If you’ve ever wondered just how accurate racing simulators can be, that question was answered over the weekend. At the Victorian State Race Series held at Winton Motor Raceway on Sunday, a team of iRacing experts took their virtual skills to the real-life track for the first time.
Aaron Lee and Ethan Grigg-Gault, the inaugural members of the Evolution Racing Team (ERT), are experienced iRacing sim racers. Grigg-Gault was one of the 12 players who competed in the Gfinity Supercars Series in 2019, and Lee was racing professionally in iRacing throughout 2020. But over the weekend, the duo took to the real-life track for ERT, a Logitech sponsored team that predominately competes online.
While racer Ethan Grigg-Gault came in eighth in the real-life Hyundai Excel race, Aaron Lee nabbed an impressive second place in the Formula Vee category, overcoming issues with an oil spill at the start of the race to nab a spot on the finishing podium.
Both players trained using professional racing simulators and tools, including the Logitech G wheel — and it was this training that got them track ready, according to Brenton O’Brian, Evolution Racing Team manager.
“It was an outstanding debut for the Evolution Racing Team and Logitech G cars at Winton Motor Raceway,” O’Brian said in a press release provided to Kotaku Australia. “The team are now heading back to their homes to their Logitech G wheels to prepare for the next challenge ahead.”
It’s a great result overall, and presents a very intriguing case for all racing training to take place in a sim environment. Not only is it safer and cheaper, it also helps racers hone their abilities in an engaging and comfortable setting.
More to the point, it also proves the legitimacy and accuracy of sim racing tools. It doesn’t guarantee your wheel makes you a racing whiz, but it does indicate you’re learning valuable skills while you’re slipping and sliding your way through Forza or Assetto Corsa.
Clearly, the sim training Grigg-Gault and Lee underwent for their debut races paid off. It’s also got Logitech very excited about the future of sim racing on the real-life race track.
“The success of ERT racers on real life race track is a solid testament to our commitment in sim racing,” Daniel Hall, Senior Category Portfolio Manager at Logitech ANZ said in a press release. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for other sim racers.”
With sim racing becoming more popular in the era of coronavirus, it could very well make a huge splash in the racing industry over the next few years.
So if you’re a sim racing buff, it might just be time to wash those wheels and hit the track for real. The open road is calling.