Sim Racing VS Real World Motorsport

The esport racing experience gets competitive

Sim racing is at the head of the contest to gain advantage from esport’s newfound popularity with the ever growing interest in VR racing. The video streaming, social media streaming and traditional broadcasting of esports has been hotting up and the potential merchandising, sponsorship and advertising profits up for grabs are more than impressive enough to have esports giants such as ESL Gaming and Epic Games looking seriously at deals with TV broadcasters. Racing experience may still be the key to success but, for big esport businesses, the real competition may well now be off the track.

sim racing

Sim Racing enters the USA high school arena

Whist esports are still at the ‘test the waters’ stage with traditional broadcasting, they have already moved into high school sports. Startup PlayVS have put their focus on building a competitive infrastructure into high school level esports, with plans underway to build leagues, develop rules and schedule games. PlayVS launch their first interstate season this October and around 5 million high school students will find themselves with the opportunity to compete in an organised environment across 18 US states. PlayVS have yet to announce exactly which games will feature in their new high school leagues but it seems likely that the popular, high adrenaline esport of VR racing will make an appearance.


The differences between VR racing and real world racing experience

For those who are keen to get their share of race experience through VR racing, the high level of competition is great news. There are obvious differences between VR racing and real world race driving but with drivers already using sim racing to improve their driving skills, enhance their focus and familiarise themselves with specific circuits, it is clear that advances in technology have also provided a high level of compatibility between the two. We look at the differences between VR racing (sim racing) and real world racing.

real world driving

The VR racing experience – car build

One of the key factors esports developers have worked hard to progress in is the realism of a sim car as it decelerates into and accelerates out of a corner. Many of the braking points and turning points of sim cars are set up in exactly the same way as they are in real cars and VR racing developers work closely with real world developers to get the correct aerodynamics, suspension and degrading tyre grip. All of this means that the feel of sim cars is reported by >real world drivers as being remarkably close to that of those used in real motorsport.


The VR racing experience – car feel

One of the advantages that a real world driver has over a sim driver is that he can feel the g-forces and the way that the car dives and rolls as he keeps it close to the traction limit around corners. VR cars cannot offer this and sim drivers have to compensate by listening to the tyres and feeling the under steer through the steering wheel. Whilst sim cars generally give a great feel through the throttle pedal and steering wheel, the same cannot be said for the brake pedal, which does not give the same detail of feedback, for example when tyres are about to lock up.
vr racing

The VR racing experience –circuits

Real life circuits are translated to VR racing via a series of laser scans and give millimetres of accuracy, which can only enhance the sim racing experience. This level of accuracy means that a sim driver can experience all of the gradients, edges, cambers and bumps of a circuit in exactly the same way a real world driver can.


The VR racing experience –race craft

Race craft is the way in which a driver relates to other cars on the track. Good online racing driving systems include penalty arrangements, which encourage acceptable race behaviour. This means that a sim driver has to engage all of the same thought processes and use all of the same skills as a real world driver, without, of course, the possibility of injury.
racing experience

The VR racing experience – race engineering

Track temperature, weather, fuel and tyre rubber are amongst the myriad of engineering factors that lead to the complicated and intricate real world racing experience that sim developers have found very difficult to replicate. Changes of set up can be achieved in a sim car but their impact is not the same as it might be during a real race weekend.

It is clear that sim racing is very similar to real life racing, with maybe the exception of the physical feel of the car, the g-force and the safety aspects. There can be no doubt that the obvious physical dangers of real world racing set it apart from any simulation, no matter how technically advanced. In real world racing, medical cover and equipment at motorsport events continues to be of top priority. Our team at MDD can offer a wide range of long standing expertise, quality equipment and seasoned advice. Get in touch with our specialist consultation team today on +44 (0) 1992 568 737 to talk about all your medical and safety equipment needs.