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Real life vs Simulation - Discrepancies

Discussion in 'Motorsports' started by AmarildoJr, Aug 23, 2017.

  1. AmarildoJr


    Green Tracks

    Whenever I read about some crazy lap time in a simulator (like 2:13 on SPA with a C7R on Assetto Corsa, 5 seconds faster than the real world record), people usually say the reason for that is because pretend drivers don't experience the fear of wrecking their car, and because the track surface is not green, the grip level is on maximum. While I can agree about not being afraid, I must ask: do "green tracks" really apply to most tracks in real life? I can't imagine a track like SPA, which is always being driven, lacking grip because of lack of rubber.

    Lap times

    Now a very controversial topic. Lap times.

    I, for one, don't believe that there's such "fear" of wrecking your car in real life, for a few reasons.

    Once you start doing anything new (e.g. riding a bike), there is a "fear" that you might push the limits too far, but once you gather enough experience, that act becomes a ride in the park. When I restarted biking in 2013, I didn't push my bike to it's limits exactly because I didn't know them and I didn't remember the general limits of a bike from when I used to ride them several years ago. But after several hundred miles ridden and doing the same stretch of road several times, I was able to push it to the limits: the road was bumpy and curvy, there were cars and trucks flying beside me; but still, I wasn't afraid to become a shooting nail (in shape) and do 60-70 Km/h while going downhill on the same road. I know the limits of the bike, I know the risks of going the speed I was going, but still there was no fear at all. Instead, all I felt was joy.
    And don't get me wrong, an accident with a bike at such speeds is way deadlier than if I was on a GT3 car doing Eau Rouge flat out. There's nothing protecting my body except a cheap plastic helmet that wasn't designed for great impacts. If someone should be afraid, it should be me, not a pilot with fireproof vests, a bulletproof helmet, a caged car with a seat belt, track marshals and tyre barriers along the track.

    With that in mind, I'm positive that a driver can know the car/track limits and do corners the same speed a racing simulation driver can. At least Schumacher says so :p

    So now to my questions.

    1) If the track conditions are the same, shouldn't all cars in a specific class have similar lap times? Even if we still consider fear to be a factor in real life, it's not present in a racing simulator, so there shouldn't be a reason for one GT3 car do 2:19 while another does 2:15. This time difference isn't something I was able to observe in the real world, usually the top drivers have very close lap times while driving in different cars of the same class. The problem is, for an average sim driver who dedicates similar driving time for a few cars, shouldn't he achieve similar lap times instead of achieving huge gaps between each car?

    2) Why is there so much difference between a specific car in different simulators, between the same car on the same simulator, and between simulated cars and real life cars? For example, in the C7R/Assetto Corsa I can do 2:16 on SPA on varying track temperatures, while with the URD C7R for rFactor 2 I can only do 2:20, it seems there's just not enough grip to go any further.
    How to know who's right and who's wrong? Considering it's the same car, if the data inputted is right for both then both lap times should be roughly the same, even if the setups differ a little, right?

    Continuing with this example, it confuses me even more when I consider a few factors. For example, a real life Ferrari 458 GT3 did 2:16:6 on SPA. This indicates that the ApexModding GT3 458 time is comparable to real life since I can do 2:16:7 after a few dozen laps of practice (started with a green track). That also indicates that my 2:16 with the C7R/AC is not far from reality. However, it really bothers me that someone can do 2:13 with the C7R/AC with a track temperature of 0ºC. There's something there which doesn't add up.

    Not only that, but it seems usual RL qualifying laps for SPA/GT3 is around 2:18, and race laps around 2:19/2:20. Now THAT I can see happening, but then several conflicts appear with the simulation world: while some rFactor 2 GT3 mods have a limit around that lap time (2:18 to 2:20), others don't. I was able to achieve 2:16:4 with a 997, a car from the same team who did the 458 which has realistic times compared to real life; and 2:16:7 with their C6R (it's a GT3 pack).... but with the C6R from EnduRacers I can't get bellow 2:18 now matter how hard I try it, and with the C7R from URD I can't get bellow 2:20, usually staying in the 2:24 range.

    What is happening? Did the guy in the video (Ferrari) find himself on a very special condition (track temperature, rubber)? If so, why am I able to replicate ~2:16 with the same and similar cars while on a 9ºC green track? And HOW would 2:13 on a 0ºC track be even possible to achieve in a simulator?

    Considering drivers don't experience fear, why don't we see more 2:13 lap times? Instead, most qualifying revolves around the high 2:17's and low 2:21's.

    How to judge which car is the most realistic? The ones that do 2:16 - 9ºC - green, or the ones who do 2:20 on the very same track conditions? And what about the 2:13 - 0ºC?

