Bowden hoping eNASCAR is evolving toward racing over setup savvy

Bowden hoping eNASCAR is evolving toward racing over setup savvy


Bowden hoping eNASCAR is evolving toward racing over setup savvy


After sending the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series to a European track for the first time last week, iRacing opted for another first at the virtual Talladega Superspeedway on Tuesday night: giving everyone the same car setup. It’s the potential first step down a road that eRacr’s Collin Bowden hopes leads to more racing and less science at the highest level of sim racing.

Referred to in iRacing as fixed setups, drivers are unable to make any significant changes to the car’s setup, with restrictions commonly rigid enough to block even minor changes like brake bias. Combining a fixed setup with a superspeedway meant the 40-car field was closer than it ever had been — a fact that was reinforced in qualifying when five drivers set identical lap times.

For third-place finisher Bowden, the fixed setups were a welcome sight. The Virginia native hopes that the series considers more races with fixed setups and even finds a way to limit the amount of practice that drivers can do.

“From my perspective, I wouldn’t mind seeing fixed setups solely for the fact that a lot of the people on this game, they can put hours and hours into practicing or running laps,” Bowden said. “I just don’t have that time with working full time and racing on the weekends. Then when I turn on iRacing, I don’t want to just practice all the time, I want to be able to race and have fun — practice ain’t no fun!”

While fixed setups may be a step in the right direction, Bowden believes limiting practice could be an even bigger influence on the series. Limiting such activity would be a monumental order as drivers can simply hide their activity behind the guise of different accounts.

“You can’t monitor us being on our accounts, because then we just get another account and just bounce around. If there was a way we didn’t have to run lap after lap, every day, and you could stop people from doing that, I really feel like that would better the product.

“It’s kind of like the real world — once you science everything out, everyone knows what’s going to happen,” he Bowden noted. “If you limit the practice, you don’t know, ‘Hey man, do I need to go hard right away or can I lay back and save tires?’ I think the racing would be better because it wouldn’t be so scienced-out with everything,”

Bowden suggested a middle ground where a selection of setups are available to drivers and each competitor picks the one that fits them.

“I feel like if they went to a fixed setup, I would like the option of a few fixed sets. Maybe I like racing a loose set at this racetrack or a tight set. I don’t know if you can make both run the same lap time at a certain lap, like lap 30, but if you could say, ‘Hey, I want to drive a tight setup or I want to drive a loose setup,’ give me the option to race those fixed setups, don’t just give me a fixed set that might not fit my driving style.”