Story Update: A full-length video detailing JJacoby88’s sim racing history has been inserted at the bottom of the article.
An impressive piece of engineering, or the definitive example displaying sim racers have lost touch with reality? That’s the question we’ve been left contemplating here at PRC.net, as sim racing Twitch personality JJacoby88 has crammed a life-size stock car chassis into his room; a sim rig unlike any other. Sporting a certified containment seat from Hendrick Motorsports, and a legitimate chassis built by late model team Kirk May Racing, what you’re looking at above is a comprehensive hardcore sim racing setup that simply won’t be eclipsed by anyone else for quite some time – if ever. Though the outlandish configuration is far beyond what any sane person would require to enjoy a modern racing simulator from the comfort of their own home, credit must be given where credit is due; the rig is a sheer work of art; and every square inch of the faux cockpit has been hand-crafted to perfectly replicate what you might see within the roll cage of a 2016 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series participant.
This is not just a SEGA arcade cabinet from the 1990’s, but a professionally sculpted race car interior created by those who work within the auto racing industry on a full-time basis. Every last insignificant detail – from the overall sheet metal fabrication, to the aftermarket control surfaces – have been fine-tuned to enhance the illusion of sitting in a real life professional race car cockpit and cooperate with the Microsoft Windows operating system, a truly magnificent display of craftsmanship.
Sadly, the one-off project which could have been celebrated by the community as a milestone in sim racing immersion, is instead tainted by the story behind it.
Sporting a custom Domino’s Pizza fire suit, the full array of appropriate safety gear, multiple on-board cameras, an Oculus Rift, and a slew of Domino’s Pizza advertisements plastered over the broadcast, JJacoby88 takes the role-playing element of his Twitch streams to the absolute limit, regularly pausing his on-track monologue to discuss Domino’s Pizza menu items and other random facts about the popular Pizza chain during live Twitch broadcasts. Now while it’s not exactly uncommon by any means for Twitch personalities to receive some form of sponsorship, upon a brief investigation into the matter, JJacoby88 is merely employed by Domino’s as a delivery driver. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my first full-time job as well, but ordering a $400 custom fire suit to wear while playing iRacing and telling others in the room about the flat screen televisions on sale at our store that week is a thought that never once entered my mind.
At this point, you’re most likely wondering how in the hell a random young adult from Georgia was able to afford such an elaborate sim racing setup, and the answer is quite simple: He couldn’t. A few weeks back I actually had the pleasure of jumping into one of JJacoby88’s Twitch broadcasts, and I was able to ask Jason himself how he managed to secure funding for what was obviously a colossal undertaking on many levels. To every viewer’s surprise, we learned no less than three credit cards and an undisclosed number of cash advances were used in the making of his custom, one of a kind, sim racing cockpit.
Yes, you read that right. Someone on this planet put themselves in an advanced state of financial ruin, just to play iRacing.
Combined with the act of pretending to be some sort of real life race car driver that he can’t seem to drop, what we’re looking at here is honestly quite frightening. We often joke around here at PRC.net about iRacing users who take the online racing simulator a bit too seriously at times, but rarely do we expect our attempts to provoke the iRacing members among us to actually manifest into something so profoundly asinine. We thought we couldn’t descend any lower than iRacing Peak Anti-Freeze Series drivers passing out hero cards of their virtual race cars in an attempt to land an ARCA Re/Max Series ride, but we’ve clearly been shown someone can always come along and set the bar infinitely higher than we ever thought was previously possible.
As a human though, what bothers me about this story is just how many fellow sim racers had the very real chance to stop JJacoby88 from impending financial ruin, yet instead chose to enable and encourage him to pursue this venture, even supporting the cringe-worthy NASCAR driver act. Payday loans and Credit Cards are not to be fucked around with – we learn this in high school from mandatory life management courses – yet the reception to this project so far has been unanimous praise; not one person appears to have bothered to ask the tough questions concerning how this all came to be. How no lone adult within the sim racing community jumped on Teamspeak one night and said “bro, don’t fuck around with Master Card or Money Mart” is extremely concerning, and speaks volumes about the overall sim racing community’s collective mentality. Sure, it’s an admittedly cool setup which will win a lot of sim rig dick waving contests on various message boards until basically the end of time, but knowing what went into it certainly casts a dark shadow over the whole thing.
Many sim racing outlets will eventually catch wind of JJacoby88’s setup and proceed to publish a string of showcase pieces demonstrating the rig in action, but as a sim racer, I’d prefer they didn’t. Unfortunately, to an outsider we have already established ourselves as a group of uber-obsessed man-children living out their inner race car driver fantasies to embarrassing lengths, and it takes a great deal of work to distance ourselves from that stereotype. Running the name of a local sim racing cafe on my personal race car’s windshield throughout the 2016 racing season, it took a lot of genuine work to slowly introduce what sim racing as a hobby is to our local auto racing scene, and I found via personal experience that sim racing is still largely seen as an activity for computer nerds. For every individual like myself, Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry, Monster Jam pilot Coty Saucier, Texas late model phenom Ryan Luza, and 2016 NHRA Funny Car champion Ron Capps, who go out and educate people on what sim racing is, a guy on Twitch nearly ruining his financial future to play iRacing in a cockpit beyond what’s necessary to use the software in its intended format serves to undo all the positive impressions we’ve made as a collective unit.
Like it or not, we’re not at the milestone Flight Simulator aficionados have achieved, where basically every real airline pilot – including the man behind the missing Malaysian Airlines 370 – goes hard on Prepar3D, Flight Simulator X, or X-Plane in their spare time.We’re still in a transitional period where away from the iRacing forums, hardcore sim racers role-playing the act of a real race car driver are mocked by their real-world counterparts as mere computer nerds lost in their own delusions. Having stuff like this come out – a hardcore iRacer who I can personally attest to being a competent driver financing a rig with a trio of maxed credit cards and an undisclosed number of payday loans – merely confirms that the mockery of our hobby from outsiders is one hundred percent justified.
And that’s not cool.
Update #1: A full-length video discussing the backstory of the build has been uploaded, discussing JJacoby88’s sim racing career, and his intentions to use his iRacing accomplishments as a way to enter the real world of motorsports.