World first coming to Addington Raceway

Addington Raceway, in conjunction with Catch Driver and Harness Racing New Zealand, are thrilled to announce that there will be a new feature present oncourse from this Friday.

In a world first, the three parties have been working together on a live viewer function which allows those at the track to participate in 3D Catch Driver games on their smartphone in exclusive Addington race events, while the live race viewer footage is played out on the big screen oncourse.

Recently relaunched with 3D graphics, the Catch Driver game allows the player to experience the thrill of harness race driving literally at their fingertips, while competing live against other players in a race scenario over one mile.

The difference with the Addington events will be that the players must be oncourse to participate, creating a competitive atmosphere between the race rivals as they compete against each other on their own phone – with the whole course watching via the big screen and selected television screens around the complex.

The live viewer function is still in its final stages of development and will be available for the Addington Catch Driver Championship on September 27, however HRNZ and Addington Raceway will be holding trial events to help test the software and game entry process. 

Trial race events will be held at Addington Raceway during the first part of this month, culminating in the Addington Catch Driver Championship later this month.

Ryan Clements is the founder of The Farm Ventures, the Canadian company behind the creation of Catch Driver, and has been working closely with HRNZ and Addington Raceway to present the world’s first Esports harness racing game.

He first visited New Zealand last September when his good friend Anthony MacDonald held his ownership seminars, and was impressed with the youth initiatives in this country via the likes of Kidz Kartz, the Cadet scheme and Junior Driver races and events.

Promoting harness racing to the next generation has been a huge part of the reason Ryan developed the game, and he has been a generous sponsor of the Kidz Kartz New Zealand Cup and this year’s Cadet of the Year competition.

“We are excited to partner with Harness Racing New Zealand and Addington Raceway to bring the world’s first harness racing Esports event to New Zealand!” said Ryan.

“We believe Esports represents an incredible opportunity to bring new fans to the sport we love, and New Zealand is leading the way - Addington is the first track in the world to host this type of event.”

He also commented on how crucial it is to be forward thinking and for tracks to embrace new technology to attract people to attend their meetings.

“Catch Driver’s players average age is 25, representing a significantly younger demographic than the average harness racing fan globally. This engagement of younger fans is how we believe we can reach a new generation to carry harness racing forward into the future.”

Addington Raceway CEO Brian Thompson was thrilled to be able to bring this cutting edge technology to the track.

“We are absolutely thrilled to break new ground and see Catch Driver Esports events held at Addington Raceway,” he said.

“To have this kind of technology available to us from the other side of the world is just fantastic, and we hope that it will provide a great entertainment option between races for not only harness racing fans, but those visiting the track on a casual basis.”

“We are looking forward to getting this trial underway and utilising Catch Driver in future to keep our fans feeling like they are part of the action.”

Harness Racing New Zealand’s marketing department have been a part of the initiative, utilising the relationship formed last year during Ryan’s visit to work as a united front to spread the harness racing virtual experience.

“This is such an exciting initiative and one that we are sure will create a fun and entertaining atmosphere at Addington,” said Jess Smith of HRNZ Marketing.

“Catch Driver is an innovative game and allows players to drive against their friends and their heroes, with top drivers from all around the world currently playing the game.“

“We are grateful for the support the Catch Driver team and Addington Raceway have given, and cannot wait to see Catch Driver and New Zealand featuring in a world first for the sport.”

The Addington Catch Driver Championship will be held on Friday 27 September and will hold heats and a final on the same night with some great prizes on offer.

The first trial races will be held this Friday at Addington Raceway, stay tuned for further updates to come around the Addington Catch Driver Championship.

If you have a smart phone, make sure you download Catch Driver from your app store and start your own Championship training today!

Or download by visiting http://onelink.to/p9zknf

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