Sim racing; not just toys for boys

Feature Image Credit: W Series

With the W Series Esports League in full swing, the all-female racing series is showing that it’s not just for the boys…

Coronavirus has sadly put a pause on any real world racing, but this has seen the world of Esports and sim racing take centre stage.  Like other racing series, the all-female series has followed suit with their own Esport League showing that, much like in the real world, it’s not just the boys who get to play with the toys.

Speaking on the phone to the gathered media on Friday (19th) after round two of the W Series Esports League, championship leader Beitske Visser and Alice Powell, who occupies third in the standings, are confident that Esports will offer another oppertunity for females to get involved in motorsport.

“I think sim racing – not just over the past few months, but over the past few years – is getting bigger,” said Visser.  “You have seen also with the world’s fastest gamer they have put one of the drivers into a real car.” 

Dutch driver Visser went on to say that sim racing is becoming an entry level into the real world of motorsport.  “I think it is becoming an entry level and that young drivers are doing a lot of sim racing as well.”  She went on to say, “some racers that have never raced a real car before are ending up in a real car because of sim racing, so it’s cool to see that.”

Of course sim racing is always going to fall short when compared to the real thing. When it comes to comparing real-world driving with sim racing there are some things you just can’t do. You can’t feel the car. But Visser thinks that techniques and driving skills can be worked on in sim racing, and I for one hope this encourages more females to take part in Esports.

Echoing Visser’s words, third place Powell is in agreeance.  “I echo what Beitske said.  She mentioned about some sim racers having opportunities to jump in a real car and the first thing that sprung to my mind was Formula E. Doing that for their challenge winner which is a great opportunity for racers and sim racers”.  British driver Powell went on to say, “I definitely think that with the W Series championship, the publicity that the series as a whole is getting, it will for sure encourage more females to take up Esports. And that is what we are here to do – to get more females into the sport and compete well ourselves.”

Last year’s winner Jamie Chadwick has already springboarded herself up to the higher echelons of motorsport, becoming Williams F1 development driver in 2019 and racently announcing she had joined Italian outfit Prema Powerteam to be one of Prema’s four drivers in the 2020 Formula Regional European Championship.  She also has amounted 10 out of the 40 points needed to qualify for a Formula One super licence.

Powell, who races in the all electric Jaguar I-Pace Trophy – a support race for Formula E – is confident there will be oppertunies for other drivers competing in the W Series to excel up the ladder, too.

The Esports League takes place over 11 weeks with two races decided by qualifying position and one reverse grid race.

No decision has been made in respect to any prize money from the Esports League.


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