Race Simulation - iRacing

Ron Earp

Admin
Ron, definitely check out rFactor if you get the chance. I think it might be a superior simulation from what i have read.
I don't know, I've not played rFactor. But on the racing boards I read on of the few guys that have tried sims most I've seen prefer iRacing. The developer Dave Kaemar has a long history with some famous car sims and online gaming. The iRacing team seems to be focusing the model on proper physics and spending time trying to create a series type atmosphere.

rFactor is far more popular for sure. Folks can set up their on servers and so on so there is no end to action it appears. And cars available. I won't be able to say which is "better" since I've not tried rFactor, just reporting back my experiences thus far.

And thus far I like driving the sim (I'm sure I'd like rFactor too) but it ain't no real car. No way I'd stuff a Solistace at VIR like I did on the sim. Still, pretty cool.
 

Ron Earp

Admin
I think the sim has great potential to teach lines and so on. But I disagree with a lot of the sim race fans that think they will be awesome racers because they can turn a XXXX laptime at a certain track. I think those folks will find the real world quite a bit different.....
 
Wow, that video of VIR is impressive. I have seen the rFactor version of VIR, and it is simply not effective. The same data seems to have been used to build the version for GTR and the newer Ferrari Challenge version. I have avoided all of them because they are not like the real thing, and I have not wanted to teach myself any bad habits (since I run full course at VIR most of the time).

I have tried rFactor and it is good, though so far the best sim I have used is GTR2. I have tried the newer versions Race '07 and GTR evolution. I don't find they offer any better simulation, and I keep going back to GTR2. The Ferrari Challenge thing is a game, was almost a waste of money. If you do not drive with other cars on the track and you are not online, you can get away with a cheaper PC.

I use GTR2 to train for what I do: HPDEs. Since I don't race, I am focused on car control. I primarily concentrate on three elements: the way I look at my line, controlling the attitude of the car with my right foot, and smoothness. No, the sims do not have the same feedback, but in some ways I think that is better. When you don't have that seat-of-the-pants feedback, you are forced to look way down line, or you will not pick up what is going on.

I think it has been a big help. I will have to look into iRacing, as it looks even better!
 
I'd completely forgotten about Linux despite having an old machine here that runs it!! :) Not too much in the way of games for Linux and Mac platforms, at least not the sort commonly played by most folk.

R
There's a pretty nifty game called RedLine from Ambrosia Software for OSX. One thing I
like about most of Ambrosia's products - end user customization. You can model your own
cars and tracks, they provide good guidelines and tools. Pretty good physics too. And,
it's only $25.

Ian
 
I think the sim has great potential to teach lines and so on. But I disagree with a lot of the sim race fans that think they will be awesome racers because they can turn a XXXX laptime at a certain track. I think those folks will find the real world quite a bit different.....
I can say with first hand experience that playing the game really helped me learn a real world track. Someone made the Autobahn Country Club, which is a local track for me, for rFactor. Before I raced the real life track, i must have done about 1000 laps on it in the game. When I went out there on race day, I could not believe how comfortable I felt racing it. Of course I still had to learn the ultra fine details of the course, but I really had a leg up to anyone who had never raced there before.
Who ever made the track for the game did a really nice job, though, its not the best looking, the parts that mattered (the track itself) were really accurately modeled.
 

Ron Earp

Admin
When I went out there on race day, I could not believe how comfortable I felt racing it. Of course I still had to learn the ultra fine details of the course, but I really had a leg up to anyone who had never raced .
I've not doubt about that and I think that is where these sims are good. Knowing which way to turn at a new course is a huge help!!!

What meant with the comment was these folks that think because they turned a XX:XX:XX at a course they will turn the same in real life. And by inference "beat" a real racer they've never raced against.

What series do you race at the Autobahn CC? I've heard that is a nifty track and now I'm trying to think of who told me that.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
I've not doubt about that and I think that is where these sims are good. Knowing which way to turn at a new course is a huge help!!!

What meant with the comment was these folks that think because they turned a XX:XX:XX at a course they will turn the same in real life. And by inference "beat" a real racer they've never raced against.

What series do you race at the Autobahn CC? I've heard that is a nifty track and now I'm trying to think of who told me that.

I've raced both courses at Autobahn in Joliet.. Fun tracks - never raced the full course with both tracks connected though...

Some "Simulators" I squarely put in the game category.. Others are truly worth a more legitimate shot at the simulator moniker... I thin iRacing and Rfactor are in the simulator category when paired up with decent controls and audio/visual inputs for the drivers along with setup configurations that don't allow you to slam head-first into fellow competitor without incurring damage to the point of debilitation.

Having flown some flight simulators that are actually FAA Certified and time can be log-booked - I don't think we are there just yet with racing sims, but we sure could be getting there soon...
 

Ron Earp

Admin
I'd agree with that on the sims.

I just saw this regarding a SRF driver winning one of the iRacing series and pulling off a second place at the SCCA Boreoffs, I mean Runoffs.....:rolleyes:

Schofield Cops iRacing Cup: Strong Performance at SCCA Runoffs Clinches Season-Long Title

Having flown some flight simulators that are actually FAA Certified and time can be log-booked - I don't think we are there just yet with racing sims, but we sure could be getting there soon...
And that is the thing - in flying (unless doing acro) you don't want any "fun" or "unexpected" things to happen. For me cross country flying is typically normal attitude stuff and there isn't a lot different from actually doing it or using a simulator. Now comparing acro to a sim, be more like comparing racing to a sim.

