A fun group for all skill levels, passionate about virtual racing; this is how Toga Motorsport admins describe their community, one of the 350+ active hosts at SimGrid. Admin Hayden Sweet told us more about his project that started four years ago, covering a great variety of activities, with a focus on a popular rookie series and an upcoming charity event.
A family matter
So, when and how did Toga Motorsport start its journey as a community? “We started as an F1 league and it was just a group of mates racing. Then after a while, we got into ACC and stumbled on SimGrid and I decided to get signed up and start a host. I had zero experience in it and just looked at what others were doing and how I could try and be more appealing”, Hayden explained to us.
Comparing this story to the many others we read in the other Community Spotlight articles, we could say Toga Motorsport’s story isn’t wildly out of the ordinary. But, there is a little twist that makes everything more interesting. Hayden, who introduced us to Toga Motorsport, is the main admin and he gets help from his two brothers, who are in the background assisting where they can.
“Then we have Owen who has been with us a few months”, Hayden told us. “The rest of our staff is formed by mods: Darryl, George, Arnold and Chez. They look after the day-to-day running of this community and do an amazing job”.
The ideal starting spot for rookies
Toga Motorsport has a diverse offering of events aimed at anyone interested in racing with the community. Admins tend to vary between endurance and sprint series, with a slight preference for the latter in the background, but for all involved, the most popular series is definitely the Rookie Wednesday Series, which has now come to its fifth edition.
“To be honest this series is the closest one to my heart!” Hayden confessed. Providing a good starting spot for anyone joining the sim racing world is crucial to keep growing the community. “We feel that you can easily get frustrated if you are in lobbies with ‘aliens’ where you are always at the back and not fighting people on the same level as you”.
Hayden highlights an important point in the engagement of potential new racers. While the second step to guarantee a levelled field is some sort of categorisation, we should not forget about the first one: “The Rookie series is designed for new drivers or drivers that don’t get time in the seat. We work very hard to remove drivers that are not rookie – we try to be as fair as possible”. A true safe haven for any new member of the community.
Racing for a good cause
An interesting initiative promoted by Toga Motorsport is the Toga Motorsport Charity Donation Event. Running on Saturday 28th of October, this race will be 10 hours at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps track. A small £5 entry fee per team will be donated in its entirety to one amazing charity, voted by users on Toga Motorsport’s Discord channel. But Hayden has some ideas of how to raise as much money for charity as possible…
Have you ever dreamed of bribing Race Control to hand out a penalty to a front-runner? While we hope the answer to this question is ‘no’, well, in this charity race you will be able to do so! And for a good cause too. “Particular donations could affect other teams’ races, but can be reversed with other donations. So we are going to make it as interactive as possible. I have a technical background and I have some excellent ideas we can do to try and make as much money for charity as possible”.
Excellent ideas for the event, and even better plans for the future. “We want to be as best as possible and good is not good enough. I would like to take this IRL and get inside the motorsport series in any shape or form. But we shall see”.