Sim racer David Babson sheds light on TGR Nation, a community of like-minded sim race drivers on iRacing which could well be the benchmark for ‘clubbing’ together to add further value to the sport that virtual racing has become… free of charge.
There are pages of articles and reviews of sim racing gear. Everyone wants to know what will make me faster and make racing more fun.
Is it load cell pedals or direct drive wheels? How about triple monitors, maybe VR? What about a new stiffer rig or a better PC?
All of these will improve your sim racing experience, but the biggest step up in performance AND fun is a racing community.
After about eight weeks of iRacing, I found myself starting to plateau. Racing was getting a little repetitive. When something exciting, funny or interesting happened, there was no one with whom to share. No one with whom to banter.
My non-sim friends would shake their heads in disbelief. They were more fascinated by my passion for “a video game” than the actual racing stories I was so excited to share with them.
And then I started to get to know a few of the guys I was racing against and things started to get more fun. I would see that they were in a race lobby and I would jump in just to chat with them. It was a little awkward because I am not sure that the other drivers were that interested in hearing about my last race, wreck or rant, but some were and my online circle of friends started to grow.
However, I still had to catch them at the right time, we had to be in the same split, doing the same race and could only chat at a time when we were trying our hardest to concentrate on racing.
But then one of the guys created a discord server and TGRNation.com was born. It was the brain child of iRacing driver “Todd G”, TGR Nation was a community, a hangout, for drivers to share stories, tips & tricks, videos, race rants, and more.
Todd G. added a few weekly “Social Races” which were league-like events that offer some cool prizes to the race winners like the coveted PG-13 Danica Patrick refrigerator magnet. This new community was open to anyone who wanted to banter before, after, between and during races.
Over the past year this racing community has evolved and grown to hundreds of drivers from all over the world. There is now a faux cyber currency which is used for race prize purses and side betting. They have added a twitch channel and a few celebrity guest racers have participated in the prize races.
TGR Nation also sponsors hours of “practice races” on the weekends. The most valuable aspect of TGR Nation is the expertise: Car Painting, Computer Issues, Sim gear, Coaching, etc. Some of the guys even build and share excellent Legend Car setups that offer newbies a less painful and more competitive approach to learning how to race.
How much does it cost to join, you ask? Nothing, it is a free community.
Some of the members kick in for the practice races and Todd G. uses his TGR Nation twitch subscriptions to pay for the race novelty prizes. But it does not cost the members anything more than a willingness to share a story, tell a joke, offer a setup or maybe just post a meme.
Now I am sure that dozens of communities exist but the trick is finding them and finding one that is right for you. In the meantime, you are always welcome to join the hundreds of drivers who are already part of the nation.