Simulated Reality. Real Sport.
Sim racing represents technological progress, passion for innovation, and sporting competition. Sim racing represents the perfect addition to Schaeffler’s already well-established involvement in motorsport. After all, the automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler is helping to shape the future of mobility with help from numerous innovative simulation technologies. Schaeffler brand ambassador Sophia Flörsch takes to the grid in the VCO ProSIM SERIES as a real-world pro alongside renowned e-sport racers. Schaeffler is therefore taking a further step towards digitalization in the field of motorsport.
Sim racing is an established “e-sport” format in which the whole race is virtually simulated as realistically as possible: From the visual representation of the racetracks and vehicles through to the realistic physics of driving, every possible parameter of which can be individually altered using a range of different vehicle modifications. As in real motorsport, success in sim racing depends on a combination of skill behind the wheel, professional preparation, and technical expertise.
Schaeffler’s expertise in the field of simulation helps here in the advanced development of technological applications that are efficient and sustainable, and simulated motorsport makes it possible to experience this expertise first-hand. That’s #WhyWeRace.
Our driver: Sophia Flörsch
20-Year old Sophia Flörsch is regarded as one of Germany’s biggest up-and-coming talents in car racing and is already considered to be Germany’s quickest female racing driver. The young woman from Munich has a clear goal in sight: She wants to make the leap into Formula 1. The road to this goal is long and full of challenges. But even her accident in Macau in 2018 when she crashed heavily during the race at 250 km/h has not distracted her from her goal. Quite the opposite! Sophia is characterized by an inclination for hard work, an iron will, and inexhaustible staying power.
In September 2020, she contested her first long-distance race by making her debut at the legendary 24 hours of Le Mans. At the classic “Circuit des 24 Heures”, she competed in an all-ladies team and her ninth place in the LMP2 class secured her a place in the top at her first attempt.
Sophia Flörsch has been a Schaeffler brand ambassador since last year and is shaping the future of motorsport together with the automotive and industrial supplier. She also drove the first test laps in the futuristic DTM electric demonstrator vehicle at the 2020 DTM finale in Hockenheim.
Sophia is also putting the pedal to the metal in virtual motorsport. E-sport racing has been enjoying increasing popularity, particularly since last year and Sophia has recognized this form of racing as an opportunity. She has a high-quality home simulator on which she trains almost every day. For Sophia, the emphasis is on having fun, but e-sport racing also brings advantages for the real racetrack. “It helps to increase awareness in racing situations and to get a feeling for the first curve and the first lap. You can also learn “the perfect lap for qualifying‘ and internalize the rhythm of a racetrack”, explains Sophia.
Since the third race of the VCO ProSIM SERIES, Sophia has been competing as a real-world pro alongside SiFaT Performance driver Jan Wenninger.
Die VCO ProSIM SERIES
During the winter of 2020, the Virtual Competition Organisation (VCO) launched its first own e-sport racing championship, the VCO ProSIM SERIES, which features a highly-decorated field of drivers consisting of real-world pros and e-sport racers, such as Max Verstappen and Joshua Roders. The series comprises eight events on the leading simulation platform iRacing. 92 drivers from various real-world and virtual teams and racing series are taking part.
At the beginning of each event, the e-sport racers compete against each other in the so-called Fun Race. The combination of circuit and cars that is used in the Fun Race is not announced until two hours before the start of the livestream. This is followed by the Championship Race. All the teams of two drive identical virtual Dallara Formula 3 racecars – each in a unique design. The “pro” drivers compete in qualifying and in the last stint, the e-sport racers take over for the start and the first part of the 40-minute race. This sequence is reversed after each event.