We live in a golden age for licenced racing game content. Between RaceRoom, Gran Turismo 7, iRacing, rFactor 2, WRC Generations, Assetto Corsa Competizione, Automobilista 2 and many others, petrolheads are spoilt for choice with regard to emulating their racing heroes from the comfort of their own homes.
As far as fully licenced motorsport games go, we have MotoGP represented by MotoGP 22; the World Superbike Championship by SBK 22; the World Rally Championship by WRC Generations; the GT World Challenge by Assetto Corsa Competizione; Formula 1 by EA SPORTS F1 22 and many more.
With other official championship and videogame collaborations set to hit the shelves in the next two years (IndyCar, BTCC and the 24 Hours of Le Mans spring to mind), we wondered if any other motorsport disciplines deserve their own standalone racing game.
The annual Andros Trophy (Trophée Andros) races will probably be the least familiar to most of our readers seeing as it’s a regional ice racing mini-series. But that doesn’t mean to say it isn’t a spectacular feat of driving skill.
Taking place since 1990, it’s held annually on ice circuits across several car classes, with the cars featuring titanium studded tyres and four-wheel-steering.
In recent times the series has gone full electric, with Renault, Peugeot and Audi all represented – albeit their bodyshells are married to the same specification 1130kg Andros Sport 01 chassis.
Most of the racing takes place in France, although the championship visited Canada in 2003 for a round with regular trips to nearby Andorra.
Over the years drivers such as Sébastien Loeb, Jacques Villeneuve, Olivier Panis and Romain Grosjean have taken part in the Andros Trophy, with former Formula 1 World Champion Alain Prost becoming a three-time champion.
The absolute king of the Andros Trophy, however, is Yvan Muller. As well as being a quadruple World Touring Car Champion, the Frenchman has won the Andros Trophy a record 10 times, notching up 48 race victories along the way.
Most of the time these pocket rockets are going sideways, so much so that drivers have windscreen wipers affixed to their side windows! A pack of baying Andros Trophy racers going side-by-side between the steep ice banking of Val Thoren is a sight to behold, and in our opinion deserves to be seen in a video game.
British Superbikes Championship
The British Superbikes Championship (BSB) is perhaps the biggest domestic motorcycle championship in the world. Featuring alumni like World Superbike (WSBK) Champions Neil Hodgson, Carl Fogarty, Jonathan Rae and Troy Bayliss, the British Superbikes Championship (BSB) has shown itself to be the ideal proving ground for riders looking to move onto the world stage.
Although BSB runs on major British tracks such as Donington Park, Brands Hatch and Oulton Park, the series also visits lesser-known circuits like Cadwell Park and Knockhill, which often provide the closest and most exciting race action.
This combination of skilled riders and challenging tracks makes the BSB a spectacular site. No less spectacular is the range of bikes entered by manufacturers including Ducati, Yamaha, Kawasaki and Honda.
Ranging from 1000cc to 1200cc for two-cylinder bikes, British championship superbikes are obscenely fast, easily topping 200mph if given a long enough straight.
Thanks to Milestone’s SBK 22 we have been treated to the WorldSBK series in videogame format. The WSBK championship uses similar bikes to BSB, so it wouldn’t be a stretch to add in all the BSB teams and tracks to a new standalone game – albeit without WSBK’s divergent electronics rules.
And let’s not forget the BSB’s competitive support packages, including the National Superstock 1000 and 600 series, British Supersport Championship and the British Junior Supersport Championship for riders aged 13 years and up.
Plenty of content to keep gamers satisfied, then, but would there be enough demand for a BSB game?
Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup
The Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is perhaps the most prestigious single-make series in the world. With a grid of identical Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) cars featuring ambitious young professional drivers, seasoned veterans and talented amateurs, the races are fast and frenetic with a glorious flat-six soundtrack.
Thanks to its position as support series for selected Formula 1 events, the Porsche Supercup runs on several of the world’s most lauded circuits; Monte-Carlo, Silverstone, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps to name a few.
However, the car is the star in this case, as the new generation of Porsche’s 911 Cup car is a stonkingly effective piece of German engineering. The 992 edition of the GT3 Cup car has over 500bhp and no driving aids, making it a beast to control, with its rear-engined layout presenting a unique challenge to the grid.
