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What is making Sim Racing a viable alternative to Go-Karting?

Updated: Jan 29, 2022

Over the past few years esports has increased in the amount of revenue and viewership as an industry. In 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, doing most things online became an integral way of life and for many sporting events esports gave way too many sports such as Formula 1 and Football, which catapulted in popularity due to the suspension of real-life competition. Many well-known gaming titles such as Formula 1, FIFA, and League of Legends, were the basis for many events to take place and over the pandemic it has increased the player bases for each title. Many invitational events with many celebrities took place to fill the void left by no broadcasts of real-life events.

Esports Audience Growth Projection
Esports Audience Growth Projection

Go Karting has always been the most popular way of emulating the real-life experience of what it is to be like your favourite racing driver. While karting is a great and provides many attractions and thrills even though travelling at lower speeds the thrill and adrenaline of going wheel to wheel with someone on track is an unparalleled feeling when in the moment. While there is always great fun to be had while karting the most common issue is like many people find with any kind of motorsport it can become very expensive and a few more limitations that can become apparent.

Sim Racing has been around for a while but in the last 5 years has seen a rapid climb in its popularity. While it does not provide the same exact on track real-life feel of a kart, advancements in technology within sim racing has made it a strong viable alternative with a major advantage that it is more accessible than karting, as the average person can buy a wheel from the likes of amazon and set up their own wheel at home to get that experience and over lockdown the amount of people partaking in events organised online has given a rise in that popularity. While sim racing is growing and unlocking more doors for people, its biggest downfall to many is that to some it will not be able to replicate the feeling of real-life driving even though it has the capabilities to do so to a high standard.

What are the differences between both?

When it comes to finding the difference between something, it is probably the most asked question when it comes to anything. When it comes to Sim Racing and Go-Karting there are a few major differences, below is some of the differences between both.


  • Can choose between both indoor and outdoor karting depending on weather or what one feels like when booking.

  • As mentioned before the real-life thrill and adrenaline of being on track, but also experiencing different weather conditions for example if it is wet and windy in a storm your gear will become heavier and battling the elements giving the full-on experience of interchangeable conditions.

  • Karting requires a fair bit of physical effort and promotes good physical health.

  • Most venues use only a one-track layout and if multiple sessions are booked it means wait times can sometimes take a long time before getting back out on track. If you would be after a different track layout or a different centre for out or indoor then it could mean further expense to travel to the next available location.

  • Different companies do offer different engine sizes from 100cc to 200cc, however most places such as TeamSport only offer a single variation of kart.

  • Karts for some people can be uncomfy and for people of different sizes may affect the size of the kart due to the weight advantage.

  • Strict safety rules as if your black flagged most karting venues do not offer refunds.

  • Depending on the track layout clean battling for faster drivers can be hard to come by if more inexperienced drivers are on a tight track with less overtaking opportunities however this is all part of the experience in learning race craft.

  • With Indoor karting most venues have climate control meaning races are never cancelled.

  • People wishing to further advance into karting championships may have to spend exponential amount to cover things such as gear and travel putting many people pursuing a professional career.

Sim Racing

  • Has become more accessible and the price range of the equipment a person wants can be controlled and offers the sense of immersion they feel comfortable with.

  • Has become a pathway and viable alternative for people looking to progress further into real life championships who may not have the funding and drives like Cem Bolukbasi have graduated to F2 after previously racing the F1 esports series.

  • The esports industry growth has led to wider opportunities in both sport and business with few places such as sim racing centres opening offering the opportunity to race on industry professional equipment for cheaper prices.

  • On average sim racing centres prices mean a person gets 50p per minute extra on track compared to the £1.00 to £1.40 prices for karting.

  • Ease of data collection for people to see stuff like top speed and braking inputs.

  • Can choose any racing scenario on multiple gaming titles suited to a person’s needs and teaches many newcomers the basic concepts of racing who might not be comfortable about going on track just yet. Also, can be used to simulate engineered scenarios for both casual gamers up to industry professionals requiring data for car development.

  • Depending on the simulator being used drivers can become prone to tunnel vision to the field of view that you cannot like when go karting. Virtual reality can be used to generate a 3D field of view however the quality of the VR headset could potentially affect the driver’s vision and focus if their eyes become strained.

  • Does not require a lot of physical training and tends to be more comfortable than karting, due to the accessibility and adjustability of equipment.

Places to check out for Karting & Sim Racing in Stoke-On-Trent

If you would like to try out some go karts near me in Stoke-On-Trent, both TeamSport and Fast Lane Indoor go-karting both are great indoor venues for local karting and offer different track layouts for different challenges to suit anyone.

On the other hand, if you would like to give virtual reality sim racing a try then RaceGrid VR Simulators is the perfect place to go, being Staffordshire first sim racing centre with full motion rigs to professional standard and a selection of over 200 cars and 100 tracks catering to everyone whether it is a family day out or professionals looking to train. XP-VR also offer great virtual reality entertainment for first person games VR games.

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