The GT Academy has been a resounding success when it comes to discovering untapped talent on the track, turning avid racing gamers into top tier real life motor sport drivers.
NASCAR is now running a similar imitative to find fresh driving talent. Known as NASCAR Next, it aims to spotlight the sport's young rising stars – eight of which happen to be seasoned iRacing drivers out of the thirteen that make up the 2013 class.
The eight young hopefuls will compete in various NASCAR series across the US and also take part in media and promotion events over the course of 12 grueling months. iRacing is renowned for its realistic depiction of America's quintessential motor sport, and the entrants certainly seem to have lapped it up, as each driver has over 100 wins on iRacing.com to their name.
As with the GT Academy, it's always great to see racing simulation games get the recognition they deserve in a real life competition.. “It’s gratifying to our more than 40,000 members worldwide to see their fellow iRacers recognized as emerging stars by NASCAR,” said iRacing president Tony Gardner. “We’re excited to see so many iRacers in the program and we wish all the 2013 NASCAR Next drivers the best in their careers.”
Former road racer also chimed in on how iRacing's authentic physics meant he could hone his skills on the PC simulation: “Unlike past generations of road racers who tried to make the switch to ovals, I had the chance to practice 24/7 on iRacing.com,” he says. “While focusing on my oval racecraft, iRacing also enabled me to experiment with tweaks to the chassis to better understand the ins and outs of oval track setups.”
Competing in NASCAR Next is certainly a monumental milestone for the iRacing community that further cements iRacing as one of the most advanced PC racing simulations currently on the market. Both this and the GT Academy also shows that the skills learnt in virtual racing simulations can indeed be applied to real life.