Using a racing simulator to prepare for real world racing is an important component of why I put together the Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup every week. The focus has always been on using sim racing to either prepare current race drivers for real world racing or to introduce and transition sim racers to the real thing.
This week I look at how Skip Barber’s iRacing series can get you a full season of real racing, why real-world racer and Blayze founder Dion von Moltke walked away impressed from a session in a racing simulator, how a bunch of sim racers impressed real race drivers in Sweden and real-world racer (and actor) Michael Fassbender’s sim racing rig setup.
All this plus a new sim racing series for European sim racers, a new esports hub for the UK, the latest sim racing tech, general sim racing news and more.
All this in this week’s edition of the Sim Racing and Esports News Roundup on Motorsport Prospects. Its sim racing news real racers can use.
From Sim Racing to the Real Thing
Last week I mentioned how Elvis Rankin parlayed his winning the 2022 Skip Barber Formula iRacing Series into a real world Skip Barber Racing Series championship and how you can do the same. iRacing have announced the reintroduction of the Formula iRacing Series, which will have ties with the Skip Barber Racing School again in 2023. More than $500,000 in prizes are up for grabs in the five-week sim racing program, the biggest prize of them all being a fully funded seat in the real-world Skip Barber Racing Series program. Those looking to participate need to register for the events. Each race cost $20 unless you pre-pay for the entire season at $80 (which saves $20) for all five races. Participants will also need to compete in the Hot Lap Qualifying to attempt to make the 20 car field.
Is sim racing useful for real-world racers? From critic to believer, IMSA pro driver Dion von Moltke now sees the value in racing simulators. It only took one afternoon on a Spark racing sim setup for Dion to realize how a quality racing simulator offers applicable and affordable seat time for any club racer, whether they’re heading to their home track or a brand-new facility. For more information on Spark racing simulators: https://www.drivesvr.com/
One thing that stood out at this year’s Race of Champions 2023 was how impressed real world race drivers were with the skills of the sim racers. For the fourth event in a row, a team of sim racers has beaten professional racing drivers at the showpiece Race of Champions (ROC) — this time going one step further and winning an entire knockout match against the pros.
- Sim Racers Defeat F1 Professionals at Race of Champions 2023
- Sim Racer Makes Another F1 Upset by Defeating Valtteri Bottas & Mika Hakkinen; Sebastian Vettel Was Victim Last Time
- Sebastian Vettel Is REALLY Impressed By How Good Sim Racers Are At ROC
In Is AI ready to take over Formula 1 strategy?, Autosport goes into detail about the fascinating collaboration between McLaren’s eSports team McLaren Shadow Esports, the real world Formula 1 team and McLaren sponsor, American software company Splunk. “As the Splunk system became a core part of the Esports team, it opened up avenues for some experiments in trying new things, which would not be possible in the environment of a normal grand prix weekend.”
Competitive Sim Racing News
Box This Lap looks at actor and sports car racer Michael Fassbender’s sim racing setup which the site explains is a relatively simple simulator (see photo above).
rFactor 2 has responded to those affected by Virtual Le Mans disconnections and explained how rFactor 2’s network code to be rewritten over the coming months. “We are aware that the IP addresses of the servers were inadvertently made public, and we observed unusual levels of traffic during the event, combined with logging of some concerning events taking place during this period. We are not aware of a malicious attack, but will be implementing new procedures to ensure that in future our servers are robustly defended. The use of direct IP addresses for access to multiplayer sessions is clearly not an ideal solution, and we take full responsibility for any inadvertent distribution to non-participants – we are actively working on new processes to allow only permitted users and prevent similar issues in the future.”
An Assetto Corsa Competizione-based esports competition is now open for European entrants, with a prize pool of around €150,000. The International Union of eMotorsport (IUEM) has announced a significant esports competition promising up to €150,000 in prizes. The competition is a global esports tournament with entries open now for European participants. The International Esports Championship: Challenger Cup is open to entrants from all European countries and dependencies – including the UK. Two qualifying rounds lead to a glitzy grand final in Hong Kong. Be warned though, all hot laps in the leaderboard phase must have their accompanying replay and telemetry files to confirm validity. For more information and to sign up, visit the International Esports Championship: Challenger Cup website.
