Around the track🏎

Uniting the sim racing community: a conversation with Sim Formula Europe founder Andy Maassen

February 13, 2024

In the heart of the world of sim racing, where the adrenaline of motorsport meets the precision of professional simulation, lies the event of Sim Formula Europe—an event that transcends a mere get together and competition to foster a vibrant community of motorsport enthusiasts. Founded by Andy Maassen, Sim Formula Europe has evolved over the years to become a cornerstone event of the sim racing calendar.


With the 2024 edition having just gone by, we sat down with Andy to discuss the driving forces behind its inception as well as the main ingredient that has propelled it to success: community. At its core, Sim Formula Europe is more than just an event; it's a testament to the passion and dedication of sim racers worldwide, united by their shared love for the thrill of the track.


Join us as we delve into the essence of Sim Formula Europe: a celebration of community, camaraderie and the boundless spirit of competition!

Can you tell us what Sim Formula Europe is for those may not know?

It’s quite simple. Sim Formula Europe is a company which contributes events for the sim racing community, and who wants to engage people into the sim racing world.

What inspired the creation of its event? What’s the background?

You could say that the first edition was in 2019. Before that, we had organized smaller sim racing events, but it was really in 2019 that we collaborated with InterClassics—the classic car fair that has been around for 29 years—as requested by the MECC. Together, we organized a sort of hybrid event with two simulators on-site and 10 online. That was sort of the first edition of what is known as the Sim Formula Europe event.

In 2019 it was quite a small collaboration within InterClassics, but in 2020 we grew a bit—we had our first small expo and started our competition. Unfortunately, everyone got hit by the pandemic after that, so the second actual event with the expo was only in 2023—though we went online in the meantime. While we were online, the Sim Formula competition grew quite a bit and became quite known, so when we came back in January 2023, the expo was a bit bigger.

Then, the 2024 edition happened, and it was a great success. It was our biggest edition to date! The expo was bigger, the competition was good and we engaged a lot of people in the community.

How many exhibitors were at the 2024 edition?

We had 22 different exhibitors and brands on-site. Some collaborated with each other, but in total we had 22. We were also sold out—while we have room to expand for 2025, we were thrilled with the results. Small steps every year.

PHOTO-2023-01-17-07-50-47 5

Can you tell us a bit about some of the key moments from this year’s event?

Our exposition was definitely the biggest highlight of the year. Exhibitors brought new hardware that guests could test and see for the first time ever at Sim Formula Europe. We had put a lot of work on the community side and the competition while we were online, so we focused more on the expo itself this year, since that was missing in the past. It turned out great!

Other than the expo, the finals of the competition on Saturday were fantastic. We even had a live broadcast that went really, really well I’m really proud of the people on our staff who came together to bring the sim racing community together. To see that we accomplished what we set out to do is really nice.

Can you talk to us a bit about the Sim Formula Europe seminar?

Yeah, of course! The seminar is always my highlight, actually. When you look at the speakers we had this year, it was incredible. We had big brands such as yourself (D-BOX) and Simucube. We had new simulators and professional drivers as speakers and the seminar was sold out. We had 200 people who visited the seminar, and they were blessed by it all!


How did participants and attendees respond to the various experiences and simulators?

One way: positively. Everyone was very pleased. It was a good event, a good sim racing experience on all levels. Regardless of whether people are starting out in sim racing or are in high level competitions, exhibitors were able to show themselves and their products in the best way.

It was also an extremely positive atmosphere at the event, which is most important to us. Sim racing is a community, and that was truly felt. Three exhibitors actually already mentioned—without us contacting them—that they’ll be returning in 2025. I think that people truly noticed the atmosphere, that we work very hard, but that we do it all for the sim racing community. That’s what keeps people coming back for more. We need the community and the partnerships to make this a success and we don’t want to do it by ourselves, because I don’t think it works. Sim Formula Europe is a community event that has to be driven by the community, and this year is a testament to what can be accomplished if we go in with that mindset.

D-BOX partnered with Sim Formula Europe for this year’s event. Can you elaborate on how this contributed to the overall experience and show?

Yeah, of course. We're very pleased with the collaboration we have together. D-BOX is a well-known brand in sim racing and stands for quality and trust. So those certainly are values we like to be part of. So for us, having D-BOX as a partner adds those values even more to our event. Like I said, I think everyone knows D-BOX in sim racing, so having you at our event adds quality, that's for sure. So, we're really happy with the partnership.


What do you think made this year’s event so successful?

The feeling that you’re part of the event. It’s not even a feeling, you just know that you’re there. That’s something we got back from all exhibitors, even from reviewers who were there. They told us that they normally don’t speak to each other or be so open with one another, but during the event, everyone is family and it facilitates that.

I actually organized the event with Diana, my partner. We want it to be a family event; a community event.

What are your expectations for the future of Sim Formula Europe?

We want to build off of where we are now. We want to work on an event where everyone wants to build more competition series, hopefully with more partners. Like I’ve been saying, we don’t only want our competitions at the event—we’re really open for other partners to organize their own.

Ultimately, it has to be a community event. It’s better to work with 1000 people than two. We want to grow it a little bit each year with more brands, more exhibitors and more competitions, but one step at a time.

Celebrating the spirit of unity in sim racing

Our conversation with Andy Maassen made one thing abundantly clear: Sim Formula Europe isn’t designed with the goal of simply crossing the finish line, but it’s designed to be about the journey shared by a passionate community of sim racers. From its hybrid first edition to its online years and to its current status as an ever-growing event in the world of virtual motorsport, this event stands year after year as a testament to the power of collective engagement.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer to the world of sim racing, there’s a place for you at Sim Formula Europe—a place where passion knows no bounds, and where the spirit of unity reigns supreme.


You Would Like