This week on Sim Racing and Esports News I have a lot of very interesting and very cool developments for you. They encompass Formula 1, GT Racing, Indycar, NASCAR and the World Rally Championship. All this plus hardware news and a contest you can enter.
Formula 1 Gets Experienced
- Formula 1 is set to launch new simulation experience centres in partnership with Motorsport Games. The centres will host up to 60 simulators and guests will have the chance to choose from a variety of racing modes that cater for all skill levels. “We look forward to each guest getting a true to life feel of driving a Formula 1 car in these state-of-the-art simulators in this unique setting.” More details can be found here.
- Related to the above is the feeling that, according to McLaren’s Lindsey Eckhouse, grassroots engagement is key to esports’ relevance in motorsport. Although esports is increasingly popular, Eckhouse believes it is important to focus on grassroots investment and support to ensure its potential is being maximised in motorsport. “As much as we can do from a grassroots perspective to ensure that there is this level of engagement as a curriculum and has this similar platform to traditional sport or entertainment, I think the better because then it ensures that esports becomes kind of more on par as a mainstream avenue for people to take.”
The Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports
- The GT World Challenge Esports Endurance Series in Europe, Asia and America will join forces this year to form the new Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports, bringing together the best sim racers from across the globe to compete at five iconic venues.
- Organised by SRO Motorsports Group and AK Esports in partnership with Fanatec, Kunos Simulazioni, Pirelli and The SimGrid, and utilising the highly authentic physics and unmatched driving realism of Assetto Corsa Competizione, the new championship will tackle legendary long-distance events such as the 24 Hours of Spa and Bathurst 12 Hour. Pro and Silver categories will be implemented to ensure a more dynamic and competitive field, while this system will also be adopted by the continental GT World Challenge Esports Sprint Series, which will continue to run in Europe, Asia and America this season.
- What’s more, a new entry fee and prize structure have been introduced for teams and drivers, with even more to play for in the Pro and Silver classes of each championship. The prizes on offer include Fanatec gear, VIP hospitality for events and track activities, bringing the total value of cash and sponsor products to €120,000. Download all the details here.
The WRC Partners with Fanatec
- World Rally Championship (WRC) team M-Sport Ford announced a new partnership with sim racing hardware firm Fanatec just ahead of the 2022 season. The partnership will encompass both sim racing and rally technology to produce steering wheels for M-Sport Ford’s new Puma Hybrid Rally1 car. The agreement brings technology from the sim racing space to rallying, while feedback from the M-Sport Ford team will also be used to benefit Fanatec and the wider sim racing industry.
Using a Race Sim for Real Race Prep Part 2
- Last week I linked to a video from Spectro Racing on using a sim rig to prepare for real racing. This week I bring you another example as Lando Norris explains to Motorsport Week how he used a sim to experiment with different driving styles as he prepares for F1’s new 2022 cars. “And on the simulator, I’ve been spending a lot of time, not just driving the car but being prepared to drive in different ways and prepared to drive in different driving styles and so on because of this.”
Getting Started With Sim Racing
- Wondering where to start with sim racing? The Coach Dave Academy has an excellent guide called Getting Started With Sim Racing that should start you off in the right direction. “As a result of this enhanced realism, sim racing finds itself in a unique niche where the skills between virtual and reality are, arguably, the most transferable compared to other video games. They are, in fact, so accurate that many real-world motorsport teams (such as Ferrari, Mercedes etc.) will use simulators to train their drivers prior to them being physically present at the real tracks.”
RLL forms scholarship program for Ball State Esports
- Indycar team Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has announced the creation of a scholarship for members of Ball State University’s Esports team. Ball State is the alma mater of team owner David Letterman and boasts one of the most advanced collegiate Esports programs in the nation. Students in Ball State’s Esports program will participate in various community events with RLL to promote sim racing. RLL’s plans with Ball State mirror NASCAR’s plans to expand its presence on college campuses by targeting Esports programs.
NASCAR, iRacing launching collegiate Esports series
- NASCAR on Tuesday unveiled its plan for a nationwide collegiate Esports league that will include over 500 colleges and universities and potentially reach thousands of students. The series, called the eNASCAR College iRacing Series, is part of NASCAR’s plan to expand its presence on college campuses and reach a new audience by targeting Esports clubs and teams.
- Brabham and Base Performance Simulators are collaborating on a series of limited edition simulation rigs. These simulators cost £24,990, “which is a price that you will pay for a limited edition piece of incredible e-sports equipment, as well as a piece of motorsport heritage for your home, enjoyed by professional drivers and enthusiasts alike.”
- Windows Central has updated their recommendations for their best PCs for sim racing 2022.
- Digital Motorsports have put together an online guide to “build your perfect simulator” based on the type of racing you want to do. The categories range from a formula simulator to a drift/rally simulator. You can see their guide here.
- Finally, SCW has partnered with Team Dillion eSports and they are having a contest. Join their drawing for a chance to win a Logitech Steering Wheel Kit and a 3 month iRacing rubscription. Enter here.