14 Apr 2023

SAU SIM Racing Team Prepares to Compete in Olympic Esports Series

April 12th, 2023 – Raleigh, NC: Members of the Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) SIM racing team will compete in the SIM motorsports competition as part of the upcoming Olympic Esports Series (OES).The OES is a global virtual and simulated sports competition created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in collaboration with International Federations and game publishers. The SIM motorsports competition will take place on the Gran Turismo 7 racing simulator.

Qualifying for the event begins on April 13th and will continue throughout the month. Qualfiiers will advance through additional rounds that will culminate in live, in-person finals at the first ever Olympic Esports Week from June 22-25, 2023 in Singapore.

The 2023-2024 SAU SIM racing team roster includes Davino Dickerson (sophomore), Steven Grant (sophomore), and Nathaniel Woodside (sophomore.) The team’s coach and advisor is SAU professor, Dr. Mark Janas. The team currently practices on three complete simulation racing rigs located in the Baker cycling and virtual sports lab. These rigs work with both console and PC-based racing platforms.

“It’s always satisfying to be part of another HBCU first, and this event is an important part of advancing our virtual sports program that is a leader among all colleges and universities,” says Janas. Janas points out that one of the distinguishing factors of the SAU program is that it focuses on virtual sports that require the same skills and fitness as the “real” sport counterparts, such as SIM golf, SIM motorsports, virtual cycling, and virtual rowing. Janas adds, “These aren’t simply controller-based video games that many people think of when they think ‘esports.’ Real racecar drivers are being recruited from SIM motorsports competition.”

“I have always had a fascination for automobiles and racing, so being a member of the SIM racing team is an incredible opportunity. From the experience I’ve gained here, I could even imagine myself racing in F1 or rally cars someday,” comments Davino Dickerson (Freeport, Bahamas), Engineering and Mathematics major.

“I joined the SIM racing team because of my love for motorsports. SIM racing allows you to immerse yourself in the world of competitive racing, putting your driving skills to the test and experiencing the thrill of being on the track,” adds Exercise Science major, Nathaniel Woodside (Nassau, Bahamas).

More information about the SAU SIM racing team can be found here.

More information about the Olympic Esports Series can be found here.

About SAU Virtual Sports ​

Saint Augustine’s University(SAU) formally started its virtual sports program under the School of Business, Management, and Technology (SBMT) during the Spring semester of 2021. The school first competed in virtual sports through its cycling team, the first HBCU cycling team in the country. ​ SAU has positioned itself as a national leader in virtual & simulation sports. With a new virtual sports suite opened in 2021, SAU competes in virtual cycling, rowing, golf, and motorsports events. The program is supported through a new curriculum and coursework in esports, simulation sports, and sports technology.