Fanatec and SRO Pioneer the Marriage of eSports and Real-World Racing


So many people jumping to doomsday scenarios because of one event (I think last year brought out the tin foil hat in too many of us :roflmao:).

Seriously though, I think we (the sim racing community) need to have a serious conversation about what we really want for future development of the industry, because we're really sending some serious mixed messages...and I don't know if it's residual feelings about Fanatec, 505 Games/Kunos, the SRO or something else (I'm not a big Fanatec fan myself right now)...but I would be scratching my head if I were a sim racing developer after reading the community's reaction to this. Do we really want realism?

I mean, we push for realism in sims to develop for decades and now here we are: literally 30 years exactly from the release of Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix and things are exponentially more realistic than ever we're at the point where real racing organizations, for whatever reasons, have taken interest to merge both worlds since we're now close enough for such an endeavor to be feasible, and we're essentially saying "No thanks, we don't want it THAT do your own thing and leave us be in our basements please."...What?!

If a bedroom sim racer can adapt to a real car given enough practice (as we're seen a few times in the last 10 years), why is it hard to conceive a professional real life driver could do the opposite? Also...I'm pretty sure failures happen IRL racing as well, some due to driver error, some by team errors and others completely beyond the team or driver's control. I'm sure each team will check to make sure their driver's equipment works before the event starts...beyond that, it's on Kunos and Fanatec to execute a flawless race. Now I've done at least 400 online races in 2020 (iRacing and logs confirm this) with little to no hardware, software or connection failure...and in those races most of the field (at least 15 other persons on average) survive to the end, who are also do the math: why would one on-site event with considerably less drivers be prone to disaster? Murphy's law notwithstanding, statistically the odds are seriously low of that happening.

I don't see this as the death of simracing for simracers...or the end of offline racing (iRacing, the ONLY multiplayer only sim now has offline racing...hint hint)...or the death or real racing...or the start of EV only racing (what?)...why would one thing mean the other? Why are we such a pessimistic bunch? For all the things that sim racing gets wrong, stop and think about the many things they actually get right. Stop and reflect on where Sim Racing was 30 years ago and then come back to this topic (Imagine trying this on GP1 back in 1991!). A small amount of optimism would do wonders, but I understand you can't please everyone.
Man this is the most idiotic decision ever...
Simracing didn't even evolve as it should in the past 10 years, even if it did this sort of thing should never happen. Beyond stupid...


I personally find simracing more interesting to watch... Modern IRL races can be very boring (especially in F1) and some of the most fun cars (both in GT and single seaters) and tracks to watch are nowadays only driven (fast) in sims or in (mostly slow) historic races.
Moreover, the cost of racing is so high that it's limiting the entry of potential great drivers to drive against/watch and I believe that it's one of the biggest problem of this sport.

Then, it's true that our hobby exists only to recreate the real cars so we need IRL racing to keep ongoing but I believe there is a lot to love about simracing that doesn't exist (anymore) in IRL racing.
I agree with your point!
My sentence wasn't really about watching it on your TV/monitor but about going there, the smells, feeling the engines in your chest, seeing the speed of the cars how it really is, visiting the pits, maybe touching a car.

For me F1 is about the interviews, "being a fan" of some drivers. But when I'm watching some other series, I barely know any of the drivers and then it wouldn't really matter to me if I'm watching a simrace on my TV or a real race.

But I think the broadcasting needs to get more professional. I'm yet to hear simracing commentary without bad microphone levels that are either way too quiet, uneven or distorted due to clipping.
Then most streams are stuttering and giving me headache...
Also there are barely any "replays" or multiple camera angles.

Especially the last ACC SRO championship had this problem: "Oh the front runner just dropped to P5 and 2nd has dropped to P10- yeah sadly we can't go back and watch it. Maybe they collided, maybe not, who knows" :cautious::roflmao:
Hmm, don't know how to feel about this because I don't really follow this discipline of racing, but if such thing was done in WRC and by using the wrc games or dirt rally games, I'd say it would be pretty silly, but with ACC is a whole another deal, of-course it is not the same, but definitely comparable. Though this hybrid is still sounds strange though we'll see.

Another thing that I was thinking recently is that with the motorsport going electric and green, maybe in the future the only way to experience old-school gas powered car race will be in a sim, so lets hope the sims will improve a lot.

Cote Dazur

SIM Addict
That a real life racing organisation deem one of the commercial software and commercial hardware, available and used by all of us, good enough, close enough to reality, to be a part of their racing competition is very good news for any SIM enthusiast, full stop.
Getting feedback from actual, real drivers, competing against each other, using that same commercial software and commercial hardware as us, is even better news. Not as validating, we don”t need that and (should) all realize the wide gap between actually driving those beast of cars risking health and life and what SIM driving is at present stage.
So not for validating, but as a tool that will help software and hardware developers with a live laboratories of real competitors guide us to bring the sim experience closer to reality.
Congratulation to all involved, looking forward to a bright future for our hobby. Looks like pretending to be a real racer, when real racer do the same as us, is suddenly getting a lot easier.
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To be honest I absolutely agree. I don't think real life racing is a huge factor for the climate change.
Sure, it has an influence on more environment friendly technology and might influence the population to buy more eco friendly cars.
Just like all things nowadays it is not about what it does but how it looks. Motorsports is seen by some as something that pollutes and has no any other reason to exist except fun. And they have a point. We don't need motorsport for anything. It is pure entertainment.

But the real kicker is that handful of cars driving around a circuit is not a big polluter. Even in f1 the biggest polluters are the trucks and airplanes and boats that are used to move the show around the world. And even bigger cost is probably the environmental cost of moving the spectators around. But the impressions of people about f1 is that the race cars themselves are doing the pollution. They think that must be a big polluter because it looks so. Yet these same people happily go to big open air concerts or sporting events totally ignorant of the fact that there are likely tens of truck sized diesel generators providing the electricity. Going full blast all throughout the event. But because it does not look like pollution they don't think it is.

