VIRTUAL REALITY
V8X Supercar Magazine|Winter 2020 Issue 117
The BP Supercars All Stars Eseries has paved the way for Supercars to further embrace virtual racing, opening up an important avenue to attract and engage with new audiences for the category

For others, it was nothing more than a glorified computer game. But, no matter where you stood in between those viewpoints, there could be no denying the value of the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries during the break in racing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While other sports were left with no new content to deliver, motorsport could at least mimic its real-life product thanks to an online platform such as iRacing and the technological advancements in simulators.

Supercars’ offering was praised worldwide for its professionalism, featuring all of its full-time drivers racing in their real-life liveries and complete with commentary and stewards as if it were happening in the real world.

While it was considered a bit of fun by many, there will be a long-lasting impact from the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries moving into future virtual-racing contests.

It will allow Supercars to expand its offering to prospective sponsors and partners, with the potential of bringing in a whole new audience to the category.

Supercars’ data analytical partners reported that the BP Supercars All Stars Eseries reached half a million viewers who had never been exposed to the sport before.

Television ratings on Fox Sports Australia peaked at 76,000 and averaged around 50,000, often as the most-watched shows on the network at a time when there was little in the way of live sport.

Given the great economic uncertainty and in lieu of real-life racing, it was one key way in which Supercars and its teams could cater to their sponsors.

Supercars found that 45 percent of the audience for its 2019 Gfinitiy Supercars Eseries, featuring sim-racers only, fell in the 18 to 34 years of age demographic.

With traditional motorsport audiences leaning more towards an older demographic, virtual racing is seen as a vital strategy in bringing in a new and younger audience to the sport.

The BP Supercars All Stars Eseries also gave drivers the chance to reach out to their fans in ways that simply aren’t possible in real-life racing, such as streaming to and interacting directly with their own audiences on their social media channels, most notably on Twitch.

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