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Why you should care about sim racing

Esports has always been a point of contention in terms of mainstream media. Gaming itself has years of infamy surrounding the youth; be it Tony Hawk’s, Grand Theft Auto or Far Cry. Their reputation comes from questionable marketing strategies and often illegal topics that has been a double edged sword – on the one hand, it made gaming incredibly popular, with people all over the world coming together to have some fun online. On the other, it’s gotten parents upset and often brought up in the news for rotting the minds of kids. Whether or not you believe this rhetoric, you should keep your eye on the sim racing scene at the moment.

Sim Racing has always fallen into a niche – The driving mechanics are nothing like most console games such as Forza or Grand Theft Auto. Sure, those games fit their audiences needs, but Sim Racers crave for something far less forgiving. The physics models in games such as iRacing, Assetto Corsa and Project Cars make the vehicles behave as if they were real, with understeer catching new players off guard and a lack of car contact an annoyance. If you do your research, buy a racing wheel and put some hours into learning how to race properly, however, you can quickly pick it up and rival the players lurking in online lobbies.

The global pandemic has brought with it some horrible burdens to our world, one of which is the lack of Motorsports. Formula One fans such as myself have been deprived of real racing for half a year now, but that’s not to say we’ve been completely bored. The racing world has taken to the online realm, with real racing drivers getting Sim rigs and dukeing it out in online competitions. Possibly the closest thing we can actually have to real racing, we’ve seen sporting professionals pave the pixelated tracks on Twitch and Youtube, thanks to various companies setting up feature races.

When you can’t do it in real life, the Sim world becomes the next best thing, and the big companies are starting to take note. If Sim racing has proven anything over the coarse of quarantine, it’s that esports can thrive given the right circumstances and a big enough audience. We’re closer now than ever to having esports on the big screen. We’ve been harking on about this for a while, and it’s fantastic to see it being put into action, even if the circumstances on the global scale are incredibly disheartening.

We all hope you’re staying indoors, washing your hands regularly and social distancing!