The lines are blurring between sim racing and analog racing, and this can only be a good thing for the future of motorsport.
Now, before you scream “it’s not the same thing!” just remember that nobody is saying it is. What they are saying is that it is both a great way to prepare for real on-track racing while at the same time introducing young people to the sport who either don’t have the money to compete or are dedicated Esports fans and sim racing competitors.
Just look at what is in this week’s Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup. A real world FF1600 racer explaining how realistic the sim racing version is while offering pointers on how to race it. The sim racer who took what he learned in eNascar to real world ARCA racing. How Lando Norris uses his sim racing rig to prepare for real-world F1 races. How sim racing is integrated into the real-world Spa 24 Hours. I could go on and on.
In addition to this I have competitive sim racing news including two new Canadian sim racing competitions, how to make money sim racing, an Athlete Development Program for sim racers by Red Bull Racing, the question of whether sim racing has a cheating problem and more.
All this plus general sim racing new, tech reviews and an eye-watering Red Bull RB18 sim racing rig on this week’s Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup on Motorsport Prospects.
From Sim Racing to the Real Thing
Formula Ford or FF1600 has been a fundamental part of race driver development since the class was introduced in 1967. Now that you can race a Ray FF1600 race car in iRacing, Max Esterson, a real life FF1600 driver who I have featured in this column before, explains the similarities between the sim version of the car with the real thing. He also gives some pointers on racing it in iRacing.
Sim racer Alain Louise Geronimo took the new Honda Civic Type R racecar for some laps around Clark International Speedway and gave his positive impressions of the experience in the Manila Times. “Despite my lack of real-world skills and the limited time behind the wheel of the Type R, I can tell that the new Type R is willing to be pushed and is eager for that — thanks to how stable the car is.”
I have featured a few articles on Arca race driver Rajah Caruth progressed from sim racing to the real thing, and here is another article to see how going from the virtual to real world racing is possible. How 20-year-old HBCU student Rajah Caruth went from virtual racing to NASCAR.
Competitive Sim Racing News
Reacting to numerous requests over the last 3 years, EGT Canada is launching two official championships on iRacing. “We will create two official championships, a calendar of fun races and special events throughout the year. Motivated by the excitement in the real world of racing for the new GTP/LMDh class, the goal is to create a championship that will be very much based on the EGT3 Challenge format, but with the GTP/LMDh Prototype class. These cars have always been a class that we wanted to add to EGT Canada and the timing is perfect.” Full details and how to compete can be found at https://www.egtcanada.ca/iracing-en.
SimPlace looks at how to earn money in Sim Racing. “From going pro to Youtube videos to winning small leagues, there are many options for making money in Sim Racing. How much do you make in each? How do you choose which to focus on?”
In introducing the various support series for the 2023 edition of the 24 Hours of Spa (which by the way look incredible. It is an amazing race event that should be on your bucket list.), SRO made sure to explain how sim racing will be supported and promoted during the race weekend.
“Virtual motorsport made its first appearance at the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa in 2021 thanks to the Fanatec Esports GT Pro Series. This pioneering concept, which remains in place for 2023, sees drivers from the Pro, Silver and Gold Cup categories competing for real-world championship points in a one-hour Assetto Corsa Competizione contest, staged on-site at the Fanatec Esports Arena. The 2022 edition also brought the continent’s leading sim talents to Spa-Francorchamps to contest a one-off race on Saturday evening. Expanding on this, the SRO Esports Sim Pro Series has been launched for 2023 and will run at each Fanatec GT Endurance Cup round, including the CrowdStrike 24 Hours of Spa. As such there will be two Assetto Corsa Competizione races at the Fanatec Esports Arena, which is open to spectators with General Entrance + Paddock tickets.”
SRO Motorsports Group also had some positive things to say about the importance of sim racing and Esports to them as a company in the recent PRI article On A Roll. “We also benefit from great long-term partners like Pirelli, Fanatec, AWS, Skip Barber, and CrowdStrike. Our industry-leading global eSports programs continue to grow visibility in a younger demographic, bringing new fans to the track.”
Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports and Bybit’s have launched an Athlete Development Program that aims to revolutionize sports training.
