Ben Collins on his way up the Goodwood Hillclimb in the real Ford Focus ST.

Goodwood, Sussex - The new Ford Focus ST notched up its first win just hours after making its global debut - by winning a unique "virtual vs. real" race against a virtual Focus ST after Ford and Sony staged the first such race on the world-famous hillclimb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The real Focus ST, driven by the former Stig, Ben Collins, went up the 1.86km hill barely a 10th of a second ahead of gamer Krisztian Somodi, tackling the same course simultaneously on a Gran Turismo 6 PlayStation3 simulator.


The game reproduced the conditions on the day itself as closely as possible - right down to the tyres - which made for a close contest with the real Focus ST posting a time of 1m05:13s, with the virtual car covering the climb in 1m05.23s.

Collins said afterwards: Racing against a virtual car was a first for me - I had no idea who was in the lead, so it was a pleasant surprise to realise I'd won."

The race was shown live on giant screens at the festival, with visitors later able to set their own time on Gran Turismo 6 simulators on the Ford stand.