More Sim Racers Going Real World Racing

This week I again feature more sim racers going real world racing and the trend is growing month over month.

From a sim racer that helped a NASCAR driver with a recent win to an FF1600 champion who explains how to race his car in iRacing, the trend of sim racers going real world racing is real and growing.

In addition to these real-world racing examples, I feature a huge amount of sim racing news, tech reviews and a post on the sim racing rig used by Lando Norris.

All this and more in this week’s edition of the Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.

From Sim Racing to the Real Thing

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

If you are wondering how a sim racer can get involved in real racing, check out who helped Tyler Reddick in his recent win at the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. Reddick’s victory was aided by 23XI Racing’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series driver, Keegan Leahy. “We’ve got Keegan Leahy, who is a really, really good sim racer, iRacer,” Reddick told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “He does a lot of work for us at 23XI, a lot of credit goes to him for all of the information he passed along to myself and Denny. Keegan really helped me shave off some more time in the simulator and it really paid off when we got here. It really correlated very well.”

Here is another article on Keegan and his real racing success: “A long time coming”; Keegan Leahy is eNASCAR’s latest sim-to-reality success

“Many sim-to-reality stories involve drivers getting real-world racing seats, such as Vicente Salas and his full-time Late Model ride paying off with a win last weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway, or Kaden Honeycutt and Parker Retzlaff moonlighting in NASCAR ranks while also being a part of the eNASCAR Coke field. Keegan’s path takes him further down the hole of sim racing, more on the path of someone like the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup champion Sebastian Job, who recently became Oracle Red Bull Racing’s Official Sim Test Driver, or even like his Coanda Esports teammate Mitchell deJong, who was the former driver of the No. 23 for 23XI Racing the past two seasons in the eNASCAR ranks.”

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

California native Bryan Heitkotter starts the 2023 season with TechSport Racing in the Pirelli GT4 America series alongside co-driver Tyler Stone in the Nissan Z GT4. Year one for the pair comes with a tall order of development and racing.

“Heitkotter is well known as both an e-racer and a road racer. However, he came to e-racing before the height of the COVID-19 pandemic made it a necessity, and a generation of e-racers made it a staple of the sport. Heitkotter saw the opportunity in 2011 to turn his hobby of autocross events and enjoyment of racing games into something more serious through a promotion. Nissan paired with PlayStation to create what was then called a virtual-to-reality concept with a GT Academy based on the Gran Turismo platform. The competition winner would get a real-life shot in a race car. The Nissan PlayStation program was one of the first to turn untapped and underfunded e-racers into IRL racing drivers.”

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

On the iRacing website, with the introduction of the Ray FF1600 as one of iRacing’s newest cars, they interviewed iRacing-sponsored Max Esterson whose car was replicated in the sim. In the interview, Max was kind enough to offer them not only his feedback throughout their development process, but also a primer on the kind of racing you’ll be getting into, and some expert tips.

“Now to the specifics of driving the car. A little bit of sliding is good, but don’t overdo it. The rear of the car should never be completely settled but it should be pretty forgiving in terms of catching slides. The car’s behavior on entry is quite dependent on how you brake. You’ll need to hold onto the brake for longer than you would in a downforce car to keep weight on the front tires. Once you drive it you’ll realize how much control you have over the car with the brake pedal… I like to say, “steer with the brakes.””

Lincoln Day

I don’t want it to sound like this is an ad for the Skip Barber Racing School which it is not (although it is an excellent racing school!) but instead, I want you to read the bios of the drivers below who will be participating in this year’s Skip Barber Formula Race Series. Notice where sim racing fits in?

More Sim Racers Going Real World Racing
Getty Images

When the FIA F3 Championship landed in Australia last weekend for their first ever race in the country, they prepared for it the best way they could, they hit the sim. Even though Albert Park is a new track for pretty much everyone in the feeder series world, access to tools like the simulator could come in handy to learn the track and have a better approach to the race weekend. “The sim here is one of the most realistic I’ve driven, and I’m confident that it’s going to be similar to real life,” Goethe said when asked if the simulator work could help him have a general knowledge of the track before racing on it.”

Competitive Sim Racing News

Olympic Esports Series 2023 webinars

In an effort to further promote the Olympic Esports Series 2023 Motor Sport Event, the FIA has launched a series of online webinars to train National Sporting Authorities (ASN) on how to participate in the event. Announced on March 1, the first-ever Olympic Esports Week is a joint initiative by the FIA, the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and Gran Turismo, scheduled to take place from June 22-25 at Singapore’s Suntec Centre.

With 144 participants from 77 ASNs worldwide, the Olympic Esports Series 2023 Motor Sport webinars covered a wide range of topics such as the event’s format, timeline, and selection process. Led by FIA Esports Commission President Niroshan Pereira and presented by Eric Stranne from the FIA Esports Department, the sessions also included discussions on how to promote the event on social media. You can find more information here.

Here are more headlines from the world of competitive sim racing:

More Sim Racers Going Real World Racing

Sim Racing Tips & Techniques

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

Road & Track explains how to build a killer sim racing setup. “The beauty of sim racing lies in accessibility; anyone with the desire and a few hundred bucks can get a sim racing rig in their home and realistically race virtual versions of legendary racetracks worldwide. Professional drivers have been training with sim racing rigs for years, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, we even saw the growth of eNASCAR events.”

Make Use Of explains how to set sim racing FOV for full immersion.

“Racing simulators help you feel what it is like to race in real life without risking your life, limb, and wallet. That’s why realism and immersion are important for games like these. One of the factors that help make racing simulators feel real is FOV—that’s why you should get it right. So, here’s how to find the best FOV for your current racing sim setup. We also have extra time to deepen your driving immersion. So, let’s get to it!”

“FOV stands for “field of view.” In racing simulators, this is the angle at which how wide or narrow your monitor displays the simulated world. Think of your monitor as a window; the closer you are to the window, the more of the world becomes visible to you. Vice versa, stepping away from the window makes you see less.”

Box This Lap looks at the Thrustmaster T818 and the best settings for Assetto Corsa Competizione. “After analyzing Thrustmaster’s most powerful base, we continue to post recommended configurations that we are using in some of the most popular titles in the sim racing scene.”

While not motorsport-specific per se, Windows Central has some great advice on 7 common PC gaming mistakes people make. “But because there are so many variables, it’s common for many PC gamers to unwittingly make mistakes when gaming that can lead to their setup working less efficiently or being less convenient than it could be. We’ll go over these frequent errors and discuss better solutions so that you can play the best PC games in the best way possible.”

Sim Racing Tech Roundup

Lando Norris on a Sim

Cool Performance is a simulator brand at the absolute cutting edge of technology and customization that is endorsed by Lando Norris and Podium Life has the details on why. “Whether it’s Norris, Alex Albon, Carlos Sainz, PGA golfer Ian Poulter or championship-winning NBA basketball star Andrew Bynum, it’s clear the simulators are a hit for a range of drivers looking for a tool to make them a better driver at the highest level or just enjoy online racing with the very best of equipment.”

Here is a roundup of the latest sim racing tech news and reviews from around the world.

Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup

General Sim Racing News

More Sim Racers Going Real World Racing

Mark Boudreau
Author: Mark Boudreau

Mark is the publisher of Motorsport Prospects. As a former lawyer, he applies his legal background and research skills to assist race drivers by showcasing the resources they need to make their motorsport careers happen.