Aussie Commentator and Writer
This is a question which has been discussed many times before, however recent events have brought it back into the spotlight. With the recent victory at the 12 hours of Bathurst with a team made up primarily of former sim racers, what does this mean for all of you dedicated sim racers out there getting into real world racing?
The short answer: In more ways than one and possibly on a bigger scale too. This has shown that it is possible for people who sim race to get into real world motorsport and achieve success. With racing simulator games becoming more and more advanced, the chances of this sort of thing becoming common place continues to grow.
This recent milestone has also brought the existence and importance of sim racing to a wider audience, something which has been one of the major problems sim racing has had. It is a very niche and specific hobby which has been steadily growing in public knowledge as time has passed.
More and more real world racing drivers are using sim racing to keep their talents up to scratch. This sort of interaction between the traditionally trained race drivers and the sim racers (some of whom have been sim racing for many years) is something which I think is vital to promoting sim racing as a valid form of entry into real world racing.
The growth in coverage of sim racings leagues with live broadcasts and the professionalism which has been shown of these presentations is another factor which only helps to further sim racing knowledge to the general public, as well as real world racing teams and sponsors. The viewership of these broadcasts is still quite small however, certainly when compared to the number of viewers' real world racing events are able to obtain.
Despite this, the recent milestone is definitely a major step in the right direction. These drivers who only started real world racing a year ago, managed to beat (very convincingly I might add) a field full of drivers who have many years of experience through traditional means of rising through the motor racing ranks. Sim racing replacing the traditional route of advancement is still up for debate, however achievements like this help to reaffirm its growing importance and links to real world motor racing.