The league, event and community-creation service Simracing.GP just hit a new milestone – 70,000 registered users.
It’s also about to kick-start the Moza Racing Endurance Championship which will see the public debut of a new team and ranking-based split system and has just witnessed an organisational reshuffle.
To say that this is a pivotal time for the now four-year-old business is an understatement.
“A few years ago, I would classify myself as a hobby sim racer and not a pro, I was organising with friends different races and championships,” explains Simracing.GP founder Tomas Vaiciunas to Traxion.GG.
“It just took too much of my time to set-up servers, tally the points and post it to a website. Even though I’m technically minded, that part isn’t fun. I just want to race and see the championship results.
“When we started back in 2019 before COVID-19, there weren’t so many race-organising platforms and if you, as a friendship group, wanted to create and own a community, it wasn’t possible in an easy way.
“So we said, ‘okay, let’s try and create something’, and our partners believed in our idea and it was financed by Nascent Works software development house.”
Spinning off Tomas’ idea into a full-blown company was a bold start. Alongside the technical challenges, the platform would be diminished without a wider sense of community – and they are not created overnight.
Several elements have helped the service grow, including associations with sim racing content creators – but even outside of that, organic gatherings of like-minded competitors have formed.
“I remember early on Jimmy Broadbent crashed the platform,” intoned Daniel Terry, Head of Esports for the platform and also responsible for community management.
“We took the platform from alpha into beta and Jimmy did a stream. We were on a Google call, had our commes prepared, knew what all the timings were and then within five minutes the platform crashed because it quadrupled the amount of traffic we expected on a good day.
“I vividly remember Broadbent and Mike, aka SimRacing604, having a race to be the first to have 10,000 community members.
“We’re now at nearly 400 communities and some of those came from nothing. When oNiD Racing first signed up, it had 28 members. It was just friends mucking about, but now that has swelled to over 3,000.”
Alongside the open-to-all community-facing features, it also helps run professional racing esports. In the recent past, it has worked on both the Logitech G Challenge and Alpine Esports Series, but it needed to build up to these flagship series.
“One landmark was gaining the trust of WSC Group for the TCR Virtual competition, which was global and proved we could scale,” explained Vaiciunas.
“TCR was an eye-opener for all of us,” chimed in Daniel Terry, Head of Esports for the platform and also responsible for community management.
“We’d tested our knockout competition tools in the Next Level Racing GT3 Cup, but TCR was the next level up. We were a bit understaffed for it, but WSC was very happy and it showed we could create competitions regionalised across the world as well as then heading out to Switzerland and managing an on-site event.”
The team is planning on working with partners to create further unique leagues and competitions in the coming weeks and months. But it will be doing so without its talisman of three and a half years – Steven Worrell.
The now erstwhile Chief Executive Officer is leaving to pastures new, headhunted for a fresh role elsewhere. This has promoted a revised structure within Simracing.GP, with founder Vaiciunas now taking on the role of Managing Director, with Terry and Adam Eley, SGP’s Head of Sales and Marketing, in elevated roles.
“We wish all the best to Steven,” said Vaiciunas.
“Even though we have now separated, hopefully, one day our paths can cross again – the world is small, right.”
“It’s fair to say that there’s not a single one of us that isn’t really sad that Steven’s going, he’s been a huge part of the SGP story,” explained Eley.
“We wish him the best. And I can’t wait to see him again somewhere and sit down and have a beer and a chat.”
With this new layout, the plan remains the same: enable the formulation of sim racing leagues and communities with ease.
The next step in the plan is an evolution of its ranking system, which works across multiple different racing platforms. The updated version has been in testing and will debut publically in the aforementioned Moza-backed championship.
“The top 32 teams that sign up based on their SGP rank will go into the top split,” enthused Terry.
“Everyone on the grid will be able to drive against people that have equal ability. It’s a little bit different [to other services], as for the Moza championship, it’s team-based splits. For a team of three, it will take all of the SGP ratings divided by three and it’ll do that for every other team that signed up.”
“From the second round onwards, teams could find themselves in a different split because the splitting is going to be calculated per round where people sit in the overall standings,” highlighted Eley.
“We’re always watching esports competitions and speaking to the community, and what we’re trying to avoid here is having only 10 cars per grid in the final round of the competition because the splits were set out at the start and remained the same throughout the entire championship,” said Terry.
Of course, things won’t stop there…
“We will be refreshing some projects that we’ve done year on year, but also there’ll be lots of new things on the way as well,” said Eley.
“What you won’t see is a tournament with a random logo slapped on it for no apparent reason as we’re all about trying to enhance the whole industry.
“Our communities help us shape the ideas that we are working on and what we already have implemented as well. We’ve got a big focus on reaching other parts of the sim racing world that we’re not currently in and that is a significant element of development right now.
“It’s a high priority, as well as sharpening existing tools and providing even more tools to communities.”
“We have a strong team that can move forward with SGP. Our main concept was creating a community of sim racing friends and we will be adding lots of new tools for the community really soon,” continued Vaiciunas.
Regardless of what new features or deals are on the horizon, the lasting impression imposed upon Traxion.GG is that this squad of sim racers is as committed as ever to fostering communities. Those on-track moments you can share with friends, that feeling of pride by finishing top of a league or simply beating someone with a higher ranking than you. It’s what we’re all here for.