First things first: racing cars of any sort is an expensive, time-consuming sport. Many drivers begin their training when they outgrow their Big Wheels (although a previous CNET post shows that size doesn't matter when it comes to Big Wheel racing), but just because you weren't born into a racing family or started karting when you were 6 doesn't mean it's too late to become a professional race car driver.
Volkswagen has teamed up with iRacing.com Motorsport Simulations to develop an online racing simulator video game of its SCCA Pro Racing Jetta TDI Cup series. The video game--set to release in September--will help train current Jetta TDI Cup drivers, and it will also help Volkswagen recruit new drivers, opening up the sport to any gamer with a PC, pedal and steering wheel, and Internet connection.
The winner of the 2009 online Jetta TDI Cup series will earn a spot in the 2010 driver selection event and compete for the chance to receive a fully funded ride in the 2010 SCCA Pro Racing Jetta TDI Cup series driving the iRacing.com car, according to a VW press release. Details of the online series have not been released.
iRacing.com is a membership-based online service that simulates driving in more than a dozen series. It offers realistic digital versions of real-world racecars on millimeter-accurate virtual versions of physical race tracks. Players compete against each other online, and members include Dale Earnhardt Jr., Justin Wilson, Alex Gurney and A.J. Allmendinger, enabling gamers to hone their skills against real-world champions.