Former ERC champion and Azores Rallye winner Alexey Lukyanuk has praised the Azores Virtual Rallye organisers for their “fantastic idea”.
Running from 23-29 March, the Azores Virtual Rallye is an online challenge based on the Dirt Rally 2.0 game, which is available on the STEAM, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming platforms.
Organised by Grupo Desportivo Comercial, the company behind the spectacular ERC event – postponed to 17-19 September due to the coronavirus pandemic – the Azores Virtual Rallye features 12 special stages to be tackled by each competitor in selected Rally2 (R5) cars.
Because it has not been possible to produce virtual versions of the spectacular stages that make the real Azores Rallye so appealing to fans and drivers alike, the Azores Virtual Rallye will be based on special stages from New Zealand, due to their similarity with the layouts on offer on São Miguel.
“We should always take everything that we can from every situation, so creating an opportunity to compete with professional drivers, e-sportsmen and rally fans on virtual stages is a really fantastic idea,” said Lukyanuk, who will contest this year’s FIA European Rally Championship in a Saintéloc Junior Team Citroën C3 R5.
More than 800 simracers have entered the Azores Virtual Rallye, including reigning ERC champion Chris Ingram.