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An Outsider’s First Experience in Sim Racing

(05.09.2017) By Austin Brunick — I learned about the world of sim racing no more than a month ago. Sim racing, also known as simulated racing is hyper-realistic racing games that are more about driving efficiently and consistently than it is about drifting around corners and slamming into other cars to ensure the win.

The world of Sim Racing is a somewhat pretentious place, resulting in a lot of people getting angry for bumping into each other, wrecking cars, or simply for being a bad driver.

I was introduced to sim racing by a friend who had bought a Logitech G29 racing wheel complete with three pedals; throttle, brakes and clutch pedal.

We played some of the more casual sim racers like Project Cars and Assetto Corsa, and while I found that it was fun to race against each other online, I also realized I was at a distinct disadvantage by playing via controller instead of a wheel and pedal set.

It was then that I decided to buy a wheel myself, purchasing the Thrustmaster T150 which, according to a lot of sim racing professionals, is one of the best beginner wheels on the market.

The wheels are by no means cheap either, as my wheel is at the bottom of the price range at $200 dollars, and wheels at the top of the price range can be well over a thousand dollars.

Wheels are expensive because the higher quality wheels contain a small engine in the base of the wheel, which creates something called Force Feedback. This Force Feedback is supposed to simulate the kind of vibrations you would feel while driving the car on the track.

After I purchased my wheel I quickly saw an improvement in my racing, and I was more consistent in my driving and braking lines.

Seeing that I had improved I decided to take the leap into iRacing, which is widely regarded as the industry leader in competitive sim racing games, as not only does it have a monthly subscription, but all the tracks and cars you don’t get with a subscription cost anywhere between twelve and fifteen dollars.

After my first few races I realized that I needed to work more at improving my lap times.

I have a lot of work to do before I will win my first race, but sim racing is so much fun that all that practice is worth it.