2023 VCO SIMMY AWARDS: Honoring the best in sim racing

  • Join the celebration: Nominate your sim racing stars
  • Your voice counts: Participate in the voting process
  • Anticipate the unveiling of winners in December

The Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) is thrilled to announce the much-anticipated 2023 VCO SIMMY AWARDS, celebrating the pinnacle of achievement in the world of sim racing. These awards recognize the extraordinary talent and dedication within the community, spanning various categories from ‘Best Driver’ to ‘Best Streamer’.


Nomination phase: Community and jury engagement

Starting from 20th November until 1st December 2023, the sim racing community is invited to submit their nominations for their favorites across ten distinct categories. Concurrently, a selected jury will also recommend nominees based on their expertise and insight into the Esports racing world. This year’s jury comprises 20 distinguished members.

The combination of community and jury nominations will create a comprehensive list of the top ten nominees for each category. This inclusive approach ensures a diverse and representative selection, moving beyond a simple popularity contest.


Voting phase: Deciding the winners

From 5th to 15th December 2023, the final voting phase takes place. Here, the community’s votes will contribute 50 percent towards the final decision, with the remaining 50 percent determined by the jury’s votes. This dual approach guarantees a balanced and fair selection of winners.


Celebrating the winners

The anticipation will culminate in a series of videos released between 26th and 30th December, where the winners of the VCO SIMMY AWARDS 2023 will be announced. These videos will be available on VCO’s social media channels, allowing fans worldwide to join in the celebration.


Categories for nomination and voting:

– Best Oval Racer

– Best Team

– Best Car

– Best Event

– Best Social Media

– Best Livery

– Best Commentary

– Best Photography

– Best Streamer


In addition, the fourth member of the VCO Hall of Fame will be announced.

The 2023 VCO SIMMY AWARDS is set to be a showcase of talent, passion, and excellence in the Esports racing world. We extend our gratitude to the community and jury members for their participation and look forward to an exciting and competitive awards season.

Team Redline takes it all

  • Dominant showing by Team Redline, winning in GTP and GTD.
  • Challenging tyre management in scorching sunshine.
  • Demanding traffic as 46 cars hit Watkins Glen.

For the second race of the IMSA Esports Global Championship, a total of 46 cars in the GTP & GTD classes headed to upstate New York to take on virtual Watkins Glen. The relentless sunshine proved to be a large factor, as teams had to adapt and find ways to preserve their tyres on a hot track. Under the watchful eye of three-time F1 world champion Max Verstappen, Team Redline was able to clinch a double victory, which has only happened once before in the history of the IMSA Esports Global Championship.

In the GTP class, BMW M Team BS+COMPETITION’s Niklas Beu had secured pole in qualifying but suffered a 10-second penalty for jumping the start. Diogo Pinto and Chris Lulham were able to bring a flawless performance to the track, finishing the race in dominant fashion. BMW M Team Redline improved on their P2 finish from the first round and have now taken the top spot in the GTP standings. Lulham commented on their approach to the race:

“I was definitely taking an extra step of caution here, with such a margin. We had the strategy under control. Also, when it’s so hot with 55°C on track, there’s no point really risking it going more aggressive in any way.”

Chris Lulham, BMW M Team Redline

In the GTD class, Team Redline drivers Ole Steinbraten and Gianni Vecchio were able to mirror their team-mates. After an intense but ultimately unsuccessful fight for the win in the first round of the season, Team Redline had some unfinished business to take care of. They quickly caught up to the pole sitters from Altus Esports and round 1 winners Mercedes-AMG E-Sports Team ART, taking the top spot in the GTD category. This is how Vecchio summarized their race:

“We are really confident, and I think that’s why I went super early for the move for P1. And then traffic management is key, we did that pretty good and that’s what gave us the gap of two to three seconds after the first wave.”

Gianni Vecchio, Team Redline

The second race of the season will take place at Sebring International Raceway on Sunday, 3rd December (LIVE from 19:30 CET on twitch.tv/iracing and youtube.com/@imsaofficial).

