iRacing: New grip cheat exposed

A new video has surfaced, exposing what seems to be another case of cheating on iRacing’s service with accusations of nepotism thrown into the saga.

New iRacing suspected cheating footage was sent to us from a Twitch stream by Bruno do Carmo who follows user Calum Cross2 at Suzuka. Readers regularly alerting us of such incidents.

Cross can be seen taking the esses with superficial speed and grip on the first lap of the race, pulling out an almost two-second lead ahead of the turn 11 hairpin.

Although a two-second gap may not seem too implausible, perhaps that’s the intention. To eke out the very smallest of gains, an unfair advantage still, to the point where you can just about get away with it. In a sport which can often be decided by tenths, even thousandths of a second, the smallest of advantages will greatly change a result.

If such a tool is readily available, the entire ethos of the service will be brought into question and may well explain why so many real-world drivers have made the transition to iRacing so seamlessly and effectively, while long time sim racers (not famous) struggle for ages to get to such levels with tons of practice.

It’s suspected that Cross has been handed a grip boost no more than 5-10%, but even that is enough to be gifted a second in a single corner, even more in such a tricky section like Suzuka’s esses.

First of all, let’s take a look at Calum’s iRacing profile:

A member for just over a year, the Brit already boasts two world records in the F3 car at Lime Rock GP and Sebring.

His B road licence saw an impressive leap in late 2019, climbing from 1500 iRating to over 3500. A dip at the beginning of lockdown had been restored to just under 3000 iR, but now Cross has hit another obstacle, again dropping down to 2500 iRating. Not at all bad going, but how did he go about earning his score?

Our protagonist seems to find himself at the sharp end more often than not. The pole-sitter in a third of his races and winner in just over a fifth of his entries, perhaps Calum is just naturally quick?

The video tells us otherwise.

Right at the start of any race, all drivers will be feeling the effects of the cold tyres for the first lap or so. A source co-operating with SimRace247 has told us ” Some people will try and attribute this to the ‘grip flick’, a physics exploit available in most simracing games.

“The thing is, with the fixed setup and the cold tyres, using the grip flick in the first sector of the track is impossible.”

To add fuel to the fire, Twitter page @simracingpolice claims that Calum’s father in fact works for iRacing.

Sure enough, a quick search for Nim Cross on LinkedIn returns a result for Nim Cross Jr. Steward at iRacing.com.

Looking back at an old post on iRacing.com, ‘A day with the Chief Steward’, we can get an understanding of what the role actually involves.

People like Nim are the guys that go over user complaints, analysing videos and deciding whether to take action:

“As the Chief Steward for F.I.R.S.T. it is my responsibility to review any conflicts, rules violations or conduct violations that may happen at iRacing.  We have the unique responsibility of enforcing the rules of the iRacing Sporting Code for the thousands of competitors who compete, from all around the world, in our sanctioned races that occur 24 hours a day.

“Normal racing incidents are covered by the rating and licensing system I just mentioned.  Accidents that are not malicious, in violation of the Sporting Code or very unusual in nature will not be accepted as the subject of protests.  It is very important that we allow members of our service to make mistakes without putting them under the scrutiny of the sanctioning body for every incident they are involved in.  In fact, one of the basic ideas of  iRacing is to allow our members the opportunity to learn from their mistakes as they try to improve their ratings, license levels and driving skills.”

Scroll to the bottom of the blog post and you’ll notice that the author is in fact a certain Nim Cross. The plot thickens.

UPDATE: Having spoken to an individual investigating the case, it is now understood that there is no relation between Nim Cross and Calum Cross. We would like to apologise for misunderstanding the situation in that regard.

To clarify, “Nim is in no way related to Calum, the quote is in fact saying Calum was given extra grip by his dad, or Nim Cross, who, as you correctly stated, is the Chief Steward for iRacing.

“I believe that [Simracing Police tweet] was intended to mean his dad and Nim Cross, however we do agree that could be misconstrued.”

Anonymous of the @DramaSim Twitter page has weighed in, saying “We would like to ensure you that cheaters in iRacing don’t exist and are shut down instantly. This is more a one lap exploit that only helps on the first lap of the race.

“this technique [gripflicking] only heats up the tyres quickly, nothing more than that. Cheating in iRacing is incredibly rare and the staff do a great job to make sure everything is fair and as competitive as possible.”

This is part of an ongoing investigation with more revelations expected from our sources later this week. Thank you to all who have assisted in bringing to our attention devious practices in our esport.

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