News Release

your Emotions Go For One Hell Of A Ride Lucas Blakeley s Pro Draft Memories

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Lucas Blakeley rsquo s story is one of a phoenix from the ashes One of despair Of the bitter sting of rejection But also redemption Resurgence Reinvention The BWT Racing Point charger was selected at the 2019 Pro Draft just 12 months on from the 2018 show where he was overlooked by the teams So what made the difference in that year How do you dust yourself off And what is it that teams look for when making their selections Cast your mind back to 2018 A simpler time where the outside world wasn rsquo t as scary Charles Leclerc had not yet put on his banana costume and for us uncharted territory as we hurtled towards the inaugural Pro Draft Many familiar indeed household names were part of that evening and it would set up dozens of storylines for the next few years In amongst it all was a young lad from Scotland plonked in one of the seats on the stage and taking in the sights and sounds of the Gfinity Arena He had no idea what was about to happen to him hellip ldquo The 2018 Draft was one of the most important points in my life ndash it led to where I am now rdquo said Blakeley ldquo I rsquo ve always played F1 games and I thought I was quite good at them but I never really knew how good I jumped on to the qualifying after my National 5 exams did the best I could and eventually managed to get through to the Draft ldquo Getting to the arena was an amazing experience You have all the big names that are well known the Saltunc brothers James Doherty Fabrizio Donoso from the 2017 final hellip and you rsquo re in amongst all these guys I felt mis placed because I rsquo d never done league racing in my life I jumped on after my exams and now I rsquo m in the top 40 in the world rdquo And so Blakeley rsquo s first Draft experience was in the grand scheme of things the product of a whim lsquo Why shouldn rsquo t I try rsquo Once the realisation of being in the arena surrounded by sim racing royalty set in it was an evening of extremes for Blakeley ldquo You try not to hype yourself too far up You rsquo re sat in the seats on the stage and your emotions go for one hell of a ride You rsquo re live in front of thousands of people thinking lsquo Am I about to be picked rsquo ldquo You try to be level headed about it but I let my emotions get up thinking lsquo Could I be picked Does someone think I rsquo m something rsquo and then you don rsquo t get picked and you rsquo re completely crushed I knew I could do it and it hurt like hell I went back to my hotel room and cried my eyes out but that night was a defining moment in my life rdquo LUCAS 2 0 It rsquo s very easy to get excited about such a promising spectacle Who wouldn rsquo t jump at a half chance to be signed by an official F1 team Managing your expectations is one of the toughest things to do when a stunning prize is on offer The higher the emotions the larger the fall should things not go your way But as Blakeley explains that stinging rejection fuelled him to do better at the next attempt ldquo It acted as a catalyst for the next 12 months to come back and get picked It gave me determination because I never wanted to feel like that again That rsquo s what led me to start league racing play the game religiously make a name for myself and become known I came back I won my race I got picked and it was at the end of a whole year spent waiting for another chance rdquo The 2019 Pro Draft saw 10 drivers selected including Blakeley Of those selected his tears of joy stood out a reaction even he wasn rsquo t expecting ldquo My reaction was very visual and explosive but internally you don rsquo t even know the half of it I could rsquo ve jumped and hit the ceiling The amount of emotion I had inside me that I could rsquo ve unleashed I thought lsquo Maybe hold half of it back rsquo because you don rsquo t want to look too silly There rsquo s the whole year of build up to get to that point then it comes to one moment where you let it all out rdquo Of the 10 selections made in 2019 Blakely was sixth in line based on his team rsquo s previous finishing position in the standings meaning half of the selected drivers went before him As the seats around him emptied and those on the grid filled the nervousness and self doubt crept in ldquo I can honestly tell you sitting in those seats on stage waiting is one of the worst feelings I rsquo ve ever had I rsquo m not an anxious person but my god that was crazy levels of anxiousness The picks keep going by and your heart rate is unrelenting All this build up and you hear Tom Deacon say lsquo Number nine Lucas Blakeley rsquo and so much leads to that moment It rsquo s all released in that burst of emotion and it meant so much because I worked hard to get to that point ldquo It was an intense experience and even today I still can rsquo t believe I rsquo m an Esports driver Not many people in the world get this opportunity so I rsquo m very grateful rdquo CHIN UP With most teams having already pre signed one or two of their drivers already there will be a good majority of the 2020 Pro Draft pool who end up disappointed on Thursday night It rsquo s a position Blakeley has been in before though ndash and now he rsquo s flying high with an F1 team How do you put it behind you ldquo Use this rdquo says the Scot ldquo You rsquo ve got no idea how powerful this could be to motivate you to get back and prove why you deserve a seat So use it If you rsquo re good enough and you believe in yourself You rsquo ll go all the way You rsquo ve got this far out of the thousands of people that tried so use this moment to change your life ldquo The limelight is rightfully on the ones that get picked But there are still plenty of people who don rsquo t No matter the results if you work your arse off and give it every last percent and you don rsquo t get picked you just have to hold our head high If you rsquo ve given it every ounce of your being you can be proud of that rdquo Many of the drivers in the Draft for 2020 are getting their second or perhaps event third chance at selection It worked for Blakeley and indeed reigning ch ion David Tonizza so who knows what the future could hold Speaking of which hellip AN EYE ON 2020 Our 45 finalists will have their names up in lights for the 2020 Draft where at least 10 will be selected by the teams All F1 Esports teams must select at least one driver from the Pro Draft pool joining any returning or pre signed drivers in the rosters So who rsquo s on the radar ldquo It rsquo s gonna be weird for me not being in the draft for once Looking at the Pro Exhibition performances I rsquo d say Michael Romanidis for one Bari Boroumand is also in the Draft and definitely made an explosive impact so you think that rsquo d be something to watch out for ldquo And then you rsquo ve got another draftee Shanaka Clay who won his second race in the Pro Exhibition You don rsquo t have to look too far back for talent They rsquo re the sort of people I think the teams will be looking at for the Draft I can rsquo t wait for the show rdquo We can rsquo t wait either and we rsquo ll be watching along with Lucas and the rest of the F1 Esports community as the show gets under way on Thursday August 27 Tune in live on Facebook YouTube Twitch and also with select broadcast partners on TV The show gets going at 19 30 BST so set your alarms now The post 8220 Your emotions go for one hell of a ride 8221 8211 Lucas Blakeley 8217 s Pro Draft Memories appeared first on F1Esports News

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