Powered by Unreal Engine 5, RENNSPORT is the newest esports-ready racing sim, but it’s not content to rest on its laurels.
RENNSPORT has officially made its esports debut with a competitive circuit at IEM Katowice 2023. The next-gen racing simulator will also be the default platform for the prestigious ESL R1 circuit, painting it as the future of racing esports. WIN.gg was lucky enough to speak with RENNSPORT CEO Morris Hebecker on the game’s developing competitive scene and how it plans to overtake iRacing as the world’s default racing sim.
An interview with RENNSPORT CEO Morris Hebecker
WIN.gg: iRacing is arguably the current default for virtual reality racing. What advantages does RENNSPORT have over that program?
Morris Hebecker: At RENNSPORT, we believe that racing simulation is more than just a game. It’s a way to immerse yourself in the thrill of speed, the challenge of competition, and the joy of discovery.
Whether you want to race against your friends online, join an official league, or explore hundreds of cars and tracks from around the world and enjoy being part of pure car culture, RENNSPORT has something for you. We are building the ultimate platform for cars, sim racing, and competition.
Is the goal of the simulator to eventually train drivers for real-life GT racing?
We want the driving experience to reflect reality as much as possible, especially when it comes to competitive driving in series like GT. We know that drivers these days value the possibility of driving in an accessible simulator due to limited track time, and the next generation of motorsport professionals will start on a racing simulator from home.
If we can provide an environment where they can hone and perfect their skills, I think that is cool.
The extremely detailed car models look great in Unreal Engine 5. How important is graphical realism for RENNSPORT?
We want RENNSPORT to take the lead for the next generation of driving gamers, in racing and on the level of detail of cars in your garage. Graphical fidelity is one of the key aspects that contribute to the quality and appeal of a racing simulator, as it affects the visual presentation and physics simulation.
[Graphical quality] is important in a racing simulator as it enhances the visual realism and immersion of the game. Unreal Engine 5 enables us to use high-resolution textures and models for vehicles and tracks, and it also has a robust physics engine that can handle complex collisions, deformations, aerodynamics, tire friction, suspension dynamics, engine sounds, and other aspects that affect how vehicles behave on different surfaces and conditions.
Speaking of realism, are there any plans to support triple screens?
Yes. Adding triple screens, ultra-wide monitors, and VR functionally to RENNSPORT is something that is very important to us and something we’re actively working on. Everybody has their own preference when it comes to driving in a simulator, and we want to make sure that whatever you feel comfortable with, we got you covered with that option.
What about other realism features like wind and inclement weather?
Weather is a big thing in virtual racing and something that will be in RENNSPORT together with a stunning day and night cycle system. Working in Unreal Engine 5 provides us with lots of tools to add to the realism.
Did ESL approach RENNSPORT to create the R1 circuit? Or was it the other way around?
RENNSPORT had esports and a league in its concept from the beginning. We were able to convince ESL of its potential very early on and then developed ESL R1 together. Running it simultaneously with development has been a great way for us to make certain improvements based on driver feedback and, in general, a valuable source of information.
Do you have a personal dream car or track that you want to be added to the game?
I have no specific favorite racetrack, but whether it is a track, an open world, or a rally stage, I just enjoy driving and trying different cars on various tracks. My favorite car is the Ferrari F40, a car I dream about making an appearance in RENNSPORT one day.
GT racing seems to be the focus, but does RENNSPORT plan to add support for open-wheel racing?
What we have shown so far is the result of our great partnerships with Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, and together with them, we implemented their respective GT3 car for the ESL R1 competition.
While GT racing is an important part of motorsport DNA, it is important to have more car classes and racing disciplines in RENNSPORT, and we have a lot to talk about regarding this very soon.
The RENNSPORT website mentions user-generated content as a goal for the platform. What kind of creations would you most like to see?
Our vision is to encourage the community to collaborate and take ownership of content. If someone has a specific track or car in mind and another person has the skills to create it, we want to make the process as easy as possible. This will enable great and creative creations to reach as many people as possible and be able to own their work as a creator.