Formula 1 ace Max Verstappen will put his skills to the test against our homegrown best, swapping his Red Bull Aston Martin open-wheeler for a Virgin Australia Supercars Championship spec Holden Commodore.
Of course, in the age of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) the racing will be done online, with Verstappen to join the BP Supercars All Stars Series for four races on Wednesday night.
Verstappen will have the upper hand when it comes to track familiarity, with this week’s racing to take place at two of Formula 1’s iconic circuits – Silverstone in the United Kingdom and Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.
The Dutch driver, who is a regular and well established sim racer in his own right, was certainly excited about the opportunity to race behind the wheel of a car he wasn’t overly familiar with.
“I’m looking forward to the race. It’s going to be a challenge as it’s not a car I’ve driven a lot on the sim, but they are pretty cool to watch in real life,” Verstappen said.
“We always race with Supercars in Melbourne so it’s going to be interesting to see how I get on against all the regular drivers.
“I’ve tried the Supercar now a few times on iRacing and it’s a very tricky car to get right. I’m looking forward to racing alongside my mate Shane (van Gisbergen), or Pastor, as I call him – he’s a top shunter on the sim. We race online a lot together so hopefully we can do well for Red Bull and it should be a bit of fun racing against the other V8 drivers as well.”
van Gisbergen expected Verstappen to put in a strong performance and feature at the pointy end of the field.
“It’s awesome that a driver of Max’s calibre will be on the grid to take us on in a Red Bull Supercar,” van Gisbergen said.
“He’s fast and he knows these tracks well, so I expect to see him at the front.
“He’s put in plenty of hours in a Supercar online. Just like he races in an F1, he’s aggressive and won’t back down against anyone, so it will be great to have him on the grid this week.”
Verstappen already has some firsthand experience in a real life Red Bull Holden, with seven-time Supercars Champion Jamie Whincup taking Verstappen on a lap of Albert Park at the Australian Grand Prix last year.
The event will be broadcast live on Fox Sports, Kayo, Sky Sports (NZ) and 10 Play from 7pm – 9pm AEST. International fans will also be given the chance to tune in live on Red Bull TV.
Fans from around the world will be able to watch online via the Supercars’ Facebook Page.