Out of more than 1 000 entries from aspiring Sim Racers from across South Africa, Zaahir Essa has been chosen as the inaugural winner of the #CarsSimRacerSearch.


South Africa (24 June 2022) – Zaahir is a family man and mechanical engineer by trade, but his biggest passion is racing – he has an accomplished career in Sim Racing, not to mention a fair amount of racetrack experience!

Zaahir grew up in Durban, but he doesn’t have a formal motorsport background. In fact, his introduction to the world of racing came quite unexpectedly, via a PC demo game CD that was attached to the back of a magazine, while he was in high school. One of the games on that disc was a Monaco Racing demo, and once he started playing that game, Zaahir was hooked – that’s how his love affair with the Monaco Grand Prix – and Formula 1, as a sport – began. From there he became obsessed with anything Ferrari- and Michael Schumacher-related; his passion for racing (with red cars, probably) made him take popular games like Need for Speed a whole lot more seriously than his friends (who he raced against).

Even though he was racing on a PC keyboard, his competitive nature kicked in. The thrill of going faster and beating his competition spurred him on – he was determined to get better with whatever new equipment he could lay his hands on.

Back then, there was no real local Sim Racing scene, but when home internet access became near-ubiquitous, Zaahir really cut his racing teeth, so to speak, by competing against European racers online. Multiplayer game formats (enabled by the proliferation of the internet) really gave the sport – and Zaahir’s progress within it – a major boost. It also encouraged his quest to transfer his Sim Racing talents to the racetrack.

Formula Vee, the most affordable single-seater racing formula, was his next step. Being a firm believer that Sim Racing equips you for nearly everything you need to know about racing dynamics and car set-up, Zaahir made the transition from sim- to genuine racing with relative success. Zaahir describes his time on the track, when he competed against even tougher opposition than he had faced online, as perhaps one of the best periods of his life.

He subsequently took the skills he gained on the racetrack back to the Sim-Racing realm where more opportunities began to present themselves.

Zaahir is currently racing in the 2022 ATK Pro Series. Having come out on top in the inaugural 2020 series, he made the perfect start this year by winning the first event at the virtual Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. What made this win all the more impressive was that this year, the ATK Pro Series attracted not only the best local sim racers, but seasoned campaigners from international markets.

Sim Racing is well and truly becoming more of its own entity, and although Zaahir and many fellow enthusiasts have wanted to use it as a platform to become real-life track racers, the emerging generation of sim racers is focused solely on achieving success in this virtual realm. It’s a development that has increased the competitive nature of the events considerably – and is generating more interest in the sport in general.

With victory in the season-opening race under his belt, Zaahir is excited by the prospect of now racing in the colours of for the remainder of the 2022 ATK Pro Series. Setting his sights on overall success (again!) will allow him to take another step forward in his career and become more entrenched in this exciting sport’s growth.

“For me, there is so much potential in Sim Racing that I hope to have some kind of future in the sport given the heightened competitive level that it is reaching,” said Zaahir.

“Winning the first race of the 2022 ATK Pro Series was fantastic, because the level of talent was really high… The difference this year is that they have allowed in international talents, with quite high-profile drivers coming in, so for me winning the first race was a really good achievement.

“I am looking forward to the rest of the season. Racing under the brand is going to be a fantastic opportunity. It gives me more drive to compete against those guys at that high level,” he added.

We wish Zaahir all the best with his season and will be covering his ongoing success and affiliation with the brand on our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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