Most PretendRaceCars.net readers know about the International Race of Champions, a small invite-only racing series designed to take the best drivers from around the world, put them in identical cars, and hopefully get a really stellar on-track product that could evolve into something much bigger. Of course, that never happened. The series failed to gain any real notoriety, was heavily biased towards NASCAR during the final decade of its existence, and folded in 2006.
As someone who both writes about driving games, and spends an equal amount of time playing them online, one thing I’ve noticed is that all online racing leagues, regardless of the sim used or caliber of drivers being featured, barely get any views during broadcasted events. I remember a couple years ago I showed up for a few broadcasted 16th Street IndyCar Series events on iRacing, and upon wrecking out early, only saw eleven people viewing the stream – including myself. The Stock Car Extreme races that RaceDepartment held in may attracted just under fifty people. The full race replay of their first ever Assetto Corsa event, uploaded three weeks ago, only has 1,900 views on YouTube. The numbers don’t lie – people almost don’t care about watching pretend auto races.
On the flipside, guys like EmptyBox and Darin Gangi have their own YouTube channels, where they simply talk about driving games. One of Gangi’s newest videos, where he basically tries out a new toy steering wheel, has 34,000 views. The comments section of a Project CARS article on VirtualR has over 800 comments. Alan from Team VVV uploads of a preview build of F1 2015? 40,000 views. Matt Orr will literally just sign up for random races on iRacing and record himself talking for half an hour – and this generates a much better reception than a group of individuals trying to properly broadcast a league race.
There’s enough of them to fill out an IROC-like field:
- Matt Orr (Empty Box)
- Darin Gangi (Inside Sim Racing)
- Shaun Cole (The SimPit)
- William Marsh (Sim Racing Paddock)
- Bram Hengeveld (RaceDepartment)
- Rob Prange (VirtualR)
- Austin Ogonoski (PretendRaceCars)
Alan Boiston (Team VVV)
Throw ’em all into Lotus 49’s in Assetto Corsa and send them to the Nordschleife or a couple of the historic tracks. Start advertising for the mini-series a couple weeks in advance. Get ’em all to film a preview video for their channel or write an article for their site anticipating the series. Schedule the races in a friendly time where everyone can watch live.