Some people stockpiled beans and toilet paper. Others rushed to buy a sim rig, relishing the thought of weeks of lockdown and the hours of sim racing that would bring.

The world of eSports exploded and motorsport led the way.

Meanwhile, a small group of Capetonian sim racers had no idea that their little bit of evening fun would grow as rapidly as it has over the past month. Just over a year ago, TMSA comprised Brendan and Ryan van Eden and Calvin Wiltshire. All real world racers in their own right, the trio would sync up online and do battle on various racing simulator titles. 

Fast forward one year and TMSA is about to launch their first official online championship with a number of household names on the entry list.

Fittingly, the venue is Killarney International Raceway, the track we know and love. Whilst the real world version might be gathering dust just a few kms away, the virtual version will hum to the tune of an Abarth 500 Assetto Corse grid.

The action kicks off tonight with qualifying at 20:00 before two action packed races from 20:15. 

The van Eden brothers and Calvin Wiltshire will be joined by ultra-fast sim and real racer Jurie “Umpie” Swart (G-Energy/G Force Sim) who will be the man to beat if any of the recent late night testing sessions are anything to go by. Make no mistake in thinking he will have it his own way though, as many drivers have shown that they have what it takes to challenge Swart on their days.

We asked Swart why the Abarth 500 is the machine of choice for tonight’s action:

“It makes sense because of the availability out of the box of the Abarth in the sim and the fact that it transcribes so well to SA Motorsport in that the major series in the country are predominantly FWD. The Abarth has similar power to that of a Polo Cup or Class A GTi Challenge machine and this converts to similar lap times to those in real life. Most of the drivers in the league can relate in someway or another to the experience in reality and probably most importantly it provides some of the closest racing, something SA race fans have been missing out on and we hope to provide tonight,” replied Swart.

A couple of bikers will be out to prove a point about their abilities with four wheels. Ryan van Eden (Speed and Sound Magazine) and Kewyn Snyman will be keen to demonstrate how adaptable their skills are.

Don’t count out real world GTi Challenge racers Calvin’s brother, Kyle Wiltshire, Jano van der Westhuizen, Colin Meader, Dillon Joubert (TAC Steel), Carel van der Merwe and Chase Herthold, all of whom know a thing or two about flinging a FWD machine around the 3.2km Killarney tarmac. 

Bar a few building catastrophes in the Assetto Corsa version of Killarney, the actual tarmac is replicated quite accurately. Real world bumps and the steep banking of Fastron’s Turn 5 are all obstacles our sim racers will need to navigate this evening.

Clinton Bezuidenhout (Glenwood Zenex Bosch/Universal Health Care) adds more Polo Cup flavor to this interesting mix of talented drivers while karters Troy Dolinschek (Industrial Abrasives), John-Henri Vaughn (Maps Racing/Simrace247) and Andrew Thomas (Carbs and Coffee Media) get ready to do some digital main circuit duty.

Darryn Beighton will have to turn both ways this evening as he challenges for a good result. Ex-motorsport photographer Mark Zeeman will swap his lens for a PC screen while Melvin Trollip, Mathew Kruger and Namibian speed junkie Zachary Martin (J&P Hydraulics Racing) make up the rest of the pack for this highly anticipated showdown.

Last and by no means least, tonight’s stream of the live race will be graced by two of the most famous voices in Western Province Motorsport. Gary Fleming and Franky Heunis will be providing live race commentary for the event as the 20 cars do battle

It will be so realistic that you’ll have to pinch yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming of life after lockdown…

We thank Carbs and Coffee Media for providing us with the digital platform to share our passion with race fans across the globe and we look forward to seeing you all on the live stream later.

Follow @TMSARacing for updates and the livestream of all the races.

Yours in simracing, TMSA.