• Dec 2nd 2010 at 6:28PM
  • 17
Most people would love a chance to show their stuff behind the wheel of racecar. Problem is, most people probably wouldn't be any good at actually driving one. We can all try to hone our skills through the use of racing simulators, but just how much can they actually teach you without the visceral feedback and life-or-death consequences that you can only get from real life? Apparently, they can teach us plenty. One person in particular, who goes by the name Greger Huttu, got to put his virtual racing prowess to the test.

Greger Huttu hails from Vaasa, Finland, where he can be found spending putting a lot of time into the iRacing simulator. Huttu is not just good at the game, he utterly dominates it. For the last six years, he's turned 2,581 laps and led for 2,339 of them. He's won every race from the pole position, including the iRacing World Championship that netted him a cool $10,000. Still... he's never actually driven a real racecar, and the folks at Top Gear were curious to see if he actually could.

Top Gear flew Huttu out to Road Atlanta – one of America's toughest tracks – and stuck him in a Star Mazda racer. Both the track and the car are familiar to Huttu because he's experienced both in the iRacing simulator. How did he do? Quite frankly, he did amazingly well. Entering corners at 100 miles per hour, which is just 10 mph shy of where experience drivers come in, Huttu was able to rip off clean lap after clean lap and eventually came within three seconds of what the experts consider a solid time at Road Atlanta.

The difference between a professional driver and a professional simulator driver soon became apparent, however, as Greger Huttu's body began to be affected by the G forces. The pros work hard to stay fit for a reason, and the toll on Huttu resulted in a helmet full of vomit. Though he wanted to continue, Huttu had to eventually throw in the towel because his body could take no more.

Still, his accomplishments are pretty remarkable and suggest that a good simulator can indeed prepare the armchair racer for a car and a circuit. Head over to Top Gear to get the full scoop on Huttu and his real-life racing adventure.

[Source: Top Gear]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      makes sense, really. If you've driven a track virtually thousands of times and the sim is a fairly accurate representation of the car and how it will behave it should leave you a LOT more prepared than an average joe off the street. There's a reason real formula pilots hit up unfamiliar tracks in GT et-al before they go out.

      Lucky sod though, that car and track, I'd be rearing to go again and again... though hopefully with a clean helmet :P
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think it's awesome that he got to drive Road Atlanta for real - what a treat for perseverance.

        maybe, coming from Finland, he can work on ice rallying next...
        • 4 Years Ago
        lol, I hope hes fat
      • 4 Years Ago
      Greger Huttu is the man! He is like a GOD in sim racing. I have a feeling he would be right up there with the pro's times if he had more experience in the real thing.

      Greger won something like 16 of the 17 races this season from pole in the iRacing world championship. Also props to Richard Towler who finished 2nd behind Huttu in thew road series championship and finished 1st in the Oval championship, he won 10 grand also :D

      Thanks for posting about iRacing too Autoblog, it's the real RACING simulator.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A better example is Wyatt Gooden. He won the virtual iRacing.com VW Jetta Championship and was rewarded with a fully funded ride in the real thing this season. He placed 2nd overall in points his rookies season.

      This is still very impressive for someone who has never driven a race car to be thrown into a very capable one like the Star Mazda.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Greger Huttu hails from Vaasa, Finland,"

      Explains a lot.... The Fins can drive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @format guy I believe you're right.
      I thought I remember reading a while back that the guys over at iRacing is the same development team(or most of them) that made up Papyrus(Indy Car Racing, Road Rash, Nascar Racing/2/3/4/2002/2003 Season and GPL back in the day. It was a total let down when EA acquired the Nascar license from Papyrus back in 2003 and the gaming series turned to crap.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ha! Greger has been doing this a while. Way, way back in 1997 (or was it 98?) when Grand Prix Legends came out he was more or less the record holder for every track, by a long way, and was for years (maybe still is, I haven't followed the GPL community much since about 2004).

      iRacing is made by thhe same guy that did GPL so I'm not surprised he moved over to it.

      If you haven't tried GPL, by the way, you owe yourself a spin in it. It is more than a decade old, but it has a die hard mod community that has kept it updated and its still one of the best remaking sims of all time. Look up "GPL Targa Florio" on YouTube
      To see what I mean...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow. That's really cool.

      I guess it turns out the iRacing simulation predicts good drivers better than Gran Turismo 4 (didn't the guy who one the GT4 context end up not doing very well?).
        • 4 Years Ago
        he's from Finland , that's why he's good , not because of a game.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you're thinking about Jeremy Clarkson. Jeremy tried to replicate his Gran TurismoT4 Laguna Seca NSX time on the real track with the real car.
        If you're talking about the GT Academy winners, those actually faired well in the FIA GT4 championship.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wow that's impressive.
      Knowing the track as good as you can helps a lot, still doing so great is surprising... he being a fin that helps of course.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Great to see iRacing get some attention. Especially amid all the attention that GT5 has been getting when anyone who uses iRacing knows it can't compare
      • 4 Years Ago
      Glad to see Autoblog finally giving iRacing some coverage. If you're interested in motorsports (and even if you couldn't care less about computer games) the advent of iRacing is a major development - championships officially licensed by the same governing bodies that run their real-world counterparts, with real winnings, allowing people around the world to compete with eachother. It's a massive leap forward in bridging the gap between desktop racing and actually getting on the track. You don't get the benefit of experiencing the g-forces and physical demands, but you do get the benefit of lapping and racing cars simulated extremely realistically, far more often than you would be able to pay for a track day.

      What iRacing benefitted Gregor with most, I think, was having some idea of the braking points, limits of grip and engine torque behaviour before going on the track. GT4, Forza, even rFactor can't compete in this regard.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Definitely a cool thing to do... but it's obvious that the forces will prevail if you are not fit... and being a couch potato console/pc gamer you probably would be... not to mention his weight will also cause a bit of a time penalty...

      I consider myself a good simulation driver, and many race drivers at manufacturer sponsored track drives have complimented my lines, but every time i drive a fast car around the track i get the embarrassing/scary feeling that as much fun and good lap 2 is, lap3 will have my biceps feeling closer to jello as I am far from being fit... the same is revealed to me when i drive go karts...the physical aspects is so much more than just knowing the line...

      that guy did a great job...
      • 4 Years Ago
      That's pretty amazing. It seems hard to believe he would have that much of a grasp on the physics of the car only from playing the game.

      Is this gonna be on an upcoming episode of TG? I'd like to see the footage and interviews with the guy.
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