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Featured A look through the eyes of an Australian sim-racer

Discussion in 'Other Racing Games' started by Thomas Hinss, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. Thomas Hinss

    Thomas Hinss
    Aussie Commentator and Writer Premium Member

    It’s a passion which is shared by large numbers of people all over the world, from all walks of life. However, one country which can find it hard to break into the world stage in the sim-racing community is Australia.

    This isn’t to say that sim-racing leagues are non-existent in Australia. There are numerous leagues in the country which have been around for a number of years. These leagues are however primarily filled with Australian drivers.

    The main problem which Australian drivers face in order to compete on the world stage is the time difference which presents itself when trying to compete in the big European and American leagues. Some starts are as early as 3:00am for Aussies trying to compete on the world stage of sim-racing, making it very draining and hard for them to race and also keep their lives on track.

    Personally I know how hard this can be, as being an Australian the times which I must be up at in order to race in the leagues I do is a tough one. However, if you enjoy something enough than it can outweigh the negative consequences, something which I feel rings true for me and others in the sim racing community.

    Motor racing is also not as popular in Australia as it is elsewhere in the world. Australian Chris Stacey, organizer of the Virtual Formula Abarth Championship Australia, explains:

    “The problem with this is that because racing isn’t hugely popular in Australia, not many people even know how awesome sim-racing can be, or that it even exists.”

    This also is shown in the lack of Australian sim-racers who have the public profile of some European sim-racers. Again, this emphasizes the earlier point of how the knowledge that people have of sim-racing is comparatively low in Australia.

    There are not many Australian sim-racers who have the public profile of a Greger Huttu, a Morgan Morand or a Bono Huis,” says Chris.

    Despite these troubles, compounded further by the slower internet Australia has compared especially to America and Europe, the net gain sim-racing provides far outweighs the negatives.

    I suspect most Australian sim-racers would agree that sim-racing is something that despite the sacrifices is well worth the time and effort it takes to perform, even on the European and Amercian stage.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
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  2. Personally, I prefer less popular mods & longer tracks which I seldom find on servers run at a time more suitable for us Aussies.
    It's mainly for this reason I now compete/run in the VirtualHillClimb series & on their other 'fun-run' servers as I can run at any time of the day or night without having be up at some sparrow-fart-inducing hour to make sure Im on the start line in time then spend the following day all flurgle-brained & drained.

    Unfortunately that means Im quite often the only one on track which, in a way, kind of defeats the joy, exhilaration, comaradery & allure to online racing.

    This too I have found.

    Most folks that I meet in real life play their Xbox/Playstations but have no idea of sim-racing existing & especially can't fathom that a person can not only race online against others, but can mod these sims as well, nor the community of modders that exist.

    In fact, I believe, most of these folks think that the only way to gain more content is to either wait & buy the next disc/game in the series or, these days, wait for the manufacturer/company to release a DLC then lament the lack of local content...

    I know I did until a few years ago when I was introduced to rFactor & Bob's Track Builder.
    But I'll tell you now, Im damn glad I was introduced to this community, the friends I've made and, dare I say it, this 'way' of life!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2015
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  3. Warren Schembri

    Warren Schembri
    Premium Member

    You can always do what I did and move to Europe :)

    Not that I have time-difference issues with sim-racing but I know what its like having to be awake all night and then walking around like a zombie the next day
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  4. Thomas Hinss

    Thomas Hinss
    Aussie Commentator and Writer Premium Member

    Agreed with both points there Lee, especially with how completely destroyed you can be that day after being up either very late or all night for some races. Personally though I find it worth it, as the amount of fun I have in them is off the scale :)

    Agreed Warren, I would be tempted just to make the time-difference issue disappear. Yeah I suspect most Aussie sim-racers who do compete in non-Australian based leagues would know the effort it takes, though I think we'd agree completely on how much it is worth it :D
  5. Richard Hessels

    Richard Hessels
    Premium Member

    It's far more difficult when you need to race upside down.
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  6. lagging cars, lagging cars everywhere! XDD
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  7. David O'Reilly

    David O'Reilly
    A bad quali means I can go forwards in the race.

    I'm an Aussie living in Europe and until you mentioned it I hadn't really thought about it much.
    I love F1 and skiing so Sydney and its harbour and beaches were wasted on me I guess.
    So yes its nice getting to race at say 8pm:)
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  8. Torcano

    Premium Member

    Aww man, I feel your pain. But if you think being a sim-racer as an Aussie is tough then you haven't tried being a sim-racer from India. This is a country with literally no car culture whatsoever and where automobiles are seen as nothing more than an instrument to get from A to B. No gaming scene either as it is an extremely academic society where gaming is seen as a taboo in this day and age. People gape at you in awe as if they came across the Spawn of Satan if they find out you are into motorsports or anything even remotely related to that, worse yet, both combined in the form of sim-racing. :roflmao:

    Also, every single piece of sim racing hardware is imported making the entry price into sim racing astronomically high, imagine a country where the average young man/woman, earning the equivalent of ~800 USD a month which is considered a good amount considering the country's economy and now they has to dish out more than three quarters of a month's salary for a measly G27 or worse yet, near twice that amount for a T500RS, while knowing full well that they won't get any service if something goes wrong as there are literally no customer service here for things that are not logitech. You have to be quite insane to do that for the sake of a hobby.

