Can Racing Games Make You A Pro Driver? | WheelHouse

Can Racing Games Make You A Pro Driver? | WheelHouse


(music and car sounds) – Professional sports, is the most meritocratic form of profession. The athletes on the field, the courts, or ice are there, cause
they’re the best in the world. That’s the case in most sports. With one, glaring exception. Racing. That’s a problem and here’s
how sim racing can solve it. (Wheel House theme) In most sports, greatness
can be achieved by anyone. Basketball only needs a ball and hoop. Baseball needs a smaller ball and stick. And, soccer needs barefoot
kids with a ball and a dream. Pele, the greatest soccer player ever, learned the fundamentals by kicking a sock filled with rags, down
the street as a kid. Conversely, motor sports
are prohibitive by nature. Prospective drivers need a car
and thousands of dollars for maintenance, repairs, (sound
of tools drowns out Nolan). Even at the lowest level, racing takes a lot of money to get in to. Because of this, motor
sports history has likely missed out on oceans of
untapped, natural talent. Simply, because the driver couldn’t afford to get behind the wheel. Of course, there’s no way to prove this, but it is interesting to think about. Especially, when I imagine myself as that untapped potential, and
I need Michael Shoemaker to win the 2005 Formula
One Driving Championship. (dramatic music) That was pretty cool. (dramatic music) Good job, me. What was I talkin’ about? Oh, yeah. Sports. In both racing today and
pro sports of yesteryear, the roadblock is monetary
but in different ways. Back then, camping pro sports, unpaid, wasn’t just for idealistic purposes. But a method of self-preservation as well. Most upper-crust athletes
flat out didn’t want to play with working-class
people because they smelled like sweat, and that’s gross. The rules different sports
had about what you had to wear on the field, and how you
had to conduct yourself out there, were designed to keep
working-class people away. But, as more and more
working-class athletes started participating,
the argument over whether or not to get paid got bigger and bigger. The concept of amateurism,
not getting paid for playing sports, was very important for the upper-class because that
kept poor people out. Meanwhile, the racing
world was in its infancy and taking a slightly different path from the rest of the world of sports. (dramatic music and sounds) Early racers over in
Europe, were a collection of champagne exporters, heirs to
nobility, and industrialists. So, basically, rich guys. Because of the material nature of racing, it requires that you
have the money to do it. Not necessarily because
the elite wanted to keep the sport exclusive,
but to be the fastest, you usually just have
to have the most money. There are of course examples of underfunded underdogs
beating the rich guys, but for the most part, money wins races. Because of this, the
transition from amateur players to paid
professionals, didn’t really happen to racing like
it did to other sports. The act of being paid to play radically changed the world of sports. No longer did athletes have to come from affluent backgrounds. Now, the best players in the game, could truly be the best at the game. And, they could come from anywhere. (dramatic music) Today, sports can be an
avenue out of poverty and allow an individual to
make it out of a bad situation on physical ability alone. Don’t believe me? Well, ask Lebron James. – There’s no pressure. There’s no pressure at all. – Love him or hate him,
side note, you should probably love him cause he’s a great guy. James is legitimately one of the greatest to ever play basketball. But, as you might know, Lebron didn’t have an easy childhood. His mom was only 16 when she had him, and they had to move around all the time. To make things a little more stable, Lebron moved in with youth
football coach Frank Walker, who showed Lebron how to play
basketball at nine years old. Honestly, the rest is history. I don’t need to tell you
how good Bron Bron is. His nickname is literally King James. As I said at the top, racing is different from other professional sports because it takes a lot of dough to get into. There’s not that youth league,
high school, college to pro pipeline for racing like
there is for other sports. So, how can racing
reach more working-class kids who dream of going to the pros? Well, I think sim racing
could be the answer. Sure, video games don’t
make you better at sports. It’s not like you can play Madden ’19 or NBA 2k19, and get drafter to the pros. Believe me, I’ve tried. (beep and background chatter) (beep) Since the beginning of racing history, especially Formula One, motor sports have been a rich man’s game. But sim racing manufacturers like Fanatec are trying to help change that. We talked to Thomas
Jackermeier to find out how. – Up till now, if you want
to be a good race driver, then you had to have money,
or connections, or both. Now with sim racing, the
teams, the car companies, they have access to a
huge pool of talents and skilled drivers, and to learn consistency, and good reaction, and all that. It’s not, it’s not that easy. It’s much easier to pick one
of those skilled sim races, and make them physically
fit, than getting a sports guy and teaching him racing. So, I think that’s a big chance. And we will … See many more sim races advancing from virtual sport into the real one. – You don’t hear that very
often in other sports. Sim racing is unique because what you learn using a force feedback wheel, actually helps you in real life. And that’s not limited to amateur drivers. Pros do it too. – Force feedback use in simulations, is actually showing a little bit more than you get in a real car. Because the games map
sensations which were not existing in real cars to
