How one rising star is utilizing sim racing to their benefit - Motor Informed

How one rising star is utilizing sim racing to their benefit

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Webster has had a barely unorthodox motorsport profession to this point. The now 20-year-old began in karting, securing an Australian KA4 Junior title in 2016 and third within the 2018 Victorian Kart Championship (KA3 Junior).

However, he then moved to the one-make Hyundai Excel sequence, the championship for mid-’90s humdrum hatchbacks.

Whereas it’s a vibrant scene, seen as a stepping stone for up-and-comers, particularly into touring vehicles, the transfer eschewed the frequent logic of one thing like System Ford for an aspiring single-seater driver.


Even stranger, Webster was then plucked out of the compact tin-top sequence and positioned inside S5000 – open-wheelers with a 5.2-litre V8 and vast Hoosier tyres. They’re distinctive, however Webster has discovered success, notably a race win in 2021, adopted by third within the Australian Drivers’ Championship and second within the Tasman Collection final 12 months.

“The tyre doesn’t have very a lot grip in any respect,” explains Webster at a blustery Donington Park.

“That’s most likely essentially the most difficult factor with an S5000, as a result of it makes braking, accelerating and cornering tough. Watching the vehicles race may be very thrilling as a result of they transfer round a lot after which they thunder down the straight due to the engine.

“I feel it’s superior. Everybody that jumps in them says they’re an actual beast to drive.”

The plan for 2023 is to compete within the present S5000 championship – a trio of podiums was secured by the Victorian on the opening occasion – however not each spherical, as they conflict with a drive within the burgeoning GB4 championship this 12 months for the Evans GP group.

Cooper Webster will drive for Evans GP in GB4 for 2023

Cooper Webster will drive for Evans GP in GB4 for 2023

Photograph by: Thomas Harrison-Lord

It’s a drive that Webster has relocated to the UK for, touchdown in Milton Keynes.

“The very first thing I seen was only a lot greyer right here than in Australia,” jokes Webster.

“I’m extra harassed about transferring to the UK than the racing. The racing I’ve been doing for greater than 10 years, dwelling on my own, I’ve by no means carried out that.”

The rationale for this actual location shouldn’t be solely right down to GB4, nevertheless, however his racing Esports commitments. A member of the Oracle Crimson Bull Racing Esports squad, he’s been competing in top-level digital competitions, such because the Le Mans Digital Collection and, presently, iRacing’s Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup.

Cooper Webster competes in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup for Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports

Cooper Webster competes within the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup for Oracle Crimson Bull Racing Esports

Photograph by: Justin Melillo

On the time of writing, the Australian is sixth in the standings, operating as team-mate to former champion and present Red Bull Racing Formula 1 simulator test driver Sebastian Job.

“The atmosphere’s actually good and everybody works laborious,” says Webster

“That’s what you need in a sim group, that everybody actually targeted and pushed.

“There’s nobody else higher at that than Sebastian. He’s one of many hardest working folks I do know.”

His affiliation with the group is instantly serving to his real-world motorsport efforts. Shifting to close the group’s base means entry to its Esports ‘Erena’ to compete in Esports occasions and practice for upcoming GB4 races.

He’s additionally received entry to the five-time F1 constructors’ champion’s health club services and help networks, invaluable for a youthful driver transferring to a brand new nation for the primary time.

How one rising star is utilizing sim racing to their benefit - Motor Informed


“Once I went to the manufacturing facility for the primary time, it blew me away,” enthuses Webster.

“The services there and the way they construct the F1 vehicles, it’s actually superb.

“Once I’m not doing something with GB4, I’m on the health club or on the simulator on the manufacturing facility.”

Then there are the racing advantages garnered from common digital actions. It’s typically mentioned that simulators are helpful to study new circuits. True, nevertheless it’s whenever you enter closely-matched aggressive occasions towards expert rivals that you just study essentially the most.

Cooper Webster, GB4 pre-season testing, Donington Park, 2023

Cooper Webster, GB4 pre-season testing, Donington Park, 2023

Photograph by: Thomas Harrison-Lord

“There are some issues that translate completely between actual life and sim racing,” highlights Webster.

“Your racing IQ is absolutely vital, corresponding to selecting when to defend or when to push, and being beneath strain.

“The strain you are feeling in sim racing is identical or much more so than what you’ve got in motorsport.

“So placing your self in that place, corresponding to going into qualifying and also you’ve received to do this one lap, it’s the very same as actual life. That’s what I discover actually helps me.

“I feel essentially the most nervous I’ve ever been for a race was on the sim. I nonetheless do not forget that actual occasion – shaky legs and making errors.

“The strain and being conscious of what’s round you all actually helps and I feel that’s why I attempt to spend as a lot time [as possible] within the sim once I’m not driving in the actual world.”

Cooper Webster, Oracle Red Bull Racing Esports, 2023

Cooper Webster, Oracle Crimson Bull Racing Esports, 2023

Photograph by: Justin Melillo

Forward of the GB4 season kicking off in April at Oulton Park, there’s nonetheless a steep studying curve for the gifted Aussie, however skilled sim racing helps him discover a potential aggressive benefit.

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