The Undiecar Championship will be ending soon.
Many little boys dream of becoming a racing driver. I had that dream, but I also dreamed of running my own race car series. I was always frustrated with how major racing series were run. I always felt they took themselves too seriously. Isn’t the point of sport to have fun?
My first experience with sim racing video games was the game Pole Position in a department store some time around 1985. I had no idea what I was doing and promptly crashed, but this sparked something in me which never went away. Fast forward 32 years and the technology had exploded. I now had my own wheel, pedals and a little racing seat, but still had an urge to run my own racing series rather than just competing myself.
I eventually pulled the pin and started the process of building my own online race car series to fullfil that childhood dream. I stole the name of the Undie 500, a joke car event in New Zealand, and adapted it to become the Undiecar Championship on the iRacing sim racing platform. I then grabbed a clipart image of a snail and adapted it into a logo. My goal was to create a series which focused on just having fun and didn’t take itself too seriously. The first rule was “have fun” and the second was “don’t be a dick”. I also added a proviso to the rules, to say that “Leniency will be granted if breach of the rules is deemed to have sufficient comedic value”.
Most people told me I was wasting my time, as “these leagues always fail”. To attract people to join, I made a little white lie; I invited people to join season 2 to make it look like I wasn’t desperately asking people to join a non-existent racing series. On the website I had created for the championship, they could see multiple races for season 1 along with results and competitors. In reality, season 1 was just a bunch of race results from unofficial iRacing events. Interestingly, one of the competitors who made their way into the season 1 results, was a relatively unknown McLaren driving academy driver; his name was Lando Norris, who is currently 7th in the real world Formula 1 championship.
The first Undiecar Championship event happened on September 5th 2017 and much to my surprise, 16 cars entered that event. As of writing, we are nearing the end of season 22. During these 22 seasons, we had reversed grids, sprint races, mini-enduros and we raced a plethora of crazy cars.
Undiecar, the final race …
The workload to keep the championship operational is more than I’m willing to maintain long term. Five years was enough. Trying to keep competitors numbers high has proven more time consuming than I expected, and is my main motivator behind not continuing. It’s also why the championship is not being taken over by anyone else.
The final event will be the 4th running of the Butthurt 1000 on September 13th. We will be racing Street Stocks around Mount Panorama over a distance of 1000 furlongs (~120 min). There will be €100 in prize money up for grabs, so make sure to be in to win!
Aside from all the amazing competitors who joined, I especially need to thank Alex Skinner for being the perfect sounding board for ideas during the formative stages of the championship; James Payne, Áron Kertész and Frank Oosterhuis for helping to set up race sessions; Thomas Lademann for being the most liked competitor in the league and doing an excellent job of providing streaming; Nikolay Ladushkin for being the most enthusiastic competitor; Steven Brumfield for finding errors that needed fixed; Sven Deml for excellent input on race ideas and setups; Matt Fretwell, Connor Welsh and Bruce Johnson for excellent banter on audio chat, and Andreas Robertsson for repeatedly proving me wrong on how things should be run.
EDIT: I’ve posted a retrospective analysis of the league here … undiecar.hellyer.kiwi/hosting-your-own-league-a-retrospective/