Ben Stokes to take part in F1 Esports Virtual GP Series for second time

England cricket star and Red Bull athlete Ben Stokes returns to the Team to partner Alex Albon for the fourth round of the F1 Esports Virtual GP Series this Sunday.

Ben Stokes to take part in F1 Esports Virtual GP Series for second time

England allrounder Ben Stokes will join team Red Bull for the F1 Esports Virtual GP Series this Sunday 3 May.

Stokes will team with Red Bull driver Alex Albon for the second time, after making his Esports debut the Virtual Vietnamese GP in April.

Ben Stokes looking for redemption

“England cricket star and Red Bull athlete Ben Stokes returns to the Team to partner Alex [Albon] for the fourth round of the F1 Esports Virtual GP Series this Sunday,” a Red Bull Racing release reads.

The race will take place on the virtual version of Brazil’s Interlagos track as the Zandvoort Circuit doesn’t feature on the 2019 F1 game used for the series.

Formula 1 drivers have used the series to stay sharp while they are unable to compete.

Stokes was able to keep pace with the field that includes top Esports professionals alongside Formula 1 drivers, but a spin prevented him from making a mark on his debut.

“The last race was a great experience to understand what F1 racing is really about and I really enjoyed it” commented Stokes. 

“This time around, I have been doing a few more Grand Prix around the track, sticking to the regulations to get used to what it’s going to be like come race day. I’m not saying I’m going to be any closer to the other drivers, but I have practised a lot better and hopefully given myself a better chance.” 

F1 Esports Virtual GP Series: England’s Ben Stokes walks back to the pavilion after his dismissal by South Africa’s Anrich Nortje during the first day of the fourth Test cricket match between South Africa and England at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on January 24, 2020. Christiaan Kotze / AFP

Red Bull Racing’s Albon returns to his rig after claiming second place at the Virtual China Grand Prix last time out. The 24-year-old Thai racer will look to go one better this Sunday at a track he knows all too well following last year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Charles Le Clerc is searching for his third win in a row in the series and is among five confirmed F1 drivers in the field. Joining Le Clerc are George Russell, Nicholas Latifi, Antonio Giovinazzi and Albon.

Esports grateful for the boost

F1’s head of Esports, Julian Tan, said they are delighted that so many fans are watching and engaging with the F1 Esports Virtual Grand Prix.

You can follow all the action live on the Red Bull Racing Facebook page with the Virtual GP getting underway at 19:00 SAST. 

The Red Bull Racing Esports Team will also be out to put on a show with Joni Törmälä and Marcel Kiefer competing in the F1 Esports Pro Exhibition Race at 18:00 SAST.

F1 Esports Virtual GP Series highlights

Sports news and features

Source : The South African More   

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Strandfontein: ‘We’re not in the business of concentration camps’

The City have said that despite the negative reports emanating from the site, much progress has been made to assist homeless people.

Strandfontein: ‘We’re not in the business of concentration camps’

The Strandfontein homeless camp in the Western Cape will definitely be shut down, the City of Cape Town have confirmed.

After weeks of controversial reports emanating from the site, situated outside the city centre in a notoriously cold and windy veld, the city said that they are sticking to the initial plan which was outlined for the site to exist for the duration of the initial four-week lockdown. 

Member of the Mayoral Committee for Community Services and Health, Zahid Badroodien, said that many members of the group would be relocated, but that a large number had elected to return to the streets. 

“Strandfontein will no longer take in any more homeless people and in the subsequent two weeks, the current homeless people on site will be moved to smaller facilities.”

‘We’re not in the concentration camp business’ 

Badroodien said that the effort to shelter the homeless during the operation had not been easy, but insisted that there had been far more successes achieved by the operation than was to be expected. 

“The City is not in the business of running concentration camps,” he said. “We have made efforts to ensure that those at the camp who have had illnesses have received medical attention, some for the first time in a long time,” he said. 

“You won’t find us shoving people into cars to take them to activities, it’s not our responsibility.”

He said that those some members of the group had “turned a corner” in terms of their effort to relieve themselves of the burden of substance abuse, and warned that all parties needed to act responsibly to ensure that such progress did not go to waste.

“It is really a positive step that was made to give help and rehabilitation to addicts, and now many of them are in a dangerous predicament where they do not want to return to an environment where they will use again,” he said.

He added that reports from the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) that slated the conditions and the site had not been submitted to the City, and therefore he was unable to properly provide feedback on them.

Short to long term solutions

He said that between a quarter and a third of the group had elected not to participate in the City’s efforts going forward to relocate them to a variety of existing shelters. Badroodien indicated that 360 beds were made available and that more solutions were being considered.

“We have identified a number of shelters and backpackers that will provide beds to many of the group, and having spoken with the Provincial committee this morning, we outlined three possible solutions.”

As well as the shelters, he said that the City had considered reopening the Culemborg homeless shelter, as well as making use of the existing Safe City programme that accommodates homeless people in Mitchells Plain, Table View and Strand. 

Over the next two weeks, the community will be reintegrated into the various areas. those that have chosen not to participate will be returned to the streets where they were initially picked up.

“We had been devising strategies to reintegrate the City’s homeless long before the COVID-19 crisis and had to expedite that process to ensure the safety of the community,” he said. “The three possible strategies are a range of short to long-term solutions.”

‘No support from National Government’  

He added that he would ideally prefer to employ them all but said that the City was bound by budget constraints, with the Strandfontein exercise having cost the City over R30 million. 

“We do not receive any support from national government for this effort,” he said. “We are not able to open temporary shelters at our leisure as the costs are simply too high.” 

He appealed to the public to make donations to the variety of NGOs that offer their services to assist homeless people regardless of a global pandemic, saying that they are the type of organisations that are able to provide sustainable solutions. 

“I know that Capetonians have big hearts, and they will want to assist where they can,” he said. 

Source : The South African More   

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