The Ultimate Racing Network (TURN) is a platform and hub for community (rather than developer) based organized virtual racing. The TURN staff is made up of six members that are highly skilled and motivated to ensure TURN brings the very best to the market. The concept is made up of two very strong components that ensure TURN will be a dominant force in the market. The first component is TURN official racing series intially hosted via Project CARS on Xbox One. TURN have announced three different series:
TURN Masters Series – Relatively short six event seasons using generally one or two road cars to keep competition tight. This series is ran with one event per week, with a championship for North America on Tuesday nights at 8pm EST, and a seperately scored championship for Europe on Wednesday nights at 8pm BST. This series is likely to attract a lot of attention due to the quick nature of the seasons, and the variety of cars and tracks that can be covered in a calendar year. It also caters a bit towards drivers that love racing, but with a more sports car club feel, rather than the frantic pace of race cars. Races are less demanding than the other series as well, with races lasting between 30 to 60 minutes. At the end of a six event season, a bonus World Masters Champion title round is scheduled that invites the top seven drivers from both the North American championship and the European championship.
TURN Virtual Endurance Championship (VEC) – Monthly multi-class endurance events loosely based on FIA’s WEC, with a similar class structure of LMP1, LMP2, and GT3. Console lobbies hold 16 users, so TURN have limited the entries per lobby to 15 drivers; five from each of the three classes will be on track at the same time, with a live streaming broadcaster able to use the last connection slot to show the race to the world. Typically 11 events during a calendar year, most of which are 6 hour races with three drivers per entry. There are a few exceptions to this, such as the 24 hours of Le Mans. This race will allow for four drivers per entry, but the racing itself will indeed last for 24 hours. VEC is a showcase of overtaking skill, consistency, and sometimes a bit of luck at the right time makes these events incredibly engaging to watch, not just participate in.
TURN Grand Prix – TURN’s signature series will play host to an international Formula 1 championship over 12 events. Teams will form with a pair of drivers each with their own car as an entry. Due to the long nature of this championship, reserve drivers are often recommended to keep your team in the fight for the team championship, but it is in every driver’s best interest to make every race to try to win the driver championship. This series will attract the absolute fastest drivers in the community and is sure to be a display of daring overtakes, mind-blowing corner speeds, and quite twitchy cars that take a smooth hand and quick reflexes to control. This series is likely to have a much bigger following than the number of drivers in the championship. All races will have the top split commentated and broadcasted. This series also uses two rounds of live broadcasted knockout qualifying for the top lobby.
All of the official series will be complimented with in-house written articles with pictures from the events, event posters created by TURN’s Promotions and Graphics Manager, a video archive of the races that were broadcast, a dynamic spotters guide to help followers and entries alike know who is who on the track, and a monthly video podcast featuring at least two dynamic personalities as well as the potential for driver or team interviews as well as talks with other members of the TURN staff. TURN’s goal is to broadcast as many of the official races as possible, focusing on series that are likely to have more audience.
Live streaming gameplay of incredibly skilled players with an informed and lively personality commentating has already become a huge audience builder in this generation. E-sports are also growing in popularity at a pretty remarkable pace. When considering that real motorsport is the largest advertising engine in the sports world, and along with it, has the largest audience of any sport genre on the planet, we think you’ll agree that simulated organized racing is a largely untapped market that is on the verge of an explosion of popularity, if an organization could simply get the formula right, for what the audiences want to see. It becomes more a question of when this will happen and who will be the organization to take it there. We believe that while TURN might not be the only group to capture some of this, we think TURN is part of that push and will be a part of the coming wave.
The second critical component of TURN is the website itself. All of the official series are run through their website using custom php / javscript / css / html5 driven pages with a mysql backend to make a fully integrated site with the tools for creating an entire series directly though the website. TURN will be opening up these same tools for use to the community to host their own organized racing events and series. Rather than needing to know how to code, TURN’S userbase are able to define their series name, create a rulebook, schedule events, define their own points scale, set up qualifying (or race without qualifying, if they so choose), manage team entries, adjust the race grid for any penalties or absences, update event results including award penalty points if any should arise, as well as creating their own articles for their series, which can link to their own unofficial series broadcasts or videos…all without needing assistance or an approval process from TURN staff, in any racing game, on any gaming platform. TURN official series will show the community unparalleled levels of professionalism and content when supporting and promoting the races, but it may well be the TURN unofficial series that make TURN as popular as they envision.
Phil Warren owner and founder of www.24-7gamer.com says: We are excited to work with TURN, we believe they have a fantastic team, vision and drive to develop something really special for the future of racing sim games and fans.
The staff at TURN is made up of six members with six different and important roles to cover all the bases of the development and continuous improvement. Four of them are from the US, while the other two are from the UK.
Derek James (@ThatDerekJames) is the Media Manager, handling TURN’s social media aspects and release of articles on the official series. Before TURN, Derek was co-founder of JET Motorsport, a racing team for a local rally car with a virtual presence in sim racing for the last three years.
Martin Hall (@F4H_Trash) is the Operations Manager, responsible for using the TURN site to manage the official series. His role is to setup the rulebooks, scheduling events, updating standings, managing team entries, as well as being the project lead on the VEC series. Before TURN, Martin was on staff for a competitor helping run their series and drive the organization towards further growth for over two years.
Ryan Shelton (@hey_stacks) is the Promotions and Graphics Manager, heading up TURN’s graphical content such as event posters and images. He helps direct the visual statements, articles, social posts, and website make with stunning shots and artwork taken directly from the games they officially support. Prior to TURN, Ryan was and still is an avid game streamer, an aspiring motorsport photographer, and active member of Forzatographers, a group of very skilled sim racing photographers in the Forza Motorsport franchise.
Community is incredibly important to TURN’s success, so they have two community managers. Clay Layne (@XessIVLife) is TURN’s North American Community Manager, tasked with moderating their forums, engaging the community, gathering feedback from their audience and participants, then disseminating that feedback to the rest of the TURN staff so that they can continue to improve long after their launch. Clay was formerly one of the leaders at Virtual Motorsports (VM), another big player in the organized racing market for consoles. He also brings a wealth of experience and ideas to the table.
Shane Powell (@Watchman_FoTN) is TURN’s European Community Manager. Shane is a long time respected member of the sim racing community, aiding in running events smoothly across several organizations. He is also an integral part of Red Storm Racing, another well organized team of drivers that participates in competitive sim racing where ever it can be found. Both Clay and Shane are the pointmen behind the TURN Masters series, with each playing host to their region’s championships.
Ryan McDowell (@RyanSMcDowell) is TURN’s Site Manager, developing the website and implementing improvements and features long after the site launches. Before TURN, Ryan was the sole founder and primary administrator of Formula Forza for over 5 years, another sim racing site that specialized in racing series that were focused on the pinnacle of motorsport, LMP1 and Formula 1. He was responsible for all roles and responsibilities in building that brand, so he’s quite familiar with the limitations of what can be achieved working alone.
Visit TURNS website and follow them twitter to be kept up to date with all the latest racing events and news @