The next step: BMW Motorsport expands its involvement in sim racing and cooperates with four top teams
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 programmes and, together, to continue the boom that virtual motor racing in Esports has enjoyed in 2020.
"In recent months, we have experienced an incredible dynamic in sim racing," said Rudolf Dittrich, Head of BMW Motorsport SIM Racing. "At BMW Motorsport, we have learned a lot this year and are determined to put what we have learned into practice, with regard to our 2021 programme. The area of hardware development will also focus on technological innovations and new developments next year. Our BMW SIM Cups will once again play an important role, but in an adapted form. Our cooperations with four of the best sim racing teams in the world, and our new academy, see us continue our approach of promoting sim racing as part of the community through mutual dialogue. Together, we will continue to fuel the growth in this exciting Esports sector. The BMW Motorsport sim racing programme provides the ideal basis for this."
BMW SIM Cups. Last year's successful Cup formats on various sim racing platforms will be continued and expanded in 2021. This allows the best sim racers in the world to continue to compete in the BMW M8 GTE on the iRacing platform within the BMW SIM GT Cup. Over the course of the year, the BMW M4 GT3 will also be introduced. The virtual version of this car is currently being developed by iRacing at the same time as the real car is being developed. The BMW SIM M2 CS Racing Cup will also offer spectacular racing again. However, it will no longer take place exclusively on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, but at various racetracks within the support programme for the GT Pro Series on rFactor 2. New to the programme is the BMW SIM Time Attack by Assetto Corsa Competizione. This sees drivers race against the clock with the BMW M4 GT4 in monthly competitions. All participants have the same goal: to compete at the BMW SIM Live event, which will once again provide the stage for the grand finales of all the BMW SIM Cups in 2021.
BMW Motorsport cooperates with top sim racing teams. The partnerships with four of the best sim racing teams in the world underline the fact that BMW Motorsport is very ambitious and determined to celebrate victories in Esports. 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. Each team brings its own specific strengths and different focusses to the partnership. Team Redline can look back on a unique success story in sim racing and is one of the favourites in every race that features a Redline car. The Williams Esports team is positioned very broadly in sim racing and regularly challenges for victories and titles on many different platforms – with the same name as the Formula 1 team. BS+COMPETITION has a big squad of so-called hybrid racers, who are successful in real and virtual motor racing. BMW and G2 Esports already cooperate successfully in other areas of Esports. Sim racing is now being added to this cooperation. The focus of G2 Esports Sim Racing is on outings in the Assetto Corsa Competizione simulation.
BMW Motorsport SIM Academy. 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 optimise 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 programme will be announced during the first half of 2021.
BMW SIM World Tour. Also new for 2021 is the BMW SIM World Tour. This will – if the pandemic situation allows it – kick off in April 2021 with an innovative roadshow through Austria, under the motto "From Showroom to Racetrack". Mobile BMW racing simulators offer customers and interested parties the opportunity to enjoy an immersive motorsport experience, with the prospect of winning attractive prizes and a place in the national final. A total of 40 event days throughout Austria are planned for the pilot project. The car of choice for the virtual heats will be the entry-level model in the BMW M Customer Racing range – the BMW M2 CS Racing.