World’s Fastest Gamer 2 winner, 2021 British GT Esports champion, 2021 GT World Challenge Europe Esports Sprint Series champion and 2019 eRace of Champions champion.
That’s quite the virtual CV and just a few of the many highlights for James Baldwin. But, he’s also a real-world British GT race winner, pole position sitter and podium finisher, all happening within a dazzling debut season in 2020 behind the wheel of a Jenson Team Rocket RJN McLaren 720S GT3.
With that prize drive fulfilled, for the aforementioned WFG2 competition, Baldwin has been, sadly, without a drive. Until now.
The BRDC Rising Star will line up for the 2022 TotalEnergies 24 Hours of Spa between 28th and 31st July for Garage 59.
Once again driving a 720S GT3, he will share the #159 Silver Cup entry with Nicolai Kjærgaard, Manuel Maldonado and Ethan Simioni.
“I’m over the moon to be racing in the Spa 24 Hours and making the jump again from virtual racing to real racing, which is always my primary purpose,” said the current Alpine Esports Series championship leader.
“Hopefully, it’s the start of a journey back to real racing as I’ve had two years away after my debut season in British GT. Even if it’s just this one race, I know I am very fortunate and I want to make the most of it with Garage 59… and Travel Planet who continues to put its trust in me.”
On a recent episode of the Traxion.GG Podcast, Baldwin explained that competition in top-level sim racing competitions is helping him keep sharp for this as-yet-disclosed motorsport opportunity.
“If I wasn’t doing [esports], I wouldn’t be doing anything. I haven’t got the money to get testing. So I would just get to that real-life opportunity and probably have a bit of a disaster. So keeps me sharp.”
Next up for the team will be a two-day test running 21st to 22nd June at Spa-Francorchamps. Garage 59 will also enter the #188 Pro-Am McLaren driven by Dean Macdonald, join Alexander West, Miguel Ramos and Henrique Chaves.