Watch a Sim Racer Lap the ‘Ring in 4:00.8 in Virtual Reality
The car may not be real, but the adrenaline is.
YouTube user and sim racer Jimmy Broadbent is known best for his videos that combine racing simulators, a virtual reality headset, and famous race cars, including classic prototypes and historic Formula 1. In a video uploaded Thursday, he drove the fictional Red Bull X2010 prototype on the Nurburgring in Assetto Corsa, to see how fast a lap was possible with what was once considered the limit of motorsport technology. His hairy lap clocks in at 4:00.788, missing the sub-four-minute mark by under a second.
Unfamiliar with the X2010? It's the result of Red Bull Racing's chief technical officer, the brilliant Adrian Newey, scraping together every gram of his motorsport and technical knowledge to design what was considered the single fastest car possible, with the technology available at the time. The vehicle is fictional, as it exists only in the Gran Turismo video game series, and as a mod for Assetto Corsa, but it serves as a proof of concept of what's possible without any of the regulatory or budgetary limits imposed by the governing bodies of motorsport to keep the racing competitive and fair.
We can barely follow Broadbent's four-minute lap due to its speed, but believe it or not, faster laps have been achieved in the X2010. A 3:29.728 was posted in late 2010, and other players have since claimed laps as fast as 2:54.419, but the fact that Broadbent ran the lap in VR—with every synapse in his brain telling him to slow down—impresses us more than a million sterile TV laps ever could.