Here we see how iRacing fans can have better accessibility on how to get into championships. With Sim Racing booming, the popularity is growing at a fast rate.
With the growth of sim racing and in particular iRacing, virtual sports and championships reached a new gear over the last couple of years, with a boom of new fans and competitors flooding the scene.
The advancements in gaming tech increased accessibility of spectator platforms, and an increase in coverage from news outlets have all helped to make iRacing very popular, particularly in countries like Sweden following the break out success of local competitors.
Still, there’s plenty of room to grow for the scene, and the world of online gambling might just be an avenue that could assist in that growth.
Getting fans stuck into the action away from live events
Professional racers Olli Pahkala and Felix Rosenqvist competing in sim racing.
A key element of modern sports upholding an audience is to be engaging even when the all-important live games and competitions aren’t taking place. While social media activity is one way to achieve this, the main modern method is to offer gaming options.
Naturally, almost any fan can play an iRacing game, but due to how they’re constructed, they can be very difficult to just sit back and enjoy as a newcomer just looking for some fun. This is where online casino platforms can come into play.
Among the myriad of casino games available in the likes of Sweden, where iRacing is really taking off, there are specialized racing games. Sitting in amongst the likes of Ramesses Rumble, Mad Max Fury Road, and Dragon Tiger is Respin Racer and Street Race, which strive to deliver the race day thrills but on their slot reels.
Having the options of these immersive but hands-off games in the theme of virtual racing can help to keep fans engaged, particularly if a licensed slot was to be produced – see more on that further down.
After all, the total global gambling industry (land-based and online) is forecast to hit a market size of over $266 billion in 2021, proving its popularity and reach.
As noted, Sweden has become a significant iRacing market, which is why integrating the racing games of their popular online casinos could further strengthen the audience, fan base, and even the player pool from the nation.
The rise in iRacing fans in Sweden can be put down to many things, such as the country having several online-based celebrities and eSports professionals already, but for iRacing, the success of Swedes is certainly a factor.
In the virtual America Red Cross Grand Prix, Felix Rosenqvist – who’s also a real-life IndyCar driver – placed second, with that being the opening event of the IndyCar iRacing Challenge.
The Swedish iRacing League also helped to lay the groundwork for the future bustling fan base for virtual racing in the country. Over a few seasons, it crowned several iRacing champions, with home-grown talent Henrik Lindoff even landing the second spot in the GTE Cup of 2018.
The main event runner itself, famed for its inch-perfect racecourses on which it stages events, also features Scandinavia-specific tournaments, such as King of Vikings.
It’s more than a mere game
Kelvin van der Linde discussing the GT driver’s take on simulation racing.
The iRacing simulation games have been praised all over the world for their accuracy and each competition’s emphasis on having the player’s point of view being from behind the wheel in a virtual vehicle.
As detailed by the platform itself, they have more officially licensed, laser-scanned tracks than any other simulation game or company, with over 100 tracks and 350 configurations available.
As the specs for the tracks are incredibly accurate, they’ve attracted the attention of professional racers looking to home their skills or experience the tracks. As has come to light in recent years, several racers compete in the virtual world as well.
We saw it in Formula One with the likes of Lando Norris, George Russell, and Nicholas Latifi all partaking in the eSports competitions. Outside of F1, there’s Laurens Vanthoor (GT), Kelvin van der Linde (GT), William Byron (NASCAR), and Nicki Thiim (Le Man’s champion) have all taken part in iRacing competitions.
While professionals may, on occasion, turn to the best of the best simulations to get to grips with tracks and racing maneuvers, fans of iRacing and those even looking to home their virtual driving skills can turn to other gaming options.
This kind of racing doesn’t require safety measures, so virtual racers can focus purely on enhancing their strategic thinking, focus, and reactions, all of which are mindsets that greatly help in iRacing.
For this, people can turn to the ultra-strategic and focus requiring card games at online casino tables. In live games of Caribbean Stud Poker or Blackjack, players are required to react in real-time, against a round timer, and all while working out the mathematics and applying strategy to ensure a win.
Essentially, learning the strategies and likelihood tied to each hand of these card games will improve one’s capacity to think strategically and keep focus throughout – made especially important as there’s money on the line.
Creating ever-lasting immersion to grow the sport
Recap video of iRacing in 2020
The iRacing scene is burgeoning, and while it does have a rather large audience when you include viewers and racers, its ceiling is much, much higher. Some figures project that iRacing boasts some 100,000 active members and an average of around 12,000 players online at any time, making it the most popular racing sim out there.
Still, a sport needs avid and engaged fans because those are the people who will increase their viewership figures, thus make advertising spaces more valuable, and subsequently increase revenues.
It’s yet to hit mainstream sports news proper yet, even though we do cover iRacing extensively here. So, another way in which iRacing could raise its profile is to branch off into another realm of entertainment that doesn’t depend on schedules or meets – online casino.
A prime example of a sports brand growing its visibility through an online casino is Nitro Circus. Before, the action sports brand was little-known in Sweden, but thanks to the Nitro Circus slot, far more people know of the brand, have looked it up, and some may have even gone to a show.
Were iRacing to license and official slot, it’d certainly get the name out there to increase its reach.
There are many ways that gambling platforms can help iRacing to enhance its player base and viewership, and it already might be doing exactly that for some fans.