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Sim racing and eSport series: F1, DTM, IndyCar, Nascar, VLN

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Fans of football, handball or basketball currently have little choice but to watch repetitions. The social media departments of the clubs, as well as TV stations, endeavor to keep the ball rolling with clips and highlight programs. But motorsport and its fans have a real alternative: sim racing.

The acceptance of the professional handling of racing simulations has grown significantly in recent years. In addition, hardware and software are getting better and better, more and more racing professionals regularly sit at home in front of the steering wheel and measure themselves online.

What could be more natural than the sport that is neither in the category of 'eSports' nor ' Motorsport 'really fits - but connects a lot from both worlds - to give a chance?

In the various sim racing series, the drivers have a free choice of cars and racetracks.

Real teams in virtual races

When it became clear that the first run of the VLN Nürburgring endurance series would be canceled, the Simracing-Community Simracing Deutschland e. V. a digital replacement race from the ground in a few days. Instead of streaming the real race, the VLN broadcast the virtual spectacle on all channels.

Even if in the end the sim professionals prevailed, well-known offshoots of real racing teams such as Phoenix Racing, Walkenhorst Motorsport, Sorg Rennsport and even the BMW works team with u. a. Martin Tomczyk were represented in the field and ensured a real connection to real racing.The VLN has now held the first three digital races. There were three different winners. The balance is positive.

The Americans showed what is possible: After both the Sebring 12h and the NASCAR run in Homestead had to be postponed, virtual replacement races were scheduled - to a large extent the real drivers!

In the IMSA race over 90 minutes, Bruno Spengler, Nicky Catsburg and Jesse Krohn clinched a triple BMW victory. Spengler, who has been a sim racer for six months, was genuinely happy after the race: 'I actually got goose bumps when I crossed the finish line. I'm really happy about the win because the race was really tough. In general, I have to say that Simracing is really very demanding. '

All the major racing series have founded eSports offshoots in which the stars of the scene compete against each other.

DTM founded its own E-Series

The NASCAR races are even broadcast live on US television. The regular commentators Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon, combined with the realistic moving images from the 'iRacing' simulation, almost make you forget that it is not a real cup race. The feedback was clear: more of it, please! And that although the comment columns usually roll over at NASCAR because of hostility.

The IndyCar season has also started virtually. The Supercars series started on April 8th with the entire (!) Starting field. The WTCR sends ten pilots into a virtual 'preseason' against 20 sim racing professionals. And the renowned sim racing team Team Redline is currently organizing regular, prominent races (including Max Verstappen and Lando Norris) under the motto 'Real Racers Never Quit', which are of course also streamed live.

Also formula 1 and MotoGP have started virtual offshoots with real driver participation, but these are not directly 'sim racing'. The official F1 software is actually just a 'game' and, albeit demanding, not a simulation.

The MotoGP game is not for everyone either, but the hardware is also missing here - with auto sim racing you have the steering wheel and pedals in front of you. Yet:The sim scene is currently facing a great opportunity. It is apparently also used, to the overwhelmingly great joy of fans and drivers.

After Formula E (Formula E Race at Home Challenge), the DTM is the last member with its own e-sports racing series. The touring car series is teaming up with Race Room to be able to host races in the digital world. Five races are to take place on five weekends in May. The DTM promises: '15 former and current DTM drivers as well as influencers from the racing scene will compete against five sim racers who will be randomly selected from the fastest 100 qualifiers registered for each event.'

The cars in the DTM esports Classic Challenge go back to 1992. The current cars are not included. There are no younger vehicles than the 2016 generation with V8 vacuum cleaners in the game. The first run (May 3rd) is to be driven with cars from 1992. The second race with the 2013 vintage (May 10th). The third (May 17th) with racing cars from 2014, the fourth (May 24th) with the racers from 2016. We are still thinking about the final (May 30th).


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