Driving Seat Blog #8

In this week’s Blog, get a free copy of MotorSport Magazine, family ties are racing ties, plus, you vote for your favourite British track!

Free Digital Issue of MotorSport Magazine

Who says we don’t give you stuff on this blog?

You’ve raced them in Project CARS 3, now it’s time to discover their history. Read all about the world’s greatest Group C Porsche collection by claiming a free digital copy of Motorsport Magazine.

Get it here, get inspired, and get out and race them!

Favourite British Track?

We asked our community—yeah, that’s you!— to choose your favourite British racetrack in Project CARS 3 in a Facebook poll and you all obliged. So, we now have the results, and they’re scientifically proven to be one-hundred percent true!

The winner, by a wide margin, was Brands Hatch, followed by Oulton Park, and then Snetterton.

Given your love for Brands Hatch, go ahead and show us your most impressive lap around that venerable old track, and we might feature our favourite laps in the next blog. Give us a lap with an old Group C monster, and we’ll be seriously impressed!

Share your lap with us on social media @projectcarsgame or use the #ProjectCARS3 hastag.

Brands Hatch circuit in Project CARS 3

Family Ties in the Age of Covid

Denise and Alex Morozov sat down with our social manager Fernando Moutinho to reflect on how sim racing has brought them even closer as a family in a time of Covid.  

Fernando: So, can you introduce yourselves?

Denise: I’m Denise, and I’m from United States, in Iowa. Just the middle of the country, and I’m 47 years old—for about another week. 

Fernando: Happy birthday!

Denise. Thanks. I’ll tell you right now that it’s also Alex’s birthday tomorrow. 

Alex: Beat me to the punch, appreciate you, Mom! 

Denise: I didn’t think you would say that your birthday is tomorrow, so I threw you under that bus. 

Alex: Alright, well my name is Alex, and I’m from Nebraska. Which is right next door to Mom in Iowa. I’m 25 for about the next 10 hours or so. 

Fernando: I’m assuming you’ve been playing games since an early age, is that right, Alex? 

Alex: Yes, all my life, ever since Mom here got me a Game Boy when I was about six.

Fernando: I assume, Denise, that you have a history with games as well? 

Denise: Not so much. In fact, I was that mom who hated video games and didn’t think my kids should play them! 

Alex: That didn’t work out then … 

Denise: No. Not at all …

Fernando: So how did you guys get to playing racing games together? 

Denise: Well it started last year, probably at the beginning of 2020, when Alex was always telling me, “Mom, you need to watch this movie ‘Senna’,” and I was like, I’ve never been interested in motorsports, so I just put it off and put it off until eventually I had a weekend free and I watched it, and I was like, “Oh, that’s really good”! 

Fascinating, I had no idea. This is all in the background context of the pandemic when I’d moved from Nebraska to a rural part of Iowa, and basically all social options shutdown with the pandemic, you know, and I was kind of struggling with getting to know people and feeling part of a community and stuff.

So Alex started trying to get me into F1 off the back of the movie. I’m a scientist by training and so the engineering aspect fascinated me. Plus, it was something fun that Alex and I could connect with, and we started watching the races together. And then it wasn’t long after that when Alex starts talking to me about sim racing. 

And again, I was like “Oh video games, I don’t think so!”

But when Alex decided to upgrade their sim racing unit and offered to sell me their old unit, well, that’s where it all really started. Unbeknownst to Alex, I went ahead and researched and got my own stand, and then at Christmas, they and their sister came out to visit, and we’ve been racing ever since!

Alex: It’s good. It’s good for me too because, like Mom said, we’ve never really seen eye-to-eye on video games pretty much at any point in our lives before!

Classic Team Lotus 98T racing at Portimao

Fernando: Once you fired up your first racing game, did you struggle to get your brain around how things work? 

Denise: A little bit. Project CARS I find challenging, but I enjoy it, I’m still learning, I’m still definitely a novice. But I super-enjoy the challenge of it, and I will absolutely spend a whole day doing it!

Fernando: Did you find it hard to fall into racing games, or did you find it was like second nature? 

