Upcoming Events

Join TCR Virtual today! AC events on Simracing.GP ACC events on Simracing.GP Weekly rFactor 2 events

Challenge Yourself - Your Comfort Zone Will Not Make You Faster

Some cars and tracks just command respect, be it in real life or in sim racing. They are notoriously difficult to get used to and drive properly, which is why sim racers often tend to stay away from them. The abundance of Monza GT3 servers are a symptom of this, with not many daring to try and race more difficult combinations. Staying in your comfort zone will not make you a faster sim racer, however.

Even in a relatively easy-to-drive GT3 car, tracks like Mount Panorama are on the difficult side of things to drive in sim racing. While there are public lobbies with it in Assetto Corsa Competizione, for example, they rarely get grids of ten or more drivers, and even in leagues, a collective groan can be heard whenever Bathurst is next on the schedule.

Granted, it is easy to see why practicing the track might be off-putting: You start with a good amount of motivation, get comfortable in the car – and then crash a few times. Motivation: gone. Other options are easily accessible in sim racing, and sometimes you just need a break to start over fresh, or give it a go on another day. But often, the negative experience leads to avoidance of a certain track or car.

This is where a certain stubbornness will go a long way: If you really want to learn a track, you will keep going back to it time and time again. From personal experience, I remember falling in love with some tracks because of this – most noticeably Bathurst. Sure, it can be annoying when a very slight mistake over the top of the mountain leads to a huge crash that ends your race. But on the other hand, getting it right in that tricky section feels like flying and is such a satisfying feeling that you want to do it again. The final sector of the Nordschleife is like this as well – fast corners that you really need to know and commit to, and if you do, you feel invincible when you go through there absolutely on the limit.

For cars, it can be a similar experience. Take the Formula RSS 2000 V10 in Assetto Corsa, for example: Similar power to the Ferrari F2004 by Kunos, but somewhat less downforce and crucially no traction control make this circa 2000 Formula 1 car an absolute handful to drive. To extract the most out of it, practicing brake and throttle control are essential – otherwise, you will lock up and understeer into the run-off or spin off exiting a corner because you could not keep 800+ horses in check. Once the feel for the car is there and you can actually start to shave off tenths of seconds as you get more comfortable, it has to be one of the most satisfying things in sim racing.

Screenshot_rss_formula_2000_gilles-villeneuve_4-9-121-17-5-57-min.jpg


Most importantly, however, it will make you a better sim racer overall – even if you only race GT3 cars competitively. They may have traction control, but good throttle control will help you even with this aid in the car as it will hinder your acceleration if you lean on the TC at corner exit. On the other hand, being able to avoid the ABS kicking in under braking after the initial braking phase can gain you grip and time simultaneously – something that will be helpful especially in a tight, competitive environment. Also, knowing the ins and outs of various tracks might come in helpful in the future since you never know when a circuit appears on the schedule for a new season of a league, for example.

Leave your comfort zone. Practice cars and tracks that seem like a huge task. Introduce some variation into your sim racing if you have not done so already. Challenge yourself and do not let yourself get discouraged too quickly. You will learn from it – and it will make you a more complete sim racer.

What are your favorite challenging, but rewarding car and track combos, and how have they helped you become a better sim racer? Let us know in the comments!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Life-long motorsports and racing game fan as well as racing history enthusiast. I write stuff here and on www.simracing-unlimited.com and try to be not too mediocre when sim racing with varying degrees of success :confused:

Comments

I don’t mind new challenges, car or track - although I enjoy warming up on a well known track to get in a Zen state, or to learn a new car (or set up etc).

As for online, when iRacing blocked my existing payment almost a year ago I completely stopped online racing. I am simply not fast enough to be reasonably competitive and don’t enjoy being mid tier or driving chicane.

Not that I did not have any fun, especially lower tier was easy enough to compete.
…but I don’t enjoy it as much as I do hot lapping.

Online I was enjoying warming up more than actual racing.

Guess I am not a real racer.
 
How did your hands felt like at the end? Driving with controller for so long is a pain for me. If it wasn't for that I would actually do racing more often.
Well, It is somewhat hard on the trigger finger that I use for accelerating. I can manage well for about 2 hours; more than that starts to become a little strenuous (at least for me).
For the 8 hour endurance race at Spa (in ACC), for example. I had to stop every 2 hour for rest :)
 
Last edited:
"Some cars and tracks just command respect, be it in real life or in sim racing."
Nope, cars only need respect in real life as your life depend on how you treat a car. In game who cares, smack it with 250 in eau rouge in the wall, esc - restart. Its a bloody game...
 
