How Long Have You Been Sim Racing?


How Long Have You Been Sim Racing?

  • Total voters
I've been asking myself this question. There are so many sim racers here on RaceDepartment. So many different levels of experience are present. So tell us a bit about yourself and your history! How long have you been sim racing?

And to break the ice: let me start with my relatively recent story.

It all started in a dreaded year. We now look back at it in disdain as one of the worst years in recent history:

Welcome back to 2020.​

The start of the pandemic forced many people to stay inside their homes. And therefore, all outgoing people suddenly had to find something to do at home. I was not one of those, rather, I had been a gamer for years. Add to that my previous interest in racing, and you have the great combination of some games lying dormant in my Steam library.

One of those games was Project CARS 2, which I had bought at some point or another in the past, but hadn't enjoyed with my trusty gamepad. I thought of booting it up again, but then read that playing it with a wheel and pedals would be the wisest decision.

I immediately knew what to do because in the past I had read of Logitech wheels being sold 2nd hand on a local platform. However, for the first time looking at such a product, I had money to spare. So I thought to myself: "Screw it, I'm going all in and buying a new Logitech G920!"

My First Wheel Led to Massive Enjoyment​

And boy, did I have an amazing time! I ground the leaderboard of Brno with my trusty Honda NSX GT3.

Why Brno? I had been going there live for over 10 years to watch MotoGP.
Why the NSX? I just happen to like how it looks, to be honest.

This was such an exciting time for me. At some point I gathered all of my courage and started racing online. Now that was ... more of a 50/50 chance of having a good time. But the one memory that still sticks with me is my first-ever online victory!

It was Suzuka, or Sakkito as Project CARS 2 called it, GT3s and variable weather. With my trusty NSX, I qualified not too well, but after some happenings in the first lap, I was in the top 5. After some great battles, it suddenly started raining. And this is where the magic came in. I happened to choose my pit stop so wisely and perfectly that I immediately made up 2 positions. The top 2 at that time tried running their previous tyres to the end, leading to me catching up lap by lap, corner by corner. Half a lap before the end I finally managed to claw in P1 for my first ever online victory.

But then I Graduated ... To League Racing and ACC​

Fuelled by hype from this success and other good races, I started looking for beginner leagues. I found a promising one on Reddit, with which I spent quite some time before once again switching sims to RaceRoom and founding my own racing community based on that. At some point here, I had also switched to an entry-level DD wheel which I race to this day.

This community has, in the meanwhile, switched to ACC (based on community wishes), and continues to run strongly.

Think of that what you want, to this day, I mainly race on ACC and RaceRoom. And think of THIS what you want, but my favourite category to race is GT3s, no matter the sim.

So, soon I will have raced for only 3 years. Still, these 3 years have been filled with so much excitement, so many buddies I have met online, and so many good memories. I grew to love sim racing and probably won't ever look back.

Now It's Time for You to Tell Your Story!​

Sometimes it's really nice to reminisce and think about what made you the person you are now. I wholeheartedly invite you also to share your story with sim racing. How you started, how you evolved and where you are now.

Feel free to share your story as in-depth or as vague as you want. I can't wait to hear your guys' stories.

So, how long have you been sim racing? Please, let us know in the comments down below!

Ps.: Thank you very much to @AlbertGeorge for allowing me to use their magnificent screenshot for this article.
About author
Julian Strasser
Motorsports and Maker-stuff enthusiast. Part time jack-of-all-trades. Owner of, a sim racing-related service provider and its racing community.


Started with GP1, Indycar Racing.. ( indycar racing 2 intro is still in my head) then.. Monaco Grand prix racing sim 2.. then GP3.. GP4... got my first wheel, MS sidewinder witn NO FFB..

Then we got a big jump with isi sims Like F1-2000, Sports Car GT..
rFactor arrived...
Assetto arrived..
rFactor died..
iRacing arrived..

Before, sim racing was simple, with good communities, no bad blood... today is too complicated, too professional, hardware is expensive, subscription sims.... my sim is better than yours type of community...

I mean, I´m still here, but I really miss old times.
My very first game was "Grand Prix Circuit" for the Mac, in 1989, 34 years ago. Then it was "GP1", "GP2" and "GP3" by The Master Geoff Crammond. There were years when I did a lot less simracing, depending on what equipment I had and the games available. Nowadays, I mainly play "AC", "ACC" and "AMS2" and I'm still amazed by the level of sophistication of these titles compared to what I played 30 years ago.
Last edited:
I guess REVS was the first proper attempt at a sim, so playing it on the schools BBC computers after hours would be my first experience of sim racing. Tried forever to find it on the C64 so I could play at home when I was a kid, but I never did find a copy. It wasn't until I got into retro gaming a few years back that I finally got to play REVS on a real C64.

