Dakar Desert Rally was a big story in simracing in 2022

Simracing in 2022: Month by Month Review Pt.2

The simracing industry was busy in 2022. We’ve already taken a look at the first half of the year’s major stories. Now, here’s what happened from July to December last year.

Image credit: Saber Interactive

Last year was a huge year for simracing with news stories galore and events left, right and centre. In a recent article, we reviewed everything that went on in the first half of the year. Now it’s time to cap off our rundown. Let’s go over the biggest moments in simracing in 2022 from July to December.

ACC visited America in July

After revolutionising the game thanks to the Challenger’s Pack earlier in the year, Assetto Corsa Competizione received its most recent DLC pack in July. The American Track Pack included three circuits from the GT World Challenge America championship giving players a taste of the USA.

Among the three tracks were the Circuit of the America in Austin, Texas, Watkins Glen in New York state, and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in, funnily enough, Indianapolis. Unfortunately though, this didn’t include the 2.5-mile oval used in the Indy 500. Instead, we simply got the road course, best suited to GT racing.

Despite adding three high-quality tracks to the title, many fans felt let down at the number of potential circuits missing. The American GT3 series visits iconic locations such as Road America, Sebring and Sonoma. The reason behind this small number of tracks was clear though. Time is money, and Kunos couldn’t warrant visiting each venue on the calendar for a €20 DLC pack.

F1 Manager revolution simracing in August

In a usual year, Formula 1 only features in the yearly Codemasters – now EA – release. However, 2022 saw the first edition of a new Manager series come out. F1 Manager 2022 became popular almost as soon as it released on August 25.

Streamers enjoyed the challenges of strategy and stresses of predicting the AI. While the rest of us decided to go out there and show Binotto how easy winning a race really is. With in-depth features putting it alongside some of the best managerial games out there, F1 Manager 2022 was certainly a success.

Since release, it has faded away from popularity. Though it won’t be long until the next game comes out this year. That’s right, Frontier Developments is cashing in on F1’s yearly release model.

Logitech goes Direct Drive in September

With the G25, G27 and now G29, Logitech is best known for providing excellent entry-level wheels to those looking at a first simracing setup. Though in 2022, the brand kicked things up a notch releasing its first Direct Drive device.

The Logitech G Pro as it’s called is a 11Nm direct drive wheel base looking to challenge Fanatec and its CSL DD. In fact, for what seems like ages, Fanatec has been the only high-profile manufacturer selling direct drive wheels and the Swiss outfit put an end to the monopoly in September.

The wheel costs €1099 which certainly isn’t in the entry-level spirit, especially when you consider the fact that Fanatec is offering direct drive products at half that price. Moreover, the over €1000 price tag doesn’t include the new pedals. They will set Logitech fans back an extra €389.

October isn’t the usual month for Dakar

The Dakar Rally Raid may currently be taking place in the dunes of Saudi Arabia, but it was in October that the infamous race hit store shelves. Dakar Desert Rally released on October 4 putting simracers around the world in a rally mood.

Upon release, the title seemed unfinished, missing many features one would expect and even some that were promised by the developer. With the game came a development road map planning out the release of different features, which isn’t something we’d expect from a full release.

Now that the game has had time to stew, it is clearly in a better state. In the big boy simulation mode, it offers something no other game does. The need to navigate through a treacherous landscape all while keeping up with the competition is a thoroughly entertaining prospect. It’s one of the reasons why our very own Marvin Miller loved it so much. With much still to achieve based on the road map for 2023, one can expect big things from the game next year.

Thrustmaster join Direct Drive space in November

It seems direct drive wheels are like buses. You wait years for one to arrive and then two turn up at the same time. Not two months after Logitech’s release, Thrustmaster unveiled its T818 direct drive wheel.

This 10 Nm wheel base is what PC simracers were waiting for. With a wheel rim included in the pack, it costs €650. This dramatic undercut on what Logitech is offering can no doubt be explained by the Thrustmaster’s lack of console support. Though that does mean that those of us on PC now have access to an affordable direct drive wheel with the strength to break wrists.

ADAC Expo tops off simracing in ’22

Bookending the simracing journey in 2022 was a major gathering of racers. The ADAC Simracing Expo took place during the first weekend of December and allowed many to experience the simracing community for the first time.

The show saw influencers patrolling the floors of the Nuremburg event halls, brands displaying their latest tech and esports events entertaining the crowds.

Perhaps the most exciting story to come out of the expo was Simucube’s latest creation. The ActivePedal is a force feedback pedal giving more feeling than ever before. Currently costing an arm, a leg and a few teeth, this technology is sure to flow into mainstream simracing, just like Direct Drive wheels have done in the past 12 months.

What do you think was the best month for simracing in 2022? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!