From sim racing to dominating the field in a real-life Mercedes AMG-GT: 22-year-old Moritz Löhner recently shook up the competition of experienced motorsports drivers. After winning the DTM Esports Championship last year, he has finally redeemed his prize and participated in a test day for the DTM Trophy in May.
Despite this being the first time in a GT car for the German sim racer, Moritz completely nailed the test. He managed to finish the test day in second place in the overall standings. Even his personal best time was only narrowly behind the fastest driver of the day.
With this strong showing, we decided to choose Moritz Löhner as our Hero of the Month for May!
A successful year peaking in an astonishing test drive
The last year has been his personal highlight and so far the peak of his sim racing career, as Moritz told us in an interview. He successfully claimed three big titles by winning the Porsche Carerra Cup Deutschland, the DTM Championship and the second consecutive ADAC GT Masters.
With the DTM Trophy test drive, 2021 brought another new highlight for the young gun. While many were surprised that he could perform this exceptionally well on his first attempt, Moritz states that it wasn't too different from sim racing. The most important aspect was to shut down the mindset that he was in an expensive car that would cost a lot of money in case of a crash.
He also had to gradually approach how much he could push the car. In a sim, you can simply take a corner multiple times. But in a real car, you go 80% in the first lap and then slowly increase the amount of push, he explains.
Early beginnings lead to the top of the competition
Behind the successful performance at the DTM Trophy lies a long path of hard work and countless hours of practice. To be precise, his journey started long ago as a kid. With his father being a motorsports and tech enthusiast, Moritz was taken to watch races and go for a drive around the Norisring on the PC as well.
During the following years, the German driver explored a variety of sims. After grinding in iRacing for two years, he eventually got back to RaceRoom, which is his main discipline now. The reason why he currently prefers the title: the diverse competition, as there are many important tournament series in RaceRoom, such as the GT Masters, the DTM Esports or the WTCR Esports. Moritz is not only casually cruising through the virtual circuits, as he earns part of his income with this activity.
100% dedication to sim racing
The reigning DTM Esports Champion currently also works as a graphics designer. He even searched for a position where he could only work four days a week to have more time to focus on his sim racing. This lifestyle is not too easy: with the competition in RaceRoom becoming tighter, the drivers need to spend more and more time practicing. For Moritz, it's a strict schedule. After he gets home from work, he eats dinner as fast as possible and then gets to practice - every day.
Everyone needs balance between working and enjoying life. For our Hero of the Month, he enjoys spending time with his friends, going for a walk or playing football. This compensation became more difficult with the rising competition and also COVID. He explains that a lot of sim racers can’t really do anything else apart from work and their second job. Most sim racers still have a normal 9-to-5 job. As the scene keeps expanding and growing, however, Moritz thinks that it is possible that being a top driver will be a full-time occupation in the next few years.
Next stop: full-time driver in a gaming house?
Becoming a full-time sim racer is also Moritz' goal for his career. He could also imagine living in a gaming house such as Coanda Simsport. Besides that, the talent is quite content with his current situation. He would also enjoy participating in traditional motorsports for a season. Wherever his path takes him, we are sure he will once again put in all his time and dedication to bring the best performances possible.
From virtual to real: The chance came by winning the #DTM #Esports Championship powered by #MediaMarkt. @MoritzLoehner took this title and enjoyed a very special price - a @DtmTrophy test. And the 22-year-old made it an impressive one.— DTMTrophy (@DtmTrophy) May 24, 2021
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Are there any personalities in esports racing you would like to nominate for the next edition of Hero of the Month? Tell us on Twitter at @overtake_gg or in the comments down below!