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iRacing Works!


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Post-Indy, I wanted to share some experiences from members of the HJ team. It was apparent from most of our interactions in the paddock (“Hey, you guys do the iRacing thing, right?”) that forum users are aware of our history – we started in ChampCar in 2017 with a driver pool sourced entirely from our online iRacing team, and most of us with zero previous track experience (let alone W2W experience). Despite this lack of experience, we have been relatively quick and competitive in our own Miata – results that we attribute to experience in the sim equipping our drivers with the fundamentals of track driving and racing without actually doing so in the real world.

 

Indy was a further extension of this theory; despite sadly having to withdraw our own team entry a lot of the team still attended the event and a couple of us found last minute drives with other teams. @David Haines had flown in from Australia to drive at Indy and found a ride with the Chattahoochee Miata, and I committed to a couple of stints in one of the RBank Saabs. Neither of us had seen the track before, Haines had zero track experience of any sort, and I had never raced a FWD or turbo vehicle before. However, we both have several laps around the Indy road course within iRacing, in vehicles close to what we would be driving.

 

This experience undoubtedly lead to a safer, more competitive, and more enjoyable experience at the race. I was able to get up to speed fairly quickly in the Saab and posted lap times close to the other experienced drivers in the car. Haines was immediately on pace in the Miata and ended up with the fastest lap of the weekend within the team. Neither of us had any car contact or dodgy moments, and we were able to race in traffic cleanly and closely.

 

This reinforces our team viewpoint that iRacing experience directly translates to real world on-track performance, and can be a very useful and comparatively inexpensive aid in introducing newcomers to our hobby. Whilst ChampCar is great in giving inexperienced drivers access to some great motorsport facilities, it can still be dangerous with a mix of abilities on track. I’m sure all of us have had relatives/friends/weird cousins express keen interest in getting involved with your racecar, but you may be slightly reticent about their abilities to be safe on track in a pack of 100 other ChampCars. Based on our experience, iRacing can help with that for a pretty low outright cost (a midrange home computer, internet connection, and a couple hundred bucks of initial hardware). With the support ChampCar is offering with the Sim Series then it’s a great time to get involved. We have a load of resources over in the Sim Series forum section, and are very happy to help out anyone interested in getting started. Plus, @pintodave will be joining the grid soon, so here’s your chance to take revenge for any recent Camaro-related incidents.

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That is awesome, especially the backstory on @David Haines - pretty bad ass. I truly believe a couple hundred laps of practice at Road Atlanta is what helped me be almost immediately up to speed the first time I went there. Having raced in the real world for a while before trying iRacing, I honestly think iRacing is harder - it does not give you that seat-of-the-pants feedback, therefore if you want to succeed in iRacing you must be technically perfect - it rewards you when you are and it punishes you when you aren't. 

 

I've been a member for some time, but only used it very sporadically for testing purposes. As @Rapido mentioned, now I'm all-in with a new rig on the way. I do not think I'll be able to make it to Black Friday for a V.R. sale, I'll break down and get the Rift-S ASAP!

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iRacing seems to help me fine tune the lines, but for some reasons almost everycar likes to  REQUIRES trailbrake to get it to turn in.  Matching real world alignments don't seem to correct the issue.  Its also frustrating in iRacing where everyone is like Schumacher then on an actual track its 50/50 that people are within a car width of an apex.

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