How two sim racers won a national motorsport championship (the UK’s Praga Cup) is just one of three stories in my regular section From Sim Racing to the Real Thing that again demonstrates how sim racers are making the move to real world racing or using sim racing to fine tune their real world racecraft.
How sim racers are transitioning from sim racing to real world motorsport has always been the focus of this column as I strongly believe that sim racing and esports are a great way to introduce new people to motorsport. In addition to the exploits of Mutch and Broadbent in the Praga Cup, I show you how W Series racer Beitske Visser uses sim racing to stay sharp and how Brett Suggs is transitioning from short track racing in iRacing to the real thing.
In addition to this I bring you a roundup of reactions to last weekend’s 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual, some competitive sim racing opportunities, sim racing tech news and general sim racing developments. All this and more in this week’s Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
From Sim Racing to the Real Thing
Thomas Harrison-Lord explains how two sim racers won a national motorsport championship. “Against the odds, sim racing content creator Jimmy Broadbent and motorsport competitor turned Esports professional Gordie Mutch won the 2022 Praga Cup. Here’s how they pulled it off.”
Harrison-Ford also explains why multiple W Series race winner Beitske Visser takes sim racing so seriously. “Nowadays the simulation platforms are very realistic, apart from the lack of g-forces and the feeling of the speed. It’s very similar when translating your driving style as well, so I can really use it to practice for my real-world races. Competing in Esports competitions keeps you sharp.”
Maconi Setup Shop LLC, a leader in simulated racing setups, will join Brett Suggs in his run at the 2023 SpeedFest in Cordele, Georgia. Through a connection made within the iRacing community, Suggs will carry the Maconi Setup Shop banner aboard the TH Motorsports #15 at the end of the month. Suggs has been with MSS for over a year as a team driver on iRacing, but now, that partnership is transitioning to the real world. “I’ve known Jeff Maconi for a year or two now, and he has always been a huge supporter of my virtual racing career and allowing me to represent the brand in many popular short-track leagues and races across iRacing. I’m excited to build on our relationship and bring new eyes to the only team I trust for custom-setup iRacing competition!“
Competitive Sim Racing News
The 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual took place last weekend and it was unfortunately marred by some technical issues. Be that as it may, the racing was still fast and furious although some drivers tended to be more furious than others. I have broken down my roundup of the coverage into two parts and include a video below of the race highlights.
Virtual Le Mans – The Good
- Watch 2023 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual race highlights
- Porsche Coanda Esports wins championship title in the virtual Le Mans Series
- Team Redline and R8G Esports win 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual
- Williams Esports: What it takes to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual
- Peugeot undertook six months to prepare for 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual debut
- Peugeot Sport “excited” to compete in 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual
- Jimmy Broadbent: 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual “puts sim racing in the shop window”
- Zoltán Várkonyi: being part of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is “a bit unbelievable”
Virtual Le Mans – The Bad
- Chronicle of Chaos: A Retrospective of the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans Disaster
- 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual 2023 was a disgrace for Esports and Sim Racing
- rFactor 2 developers launch investigation into 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual morning disconnections
- 24 Hours of Le Mans Virtual red flags caused by the sharing of IP addresses
- Motorsport Games’ 2023 Le Mans Virtual Was a Mess — Just Ask Max Verstappen
- Max Verstappen slams rFactor 2 after “clown show” Le Mans Virtual race
- Verstappen not leading by example: ‘This fuels toxicity’
- Grosjean fires back at Verstappen’s Virtual Le Mans criticism
- Max Verstappen accused of throwing ‘hissy fit’ over virtual Le Mans disconnection
SportSkeeda answers the question what is F1 Esports? and goes into details about the virtual version of the highest echelon of motorsport racing. “The FIA Formula One Esports Series is a professional esports event that is promoted by Formula One. It was officially created in 2017 and used the official F1 video game as its platform. In 2018, teams like Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren, etc., joined the event and created their own esports teams to compete in the virtual championship. Thousands of online racers tried to break into the official teams and compete with one another. Soon the drivers were chosen, and the first official esports championship commenced.”
A launch date for ESL an Rennsport’s esports competition, ESL R1, has now been locked in for January 23rd, as speculation continues over its driver and teams line-up. The new competition will be called ESL R1 and marks a return to sim racing for the esports event organizer. Racing Games has everything you need to know about the new sim racing challenger.
Several racing esports champions from multiple different disciplines will line up this week for a live qualifying final, the winner making it into the eRace of Champions next week. As the Race of Champions nears, taking place in Pite Havsbad from 24th to 29th of January, the entry list for the eROC virtual competition qualifying final has been unveiled. 16 drivers will fight it out on a modified Assetto Corsa, featuring rallycross vehicles and a snow-covered surface – aping the real-world Race of Champions event.
Racer.com explains why an eSports team wants to be involved in eNASCAR. “As we built our relationship with the eNASCAR staff and continued to find more about iRacing it started to become a no-brainer for us to take part in something that is only going to continue to grow,” Dee explained.
