Graham Rahal and a Honda Civic Type R Embark on a Crazy Mixed Reality Race

The popular Indycar driver races against a virtual reality Civic Type R at the famous Road Atlanta.

If you’re a bit confused by the title of this article, we don’t blame you, the whole thing is a bit puzzling. Here’s the nitty-gritty: Race-winning Indycar driver Graham Rahal hops behind the wheel of a real Honda Civic Type R to race another dude in another Civic Type R around Road Atlanta. But, the other dude happens to be pro gamer Peter Jeakins, and he’ll be competing against Rahal through the power of Microsoft’s mixed reality technology.

The debate has existed for decades now, and it’s even been attempted to be proven/disproven on several automotive TV shows including Top Gear. How does video game as realistic as Forza Motorsports 7 compare to the real deal when it comes to driving and track dynamics? Are the cars faster because they’re fake, or are they comparable to their real-life counterparts? Perhaps the biggest differentiator between gaming and the real thing is the fear factor, as Rahal mentions in the video.

While the lap of Road Atlanta itself is nothing to lose sleep over, the mixed-reality windshield installed in Rahal’s Type R is. The cutting-edge technology allows Rahal to see Jeakins’ Type R on his windshield, just like if the two were actually racing side by side on the track. It’s the equivalent to the popular “ghost car” feature found on most racing simulators. 

I won’t tell you how the story ended, but I personally think Honda should do this at other race tracks around the world.