A Potential Source of Racing Talent
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Nearly everyone has had the opportunity to try their hand at popular sports such as baseball and basketball. A natural ability is realized in some individuals that is refined and nurtured into greatness. I don't believe the same can be said for motor sports. Therefore I can imagine that there are many people who may have a natural ability with regards to racing skill that have never had the opportunity to discover and nurture this ability. This is obviously due to the fact that it is relatively easy for a young person to have access to a basketball court or a baseball diamond as opposed to a race track.
I have an idea of how a motor sports entity could help to identify certain natural racing abilities in young individuals and it centers on video games as the tool of discovery. As racing simulations have evolved they have become very realistic down to they smallest detail. In fact simulators in general are used for many training programs. The U.S. Army has even financed the production of simulators to train troops and released retail versions as video game recruiting tools.
This idea came to me as I watched a friend playing a popular racing simulation video game named "Gran Turismo." I had played the game quite a bit myself but I was surprised at the skill this person had with the game. He raced the virtual car around the track with flawless precision making no mistakes lap after lap. Obviously I'm not implying that he could jump into a real race car and do great things but I sensed that he possessed some of the qualities present in a real race driver including mental stamina, focus, and the ability to follow a racing line and know when to brake and accelerate at exactly the right moment. I believe that if these traits are identified in an individual they could be a potential candidate for further exploration of their abilities including some sort of real driving experience to discover their potential.
I think the first place to start would be some sort of large scale racing simulation tournament to find the cream of the crop among individuals with those talents that can be measured in this fashion. There have been organized video game tournaments for some time and I imagine there may be some involving racing simulators but I am personally unaware of any specifically. I believe the inclusion of an opportunity to have a real racing experience would raise the profile of such an event dramatically. One potential avenue could be the production of a reality show or series chronicling the search for future race car drivers. There are entire cable networks dedicated to motor sports and video games that I can imagine would find success in such a venture.
I believe this may be a way for a motor sports organization to find racing talent.