SRTC Silently Pulls “Million Dollar Championship” Service Website, Leaves More Questions than Answers

Back in early February, we here at PRC.net ran a rather perplexing article focusing on SRTC’s brand new online racing portal, which promised a structured sim racing environment for rFactor 2 that supposedly handed out extensive cash prizes for partaking in various championships making use of the game’s vanilla content – and a popular third party mod or two.

With the cost of membership exponentially higher than what one could expect from diving into the deep end of the iRacing pool, prizes said to reside in the four to six figure range, and even a couple of elaborate trips to exotic locales such as Las Vegas and Barcelona offered to the most talented sim racers on the service’s leaderboard, the whole thing seemed too good to be true; select broken English wording and vague advertisements that didn’t really explain much of anything were merely the icing on the cake in a shitstorm of confusion.

https://pretendracecars.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/pricing.jpg?w=1572&h=916

Though a representative from SRTC appeared in our comments section requesting to be interviewed so he could set the record straight, it was incredibly hard to justify giving him the time of day considering the website alone painted a very questionable picture in regards to the company’s intentions. Good, honest businesses looking to provide a useful online racing service to sim racers do not continuously ask for your credit card information and proclaim there is some sort of premium membership experience awaiting behind a paywall that asked sim racers to fork out around $42 USD per month for the highest level of commitment, when the entire endeavor consists of shoddy Google Documents that can be accessed regardless of whether you’ve paid the company money, and empty servers registered on LiveRacers that show staff members tasked with testing the service had failed to turn even a single practice lap.

Yet despite their insistence that the SRTC service was a real, genuine effort to compose some sort of valid alternative to iRacing – the enormous prizes helping to offset the ridiculous entry fees – it appears our expository piece warranted some kind of action after the dust had settled.

SRTC have scrubbed the internet of their dubious One Million Cash Prizes service, with leaderboards linked in the original piece now issuing a classic 404 Error, custom mods they’d released on Steam to ensure a fair playing field no longer available, and the home page now re-directing to a generic splash page. Devoid of any references to the structured online racing service that was once advertised, we’re now told there’s going to be some sort of SRTC community meet-up at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and that an online championship called the SRTC Pro Series will receive an accompanying website on June 17th, 2017.

Just like that, their entire endeavor has vanished into thin air.

But the internet doesn’t forget, and it has only made me dig even deeper.

The league’s Twitch account has just one follower and no recent activity, while their Facebook page is ripe with links to sub-leagues, such as SRT Poland and SRT UK, but these too lack natural activity you would typically see from an online league – most posts by the administrator have zero likes and zero comments. Furthermore, once advertised as the primary broadcast partner of SRTC, BenjxMotors have not covered an SRTC event since January of 2017. Though I’m not disputing the existence of Sim Racing Track – which appears to be a simulator cafe powered by rFactor 2 located just outside of Paris – I’m under the impression that something seriously fucked up happened to this whole creation between the time we first reported on SRTC, and, well, today.

Now you may be wondering why a random sim league suddenly closing up shop and killing their website is a big deal, as several grassroots leagues rise and fall with each passing month within the sim racing community; it’s really nothing new by any stretch of the imagination, just how our ecosystem tends to work. However, the shocker here is that a French sim racing blog was able to interview Oliver Floyd in person, and he has revealed some kind of a partnership between SRTC and Studio 397, which means this could have potentially been rFactor 2’s actual planned solution to organized, competitive online racing that they discussed a few months back – which would make Studio 397 look extremely retarded if they were at one point indeed willing to go along with this level of delusion exhibited by the SRTC camp.

Either that, or Floyd is about to get sued for implying SRTC and Studio 397 are linked professionally when they’re clearly not.

