McLaren is investing in esports in a big way this year with its newly announced Shadow Project which will call on racers across a number of platforms to join the ranks of its esports team.

The Shadow Project builds off of the success of the McLaren’s World’s Fastest Gamer competition held last year which was won by Rudy van Buren. Today van Buren is an official simulator driver for McLaren.

“Last year’s competition proved that the skills learned as a racing gamer are transferable to the real world. This is unique to the racing genre. We believe that esports and real world racing have much to learn and give to each other and last year’s competition was just the start,” said McLaren director of esports, Ben Payne in a media statement.

The Shadow Project is rather ambitious in that McLaren has issued a call to the world to join it’s programme with participants being selected through a series of qualifiers.

The firm has partnered with Logitech, HTC Vive, Sparco Gaming, and Alienware for Shadow Project.

As to the games players can play McLaren has seemingly opened the flood gates further allowing gamers on PC, Xbox One and even mobile to enter the qualifiers for Shadow Project.

Games include:

  • iRacing (PC)
  • rFactor 2 (PC)
  • Forza Motorsport (Xbox One)
  • Real Racing 3 (Android and iOS)

While the inclusion of Real Racing 3 for mobile might seem odd, Payne explains why McLaren chose to include it.

“For McLaren, the inclusion of more casual games such as Real Racing 3 is crucial. Last year’s finalist Henrik Drue, a surgeon from Denmark, reached the finals despite never having played a racing game on console or PC. He went on to out-perform most of the other finalists in the rigorous cognitive tests set by the McLaren team and more than held his own on the track,” says the director.

So casual gamers, you are not only welcome to compete but encouraged to compete.

Qualification rounds for Shadow Project kick off in August and will run through until November when semi-finalists will be selected.

Semi-finalists from console and mobile will then be invited to McLaren’s headquarters in Woking, England to compete for a place in the finals which will take place in 2019.

Those that win will become part of the McLaren esports team and might possibly participate in the 2019 F1 esports competition.

As we mentioned you can enter this programme from anywhere in the world so long as you’re over 18.

To enter, simply head to the McLaren esports website and fill in your details.