For many, competitive multiplayer racing is the be-all, end-all. A step above racing against the AI, competitive racing serves as a way to better oneself. That is, until you run into the bad apples that believe crashing is the only way to win.
Those with years of experience know there’s no escaping the ill-mannered racer. These racers often times spoil an otherwise positive experience with bad sportsmanship. Whether it be ramming, brake-checking, or cutting corners, it’s unsportsmanlike.
But what happens when the aggressor is a professional racing driver? Ex-Formula 1 driver Scott Speed is one such individual. Speed has recently come under fire for intentionally crashing into others while playing iRacing.
The incident in question took place earlier this week when going up against professional sim racer Jake Hewlett. Both racing the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, sparks began flying as the two came into contact when racing for the lead. What looks like a harmless racing incident takes a turn for the worst however, as it develops into a full-blown vendetta.
A second incident occurs on lap 9 where Speed attempts to spin Hewlett’s car as the two head into Turn 1. As viewed from Scott’s onboard view, the move was undoubtedly intentional.
— Andrew Fawcett (@Andrewtfawcett) February 1, 2018
When the two meet up again on lap 12, Speed purposely attempts to take Hewlett out of the race. Not knowing when to stop, Speed follows up on his failed attempt with another: this time trying to ram into Jake on the next corner. With three failed attempts, not only does it make Speed look petty but it casts a dark shadow on online racing.
If none of this sounds the least bit surprising, consider this: Scott Speed is an ambassador for the game. Last year the driver featured alongside the game’s push into rallycross content. Not only that, iRacing is a subscription-based service that prides itself on realism.
The acclaimed sim title has ties with real racing bodies in the form of organized racing series. We’re talking the likes of NASCAR and IndyCar-sponsored events where prize money is up for grabs. Not a good look when a professional driver resorts to tactics one would expect from an online troll.
Several other sim racers have come forward with their own experiences with Speed. There’s even the clip-show edit above, with voiceovers from Speed’s own iRacing videos layered over his most aggressive moves.