Lets face it, racing is expensive. It’s plain and simple. Despite various efforts to make motor racing a more affordable affair, you would need deep pockets even to take part in an official go-kart race. So what thousands if not millions of motor racing fans out there do to fulfill their racing hunger? Well, they play games or should I say, simulators (sounds better that way!).

Racing games are getting more and more realistic these days. Game makers understand that customers want the most realistic thing they can get. Race tracks are designed to be almost 100% accurate, same goes to the cars. Even driving dynamics can be similar, however this is one area which seems to be difficult to emulate 100%. Nevertheless, playing racing games such as Sony’s Gran Turismo series or Simbin’s GTR is the next best thing to the real thing.

As you would know, Castrol Malaysia is organizing the Castrol EDGE Experience contest which will entitle one lucky winner to actually drive the BMW M3 at the legendary and notorious Nurburgring race track, as part of an all-expense-paid trip to Germany. To help this potential winner get some sort of understanding of what he or she will be experiencing, we have come up with a video which showcases an M3 being driven around the “Green Hell” in a racing game, Simbin’s GTR to be exact.

I have been a racing game fan for a while now and I must admit that it is not easy to ‘master’ the Nurburgring. There are up to 100 corners and a trouble-free lap would take up to eight minutes, in an M3 that is. So you can imagine how easy it is to make mistakes. Furthermore, the track isn’t as wide as, for example Sepang. It could also use more run-off areas. The track also has abrupt elevation changes as well. At certain stretches, the car will actually go slightly airborne, even just for a millisecond at speeds of up to 200m/h. At times you will have start braking for the next corner the moment you land!

Lets move on to the actual flying lap. We of course started off at the start/finish line of the track, which is situated near the Grand Prix track. The M3 reached speeds of about 140km/h at the end of this short straight. We then went into a series of chicanes before spending some time on a straight which allowed the car to hit 215km/h. Just moments before braking for the next double right-handers, the M3 went airborne at 211km/h! This was followed by a straight which allowed the car to reach 260km/h.

More corners had to be negotiated, on a slight uphill and we even drove around a corner at 200km/h which is mind-blowing, before slowing down for a series of low-speed corners! These were taken at about 100km/h. It was then followed by a couple of downhill corners. Soon after, we were traveling at an average speed of 200km/h around some high-speed corners. This marked the half-way point of the circuit. Following a few low-speed corners, we arrived at a low-speed banking left hander.

Then there were medium-speed corners which was pretty interesting as the distance between each corner is quite short so there is a lot of steering movement in this section. You would have to be very quick and precise with your steering. After a few more medium and high-speed corners later, the engine was taken to extreme conditions. Super high-speed, high-rev cruise to be exact on a rather long straight. Imagine driving full throttle with a screaming 414hp V8 in top gear for up to 34 seconds! Brakes were fully used to drop speeds from 273km/h to about 160km/h in preparation for the next corner.

Then it was just a couple of low-speed corners which brought us back to the main straight. A lap time of 7 minutes 40.797 seconds was recorded. A quick check on the Internet revealed the time was a couple of seconds quicker than what a real life M3 would do on the track. However, driving in a game or a simulator doesn’t do justice, compared to driving in real life. Our potential winner will be extremely lucky indeed, may the best man or women win!

You can learn more about the Castrol EDGE Experience at the Nurburgring here.