Doing the eSports Thing

For the past year, many in the motorsports world have been trying to figure things out when it comes to entertaining the fans, keeping sponsors happy, and getting on with the business of racing. COVID-19 has presented some interesting challenges, but we’ve been able to overcome most of them.

IMSA has been a major force is keeping things entertaining. Using iRacing, as many of us do for training, IMSA has been able to put on a show for the fans. This year, IMSA has really embraced the eSports thing and we have a season scheduled, with the added bonus of being multi-class!

This past week, I finished my first race in the LMP2. It was a lot of fun, despite the typical issues of online racing. While we don’t have cut tires, odd issues of fueling or tire changes, and so on, we do have the issues of the dreaded netcode. Going into turn one at Sebring, the car on the outside suddenly disappeared. When it reappeared, wham!

It’s unfortunate, but it happens. We started off in 9th after a marginal qualifying effort. Fighting a very hot track and only two laps to make the best run, I’m pleased with where we started. When this crash happened we were up a few spots. After the crash, dead last in the class.

But I’m known for my ability to just put my head down, turn consistent laps, and make up time. Traffic is fun for me. Carving my way through the GTLM traffic, I was able to get up to about 5th place. Sadly, this was without considering the fuel stop some of my competitors had already taken. While I was holding position, I still had to pit for fuel as the LMP2 does only about 40 minutes on a tank.

When it was all said and done, 8th place was our finishing position. There was nobody in class for about 15-20 seconds on either side, so it was a relatively boring race as a driver. The traffic was fun, but not really that big a deal as the LMP2 is significantly faster than the GTLM.

Then came the white flag. The car in front of me was sputtering on limited fuel. Strategy was key, and the extra gallon of fuel I always do on iRacing was the turning point. Sadly, still about 5 seconds from 7th. I was hoping we might make it up, and Dominik, my spotter, was wide awake (he’s in Germany) and giddy at the possibility we’d catch the fuel starved car.

It’s a lot of fun racing online. It’s definitely cheaper. Sponsorship opportunities are still available, and they’re a lot more affordable. If you’re interested, I’m racing in several streamed series. Not only IMSA, but also Porsche Owners Club (currently second in the series), and three different races in the Apex This series. Reach out and let me know your budget. We can get you on just about any car you want for an investment you can afford.

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