Rudy van Buren, a 25-year-old sales manager from Lelystad in the Netherlands, has beaten more than 30,000 contestants to be crowned the World’s Fastest Gamer – the McLaren Formula 1 team’s ground-breaking esports competition that aims to find the best virtual racing driver on the planet.
In the final round of the contest, an exacting four-hour assessment using McLaren’s state-of-the-art Formula 1 simulator, van Buren beat countryman Freek Schothorst, a 20-year-old science, business and innovation student from Amsterdam.
Van Buren now claims the greatest job in esports – becoming one of the F1 team’s official simulator drivers for the 2018 season.
Van Buren began racing karts aged eight, ultimately winning the Dutch Karting Championship in 2003. However, like many budding talents, he was forced to quit at the age of 16 due to lacking the financial backing needed to progress further.
However, World’s Fastest Gamer, which identifies racing talent through esports, has given van Buren a second chance at his motorsports career.
The World’s Fastest Gamer competition, which began in May 2017, saw gamers from around the world compete for a coveted position in this month’s gruelling finals. After numerous heats across a variety of different games and platforms, 12 grand finalists were invited to McLaren’s Woking headquarters to go head-to-head in one last week of testing.
Finals Week included rigorous tests around some of the racetracks where McLaren has enjoyed its most legendary days of competition, including the world-famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, home of the Indy 500; Japan’s Suzuka Circuit; Brazilian Grand Prix venue, Interlagos; and the world’s most famous 24-hour race, Le Mans, where finalists were tested over a full day-long race distance.