Say what you want about iRacing’s tyre model, but there’s no doubt it’s one of the most realistic racing simulators out there. The number of pro drivers now using the software, to practise and gain more track time, speaks for itself. But the online sim has also aided in the development of new driving technology for the ‘real’ world.
That’s why I was more than a little intrigued when Next Level Racing sent me an email about their new collaboration. The Aussie brand is teaming up with iRacing to launch not one, but two co-branded sim racing cockpits.
In the announcement, one of the new rigs is described as a “premium simulator chassis,” that’s aimed at “eSports and professional drivers.” We only got a sneak peek of this new rig (in the photo above), but it looks like it utilises 4080 aluminium profile, like the Sim-Lab GT1 Evo.
As far as I’m aware, this is the first Next Level Racing rig to be built using aluminium profile. But it’s also the first time that iRacing has put its logo on a piece of hardware—so it’s a pretty big deal.
I have to say, the iRacing decal and custom blue angle bracket looks rad. From the picture, it also appears that the upright is connected at an angle to the base (as opposed to being perpendicular). So, as with the Sim-Lab TR1, this should mean that the rig is nice and compact, while still providing a very strong and stable platform.
On the partnership, iRacing’s Sales and Marketing director Otto Szebeni said:
iRacing is thrilled to partner with Next Level Racing. This is the first time we will place our brand on a piece of hardware and the decision wasn’t made lightly. iRacing has built our brand around quality, and for that reason, it was extremely important to us to associate with a company that felt the same and could deliver that. We are all very excited to give sim racers a great experience not only with our software but now in partnership with Next Level Racing.
Presumably, the other co-branded rig will be aimed at entry to mid-level sim racers. This would make sense, considering that Next Level Racing has always catered for different budgets and experience levels.
On the new premium rig, however, Next Level Racing’s Head of Brand and Strategic Growth Kam Khadem said:
We are excited to collaborate with iRacing, a market leader in simulation software to introduce what we believe is the best consumer racing cockpit. The new premium cockpit has been designed specifically for sim racers that demand nothing but the best. Our Design Team’s relentless pursuit for perfection in combination with the expertise from our friends at iRacing has helped set a new benchmark for a racing cockpit.
Further details about the new iRacing partnership, as well as the unveiling of Next Level Racing’s new premium cockpit, will be revealed in Q2 2021—so not long to wait. I, for one, am looking forward to seeing the complete build and I’ll be sure to post an update when we know more.
In the meantime, let me know what you think about this new partnership in the comments below.
Featured image: Next Level Racing/iRacing