“The world of sports has continued to grow at an exponential rate, and as such, athletes are continuously seeking new ways to improve their performance and gain a competitive edge. Oracle Red Bull Racing has launched an innovative athlete development programme in collaboration with Bybit, aiming to provide esports athletes with an unparalleled opportunity to enhance and improve their performance continually. Known as the Bybit Performance Accelerator, this programme is a game-changer in the esports world.”
“It combines education, physiology, and mental well-being to help participants learn, listen, care, and improve. The Accelerator offers participants a training regimen delivered by leading industry and wellness experts across various specialisms, with a strong focus on the drivers’ physical and mental well-being as they strive to take their performance and endurance to the next level. The programme’s success is evident in the tailored 1:1 sessions and group training provided to Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports’ drivers, leading to significant improvements in their performance.”
In a recent interview with Give Me Sport, Jed Norgrove talks pushing for an Esports race seat and the incredible levels of preparation required to compete. “We work a lot on the fitness side of it and the amount of engineers we have here working with us on data, stuff like that, it really shows how big Esports is and is continuing to grow. I think from the outside, you see people who don’t really know the series at all, they just see racing on the game, but I think if you brought them into here and show them how much preparation we put into it, how many hours, how much dedication, hard work, the fitness work with personal trainers, I think they’d realise how much we prepare.”
Here are more headlines from the world of competitive sim racing:
- Le Mans Virtual Series 2022-23 Reaches Wider Worldwide Audience
- THIS WEEK: BMW M Sim Cup at Sebring
- An interview with FaZe Clan racing drivers at ESL R1
- From the cockpit: Dennis Schöniger’s view of the ESL R1 round
- Porsche Coanda works driver Joshua Rogers defends series lead
- 6 Hours of Racing For Mind Wise Charity | Wiz Motorsports
- Alpine Esports shows it is about more than racing
- Williams Esports achieve first podium in Round 3 of ESL R1
- “Sim Racing Esports Has A Cheating Problem” Says Sport Insider
- A Look into the Sim Racing Esports Cheating Pandemic
- ESL R1: Bennett seals convincing Round 3 win for Team Redline
- iRacing – BMW M SIM Cup Arrives at Sebring
- Gran Turismo Nations Cup Showdown champion Drumont joins R8G Esports
Sim Racing Tips & Techniques
Sim Racing Tech Roundup
Here is a roundup of the latest sim racing tech news and reviews from around the world.
- Playseat Trophy Logitech G Edition Review
- Experience the Most Realistic Racing Simulator with Playseat Trophy-Logitech G Edition
- Best racing seat for F1 23: Top picks to upgrade your setup
- March 2023 PC Sim Racing Build
- The Best Headphones for Sim Racing
- All the angles of Red Bull’s stunning £99,999 RB18 simulator that fans can own
- Stunning Red Bull RB18 show car simulators to go on sale via F1 Authentics
- F1 Authentics offering Red Bull Racing RB18 simulator, but it’s not cheap
- F1 and Red Bull are selling a car simulator based on a championship-winning design for $120,000 – more than some real supercars
- Red Bull Unveils RB18 Sim-Setup And You Won’t Believe How Much It Costs
- F1 and Red Bull will sell you a racing simulator for $120,000 – more than most real cars
General Sim Racing News
- This F1 arcade in London is sim-racing heaven
- Racing Simulator Equipment Market expected to rise at a considerable rate during the forecast period 2023 To 2028
- F1 23 Game Teased By EA Sports For Release
- Sports Simulator: boosting revenue for retail, FECs, leisure centres & more
- Why RaceRoom Racing experience remains so enjoyable
- New Racing League Wants To Race Real Cars Remotely On Tracks Through VR
- Heartbreak High star Josh Heuston puts his driving skills to the test alongside top Aussie gamer Stephanie ‘HEX’ Bendixsen in F1 Racing Challenge
- New Cars Coming to ACC in 2023, Big Update in the Works
- Heineken unites Aussies over their love of Formula 1 with Player 0.0 launch via Publicis
- iRacing – Best Apps for Planning your Season 2 
- Nostalgia trip: Hands-on with iRacing’s 2023 Season 2 oval updates
- IRacing Season 02
- Automobilista 2 receives update to version 188.8.131.52
- Gran Turismo 7 was not being developed for PC
- British Esports expands Sunderland esports campus plans
- ADAC SimRacing Expo set to feature a ‘content creator zone’ for 2023