Germany’s Motorsport governing body, Deutsche Motor Sport Bund, officially recognises Sim Racing as a form of Motorsports.
Video games series such as Project Cars, Gran Turismo and Asseto Corsa have pushed the Sim Racing platform closer to reality, with some simulator platforms being the host game for some Esports championships.
In 2017, Formula 1 made the push in hosting its own Esports championship with Brendon Leigh claiming the first title. This season’s championship saw teams enter the series in a fight for a combined prize money pool of $200,000.
The increase realism of Sim Racing has begged the question whether it has classed as an Motorsport, Esports or both. The Deutsche Motor Sport Bund, Germany’s Motorsport governing body discussed in a meeting and elected to add Sim Racing to its list of recognised Motorsport.
The DMSB does note the difference between professional Sim Racing compare to Mobile Racing and Casual Console Racing.
Motorsport teams such as McLaren F1 Team have jumped on board and have taken virtual racing series. The likes of Rudy van Buren and Jann Mardenborough have won competitions within racing games competitions, earning them positions within teams and real world racing series.
Some of the biggest names in Motorsport even race online, helping them improve their skills on the track. Lando Norris infamously races on iRacing during weeks he isn’t racing in the FIA Formula 2 championship or practicing with McLaren ahead of his debut season in 2019.
Former F1 race winner with Scuderia Ferrari and Brawn GP, Rubens Barrichello uses Sim Racing platforms with his son, Eduardo to help learn some of the IndyCar tracks.
“I have learned some of the Indy tracks through iRacing and it is great to see that the game just keeps improving. The physics are great! Me and my son Eduardo are having so much fun going through the license phases together.” said Barrichello.
Gerd Ennser, new CEO of the DMSB, believes that recognising Sim Racing as a Motorsport discipline is taking the next step and helps the next generation enter motor racing.
“Many motorsport enthusiasts have long since called sim racing a training opportunity and preparation for unknown racetracks,” said Ennser.
“Now let’s take the next step by recognising sim racing as a full-fledged motorsport discipline and thus make it easier for young people to enter motor racing as well.”