Even though I was sure I was getting coal for Christmas, my wonderful fiancé gifted me a wheel and an iRacing subscription. Or gifted herself time away from me. Haven’t figured it out yet.
This is kind of my review if you haven’t gotten into sim racing yet, or an opportunity to discuss new ways to use it.
The first thing you notice right away is any feeling of force on any axis. Turn up the sound, loosen your grip on the wheel, and try to feel the car out with sight and sound. You’ll get used to it like anything else.
As far as the driving, the physics are pretty good. All the same rules for weight transfer and conserving consumables apply. You’ll need to heat them up and manage them in longer races. You’ll absolutely feel some brake fade and some greasiness. It’s an awesome tool to learn some minor things on new platforms, and solo sessions with and without the driving line are useful for learning new tracks.
I am careful to say tool here; iRacing doesn’t feel as rewarding to mess around in as a traditional wheeling video game and that is by design. You can absolutely use it to get better as a driver and a competitor.
Now competing is the double edged sword. While I am still incredibly new to sim racing, WOW it is frustrating. I suspect a large portion of the players are not using it as a tool to aid actual driving skills and are just out to have a good time. That’s fine, but since there are no real consequences people can be ridiculous. Basically, I do HPDE in real life and solo practice supports that, but I want more than that. I can’t necessarily afford the cost or time for racing in real life, so learning a bit of racecraft and competing virtually is the next best thing.
Maybe a Dynosaur Motorsports Virtual Track Day should be added to the schedule? Let us know what you think!