These five absurdly dominant sim racers paved the way for the current scene.
Photo credit: Virtual Racing School
Sim racing has arguably never been more popular and visible than it is today. Let’s take a look at some of the best-known drivers who’ve been adding flavor to the sim racing scene for years.
You just can’t compile a list of legendary sim racers without featuring Ray Alfalla. The 31-year-old has been active in sim racing as early as 2003 and is regarded as one of the best in the scene. Alfalla enjoyed most of his success in the eNASCAR iRacing World Championship Series, winning his first series title in 2011 as a part of JR Motorsports.
Since then Alfalla has been a mainstay and one of the best competitors in the series, having won four eNASCAR iRacing championships, the last one in 2018. After a disappointing showing in 2019 as part of Wood Brothers Racing, Alfalla is now a part of Virtual Racing School and is competing in the 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series, where he currently holds down seventh place with six more rounds to go.
When you’re talking about the best sim racers of all time, you might as well just mention Greger Huttu in the same sentence. The 40-year-old, hailing from Finland, has arguably been the most consistent sim racer ever since he started competing. Huttu himself said he started racing with the game Grand Prix Legends, once again citing his love for Formula 1. The Finn also gained a reputation for improving lap times that were thought to be almost unbeatable before he had a go at them.
In terms of success you just can’t look past Huttu’s honors list. As part of Team Redline he has secured five championships in the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series, winning four of those in a row from 2012 until 2015. Huttu is currently competing in the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup with Team Redline FANATEC, holding a 33th place with his best placement being 14th at Circuit Park Zandvoort.
When it comes to success in the past five years, you just can’t ignore what Martin Krönke has done. The 29-year-old German sim racer has been active since 2007 in the game Live for Speed, but has been tearing things up ever since he started competing in the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series in 2012. Krönke first represented 3id Motorsport but joined Coanda Simsport in 2014, ending up in second place for two years in a row.
From 2016 onwards, Krönke has been on fire for VRS Coanda Simsport, winning the iRacing World Championship Grand Prix Series three years back-to-back, the last time in 2018. In 2017 and 2019 he also competed in the head-to-head tournament VRS GT iRacing World Championship, where he ended up taking eigth and first place respectively.
Today the German is still competing in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup with VRS Coanda Simsport. Currently he is holds P20, just behind fellow German driver Patrik Holzmann.
Talking about German racing aces: Maximilian Benecke has basically stepped in when Krönke’s peak was over and has been a force to be reckoned for years. The iRacing world champion currently competes in the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup, where he occupies P2 at the moment.
Apart from his many notable tournament entries, Benecke is known for setting new records. Only a few days ago, on July 18, the 26-year-old became the first person ever to pass the 11,000 iRating mark. The rating is the equivalent to Elo in chess. If he keeps going like that, we are certain that he’s going to take a few more world championships and reach the 12,000 mark eventually.
Bono Huis is one of the best known personalities in sim racing who’s maybe overlooked outside the scene. Which is a shame, as the Dutchman won the most notable sim racing tournament the world has seen so far: In 2017, Huis emerged victorious from the 2017 Visa Vegas eRace which boasted a prize pool of $1 million.
YESSSS! Mental races today but we brought it home! Really enjoyed my first championship with @MercedesAMGF1, great teamwork these last weeks and it couldn’t have gone any better, taking both Championships in the @wearetherace All Star Series. Looking forward to the next ones😎 https://t.co/2WiswSnlEW— Bono Huis (@bonohuis) May 30, 2020
With his share of $200,000, he holds the record for winning the most prize money in a single tournament until today. On top of that, the talented pilot has five Formula Sim Racing Championships under his belt, one of the toughest competitions in the scene. This year, Huis was victorious at The Race All-Star Series Sim Masters edition, showing that he’s still got it.
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