Angela Cope is one of six drivers, and the only female, who battled it out this past winter in a real-life competition designed to be the ultimate test of high-performance driving and mechanical skills. Just like in the video game with the same name, racers competed against each other through a roster of competitive motor sport disciplines -- drag racing, road racing, autocross and drifting -- on several different tracks. Only in this competition, the prize wasn’t bragging rights, but $100,000 in a winner-take-all format.
“It’s a very dynamic production emcompassing an incredible amount of drama and suspense. Each team and personality has to excel in every one of these racing categories to be competitive, and there’s not much room for error,” says Robert Ecker, vice president of Programming for SPEED.
“This has been an incredible opportunity for me,” says Angela. “I’ve wanted to be a race car driver since I was a little kid and this competition offered the chance to prove that women can win in a male dominated sport.”
Just like they would do on the professional circuit, each morning of the two week long competition, the drivers, along with their crew chief and engineer, got up before dawn and headed down to the track to prep their cars and themselves for a day of racing. While the crew was making sure all the gaskets and lugnuts were tightened, the drivers spent most of their down time playing "Forza Motorsport 2" on big screen TVs to familiarize themselves with the track.
The real races were run on tracks featured in the game. “The similarities between the game and each track we were on was truly amazing,” says Angela. “Who would have thought being good at playing a video game would give you an edge on the track.”
“In essence, gaming is reality-based entertainment in its purest form,” says Jeff Bell, corporate vice president of global marketing for Microsoft’s interactive entertainment business. “The Forza Motorsports Showdown series demonstrates how great games can be a creative force for telling compelling stories in other media such as television and film.”
“Forza Motorsport Showdown” debuts on SPEED February 21, 2007, at 11 p.m. Eastern. The competition Angela Cope took part in will air in four parts. Learn more about her racing career by logging on to www.twinmotorsportsracing.com. More information about the show can be found at www.speedtv.com.