James Baldwin, winner of the second World’s Fastest Gamer competition, will be racing for Jenson Team Rocket RJN in the 2020 GT World Challenge Endurance Championship.
Baldwin will race across Europe in a McLaren 720S GT3 with the team that was formed in 2019 between 2009 Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button, his close friend Chris Buncombe and long-standing team owner Bob Neville.
Baldwin, and nine other World’s Fastest Gamer finalists, competed in a 12-day long final with challenges ranging from simulator races to tests of physical strength to real-world races in a variety of disciplines.
The panel of judges, including ex-F1 drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Rubens Barichello as well as fellow game- to-racer Jann Mardenborough, named Baldwin the competition’s champion.
The prize for the winner was a real-world drive worth $1million, but the details of exactly which team he would race for hadn’t been previously revealed.
“I’ve seen in the past how it’s possible for virtual racers to make it in the real-world racing such as Jann Mardenborough who I raced against for the past couple of seasons in Super GT,” Button said.
“And, of course, I am always proud to support another young British driver getting his chance in motorsport, no matter how he gets into the sport. I look forward to welcoming James to our team and wish him all the best in his inaugural season.”
Baldwin’s previous real-world racing experience has only been stints in karting and Formula Ford.
“When I got the news that I would be racing GT3, I was really excited; it’s very cool. But, at the same time, I don’t want it to overwhelm me. It’s an opportunity I want to make the most of,” Baldwin said.
“My expectations for 2020 are get used to it as quickly as possible, be clean, be fast and, if it’s possible, to win the pro-am championship – I think that has to be the goal.
“Without World’s Fastest Gamer, I wouldn’t be racing right now. I’m eternally thankful for that. But, now I’ve got it, and it’s time to do the business and not keep seeing it as a dream, because it can be a reality, it’s not far away. Now I just need to excel on track.”
Baldwin will join team-mate Buncombe at the pre-season test for the GT World Challenge Endurance Championship at Paul Ricard on March 12-13. Their final team-mate for the endurance championship will be revealed soon.