Virtual racer who practices in his Scottish loft for a race in Vegas

2y ago

2.5K

After years spent practising in his parents' attic a young Scot has made it into the largest eSports race in history.

Graham Carroll, 26, who has dreamed of racing cars since he was a young boy, has became one of the first sim racers to qualify for the FIA Formula E Championship Visa Vegas eRace.

Practising daily in his parents' loft in Musselburgh on a three screen computer complete with steering wheel, race chair and pedals, Graham has become so good he is set to fly out to Las Vegas to compete in the big leagues.

The FIA Formula E Championship is the world's first fully-electric single-seater racing series, competing on the streets against the backdrop of some of the most iconic cities - including Hong Kong, Marrakesh, Buenos Aires, Monaco, Paris, New York and Montreal.

Along with nine other qualifiers from the Road to Vegas Challenge, Graham will now go up against 20 other drivers in the Visa Vegas eRace for a share of a million-dollar prize fund, the biggest in Esports history.

"When I was younger and thought of qualifying for major races, I never thought it would be from my parents' loft. It's not like just being on a Playstation, it feels real. You might not think it, but the pressure is pretty unreal. If you make one mistake it could be 20 thousand dollars that you're losing."

The cost of going out on the track and buying a racing car is tremendous. By the time I was 18 I just couldn't afford all that, so in the last few years I discovered this instead.

Graham Carroll

Graham first discovered his passion for racing when he starting karting at the age of three, becoming an instant young hot shot in Britain's kart racing circuits.

Tipped for the top in motor racing when he was only eight years old, Graham even landed a spot in the coveted Honda Cadet class.

But after the cost of his passion soared, Graham decided to find a different way to embrace his love of speed.

Managing his career as a racing coach alongside competing in online races, Graham moved from the race track to a gaming rig set up in his parents' loft.

The young Scot is now in pole position to be considered one of the greatest sim racers in the world.

"My girlfriend doesn't like me being up here so much," he jokes. "But the real hard work has begun now. You'd never believe how quick these guys are online. It's unbelievable."

The championship in Vegas represents a possible vision for the future of the motor industry, serving as a platform to showcase the latest innovations in electric vehicle technology and alternative energy solutions.

Future seasons will see the regulations open up further allowing manufacturers to focus on the development of motor and battery components, which in turn will filter down to everyday contemporary electric road vehicles.

The sport has already taken Graham to Morroco and Germany and he says simulated racing is just getting bigger and better.

I'd love to make a career out of it. Now that it's beginning to get bigger it could be the future," he says. "You just never know what's around the corner.

Graham Carroll

As one of ten sim racers, Graham will be pitting his wits against the top drivers in January.

In a bid to win a share of $1m prize pool, they will test their skills against qualifying fans on a specially designed track incorporating the famous Las Vegas Strip.

"The prize on offer is life-changing and qualification just vindicates my decision to not give up on my dreams," says Graham. "I'm fully intending to win in Las Vegas." 

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