Would a “Sim Media Showdown” Work?

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.

PWF_IROC_ZmodAs 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.

1The general sim racing population appears to prefer a good personality rather than fantastic coverage of an online league. So what would happen if you threw every major personality into a league?

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.

I’m down.



29 thoughts on “Would a “Sim Media Showdown” Work?

  1. “William Marsh (Sim Racing Paddock)

    Bram Hengeveld (RaceDepartment)

    Rob Prange (VirtualR)

    Austin Ogonoski (PretendRaceCars)”

    Those people wouldn’t attract anybody in a race. What attracts the people is the people talking while racing, or commenting after the race, youtubers.


    1. Having me in the field would give everyone a common driver to cheer against.

      Bram and Rob own two of the biggest sites in sim racing. Why not give them a chance to prove their worth on the track?


      1. You could, but I don’t think they would attract more people.

        “Having me in the field would give everyone a common driver to cheer against.”

        Yeah, no. It isn’t hard to see what you want to do. We know that you’re a fast driver, your chances to win would be very high. If you would win, you would brag about it in every article, saying how you have a better credibility than any of them, because you’re faster.


  2. Bram will mop the floor with any of those names if we are speaking of openwheels.
    About live viewers TouringProSeries and FSR in the good old days attracted liver viewership in the hundrend’s but those days are gone…..


      1. This, it’s becoming really annoying to see people make claims behind anonymity, and hardly ever back it up reliably.


  3. I would watch the grand prix f1 races that iRacing broadcasts, if it wasn’t for the hosts being shit. One of them is a weird brit with a massive lisp and the other sounds like a little boy. I can’t stand listening to them to say the least.


  4. I’d be interested to see such an event happen. I like Empty Box’s videos partially for the commentary, as it comes from someone who actually enjoys the racing, and understands ‘how’ to race, more than the other Youtuber’s who just want to blabber on about Car X or Track Y (aka ADS Studios).

    I also lost respect for Gangi after catching Empty’s video about his ‘response’ to a collab-attempt between the two.

    And for the love of god, don’t get me started on SlapTrain…


      1. Failrace is alright, some of the things he does are funny and not commonly seen, but try listening to Slaptrain and see how long it takes before you close your browser.


  5. I like to watch all kind of real motorsport. Circuits, ovals, rallying, bikes, almost anything. Gaming just none. Doesn’t matter who is playing and in what level. If I got time to watch it, then why not doing it by myself.


    1. Pretty much and that goes for “youtubers’ I honestly dont get why young fellers entertainment when not playing games is watching some loud mouth play a game (although I do enjoy reviews and commentry on sim industry), and this would just extend to sim race viwing Id watch 5mins and be “right wanna play now”, but yeah clearly theres potential viewers out there.


  6. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but there have been some reasonably successful sim racing broadcasts over in the United Kingdom.

    TORA (The Online Racing Association) has had a number of their Forza Motorsport 4 series broadcast on Motors TV, a popular British Motorsport channel.

    Really Rubbish Racing (now called Realish Racing) just wrapped up their Aussie V8 series on Race 07, which again was broadcast on Motors TV.

    I don’t know where you’d find viewing figures for the channel but at least there is still demand for broadcasted Sim Racing out there.


    1. http://www.barb.co.uk/whats-new/weekly-viewing-summary

      Suggests a daily view count of <100 for the channel per day, <500 a week. Probably peaks and troughs throughout the day, with the sim stuff in the troughs, as it is largely used as filler during the week when nothing is on.

      Still not bad I guess, and the fact they're willing broadcast it is something…

      Having watched bits of sim racing online/TV it was alright, but as others have said, would rather be doing it myself or watching the real thing, especially as there is no guarantee of excitement over the alternatives.

      People watch EmptyBox/YT commentators for the person talking; the game is background/context. They also only upload exciting races/ edit out the boring shit. Can't do that live.


  7. Uhh, mate, race of champions is still a thing.
    This year they had stadium super trucks, and, like 2 people rolled them over.


    1. Maybe were talking about a different ROC. The one I’m thinking of has teams of 2 from a bunch of countries, and they drive in a stadium, on a track with a cross over.


  8. Love your site and writing style and i’m an avid reader but come on now, you’ve been tooting your own horn about your driving skills often of late. Not hard to see why you would want this to happen. For such a controversial character best not to add fuel to the flame, unless you enjoy the inferno. There is no need for that because you are an already talented (pretend) racer and (pretend) journalist/writer. We like you, as well as those vloggers, for your take on the sim scene and unique personality. That was enough to get me and it’s enough for others as well. Credibility is good but I doubt i’d be interested in a Huttu youtube channel or blog.


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