In 1974, the arcade game ‘speed race’ was released by Japanese developers, Taito. It was the first known motor racing game with scrolling graphics, and allowed consumers to dream of a future filled with virtual racing.
Over 40 years have passed since then, and finally the world of sim-racing is beginning to leave its mark (and a sizeable one at that) on the Motorsport industry.
Advances in technology have allowed racing fans a path into the sport different to anything seen before. In the 20th century, the only viable option for a youngster hoping to reach the lofty heights of Formula 1 was to go Kart racing. It was where kids could prove their talent, hone their skills behind the wheel and work on their race craft.
A problem with karting professionally that many people don’t realise is the vast costs of competing. Now however, stars can be born and showcase their capabilities online.
- Lazor scanned circuits that replicate surface changes and bumps to the millimetre.
- Fully accurate cars that use telemetry and data gathered in real racing to simulate exact characteristics.
- Improved online internet capabilities allowing drivers to compete with one another, in real time, in organised events to improve race craft and gauge their ability.
These are just some of the things that have helped turned sim-racing into the key player it is quickly becoming in the industry. Even all formula one teams have now turned to simulation to help improve their cars and drivers.
The final proof of this new age was the incredible Vegas e-Race. Top sim racers from around the globe came together to compete for $1,000,000 of prize money. The scale of the event has helped show everybody in Motorsport just how much of a part sim racing has to play.
(Video uploaded to Youtube by ‘FIA Formula E Championship’)
It has come a long way in 40 years, who knows what heights will be reached in the future…..