    AAAARGH :(

    3) According to your knowledge, which is the best mod for Assetto Corsa or rFactor 2, in regards to the quantity and fidelity of data put into it?

    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  2. chrisracer


    I do disagree with your first point. I have been racing for forty one years. I got my first full competition license in 1976. I have driven everything from open wheel to sports racers and sedans. Here is my take on it.

    There is a certain amount of risk you are willing to take and it is based on several things. Age being the first. When you're young, you feel invinceable. I won't get hurt. If I do I'm young enough that I'll heal quickly. As you get older you hopefully get a little smarter and you weigh the risk. You're willing to follow for a couple of laps to find your competitions weaknesses and then strike.Ans as you get older it takes a lot longer to heal and I tis more painful. Second, who's paying for the repair? If I am a hired gun, sure I'm willing to take more risk. It's not my dime. I want to finish and I want to win but if I'm not hurt financially, I'll be willing to take more risk. When that money is coming out of your wallet it hurts almost as much as it does when you get hurt. Do you even know what the cost is? Here's an example: a nose, just the nose for my sports racer is $2,000.00. Just the Glass fibre nose (add another $500 if you want it in Kevlar and another $1,000 if you want it made of Carbon fibre), no mechanical parts, just the nose. Uprights, $575 a piece. A rim, $500 plus. A tire, $300. Lets say I have a run in with a fellow competitor. I loose a right front suspension and the nose. Lets see, $2,000 for the nose, the upright, spring, shock, A arms, links, bolts and my time to fix it. You're looking at at least $4,500 to $5,000. Just to get the car back on the track.

    You think this is a joke. I'll add this, it's never 'a walk in the park". If it's not you, it's the guy with "red mist" in his eyes who thinks a 40 lap race is won in the first corner. Every time you get in the racecar there is a real possibility that you won't come back, or that you may be seriously injured. We don't like to think about it but that is the reality.
    • Agree Agree x 3


    To boil it down to it's simplest form; one is real-life, the other, a game.
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. Andy_J

    PC Veteran Gamer and Biker. Premium

    This ^^^^
    It's silly to think that simulated fear is in any way comparable to real fear of death. I go balls out at Cadwell Park in Caterham in AMS. Do you think I do the same on my track bike at the same circuit? The answer is no. Life is too precious, so is responsibility. :rolleyes:
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. apex11


    I was talking to friend who races a MX 5 which gets grids of like 30 plus and as they are so evenly matched he picks up panel damage as a regular thing each race.
    His most recent race he sent his car to the body shop and he was reeling off the costs jut for that and it was like £1500 for fixing some damage plus re spray and that was apparently mates rates.
    Now i've been around racing enough to know that that is small fry costs wise, but it was they way he was talking about it like £1500 and next race will most likely need painting again etc and all i could think of was "wow, he could get a half decent sim set up for that", its odd as i've been there before and i've spent silly money on stuff like track cars and road cars.
    But since i got into 'sim' racing properly as for me a direct substitute for track days and racing and even kart racing, what do p[people actually think about sim racing as a substitute.
    You hear about a training tool, track learning or race craft, but what about simply doing sim racing rather than track days / racing or karting?
    I honestly believe that i can bang for buck get more out of sim racing than any track day or actual race.
    The question for me is simply is sim racing a viable substitute to actually spending all that money and time on running a racing car or track car?
    If it is, or can be, you are onto having a really bloomin awesome time!
    Does anyone else see it as a substitute?
    Clearly the main need in all of this would be good wheel with FFB set up well to give decent forces.
  6. Rob Every

    Rob Every

    Having done track days, there is a very real fear you will crash and wreck your car.

    If you drive a taxed and MOT'd car on a track at 10/10ths you are insane, very rich or dumb.

    Most of us I think if given the chance could lap at a decent speed at somewhere like the Ring if we knew that there were no consequences, you could exploit the car.

    But, somewhere like that, wrecking the car is not the only issue, there is also wrecking yourself!
  7. apex11


    True and having been lucky enough to drive a friends racing cars at Silverstone and Donington, I knew full well that i didn't want to stack their cars into the barriers, never was i worried about hurting myself but just crashing their cars.
    I drove at about 60% then up till last few go's where i was at about 80% and in part yes that was a good excuse for why i was not mega fast, but also the truth.
    But in no way was it hard to drive these cars, in fact it was far far easier than driving a track car with not much spent on it, if they were my racing cars i'd of been 2 secs quicker and then add practice add 1 sec then simply tenths after that with set up etc.

    But i don't buy into the big fearless thing, most racing drivers take calculated risks if any and they will drive to percentages etc. Its not fear, its just sense.
    If you were 20 secs ahead of 2nd place and your driving at 120% your a dick.