It all seemed like a joke at first: Former Formula One driver, former NASCAR driver, former rallycross champion Scott Speed got suspended from iRacing at the start of this year for trying to intentionally wreck another player in the racing simulator. But there was more to this story, and we went to iRacing headquarters to track it all down.
All things considered, the event really wasn’t that big of a deal. Though the crash blew up online, spreading across Reddit and then to bigger and bigger blogs, Scott Speed and iRacing remain the figures they have always been to the world at large: a respected race car driver who once lost championship points for getting into it with an F1 official and the most serious racing sim out there, respectively.
But I think it’s interesting in its own right, seeing this first big overlap between real racing and simulators, with a famous driver getting first online then real life repercussions for his digital actions.
As more and more racing moves into simulators, we’ll look back on this as a bit of a turning point, when the two disciplines first seriously crossed.
Well, not too seriously. Speed’s not too broken up about it and I think everyone involved is going to be fine.