Making the best of COVID19

Many of us are locked in self isolation these days because of the Corona virus that is spreading fast. Although people are coping very differently with being forced to stay at home, it seems like the sim racing community is booming.

The lack of real life motorsport, or any sport really, seems to have generated a huge interest for sim racing. Engagement in games, but also viewers who are willing to watch racing streams has grown a lot! This is the perfect time to arrange a long endurance race, and this is exactly what Peter and Isaac are setting up right now.

Peter and Isaac are two friends in the UK who got to know each other through sim racing. They both love endurance races and especially Le Mans. Like many of us these days, they too have much more free time than they are used to, and wanted to join use this change, to get into an endurance race. They searched for one to join, but there wasn’t one that they were interested in. So they just made their own. There are many things that need to be sorted out, when arranging an endurance race.

  • Track: Circuit des 24 Heures du Mans
  • Platform: iRacing
  • Date: April 11th 2020, 1PM BST
  • Race Duration: 1+24 Hours
  • Cars: Audi R18, Porsche 919, HPD ARX-01c, BMW M8 GTE, Ferrari 488 GTE, Ford 2017 GTE, Porsche 991 RSR

An endurance race on iRacing, or any serious sim racing platform, is a highly realistic experience. Tire wear, fuel strategies, damage effects, time progression, track temperature and many other factors play a big role in the whole event. Drivers take turns driving the car, often doing double stints (staying in the car for two continues tank loads) or maybe double stinting the tires. This is to save the 20-30 seconds in the pit stops, that a driver swap or a tire change costs.

Although not surprisingly, the interest in this has been massive. Many people have already joined, and a few teams have registered already. There can be 55 cars in a race like this, and it is expected that approximately 200 drivers will join. There are no real rules for how many drivers each car should have, but most teams will probably have 4 or 5 drivers.

Although this is a casual race with amateur drivers, most are very dedicated sim racers. Sim racing can be an expensive sport, requiring quite a lot of hardware, compared to other e sport. The actual simulator software, and extra software needed to run them, can be pricy too. Some teams have real sponsors that cover expenses such as fees for iRacing, actual car setups that optimize the car for the track and track conditions or even for car liveries that can be expensive.

The event is organized and updated through a discord server, where users join the discussions, sign up for the race, ask questions and share ideas. There is even a section where users can find teams and teams can find drivers, so even if drivers don’t have a team they should be able to find others to drive with.

Although the race will not be broadcasted with commentary, as this is very expensive, many of the drivers will stream the race. We hope to be able to list all these streams here, for you to follow.

Charity is not the main purpose of the event, but a few racers have asked for a way to raise funds against the spread of the COVID19 virus. A campaign has already been setup, through Tiltify (a platform optimized for fund raisers who streame) to let streamers and their viewers gather funds to the UN Foundation, that supports WHOs fight against the virus spread.

What now?

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