Gaming

RAF Racer Named First-Ever Armed Forces E-Racing Champion

Flight Sergeant Chris Slator was crowned the inaugural champion after 20 races.

RAF racer Flight Sergeant Chris Slator has been crowned the first-ever champion of the Armed Forces eRacing Championship.

The 20-race season came to a close on the simulated Silverstone track which was broadcast live on the Forces News Facebook page.

Flt Sgt Slator needed a good result in the first race of the night, with a fifth-placed finishing seemingly enough to secure the title.

There was no doubt left after the second race in which Flt Sgt Slator came home in second.

He said: "I started sim [simulated] racing over 10 years ago when I started my racing career.

"You learn racecraft so well on this as a training aid.

"Over the last year, I've really enjoyed learning that racecraft and getting some really close racing.

"It's a lot closer than we get in real life because the cars are so closely matched."

Watch: Rewatch the live event.

The leading Army challenge came from Sergeant Craig Durrant who finished as runner-up in the Driver's Championship.

In real life, he races motorbikes and has found the competition a challenge.

He said: "I've learnt so much to do with racecraft.

"I've only been on iRacing for a year-and-a-half now and racing with these guys is a completely different world to racing online with random strangers you don't know.

"At the beginning of the season, I think I was quite scrappy and I lost a lot of points through trying to make silly moves that I didn't need to do.

"I've learnt now and it's improved my racing ten-fold."

Sgt Durrant added: "I'd love another season. I've really enjoyed it.

"It's been the highlight of my week for the last couple of months."

Sergeant Craig Durrant's spin in Race 1 allowed Flight Sergeant Chris Slator to take the title.

The eRacing Championship was created due to the coronavirus pandemic stopping all forces sport and it gave the racers an opportunity for competition.

Senior Aircraftman James King came in third place overall and thinks there is a future in the eSport.

"Removing the logistical challenge of getting to the track is a massive positive for anyone," said SAC King.

"It lets so many more people join the competitions.

"There's still a small cost element but it pales in comparison to the real world," he added.

Wing Commander Darren Berris, deputy chair of RAF Motorsports, said he thinks eRacing has provided another option for forces motorsport. 

"There's no substitute for actually competing against other service people," said Wng Cmdr Berris.

"Ultimately, you are doing it competitively and that's what brings that extra edge and that bit of challenge.

"Sat on the grid surrounded by all the other cars... you get that sense of anticipation in either domain."

The RAF added the team title to Flt Sgt Slator's win to set the standard in forces eRacing.