Paul Davies is a 36-year-old taxi driver who lives and works in West Sussex. In his spare time he works with PCDC Motorsports, a sim-racing community involved in creating & hosting online events with Team BRIT. Here he tells us more about e-sports and why he chose to get involved with Team BRIT.
Racing; some of us have it in our blood. Invariably a lot of us choose to enjoy this passion through motorsport and once it has got your attention, you’re hooked! Whether spectator or pilot, there is something about man (or woman) and machine being pushed to the limit in close combat that is both enthralling and addictive.
Personally, it started growing up watching F1 and Touring cars, then it took on a different guise when I discovered karting in my twenties then in the past few years, sim-racing. Now, thanks to a rather hopeful email sent to Team BRIT last Summer, I am seeing an element of motorsport I confess I never considered before; the unique quality of being about the only sport around where disabled and able-bodied people can compete on a level playing field.
The sport doesn’t discriminate or categorise; it only knows pilot and machine. So when the sim-racing group I am involved with, PCDC Motorsports, were able to work with Team BRIT to create & host online events to aid their passage into e-sports we jumped at the chance & our eyes were opened to the great work they are doing to promote and harness this inherent equality that exists in motorsport.
It was clear early on in our partnership that Team BRIT appreciate the value of sim racing, we have seen how important a tool their Vesaro Sim is for preparing their drivers for using the hand controls before being given the responsibility of taking to the track for real in one of the very expensive looking racing cars. PCDC & Team BRIT have now hosted two very successful endurance events on iRacing, with drivers from the main team such as Bobby Trundley entering a Team BRIT car and doing very well, with our sights now firmly set on a third event this August and a broad commitment to three events a year thereafter.
With all the equipment available these days, it is not surprising the simulator is proving such a valuable tool for Team BRIT. Obviously the experience could never hope to match the physicality & risk involved in driving or competing out on a track. But thanks to tech such as ever-improving force feedback, steering wheels and pedal sets, motion platforms and computing progress in general; the ‘feel’ you can get through sim-racing is remarkably accurate & as the Team BRIT drivers who competed in our events can attest, the racing itself is 100% real!
Sim racing also has one inherent advantage over it’s real life counterpart; accessibility. It isn’t expensive to have an entry level setup at home so it brings this exciting world of motorsport to a lot more people. It is also hard to ignore the fact that sim racers, such as Enzo Bonito at the latest Race of Champions, are coming into real racing from a background entirely based in sim-racing. When McLaren ran their Shadow Project, the very best sim racers were given a 570S GT4 for 150 laps around the Top Gear test track in Dunsfold. When the telemetry data from those laps came back, McLaren’s analysts reckoned the best of the drivers were racing at a similar sort of level to someone who had spent a couple of years in F3.
Team BRIT clearly wants to be at the forefront of this & Dave Player has announced plans to create eTeam BRIT, a sim-racing & e-sports team running parallel to the main race team, consisting entirely of disabled drivers. Here at PCDC we are very pleased that this is the path Team BRIT have chosen to go down. It brings the accessibility of sim-racing to all those disabled racers out there who want to be a part of something like Team BRIT as well as giving the team all the training benefits and potential to find some genuine talent out there for the main race team.
It is early days for eTeam BRIT but certainly PCDC are looking forward to being a part of this project as well as our continuing partnership hosting events on iRacing. Our next event is planned for 31st August, so watch this space for information on how to get involved.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in e-sports and sim racing as interest grows rapidly. Expect Team BRIT to be right in the mix & hopefully along the way we will introduce the exciting world of motorsport to some new people with racing in the blood!