Drivers from around the world arrived at the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia on Sunday to compete in the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 race, known more simply as the Bathurst 1000. Among these drivers were international champions Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekström, representing Xbox One in the number no. 10 Xbox One Racing Holden VF Commodore. Starting from the 18th grid position, Priaulz and Mattias posted consistently strong lap times over the course of the six hour race and secured tenth place in the team’s first attempt at the iconic Mount Panorama endurance race.
The Xbox One car clenched its position in a late race pass from Priaulx on renowned driver Shane van Gisbergen. Priaulx said that he was “thrilled to pass van Gisbergen to get to tenth. He’s won V8 Supercar races, so to legitimately pass him for position made me pretty happy! We had the potential to run right at the sharp end and we proved that today. Both our stints were competitive with the front runners and I think we extracted as much as possible from the car.”
In his first ever Bathurst 1000, rookie Ekström also made his mark on the event by pulling off some brave passing moves on more experienced drivers. On his daring moves, Ekström stated, “where I come from in Europe we race a different way, and I also quickly get bored when I’m driving behind someone who is slower.”
In a race punctured by just two safety car periods, the Xbox One Racing team completed its seven compulsory pit stops without drama. With teams running to a variety of fuel strategies, both drivers led the race at different stages for a combined total of 22 laps.
With just five collective Bathurst starts between them, the team’s Technical Director Ludo Lacroix credited both drivers on a brilliant result, “we have two champion drivers and they did a champion job. What is exceptional is that we’ve only had a couple of flat spotted tires over the course of the last two weeks, and after 161 laps there isn’t one scratch on the car.
While Ekström now rates the Bathurst 1000 as “one of the top five races” of his career, Priaulx said he was also grateful to the team for the chance to race at Australia’s most prestigious motor sport event. “This Xbox One Racing Team has only been put together for this one race but you’d swear they’d been doing it all year, so I can’t give them enough credit,” said Priaulx. “I’m really delighted for Xbox One and Triple Eight for putting their faith in Mattias and me to come down here and play with this amazing toy!”
Gaming fans won’t have to wait much longer until they too can race around Mount Panorama, with the highly anticipated racing game “Forza Motorsport 5” set to launch exclusively with the new Xbox One on Nov. 22.