Introduced to the Supercup in 2021, the car has now been adopted by national Porsche series across the globe, including the Porsche Carrera Cup GB and Carrera Cup Deutschland. The car has also made its way into sim racing too, appearing in Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing and rFactor 2.
Wouldn’t it be great to see a full-blown Porsche Supercup or Carrera Cup GB series within its own game!?
CIK-FIA Karting World Championship
Karting is motorsport in its purest form. Those are not my words, those come directly from three-time F1 World Champion Ayrton Senna. He famously stated that karting was “pure racing, pure driving. There was no politics, no money involved. I have fond memories of that time”.
Surprisingly, the Brazilian maestro never won the Karting World Championship but was hugely successful in his homeland. Regardless, karting remained his automotive first love.
And you can see why, as today the Karting World Championship is a hotbed of future (and current) motorsport talent. Most of today’s F1 grid learnt their trade in karting, with Nyck de Vries (twice) and Lando Norris becoming world champions in 2010-11 and 2014 respectively.
Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso, Alex Albon and Charles Leclerc have also won other FIA-certified international karting honours, exemplifying the importance of karting to F1 stars.
And we as modern sim racers are spoiled for choice in terms of karting content thanks to KartKraft, Kart Racing Pro and KartSim for rFactor 2, with other sims such as Automobilista 2 and Gran Turismo 7 including their own interpretations of the discipline.
Karting is all about racecraft; the ability to race wheel-to-wheel with your competitors, and form race and tyre strategies while maximising your overall kart package. Races are often settled by hundredths of a second, with the lightweight and agile chassis’ teaching pilots to drive on the limit of adhesion.
Wet weather also provided an ideal opportunity for karters to learn ‘wet lines’ – the areas around the dry racing line unaffected by ‘rubbering in’. Imagine playing an officially licenced karting sim with all the big-money karts from Tony Kart, CRG and Kart Republic, at venues such as Franciacorta, Genk and Le Mans, replete with changeable weather conditions and grids filled with aggressive AI?
That’s pure motorsport right there.
Australia’s premier touring car series finds itself in a period of transition, as we wave goodbye to the Gen2 cars and say hello to the new low-downforce spec Gen3s for 2023.
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship in some ways has lost its unique Aussie identity thanks to the loss of Holden – a national institution. However, another General Motors brand – Chevrolet – steps into the breach, facing off against a battalion of Ford Mustangs across 12 rounds.
The cars have been designed with overtaking in mind – ideal for a touring car series with over 20 entries – and the series organiser has taken extra steps to ensure both cars are as equal as possible ahead of the new season. The good news is both cars sound flippin’ fantastic.
Although the Supercars series has featured in videogames under its former guise as V8 Supercars (the TOCA Race Driver franchise had officially licenced cars and liveries), iRacing holds the licence to re-create the championship’s modern vehicles in-game.
In fact, the official Supercars Eseries Championship uses iRacing for its Pro and All Stars races, featuring real-world Supercars stars like Brodie Kostecki, Andre Heimgartner and three-time champion Shane van Gisbergen.
Wouldn’t it be great to see iRacing turn its attention to Supercars in the same way it has supported the latest World of Outlaws game?
Although Australia has some tremendous tracks – Philip Island, Adelaide and Sandown spring to mind – the jewel in the Supercar crown is undoubtedly Mount Panorama.
Home of the Bathurst 1000 (a showcase event for Australian motorsport) the venue has made national heroes of the likes of Peter Brock, Mark Skaife and Craig Lowndes; all cheered on by a passionate following – divided into Ford and Holden camps, of course.
A game featuring the full Supercars championship with its Bathurst, Adelaide, Sandown and Surfer’s Paradise enduro rounds, plus its supporting Super2 and Super3 series, sounds like a winner to me.
If a developer wants to take on a Supercar game I have one message for them: take my money!
There we have it, a few ideas on which motorsport series we think would make great standalone video games.
Do you agree with any of the above, or do you think there are any other series that would translate well into their own videogame franchise? Let us know in the comments below!
Featured image: Josh Malin, Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Knockhill 2022 – Photographer: Ross McGregor