Brazil’s Gustavo Ariel Takes Home Checkered Flag at Prodigy Week

November 7, 2023

12 sim racing drivers from 9 countries get hands-on coaching and training for a chance for a paid contract to race real cars in the Prodigy Racing League in 2024


DAWSONVILLE, GA – Racing Prodigy™, a groundbreaking sports, entertainment, and media property making motorsports more accessible through esports, celebrated Gustavo Ariel from Brazil, who captured the win in the Radical SR1 competition, which closed out Prodigy Week™. The real-world racing event was the culmination of the first part of season one, featuring 12 sim racers from 9 countries who are competing for a chance to race real cars in the Prodigy Racing League (PRL) in 2024. Ariel, the 3rd seed, defeated Nathan Saxon from the USA, the 4th seed, in a sudden death tournament – the final stage of the competition held at the Atlanta Motorsports Park (AMP).

During Prodigy Week, the sim racers were judged, coached, and trained across many disciplines, including fitness, on-camera interviews, the skid pad, autocross, karts, data performance reviews, and ultimately, competing in Radical SR1s on the main racetrack. In total, they completed more than 850 laps or more than 1,700 miles aggregately. They were coached and trained by former F1, IndyCar, and NASCAR driver Max Papis, NASCAR and Indy 500 driver Boris Said, racing legend, factory driver, announcer, and host Randy Pobst, race car driver and engineer Andrew Carbonell, NASCAR and pro stock car driver Jesse Iwuji, NASCAR driver Connor Zilisch, and pro driver champion Kenton Koch.

“My strategy going into the final race was to warm up my tires quickly and do a fantastic lap one to close that gap and consistently race throughout,” said Ariel, who was the first Prodigy Pass winner on iRacing during part 1 of season 1. “It’s been a great experience this week, so I would encourage sim racers to join Racing Prodigy as I wish when I was younger I had opportunities like this to compete on this level. I can’t wait for the draft.”

Racing Prodigy plans to host a second Prodigy Week in early 2024 to bring Season 1 to a close with a new class of Prodigy Pass winners, creating a pool of the world’s most talented drivers from which PRL teams will draft. The plan is for those drafted to receive paid contracts to compete in PRL’s first real-world racing series in the United States, planned to launch in 2024.

“We brought together the best sim racers across four racing gaming titles, and they proved they have the talent and skills to race real cars,” said Racing Prodigy CEO David Cook. “Within the first four on-track sessions, each under 20 minutes, the majority of the racers were putting down lap times equal to professional racers. It was incredible to witness the talent and experience the emotions of the drivers as they took a huge step forward to pursue their dreams of racing cars in the world’s first e2Real sports property.”

The drivers competed in esports tournaments between June and September across iRacing, Street Kart Racing, RaceRoom, and rFactor 2 among 60,000 competitors from more than 100 countries who earned their Prodigy Pass to AMP by either winning their tournament or by video submission to the Prodigy Search Committee that were selected by NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby LabonteMax Papis, IndyCar Driver Linus Lundqvist, and content creators Cameron DasRandom CallSign and Aarav “Aarava” Amin.

“Racing fandom sits among the other most popular global sports, such as soccer and cricket, but we still see an opportunity to further develop fans in our sport,” said Racing Prodigy Co-Founder and Executive Chairman Matt Fassnacht. “By tapping into esports, we make motorsports relatable, and at the same time, we create opportunities to completely flip the business model and make motorsports more accessible and sustainable. We are committed to investing in talent.”

The first class of Prodigy Pass winners whose ages ranged from 17-31, included Gustavo Ariel (Brazil), Laurens Beerten (Belgium), David Dalton, Jr. (USA), Dino Filippa (Argentia), Lorenz Horzing (Austria), Andrea Leonardo (Italy), Garrett Lowe (USA), Dominik Lukomski (Poland), Marko Pejic (Germany), Nathan Saxon (USA), Jan von der Heyde (Germany), and Siro Zambra (Switzerland).

Racing Prodigy also live-streamed all three days on its YouTube channel to give fans globally an all-access pass to experience the journey of the sim racers to real race cars. Led by its on-air talent with Brian TillArjuna Kankipati, and Jenn Moxley, fans were entertained with in-depth analysis, on-track interviews, and behind-the-scenes access during 25+ broadcast hours.


For more information on our partners, please visit:

Atlanta Motorsports Park:

Asetek SimSports®:

GRID Engineering:


Primal Racing School:


rFactor 2:


Street Kart Racing:


Racing ProdigyTM is a sports, entertainment, and media property whose mission is to open motorsports to all – both in and out of the race car – by overcoming the major financial barrier to entry. To accomplish that goal, it created the Prodigy Racing LeagueTM (PRLTM), the world’s first e2RealTM sports league that discovers talent through gaming and provides real-world racing opportunities.

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