You can rewatch the second race of the season here:

IMSA Official YouTube: www.youtu.be/uthzymQGauk

iRacing Twitch: www.twitch.tv/videos/1975724021

Sensational IMSA Esports Global Championship season-opener at Road Atlanta.

  • URANO eSports Datagroup takes home a surprise win in the GTP class.
  • Heavy traffic at Road Atlanta with a total of 46 cars on track.
  • GTD victory for Mercedes-AMG Apex Racing Team with a nail-biting finish.

The first race of the IMSA Esports Global Championship season saw 21 GTP and 25 GTD cars, with two drivers each, take on the legendary Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. The teams had been eagerly awaiting the first of a total of four rounds in the season. Even though it was an intense race with a lot of traffic to handle due to the two different classes on track, the professional drivers managed to keep incidents to a minimum.

In the GTP class, URANO eSports Datagroup managed to come out on top thanks to a well-thought-out tactic and defensive driving. Jonas Wallmeier & Dominik Hofmann started in P13. They capitalised on penalties for BMW M Team Redline & Williams Esports and managed to claw their way through the field to take the win. Here’s the reaction from winner Jonas Wallmeier: “We stayed clean all race, so in the end we came out on top after a bad qualifying. The traffic was insane, it was super close sometimes. Sometimes you need to lift and stay patient, it’s not easy. So yeah, pretty good win, I would say.”

Mercedes-AMG Apex Racing Team took the top spot in the GTD class, converting their pole position from qualifying. Alejandro Sanchez & Luke McKeown maintained the lead in the beginning thanks to favourable traffic. In the final minutes of the race a nail-biting chase ensued with Team Redline’s Ole Steinbraten catching up to within a car’s length in the last lap. Alejandro Sanchez on the end of the race: “It got very tight at the end, but Luke did a superb job as he always does, and we managed to get the win.” Luke McKeown added: “I wasn’t getting too worried (…) because he was gaining a lot but not enough basically, so I kind of knew in my head that it’s going to be fine. But I definitely was feeling it when it got to about 1 to 1.5 seconds.”

The second race of the season will take place at Watkins Glen on Sunday, Nov 12th.

Live from 19:30 CET on twitch.tv/iracing and youtube.com/@imsaofficial.

You can rewatch the first race of the season here:

IMSA Official YouTube: https://youtu.be/watch?v=L5tFNhB9Lkw

iRacing Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1969600071


About VCO

Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) brings together different stakeholders in Esports, from simulation or gaming platforms and interested partners to active teams, drivers and the community. In a rapidly growing sector, VCO stands for professionalism, focus and a broad media presence. With its international network, VCO provides solutions for the best possible conception and implementation of Esports projects of all kinds. The best teams in the world compete in such high-class competitions as the Esports Racing League (ERL), VCO INFINITY and the FLExTREME championship, which VCO implements on a wide range of gaming and simulation platforms.

Contact for Media Requests

Alexander Mey

Phone: +49 (0)89 45 23 50 91 03

mey@vco-esports.com


VCO Social Channels

Web: www.vco-esports.com

Twitch: www.twitch.com/vcoesports

Instagram: www.instagram.com/vcoesports

Twitter: www.twitter.com/vcoesports

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vcoesports

Discord: https://v-c-o.info/Discord

YouTube: www.youtube.com/vcoesports

TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@vcoesports

Successful title defence: Team Redline wins the second Esports Racing World Cup

  • Team Redline repeats last year’s feat and wins the second Esports Racing World Cup (ERWC II).
  • A total of 50,000 US dollars in prize money was up for grabs over the three days of racing at the multi-platform highlight of the year.
  • Enzo Bonito (Team Redline) named “Most Valuable Driver”.

Munich – Team Redline has won the second Esports Racing World Cup (ERWC II) and can celebrate a successful defence of the title it won last year at ERWC I. The team followed fourth place on Friday on the Assetto Corsa Competizione simulation platform by taking victory on both Saturday (rFactor 2) and Sunday (iRacing). In doing so, they emphatically demonstrated the versatility of their five drivers. This was particularly important at the multi-platform highlight of the year. In total, Team Redline alone won over 15,000 US dollars in prize money.

