Aged only 19, Lorenz Hoerzing is a young face in the world of sim racing and in just a few short years of competition, he has established himself as a rising star in the digital racing world.
By day, the young Austrian works with the Red Cross as a paramedic, but by night, he takes to the virtual track, swapping his ambulance for Formula E’s cutting-edge Gen2 car on rFactor 2.
As part of the championship’s Accelerate esports competition, Lorenz has a place on one of the most competitive grids in sim racing and puts in the practice day in, day out to be at the top of his game.
For Lorenz, however, professional competition was never his real goal and his inspiration to compete online was down to one simple reason – fun!
“I first started gaming when F1 2006 came out but things started to turn competitive when I bought my first racing steering wheel for the PC in 2017,” said Lorenz.
“When I bought the wheel, it was just for fun but I started winning races and championships online. I then tried other games and I was fast there too – I was really improving.
“At first, I only competed against the AI but at some point, that just gets boring so I applied to join a racing league in 2018. That was the first competitive esports environment I was part of.”
After winning championships in both Formula 1 and Formula E in the F1 Bros League, Lorenz secured his first professional outing in 2020 when esports replaced live competition during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under this spotlight, Lorenz competed in Formula E’s Race at Home Challenge – a series that saw the real-world and the virtual meet online in a highly competitive environment.
In the fifth round, Lorenz was involved in the series’ ‘ringer’ plot in which he raced on behalf of, and under, Daniel Abt’s name on the professional Driver Grid.
Upon discovery, the incident led to Abt’s suspension and eventual dismissal from his Audi team in Formula E while Lorenz was disqualified and banned from competing in the series.
Despite the incident’s obvious repercussions, for Lorenz, this was still a key moment in his professional sim racing career and one he looks back on with positivity.
“In the past year, esports has built a connection between real-life and virtual competition and from my perspective, that has been awesome to see,” he continued.
“Real-life drivers have taken to esports which is cool but also, esports drivers are getting the chance to drive real-life racing cars – something that Formula E: Accelerate offers as a prize.
“Now that esports is in the limelight, my highlight was definitely competing in the Race at Home Challenge, despite the aftermath. It was a moment where I learned a lot, not just about competing but some serious life lessons too.”
With a fresh opportunity in Accelerate as one half of ROKiT Venturi Racing’s esports lineup, Lorenz explained that such a chance is one he never comprehended and described it as an honour to drive for Monaco’s only racing team.
“Anybody who expects this to happen in sim racing is crazy,” he said in reflection. “After what happened last year, it’s incredible to have a team as big as ROKiT Venturi Racing stand by me and believe in me.
“To be one of the team’s esports drivers is a huge honour and one I’ll never forget. I’m putting my all into Accelerate because it’s such a fantastic opportunity.
“I love seeing everyone’s reactions when they realise that I’m competing for something that matters – my friends and family didn’t quite realise just what I’ve accomplished here.
“Working with a real racing team after just starting sim racing for fun is incredible. I didn’t imagine that my journey would develop in this way.”