There has always been the question of whether the skills needed to be good at video games can translate into real-world skills, particularly in racing. Even games like Gran Turismo have suggested that gamers ranking on a worldwide scale could be good enough to race in real life.
This may sound like a dream for most teenage boys, but Scotland-based racing team ProRace UK have recently made it a reality by signing 20-year-old video gamer Josh Martin, who will join the team as their newest driver. Martin has played Assetto Corsa for up to eight hours a day since he was a teenager, in between studying psychology.
‘I started playing with friends when I was 11 or 12, and I turned out to be really good at it. I thought I needed to start taking things more seriously,’ says Josh, reminiscing. Prepared with the full F1-style racing wheel, pedal set and even sports seat, getting to grips with the equipment certainly won’t be an issue, but translating the virtual into the physical will come with its own set of challenges.
It’s a challenge he is well prepared for however, as one of the highest ranked players in the world. Josh has won 15 championships, as well as 500 races and 17 world records, in the game. He is considered to be an E-sports athlete by ProRace UK, although he will have to condition his body to handle the demands of real-world racing: ‘The next thing is getting in training to build the muscles in my neck, as the one thing the game doesn’t replicate is the G-forces you experience.’
Josh will be racing in a ProRace UK BMW E36 3 Series, a truly emotive sports car with a wealth of history behind it. Why not get a taste for racing yourself in a 3 Series Gran Turismo, a dynamically sporty car worthy of its name? Explore or test drive one here at Lancaster BMW Milton Keynes.
There will be a lot of doubt as Josh embarks on this new racing adventure, but the same is true of all unexperienced rookies as they start out. There’s no doubt that Josh’s journey will be a remarkable one, and it will be genuinely interesting to see how well he is able to translate his virtual skills into real-world success.