1 Hour of Racing – A look behind the curtain of a failed racing community
Why did 1 Hour of Racing suddenly go quiet, then seemingly collapse?
The Forza franchise and it’s continued life has one key underpinning: The passionate community creating content every single day. Whether that’s car liveries that can be pinned up in an art gallery, tracks to rival the world’s finest or, in the unfortunate case of 1 Hour of Racing, an endurance racing calendar garnering hundreds of Horizon’s finest.
So what went wrong?
Author’s note: I will use the gamer tags and not the full names of people referenced. ChloricRhyme678 and Aspect11 – two names that while unassuming on the surface, are in fact the owners of the entire 1 Hour of Racing name and server, and key to this story.
1 Hour of Racing was set to head into it’s third season this February – Having achieved a record viewership for Round 1, with more streams for more divisions and having come off a brilliant show with Forza Monthly, 1 Hour of Racing was poised to be Forza Horizon 5’s premier racing series with over 250 active racers set to participate.
Let us travel back to 1HoR’s first season, where the series was in its infancy, its rulebook could give novels a run for their money and even with Horizon’s fastest drivers the series was struggling to make an impact due to operating issues. It was at this stage where community volunteers, like Forzurda and Albannt, offered to step in to help the cause and saw the potential of the format to be something amazing, if done right.
Eventually, two things became clear as Season 1 came to a close: With the new team coming onto the scene, the racing series was headed to a bright future. The fat was trimmed from the rulebook, racing standards and track quality improved seemingly overnight, alongside a healthy dose of improvements to operational quality.
The other thing to become clear, is that the owners Chloric and Aspect became increasingly distant with every round. Under the surface however, something was brewing – What was once a harmonious staff team was once again starting to show cracks.
While the duo of Albannt and Forzurda did get promoted to Admin status, the owners found friction in being approached regarding their level of duty and ownership – a seed sown for its later demise.
By Season 2, the series had fully hit its stride. With a massively overhauled rulebook, new cars and a massively expanded team, it was as if the series was reborn into a new light. Dedicated testers, social media and production teams ensured that the series put its best foot forward.
Enter popular tech YouTuber ScatterVolt. Boasting over 400,000 subscribers and with plenty of experience in social media and influencer marketing, the hardware enthusiast also took the racing series as a passion project.
Throughout all of this and the ensuing success of the second season, thoughts once again took a more negative turn towards the owners that had once again fallen absent, stepping in when they could be the forward face and ‘voice’ of the project the rest of the team worked to build.
Aspect had done so of his own accord, being transparent that he could no longer run the league in the capacity he desired and handing the ownership in effect solely to Chloric, which became apparent as a problem but this time to a much larger staff team.
What started as minor murmurings and grievances, turned into a unified staff voice that formalised in a document heading into Season 3. That document later became lovingly referred to as “The 1HoR Accords“, a document that was meant to usher in new leadership and stability as 1 Hour of Racing grew far beyond its original scope.
It’s tone and message was simple: Relinquish leadership and drop down to staff, or the staff team cannot in good faith continue under the current direction.
The staff were kicked from their positions 2 days later, at midnight Pacific Time, with very little discussion or warning.
The story at this point becomes somewhat more nebulous – primarily because the two remaining staff members worked to expunge mention and discussion of the staff fallout.
Regardless, the community has been very vocal in denouncing 1 Hour of Racing, leaving en masse and admonishing the 2 admins for their disregard for the prior staff’s work and their behavior toward them.
Staff members also put out their own statements individually via their social medias and from that point on, most staff went their separate ways to other projects, though rumours suggest a spiritual successor is in the works.
What is known currently is that the 1 Hour of Racing IP was filed for under a trademark under the USPTO, and while it is still in processing at the time of writing it was confirmed via an independent source that it was filed prior to the Accords and seemingly without the staff’s knowledge.
Time will only tell if the league continues, and if so if it can live up to its glory days in Season 2 – and what it could have been in Season 3, especially given that for the passionate drivers, the bridge is already burned.
The article was written by Ben “Sappytron” Sapsford, former member of the 1HOR community and team.
Read next: Top 10 Forza Horizon Drivers