Mario (twin brother) has finally installed iRacing and is starting to drive in the virtual world. He’s got my old computer, a single 1080p monitor, Logitech G29, and a bean-bag chair for a cockpit. It’s not exactly ideal, but at least he’s on board. His first couple sessions were at Lime Rock Park (Classic configuration) in the Global MX-5 Cup. That’s a great place to start. He reported that his best laps were 1:01.6 and then 1:01.3. For a first-time iRacer with a janky rig, that’s pretty good.
We were talking about the Rookie placements and when to do them. I suggested he wait for a track he wants to do. Charlotte roval is next week and then Tsukuba 2000 Full the week after. I mentioned that I had never driven Tsukuba before. It wasn’t in iRacing when I was active. At which point he threw down a challenge.
Mario has driven Tsukuba many times in Gran Turismo, but not iRacing. I have never driven Tsukuba, but I have a lot of hours in iRacing. The rules: 10 laps and post your times.
In his next session, he posted a 1:06.658. From the lap times, it doesn’t look like he’s crashing. There’s pretty consistent improvement. This safe, consistent pace will work well in the Rookie races.
In my next session, I posted a 1:05.694. I drove the first 10 laps with the racing line on. Sometimes I do this when learning a new track. But it definitely interferes with my driving. I turned it off in the next session and dropped 0.5 seconds. I still don’t know the track very well, and I’m not very well tuned in to iRacing. I’ll improve if I work at it.
I haven’t been on iRacing in a while. I actually created a new account so I could go through the Rookie experience again. For my reintroduction to iRacing, I did some lapping at Lime Rock (59.883), and also tried out the new-to-me Rallycross offering. At the intro level, that’s just the VW Beetle and either the Daytona rallycross course or Phoenix. I have to say that the iRacing rallycross is pretty fun, especially when you switch cars. MX-5 on dirt is a hilariously fun.
Back to the challenge. First off, it’s pretty unfair. Every part of my sim rig is superior to his, and I have a lot more time in iRacing than he does. However, he has more time in Gran Turismo than I do in all of my sim racing combined. How valuable was that? Not much I think. Playing Gran Turismo or Forza with a hand controller is not the same as a force feedback steering wheel. And also a FFB wheel is not a real car. But the similarities between a sim rig and a real car are a lot closer than thumb-operated joysticks and any wheel.
So do yourself a favor and get a sim rig and hop on iRacing, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally, etc. It’s fun and useful. And feel free to boast when you beat whatever time I post.