Extending through several different interviews that all reiterate the same basic rhetoric, six and seven figure cash prizes are liberally thrown around in the same paragraphs as the label of “professional sim racers” is; SRTC having their heads firmly in the clouds regarding their vision of a world-wide sim racing championship using rFactor 2. Preliminary marketing documents have also surfaced, discussing some sort of major television partnership, custom driver suits, and the chance to “drive our race cars”, turning SRTC’s pie-in-the-sky plans into the stuff of legends. You can read the two documents – one for team owners, another for drivers – in the following links:

http://simracingtrack.com/images/Boost-your-career-racing-driver
http://simracingtrack.com/images/Team-PRO-EN

It’s beyond confusing, though it makes perfect sense that this stuff suddenly went *poof* one day and disappeared; there’s no way a small outlet such as SRTC would be able to ensure all of this would materialize in the intended fashion.

So instead, they’ve upped the ante, because this is sim racing after all.

Within the past month, SRTC have signed some sort of partnership with the Trans-Am Euro Series, what looks to be the European counterpart to the highly popular SCCA Trans-Am Championship that has thrived in North America over the past fifty years under a variety of different rule changes. Alongside their SRTC Pro Series – an online championship we still don’t know much about and hasn’t been broadcasted since January, a pathetic race that included just eight cars on the grid – SRTC will also offer an accompanying virtual Trans-Am series, the winner of which will supposedly win an entire fully-funded season in the 2018 campaign, with podium finishers receiving track day driving experiences, and VIP guest passes to select race weekends.

This is alongside the aforementioned SRTC Pro Series, which will suposedly be broadcasted on Motorsport.TV and consist of several Top Gear-like segments that are so absurdly beyond what a little sim racing league is capable of, I’m genuinely shocked this hasn’t been reported on any sooner.

First, they’re promising a $1,000,000 sim racing championship (or $400,000 depending on the interview you read), yet their entire online racing platform was governed by Google Documents that could be accessed regardless of whether you were a member or not. Second, they promised a chain of sim racing tournaments in exotic locales, and this huge structured online racing community supposedly supported by Studio 397 themselves, but one day the entire thing is taken down without warning – extremely bizarre considering they were openly asking for sponsorship and affiliates with an equally perplexing and vague affiliate program, which you can still apply for as of this writing. All of this by itself is highly questionable on its own.

But now they are back, unable to launch a simple online racing service without coming across as an outright scam and having to trash the thing overnight, but in the same breath planning to launch some sort of television show with segments that will rival the production cost of Top Gear, as well as conduct two major world-wide sim racing championships, one of which will award the winner with a full time ride in the 2018 Trans-Am Euro series. If you can’t figure out why this sounds ridiculously fishy, may I suggest an Internet Safety course for seniors?

Older gentlemen plagued by wishful thinking and highly unrealistic pipe dreams are a cancer to our hobby. If you gave money to these people for any reason whatsoever, I advise you to get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. I would love to be proven wrong and have a sweet rFactor 2 Trans-Am league to participate in, but given their already sketchy track record, I expect that too, to vanish into thin air.

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57 thoughts on “SRTC Silently Pulls “Million Dollar Championship” Service Website, Leaves More Questions than Answers

  1. Let’s see if they try to contact you this time to explain things , I would think not .

    Pretty shady stuff by the looks of things .

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  2. Although I’d like to give the company the benefit of the doubt, and describe the venture as naively optimistic, the absurd marketing (glamour???), pricing model and claimed winnings point to something shadier.

    That said, if you’re going to put in that much effort into constructing a facade of legitimacy, at least have a native english speaker proofread it.

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    1. Is it? I don’t know shit about finding such things, but does it have something to do with them looking like cardboard cut-outs?

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  3. Totally OT here, but have you guys checked out AC 1.14 that dropped today?

    Holy Fuck – the AI is suddenly fantastic. Just did a 10 lap challenge race with the TS040 that involved 4 LMP1’s and about 12 GTLM’s. The AI was able to handle the speed differential with aplomb. The AI LMP1’s even seemed to *time* their overtakes of the slower GTLM’s.

