If, like many of us, you’ve been filling the void caused by a lack of motorsport by watching one of the many excellent sim racing and esports events, then you’ve probably thought about giving it a go yourself.
And that’s a great thing about sim racing: anyone can get involved. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a controller or if you’ve got an expensive rig that’s so realistic you can actually roll it over – with the right level of application, you can be as quick as anyone.
That’s part of the ethos behind the World’s Fastest Gamer competition, which is now starting its third season. Instead of limiting entrants to hardcore sims, WFG allows for a number of ways to enter, one of which is by using devices accessible to millions – the phone in their pocket.
The game used is Gear.Club, which can be downloaded to your phone or tablet via the Apple and Google Play stores. Through three qualifying events – the first of which runs from now until 3 May – you can set yourself on the path to a place at the WFG finals, where you’ll compete for the chance at a real-world race seat (further entry methods, such as through rFactor 2, will go live at a later date).
You might think that even if you do reach the finals, having done so through a mobile game would leave you at a disadvantage over the more traditional simmers. But the WFG finals are about far more than just gaming – last year’s competition featured 12 days of competition including fitness tests and time in real-world race cars. Riley Gerster qualified using Gear.Club for last year’s competition and was right in the mix. Although he didn’t win overall, simply being able to experience something so special isn’t a bad result from being good at a free-to-play mobile game.
The expectation is for something similar to happen again this year, as series founder Darren Cox explained:
“Our top Gear.Club finalists in the first two seasons of World’s Fastest Gamer were incredibly impressive but I think we’re going to take it up a notch for season three. The sheer size of the audience and the number of people playing Gear.Club is going to give us a massive talent pool. We’re certain we’re going to find another hidden talent that will be very competitive in the finals and challenge really strongly for the chance to win that $1 million real-world drive.”
“A lot of our finalists have state-of-the-art gaming rigs for PC or console racing games but what we love about World’s Fastest Gamer is Gear.Club gives us a chance to find new talent. They may not have ever dreamed they could qualify for a competition like this with using their phone.”
Season 2 was eventually won by James Baldwin and as a result, he earned a place on none other than Jenson Button’s GT3 team, where he’ll race a McLaren in the GT World Challenge.
Season 1 winner Rudy van Buren has also done alright for himself as a result. He was an official simulator driver for the McLaren F1 team, is currently a simulator and development driver for the Mahindra Formula E team, and had raced in the Porsche Carerra Cup. In 2020, he’ll compete in the full season of the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany.
30,000 people entered that first season and, with the global situation and recent surge in interest in sim racing, you’d have to think this year will see even more hopefuls throwing their name in the ring. If you think you have what it takes, but don’t have the means to use one of the more involved sims, then download Gear.Club, put in some practice and give it a go.
After all, someone has to win the third season of World’s Fastest Gamer. Why can’t it be you?