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  • Peter MacKay

12 hours of Snetterton preview

On Saturday 9th May at 9am GMT, a band of racers will take to their home simulators to compete for 12 hours in aid of the NHS. With most of the world on lockdown, amateur and professional racers alike have fed their thirst for competition using home simulation programmes such as iRacing.

Formula one superstars, Lando Norris and Max Verstappen are two key advocates of the technology. Pre coronavirus, sim racing had momentum, but its popularity has exploded since racers and fans have been confined to barracks. With race broadcasters starved of content, series organisers have rushed to arrange official televised virtual races. Occasionally with controversial results. NASCAR driver Kyle Larson lost his job after using a racial slur on his live feed. A recent virtual IndyCar race involved the reigning Indy 500 champion deliberately taking out Mclaren’s Lando Norris. Any action in the virtual racing world has generated explosive reaction on social media channels.

However, motorsport benefits from fans participating in virtual racing and thus remaining engaged with the sport while track action is paused.

A band of virtual and real-world club racers have gathered to deploy sim racing’s newfound popularity, to positive use. Enthusiasts from the Porsche Club GB will undertake a 12-hour solo racing challenge to raise funds for the NHS. A 12-hour shift is par for the course for brave NHS staff and so the ’12 hours of Snetterton’ charity sim race was born.

Competitors will drive the diminutive Porsche Cayman GT4 MR, a recent addition to the iRacing service. A firm favourite on the world’s GT4 grids, the Cayman provides accessible performance to the amateur driver. Switchable anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic stability control may provide a welcome safety net for weary drivers reaching the latter stages of this marathon event.

Laser scanned for pinpoint accuracy, the virtual Snetterton 300 emulates the Jonathan Palmer designed circuit flawlessly. Founded in 1951, Snetterton played a key role in the growth of British motorsport. Hosting the pioneering Jim Russell racing school and the first four Formula Ford Festivals. Nearly 70 years later, this 3-mile circuit is replicated in the virtual world, inspiring yet more new racers. Early students of the Jim Russell race school could enrol for a monthly training session for the equivalent of £1 a week. In 2020, iRacing provides a fresh approach to affordable motorsport, from the comfort of your own home.

A live feed of the entire race will be broadcast on popular gaming streaming service, Solo commentary will be provided by Peter MacKay for the entirety of the race via live video or radio feeds.

Those wishing to donate can do so via the link below:

The race broadcast can be found via:

Audio: The Peter MacKay Motorsport Podcast on the Podbean app (Available for Apple/Android)

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