This week the Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup is packed, so much so that I had to introduce sub-headings to keep things clear when organizing the post! From Sim Racing to the Real Thing showcases those sim racers who are moving from sim racing exclusively to racing in the real world, people like Steve Alvarez Brown and James Baldwin. Competitive Sim Racing News keeps track of the latest news and developments regarding competitive sim racing opportunities while the Sim Racing Tech Roundup focuses on the technology of sim racing. Finally, General Sim Racing News looks at anything that does not fall under the other sub-headings. Enjoy and don’t hesitate to let me know via my contact form if you have any sim racing-related news you want me to share. Enjoy!
From Sim Racing to the Real Thing
- Known for his successful YouTube channel ‘SuperGT’, Steve Alvarez Brown is jumping up to real race cars for the final round of Radical’s SR1 Cup, 17th-18th September 2022. Steve will race alongside over 30 other Radical’s at the Donington GP circuit, including Valour Racing’s Daryl DeLeon Taylor who is currently leading the SR1 Cup championship. While being Radical’s “entry level race car”, the SR1 is a full-on purpose-built race car generating lap times faster than GT4 cars costing three times as much. The Radical SR1 Cup is the complete “motorsport starter kit” making it the UK’s most compelling entry point into circuit racing. Radical’s UK Motorsport Manager, Nicole Van der Walt said, ‘we’re excited to learn that Steve is joining our grid for the penultimate race of the season. He’s obviously very talented in the sim racing and virtual world, so it’ll be interesting to see how he performs on track.’
- Speaking of Steve Alvarez Brown, you can watch his very first real life car race in the video above.
- The Sports Development Group is bringing the FIA Rally Star program to Canada. Entry details are available here and sporting regulations are here. These four challenges use the WRC 9 game with the users choice of platform (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox X/S). A previously unseen stage is delivered as downloadable content. Competitors can drive the stage 100 times before five timed runs – the fastest of which counts as their entry to the competition.There’s no restriction on the number of #RallyAtHome Challenges a competitor can enter. Winners of the #RallyAtHome Challenges, along with potential wild card entries,will progress further in the competition with the goal of reaching the Continental Rally Star Finals in Peru in December. Success at the Continental Finals in Peru will earn a seat in the FIA Rally Star training team for 2023, where you’ll compete in six training rallies in a Ford Fiesta Rally3, with top drivers progressing to seats in the Junior WRC. The FIA Rally Star program represents the most comprehensive prize package for drivers from around the world in the history of the sport. An additional place is open for the top female driver to encourage greater participation.
- Original sim racer turned real life sportscar racer Jann Mardenborough has teamed up with the Motors Formula Team for a multi-year agreement that will see him become the lead driver and ambassador for the organization. “Apart from continuing to raise awareness for DIVERSITY, #RACING4ALL in motorsports and to help young people through our initiatives (more to be announce soon), Jann and MFT have set important goals for their cooperation. The main one is participating in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024, where MFT intends to enter the first team mainly composed of racers and staff of African descent and black heritage (Jann drove there in LMP1 + has a podium in LMP2 class).” Jann was the winner of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy in 2011.
Competitive Sim Racing News
- The entry list for the 2022-23 Le Mans Virtual Series, the global, elite endurance esports series and a joint venture between Motorsport Games Inc. and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (“ACO”), has been revealed. “The list features teams representing some of the most prestigious automotive manufacturers in the world, as well as elite esports squads from around the globe. The biggest full-season Le Mans Virtual Series entry list to date, the complete roster, can be found HERE.”
- The Porsche Esports Challenge USA champion has been crowned at its inaugural Porsche Sports Car Together Fest at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Sixteen gamers made it to the finals of the Porsche Esports Challenge USA, competing in front of a live audience in the first such series organized by Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA). The winner and two runners-up emerged victorious on Saturday, Sept. 3, after scoring the most points across six total races, all featuring unique tracks, Porsche cars and conditions.
- The MotoGP eSport Rising Stars Series kicked off last weekend in a bid to find and promote some of the brightest and youngest gaming talent across the globe. Back for a third year after two highly successful seasons, the Rising Stars Series consists of three Online Challenges in which Gamers will be divided into three categories, depending on their location. These three are the Americas (North and South), Europe and Africa, and finally Asia and Oceania. The first of these Challenges stared on Friday 1st September at 11.00am CET and required gamers to take on the technical Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli, an Italian venue steeped in motorsport tradition and history. The Challenge ran until Sunday 4th September. You register now here.
