Race drivers have always been players. So when our 2020 Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup line-up needed to switch from live racing to virtual racing, it was no big deal for them to kick the pedal down for the first ever virtual edition of the racing series. So, if you live and breathe competitive racing, check your virtual way-in here.
SIM it for real.
Burning Rubber on Pixels.
We’ll be competing on virtual adaptations of real- world race tracks, like the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on April 4th and the legendary Silverstone circuit on April 18th. These races will be followed up with Spa-Francorchamps on April 25th and Monza on May 16th.
For us competing drivers, this means adapting to a completely new racing reality. But a reality that is still 100% competitive. That being said, the „machinery“ we’ll be working with isn’tcompletely foreign to most of us - many of us use these simulators to train. Let us introduce you to the Virtual Sim Racers, which are critical to holistically transferring the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup into the virtual world.
Before we dig into how the racing unit of the Porsche Supercup race drivers operate, let’s take a brief look at the set-up the Sim Racer builds on. There are three components needed in order to race. The circuit, a car and the rules and regulations of the governing body. The latter being key to ensure a fair competition and a ranking from first to last place.
Let’s first look at the race circuit. The Supercup circuits are all being converted into Virtual Supercup tracks. This is all being painstakingly done by creating full-scale digital models based on data gathered with on-location laser scans. This provides us with a nearly perfect virtual course, resulting in real acceleration, drift, top speeds and braking distance for our virtual 911 GT3 Cup cars.
Second, the cars. All of the race cars have been virtualized using the same degree of precision as the tracks. PLUS, not only do they adapt to the directions given by the driver, but they continuously feedback the telemetry data in real-time. What does this mean? It means teams following the virtual races can apply all their professional know-how and expertise to fine-tune the virtual race car set up during the duration of the race. YES! That means the grid teams can make real-time adjustments to things like tire pressure, wing and rig adjustments - any necessary measures to help secure their race drivers the top spot on the podium! It's all there and it is part of a nearly 100% accurate simulation, requiring as much attention as on the real track. So let’s hope the mechanics won’t be screwing up pixels that could make a crucial difference!
Professional Equipment for Real Race Drivers.
Lastly, on the physical side of Sim Racing there are the racing units the drivers are actually sitting in. The Sim Racer engine runs on a high-end Gaming PC Engine. The same type of processor used for professional e-sports. Keeping in line with the real Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup, the power unit is absolutely identical for every competitor.
Since we are all real, human race drivers, competing on virtual tracks, we will be customizing our cockpits to fit our own personal driving styles and needs. There will be two versions being built: a minimalist version and a Pro version. The minimalist version will be built on a SimLab GT1 Evo + Monitor Mount. They will kick and drive it via Fanten Wheels and Pedals; checking their racing environment via an x-large curved screen, and hear the engine revs and approaching sounds from an special speaker system. The more pimped-out virtual ride we’re calling the SIM Pro. The SIM Pro is the ‘mandatory for all’ high-end gaming PC engine that runs through a HE Sim Rig G. It is controlled by SimQuip Servos and an Ascher Steering Wheel with the addition of HE Pedals. The SIM Pro runs across three screens and gives you true race car ambient sounds mixed by professionals. For those of you home racers, all of these features are definitely worth checking out, but mind your credit card before you go all in!
In the end, the set up each of our Supercup race drivers choose reflects the amount of race environment stimuli and information they need and want during the duration of a race. How much line of sight? How much noise? How much feedback in general? All of this makes atremendous difference for each of the racers. It also gives you a glimpse into the extenta race car driver goes to build on technical understanding and their own killer instinct.
Are you hooked on the idea of virtual racing? Literally, virtually and live: we are the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup!
All the dates you don’t want to miss:
Saturday the 4th of April - BARCELONA
Saturday the 18th of April - SILVERSTONE
Saturday the 25th of April - SPA FRANCORCHAMPS
Saturday the 16th of May - MONZA