On Friday, the Unicorns of Love team managed to get its nose ahead in the final against Williams Esports on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform. However, Team Redline then converted its dominance into day wins on Saturday and Sunday. Enzo Bonito was named the “Most Valuable Driver” of ERWC II. The award and 500 dollars went to the driver who achieved the most podium finishes over the course of the race weekend. In total, 50,000 dollars in prize money were up for grabs at ERWC II.

The tournament kicked off on Friday on the ACC platform, and immediately provided superb entertainment. Whether in the heats, the two quarter-finals, the semi-final, the final or, in particular, the concluding Showdown series, the fans were treated to Esports racing of the very highest standard. On Friday, it took the Unicorns of Love team three dramatic races to triumph in the Showdown against the Williams Esports team. Meanwhile, Team Redline set course for a successful title defence with fourth place on day one. With rFactor 2 on Saturday and iRacing on Sunday, the team still had its two strongest platforms to come. As such, the early signs were that the defending champions were the hot favourites to take overall victory again this year.

And Team Redline lived up to its billing as favourites on day two on the rFactor 2 platform. Enzo Bonito, Kevin Siggy and Jeffrey Rietveld finished one-two-three in the heat. The format for the quarter-final saw the top three teams in the “Upper Bracket” – the quarter-final with the top six teams from the heat – progress straight to the final, to be contested by the best six teams, without having to start in the semi-final. It came as no surprise that Team Redline was one such team. The final was followed by the Showdown – the head-to-head between the two fastest teams from the final – to determine the day’s winner in a best-of-three format. Bonito, Siggy and Rietveld produced a commanding performance to defeat the BS+COMPETITION team on Saturday.


Team Redline lined up with Enzo Bonito, Chris Lulham and Diogo Pinto on the iRacing platform on day three, and again left nobody in any doubt that they were the favourites. After impressive displays in the heat and quarter-final, they again made it straight through to the final – and once again the Showdown. Their opponent on Sunday was the Williams Esports team, who were ultimately beaten in two high-class races by the champions of the first two Esports Racing World Cups.

Reactions from the winners:

Enzo Bonito (Team Redline): “It is crazy that we have done it again. I am very, very tired, but it was an unbelievable experience. I am already looking forward to going racing again here soon. Congratulations also to my team-mates, who were all very fast. I definitely cannot win the races on my own.”

Chris Lulham (Team Redline): “It was not easy to adapt to the Lotus 79 today, but fortunately I managed to do so. You cannot afford to make any mistakes, but I really enjoyed driving here today. It was a lot of fun.”

Diogo Pinto (Team Redline): “That was a great experience. I had never driven in a VCO event before and was really looking forward to it. It was great fun. The Lotus 79 is a very specific car and I was surprised how well it ran on the track.”

About VCO

Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) brings together different stakeholders in Esports, from simulation or gaming platforms and interested partners to active teams, drivers and the community. In a rapidly growing sector, VCO stands for professionalism, focus and a broad media presence. With its international network, VCO provides solutions for the best possible conception and implementation of Esports projects of all kinds. The best teams in the world compete in such high-class competitions as the Esports Racing League (ERL), VCO INFINITY and the FLExTREME championship, which VCO implements on a wide range of gaming and simulation platforms.

Contact for Media Requests

Alexander Mey

Phone: +49 (0)89 45 23 50 91 03

mey@vco-esports.com

VCO Social Channels

Web: www.vco-esports.com

Twitch: www.twitch.com/vcoesports

Instagram: www.instagram.com/vcoesports

Twitter: www.twitter.com/vcoesports

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vcoesports

Discord: https://v-c-o.info/Discord

YouTube: www.youtube.com/vcoesports

TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@vcoesports

ERWC II: Twelve of the best Esports racing teams in the world battle it out for $ 50,000 in prize money

  • The stage is set for the second Esports Racing World Cup (ERWC).
  • 50,000 US dollars in prize money up for grabs over three days of racing on different simulation platforms.
  • Twelve teams have qualified for the multi-platform highlight of the year via the Esports Racing League (ERL).

