Online racers using gaming platforms to simulate the cut-and-thrust of the real-world racetrack have seen their association become a member club of Britain’s national motorsport authority.
That means the same body that oversees on-track action in series such as British Formula Three International and British GT has now also taken contests on platforms such as the X-Box 360 under its wing.
Last week The Online Racing Association (TORA), which promotes simulation racing and virtual motorsport, announced that it had become the Motor Sports Association’s first officially-recognised governing body for the pursuit.
This marks the beginning of what could potentially become a sea-change in the way that fans relate to motorsport as the potential of computer simulation to deliver an authentic racing experience is acknowledged more and more widely.
The use of simulators and games by professional drivers to learn far-flung circuits and compensate for a lack of on-track testing time is already well established, but greater availability of the technology has also allowed fans to race each other.
TORA, which runs competitions and championships across motorsport disciplines based on networking the Microsoft X-Box 360 platform, made its announcement in the same week that Gatwick-based Puretech Racing opened the doors of its first simulator centre.
TORA describes its MSA membership on its website as “not only a a huge achievement for our organisation but a watershed moment for the whole motorsport simulation industry, as the governing and sanctioning bodies for motorsport are now taking notice and recognising the growing importance of what we do.”
It’s the latest development in a trend that has seen organisations like the British Radio Car Association and the British Slot Car Racing Association affiliating with the MSA.
To learn more about TORA visit its website here.