Sim racing is getting to the point where it blurs the lines between the real world and the digital one. It often begs the question, is sim racing a motorsports discipline? Thankfully, we now have an answer — at least in one country.
This answer comes from Germany’s motorsport governing body Deutsche Motor Sport Bund (DMSB). At a recent meeting, it elected to add sim racing to its list of recognized motorsports.
The original press release (available here, in German) sees a close relationship between real racing and the sim world.
We definitely agree. With each release of games like Gran Turismo Sport or Forza Motorsport 7, the line between real and digital gets blurrier. Also, with the caliber of wheels on the market today, it further enhances the realism.
There’s also the esports aspect, which is quickly growing. Currently, we have sim racers competing for the GT Sport FIA Championship. There are also events like the ForzaRC and F1 esports series as well.
Combine all this together and its easily on par with some of the bigger forms of motorsport.
Sim racers also need to train in a similar manner to real racers as well. They need to practice frequently and get to know the track and their digital vehicle both inside and out. It’s no easy task and something that should get recognized.
Also, let’s not forget those now making a career in motorsports thanks to esports. Competitions like the GT Academy and World’s Fastest Gamer are giving drivers a shot to make it big. Without those competitions, they could easily still be dreaming of a motorsports career instead of living it.
The new head of DMSB sim racing, Gerd Ennser, agrees will all this as well. In an excerpt edited for clarity (original press release here), he had this to say:
“Many motorsport enthusiasts have long since called sim racing a training opportunity and preparation for unknown racetracks. Now let’s take the next step by recognizing sim racing as a full-fledged motorsport discipline and thus make it easier for young people to enter motor racing as well.”
There’s also another benefit of the DMSB’s decision as well. With the introduction of a sanctioning body, it allows for a standard rule set to be used across competitions. This will take some of the guesswork away from potential esports organizers.
It’s important to note, however, that the DMSB differentiates between pro sim racing and the smartphone (“mobile gaming”) and console (“casual gaming”) markets. That likely means more iRacing or ACC than GT Sport or Project CARS 2.
As a result of all this, we could see more competitions start popping up – at least in Germany. This would expose more racers to the genre and potentially grow it. Hopefully, more governing bodies get on board with this and the trend continues to grow.
Featured image courtesy of Cytoria.