For many motorsports enthusiasts, the cancellation of major sporting events was the moment that made the coronavirus pandemic feel real. No Formula 1, no NASCAR, no Formula E or any of the other racing series’ around the world. Fortunately, technology has a come a long way and with iRacing, a realistic racing simulation, race car drivers have not only found a way to spend their time in isolation, but it was also a way to bring back what fans were waiting for.
🏁 We did not promise too much: the IMSA iRacing Pro Series was a thriller. Strategy games, crashes – it was all there. The BMW M8 GTE celebrated a top-four shut-out.💪🏻#StaySafe #KeepYourPassion #BMWSIM
Posted by BMW Motorsport on Thursday, April 30, 2020
Enter sim racing competitions. Several racing-series are competing in online sim racing competitions. And in a sport-deprived world, these virtual races have become more popular than first thought. The first eNASCAR Pro Invitational Series race “saw 903,000 US viewers on cable TV outlet Fox Sports 1, exposing 255,000 people to NASCAR who hadn’t watched a real-world Nascar race this year”. Subsequent races grew even larger audiences, with 1.3 and 1.2 million viewers respectively.
Right now, fans have access to virtual Formula 1, NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, Supercars, and Formula E races. And while not all of the big names may take part in the races, fans can see many of the stars – often as they have never seen them before. Participating under lockdown conditions, we can see the superstars in their own home, sometimes with their dogs, kids and partners, but most importantly, as real people.