Munich – This weekend, Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) will host the Esports Racing World Cup (ERWC) for the second time since 2022. Twelve of the top Esports racing teams in the world have qualified for the grand finale via the Esports Racing League (ERL). A total prize purse of 50,000 US dollars is up for grabs in ERWC II. A Livestream allows spectators to follow the races, which are held on three different simulation platforms (Assetto Corsa Competizione, rFactor 2 and iRacing), on the three evenings of racing – from Friday to Sunday. The first Esports Racing World Cup (ERWC I) was won by Team Redline.

The winner of each day, on the respective platform, will be rewarded with 2,500 US dollars of prize money. The overall winner after all three races receives a further 10,000 dollars. This means the teams that demonstrate the greatest versatility on the three different simulation platforms will be particularly well rewarded. Each roster consists of five drivers, with three of them competing per race day. The teams only discover which circuit they will be driving at shortly before the start, when the track vote ends on the VCO’s social media channels and the fans have reached a decision. The cars to be used are the Maserati MC GT4 (Friday), the Infinity Q50 (Saturday) and the Lotus 79 (Sunday).

Links to livestreams

(from 19:00 CET in each case)

Friday: Day 1 on YouTube

Saturday: Day 2 on YouTube

Sunday: Day 3 on YouTube

All three days: VCO Twitch


About VCO

Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) brings together different stakeholders in Esports, from simulation or gaming platforms and interested partners to active teams, drivers and the community. In a rapidly growing sector, VCO stands for professionalism, focus and a broad media presence. With its international network, VCO provides solutions for the best possible conception and implementation of Esports projects of all kinds. The best teams in the world compete in such high-class competitions as the Esports Racing League (ERL), VCO INFINITY and the FLExTREME championship, which VCO implements on a wide range of gaming and simulation platforms.

Kontakt für Presseanfragen

Alexander Mey

Telefon: +49 (0)89 45 23 50 91 03

mey@vco-esports.com


VCO Content Database

https://photos.vco-esports.com

Medienvertreter können die Zugangsdaten via E-Mail an info@vco-esports.com anfordern.


VCO Social Channels

Web: www.vco-esports.com

Twitch: www.twitch.com/vcoesports

Instagram: www.instagram.com/vcoesports

Twitter: www.twitter.com/vcoesports

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vcoesports

Discord: https://v-c-o.info/Discord

YouTube: www.youtube.com/vcoesports

TikTok: www.tiktok.com/@vcoesports

A virtual pioneer

Romain Grosjean, we really want to focus on Esports Racing – but still we have to ask, how is life in the United States and being an IndyCar driver?

I love new things and I have been enjoying my time here in the United States. Of course it is a brand new experience for the whole family but we have really been enjoying it a lot. Miami is a great place to live, we’ve got good weather and the kids are very happy. And the IndyCar championship is a championship where I enjoy myself a lot. I am very happy with the move.

You mentioned Florida being a great place to live, so good chances to enjoy your hobbies as well?

I always like being outside. Even when I lived in Switzerland, I used to go skiing or cross country skiing in the winter and cycling or kitesurfing in the summer. I always used to do a lot of stuff outside. But now obviously things have changed. For example, I was at the beach with my family on the first of January. I still like to be outside as much as possible, the big change is that here in Miami you can be outside all year.

You are the head of the R8G Esports Sim Racing Team. Your team follows a rather broad spectrum of activities – you are driving on different platforms, organising your own cups, have access to a large group of drivers. What is the strategy behind this broad approach to Esports racing?

I love Esports. The team is almost two years old and I came into Esports racing during the time Covid hit in 2020. I eventually had a little bit of time to get involved and I really wanted to bring my experience from real life to virtual life. We really grew much faster than we thought we would. We’ve been lucky to have some amazing drivers, good partners and to be able to evolve and be part of big championships. I think we are in a place where the virtual world is growing. It has not yet completely exploded, but we can see more and more constructors coming in the virtual world. Official cups and big series are happening and all of that together, Esports racing will eventually become a bigger business model as well. Right now, it is still a bit of a niche, but I am hopeful that within the next five years, this will change.

