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      05-03-2020, 03:09 AM   #1

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BMW Motorsport is winning a lot in esports and here's why

IMSA has unlocked car setup

Most of the esports racing events, whether in iRacing, rFactor 2, or something else, have used standardized cars and locked-down setups as a way to level playing fields. But IMSA's sports car series has taken a different tack, allowing competitors to set their cars up to their liking. And right from the start, BMW Motorsport took full advantage, locking out the podium at a virtual Sebring with a 1-2-3 finish for the iRacing version of its M8 GTE race car. That's because it has been treating sim racing like any other discipline in motorsport for a while now, says Rudolf Dittrich, general manager for BMW Motorsport's vehicle development.

"Obviously the situation right now is a bit special with coronavirus, but even before that you could see that the interest in participants and but also in viewers and spectators has been growing a lot, so therefore it was obvious for us to investigate a bit more," Dittrich told Ars. "And we thought it's worthwhile to expand our activities and also try to really have a very structured backbone, like we would have in any other motor racing discipline; to really be able to work on this stuff the way we're used to do in other programs."

As a manufacturer, BMW's involvement with a platform like iRacing starts early on, with reams of technical data and images for the M8 GTE race car supplied to the developers to ensure as accurate a model as possible. It has also been organizing its own professional sim racing series (the BMW Sim Cups), but for IMSA's iRacing Pro series, BMW Motorsport's role is as a competitor, and it's approaching that the same way it approaches "normal" racing. "But there are still a couple of differences. One is that testing is not restricted, and testing doesn't cost much. Therefore, if you're ambitious enough, you can spend the time and really try to figure out what your best possible configuration is," Dittrich said.

The highlighted comment also links this interesting youtube video about modeling a BMW race car for esports (the part about physical modelling starts at around 18:10):

Last edited by mbanck; 05-03-2020 at 03:47 AM.. Reason: Add youtube link
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      05-17-2020, 08:06 PM   #2

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That is very cool! Thanks for sharing.
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