Jaime Duque Cevallos  |    |   0  |  22 January 2018

World's Fastest Gamer Rudy van Buren prepares for Race of Champions at McLaren Technology Centre

The winner of McLaren's "World's Fastest Gamer" 2017 eSports competition, Rudy van Buren, is preparing to tackle his first big challenge of the year: the 2018 Race of Champions.

The 25-year-old Dutchman was greeted this morning by McLaren’s official Twitter account as his simulator program with the team officially started. He is expected to undergo media training, fitness evaluations and a photoshoot in the coming days before diving fully into his year-long commitment to the Woking squad as a simulator driver.

His first major duty as a McLaren employee is just around the corner: the Race of Champions 2018 to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia between 2-3 February. “It’s a one-off opportunity that’s ordinarily completely out of reach for a regular driver, so to get this close, and to be able to show my hand, is really exciting. I want to get the chance to show people that I’m more than just a gamer. More importantly, I just want to go out there, enjoy the opportunity and have fun,” said the Dutchman speaking to McLaren’s official website.

This year’s RoC lineup includes F1 winners Juan Pablo Montoya and David Coulthard, nine-time Le Mans winner Tom Kristensen, 2003 WRC champion Petter Solberg, reigning IndyCar champion Josef Newgarden and McLaren protege Lando Norris. Van Buren will also feature in the Nations Cup as part of “Team Simracing All Stars” alongside the winner of the eRoC, a parallel competition that will include F1 eSports 2017 champion Brendon Leigh.

Although van Buren’s strong suit is obviously simracing, the Dutchman does have some real-world racing experience under his belt in karting and Formula Ford, albeit his last competitive experience in a real car was in 2010. “Obviously, I’ll be on the back-foot compared to the experienced drivers. Having said that, the RoC format and the track means that everybody will be out of their comfort zone. It’ll be a more equal playing field; easier than, say, jumping in a car during a test at Barcelona,” said the World’s Fastest Gamer.

“I’m not nervous; I’m excited.”

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