With the Grand Finals upon us, it is time to restart our long journey through the hosts that constitute a vital part of SimGrid! In today’s Community Spotlight, we sat down with Artemiy Ilin, one of VGTR Challenge‘s founders. We talked about VGTR’s early days, its integration into the massive Grand Finals project and the secrets to building a successful community.
VGTR Challenge’s early days
VGTR started in 2021 as a small league after Artemiy got interested in ACC and the competitive aspect of it.
Despite some early struggles, the community became affiliated with SimGrid and started to gain traction and popularity. The community managed to pull through difficult times to become what it is today all thanks to the work of an enlarged admin group: Ralph Van Der Meer, Tom Bartelds, Abe Santema, Matas Siderkeskis and Yordan Momchilov all played a part in today’s VGTR success.
“A vital thing to build a successful community is to have a strong and dedicated staff to help you out when things get tricky,” Artemiy explained to us. “Another vital thing is to communicate with your members on a daily basis. Ask them what events they want in the future, what tracks they enjoy most, and overall take as much feedback to improve the state of the league”.
Once a community manages to build a solid foundation, admins can have more freedom in terms of trying out new things. Actually, this is an essential part of an admin’s job, as Artemiy pointed out. “Experimenting with what works and what doesn’t also makes a good community. If you don’t really experiment, you will probably not find that sweet spot where most people are enjoying your events and come back for more.”
Both sprint and endurance racers are welcome
The community’s success is testified by their weekly sprint championship, which has come to its ninth edition. The above-mentioned admins’ willingness to experiment with new things often brings some fresh air to the community, which runs one-off events on both Assetto Corsa and ACC just for fun.
While they often host sprint events, VGTR is slowly starting to expand towards endurance racing. For example, right now, the VGTR Endurance Championship is running, which will end on the 1st of July with the 24 Hours of Watkins Glen.
“The endurance championship is the first in VGTR as of right now. That does not mean we haven’t run any endurance events in the past, just thought of putting it into a more formal format with a proper schedule and driver lineups”, Artemiy told SimGrid.
And by the looks of things, this isn’t going to be the last endurance championship either. In fact, VGTR is one of the hosts involved in the big Grand Finals projects.
VGTR Endurance S2 – Race to the Grand Finals
Between the first and the second edition of the endurance championship, there will be a small break. On the 9th of July – eight days after the 24 Hours of Watkins Glen that wraps up Season 1 – teams of 2 to 4 will be back on the grid for the VGTR Endurance – Race to the Grand Finals. The top 5 will get direct access to the final stages, while positions from sixth to eighth will get a second chance in the Play-Off race.
The championship will feature six rounds. Teams will visit Kyalami, Monza, Spa-Francorchamps, Valencia, Watkins Glen and Brands Hatch with race lengths ranging between 6 and 12 hours. VGTR will offer live stewarding and an official broadcast with commentary as well, on both YouTube and Twitch.