Perth virtual racer takes out trophy in Singapore

PERTH local Josh Purwien has secured himself a place on the starting grid for a prestigious e-sports event in the UK after proving his mettle behind a digital steering wheel in Singapore recently.

The 17-year-old crossed the finish line in first place as part of the “Race to Singapore” virtual racing event held at the Marquee Singapore entertainment venue in the Marina Bay Sands district of the island nation.

Perth resident Josh Purwien, 17, took out the winning place at the Race To Singapore racing e-sports event recently and will now head to McLaren HQ in the UK for the McLaren Shadow Project Championships in December.

Josh was behind the wheel of a digital racing car in F1 2019, with the event held as part of the Grand Prix Singapore season in September, with seven other racers challenging for the pole position in the virtual race, which challenged the gaming drivers to race an in-game representation of the iconic Marina Bay Sands circuit.

Following his win, Josh will be heading to the UK to compete in the McLaren Shadow Project Grand Finals, which takes place in December at the McLaren Technology Centre in Surrey.

An elated Josh said winning the “Race to Singapore” event was absolutely amazing.

“I had a bit of pressure coming into the tournament with the fastest qualifier time, but winning all three races was completely unexpected and I was really relieved when I crossed the line,” he said.

“The thought of heading to the McLaren HQ for the finals in December is a once in a life time opportunity and I’m really, really excited to go and explore the HQ and compete against some of the most talented sim racers in the world.”

The McLaren Shadow project is described by the car marquee as “McLaren’s search for the brightest and best racing talent in e-sports” and McLaren senior e-sports manager Leeston Bryant  said it aimed to be the most open and diverse racing e-sports tournament on the planet – so they were delighted to have crowned the winner of the first Asia Pacific Qualifier series in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board.

“We’ve been blown away by the talent coming from Southeast Asia, which is poised to have the fastest growing e-sports audience globally,” he said.

Mr Leeston said McLaren looked forward to welcoming Josh to the company’s Technology Centre in December, where he would also be able to experience the elite driver training programme and drive an actual McLaren 570S racing care on the track at Dunsfold Aerodrome.

According to McLaren, the Shadow Project Champion will win once in a lifetime experiences and prizes including a seat on the McLaren Shadow e-sports team and access to the McLaren DNA driver development programme.