It takes many individuals to make a strong team and one of those team members we'd like to highlight today is Erik Jacobs. Erik has been a very active member in the Champion Motorsports community and is a great competitor on track. But he's not only driving virtual cars. He takes to the pavement in real life and has been seen in a variety of cars in local racing series
Most notably, he has run his SC300 project car around US tracks under NASA and Grid Life Time Attack. He's even worked on modding the car for rFactor2. Here's some of the journey he's had with the team: https://motoiq.com/category/projects/lexus/sc300/
When he's not chasing lap times in the sim or on the circuit, Erik works for a large software company, Red Hat, leading a team of technical marketing experts. This day-time routine has given him skills to tinker around with modding aspects pretty fluently. Some of the initial contributions to the sim league work at CMS was through setting up the remote broadcast PC and patroning its usage over the 2022 season for the WSC 2022 and WSC 1991 mods in the Virtual World Sportscar Championships and the Virtual Motorsports Series Championship. This act alone was absolutely critical in establishing the CMS brand and showcasing the work coming out of Storm Gang Simulation. Erik was also key in helping to test some of the cars and tech functionality through the season as well as helping with other various work like unified digital calendars and more.
Besides being a nice and very helpful guy, Erik is continuing to put his knowledge to the test and developing some really intriguing up-and-coming tech for the sim racing platform. Working with Storm Gang Simulation, SVictor (creator of the very successful Tiny Pedal app) and the minds behind Crew Chief (the cross platform app that every driver NEEDS), Erik is creating a few different applications to automate and improve a lot of functionality in the sim racing space.
The first is a Post Race Report application that will automatically review race data and create a written summation. This has actually been done successfully in the past during the Race2Play era but the project was abandoned after the service closed in 2017. The goal is to not only revive this technology for new platforms (at least starting with rF2) but to improve on it and possibly integrate it with replay functionality that can splice actual footage for integration into a highlight real as well as a digital report.
The second is a very ambitious project that parallels the PRR and something several outfits have been eyeing with the advent of AI and voice synthesis. And that is automated commentary. This one will take a while to properly implement but there are already some really strong inroads into the process. Ideally, integrating with some of the camera control plugins and possibly replay functionality could then create an entirely automated race broadcast team. Imagine Martin Haven and Murray Walker calling your sportscar race and having color commentary back and forth. There's even the possibility of mixing human and AI together in a sound booth. But, as mentioned, there's still a long way to go before we have a testing program but the early stages are certainly exciting.
In the meantime, we want to thank Erik for all his hard work, dedication enthusiasm and comradery that he's brought to the Champion Motorsports league and the Storm Gang Simulation team. Feel free to chat with him on the CMS discord or give a ping on Instagram @drivewitherik.