BMW Motorsport’s commitment to sim racing, already a pillar of the company’s motorsport program, will be expanded in 2021. BMW’s announcement of the new initiatives indicates that “BMW Motorsport is expanding its sim racing activities in the coming year. As well as various different BMW SIM Cup formats, it will focus on new partnerships with four top teams and founding a, “BMW Motorsport SIM Academy.” A “BMW SIM World Tour” is also planned, and is scheduled to start with a roadshow in Austria in 2021. Even more virtual BMW race cars will be available on the most important sim racing platforms, and the development of innovative sim racing hardware with BMW Motorsport know-how will also continue. The goal is to incorporate the sim racing community as an equal partner in all programs and, together, to continue the boom that virtual motor racing in esports has enjoyed in 2020.”
BMW SIM Cups
BMW’s SIM cups are being continued, enabling sim racers to compete in the virtual M8 GTE on the iRacing platform. A virtual M4 GT3 will be introduced over the course of the year; it is being developed in parallel with the real M4 GT3. The BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup will also be continued. This year it will add additional race tracks to the current virtual Nürburgring-Nordschleife venue.
BMW SIM Live, streamed as an online event in 2020 due to the pandemic, was the grand finale of the 2020 BMW Motorsport SIM Racing season. The win in the BMW SIM 120 Cup for the M8 GTE went to Joshua Rogers, and the win in the BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup went to Erhan Jajovski. Both are professional sim racers.
BMW notes that, “BMW Sim Live also provided a stage for some sensational world firsts. BMW works driver Philipp Eng presented the steering wheel for the new BMW GT race car, the BMW M4 GT3, which was developed together with sim racing hardware manufacturer Fanatec. It is the first steering wheel in the world that can be used in both a real race car and a race simulator without any modifications. Other world firsts included the introduction of the virtual BMW M4 GT3 on the iRacing platform, before the real race car has even contested its first race, and the presentation of the Fusion SL Concept hybrid furniture, which can be transformed from modern lounge furniture to a fully-functioning sim rig in just a few simple steps.”
Partnership With Top Sim Racing Teams
BMW is forming partnerships with four top sim Racing teams to pursue wins for the marque in esports. BMW says that “Team Redline, Williams Esports, G2 Esports and BS+COMPETITION will compete with BMW cars and represent BMW Motorsport at many top-class sim racing events on the biggest platforms in 2021.”
SIM Racing Academy
BMW notes that “With the construction of its own academy, sim racing is being given a physical home at BMW Motorsport. At the “Home of BMW Motorsport SIM Racing,” ambitious and inexperienced sim racers will be given the opportunity to call on the extensive range of training opportunities and motor racing expertise at BMW Motorsport. This begins with coaching from professional sim racers in the BMW Motorsport SIM Racing partner teams, and continues through to mental training courses, which BMW works drivers have been attending regularly for many years, in order to optimize their concentration during races. The training sessions at the BMW Motorsport SIM Academy are available streamed online and—as soon as it is possible again—in person. The academy is currently being set up. Further details of this program will be announced during the first half of 2021.”
SIM World Tour
An all-new SIM World Tour is being launched beginning in Austria in April “if the pandemic situation allows it.” The program will feature Mobile BMW racing simulators to provide participants with “ the opportunity to enjoy an immersive motorsport experience, with the prospect of winning attractive prizes and a place in the national final.” Forty “event days” are planned for the program in Austria. The program will be run using the BMW M2 CS Racing.—Brian Morgan
[Photos courtesy BMW Motorsport.]