Top three Formula E: Accelerate qualifiers stick themselves in the selection mix ahead of Round 1

The provisional times are in and the top three qualifiers from the opening throes of the Formula E: Accelerate competition - Frederik Rasmussen, Erhan Jajovski and Manuel Biancolilla - have added their names into the mix for race selection. 

Formula E: Accelerate, the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship's new esports competition, got under way last week and since then we've seen more than 22,280 laps set by some 600 of the best pro sim racers around, as well as plenty of talented upstarts searching for that breakthrough opportunity.

With the qualifiers came the scramble to be in the mix for a virtual race seat come the opening round on January 28, which will see a grid made up of Formula E's 12 teams, each on the hunt for the fastest sim racers to join their ranks alongside their chosen pro drivers.

Formula E Accelerate qualifiers

Hopefuls had the chance to showcase their speed in the Qualifiers and the fastest three - Red Bull Racing Esports driver Frederik Rasmussen, R8G Esports' Erhan Jajovski and Scuderia Toro Rosso Esports racer Manuel Biancolilla - will be eligible for selection by any of Formula E's teams.

From there, if picked, they'll compete for the chance to win a share of a minimum €100,000 prize pool alongside the unique opportunity of getting behind the wheel of a real-world Gen2 car.

As close as the real thing

Just over 0.050 seconds separated the top three, with 20-year-old Dane Rasmussen posting the provisional benchmark with a 1:08.371 lap time.

Such was the high level of competiton, that title contenders and podium finishers Peyo Peev - best remembered for his race-winning performance from Round 2 of the Challenge Grid competition - and Petar Brljak were the highest-ranked Race at Home Challenge entrants on the timesheets in 17th and 23rd respectively. 

World's Fastest Gamer James Baldwin, meanwhile, found himself down in 36th spot having initially topped the leaderboard on the opening day. 

Round 1 brings a new challenge

Formula E is once again diving into the virtual world in rFactor2 and this time the digital racers will face the challenge of having to master energy management and ATTACK MODE for the first time, bringing the online competitors even closer to trials faced by their real-world Formula E counterparts.

READ MORE: Cassidy: 'There's no question Formula E: Accelerate will be a baptism of fire'

The six-race series kicks off with Round 1 at the end of January and concludes in March at the Grand Final with double points on offer for the sim racing stars. 

The virtual races will take place at inch-perfect digital recreations of tracks from real world locations like Berlin's Tempelhof Airport, Hong Kong Harbourfront and Red Hook City in New York City, among others.

Round Date
Round 1 28/01/2021
Round 2 04/02/2021
Round 3 11/02/2021
Round 4 11/03/2021
Round 5 18/03/2021
Grand Final 25/03/2021