”Traditional motorsport has been admired for a long time and it has been a way for people to show what they are cabable of. Sim racing creates same kind of possibility, but it brings it to everyone. It’s the most woderful thing in it.”
Iku Merikalla, 27, has joined KOVA Esports to help sim racing team with practical matters so drivers can focus on what’s most important: Driving.
In sim racing scene Merikalla is well-known to many, but not as a driver, but as a race and event creator and as a supervisor.
– I think it was 2016 when we were at Assembly creating first races. Sim racing has taken quite big steps forward; this year Yle showed preliminaries in Areena and Twitch, Merikalla tells.
Even thought Merikalla has been competing in sim racing for a bit he realized at an early stage that he can’t give enough to be top driver. He prefers to contribute to other things.
– I can’t practice enough to be a top driver. I choose to put my energy into organizing the races and taking pictures and videos, Merikalla explains.
There are not many esports organizations in Finland where you can find sim racing drivers. When Merikalla talked with team captain Pekka Tuomainen, he thought it is was something he wanted to be involved with.
– I was driving to my cabin when Pekka called me. We talked about for an hour and I got very clear view what drivers want. Everything fell into place.
Developing sim racing to better is very important to Merikalla. He is proud of that fact that he has been part of all the work that has been done while making sim racing more popular in Finland. It is quite easy to get into competing in sim racing because there are so many different possibilities to do it. And because it feels so realistic, it’s not a surprise that many are interested in it.
– In sim racing, there are many things that happen also in motorsports. The same tools are used to adjust the car and all the data what is found in real cars is also in sim racing cars and the data is analysed in the same way. Of course the simulation doesn’t fully comply with the laws of physics, but almost, Merikalla explains.
Sim racing has taken the first spot as a Merikalla’s hobby and he has many good memories with it. One of the greatest memories is last year’s Finnish esports Championship (eSM) which was held during Neste Rally.
– It was great thing to be part of such a big event, so it’s a great memory. Of course Assemblys are always great too, and every year there is some new thing that is greater than any other, Merikalla tells with a smile.
Merikalla doesn’t really care about where the drivers place in races. His most important goals are related to KOVA’s sim racing team and Finnish eSM-broadcast.
– I want this project with KOVA to go forward so everyone can see that sim racing is worth to be involved with. Of course eSM-broadcasts are important and they must be done well.