Let’s talk about five year plans then – What has to happen for Esports racing to become a bigger business model in that time?

I really think that it will come with more and more constructors getting involved. They are the ones with the biggest marketing budget. We have seen Porsche doing a lot and BMW as well. It’s funny that it’s the German brands who are ahead of the game on that. If more constructors come into Esports racing, we will have more viewers, more sponsors, more money in the Esports racing world. That is where I really hope we go.

Besides growing a bigger business, what’s the big goal for R8G Esports in the future?

Next to the business side of it, there is of course the sporting side. That is where I want us to be always at the top. I want the racing team to be very successful. If we can, on top of that, make a good business – that’s great. But the core of R8G Esports is to win races and to fight Coanda Simsport, Team Redline and all of those guys.

While being a busy and very successful driver in the real world yourself, how much time do you actually have to take care of your team and also to be driving in the simulator?

I don’t spend as much time behind the simulator as I would like, but that it is what it is with three kids and a busy life. Behind the scenes of the team, I actually spend quite a bit of time. I keep in contact with the guys that run the team pretty much every day. They know that they can contact me at any time and that I am always available, so in that aspect, I am very involved.

You have been in Esports racing for two years now. What is your favorite memory?

It has been so nice to watch – from our first 24 hours race at the Nurburgring, where we finished 3rd, to the Formula E on rFactor2 where we competed for the championship until the last round. There also has been the first edition of the ERWC where we finished second. It has been really good to follow the development of the team and to give the youngsters a chance to develop themselves. We picked up some very young drivers and they are doing really well, also in the F1 Esports Championship, where we represented the Haas Team last year. Then we organised the Predator Cup last year as well which is a huge event for us. So a lot of really good memories already.

Which qualities does a driver need to have to become part of R8G Esports?

They need to be fast, that’s for sure, but they also need to have racecraft. We keep an eye on everything that is happening, who is coming through in the different games, who is fast? We also have older drivers who can have a look and help us finding new ones. We also need them to be able to stream and to communicate – just like in real life. Communication and visibility are really important. Our drivers need to be very professional in the way they drive but also in the way they behave and work around.

You were able to bring a lot of your real world sponsors into Esports racing. Was it hard to convince them?

It was a mutual agreement. When we launched the team during the first Covid year there was less Formula 1 racing at the time. My partners loved the idea to go into Esports racing and they got involved even more than I was expecting. That has been really good. Of course, you always want to achieve more. If we have more budget, we can have more drivers and spend even more time on the project. But we are in a good position and are very happy with the way the team runs. I think the sponsors were surprised – in a very good way – about the reach and visibility that we are able to create with Esports racing.

How has your personal view on Esports racing changed in the past few years?

Two years ago, you were playing from your basement with your backpack and some dirty clothes in the background. Now you have to race properly and make sure you have a professional background. Drivers now represent the brands and teams they are racing with much more. Esports Racing has definitely made a big step in the right direction. I still think we can do better and do more, but I am excited about the way it is going. I keep pushing with the boys every day. Let’s keep working hard, let’s develop new ideas, let’s engage with the fans. Esports racing for me is a very important and good way to engage with the fans. For example, we are going to launch a new challenge called “Catch the Phoenix” where people will be able to beat my lap time in a virtual IndyCar. I really like that and I am happy to give out some cool giveaways in the end. Esports racing is just a great way to engage with the fans as well as getting partners in a good spot to make sure that our drivers get what they deserve.

We know about a lot of drivers from Formula 1 and from IndyCar who are also engaged in Esports Racing and who see this as a positive development. But did you also receive some negative feedback on being involved in Esports racing from the real driving world?

Honestly, I have never had negative feedback. Both worlds are different, but all in all it is a very good combination. They work together. And I only had positive comments from the real world about being involved in Esports racing.


Interview: Daniel Becker

Image Credits: R8G Esports

The Story of Mr. C.

Andrei Bogdan Caramidaru’s (or simply Mr. C – as commentators gave up trying to pronounce his name) sim racing journey starts in eastern Europe, Romania, around 2009. He was a passionate, yet of course illegal, street racer, living the ‘need for speed’ life while studying. With the years, his friends’ cars became faster and with that the risk everyone was taking increased.

