Grid Finder has established itself as a comprehensive tool for those seeking to get into league racing on many different racing sims, and across all three major platforms, but the organisers weren’t content to simply go through the motions of maintaining the search engine. Their enthusiasm for racing, and determination to grow their brand, has led them to the EnduroKa series, which has seen monumental growth in its short three-year history. The cars are all 1300 Ford Ka Mk1, and other than suspension, brakes, tyres, roll cage and mandatory safety equipment, these cars are kept in their road specification, keeping costs down and grids competitive. Grid Finder founder Tom Bunten is one of the drivers of the GF emblazoned car, and he shared some words on his journey so far.
For those unfamiliar with Grid Finder, what is the organisation?
Grid Finder is where racers find racing. I built Grid Finder in my kitchen over a year ago to help people find sim racing communities. Now we have over 1000 leagues listed. We have PC, Playstation & XBOX leagues racing on every sim racing game with communities based across the world. Drivers can filter by car type, race day and location.
How did this lead to the EnduroKa?
Lots of people told us that the real world of motorsport needs a tool like Grid Finder to help wannabe race drivers find their way into quite a closed community. We figured we’d need to go racing to properly understand the problem before we could build the solution. We have finished a new tool to help people find grassroots motorsport and are in the testing phase at the moment.
How are you finding the experience of racing the Ford Ka, and how is this influencing your Grid Finder operations?
The Ford KA is a great car to start with. It’s very forgiving but at the same time teaches so much. It’s slow on the straights, fast in the corners and FWD, meaning you learn a lot about how tyres feel in different scenarios, how to race close to other cars and how to get comfortable with huge amounts of understeer! Racing with EnduroKA has really helped us understand grassroots racing, life in the paddock and “the business of racing”. We’ve met loads of key stakeholders in the club racing scene: drivers, team owners, series organisers etc. All of whom have given us great feedback to help us build our new tool
Another major component of this team is Toby Owen, a long time racer and the founder of the Virtual Touring Car Championship. Toby is another driver of the GridFinder EnduroKa, and he also spared a few moments to add his thoughts on this venture.
How did you get involved in this project?
I work with Grid Finder, where we’re developing a fantastic new tool to support drivers getting into motorsport and helping them find their perfect race series (and an arrive & drive team to run them, if required!). This is the same service we provide to sim racers and are looking to expand into real-world motorsport. Having a presence in the paddock and access to the drivers, teams and other personnel we’re developing for was really important to help shape the functionality of the platform, so entering a race series with a Grid Finder team was a logical step. We had some first-time racers in our team as well, so documenting that journey into motorsport for the first time is something that will undoubtedly help future sim racers who fancy dipping their toes in the club racing scene.