After their respective success in the Race at Home Challenge and Formula E: Accelerate, professional sim racers Kevin Siggy and Frederik Rasmussen both won the chance to experience a Formula E car in the real world. After some laps ahead of the DHL Valencia E-Prix, here explain the similarities, differences and difficulties of making the switch from virtual asphalt to the real thing.
Twenty-year-old Dane, Frede Rasmussen was coached by DRAGON / PENSKE AUTOSPORT drivers Nico Mueller and Sergio Sette Camara, after Rasmussen launched the all-American team to virtual success in the Formula E: Accelerate series earlier this year.
Likewise, last year's Race At Home Challenge winner, Kevin Siggy was embedded with the BMW i Andretti Motorsport squad and guided around the Spanish circuit by Maximilian Guenther. The German returning the favour after Siggy also gave some top sim racing tips to Guenther during the Race At Home Challenge, helping him with some top results on the virtual track.
Rasmussen has been sim racing for six years. After watching YouTube videos about it he was inspired to buy his own sim rig, then he honed his skills – practicing six-to-eight hours per day! He developed his professional sim racing career alongside the industry that was growing by the day. His success in esports now means he can fully support himself from the ever-growing prize money pools available.
Siggy has now been racing for nine years and what started as an enjoyable hobby, quickly became a career after he joined one of the most renowned sim racing teams in the world, Team Redline. Now a top-tier sim racer, he has also been able to live off it full time and call it a career.
Rasmussen was first up to drive the Gen2 car in Valencia and was initially surprised at the speed.
“The acceleration surprised me a bit at first and then it just felt normal. Already on the first lap, I was sliding a bit out of the corners. It feels quite nice on the body, getting pushed back into the seat. It’s a lot of fun.”
Despite a small spin after pushing too hard out of a corner, Rasmussen picked up the real thing incredibly well and felt comfortable with the transition.
“It gave me some confidence. It feels exactly like a simulator, it’s just the forces that are different and the track is not just a screen in front of you. I felt really comfortable in there.”
Published on 24th May 2021
Next, Siggy strapped in to drive a real electric racing car for his first time, excitedly anticipating the instant torque.
“As soon as I sat in it and went through the first two corners, it was a completely different start to what I had in my head. The most obvious thing was the instant torque, just immediately pushing me back into the seat, which is kind of cool to experience.”
Siggy felt that sim racing taught him enough to drive the car comfortably, but the general driving experience was different.
“There are some similarities, although G-force you obviously just cannot replicate, but the general driving I think is slightly different, it’s a bit less forgiving. Overall, it was a really fun experience. The car was really fun to drive. I really loved it. I enjoyed just driving fast, hopefully, one day the dream comes.”