The curse of exploits (to put it kindly) or cheats raised its ugly head in sim racing’s most high-profile event, Round 1 of the 2021 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup on iRacing.
Red Bull Racing Esports Team driver Sebastian Job highlighted the scourge after he finished a disappointing 12th in the opening round of the big bucks series backed by Porsche and their sponsors TAG Heuer.
Overtake.gg spoke to Job after the event, who explained, “Us and a few other teams have raised concerns with the series organizers as it seems some drivers used an exploit that we made an agreement not to use, making it almost impossible to better the position I qualified in.”
The report adds that the top eleven spots in qualifying were all occupied by drivers racing for Coanda Simsport or Coanda drivers.
Suggesting the famous sim racing team is flouting the ‘rules’ by exploiting setups in such a way that is worth valuable time on track to pro-drivers using the hack and this giving them a distinct advantage, which amounts to cheating.
Job continued, “We are awaiting a response on this as we are concerned it could be used in future races.”
It seemed the race was cursed for Sebastien “I’m not sure what happened, my screens went black and the game wouldn’t open up again, it’s never happened to me before. I am just crossing my fingers that it was a random one-off.”
Notably, the Red Bull driver refused to reveal the nature of the exploit, which is natural as it is common knowledge that setup engineers are hired by big teams to fiddle the setups in an effort to eke out an advantage.
There’s an old saying in real motor racing: “everyone cheats in racing, some get caught” and this is now becoming the norm in sim racing too.
SIMRACE247 have called out cheating to the community with emails to developers, only RaceRoom replied when we requested clarification regarding cheating and the lack of policing thereof in sim racing by developers who are happy to take the cash but ignore the integrity of what they are doing.
iRacing which hosts many these big-money championships appear to have their heads in the sand, keeping everything secret is their dubious marketing tactic, do they even have anyone who understands media and PR in their offices. Seems not.
Their stance over the years has angered many subscribers, and of course, inevitably launching a myriad of conspiracy theories that does them no favours.
In the end, cheating and exploitation of the rules is rife on iRacing across all series including the big NASCAR based championships, with setup exploits/cheats the key to extra tenths which every team and driver seeks.
Everyone has a secret or more when it comes to the dark arts of setup-cheating thus the matter is generally thrust under the carpet because it also sustains the lucrative pay-for-good-setups industry that has exploded around iRacing.
This no one talks about it until now the iRacing Porsche cup champion Job has come out to highlight the issue, no doubt he has so much more to say. The fact that Red Bull condones their driver speaking out suggests sabre-rattling by the fizzy drinks giant who do not want their athletes finishing second to cheats.
With big money pouring into sim racing, this kind of ‘rule-massaging’ is unacceptable and threatens the credibility of everyone involved, not only Iracing who are silent to their own detriment and Porsche who are putting their name to a series which can be won by cheating.
It is time for fixed setup racing on all professional sim racing platforms, for races and championships because no one will take this esport seriously until these obvious loopholes are closed.
That a Red Bull driver of Sebastien’s status and repute goes out on a limb to make this public is sure indication that this is serious, the others not brave enough to rock the boat as he did.
Cheating is a steadily growing cancer in sim racing, time to cut it out, and if iRacing won’t then Porsche should pull the plug on the series until we all have clarity and the series proceeds with setup transparency..
Meanwhile the next Round 2 is scheduled to happen today at the virtual version Circuit de Barcelona but until the setups-exploits-cheating issue is resolved, the series simply has no credibility and will not be taken seriously.