It dawned on him that this wasn’t going to end well and he stopped. However, the passion for racing, competing and the need for adrenaline remained. It was then when he was introduced to sim racing and it immediately captivated him. Andrei is the type of guy who is either all in or not in at all. Earlier he had tried to replace street racing with mountain biking, but it cost him a couple teeth.

It seems for the better that in sim racing you aren’t actually moving. His friends called him crazy for investing what was a ridiculous €400 for a G27 wheel back then, but that’s not an insult, it’s his character. He started competing on Race07 – RaceRoom’s predecessor – and got involved in the community, became an admin on Racedepartment, today’s biggest sim racing platform.

Trucking as a means
of seeing the world

He finished his studies of sports (yes, he was an athlete, too) and public administration, yet an office job never really caught his interest, because he imagined it too repetitive. He tried to get a foothold in the UK, but eventually couldn’t afford making the transition. Like many, he says:

“I decided to do trucking for just a couple years.”

You’re tempted to ask how trucking isn’t also repetitive? So was I. “You know, yes, the driving is repetitive and the walk from the apartment to the truck, but I’m in a different place with different weather, different scenery, different views and nature every day.” he explained. He lived in Denmark and later Belgium, well at least that’s where his formal home was.

Most of the time he spent in the truck with his wife. Together they not just delivered the freight, but they took the opportunity to see pretty much all of Europe. Every time they got to a place, they would spend time actually seeing and breathing in the city they were visiting. Thus, when he says that Sweden is his favourite country and Copenhagen (or if you ask his wife: Barcelona) his favourite city, you better take that as advice.

Where there’s a will,
there is a way

During all this time, sim racing remained his passion and in 2017 there was a leaderboard competition where he needed to invest more time, so his wife took charge of the truck while he was hotlapping from the passenger seat, which resulted in a top ten finish. He already told her on the first date: “Sim racing, I need this” – so she knew what she bought into.

“Sim racing, I need this”

In 2018 the opportunity came to go to Canada on a work permit for trucking and they made the move. Being on the road for 5-7 days followed by two at home meant that he had to get creative. In the back of his truck he found the space to fit a pretty much full setup: a 32” screen, Fanatec CSL DD and pedals – all mounted on a wooden rig. Today he mainly plays iracing because there’s always a race going on, no matter the time of day. The only issue is the ping stability because he’s on a mobile connection – and forced cockpit camera – he’s a third person guy. However, “sim racing helps me stay sane” he says, sane enough at least to also run a team, raise two children and still manage to drive around 15 hours a day – 10 in the truck, 5 in the rig.


Nils Naujoks

Image Credits: Andrei Bogdan Caramidaru (apart from the 3D rig image, that’s from 3 Circle Creations)

Fuelled by Passion.

One of the great strengths of iRacing is that you can go online any time of day, anywhere in the world and you will always find a race that is about to commence. No need to follow forums, no need to engage with any type of administrative process to be able to take part. Just hit ‘join’ and wait for the session to go live.

The lack of such a simple procedure has been one of the weakest points of Assetto Corsa Competizione for players interested in easy to use matchmaking with an underlying ranking system that ensures you are surrounded by players of similar driving capacities. This comes in addition to one of Esports Racing’s inherent flaws, too much variety and too little structure.

There are simply too many games, organisers, events, classes and cars. While there is a big community playing racing simulations, there are often not enough players to actually fill a grid of a given league, at a certain day, with a certain class of cars.

It was in late 2020 that Boris had enough of the existing solutions on the platform. Some were good attempts, but ultimately lacked to deliver the full experience known from iRacing or involved working through excel tables – not really the automated system that existed on the greener side of the fence. He has played iRacing since 2009 and therefore had a very clear picture of how their system worked and that served as the base for what he was trying to create for ACC.

