Mark Puc (aka Aussie Stig) is an avid sim racer, sim racing consultant, reviewer, tester and journalist. For the past fifteen years, Mark has been involved in globally promoting sim racing, eSports, VR (virtual reality) and also the link to real-world motorsports. We’re happy he’s sharing five ways to enjoy sim racing with us! You can follow him at twitter.com/AussieStig_ or find his videos here.
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Many current racing drivers have and still use simulators to get them prepared for their motorsport careers, and today sim racing – as an eSport – has blossomed into a multimillion-dollar worldwide business. The first million-dollar eRace was held in Las Vegas earlier this year. So what are the five ways you can enjoy sim racing? For some, being in front of a TV with a JoyPad playing Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport on their gaming console spells enjoyment. For others, sitting in a sim racing motion simulator costing tens of thousands of dollars does the trick.
A big part of the enjoyment I’ve experienced in sim racing was building my own MDF static simulator and then racing with it.
- Games. A great place to start would be to check out some of the latest offerings for PC and various consoles from companies such as Kunos (Assetto Corsa), Codemasters (F12017), Slightly Mad Studios (Project CARS 2) or Turn10 Studios (Forza Motorsport). You can also challenge yourself or your mates to a time-attack race, or take part in private online multi-player races across all platforms.
- Local sim racing centres. These dedicated centres are popping up in and around many capital cities and often offer an immersive experience with motion simulators. Take a few friends with you and race against them in a competitive environment.
- VR. Virtual reality has emerged as a viable alternative to single- or triple-screen setups. VR is an extremely immersive way to sim race, placing you in the cockpit of any number of road-going or racing cars. There are no distractions and you are completely focused on your virtual surroundings.
- Do it yourself. Build your own sim racing cockpit! You can start MDF or even PVC piping. There are readily available plans and images online to inspire you to construct something basic or even complex; for example, DIY motion simulators. Speaking for myself, a big part of the enjoyment I’ve experienced in sim racing was building my own MDF static simulator and then racing with it.
- Competitive sim racing. There is any number of sim racing leagues and teams being formed to take part in the burgeoning eSport scene. Some of the major titles like Assetto Corsa, iRacing, rFactor2, Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport have organised structured sim racing competitions complete with points, ranking systems and cash prizes.