    As in, they *planned ahead* to come up on slower traffic on the straights where overtaking would be easiest. If you’ve been playing AC a while, you know this shit is unheard of. AC’s AI is justly infamous for things like 1st-corner Kamikaze tactics, not beautiful subtlety like this.

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          1. I didn’t know using this place was only for the prc and pcars fanboys. I didn’t know that we should just accept whatever bullshit james writes about sim racing and whatever bullshit he advertises for pcars2.

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    1. AI still has issues, I wouldn’t praise it, they keep jiggling to the left after starts, they brake in the straight line for no reason, they spin you off in chicanes (not giving you the corner after it clearly is yours to take).

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      1. True, but that’s the shit people online do – only worse.

        Same with the turn 1 wreckfest. If you didn’t include that in your AI, it wouldn’t be realistic 😉

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      1. How about a new series of articles where Dr. Kondor analyzes notorious autistics and sociopaths of the simracing world? Looking especially forward to the articles on James, Melanie, Associat0r, and Ian Bell.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Melanie is just sassy because being British means she has bad teeths, she’s ugly and fat and nobody wants to fuck her. Poor girl, someone pay some gigolo so that she can experience sex at least once in her pathetic life.

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    1. Maybe the time and hardware needed to fully participate presupposes a certain level of (sometimes) unhealthy obsession?

      I dunno. Compared to the VR autists, SimRacers are actually fairly loose and cool (which is certainly damning with dint praise).

      The VR obsessives feel about VR the way ISIS feels about Islam: Convert or Die.

      Mostly die.

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  4. Anyone tried out the. A.C. custom lobbies on ps4? Are the actually working? There still not out on Xbox

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  5. ^^ that was one of the biggest letdowns in customer support history. Dont worry PC2 will have all the custom lobbies you´ll ever need

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    1. Think I rather wait for forza7 then.
      Unless my little birdie is wrong and the did fixed the physics on that pcars wank. But I don’t think so.

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  6. Ok, so I got to the end of the article at last and Yeah, guys my age (51) trying desperately to be race car drivers is a pretty sad spectacle (just ask my wife what she thinks).

    It’s not at all surprising that scams would pop up, seeking to capitalize on the overly credulous middle-aged dreamers that tend to be over-represented in our hobby.

    I look at some of these guys my age with really over-the-top, cringeworthy sim rigs and I feel like they’re the virtual equivalent of the dentists and lawyers who show up for track days at COTA with all these expensive mods on their car, but who have invested almost nothing into actual driver training and haven’t even heard of things like “trail braking” or “weight transfer”. You mention corner balancing and they think it’s something to do with Banking, for fucks sake.

    It’s then endlessly amusing to watch these more-money-than-sense types with rides like a GT3 or a Gallardo get smoked by some (usually young) dude in a rat-rod 1999 Mustang Cobra that cost less – a *lot* less – than the ceramic brakes on these exotics.

    And yeah, that’s a true story. That kid was *quick* until the diff blew (Hoosier A7’s don’t like stock diffs).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think I need to book a session , I’m 46 this year .

    What Rate per hour to remove the mental frustration for waiting a lifetime for working race rules .

    I do not use gloves or race in my jocks while my mother in law is at home .

    Anymore 😳

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  8. WTF is this new “racers for Trump” banner? Is it like some clever play on words and has something to do with racial stuff, or am I that stupid?

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    1. #MakeSimRacingGreatAgain

      On another note, hopefully this shitshow will end soon; at this rate of one or two scandals a day, his presidency will be shorter than Alonso’s Russian GP a couple of weeks ago.

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      1. Eh, most of it is media schizophrenia. Lots of outlets financially supported Hillary and are now assmad that there’s zero return on their investments. Id be mad too if I gave millions to a career politician and she got BTFO by the dude from The Apprentice.

        Watching from Canada, it’s insane how stuff that other presidents did in passing are blown to extremes to try and sway public opinion.

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            1. so you admit you’re doing the same as them but since you’re an opinion blog is fine. That’s how much you care about sim racing and about the games in it. You only care when it benefits you, monetarily.