Unaware and regardless of whether it would work and if players actually wanted such a system, he spent the last four months of 2020 adding another eight hours of programming every night to his main job. By December 28th he had a first functioning version of a daily racing system, with servers automatically starting and registering players at certain times of day. It didn’t take long to notice that there indeed was a desire in the community for such a system. The users grew steadily and when streamers picked it up it resulted in a large influx of new players. After just one year 20,000 people registered. Half a year later, the number doubled to 40,000.

Yet, until this point it was a steady climb behind the curtain as well. The work on the platform was far from over. In the beginning there was only a rating system for the drivers to be able to sort them into grids. A safety rating nudging people to drive more cleanly took some more time to implement. They played around with various formulas before they found an outcome they were happy with. The game only provides car contact logging and its severity but there’s no separation between cause and effect. The rating now also respects the amounts of corners that were driven cleanly to calculate a number that players would either gain or lose towards their safety rating. That again is now used to become eligible for certain series on the platform of which there are now running several different ones.

While those ratings are a good incentive to nudge drivers to race carefully, it remains inevitable in racing that there will be contact. A total of 30 volunteers are helping to review and judge about 100 reported incidents per day in order to hand out penalties to further sanction reckless driving (for the sake of science the author went to test the system and rightfully received a penalty shortly after for not holding the brakes when he got spun on track).
Another 26 people are working behind the scenes organising races, running streams and social media accounts – also all voluntarily. Given how large the platform has become, also the time that the staff invests has grown. Therefore, even if it’s currently not yet feasible, Boris indeed has plans to monetise the whole project – also to give back to everyone who has been contributing to its success.

At the time of writing, LFM season 7 is around the corner, again lasting 12 weeks during which the same track is driven in scheduled races – depending on the series – every hour for one week. The best result for each driver will count towards the season standings and eventually, there will be a winner in each series. Additionally, there is now a series aimed at the fastest drivers on the game with a broadcast happening each Wednesday.

In the future, Boris tells me, they want to see if it makes sense to extend the platform to other games, now that the framework exists, but for the time being he’d be happy if all the existing features in Assetto Corsa Competizione were developed further to make the game even more enjoyable – and to make it easier for third parties to work with it by having better and direct access to the server to feed the website for example. While he’s at it, Boris mentioned other things on his wish list: “I’d of course love more tracks like the Nordschleife or cars like TCR – but at the same time this would also go against the idea of reducing the variety a bit to be able to fill the grids”.

Low Fuel Motorsports has achieved what others tried before them. They managed to gather a huge part of the active player base and offer them something they needed to enjoy the game on a regular basis without the need to do any administrative work as a player.

“All this is only possible because of the incredible work of everyone behind the scenes. I’m just endlessly thankful for everyone who is dedicating their time to LFM!”.

Virtual racing does not need fuel to happen, but its existence and success is fuelled by passionate people like Boris and the entire team behind Low Fuel Motorsports.


Nils Naujoks

Image Credits: Low Fuel Motorsports

MAIDEN WIN FOR GTWR ESPORTS IN ROUND THREE OF THE ERL SUMMER CUP ON THE ACC PLATFORM

  • GTWR Esports records first ERL overall win, while the big favourites struggle on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform.
  • Previously dominant, Team Redline and Unicorns of Love exit in quarter-final and semi-final.
  • The twelve participants in the ERL Summer Cup Masters have been confirmed: Apex Racing Team secures a spot on the list of seeds thanks to reaching the final in round three.

Munich – The third round of the ERL Summer Cup organised by the Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) proved to be an evening full of surprises. First came early exits for the two favourites, Team Redline and Unicorns of Love, on the Assetto Corsa Competizione platform, and then the GTWR Esports team claimed their first ERL overall win in the final against the Apex Racing team. Having triumphed in round two on the iRacing platform, Apex Racing secured first place on the list of seeds for the upcoming ERL Summer Cup Masters by reaching the final again. On 10th August, the twelve best teams from the Summer Cup will compete against one another on the rFactor 2 platform.

