Starting this month, I will be competing in an Audi R8 GT3 Championship which will take place at Simply Race, a simulator centre in Milton Keynes. Simply Race is set in a large industrial unit, featuring 10 connected pods running rFactor, triple screens, bass shakers and G27 wheels, as well as a bar and race control.
For the past few years I have competed exclusively on iRacing and usually in organised championships. I no longer have the time and/or motivation to learn a new car every 13 weeks in official racing, which in general changes and makes previous setups invalid. I do enjoy well organised tournaments, like the NEO Endurance Series, which I will be looking at participating in some way in season 2. My motivation has dropped with iRacing and its physics. Don’t get me wrong, iRacing does many many things right and well, however the driving experience can leave a lot to be desired at times.
We visited Simply Race with work and took part in a private race evening. Despite having some misfortune on track, I won the first race, and was 2nd in the second race. Hit by every car in the final, and then a drive through for car contact, I came 5th overall in the final.
The experience of racing in a room with other people cannot be replicated. Rivalries have already started to form and the talk in the office after the event meant quickly deciding to go back to do a 5 race championship against the same work colleagues. rFactor is an old sim, but the variety and driveability has brought back a love for competing again. The social aspect is pretty awesome too, instead of sat in a man cave with a headset on, after you race you can get out the rig and talk immediately to your competitors whilst watching back any contentious moments on the big screens.
The series itself brings back what I loved about sim racing in the first place – a pure test of each individual drivers skill under the conditions – all cars are the same apart from livery, running the same setup and with the same fuel levels. Tyre management will play a part in the endurance race and it will be interesting to see how the season shakes out.
Dean has once again worked his magic and designed the skins for the five teams which will be entering the championship.
#1 Julian Thomas
#2 Lee Cordell
#3 Mark Winwood
#4 Kevin Bursnall
#5 Darren Kirk
#6 Sam Newland
#7 John Holman
#8 Dan Fox