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FIA joins forces with IOC to launch inaugural virtual series

FIA joins forces with IOC to launch inaugural virtual series

F1 News

FIA joins forces with IOC to launch inaugural virtual series

FIA joins forces with IOC to launch inaugural virtual series
GPFans Staff

The FIA is to join forces with the International Olympic Committee [IOC] by participating in the inaugural Olympic Virtual Series [OVS].

As part of its build-up to this year's Olympic Games in Japan, the OVS will become the first Olympic-licensed event for physical and non-physical virtual sports. According to the FIA, it is being introduced "to inspire and mobilise virtual sport, esports and gaming enthusiasts all around the world, while encouraging the development of physical and non-physical forms of sports".

The FIA has been appointed to participate in the OVS alongside four other leading international sports federations from baseball, cycling, rowing and sailing, and has collaborated closely with gaming developer Polyphony Digital Inc. to launch the motorsport event of the OVS.

The online digital competition will be open to users of Gran Turismo Sport, which was developed in 2018 for the FIA-certified Gran Turismo Championships. The motorsport event of the OVS will begin on May 13 with the 'Global Online Qualification' stage, which will adopt the form of a 10-day time-trial challenge.

Following an online classification, the top 16 competitors will advance to the world finals, drawn from the following regions - EMEA, Asia, North America, Central & South America and Oceania. The world finals will be broadcast on June 23 in celebration of Olympic Day – the date on which Pierre de Coubertin founded the IOC back in 1894 – and will feature three races, with points awarded for each.

The competitor who accrues the highest cumulative points total across all three races will be crowned the winner. In line with the OVS’s objective to prioritise inclusivity and participation, entry is open to all users of the 'Sport Mode' of Gran Turismo Sport who have registered a PSN ID in eligible countries.

The world finals will be restricted to competitors aged 18 or over at the time of the event, 21 or over in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE. FIA president Jean Todt said: “I am delighted that the FIA is joining forces with the IOC for this highly prestigious and innovative sporting contest, and I would like to thank [IOC president] Thomas Bach for putting his faith in us.

"We share the same values and are proud of the diversity and inclusion offered by digital motorsport, which promotes mass participation by removing most of the traditional barriers to entry.”

Bach added: “The Olympic Virtual Series is a new, unique Olympic digital experience that aims to foster direct engagement with new audiences in the field of virtual sports.

"It encourages sports participation and promotes the Olympic values, with a special focus on youth.”

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