Racing, well, you use lots of inputs for racing. Lateral gs, fore aft, yaw, etc. On iRacing I have to look at my speedometer to determine when I've braked enough. In the race car I rely on feeling deceleration for a certain amount of time and the sense of speed, the latter being greatly diminished in the sim.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
The kinds of flight simulators I have flown are these at Simuflite in Dallas TX;
CAE 7000 Series

Better pictures here;

Paul Freeman: Flight Simulators I've Worked On



You can simulate literally anything but inverted flight in these guys... It's so realistic that you really could not tell that you were not in an aircraft...

I've flown the following;

Space Shuttle (early sim - not completed)
Boeing 747-300
Gulfstream GIII
MD DC9
Beechcraft King-Air 300
Lear 55
Convair 580

Note: I needed the assistance of the instructor in a number of these craft. I did not log-book all of my time as I was not there in an official instruction capacity.

-------------------

Racing Sims...

Here in the Minneapolis area we have a huge shopping center called the Mall of America. In this mall is a rather extensive collection of arcades. In one of them, there was a Formula 1 racing simulator from SEGA. It cost $5 to drive this thing for 10 minutes. It shook, bounced, squeezed your butt (((oooo baby))) and had all the feedback through the pedals, shifters, wheel... When you flat-spotted the tires, they vibrated like hell for the rest of the trip. When you lit up the tires, the car would shake / vibrate as the tires would wail against the electronic pavement..

I probably spent $100 on that sim and was standing in line to spend more when it broke down... They worked on it for weeks but it was out of service everytime I went back. Finally they had it open but none of the feedback processing was working. It still sounded good and it drove reasonably well, but it just wasn't the same.. $10 later, I went home.. SEGA pulled the sim out of the mall and as far as I know it has not returned..

Now they have a Daytona USA NASCAR Sim setup there.. It's just _ok_ but always full of screeching kids... ((yikes))...
 

Ron Earp

Admin
Ok, I take it back, I like it a lot better now. Damn this thing is good.

I picked another car, the Skip Barber racer, and holy smokes - this thing felt very similar to my Z or Miata at VIR. Yes, I know it isn't supposed to but I think the feeling came from teh tires on the sim car and the method of modeling - very controllable, predictable breakaway, and so on. With the Logitech G25 forcefeedback wheel the feeling, at least the wheel inputs to me, were very similar. Uncanny.

The Pontiac Solistace car I was trying was pretty good but no cookies. Value to me of rig has just improved. I'm impressed.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
Dang it Ron - you're givin' me the bug again....

I'm just going to have to get my Christmas Wish-List updated here....

I have this IBM Intelistation that has a pair of 3gHz Xeon's in it and 4g RAM. I've been using it for my video editing system but I've not fired it up now in almost a year.. I wonder if the software will run on a Xeon box with XP on it?

Time to go look at monitors on Buy.com ... :)
 
Hi Ron et al,

I just wanted to chime in and mention a new piece of sim racing hardware that is fully compatible with both iRacing and rFactor. For the last few years my company has had a sim racing product under development. I am pleased to report that we have successfully completed the R & D phase for BlueTiger Motion Simulators and we are now in production and open for business. Check out: BlueTiger

Sim racing is a blast and destined to get more and more realistic as the cost of technology goes down (and the cost of real racing goes up). I think the addition of full-motion simulator cockpits are the next big advance in realism. You only have to race a simulator for a few minutes and then return to no-motion sim racing to realize what is missing. A few weeks ago the Phoenix Ford GT Club came by for a short demonstration and ended up staying all day. These guys know and appreciate high performance cars and they had a good time.

It is clear from the stunning realism of iRacing and others that sim racing clubs, sim racing leagues, and increasing realistic hardware are on the verge of going main stream.
 

Randy V

Admin
Lifetime Supporter
Bob - I am VERY impressed by what I saw on your website!!!

I'm sure I'll have more questions - I believe I'll go back and watch that video again!!
 
We just returned from the Barrett Jackson Classic Car Auction where we had two simulators running continuously for 7 days from 8 AM to 11 PM at night. Frequently we were more crowded in the evenings than during the day because after a particular car crossed the auction block, the bidders would leave the auction and spend the rest of the night with us.

Here is a link to the BlueTiger Motion Simulator video from Barrett-Jackson. Prior BlueTiger videos are the most commented and highest rated. There are also 3 pictures in the Photo section of this same link.

http://www.iracingworld.com/_BlueTiger-Triple-Screen-Barrett-Jackson/video/510458/57752.html

If anyone from the GT40s forum happens to see us an an event, don't hesitate to stop and take a long demo drive. All of this technical accuracy is going to advance sim racing into a golden age. Many racing fans who cannot supports the logistics of real cars will adopt sim racing, and existing racers will use simulation to stay sharp during the off season and probably for years after they retire from wheel to wheel.
 

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