What is Your Race Ritual?

Many professional drivers and riders follow strict rituals during a race weekend. But does the same count for sim racers?

What is a "Race Ritual"?​

As an avid watcher of especially MotoGP, I always see the riders doing the same things leading up to the race.

While some listen to their favourite music, others just sit there in silence, mentally going through the flow of the circuit. Then again some might use the last minutes to shed the last few grams in the bathroom. Yet others just vibe on their machines, vying for the attention of media personnel.

Does anything here sound even vaguely familiar to you?

These are a small glimpse into the important rituals of a racer. The importance here is to get the driver or rider into their most favourable mindset.

There is a common trope in running claiming:
"Running is 90% mental and 10% physical."
While this might be a bit over-the-top, you get the gist. The same can be applied roughly to all kinds of racing. If a driver isn't feeling well, they will not perform.

Do Race Rituals Affect Sim Racing?​

Though does this also count for sim racing?

Now personally, I am no esports driver, still, while observing myself there are certain rituals.

Starting off before a practice session, I will go to the bathroom. Next, sitting down at my desk again, I switch over to my sim racing monitor, move my mouse to the left and switch to the rig next to me. I then enter either a voice chat or my favourite music app to have some auditorial disturbance. Next up I open the sim of choice and Crew Chief.

Joining the server, I will start the practice session by exiting the pits with my standard setup and race fuel. Usually, I will already know the circuit meaning after the out-lap, immediate pushing is on. Generally staying within my comfort zone of speed, I take a safe approach to finding pace. If the practice session is long enough, I will drive until either I crash or the fuel gets empty. Always I will try to immediately push, however.

Qualifying will usually be several stints, only the last of which with qualifying fuel. All the while (hopefully) communicating with some of my mates, joking around and allowing a nice, chill atmosphere.

Then comes the time of the race. I take a few deep breaths, then check my fuel and other setup items and get ready for the green light.

Since during the race, my muscles will tense up a bit, after the race, there is always the moment when I press the escape key, and I can relax all of my muscles, almost slumping down in the rig and getting smaller by a few centimetres.

But What is Your Race Ritual?​

Again, does any of this sound familiar to you? Have you ever realised some habits you keep doing just before or after having a race? Let us know in the comments down below!

If you cannot think of anything right now, try to observe yourself next time you have a race. Try to find any habitual actions you take.

Apart from knowing yourself a bit better, this might help you to understand what makes or breaks a good race weekend for you. As they (I) say:
"Racing is 90% mental and 10% technology."
About author
Julian Strasser
Motorsports and Maker-stuff enthusiast. Part time jack-of-all-trades. Owner of tracc.eu, a sim racing-related service provider and its racing community.


Jan Larsen
- Practice before turning up. No practice, no turning up. Perfect the setup.
- Race night: put on the same moisture transportating t-shirt I use for every race, keeps me cool even through very hot days and hard battles. Pants off too.
- One, maybe two qual laps in qualifying, more than that and I start overdriving.
- Warmup is usually a lap or two to get used to race fuel. 2-3 practice starts if required. Pee break if required and one massive sip of water.
- One minute before race: finger stretch, neck stretch, phone on silent, lock the outside door, turn lights down, double check setup and starting fuel.
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Run Crew Chief
Run Fuel Calculator
Make sure I have enough recording space and volume control (headphone mic test & recording test)

1. Take the dogs out for a wee
2. Then I take my wee
3. Grab something cold
4. Put away take off apple watch & or mobile phone, so I won't look at it & get distracted
5. Take off my shirt (I know I know, with 3 monitors in a small room it gets quite hot)
After putting on gloves I do stuff like Rovanperä before driving anything. Loosen up my wrists by rotating them, hitting a fist in the palm of my other hand and finally some loud hand clapping.

If my wife comes past my room that moment she's always shaking her head. :laugh:
I always make sure my desk is perfectly clear of anything apart from the essential (I don't have a proper cockpit, just a normal computer desk). My phone is always away and in silent mode to avoid distractions.

Just before the green light, I usually clap my hands a couple of times, to give myself and teammates that extra confidence boost. I proceed to check (one last time) that both wheel and pedals are properly fixed. Then I sit back and enjoy whatever race it is! :)
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Sit in my rig. Start Sim. Press all pedals fully once.

Alt Tab out because I've forgotten to start Simhub.

Back to sim

Alt Tab out because I've forgotten to actually press start on Crew Chief.

Back to sim

Lean right over to turn on buttkicker amps because I've forgotten about them

Back to sim

(new part of the ritual below)

Alt tab out because I've forgotten to activate "High Torque Mode" on my wheelbase.

Back to sim, start racing.
Have a shower,eat have about 10 million coffee's then water start **** talking with everyone then race...and have a good yarn after wards

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Julian Strasser
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