Are sims a good way to get into real racing?

Dan Allen

I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.
OK, so I'm curious to hear peoples opinions on this, and I'm especially interested to hear from anyone who actually works in motorsport...

Are "true" sims such as Game Stock Car a good way to get into real racing? By that I mean, if you can drive well in GSC, can you drive well in the same car in real life? After hearing about Esteban Gutierrez it made me wonder if us sim racers could very well have careers.

As a side note, would teams accept a driver has talent based on his results from driving in sims?

Your thoughts on this?


RaceDepartment Administrator
Well sim racing misses a lot of the feelings you can get in real cars. You will know how to drive proper lines, but it is a world apart. Just take a close look at the Nissan GT Academy.
Some of it carries over, but not all. I do a lot of Race 07 and race go karts competitively every Friday. It mostly comes down to learning and adapting :thumbsup:.

I plan to go to the Skip Barber Racing school in a few years, receive a scholarship and start on my journey up the Mazda Road to Indy. Maybe we'll cross paths within the decade ;)

Dan Allen

I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.
I'll **hopefully** be racing in Britain within the next year. I was trying to get into Formula Renault BARC but my instructor said it's probably better to start lower and learn to race, so I'm thinking FF1600, or maybe lower end touring cars or rallycross. Eventually, I'd like to race in DTM, WEC and/or Aussie V8 Supercars. As you can tell, it's all up in the air at the moment. I don't really have an idea of where I'm going yet, maybe I'll start planning it out very shortly. Provided my good friend procrastination doesn't rear his ugly face again :unsure:

Anyway, my point I was making was would Formula Renault teams accept good, quality sim practice as a substitute for karting, seeing as I've never been in a kart in my life?

As for adapting, I've found that after playing a **** ton of AC and GSCE that I adapted a few techniques like heel-toe, left foot braking and a steering technique and started applying them on the road. I'm not exactly faster, because it's too dangerous to go too fast on my local roads, but I am much smoother and consistent now than I used to be.
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F1 teams use sims as part of driver training, but they are worlds apart from those used by consumers.

Additionally, racing on a computer is entirely different than sitting in a car, and I would guess the only performance that matters is on a real track with real competition.

Nearly all the professional racers started in karts, it will take somebody special (with a lot of money for their own team), to break that trend I would guess.
To answer your side note. I don't see a team accepting a driver without any karting or other motorsports experience. Why would they bother when they can have a skilled go-kart racer that has proven himself on track IRL? On the other hand it is not at all useless to race virtually and if you get your hands on a kart it will help you adapt quicker. The only way to get into real life racing by simracing is imho just GT academy. Which uses Gran Turismo as their "sim" so I don't really like it. The most important thing is getting that track time so you can have something to present to a team or a potential sponsor if you want to make your own team. It isn't easy this getting in motorsports thing. I personally spent hours trying to figure out what to do to make a team notice you, but more often than not it is your name (Verstappen?) money (Maldonado?) or both that get you to a team. It is not really very likely to get into proffessional motorsports (by that I mean a series as "low" as F3) without any financial help from sponsors or by being born to the right person. But luck might be on your side so get yourself in a go kart and do your best.