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Virtual Veloster N Cup: Hyundai N e-Festival

2020-12-15

The N Festival, a one-make race held by Hyundai Motor Company, will expand its scope to the virtual world. Introducing the N e-festival, as the sports in the world is transitioning to e-sports.

There is a newly emerging field as motorsports around the world are shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic; it is an e-sport that utilizes a racing simulator, or Sim Racing. As it does not have to concern about social distancing, e-sports in every sports genre are gaining high popularity around the world.

Hyundai Motor Company’s Hyundai N Festival, the largest one-make race in Korea, also recently announced its plans to expand to virtual circuits to follow the trend. The Hyundai N e-festival, which any motorsports and sim racing enthusiast can participate in, is expected to stimulate the popularization of motorsports through the e-sports of the N festival.

The e-sportization of motorsports has been active in recent years.

The FIA(International Automobile Federation), which manages most of the major global motorsports such as Formula One and the World Rally Championship (WRC), started an e-sports series that took advantage of its motorsports IP (Intellectual Property Rights) after paying attention to the e-sports box office. I have a bar. As in real motorsports, the long-term season is taking place, and the prize money is not too large, so it is gaining the interest of many sim racing enthusiasts.

Last year, Hyundai Motor Company was the main sponsor of the WRC’s e-sports franchise, e-Sports WRC, and also hosted the e-Sports WRC Korea, a Korean competition. Kim Young-chan won the regional championship after fierce qualifying and finals in the tournament, then became a wildcard player to participate in the e-sports WRC global final stage.

‘Assetto Corsa’, used by Hyundai N e-festival, provides excellent reality through various physical feedbacks and high-quality physics engine software.

The Hyundai N e-festival that began this year is also held based on this sim racing. This event will take place through the racing simulator called Assetto Corsa. Assetto Corsa boasts the highest difficulty among video game-based racing simulators. It requires more careful steering and pedal operation than its competitors that are just for fun, and it implements steering feedback and even minute vibrations that can be felt in actual races, allowing players to concentrate hard on sim racing.

The top 32 players in the preliminary round of the time trial advance to the finals.

Preliminary matches are played in a time trial format. Players must enter the qualifying game server and record their lap times without a track-out penalty, and the top 32 players with the shortest lap times will advance to the finals. As an esports paying homage to the Veloster N Cup, the highest class in the N Festival, both qualifying and finals use Veloster N.

Qualifying sessions take place on the infamous Nurburgring’s Sprint GT circuit.

The circuit for the preliminary is held in the Sprint GT, and it is a course that utilizes part of the GP Strecke, the southern track of Nurburgring, which is famous among motorsports enthusiasts. The circuit is rich in high-speed straight courses, but it also features a continuous hairpin winding, so it is difficult to make a good record unless you are an excellent player. With Assetto Corsa, one of the simulators that depict a race track in the most realistic way, a fierce competition is expected.

Veloster N in Assetto Corsa boasts dynamic cornering.

The Veloster N on the Sprint GT circuit in Assetto Corsa was impressive for its sharp cornering, even as a front wheel drive vehicle. Even in the hairpin turns that would make you struggle with understeer, it offered an excellent grip. Furthermore, there was no shortage in acceleration even in the process of increasing the speed again after decelerating greatly to enter the corner. What was impressive the most was that even though it was virtual driving, it felt like a real race.

The finals, starting from December, will be aired on the Korean e-sports channel OGN.

The first round of the finals following the end of the preliminary round will be held from December 3 to 31, and will be aired through the ‘OSL Futures’ on OGN, an e-sports channel. The players who have reached the finals form a team in a group of two, then play the match. Any two players can make a team, and points are earned through five races per week. The race is conducted as an individual event, but teamwork is also expected to be important because the final ranking is determined by the combined points of the team players.

The final winner of the N e-festival will be given the opportunity to compete in the nation’s largest one-make race.

The N e-festival will be played from the second round with the more powerful Veloster N TCR. Rounds 2 and 3 are held for about a month in February and April, respectively, and the prize money for each round is 5 million KRW. The top three teams with the highest accumulated points until Round 3 must advance to the Grand Finals and face fierce competition until the end of the season. The final winners will be provided with Hyundai Driving Academy training sessions and all the support they need for participating in the 2021 Hyundai N Festival. Information including detailed schedules for each round and Grand Final will be announced later.

Photograph. Yoon-Sik Kim