One of the greatest things about this hobby we enjoy is that there are so many ways to enjoy it. Not only do we have different aspects outside of driving that we can enjoy, but we also have different driving mindsets we can adopt. Like real racers race for different reasons, I feel that sim racers do as well.
I decided to dive into this concept, and I wanted to think about the different reasons people race. I’d like to see how they apply to you guys as well. I think some of these different racer types can also overlap, so I’d like your input.
The Gentleman Racer
The gentleman racer likely makes up a majority of all racers in the world, and can be a great place to find yourself in. While many drivers (and teams) like to push the limits of rules and do whatever it takes to win, Gentleman Racers are satisfied with the excitement of racing. They are generally cool headed, and like to help people out. They may not always try to race for the win, but they usually won’t put others in danger for a win.
However, some Gentleman Racers are not exactly what you’d call “clean”. While most are clean and don’t cause trouble, some can cause issues in a racing environment. Be it them not knowing better, or intentionally causing issues, some can lead to trouble. One real life example of a poor Gentleman Driver was when Vadim Kogay took a Ferrari 458 GT3 to Monza.
The One That’s Driven to Win
The determined racer can be a mixed beast. They are the people that are just driven to win. They’re the kind of person that will race shopping carts through your local grocery store, to get the best spot in line. The goal of the competitive racer is to be the very best, at any cost necessary.
Sometimes that cost will be bending the rules to their own needs. They will try their hardest to find loopholes, to gain that extra tenth. If there isn’t a hole, they may bust one right open. They can ruffle feathers, and may be on the receiving end of protests.
Not all determined drivers are reckless. Some of them can control the line between aggressive and chaos, and those drivers can be regarded as some of the greatest. However, some of the drivers that cross that fine line can find themselves in a position of infamy.
The Professional Racer
Professional racers aren’t only a classification, but I believe it is also a mindset. A true professional is able to push the car to the edge, and straddle that line, but not go over. They can read other racers, pick out their flaws, and use them to gain an advantage and a position. They can maintain a cool head under pressure, in fact, they thrive from it.
A true professional knows how to conduct himself, both on and off the track. You will rarely find him/her getting into compromising situations, or losing his/her temper. The goal of a pro is to win, but they will also look at the big picture, and won’t endanger a championship for just one position.
The Weekend Warrior
Some of the potential greats in the racing world may never be realized, be it because of lack of time, lack of funding, or just elements out of their control. The Weekend Warrior is a driver that races when conditions permit. I have a few friends who are weekend warriors in real life, who race when time and money is available.
In sim racing, a weekend warrior could possibly be defined by time and work. Sim racers usually do not race for a living, so it would not be a foremost priority in their life. Basic living and sustenance will take precedence over racing on a computer.
There are many other kinds of racers one can categorize themselves as, but I would say that these are ones the majority you could find yourself in. What kind of racer do you see yourself as? Let us know in the comments below!