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        1. While I see your point and to a degree I agree with it as we have the same problem in my country and any other country in the world, the problem with Trump is not the media being biased against him.

          Clinton wasn’t a better option than him and we all agree on that, but that doesn’t mean that Trump is a better option than her either. Americans -didn’t- vote for the best, they -didn’t- vote for the least worse. He got 2 or 3 millions of votes less than Clinton and that’s a fact, meaning that more than half Americans didn’t want him as President and still don’t, but he still got elected thanks to one of the worst election systems in the history of mankind, where the vote of the people effectively counts for less than what they say it does.

          During his campaign he went on record multiple times saying that people in the Middle-East had to be left alone unlike what Obama did and what Clinton would’ve done. Still, less than 3 months in his presidency, he went and bombarded Syria.

          During his campaign he went on record multiple times saying that Obamacare was bad and he wanted to give all Americans a better healtcare, but the proposed Trumpcare is proved as being even worse than Obamacare, effectively making it harder for half the American population to even afford a “basic” one, something that even Obama wasn’t able to accomplish.

          During his campaign he went on record multiple times saying that scientific research is a waste of time and that wasting money funding it is “stupid” because things like global warming and climate change are a hoax despite having no scientific data to support it.

          And on and on and on and on.

          Biased media is not the problem. The problem is his own loud mouth. Biased media might go overkill and create clickbait articles trying to push him down like you try to push a giant turd down an already clogged toilet, but he’s doing a pretty good job on his own with that.

          Impeachment day will be a great day for mankind. We don’t need a Trump, we don’t need a Clinton. None of them is worthy of being President.

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            1. There’s a reason the voting system works this way and it’s the same in Canada. If only total votes would count, the people running for office would only bother to show up in 4 states: California, Texas, NY and Florida. Everybody else would get the bird.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. but the population of those four states only sums up 1/3 of the total population and the votes from those 4 big states wouldn’t all go to the same candidate.

                I don’t know why the fuck james has to like your post.

                Why doesn’t usa vote as a country instead of per state. Then the winner is who got the bigger number of votes.

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                1. Texas has different needs than vermont, and a popular vote means vermonts needs are ignored because more people voted for a politician that will cater to the needs of texans.

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                  1. So what the first anonymous said above is wrong?

                    “He got 2 or 3 millions of votes less than Clinton and that’s a fact, meaning that more than half Americans didn’t want him as President and still don’t, but he still got elected thanks to one of the worst election systems in the history of mankind, where the vote of the people effectively counts for less than what they say it does.”

                    Why is usa even divided by states…

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          1. Flawed logic but thanks for playing. Media has a Job they refuse to do. The flawed state of good or quality people to run for office has little to do with giving the media a pass on shoddy work, or intentional lies. Like saying iracing fans boys are a bunch of fools, thus it doesn’t matter if PRC tells the truth about iracing.

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            1. I’m not saying that biased media is good. Read again the first few lines.

              Media “pushing” for their own agenda it’s as bad as a corrupt politician such as Clinton. But this doesn’t make all media biased or all politicians corrupt by default. As in all things, there are exceptions, journalists that don’t write fake articles and politicians that are not on the payroll of some arms dealer, foreign head of state or Arab billionaire. Unfortunately for ‘Muricans, the viable alternatives to Trump and Clinton are not “strong” enough to make an impression on millions of people and those same people would rather stick with networks such as Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and the like because what they hear is good enough to them, doesn’t matter if it’s the truth or not, they can’t be bothered enough to do any sort of research into what they read.

              You can say that fabricating lies about Trump is bad and I would agree with you because making someone look bad by using fake news is cheap and sad. But you can’t deny all the things that Trump said with his own mouth and are recorded on tape, for everyone to see and hear. You can fabricate a written speech, but you can’t fabricate a man standing behind a podium that is being recorded by a half dozen cameras and microphones saying A and then doing B.

              Like

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