John Prather, a top racer in the iRacing simulation, is one of the guest drivers in the VW TDI Cup race at Road America this weekend. Prather has never driven a race car on a track except for one racing school in preparation for this weekends race.

It will be interesting to see how Prather fairs in the race. In practice Friday, he was a bit off the pace, but so where the other 2 guest drivers, both who have racing experience.

Prather also has not raced the TDI cup car in iRacing, which just recently became available. As I noted earlier, the champion of the TDI cup series in the sim is supposed to win a ride in the 2010 TDI cup, pretty cool!

I'm convinced that racing sims do significantly help starting in "real life" racing, and believe they have helped me in the limited time on track I've had. Obviously though, the skill sets required, although they significantly overlap, also have significant differences, and real life racing adds new variables too. The best sim racers are not going to become the best real life racers overnight, but certainly many have potential.