The eRace of Champions was last weekend and F1 Esports Series Pro champion Lucas Blakeley has won the 2023 eROC competition, beating Jarno Opmeer, Michael Romanidis and Martin Palm in the final. One thing that stood out was how impressed real world race drivers were with the skills of the sim racers when they competed in the real world racing event (see above). Here is a roundup of some coverage.
- Lucas Blakeley wins eRace of Champions for 2023
- 2023 Race of Champions: Lucas Blakeley wins eROC, runs it back with Opmeer in Nations Cup
Motorsport UK has launched a pioneering Esports Hub to grow the community of new and experienced drivers, providing value, insight and benefits around the discipline. The Motorsport UK Esports Hub provides an environment to nurture the esports industry in its current form by adding credibility, professionalism, and promotion of the sport. New drivers will be able to start their esports journey via the Motorsport UK Esports Hub by building an understanding across the industry, including what equipment to use and where to race. Established and professional racers will receive a unique experience and receive added value to their existing racing experience.
Alongside practical information on competing in esports, the Motorsport UK Esports Hub provides a list of established communities and companies, recommended by the organisation as safe spaces to engage in the discipline. These communities offer services from leagues, events to offering insight on car setups and driver coaching.
Access to the Motorsport UK Esports Hub is free with the option of an annual paid member subscription providing a range of unique benefits and discounts on equipment, setups, coaching and early access to Motorsport UK community events.
As a special introductory offer, members who sign up before 28 February will receive 10% off noblechairs’ range of gaming chairs.
Staying in the UK, Chaydon Ford of Speed Hunters reflects on the state of UK motorsport at the recent Autosport International trade show and mentions the impact of sim racing. “The last few years and various lockdowns have brought about a huge surge in the popularity of simulator racing. Established Esports leagues offer legitimate prize money and many have made the jump to actual race cars with a degree of success. The price on these setups can range well into four or even five figures, with the quality of components equal to those found in actual motorsport.”
Here is a roundup of some recent competitive sim racing news:
- Josh Rogers talks Verstappen, Porsche and racing Le Mans Virtual
- EXCLUSIVE | Josh Rogers on racing Verstappen and representing Porsche
- Brendon Leigh departs Ferrari’s Esports team after tough season
- Brazilian esports team FURIA announces ESL R1 roster
- 2023 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series ePreview: Williams Esports
- Team Jamaica ready for Colombian friendly Sim Race
- fgrACCEL Launches eRacing Division to Compete in eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series
- Team Redline’s ESL R1 drivers revealed, filled with champions
- 30 sim racers fight for the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup crown
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.
- Foracer 4R Racing Simulator for Sale
- The best sim racing steering wheels you can buy
- [Sim] RTX 4090 triple monitor performance
- What we bought: Thrustmaster’s T300RS GT Edition has made my digital driving a joy
- MOUZ’s Moritz Löhner: “Sim racing needed a new player in the field”
General Sim Racing News
- Real Racing 3 update celebrates 10th anniversary with four new cars and a new track
- Motorsport Games rFactor 2 is part of the secret sauce behind F1® Arcade Racing Experience
- Motorsport Games Regains Full Compliance With Nasdaq Listing Rules
- Motorsport Games Announces Debt-for-Equity Exchange with Motorsport Network
- Rennsport’s Closed Beta will no longer launch in January 2023
- ‘The Sim Racer’ Movie Releases On Amazon
- Turn 10 Studios Gives A New In-Depth Look At Forza Motorsport
- Forza Motorsport Will Launch With Over 500 Cars And 20 Tracks
- 2023 iRacing Season 1 Patch 3 brings NASCAR NEXT Gen template changes
- The new Radical SR3 XXR is now available for the Assetto Corsa simracing community as a free download from RaceDepartment.
- The Best Racing Games and the Wheels and Pedals to Play Them With