- McLaren Shadow has announced a new driver line-up for the 2022 season. Lucas Blakeley, Bari Boroumand and Wilson Hughes will represent Shadow throughout the 2022 F1 Esports season, which begins later this year.
- Meanwhile, reigning Pro Series Constructors’ Champions, Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS Esports, have announced their driver line-up for the competition, featuring two-time Driver World Champion, Jarno Opmeer as well as returning drivers Bono Huis and Dani Moreno who are set to continue their battle for titles with the team. The team is also bolstered by fresh arrivals James Baldwin, Graham Carroll and Jake Benham.
Sim Racing Tech Roundup
- Stephane Vidal, vice president of product and brand at D-Box Technologies looks at the role of haptics in simulated motorsport training in an article at Blackbook Motorsport. “This article explores the basics of haptic technology, its benefits in sim racing, and how this revolutionary innovation creates advantages for professional drivers everywhere.”
- A live Q&A with Asetek SimSports CEO André Eriksen will take place on September 14th at 18:00-19:00 CEST. “The Q&A will take place on our YouTube channel and Facebook page, and we are excited to hear what you’re most curious about.”
- The FIA Motorsport Games will partner with sim racing hardware manufacturer Fanatec to provide Esports competition hardware for the upcoming event in Marseille, France, from October 26-30. Fanatec will become the exclusive hardware partner for the Esports discipline, which will be contested on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform with a bespoke virtual build of the Circuit Paul Ricard track.
- iRacing has announced that the Porsche Mission R will become the first electric car to debut on iRacing in the 2022 Season 4 build. “Electrification comes to iRacing for the first time with 2022 Season 4, as iRacing and Porsche have teamed up to bring the Porsche Mission R concept car to the world’s premier motorsport simulator with next week’s build. The car will be available for purchase by all iRacing users immediately upon the release of the new build, and will be playable in public, hosted, league, time trial, and test drive modes.” And here is what else is new in Season 4.
- Traxion looks at why Dakar Desert Rally is the most ambitious off-road racer in a generation. “The 20,000 km2 open-world area is used not only to deliver a simulation mode that sets speed limits and removes the mid-stage saving process – plus the hardcore, real-world aping roadbook navigation system – but a more accessible Sport Mode that is more akin to a traditional off-road racing game.”
- Race Room has introduced their brand-new update coming with the new Formula 1-inspired FR X-22. Watch the video above to get a taste.
- The Coach Dave Academy looks at the Best Graphics Cards for Sim Racing. “Your Sim Racing experience might not depend on your platform, but it does depend on your hardware. It is a relatively stress-free experience if you’re racing on a console, as you don’t have to worry about the specs over there. However, if you’re a sim racer that plies their trade on PC, your computer hardware specifications indicate your overall gaming performance, and we all know how important that is.”
- In what looks like a whole lot of fun, Andrew P. Collins at The Drive explains how he is building a driving game arcade rig around his old PS2. “Video games from the mid-2000s have entered a sweet spot on our timeline. They look old enough to make a great whiff of nostalgia and they have the depth to still be genuinely engaging, even 20-odd years after their release. This is the main, but definitely not the only, reason I decided to build a retro arcade-style driving game setup instead of a modern sim racing rig.”
General Sim Racing News
- World’s Fastest Gamer winner Rudy van Buren has joined Red Bull as a Formula 1 simulator test and development driver according to The Race. “The sim racing veteran, who has previously worked with the McLaren F1 team and Mahindra in Formula E, already has a strong relationship with Red Bull’s world champion Max Verstappen. Outside of sim testing and development work, van Buren has been racing in Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and the Porsche Supercup.”
- SimRacing.GP has launched their brand new SGP ranking system, a bespoke ranking system designed to work across the platform and across multiple sims. More details can be found here.
- Driver61 has announced that their next Sim Racing Pure Pace MasterClass will begin on October 3rd, and early bird registration will open to waitlist members this FRIDAY, September 9th @ 5pm BST (that’s 4pm GMT and 12pm EDT). Join the waitlist to receive a 24-hour head start to purchase as well as a 15% discount. This offer is available to waitlist members only. You can register here.