Well, It is somewhat hard on the trigger finger that I use for accelerating. I can manage well for about 2 hours; more than that starts to become a little strenuous (at least for me).
For the 8 hour endurance race at Spa (in ACC), for example. I had to stop every 2 hour for rest :)
I can relate to the pain. That 2-hour career endurance race at Paul Ricard wrecked my hands; couldn't imagine running in races longer than that at the moment
 
Last edited:
Bilster Berg and Autodrom Most to name just two are those circuits I forced myself to continue to drive as the challenge was both satisfying but also lessons learned is paying dividends on other tracks that some of my 'favorites' can't.
 
Aaaah meme track/car combos... This is all what sim racers deserve really. Next popular sim should just have 1 car and 1 track (at fixed 14pm, clear weather, summer), because that's all what you need. Say no to diversity and embrace meme simracing!
 
Last edited:
If you have no clue about what goes wrong, ask fellow simracers. The best is online practice when the other guy watches the game from your car and coaches you in real time on teamspeak, discord or whatever. That's how I learned. If you don't play online, post a replay or a video and you'll get plenty of support. In fact most often you'll get too many and conflicting bits of advice,
And this is the problem in my view: why there little to none explanation in games themselves about racing and how to do things on track? I think it's not normal when you need look everything by yourself, even some basic things
 
Cool, but... nowdays, this of racing something than a GT3 car with a ton of eletronic help (what also exists irl, I know, don't be the smart guy) in the very same tracks, like Monza, already will be a REALLY HARD challenge for more than 75% of the "simracers"... LOL
 
Out of comfort zone: stop blaming the equipment and except i am slower then when i was 18 years old.

Now getting back in to the comfort zone : start blaming the equipment
And start blaming other noob drivers and shouting : i am a driving god (qoute of the hamster)
 
Last edited:
And this is the problem in my view: why there little to none explanation in games themselves about racing and how to do things on track? I think it's not normal when you need look everything by yourself, even some basic things
For good ingame tutorial about racing and a general overview how the game works agaist real life

Nascar 2003 season.

Other but no video's is the driving school of fia's gtr2 driving school.
 
I drive, as many know here, with cerebral palsy. I have difficulty in my legs and with tremors in arms and hands. But I really enjoy my time sim racing (and I got a win recently at the Twin Ring). With that said, any content can be challenging, but I think Cup cars on road and group B cars are the two that come to mind as "boy, this is hard!"

Funnily enough I find arcade games like Forza Horizon really tricky. I think the way they favor gamepads messes me up on the wheel (tho they're still a hoot to play!).

As someone with disability, I wish all arcade games had wheel support out of the box. For now, remapping my wheel as a gamepad using vJoy + Universal Remapper Controller has worked well. I'm excited to try it on Hotwheels.
 
Funnily enough I find arcade games like Forza Horizon really tricky. I think the way they favor gamepads messes me up on the wheel (tho they're still a hoot to play!).
It took me FOREVER to get my wheel to feel remotely good in Forza and honestly after months of tweaking it still feels like utter garbage.
 
that's a thing? i'll probably end up with an f1 car on a drift track
Obviously it depends on how much you have installed. But yeah, ALT-R. Random car and track. It's good and stops you from doing the same thing over and over. A problem I often have. Spent so much time in the Matra F3 at Bannochbrae I think I can drive it blindfolded.
 
Funnily enough, the parts of Bathurst I tend to screw up the most are the first corner out of the pits and the left-hander at the end of the high-speed stretch :cautious:
 
in ac i try most of the car but stay away of gt3 cars at the time feel heavy cars, also the dfgt pedals are rubbish but now in ams2 really enjoy gt3 but in love of gte with a load cell mod on the g29 pedals finally did 2:16:3xx at spa in a gt3 and now with thrumaster t-lcm pedals really enjoy those F1 classic cars but only in tracks i really know since ac
 

Article information

Author
Yannik Haustein
Views
11,319
Comments
65
Last update

Share this article

Top