From football to stock car racing, VR and immersive technology is helping to grow the next generation of racers.
Speaking in an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, 20 year old stock car racer William Byron spoke about how the use of the popular iRacing simulator as a teenager helped to home his skills for the real thing. Having won over 100 races and placing in the top five over 290 times. Talking about his early days of racing Byron explained: “For me, I had not been in a racing family and did not have any connection with this, so iRacing was my chance to really see if I had any ability to drive a car, I think from that standpoint it’s a great starter for understanding if you do have some ability and seeing if that can translate.”
The accessibility of iRacing and the included support for VR headsets allows a user to become complete immersed in a race, learning invariable skills for the real thing. Jimmie Johnson, 42-year-old seven-time season champion added: “In today’s world you can get experience in a variety lot of different ways and have the hours needed to jump in a car, unlike my generation, William is a perfect example.”
He continued by adding: “I had to wait 20 times a year to go drive a vehicle for one day. You add up those hours. William can sit in his house and drive for six hours day after day after day. It’s not the real thing but in today’s era it’s pretty damn close.”