• Guest, RaceDepartment is now on Discord!  Join Here

How long have you been a sim racer?

  • Total voters

Community Question | How Long Have You Been A Sim Racer?

With the recent increase in exposure for our hobby thanks to the worldwide lockdown, I'm curious to know how long our community has been sim racing.

For me, I've been a racing fan for the entirety of my life, but a relative latecomer to the world of virtual motorsport entertainment. Starting my personal racing journey on the trusty original PlayStation with Gran Turismo, before migrating to the Xbox and Xbox 360 for a stab at Forza Motorsport and my first online racing clan - TMG (of which I cannot now remember what that stands for), although I certainly did dabble via friends at such classics as IndyCar by Papyrus and the original Grand Prix series.

While enjoying the whole wheel and pedal thing in an online environment, I quickly discovered SimBin's GTR franchise, bought myself a PC and Logitech G25, and I've never looked back since (although the bank balance regrets my quest for added immersion).

If I start counting from my ownership of the original Gran Turismo games on PlayStation, my racing game obsession began as early as 1997, with a migration to 'serious' PC gaming coming around 2006 - 14 years ago!

When do you first get engaged in the world of sim racing, and how have you enjoyed the experience so far?

GTR 2 footer.jpg
Last edited:
RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.


Mar 4, 2018
I consider my inception into sim racing truly beginning when I purchased my first wheel/pedal setup. Fanatec CSR with the CSR elite pedals. That was right around 10 years ago I believe. Was playing Forza 3+4 with that setup. I can remember thinking just how fricken cool that was back then. I think I was right around 20 years old, me and my friends had a white board setup at the house. The only rule was you either had to have drank 6+ beers and/or 4+ shots in order to have your lap times count and your time would be posted on the board. Toyota Yaris, Suzuka East. Damn, good times!
Last edited:


Apr 21, 2017
Oh boy, would you consider the games on the Commodore C64 as sim racing? When was that ? middle of the 1980s ?
I love cars and motorsport since I can walk and talk. Started watching races in the early 80s (Rallye and F1 with Röhrl and Rosberg being my favs)
When computers began to come into life I always had racing games on them. Test Drive, Geoff Crammonds GP where early favorites. I went from the C64 to the Amiga and later various others, starting with a 386 pc that had about the capacity of a calculator. Don't really know the year I got my first wheel but I'd say that was when it all became more immersive. I went through tons of games like NASCAR, various F1 titles, Grand Prix Legends, more Test Drive, I don't remember them all. Sports Cars GT and TOCA I knew I played a lot. And then came GTR, GTR2 and GTL. I still have those with file sizes that border on stupidity as I can never race them all.
Since I recently updated my pc and can now go into newer titles I lean more towards AC plus I recently bought Drift Rally and PCars 2 but I barely have my feet in the water with those.
So I played racing games for as long as I had a computer. I'm now 50 years old and don't see me stopping anytime soon.
Oct 19, 2017
Like for the MC12 GTR2 shot...was my desktop image for some years. :D

I'm doing "Full" Sim Racing since around 2002-2003, lucky enough, driving with an FFB Wheel (NFS3 for example) since 1998 and racing games in general (something like Papyrus NASCAR and Microprose Grand Prix on DOS) since i was allowed to play on a PC with keyboard and joystick in the 90s. Man i'm lucky to never need to use memmaker anymore :D
Imagine doing that as a 10 year old little brat, that had all his information from his dad and suffering from task saturation. :D Bringing a sound card to life was sorcery :D

Now we're arguing about FFB nuances, tyre flex, laserscanning and quality of life choices in racing sims.
Things could be way better in many regards...but honestly...we are spoiled privileged brats.
Last edited:
Oct 19, 2017
Started with revs on the BBC Micro, then it was Indycar and Microprose Grand Prix on PC.

View attachment 385213 View attachment 385214 View attachment 385215
The first image gives me flashbacks.
I was able some day to get my InterAct V4 working with Grand Prix as a child in the late 90s...man, this was the "breakthrough". I was driving it first on Keyboard, then joystick what was awesome already, but the wheel stuff...i was wishing for an improved version of that kind of racing game. Then F1 Challenge 99-02 came out....
  • Like
Reactions: Paul Glover


Apr 7, 2019
I remember my first race game was Nigel Mansell on Amstrad cpc !
The big change : grand turismo on playstation and GP legend on pc
My favorites : Rfactor 2 , Assetto Corsa , Gran turismo sport (for fun ) and F1 2020 (beta tester)
New game : Automobilista 2 (good but more "simcade" than the first game )
  • Like
Reactions: Easty and peppepino


Assetto Corsa Competizione Club Staff
Staff member
Nov 13, 2010
When I was about 7-8 I played my first GP3 game on my uncles laptop. Eventually got it on my home computer and on my 10th bday I got my first wheel, so that is when I start to consider it simracing. Also had F1 2000/1 and eventually moved over to F1 Challenge 99-02 which I've modded into oblivion.
Then Race 07 came, RaceDepartment came and my simracing library exploded to rF, rF2, R3E, AC, ACC, AMS, Couple of F1s and soon AMS2.
Am 26 now, so I picked 15+
Oct 19, 2017
Also had F1 2000/1 and eventually moved over to F1 Challenge 99-02 which I've modded into oblivion.
My first mod for F1 Challenge 99-02 was the Porsche Carrera Cup/Michelin Supercup, also my first touch with non-formula sim content...man i was clueless, how this would be influencing my free time besides playing guitar in the future! :D
  • Like
Reactions: Ricoow
Mar 21, 2018
only 60 votes in, but there's a worrying trend there: most have been sim racing since a very long time, and new racers don't seem to stay on very long

I started playing racing games on the original playstation, and started my sim-racing with SCGT