Denise: I found it kind of second nature, and I think the thing that drives Alex a little crazy about me is that I’m so fiercely competitive. I like the idea of getting into competitive sim racing, too, but Alex is like, “Mom, you’re too aggressive!” 

Alex: Like online, yes. Way too!

Denise: So, um, I need to learn to play nice in the sandbox with people!

Alex: If you’re playing offline and you can like turn on the assists and turn off the damage, whatever, do what’s fun, but I know at some point this is going to be me racing against Mom and I don’t want her barrelling out of corners and doing insane overtakes and whatnot so no, no … you need to learn proper driving, or they’ll take your super licence! 

Denise: I will totally do that … 

Fernando: And maybe someday that can evolve into esports? 

Denise: I would love to do that. I’m seriously that kind of person. I don’t know if there’s a space for old ladies in esports though! But, you know, the other thing that I’ve talked to Alex about that I find so fascinating in sim racing—

Alex: Oh yes, yes— 

Denise:—is that I’ve done some work in hospices and specifically work with Alzheimer’s patients and people in assisted living facilities, and one of the things that’s hard on them is that point when they can no longer drive a car.

I think that’s such a devastating thing because cars are freedom to a lot of people, you know, and to lose that—I’ve seen some people just really shutdown when that occurs.

So I thought—wouldn’t it be neat if these software developers, who can make these games that are so incredible—I mean, I look at Project CARS and I see the realism in these tracks and cars, absolutely astounding—and I wonder if they could do some type of an adaptive game-type system that would make it easier for ageing people to recreate the feeling of being able to drive a car?

The feeling of resistance on the wheel and in the pedals and the vibration and all that—that’s all part of something they would remember, that would feel familiar to them, and it’s something that would contribute to memory and can trigger good feelings.

Just moments of joy, those are the most important things for people. When they’re ageing or nearing end of life, and have that experience, I think would be really cool. I feel strongly about this—I hope someone looks at this seriously.

Alex: This is a good example of the value of—I mean, take the community of sim racers that already exists, you know, we kind of think about this stuff one way, but if you bring in folks who have never explored video games or sim racing or anything in that world, you get some fresh perspectives and some new ideas like, “Hey, what if we used this amazing technology for this good purpose?” 

Fernando: Yeah, games are a powerful tool that can connect us all. 

Denise: Absolutely. It’s like the tracks, actually, in Project CARS. I really enjoy seeing these different tracks—it just like stirs something in me—especially during a year where you couldn’t really go anywhere. I felt like I could leave my current situation and do something exciting and new, and it sounds kind of corny to say that ’cause I’m saying, yeah I’m sitting on my kitchen chair in my living room, but—yeah, it just makes you—takes you somewhere else, you know?

Alex, you sent me a text with a photo of you behind your racing wheel last year and you wrote, “If I’m feeling anxious or upset, this is the most relaxing thing, to get on here and just drive,” and it’s so true. It was a coping mechanism for Alex that I recognise that could also be one for me, and I think it could be for others. I just love it. I I really do.

Alex: Talking about the tracks and what not—one of the cool things about Project CARS specifically—you guys have just a trillion tracks. You have every track ever made in history on Earth! 

So when the F1 calendar gets a little bit shuffled up because of Covid, and we don’t go to certain places and go to other places—like Portimão—being able to load it up in Project CARS before F1 went to that race just to kind of get a feel for it—that was great.

Anyway, I just kind of want to reiterate what Mom was talking about earlier. It’s just cool that, you know, after a childhood where most of my family was interested in the outdoors and nature and—well, that’s their stuff—and I was the one who was inside and really liked video games, and now we’re all playing this together—it’s cool. Sim racing is a way for us to connect and be equally excited about this thing. It kind of brings us together that way. 

Denise: I definitely second that. This is Alex’s and my thing, and I couldn’t enjoy it more. It’s just so much fun and rewarding in so many different ways: both the experience of racing and getting closer to Alex. 

And that’s a wrap for this week. Come hang out with the rest of the community on our Discord server and be sure to keep an eye out for the latest Project CARS 3 news by following us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and the Project CARS website.