Formula One is on its winter break and will not be back until March. To prevent a mass posting of unfunny ‘Day X without F1’ memes, here are some events that sim racing fans can follow or race in to keep them stimulated.
Formula One’s winter hibernation may be somewhat of a welcome one. After years of fans begging for one driver to stop dominating, another comes along and dominates on a much more severe scale.
So for those wanting the thrill of competition, there are plenty of sim racing events that can be followed or are open for participation. Here are our picks for what the sim racer can sink their teeth into for the three months F1 is away.
iRacing Special Events
Open to anyone with a Class C licence or higher, these community events are a beloved part of the sim racing community. The 2024 iRacing Special Events schedule has not been announced yet, but it is sure to feature some fan favourites.
From January until the start of March, there are four major events most likely taking place. The ROAR, Daytona 24, Bathurst 12 and Daytona 500 all featured on the 2023 schedule, and do not look to be going anywhere.
As with all Special Events, there will be four timeslots so anyone can participate at a time that suits them. Plus for the final timeslot, the top splits for the Daytona 24 and Bathurst 12 will be broadcast to RaceSpot TV. Featuring some of the most prominent drivers and teams in road racing on the service.
Whether you want to race it yourself or watch the best race it, you are accommodated for.
F1 Sim Racing
Bit of an asterisk here. We covered the farce that was the DreamHack Winter event in Sweden, where the drivers and teams travelled there before being told the event may not even go ahead. A mess all round. But a race did occur, with Alfa Romeo’s Thomas Ronhaar taking the win.
There is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the rest of the season. Some unconfirmed reports claim the next set of races will take place 15-16 December. Following the the US and Las Vegas GP circuitsm, Mexico City and São Paulo are on the schedule from 11-12 January.
From 1-3 February, drivers are set to race the Red Bull Ring, Spa-Francorchamps and Zandvoort. Then they will travel to the Saudi GP after the real-life season gets underway for the final three races on the Lusail, Yas Marina and Jeddah circuits from 7-9 March.
Not to mention a rescheduled Silverstone race that should have happened at DreamHack Winter. Hopefully all goes ahead as planned. But with the rumours surrounding what is going on behind the scenes, these plans could very well fall through.
Gran Turismo World Finals
On the weekend of December 1-3, you can tune in to the conclusion of this year’s Gran Turismo World Series that began back in August. By the time you see this, Day 1 will have wrapped up with the Toyota Gazoo Racing GT Cup. But the Manufacturers and Nations Cup competitions are still yet to take place.
Plus, if you follow the events in-game you can earn free cars to add to your collection. Also, you can earn 1M credits for each correct prediction you make for each leg of the event. More than enough incentive for PlayStation gamers to tune in.
The Manufacturers Cup broadcast begins 7pm CET on 2 December, with the race taking place on the combined Nürburgring 24h circuit. For the Nations Cup, the broadcast starts at 4pm CET on 3 December. There, a qualifying race on the Barcelona circuit and the Grand Final being on Spa-Francorchamps are on the menu.
Both main races are team races, with up to three drivers taking it in turns to race. Porsche and Spain won the Showdown and are in the points lead, so tune in to see if anyone else can topple them!
Sim Formula Europe
Are you local to Maastricht in the Netherlands? Then you may want to attend a sim racing exhibition event that is held every January. Sim Formula Europe host an event that the likes of Risto Kappet, Erhan Jajovski, Jiri Toman and Damian Skowran have all won.
With €10,000 on the line, maybe you want to give it a go? The hotlap qualifiers end tonight 2 December at 10pm CET, you can find them on rFactor 2. If you qualify, there will be online quarter finals on 14 December and semi finals on 21 December.
The best eight after those online races will make it to Maastricht and compete for a share of the prize pool. The car being raced will be the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (992) on the fictional Maastricht circuit, which is essentially slipstream overtaking heaven.
But if you do not make it as a competitor, it is still worth going as a spectator. Especially since there will be more happening than just the racing, with exhibitors there showing off sim racing products.
Last but not least, the powerhouse in sim racing esports known as VCO. They are involved in a vast range of different high profile events, such as the IMSA Esports Global Championship on iRacing and the SimGrid VCO Grand Finals on ACC.
IMSA Esports has its penultimate round at Sebring on 3 December, and the finale on the Daytona Road Course on 16 December. Team Redline currently lead both the GTP and GTD class. The Grand Finals will have its finale on 9 December, of which one of our own is set to race in.
But that is not the VCO event that has got us the most excited.
In May and December 2022, VCO held a very unique event called INFINITY. Flipping 24 hour racing on its head, teams competed not in one 24 hour long race but 24 consecutive races in that same time period. There have been no announcements yet for another edition, however OverTake has it on good authority that another edition will be held in the coming months.
If you are part of an iRacing team, it may be worth putting your team forward for participation consideration. As well as high profile pro teams, there are a load of sim racing enthusiast outfits that also compete. One such example is WAS COOKIN Racing Adventures who took a win in the first edition.
Racing To Watch During The Formula One Winter Break
Those are our picks for sim racing enthusiasts. However, if you are more in the mood for some real-life racing, check out our companion article over on RaceDepartment! Plenty of events happen between the start of December and the F1 season opener in Bahrain on March 2.
What other sim racing events are you looking forward to during the F1 off-season? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!