Init Esports, a woman-led esports company, and Pennzoil worked together to create Screen to Speed powered by Pennzoil, a sim racing digital tournament designed to give female racers around the world the opportunity to participate in this first-of-its-kind event. The sim racing show will take viewers, supporters, and women in the esports industry on a real-life journey to discover hidden talent in motorsports.
Between December 15, 2022, and February 12, 2023, women can sign up to race in the tournament, with the chance to participate in real life at the grand finale show in Las Vegas on March 4, 2023, during the weekend of the Pennzoil 400. The tournament is split into three separate phases, giving racers an opportunity to take part in some friendly competition.
Phase 1 began on December 15, 2022 with an asynchronous digital competition where sim racers can compete in Time Attack via iRacing. Registered participants will be able to spin as many laps as they can within a given timeframe, racing virtually on the Las Vegas Motor Speedway circuit in the Ford Next Gen NASCAR vehicle. Phase 1 will conclude on February 12, 2023, and the top 20 finalists will be chosen. Of the 20 finalists, 15 will be drivers that have the fastest lap time and highest social reach, with an additional 5 social media influencers.
The 20 finalists will then meet in Las Vegas for Phase 2, which is an in-person battle taking place on March 4, 2023. In this round, drivers will compete in Next Level Racing cockpit simulators while receiving coaching tips from KellyMoss Road and Race racer, Sabré Cook. Fans will be able to tune into the event live via stream on March 4 via Twitch, YouTube, and ESTV.
The winner will be announced on March 6, 2023 during Phase 3. The grand prize for the winning driver is $15,000 cash, a racing simulator, and a real-life track event with the KellyMoss Porsche race team. Throughout the competition, prizes will also be available to participants, including a trip to the live show in Las Vegas, an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with a professional female racer, gaming equipment, and much more.
Four timeslots are scheduled for the 2023 iRacing Daytona 24 this weekend, starting on 20th January and some races lasting through the 22nd.
Sim racers are gearing up for 24 hours of racing on the road course at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. There will be three car classes – GTP with the new BMW M Hybrid V8, LMP2 with the Dallara P217, and IMSA GT3 with Audi, BMW, Ferrari, Mercedes-AMG, Lamborghini and Porsche entries.
The multi-class racing event pays homage to the real-world Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, which takes place later on this month. This event is a staple on the IMSA racing calendar and will kick off the 2023 endurance calendar once again next weekend. iRacing’s rendition of the event happens this weekend.
Sim Racing Tips & Techniques
For a little over a year now, Ross Bentley from Speed Secrets has been helping sim racers with his Sim Racer Academy membership program. “When I look at how I’ve approached coaching real-world drivers over the past three decades, it’s having specific, deliberate practice strategies that I believe has made the biggest difference. So, I was super-excited about sharing how I did that with sim racers.”
You can get more information on the Sim Racing Academy here.
Coach Dave Academy have introduced a newly redesigned tutorial section where they’ve made it easier for you to find exactly what you need. “Our tutorials section is filled with helpful guides and expert advice on hardware and games like ACC, iRacing, rFactor, and Gran Turismo, it’s a must-visit section for any sim racing enthusiast. Don’t pass up the opportunity to enhance your skills today!“
Sim Racing Tech Roundup
Here is a roundup of the latest sim racing tech news and reviews from around the world.
- Sim Racers Will Now Be Able To Race With The Same Steering Wheel As IndyCar Drivers
- D-BOX Technologies Inc.: D-BOX signs licensing agreement to commercialize a Mercedes-Benz and Mercedes-AMG multipurpose motion platform
- Mercedes-Benz licenced D-BOX motion platform set for February launch
- rFactor 2 and Goodyear Tyres
- List of the Best Steering Wheels for Gran Turismo 7
- Max Verstappen’s Insane Sim Racing Set Up Revealed
- Logitech’s G Pro Direct Drive Wheel and Load Cell Pedals Are the Real Deal, And Really Pricey
- Sim Racing Pedals: A 2023 Buyers Guide
- Best GPU for HP Reverb G2
- Best CPU for Sim Racing
- The DrivePod Sees Sim Racing Rigs & Modern Furniture Design Collide
- Porsche launches gaming chair in partnership with Recaro
- Thrustmaster T128 review: “A decent option for younger or beginner sim racers”
- Charles Leclerc Sim Racing Setup: Know Everything About Ferrari F1 Star’s $10,000 Virtual Racing Gear
General Sim Racing News
- Why the Brabham legacy has entered the sim racing arena
- Motorsport Games Employee Threatens to Leak Source Code of Four Games
- These are the 50 best driving games of all time
- ‘The Sim Racer’ Movie Releases On Amazon
- iRacing teases new open-wheeler
- PlayStation Celebrates 25 Years Of Gran Turismo With Retrospective Video
- Gran Turismo Creator Wants SIM Racing Rigs To Be More Accessible
- SIM Steering Wheel Market Will Hold The Largest Industry Share Owing To The Rising Market Popularity In Global Countries
- The upcoming motorsport games we’re most eager to play in 2023