FIA Motorsport Games to be held in France in October, where up to 80 National Sporting Authorities of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile will be chasing gold, silver and bronze medals. The Barbados Motoring Federation (BMF) confirmed how Leon Sealy will represent it in Esports, one of 17 disciplines spanning the motor sport spectrum.
Since the initial FIA Motorsport Games in 2019, hosted in Italy, which featured six core disciplines and attracted 49 nations and 192 drivers, the scope has been expanded almost three-fold. After a two-year hiatus during the pandemic, it will now cover disciplines from the grass roots to the pinnacles of the sport, from Karting Slalom to Rallying, Drifting to Formula 4, Endurance and GT racing, with the Esports competition supported by leading manufacturer of sim racing hardware Fanatec.
Now living in the UK, former Alexandra School student Sealy has been sim racing for about two years, mostly on Assetto Corsa Competizione, which is the platform in use for the FIA Motorsport Games. From his home in south London, he said: “I’m excited to be a part of this upcoming trip. I always watch the SRO esports races, so to share the same grid with some of those guys and gals will be next level. I started on console but moved over to PC at the end of 2021 and I’m part of SOP motorsports esports team in the UK.”
The 33-year-old headed overseas from Welches Terrace, St Thomas, 10 years ago to further his studies and landed a telecoms engineering apprenticeship, becoming a fibre-optic telecoms engineer for the London Underground. He now has a family which keeps him busy at weekends but has been to top British circuits such as Brands Hatch and Silverstone to watch GT racing – “Seeing these cars in person is an experience,” he says – also travelled to Bahrain for a round of the World Endurance Championship, although October will be his first visit to France.
Sealy was selected from eight pro level Barbadian competitors in trials held by Caribbean Sim Motorsport (CSM), which became affiliated to the BMF last year. There were three point-scoring components to the trials, a hot-lap competition hosted by the FIA in-game, then a 25-minute Sprint Race and one-hour Feature Race on a sim Paul Ricard track.
Esports, which is expected to attract more than 80 racers, the largest number of entries in any discipline, will begin on Thursday, October 27, with the final on the Saturday. A knock-out format will decide the 20 finalists, racing for national pride at Circuit Paul Ricard’s Mistral Hall – overlooking the famous Mistral Straight at the home of the French Grand Prix. The competition will use the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform with racers competing in virtual GT3 cars – digital versions of the same cars that will compete in the ‘real world’ GT, GT Sprint and Endurance disciplines at the event.
Chairman of Caribbean Sim Motorsport (CSM) Robert Simmons said: “CSM, being the newest member of the BMF, created an ambitious agenda for 2022 and beyond which was focused on enhancing the Esports discipline in Barbados and further to enhance the country’s presence on a world stage. Our attendance at the World Motorsport Games certainly achieves this goal and we wish Leon the best of luck in representing our Country and our Club.”