be on the wheel as well. So, for example, you can easily feel over steering, under steering. And that helps you a lot to feel exactly when the tires start slipping. When is … I mean
basically, racing is all about to drive as fast
that you’re not losing the contact between
the tires and the road. Right? So, if you feel that with a
strong force feedback wheel, then you have a real good
advantage because you know you can keep your car
always at that limit. – But sim racing wasn’t always like this. It’s come a pretty long way. The first racing game to be
considered a racing simulation by gaming experts, is
Indianapolis 500: The Simulation. Released in 1989, Indianapolis 500, featured sweet MS style graphics and a rockin’ Mideast soundtrack. What sets this sim
apart from games though, is that the developers actually wanted the cars to behave and handle
like the real thing. – We had some, it was some pixels. And, you can barely have any idea of what you are doing there. We started with very
simple steering wheels, then came force feedback. Now, we are (mumbles) force feedback wheels with 25 mute meters. Full cockpits, triple
screens, motion simulators. So … It’s getting closer and
closer to the real thing. – Thomas wasn’t lying. These things might as well be real. Check this thing out. It’s the Fanatec CSL Elite McLaren GT3. And it’s nuts. It’s pretty much exactly what you’d see in a McLaren GT3 car. – When we made contact with McLaren, and they wanted us to
make a wheel of them, so, they sent us the original
cat files of the steering wheel, and the steering wheel
is modeled one-to-one to it. The dimensions, the materials,
the button pressure, everything is exactly like the original. And of course the original one is made of fully carbon fiber, which drives the cost quite up a lot. But other than that, yeah. We came up with a replica,
which is truly authentic. And, gets you absolutely the same feeling. – Racing sims and sim equipment is getting more life-like than ever before. But what does that mean
for all us regular people? Well, with some practice,
and I’ll be frank, a ton of luck, sim racing
could get you behind the wheel of a real race
car, and here’s proof. (techno music) Back in 2008, Nissan and Polyphony Digital introduced the Gran Turismo Academy. It was a ranked
competition, where you went against thousands of
players all over the world, to get the best lap with a
certain car at a certain track. If you finished within the top 20, you got flown out to
compete with other racers. And if you got into the final round, you had a chance to race real cars to determine who would win the grand prize. A 100 percent legit, racing
contract with Nissan. And this wasn’t some low-ball
pat on the back, either. GT Academy’s first winner, Lucas Ordonez, raced for Nissan’s GT 14 in
2009 then went on to finish second in the LMP Two
class at La Mans in 2011. Lucas was just a guy who loved playing Gran Turismo with the wheel,
and he finishes second at the greatest race in the
world three years later. I’m not lyin’, man. Sim racing can make
that kinda stuff happen. Fanatec is partnered with the FIA. They’re basically the highest racing organizing body in the land. Fanatec and the FIA are
working together to bring more sim racers into the Formula One fold, with the Formula One Esports series. The first half of the season, sees sim drivers from all over the world compete for a spot in the pro draft. Where real F1 teams choose
the drivers they want to represent them in virtual competition. That’s pretty rad. – The reason why we are
partering with Formula One, is basically, that our brand is pretty well known in the sim racing community. So, we thought, okay. We want to reach a broader audience, and, at the same time,
Formula One is high tech. I mean, it’s all about the best, cutting-edge technology out there. – This year’s Formula one
Esports series winner, was Brenden Leigh. A 19 year old dude from
Banbury, Oxfordshire. He had been sim racing
since he was 13 years old. And got to compete at
the race of champions after winning last year’s
Esports series championship. Brenden had never driven a real car before getting to race
in the same venue as racing greats like Heder Solberg
and David Coulthard. (beep) Did I say that right? Coulthard. How do you pronounce David Coulthard? Couldtard– – Okay. I found this on the web for how do you pronounce David Coulthard? – Sick (Nolan laughs) – Stories like Lucus
Ordonez and Brenden Leigh’s, show that sim racing can
be a legitimate starting point dor a serious career in racing. Obstacles like a huge initial investment and connections in the
sport, are no longer relevant if the raw talent is there. I think it’s completely
plausible that we’ll see a Formula One great,
start their career with a controller in their
bedroom, in our lifetimes. Someone judged solely
on their skill behind the wheel, and not their
pocketbook. (snaps fingers) Done. (bleeps) We got merch. We got new shirts. I want one, I don’t even have one yet. What the hell? We have a lot more new shirts. That’s at donutmedia.com Thanks for watchin’ Wheel House. We look at the stuff that affects you in the car world every week, so, hit that yellow
subscribe button right there. If you wanna know more about
racing games in general, we did an episode about that right here. Check out this episode of science garage. Follow me on Instagram @nolanjsykes. Follow Donut @donutmedia, we post a lotta behind the scenes stuff, so check it out. Roast me out, fam. Be nice, I’ll see you next time.

2 Replies to “Can Racing Games Make You A Pro Driver? | WheelHouse”

  1. What I've learned through playing Gran Turismo all these years, is that, at the very least, you get to learn the fundamentals of racing. Such as cornering and breaking, and following racing lines. I dare to say, knowing that has helped me understand real life driving a bit better.

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