Sim racing is the only esport which replicates real life. Drivers can virtually go to any circuit with any car, spend hours perfecting the driving line and learning the track for a fraction of the cost of reality. Imagine the frustration of transporting a car and race team to a track for a test session and a mechanical gremlin hits which keeps you in the garage all day. It’s expensive, potentially a waste of time and most importantly no longer enjoyable.
Even with advances in technology, a simulator is still much like a real car. It’s a series of moving and electrical components with multiple points of failure. At Simply Race, we pride ourselves on our standards of our product and it is important for our customers to spend the time racing, not back in the pits. Our staff conduct regular inspections and testing of our equipment to ensure it is running in peak condition. We have software which logs the usage of each steering wheel and alerts for faults with throttle and brake inputs. We work with our trusted partners who provide reliable products and we have a vast quantity of spare parts in case of a failure.
This is crucial for our esports events. We can give every competitor equal equipment ensuring a level playing field, but what happens in the worse-case scenario?
We’ve always wanted to run a 24-hour race, and in 2016 we ran two. Considered the ultimate test of team work and endurance, the events are always a sell out with competitors and sim teams travelling from across Europe to participate.
In the lead up to the event, we spent a lot of amount of time testing and preparing the equipment to make sure these would cope. We knew our simulators can run for 12+ hours a day but we wanted to eliminate as many technical hitches as possible. It is one thing to participate in an esports event at home and have a failure. It is certainly frustrating and echoes real life motorsport, but we want to make sure our competitors have the best experience and aren’t hampered by reliability issues outside of their control.
We have a passionate work force at Simply Race, it is not difficult to convince one of our race directors put in laps in on a simulator to ensure that it is running at its peak condition. Each pod was stripped down with new steering wheels and pedals installed on every pod. PC settings were tweaked for optimal performance, multiple graphics drivers, software builds and plugins were stress tested for reliability and confidence. Full length simulations were performed with the team performing timed steering wheel replacements as practice.
We have several ways to deal with a technical issue when a race is live. Time is critical and our team has one aim - to get the car back into the race and in case of a technical issue, back into the position they were in.
By maintaining our high standards, employing preventative maintenance and having a strategy to deal with situations, we can ensure that all our competitors leave our event with a smile on their face.