So while we agree that in reality racing is not a huge factor when it comes to climate change the sad truth I think is that it doesn't matter. Motorsports looks like it is a big polluter and that is worse than actually being one. And that is dangerous for the long term survival of motorsports.

So the real polluters in f1 for example are left untouched because making the engines more efficient gives the engine manufacturers a possibility to virtue signal how much they car about the environment. While at the same time selling the green image of f1. While at the same time maximizing every kilogram of cargo they can haul around the earth. Yet all this makes f1 look more green and that is all that matters. At the same time f1 could go back to v12s and by simply spending less (money and environment) on engine development and their overall impact to nature would be less. Fewer exotic materials, less material, smaller overheads, smaller production. But it would not look green at the first glance.

It is this virtue signalling that is the real danger of motorsports. People mistakenly believe racing is a big polluter because of the cars going around the circuit look so. As such big car companies have already started scaling down their participation at top level and some have moved into pure virtue signalling motorsports like formula e. I think the bigger series are going to see cuts as big car makers move towards more virtue signal friendly pr areas. One of these is definitely simracing and e-sports and while I see that as a positive I also feel the reasons they are doing this are the same reasons why motorsports at the top level is facing a serious risk.


One thing that I am worried about is that drivers will probably sign agreements not to criticize simulation, nor to share any observations with slightest shade of criticism..
Even Alonso started making fun of his Honda F1 engine when it prevented him from winning. If they really score championship points and they find some issue they will bitch and moan like every driver does.
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TBH world is brainwashed in big scale. Pretending to be good seems to work out as a public campaigns subjects. Truly effectively bringing good as a net result of actions is not as visible, and therefore not as popular. It hurts a lot all of us when facts, evidence and logic is less important than having more likes in social websites in the internet.

I hate to think that simracing could become just another virtue signaling approach. It would be hollow, fake and depressing. I am already depressed by how simracers seems to be detached from reality. I guarantee that there are many simracers who just watch simracing and never check real life, and instead of comparing simulation to real life, compares simulations to simulations. I wish this Fanatec and SRO project would encourage more critical look at comparing RL to simulation, but I doubt it will happen. Most likely it will just end up usual politically correct, virtue signaling circus.

@guidofoc I agree, the only times drivers ever will criticise anything, when they will need something to blame for their results. None of them will ever say that they shouldn't have been able to do something lol
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I'm surprised there is so much backlash about sim racing becoming part of the racing agenda yet it seems to me that the real tragedy in the racing world that not many seem to care about are things like the almighty GT1 class becoming just race track days for the ultrarich or DTM becoming another bland GT3 championship...

Just like all things nowadays it is not about what it does but how it looks. [...]
It is this virtue signalling that is the real danger of motorsports.
This is sadly the right explanation to the evolution of the sport.
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Paul Glover

RaceDepartment Social Media Manager & Podcast Host
Kent, UK
F1 have just announced their virtual series with real life drivers, was great entertainment last time. Admittedly the game isn't necessarily as realistic.


I see this as a job opportunity for myself. If points earned in sim games are going to count towards money championships in real car racing, each team is going to need a network/developer expert to help them find ways to hack the system.

If you ain't cheatin, you ain't tryin. :whistling:
this is dumb imo, real life and video games need to be kept separate, this feels like a stupid gimmick like fan boost
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only people who refuse to admit they are playing video games do this, the vast majority of people accept they play video games and realise that games and irl are very much different
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I'd have agreed 10 years ago, but not anymore. The sims of choice we have today are not simple video games anymore. Real racing teams use those sims for a reason. And to call those with a different opinion to yours sad nerds makes it seem like you are the actual sad figure here and can't admit, that the sims of today aren't video games anymore.


United States
Given that iRacing has gotten sim racing events televised, if ACC is being used for real points in competitions, you can expect that this will create competition for various sim titles to be involved with their own deals.

I don't know that any other hardware manufacturer has the clout Fanatec does to be able to sponsor something like this.

But it is possible that other smaller premium hardware groups might feel the need to band together to do something similar.

iRacing + HE + SimuCube for example.

The only real take away from this is that we will likely see more of this in the future and I expect that this will create additional competition between HW and SW companies and potential endorsement deals.
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United States
only sad nerds who refuse to admit they are playing video games do this, the vast majority of normal people accept they play video games and realise that games and irl are very much different


Sad nerds ??? Love it! You really wanted to get a rise out of this crowd didn't you? <sigh>

Here's the rub. Simulators are both games and tools. They are not equal, but there is enough cross over for this to work.

Verstappen and Norris have been streaming their online sim races for a while now and their technical racing expertise translates over very well. By that I mean as real F1 drivers that their talent translates over and they tend to dominate the sim races that they are in.

Careful dropping a grenade like your comment above in this crowd!
I'm surprised that so much of the pushback is from the sim racing community.

Many of us have advocated for the legitimacy and realism of sim racing, and when sim racers get seats in real racing we celebrate. But this has really angered some people in the community.

Personally I think this is the biggest validation our niche hobby could get. I'm happy. You could make the argument that it fringes on de-legitimizing real racing, but as a sim racer I think it's pretty cool.

Exactly. I think it's pretty damned cool myself. Why people are assuming negative consequences from this, I have no idea.
In other threads people are fighting about which sim is the most realistic, this thread people are fighting that sims aren't realistic enough.

I really enjoyed the virtual Le Mans last year which was an event that was taken seriously by the drivers and organizers. We will see how this one will be executed, but I am looking forward to it. I do not think the points awarded in these events will be comparable to real races, but it could create interesting situations.