Xbox Australia has revealed today that, in partnership with Triple Eight Race Engineering, the company will be launching the Xbox One Racing Team as a wildcard entrant in Australia's 2013 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Xbox Australia and Forza Motorsport developer Turn 10 Studios have also announced that the famous Bathurst track, Mount Panorama, will be making its debut in Forza Motorsport 5.
We’re going to have two international drivers drive the car at the Bathurst race; Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekström.
“It’s really an incredible opportunity for us, being given the opportunity to sponsor a wildcard entry into the Bathurst race,” Alan Bowman, Microsoft’s regional VP for the Greater Asia Region tells IGN. “Not only does it give us the opportunity to have a real car in the Bathurst race, but it also gives us an opportunity, partnering with Turn 10 Studios, to actually include the Bathurst track, Mount Panorama, in the upcoming release of Forza Motorsport 5 for Xbox One.”
“We’re going to have two international drivers drive the car at the Bathurst race; Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekström, two European drivers.”
Brit Andy Priaulx has three World Touring Car Championship titles under his belt and Swede Mattias Ekström has a pair of DTM championships to his name.
“Along with Andy and Mattias, the team, run by Roland Dane at Triple Eight Race Engineering and with Mark [Skaife] supporting us as our long-term ambassador for Xbox, we’re incredibly excited about this opportunity,” says Bowman.
Mount Panorama’s debut in the Forza Motorsport series has been a long time coming.
“I gotta say that over my time, from the very beginning of Xbox in Australia, when I was running the launch of Xbox in Australia,” says Bowman, “I think that the one thing that gamers always ask me in local interviews is, ‘When can we get Bathurst in Forza?’ So it’s really been quite a long time coming, and we’ve been partnering with Turn 10 and the racing team in Xbox in Redmond to really bring that to life in the game. So, look, it really has been a piece of work over many years.”
“The idea of actually racing in Bathurst has been largely work that we’ve been doing just this year.”
Dan Greenawalt, creative director at Turn 10 Studios, confirms Bathurst has been one of the most-requested race tracks from Forza fans.
Few circuits have been requested more by the worldwide Forza fanbase than Bathurst.
“Few circuits have been requested more by the worldwide Forza fanbase than Bathurst, and for good reason,” says Greenawalt. “It holds a special place in motorsports history as one of the most demanding and challenging circuits in the world. In addition, the timing couldn’t be better to finally bring Bathurst to the Forza series; with Forza Motorsport 5, we’re able to bring the circuit to life in a way that nobody else can.”
“Through the use of cutting-edge technology like laser-scanning and our new materials-based graphics engine, we can now precisely reproduce the characteristics of every corner, straight and detail to sub-centimetre accuracy; from the narrow twists and turns of the Esses, to the thrilling rollercoaster sprint down the Conrod Straight. This is the Bathurst that racing fans have been asking for years and we’re proud to bring it to them in Forza Motorsport 5.”
Considering a sharp Gran Turismo fan was able to quickly spring a team of photographers scanning the track in March last year, who claimed they were there to collect data from the track for GT6, Microsoft has done well to keep it a secret.
“Yeah, look, we had the team out; they did an extensive digitisation of Bathurst,” says Bowman. “From a technical perspective, from a video game development perspective, [it’s a] highly technical track, and a lot of complexity in terms of the digitisation. The team spent significant time to really precisely reproduce the characteristics of every corner, and every straight.”
Six-Time Bathurst champion Mark Skaife firmly believes Bathurst is the only choice for Forza.
“Bathurst, for us, is the Grand Final,” Skaife tells IGN. “It’s the best racetrack, it has the history and tradition of some of the best motor racing we’ve got, and it’s probably the biggest motor race as an event in this part of the world.”
“It’s a stop-the-nation day in Australian sport and for us to be able to roll it into Forza and, not only that, but to have Xbox One as a racing team within it is just fantastic. I mean, for both parties – for the sport and for Xbox – it’s a real coup.
“What you said before about keeping it quiet, we’ve worked pretty hard on that,” Skaife laughs. “There’s as much competition off the track as there is on the track in terms of how teams go about their business.”
I saw the car yesterday and the car looks absolutely fantastic.
“To be able to have this entry with Triple Eight racing, it’s the number one race team in the country, with two of the best race drivers in the world, it’s unbelievable.
“I saw the car yesterday and the car looks absolutely fantastic.”
The Xbox One Racing car is the latest Holden VF Commodore, packing a 5.0 litre naturally aspirated V8 with an estimated output of 640bhp and a top speed of almost 300km/h.
Mount Panorama, better known as Bathurst (after the town it’s located in), is regarded as the spiritual home of Australian motorsport. Mount Panorama’s unique layout features a 174 metre elevation change from its lowest to highest point and boasts the fastest corner for touring cars in the world.
Source : ign[dot]com