    And on top of that, if you want to have proper internet in this country so very fond of its horrendous data caps you have to be prepared to spend over 100 USD a month just for the luxury of having a raised data cap, can't remove those, and still get speeds from the era of DSL modems. :sick:

    Although the one thing that you guys have quite bad there over us is the time zone difference, I have to be awake till 1am max during race days in our league consisting mainly of people from the European mainland, just can't imagine staying up after 3am and going to work on the next day. Massive respect for that. :thumbsup:

    And that's why you rarely see any of us in sim racing, not many know that it exists and even if you do and you want to get a taste of it, it is pretty much impossible to get into unless you are determined to take the leap. I did, and I must say it is entirely worth it for all the thrill, excitement and happiness that sim racing has brought me in the past decade, which I will never get to experience in real life as I neither own a fast car nor do we have any race tracks to go for trackdays at in my silly diesel volvo. And all the lovely people I have met as a result is a bonus too. That's what counts in the end doesn't it. It is a way of life indeed. :x3:
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  9. Us Kiwi's are in the same boat, if not worse add another 2-3 hours difference to Europe depending no the time of year. In saying that, however I jumped on a US racing club event in AC that was a late time over there. The only thing that held me back was that crap bit of cable in the Pacific Ocean!
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  10. @Torcano

    Indian here too :D

    I remember looking in the iracing member search for people from India when I had just started sim racing and found some 20 odd people, half of whom were real life racers. Then found RD and given that there are club races in a host of sims and the fact that I'm at home 24/7 plus a night owl, been a regular since last May or so.

    But I'm wondering why one has to dole out a $100 per month. My $20 dollar a month connection serves me well with pings in the range of 160-180 which is more than enough for my sim racing plus indiscriminate downloading.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
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  11. Torcano

    Premium Member

    @Srinath Sundareswaran

    Haha, I'm glad to have found another one of us in here, that was quite unexpected :). And it is not the pings that annoy me, have the same pings as you to any European server but it is the data caps that make me want to pull my hair out in rage. The choice in my city is either have a high speed (I use the term "high speed" lightly as they advertise 20 down and I barely get 8 if the connection is in the mood for it) internet with a horrible data cap or pay double to get a lower speed internet connection (which is four times slower than the capped plan) with the privilege of having no data cap. In this day and age where one digital download of a game can be over 30 gigs in size on steam, there is no way I can squeeze a months worth of stuff into a piddly 50 gig cap :(. I just can't live with data caps.
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  12. Time difference and high ping to EU and Americas makes their competing ground rather be South East Asia. There are enough people though, China, even India, ... but I doubt these are very interested in motorsport. Plus language barrier between English speaking AU/NZ and their northern neighbors.

    How fast internet is in AU I don't know but if it is not then it is up to the people living there to push it further and improve the services. It took a while in EU as well but if you search and don't settle for crappy offers you can find some good deals.
  13. @Srinath Sundareswaran @Torcano

    This is epic. Apparently 75% of India's simracers are now on this thread.
    Yes, me too :D. Thrilled to meet compatriots, needless to say.

    I've probably been around simracing for a tad longer than you guys, and being older (perhaps even wiser ;)), trust me when i say you have no reason to complain. If you think its tough today, think again. When I started in 1997, I felt privileged if my 55.6 kbps dial-up modem managed to get past those violent trrrrrinnngg....whirrrrr....scrraaattchh protestations to actually perform the miracle of connecting. Ha ha.

    Just joined RD. Said in my intro that I have thousands of hours of simracing behind me. True, but TBH I am not sure it even qualifies as simracing when you are playing offline against AI or just hotlapping to beat yourself, night after night.

    Btw, I am trying to kick start the e-sports eco-system in India. Recently set up steam servers hosted in Delhi for CS:GO and Dota2 - guys are getting pings as low as 15! Sadly, as much as I would love it, there is zero economic sense in running simracing servers here.

    You guys are licensed? Devastated to find that RD isnt accepting license applications now :cry:
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  14. Rob Gray

    Rob Gray
    kikz Premium Member

    Another frustrated Aussie simracer here. It's definitely tough to find a SOF race in a time friendly to me (e.g. 7pm @ 10GMT). When it comes to iRacing, most races at that time are low SOF and offer little points, making it hard to compete, even when I do win them. As a result, after years of trying I've given up on iRacing and focus now on Aussie leagues in the other great sims.
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  15. Thomas Hinss

    Thomas Hinss
    Aussie Commentator and Writer Premium Member

    Hit the nail on the head there Rob. With our time-zones being so different from European and American time-zones, it is really hard to seriously make it in bigger leagues there and the sim racing world in general. Especially when you factor in commitments outside of sim racing as well, it can be hard to find the time needed to practice and be at a peak energy level for those races (with most being very early morning starts).

    Plus I feel the fact that most of the public (even ones who are fans of and follow real life motorsport) don't even know these sort of games and leagues exist explains why Australian leagues find it hard to have the large numbers big European and American leagues have.
  16. Chris

    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Member

  17. Decenten

    Driver of the #73 Team OGMRZ Holden V8SC Premium Member