BMW added sim racing to its racing programme as a standalone pillar in 2020 and, in close collaboration with the rapidly growing sim racing community, helped raise the industry to an even more professional level. Meanwhile, sim racing is an equal part of the BMW esports campaign. As in conventional esports with League of Legends, Dota 2 and Valorant, BMW has also signed up well-known teams in sim racing. Three outfits are currently flying the BMW flag at prestigious online racing events: BS+ COMPETITION, G2 Esports and Team Redline. They share a competitive spirit, which is expressed in the #WeAreNotPlaying campaign tailored to sim racing needs. And they win and win and win... as is in BMW's DNA.
Sim racing is certainly that fascinating because, in addition to the real driving feeling, a large audience can also take a seat at the wheel of the BMW racing cars, that fans can usually only admire as spectators at the racetrack. Working closely with the simulation platforms iRacing, rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa Competizione, BMW integrated racing cars such as the BMW M4 GT3, BMW M4 GT4 and the BMW M2 CS Racing into the simulations as realistically as possible.
The BMW M4 GT3 in particular, which in real life is driven by top BMW drivers in the most important GT races around the world, is extremely popular with fans, but also with many sim racing pros. Those who drive it can expect their trophy cabinet to fill up soon. There will be a completely new car on rFactor 2 in 2022, the BMW Formula Pro. BMW is the first manufacturer to present an initial concept for a special car design for this virtual championship.
But BMW's involvement in sim racing goes even deeper. The premium car manufacturer doesn't just want to participate, but to actively shape the future of sim racing. That's why BMW itself has risen to become an organiser of its own sim races. Victories and titles are at stake in the BMW SIM GT Cup and BMW SIM Time Attack. The BMW M4 GT3 is the only car in the BMW SIM GT Cup on iRacing. The BMW SIM Time Attack on Assetto Corsa Competizione features the full range of virtual BMW M Motorsport cars – from the BMW M2 CS Racing and the BMW M4 GT4 to the BMW M4 GT3. New to the programme is the BMW SIM Trophy, in which drivers from all over the world can win trophies in different cars and on different platforms, which are then presented at BMW SIM Live.
The BMW SIM Live - another event with which BMW Esports is setting standards alongside the Berlin Brawl. BMW broadcasts BMW SIM Live, which celebrated its debut back in 2019, live from BMW Welt as the conclusion of the sim racing season and grand finale of the BMW SIM Racing Cups. In addition to fame and glory, there is a lot of prize money up for grabs. The evening of BMW SIM Live is always charged with excitement, because it is also the stage for showcasing industry-changing innovations and the announcement of important news. BMW SIM Live is streamed live on BMW Esports Twitch and accompanied by extensive coverage on BMW Esports Twitter, Instagram and Discord, taking fans behind the scenes of the event.
BMW is also a technological leader in sim racing. The showpiece is currently the BMW haptic platform, which BMW SIM Racing has developed in collaboration with D-BOX and RaceX. Exclusive know-how from BMW Motorsport’s professional racing simulator is incorporated in the moving platform for sim rigs. However, BMW is involved in many hardware projects. In conjunction with Fanatec, they have come up with an entry-level sim racing steering wheel that offers newcomers to the sport the highest possible quality at an attractive price. But BMW is also active at the top end of sim racing. The brand also developed the Podium Steering Wheel BMW M4 GT3 together with Fanatec – and it is a world sensation. The steering wheel can be used in a real race car as well as in a simulator. And that is exactly what BMW wants to achieve in sim racing: to amaze people again and again.