What is this whole Sim Racing thing anyhow?
I’ve loved motor racing as long as I can remember. I grew up around dirt tracks in Australia as my dad had a blast racing Formula 500 cars back in the day.
This love of racing meant I have tried most of the racing games over the years and have had a great amount of fun with them.
My first gaming console was the venerable Atari 2600. I had a game, that for the life of me I can’t remember that was a simple game of racing endlessly through poles in black and white. If you got to the end there was a trophy. I did manage to get to the end once and there is a really really old photo around somewhere at my parent’s house to prove it.
At the time the best games were in the arcades where we were running pole position, stunt car driver and some of those early 16 bit and vector graphics games.
It wasn’t til the early 90’s when I finally got a PC and started running such classics as Bill Elliot’s Nascar and Papyrus Nascar 1.
Enter the 2000’s and PC power and games started to outpace the arcades to the point where today you can have a full motion platform in your house, running multiple monitors giving a full view of the front of the car.
My sim of choice these days is iRacing and while not the cheapest of the “games” I find it to be a lot of fun, excellent training and a great community.
Dictionary.com defines the following terms for us :
Simulator (sim from now on) – is a machine for simulating certain environmental and other conditions for purposes of training or experimentation: ie a flight simulator.
Simulation – imitation or enactment, as of something anticipated or in testing. Or the construction of a mathematical model for some process, situation, etc, in order to estimate its characteristics or solve problems about it probabilistically in terms of the model
I’m not going to go into the whole debate about games vs simulators, as for me I came from games as that was all there was and have gravitated towards realism as I’ve gone along.
I still play games and have a few consoles still laying around the house that get time. I’ll just say that for the most part today games are simulations with less fidelity in the simulation and a bigger emphasis on easy of entry and fun for more people.
Now that seems to be a good compromise.
OK so for the purposes of this book, a sim is a computer program used to simulate as closely as possible a racing environment. This means that as well as being able to drive the car, there are aspects of the car that you can tweak to make the car handle more to your liking.
Busta Wrench is my crew chief alter ego that helps me set up my cars and with some luck help me get through races in one piece.
I fervently hope that you find some useful bits and pieces here and that it will give you an insight into how sims work and make your racing hobby more fun.