In today’s Community Spotlight, we will cover one of the first hosts to join The SimGrid: Symphony of Pistons (SOP) Motorsport. Founded less than two years ago, SOP has quickly grown into one of the most popular sim racing environments around. They are a reference point for ACC on both PlayStation and PC. We talked with one of its two founders, Simon Baggus, who shared some words with us about the community, starting from its roots to the present and with a look into the future.
The birth of SOP and the collaboration with The SimGrid
When we talk about SOP Motorsport, we need to take into consideration the fact that this community is incredibly young. Despite that, they have already reached important numbers. In fact, SOP was founded back in June 2020 by Simon Baggus and his friend Bailey. Initially, they simply wanted to create a small league to compete with friends, as they were waiting for the ACC release on consoles. At that time, they probably did not imagine how much their project would have expanded.
The turning point has been an event organized by Kunos for the launch of the sim on consoles. Simon pushed his community inside the forums for creators and directors and it was there that he came in touch with The SimGrid staff. Over time, they built a great relationship that resulted in close cooperation. When SOP decided to expand into PC racing, David Perel helped out the community by providing a full broadcast production and sponsoring the first championship. The collaboration with SimGrid officially started there and successfully goes on nowadays.
SOP Motorsport: a friendly, helpful and safe environment
With the expansion of SOP, many things might have changed, but one has not. As we mentioned, the community was founded with the purpose of creating a place for friends to race, and that is still the driving force that guides their admins. “It’s vitally important to us to ensure no one is excluded from racing”, Simon told us. “We always catered for all levels of skills and we always promoted a friendly, helpful and safe environment for people to race”.
Simon and Bailey are the two founders of SOP Motorsport and they have kept the running of the community to them for the past couple of years. But to make sure that everything works fine, there are numerous figures working behind the scenes: stewards, moderators, commentators, broadcasters and a tech guy. “We are so grateful to each and everyone of them because without them helping run each area of SOP we wouldn’t exist”.
Present and future active championships on SOP
SOP Motorsport is hosting multiple events and championships, both on PlayStation and on PC. On consoles, where it all started, their pinnacle series recently ran five full splits with real trophies for all the podium finishers. On PC, the sprint championships have just been filled with two full splits. But the most impressive series, in terms of numbers at least, is the GT Challenge World Endurance Championship. Five six-hours races, with 45 teams and 180 drivers competing in every round.
And by the looks of things, endurance lovers will get even more championships in the future to get excited about. “During the end of Autumn/beginning of Winter, we will be back with an even bigger endurance championship, with 6, 8, 10 and 12 hours rounds to really test drivers who race with us. Of course, being on The SimGrid platform really helps with driver engagement and participation. Seeing what they have planned for this year excites us and confirms that we are in the right place to host our racing”. The future of SOP looks bright.