Uwe Alzen – Sim Racing is for Pussies.
Spending a lot of time on racing tracks myself, I can confirm that in the real racing world, the opinions regarding the rise of sim racing as a sport are diverse, to say the least.
Many Motorsport professionals regard sim racing as a helpful tool to bring more spectators to the circuits and get more people interested in the sport. Furthermore, modern simulators have proven to be very valuable to get racing drivers and teams mentally ready when having to race a new circuit or layout.
That said, also many of the (mostly older) motorsport professionals, are developing a serious dislike towards the term sim racing. For some reason, they see it as a degradation of the sport they love and regard the successful sim racers who made it to the real world racing scene as a commercial threat.
The past few years, it became apparent that eSport is becoming big business, with budgets growing year by year. Automotive relative brands are becoming aware of the global popularity of eSport and start to slash out significant budgets in support of the phenomenon. In this way, Sim Racing might start to compete with its real-world counterpart, and might sooner or later have an impact on the sponsorship of motorsport. In essence, the potential advertiser/sponsor does not choose sides but focusses on the following audience and its brand awareness. The fact that sim racing is categorized as a virtual motorsport, does not compute to everyone.
During the latest German VLN live stream, living racing legend Uwe Alzen shared his thoughts concerning simulators and Sim Racing in general. To the annoyance of the sim-racing scene, Uwe told the world that Sim Racing is “not for men, but for pussies“. This statement originated out of a few discussions Uwe Alzen had earlier with motorsport professionals who claimed that a simulator could get you ready to race in a real-world GT3 car. Uwe did not agree, and in all fairness, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
Many real-world racing drivers fail to see the promotional and commercial benefits of sim racing towards their sport, while many successful sim racers fail to understand that a successful virtual career does not make you an accomplished racing driver. These misconceptions usually result in the common EMO vs EGO wars.
While motorsport marketing projects such as Nissan’s GT Academy and Mazda’s road to Indy have already proven that Sim Racing can be a good filter to sift out potential racing talents, it has to be said that virtual and real motorsports are not exactly comparable. Real motorsport is physical, dangerous, very logistical and outright expensive. Sim racing, on the other hand, can teach you race craft, improve your driving skills, and can be the ideal start to a motorsport career, from the comfort of your living room. But that is where the comparison stops. To prove to the world that you’ve got what it takes to become a racing driver will take more than a fast lap on your home racing simulator.
The reason behind the ever-growing success of sim racing is easy to understand. Motorsport has evolved into an elite sport which became so expensive and time-consuming that in most cases it is only in reach of the rich and famous. Even grass-roots classes and karting are now often out of reach of mere mortals. Many youngsters ( and grownups) dream of becoming a racing car driver, but will never be able to live the dream. That is where sim racing can fill the gap, and let motorsport enthusiasts enjoy the thrill of competing in a racing-themed environment.
It is safe to say that great sim racers do not necessarily become great racing drivers, but sim racing can be very beneficial to real-world motorsports. Many gamers become sim racers and often turn into motorsport fans. This is one of the main reasons why allot of motorsport organizations embrace the sim racing communities and will keep on doing so in the near future. And remember “No one can take away your dreams”
Feel free to share your opinion in the comment section below.
Uwe Alzen reply:
Hello dear sim racer. Unfortunately, my interview was wrong over the last VLN race.
I don’t want to get too close to any sim racer or attack him personally. On the contrary, I’m glad everyone has his hobby or employment. I myself move in motorsport and my interview should target the people with whom I have had many discussions recently. Be it driver or team from the motor racing scene that partly believes that someone who has been sitting in the simulator is ready for a vehicle of the gt3 class.
I myself had the opportunity to test two simulators from a friend extensively. These were simulators that currently have the latest state of the art. And I can definitely tell you that driving on the simulator has little to do with real racing. Best example: If I drive in the simulator after only 45 minutes of practice on Sebastian Vettel’s best time in hockenheim, this cannot be true. In reality, I wouldn’t have been in the formula 1 car to be light-Light-Light-light But the bottom line is simulator driving fun and a nice hobby.
If it allows my time, I will visit the Sim Racing Expo from Marc Hennerici this year. Thank you, dear Marc for the invitation. It’s great how you used to work for me in the last few days. I just hope that your understanding of your work in the adac didn’t suffer. 😉
Many Greetings & happy easter
Official Webpage – Uwe Alzen Automotive
Uwe Alzen Interview at 6.58.50