This week on Sim Racing and Esports News I bring you more competitions you can get involved in, an incredible opportunity to support disabled sim racers in making the transition to real world racing, two examples of drivers making the move from sim racing to real world racing and more. The opportunities with sim racing only grow with each passing week. Exciting times!
- Motorsport Games has announced that it has become the official sim racing platform of Formula E. The agreement comes as part of an extension on the current multiyear partnership between Motorsport Games and Formula E. Motorsport Games will implement Formula E, including its drivers and teams, into rFactor 2. All drivers and teams will be updated to reflect Season 8 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship that is currently underway. Once implemented, rFactor 2 will feature every season of Formula E since 2018 and provide availability to race on many high-fidelity circuits within the series. The Formula E content pack will be available to purchase for all users of rFactor 2.
- In addition to the news above, Formula E has announced the return of the Formula E: Accelerate esports competition and launched the application process at www.FIAFormulaE.com/Accelerate. The ‘Road to the London Final’ qualification series will take place online alongside in-person qualifiers in the week leading up to each of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship E-Prix races in Rome (9 & 10 April), Monaco (30 April), Berlin (14 & 15 May), Jakarta (4 June), Vancouver (2 July) and New York (16 & 17 July). Nine of the drivers recording fastest laps times in the qualification series will be invited to the finals at the London E-Prix weekend (30 & 31 July). Formula E will then host the Accelerate final in-person during the London E-Prix weekend. The top three winners of the final in London will receive a share of 100,000 Euro prize fund, and VIP tickets to the Seoul E-Prix as well as the chance to take part in a Formula E driving experience at pre-season testing in Valencia which will take the esports podium from sim rig to race seat.
- Motorsport Games has announced that current INDYCAR star and former Formula One driver Romain Grosjean has joined the company as an advisor on its games and esports events, with particular focus on the rFactor 2 simulation platform. “In his role as a technical esports advisor for Motorsport Games, Grosjean will bring all of his racing experience together – both real-life and sim – to help develop the company’s industry-leading rFactor 2 racing simulation. Throughout the year, Grosjean will participate in four technical test sessions for rFactor 2, allowing him to provide feedback and recommendations to implement to further enhance the platform. In addition to his help of iterating rFactor 2, Grosjean will also be available to advise on Motorsport Games’ catalogue of esports events, such as the hugely successful Le Mans Virtual Series and the brand new INDYCAR-Motorsport Games Pro Challenge. His deep knowledge of both will prove key in further expanding each offering, as Grosjean has participated in both real-life competitions during his career.”
- Speaking of rFactor 2, has new track updates have been released for the sim. Daytona, Lime Rock, Monza, Sebring and Silverstone have all been tweaked in the ‘latest update from Studio 397’, and for the most part, it’s all quality of life fixes for the venues in Rfactor2.
- Porsche Cars Canada, Ltd. is seeking the fastest 40 Canadian Sim Racers to race in an epic eight event series. The Porsche Esports Sprint Challenge Canada will take place on iRacing.com with two classes – the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992 Generation) and the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport MR. The fastest 20 drivers will earn a spot to race in the 911 GT3 Cup (992 Generation) class. Qualifiers 21 – 40 will earn a spot to race in the 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport class. Each class has the exact same prize structure for the 20 competitors. First place of each class will receive a prize package that includes a spot at Porsche Experience event, bridging the gap from virtual to reality, as well as a TAG Heuer Connected Watch, a pair of premium Bose noise cancelling headphones, a Porsche Motorsport backpack, a Porsche thermos mug, and iRacing credit contribution (approximate retail value of the first place prize is $5,154). More info can be found here.
- Team Brit has announced an exciting new project: Disabled Sim Racer to Disabled Track Racer. According to Team Brit:” We are very proud to announce this exciting new challenge, a partnership between eTeamBRIT, Team BRIT & Sim Solutions.” Interested in supporting this project after watching the video above? Contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Autosport has a review of the official MotoGP game. MotoGP 22 is a licensed racing simulation featuring the real-world venues, teams and riders from this season, including Moto2 and Moto3 seasons. It will be available in April for PC, PlayStation and Xbox platforms, plus the Nintendo Switch.
- SRO Motorsports Group has entered into a sponsorship agreement with Mobileye, an Intel Company, the global innovator in autonomous and assisted-driving technology. Starting this season, Mobileye joins as title sponsor of SRO’s global esports output, which will be named the Mobileye GT World Challenge Esports Championships in Europe, Asia, and America, along with the new Intercontinental GT Challenge Esports Championship Powered by Mobileye. As part of the collaboration, Mobileye will also sponsor the new Mobileye Innovation Award, which will be awarded to the top-performing drivers for their innovative and inspirational manoeuvres, as chosen by fans.
- Sony Interactive Entertainment has indicated that they will be giving out 1M free credits to players who have been upset with the micropayment changes made in Gran Turismo 7. In a PlayStation Blog post, GT creator and Polyphony Digital boss Kazunori Yamauchi apologized for the fiasco and announced a free 1,000,000 credits for players who owned the game before the day of this announcement as a “goodwill gesture.” The million-credit gift should be rolling out now and those who’d like to take advantage must log into the game sometime between now and April 25. What’s more, Yamauchi has also promised a patch scheduled for early April that will both add more events and bump up payouts.
Drivers Moving From Sim Racing To Real World Racing
I have chronicled extensively what is becoming the increasing occurrence of sim racers making the transition to real world racing and here are two more examples. Sim racing is becoming a legitimate introduction to real world motorsport and an alternative to the traditional forms of racing like karting that most people experience when getting involved with the sport.
- 25-year-old rookie Yusuke Tomibayashi will become the first Japanese sim racer to compete in the real world of Super GT, joining returning second-year driver Reiji Hiraki in a new lineup at Team Mach in the 2022 Autobacs Super GT Series in Japan.
- Lucas Blakeley, a star of the official F1 Esports series, will make the full-time move into real-world racing this year in Scottish Formula Ford with the Graham Brunton Racing team. “I’ve competed at a high level in Esports series and that combined with the lasting experience I have from when I was younger have made it slightly easier to cross over to real-world racing but it’s still a learning curve and I’m so grateful to be able to continue chasing my dream,” Blakeley said.