REVS aside, I guess us a lot of 50+ year olds have taken the same sim racing route, starting with Indy 500, GP 1-4, and Indycar racing 1 & 2. It's been a great journey, seeing it evolve from it's earliest days. Hopefully we'll all be around many more years to add the great sims of the future to our shared experiences.
If we are allowed racing games then it all started on the ZX81 threading a vaguely car shaped blob through a series of gates.
I still play racing games now , because they are games however you try to dress them up. I've never taken it very seriously its just something to do when its too wet or icey out to go and do something exciting.
Last edited:
My first "sim".


Later followed by Test Drive and F1 Grand Prix on Amiga 500.
Later Indycar Racing 1 & 2, Nascar Racing on PC.
In the late 90s I got a PS2 and Gran Turismo, which was the best driving game at the time imo. Ocasionally I played TOCA Racing Driver and the Shift games until a good friend showed me Iracing 10 years ago. That was my initial start with sim racing. I think I played and bought all better known sims since.
Last edited:
I had some racing games for the original nintendo in the 80's. I'm not sure if that counts or not. The first thing I bought that was a "sim", was the Microprose Formula One Grand Prix, by Geoff Crammond, in 1991. I was hooked after that and bought most PC sims since that time. I remember buying a new computer just to run Grand Prix Legends. So, over 30 years, and I am still hooked.
The year was 1989 and I was fresh out of graduate school working my dream job in automotive aerodynamics. At lunch time, my work buddies and I would play Indianapolis 500: The Simulation with either a keyboard or joystick. The obsession began.

I think a lot of people feel Indy 500 was the milestone where racing games moved from arcade to “sim.”
Outside of any possible arcade offerings at the time, if playing either Geoff Crammond's Revs+ or Konami's WEC Le Mans on a Commodore 64, or even Accolade's Grand Prix Circuit on an IBM PC counts as simracing, then since 1987/1988. If not, then I've been simracing since 1989, when Indianapolis 500: The Simulation by Papyrus first came out.
Last edited:
Since a little kid i loved racing games (pixels early in the 80s :confused: )
But starting sim-racing means for me buying at least a FF Wheel and playing a more serious game.

So for me the real start with simracing was about 2004 with Geoff Crammond`s Grand Prix 4 (fought some seasons with 2 friends with the genius hot-seat mode).

Later in 2007 i moved on to rFactor and entered my first serious online league.
I patricipated in 3 leagues from 2007 to 2010, winning a F1 race @Montreal and a Nascar race @watkins glen

After i become dad and get married in 2010 my "online career" died :cautious: Than i had a 2-3 years long brake from simracing.

I moved on with singleplayer driving only with the simbin titles, and switched to Assetto Corsa when it got released.

All the years later i am still racing allot. Only SP-Championships, earlier with RaceRoom, AMS1, AMS2, AC or ACC, Dirt Rally now 95% of the time Assetto Only.

I can imagine i will stay a simracer till the end of my days ....:cool:
Started as a little kid with the EA ISI F1 and NASCAR titles on PC with a Logitech wheel (little did I know I was playing a sim!). Then switched to more casual titles like TOCA RD3 and Gran Turismo 4 and 5. Then a long break. Then thanks to Jimmy Broadbent and company, rediscovered my passion for IRL motorsport and what I learned was now called "sim racing" :rolleyes: in 2019 a little before COVID. And it's only spiralled out of control from there :D
Honestly, this is a difficult question to answer. I've been playing racing games since I was like 4 years old, but those were obviously not simulators. Then, for a long time I didn't even play video games at all. When I got back into gaming, I was playing around with games like F1 Challenge 99-02 and F1 2013, but the first time I actually played a proper sim (AC) was in April last year. When I got RaceRoom in July is when I consider getting serious about sim racing, and I've been doing it since then, I also got most other modern sims (ACC, RF2 and AMS 2). (Also thanks for featuring my photo! It's an honour.)

Latest News

Article information

Julian Strasser
Article read time
3 min read
Last update

What is your next sim related purchase

  • DLC

    Votes: 19 27.9%
  • Full game

    Votes: 16 23.5%
  • CPU

    Votes: 11 16.2%
  • Graphics card

    Votes: 21 30.9%
  • Other PC related hardware

    Votes: 8 11.8%
  • Pedals

    Votes: 20 29.4%
  • Wheels

    Votes: 23 33.8%
  • Wheel base

    Votes: 13 19.1%
  • Monitors

    Votes: 8 11.8%
  • Somthing else?

    Votes: 8 11.8%