Racing fans have been hanging out waiting to find out what Holden's wildcard entry will be into next month's Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Now we know, and we're very happy to introduce the Xbox One Racing Team, a partnership between Xbox Australia and Triple Eight Race Engineering.
But the Xbox fun isn't restricted to those on the track - now you can get in on the Bathurst action with Mount Panorama officially added to Forza Motorsport 5.
Alan Bowman, Regional Vice President, Microsoft, Greater Asia Region continues:
This is unprecedented in Australia. After months of working in secret to create a piece of racing and gaming history, we are excited to finally reveal that the wildcard entrant and 29th car making its mark at Mount Panorama this year will be the stunning Xbox One Car.
The team's debut race brings with it two international champion drivers: Andy Priaulx, who's been in 10 V8 races to date and had a podium finish with Triple Eight at the 2010 Gold Coast 600. He'll be joined by DTM champion Mattias Ekstrom, his first time racing in the Supercars.
It's not just the drivers that are set to make this team great, either: Long-time Xbox ambassador Mark Skaife will be the official Team Mentor, while Triple Eight Race Engineering Team Owner Roland Dane is of course happy to be involved.
There is no surprise that we love a challenge. When we heard this unique proposition from Xbox to turn everyone’s most-loved racing game into a reality on-track, we knew it was too good an opportunity to pass on.
Andy and Mattias are two of the best Touring Car racing drivers in the world today and I can promise Bathurst and V8 fans that this will be one team to watch come race day in October.
The team will be separate to the traditional Triple Eight cars (driven by Jamie Whincup/Paul Dumbrell and Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff), but the vehicle itself will be identical underneath the sleek green-and-black paint job. That is - it's the latest Holden VF Commodore, with a 5.0 litre naturally aspirated engine and a top speed of nearly 300kph.
...it's not known yet whether you'll be able to drive that precise car in Forza 5, but you will be able to take the vehicle of your choice to Mount Panorama - and this move has been a long time coming.
Dan Greenawalt, Creative Director at developer Turn 10 Studios explains:
Few circuits have been requested more by the worldwide Forza fanbase than Bathurst, and for good reason. It holds a special place in motorsports history as one of the most demanding and challenging circuits in the world. In addition, the timing couldn’t be better to finally bring Bathurst to the Forza series; with ‘Forza Motorsport 5’, we’re able to bring the circuit to life in a way that nobody else can.
The development team has spent countless hours at Bathurst, carefully laser-scanning the track and twisting the materials-based graphics engine to precisely reproduce "each corner, straight and detail" to within a centimetre of its real-world counterpart. If you've ever wanted to experience the sprint of Conrod Straight, now's your chance.
This is the Bathurst that racing fans have been asking for years and we’re proud to bring it to them in ‘Forza Motorsport 5.’
Forza 5 is a launch title for the Xbox One, which - as we now know - is coming to Australia, New Zealand and the world on November 22nd. The Xbox One Racing Team makes its grand debut a little earlier, at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on October 10-13 - and we're guessing Xbox might just have a little bit of a presence at Mount Panorama.
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Jimmy the Geek