Motorsports UK growing its involvement in esports

Motorsports UK growing its involvement in esports

26 October 2022

On occasion, we have written about the growing interconnection between motorsports and esports in the UK, for example when we introduced McLaren’s Shadow Project at the end of last year. That’s because the motorsports industry has all the makings of a perfect fit for a combination with esports. From training to simulation and testing, it’s not hard to imagine the potential added value of professional esports to racing teams and drivers. Motorsport UK, the national motorsport membership and governing body for all four-wheel motorsport in the United Kingdom, appears to have a similar view, as the organisation is considering the creation of a central hub for sim racing and esports.

Step by step introduction

Motorsport UK, which describes itself as “the beating heart of motorsport in the United Kingdom, was created in the late seventies to represent the interests of fans, competitors, volunteers and clubs related to the world of British motorsport. As a result, the gradual involvement of esports as part of the organisation’s evolution is no surprise. Virtual racing and the rest of global esports have been growing massively amongst fans and real-world racers over the past few years, so it was only a question of time before Motorsport UK would start getting actively involved.

“We are developing a simple informational hub, which will give new people who’ve come fresh into sim racing a bit more clarity around what equipment to use, what platform or console is better, what are the pros and cons of each, what games you can use on certain platforms, etc…” explains Paul Crawford, Esports Manager at Motorsport UK, “If somebody starts playing Gran Turismo, and they’re like, ‘Oh, I currently just play with my mates, but I want to take it a little bit further’. You might come to us and [we’d] recommend communities or websites where you can go and race on Gran Turismo”.

Esports academy on the way?

The goal of the new Motorsport UK esports hub, for now at least, is to information and tips on vetted and trusted places to participate in sim racing. This Motorsport UK endorsement should become a kind of quality stamp for online communities and initiatives in the world of sim racing. More might be on the way though, as the organisation is also toying with the idea of creating an academy for sim racers who aspire to become real-life racers.

“There’s definitely discussions going on about having an academy specifically for sim racers and esports drivers like we do with the real world and developing that talent”, says Crawford, “And part of that programme would definitely [involve] getting them in real-world motorsport cars. [Also] we deliver a diploma in sporting excellence and programme with Loughborough college. But we’ve now opened that up to two slots specifically for esports drivers. Part of that [means] they get training in commercial partnerships, physical training, sim training, and then also real-world car driving”.