Another month crossed off the calendar warrants yet another awkward sim racing startup. A company flying under the acronym of SRTC have recently taken the covers off of their attempt to steal a bit of iRacing’s thunder with organized online events on a set schedule for large cash prizes, but the reception has been slightly less than spectacular. The folks over at the Sim Racing Track Championship organization are currently boasting a hyperbolic online hub for Studio 397’s rFactor 2 simulation software, but the website has been crafted in such an amateur manner and makes such outlandish claims that it’s the absolute last company you’d feel comfortable handing over your credit card information to. Advertising cash prizes in excess of one million dollars for various rFactor 2 online races – somehow rivaling the Formula E Visa Vegas eRace payout despite no listed affiliate sponsors – we can’t officially label this place as a scam, but this is probably a scam.
Please keep your credit card in your wallet.
With iRacing members outside of North America already complaining about VAT taxes adding a few dollars extra to each online purchase, SRTC has basically ignored the complaints of the entire sim racing landscape in 2017, offering a tiered membership level which restricts access to certain races based on the amount you hand over, with the top level prizes requiring a whopping monthly fee of $42 USD – or just over $250 USD for the entire season. Quadrupling the price of iRacing for an unproven service is asking a bit much, and I’m shocked that people gave this pricing breakdown the thumbs up.
The sites’ flashy artwork promotes absurdly high payouts for either one-off glorified public lobby races or season-long championships, with basic rule packages elaborating upon how prizes will be awarded across all ten splits of drivers, but at no point on the website can you find proper standings to determine just how many people are already signed up for SRTC and participating in the organized races. There are no championship points tallies or even previous results from one-off events; the website is instead constructed in basic HTML format that basically screams middle school computer class project – certainly not the way to represent a company supposedly ready to hand out thousands of dollars to accomplished sim racers.
Most pages list off a number of generic events with default rFactor 2 content and a very basic set of rules, but they don’t even convey how many drivers have already signed up for each event, nor do they list the exact time the races are set to go off – only the date and length of the event. How are you supposed to register for an event and set aside an evening to race with no publicized start time?
The Top 200 Leaderboard portal, which is advertised to rank the two hundred best sim racers in the world under the SRTC sanctioning body, instead links to yet another rules page along with a Google Document to sign up for the leaderboard… Which isn’t really how a leaderboard screen works, but okay… Winners will supposedly be invited to Barcelona, Spain for a “Sim Racing Super Show” in September of 2017, but there doesn’t even appear to be a breakdown as to how drivers are ranked, or where this event will take place… or… Much of anything.
Promotional material continues to mention the one million cash prizes figure, but the organization’s own preview video is basically a random hodgepodge of real world auto racing clips, an areal shot of Ferrari’s amusement park in Abu Dhabi, grid girls blowing kisses at the camera, and Las Vegas, Nevada, even though by the site’s own admission, you’ll supposedly be flown out to Barcelona. None of it makes any sense whatsoever, or bothers to convey on a basic level what SRTC actually provides as an online racing service, nor how it works.
Now getting into the truly perplexing stuff, there doesn’t even appear to be a members only area that would come standard with purchasing a membership to the organization; as a non-member, you’re free to start prowling through the list of events, and clicking on one takes you to a very basic Google Document page, where you’re asked to manually input all your information for the team to sort through when signing up for a race – including your membership level. These guys are asking you to pay $42 USD per month for advanced level membership to an online sim racing service, when being a member doesn’t actually warrant anything of value. You have free reign whether you sign up or not, and the important bits you want to learn more about, are non-existent.
How do you know these guys are even tracking your information if they’re asking you to input your membership level manually?
Digging as deep as I possibly can just to discover any piece of information I can find on these guys, there appear to be just two races conducted under the SRTC banner; a pair of four hour endurance events with eight total cars. These races are not advertised anywhere on the SRTC homepage, and due to the complete lack of information on the website, the results of which can not be obtained in the first place. The only place you can view the on-track product SRTC offers is through the BenjxMotors YouTube channel, the videos buried underneath Forza Motorsport 6 and Project CARS footage. Most of these videos have no more than 200 to 300 views.
But yeah, million dollars and stuff.
The SRTC organization suspiciously continue to ask for your credit card number with their sim racing affiliate program, which promises commission for referrals, as well as promotion of your brand through their sim racing events. I find these guys claiming they’ll help promote your entity to be particularly hilarious, as their own website doesn’t even list championship standings, individual race results, nor YouTube footage of past events, their own YouTube account features one generic promotional video and boasts a whopping sixteen subscribers, while the only two races under the SRTC namesake are covered by a non-ESL YouTube channel that struggles to get 300 views on each individual video. Despite all of these elements which would easily deter affiliates and sponsors, SRTC promise a minimum commission of $150 USD or more – though they don’t even explain how to earn commission from them, just to contact them through another strange Google form.
You can pay a premium price to sign up for the highest level of membership over at SRTC – a brand new online racing platform supposedly offering extremely large cash prizes for races against people around the world in rFactor 2 – but there’s no members area in which you can login to the service. There’s a video explaining the website offers one million cash prizes, but very little to tell you what the outlet is all about. There are indeed a list of races you can sign up for, but none of the races come with a posted start time, meaning you don’t even know what timezone the website has been set to.
There’s a Top 200 leaderboard page, but there’s no actual posted leaderboard in sight. The promotional video shows Las Vegas as a potential travel destination, but the alleged event is listed to take place in Barcelona. There are no standings or driver statistics to show you who is using the service (and what level of a member they are), but there’s a $42 USD monthly fee to become a platinum driver. Registering for an event consists of filling in a Google form that could have been created by a teenager even though the website boasts a steady stream of four-figure payouts. Only two races have been conducted under the SRTC sanctioning body, but they aren’t even mentioned on the official website – instead hiding out within an obscure YouTube channel that broadcasts races in Francais despite the website being published in English. Oh, and if you want to become an affiliate of SRTC who makes commission off of referrals, you certainly can, but it doesn’t say what how the referral process works – only to fill out another Google form.
Be safe out there. Do not give Sim Racing Track Championship your money. After checking these guys out on LiveRacers, and ignoring the multiple AI bots used to test the functionality of their server, there appear to be just six people who have put their credit card information at risk – only three of them turning a single lap on the server they paid a premium to access.
I’ve also been unable to find results of either Endurance race supposedly contested. I really hope they didn’t try to pass off an AI race as a live event, but sillier things have happened in this hobby.