Round 3 featured plenty of action in the virtual Porsche 992 Cup on the circuit in Kyalami. While the eventual winners Niklas Houben, Luke Whitehead and Andrea Capoccia progressed easily through the rounds, early exits beckoned for Team Redline in the quarter-final, having reached each final up to that point, and the ACC dominators Unicorns of Love in the semi-final, each time after incidents in the sprint race. Apex Racing Team reached a second consecutive final thanks to a spectacular overtaking manoeuvre from Jamie Fluke on the final turn of the semi-final race, but failed to get a sniff of victory against GTWR Esports. Apex Racing nonetheless scored enough points to reach the Masters as top seeds.

Overview of the twelve teams who have qualified for the ERL Summer Cup Masters:

1. Apex Racing Team7. Unicorns of Love
2. BS+COMPETITION8. cowana Gaming
3. Team Redline9. Patrick Long eSports
4. Williams Esports10. TRITON Racing
5. R8G Esports11. Team Fordzilla
6. Burst Esport12. Carbon Simsport

Reactions from the winners:

Niklas Houben (GTWR Esports): “I think the win was down to our perfect teamwork today. We may not have been the quickest, but we were consistent and worked together brilliantly. Unicorns of Love were best in terms of speed, which makes their exit all the more surprising – and the same applies to Redline.”

Luke Whitehead (GTWR Esports): “The races for this format are so short that a lot depends on whether you keep your cool or start to get desperate. That happens to a lot of people. This ERL event reached a new level of toughness, but I learned a lot from it and it was so much fun. Victory this evening tastes particularly sweet.”

Andrea Capoccia (GTWR Esports): “In the final, I knew that my two team-mates were just a bit quicker than me. As team manager, I also wanted to be responsible for the risky part. That involved slowing down the other drivers for the Apex Racing Team and keeping them behind me. I am simply delighted with the performance from the whole team.”

IMSA AND VCO LAUNCH NEW CHAMPIONSHIP ON IRACING

  • IMSA Esports Global Championship will be held on iRacing in October and November.
  • First IMSA race series fully geared towards Esports racers in collaboration with VCO.
  • Haasper: “IMSA deserves a world-class Esports racing championship – and it is fantastic that we at VCO can do our bit to make this series happen and bring about success.”

Munich – At its annual ‘State of the Sport’ presentation, the North American motorsport association IMSA also announced a new initiative in Esports racing on Friday. In collaboration with Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO), IMSA will hold a race series fully geared towards Esports racers for the first time in October and November, with four races on the leading simulation platform iRacing. As a proven partner when it comes to live broadcasting the championship, RaceSpot TV is also on board.

The IMSA Esports Global Championship will be contested by virtual GT3 cars of brands also represented in the real-world IMSA championships: BMW, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Mercedes-AMG and Porsche. In the TCR class, the teams will go head-to-head in Hyundai and Honda models. The format is inspired by the real-world IMSA races. Each race lasts 2:40 hours, with two drivers sharing the cockpit. The season is scheduled to get underway on 16th October, at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Then a week later, further points and victory will be up for grabs at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca. With the two races at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Daytona International Speedway following on 6th and 20th November.

“IMSA deserves a world-class Esports racing championship – and it is fantastic that we at VCO can do our bit to make this series happen and bring about success,” said Florian Haasper, CEO of VCO. “Countless real-world motorsport organisations are now represented in Esports racing. But IMSA in particular with its unique diversity of cars and formats has everything needed to wow fans virtually as well. We are really excited about this partnership.”

“The IMSA Esports Global Championship is the next step in our esports presence after the success of the IMSA iRacing Pro Series and the IMSA Triple Crown Challenge,” IMSA President John Doonan said. “IMSA was among the first motorsports organizations to recognize the potential of working with iRacing to blend the gap between sim racing and real racing by including our manufacturing partners. We’re excited that eight OEMs competing in IMSA this year will be participating in the IMSA Esports Global Championship, and we expect that number to increase in the coming years.”

Entry slots for the 2022 IMSA Esports Global Championship will be awarded by invitation. More details about the championship and the full rulebook will follow in the coming weeks.

Overview of the IMSA Esports Global Championship:

16th October 2022, Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
23rd October 2022, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca
6th November 2022, Indianapolis Motor Speedway
20th November 2022, Daytona International Speedway

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