Germany Is Officially Recognising Sim Racing As A Legitimate Form Of Motorsport

Germany Is Officially Recognising Sim Racing As A Legitimate Form Of Motorsport

If you’re into racing, chances are, you’ve played at least one racing game in your life. With technology ever on the rise and sim racing becoming more than just a ‘game’, Germany’s racing governing body, Deutsche Motor Sport Bund, has decided to officially proclaim sim racing as a legitimate motorsport discipline.

The whole distinction between real life sport and esport is becoming blurrier and blurrier by the day. Platforms like iRacing can provide a simulated racing environment that, with the right technology, can actually be a legitimate means of honing a racing driver.

After all, what do Formula One drivers do in their spare time? They practice on a simulator. That kind of tech is making its way into homes now.

So, in a press release from DMSB (available here in German), the governing body admits that there’s little difference between real-world racing and sim racing—with some important caveats, of course. They’re talking pro sim racing. The kind of stuff people get sponsored and paid for.

You are not an actual race car driver because you are really good at racing games on your phone or at-home console (unless, of course, that at home console is what enables you to break into the big time).

Plenty of folks on Reddit credit sim racing as helping them out in real-world driving situations. Lando Norris, who will be racing in a McLaren for the 2019 race season, claims that esports helped him hone his skills on the road to F1.

Ford is using simulators to test out road cars as well as the ones they’re entering in NASCAR—and Ford’s driver training program (including sim racing) has been shown to help out the average person focus on everyday tasks and multitasking. Hell, even Formula E and Formula One both have their own dedicated esport teams and series now.

The DMSB’s announcement is paired with the introduction of an esport sanctioning body, which is planning to establish a standard set of rules that can be implemented across the board in sim racing situations. That way, everyone will be operating under the same basic regulations.

It’s a big step forward for the legitimisation of sim racing on a professional level, and it compounds the understanding that a lot of drivers and racing enthusiasts have that sim racing has improved their driving skills, making them better drivers in everyday situations and, of course, better racers. The DSMB is the first governing body to make this ruling—it’ll be interesting to see if other countries follow suit.


  • Professional SIM racing?

    So… racing, without the physical endurance or stamina?

    I mean, sure, I guess. But wouldn’t competitive video games be better suited to different experiences than we already have in the real world?

    Does anyone really think this is the future?

    • Yes. You are the odd one out for thinking this isn’t the future. Competive racing is hugely popular. iRacing is an example of that.

    • Have to disagree with you. Especially the stamina/endurance statement. Clocking lap times within a couple of tenths lap after lap is not easy on the mental side of things, couple that with proper FFB wheels you can definitely hit a wall physically in long events.

      I prefer watching sim racing events anyway, results are a bit more unpredictable than the real thing.

    • Dude…’re so far off the mark here. Esport racing is huge, and is a heck of a lot of fun. The reason it is huge is that I can drive a current model F1 car in a competitive race. Can’t afford to do that in real life. Not to mention not killing myself if I hit a wall at 300+.

      Racing itself in real life has a very very high entry bar to jump. You either are lucky enough to be involved in karting when younger, or you were involved in karting when you were younger. That’s it. That’s how you used to get picked. Maybe if you were rich enough you could get your own team together and secure a few wins to get a place in a bigger team etc, but that was extremely rare……plus you needed to be rich enough to afford it in the first place.

      These days we genuinely have gamers getting seats as professional real race car drivers based on their esport results. Veloce_Limitless for instance got a drive recently with Renault because of his esport wins. An Aussie guy drives a GT-R professionally after winning the Gran Turismo tournament for esports.

  • That is awesome!

    Having dabbled with iRacing only a little, I can certainly see the distinction. It’s hardly ‘a game’ to get the most out of it, and I’m also familiar with a few Supercars drivers who sit amongst particular leaderboards too!

    Also, if it’s at the level where sponsorship and so on is involved, I can hardly see it being any of the ‘Gran Turismo/Forza Motorsport’ crowd (though to be fair, there are a few professional racing drivers directly attributed to GT’s feeder programs)

  • I hope they can figure out a better way to broadcast esport racing to be honest. I follow a couple top racers on youtube but you only get their perspective and commentary. I’ve really really got into following their daily feeds, and get quite bummed if they miss a day.

    Would also be good if there was a genuine way casual racers could enter these things and work their way up the board. A world ranking or something. Obviously the logistics of that would be nearly impossible to manage, but it would enable the whole thing to really blossom.

    As for me, GT Sport got me to buy a wheel. Now I’m completely and utterly addicted to F1 2018……and I’m looking at buying a new high end PC, racing seat etc just to really get into iracing.

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