Sim racing is one of the hottest commodities in the world of esports right now, and it’s even (well, sort of) made it into the Olympics! Think you’re an ace driver in the virtual world? Well, you can now prove yourself in the first ever Michelin Virtual Racing Series, which launches today and runs until mid-July.

The event kicks off with a time trial event, open to all residents of Malaysia and held until 11:59 pm on June 27. All you need is a PlayStation 4 or 5 and a copy of Gran Turismo Sport, submitting your fastest time on the fictional Sardegna Road Track A II using the 2016 BMW M6 GT3 M Power on racing medium tyres.

From there, the fastest 94 players will progress to the verification stage from June 30 to July 6, during which their times will be vetted by the organisers. Those who go through will enter a racing tournament split into Advanced and Expert classes, each consisting of three knockout rounds, a semi-final and a final.

Now that you know how to take part, you’ll want to know about the prizes. No matter where you end up in the competition, the first 1,000 participants who successfully register will automatically receive one item of exclusive Michelin merchandise. Those who reach the top 24 in both Advanced and Expert categories, on the other hand, will get a complete set of merchandise.

The giveaways only snowball from there, with those placed fourth to 12th in both categories walking away with a set of Michelin passenger car tyres up to 16 inches in diameter. But it’s the top three places that will get the biggest windfall – tyres of any diameter, a Michelin office chair and cash prizes ranging from RM500 for third place to RM3,000 for the winners. There are even prizes for those who design the best livery (tyres up to 16 inches and Michelin merchandise), so you’re encouraged to get your creative juices flowing.

The Michelin Virtual Racing Series 2021 is Michelin Malaysia’s first major endeavour into the local esports industry as part of its new Motion for Life brand direction celebrating all-inclusive mobility. The event has been sanctioned by the Motorsports Association of Malaysia (MAM) and is organised by our very own Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF).

Globally, Michelin has been active in the sim racing front as an official partner of competitions such as the FIA Certified Gran Turismo Championships and the MotoGP eSport Championship. The French tyre company was also the official partner of the first ever 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, which replaced the real-life Le Mans after the latter was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As an active supporter of the esports and e-gaming industry on a global level, we are proud to channel our support locally as well, with the first ever Michelin Virtual Racing Series in Malaysia,” said Michelin Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei managing director Oliver Biggart. “With the global pandemic limiting our movement in the real world, we encourage residents of Malaysia – who are doing their part by staying at home and keeping everyone safe – to take part in this exciting journey with us from the comfort of their homes.”

Can’t take part? You can still catch the tournament rounds of the series live on Michelin Malaysia’s Facebook page. Visit the official website for more information and to submit your entries.