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Why Sim Racing?
I have always loved cars, especially driving them. From an early age I remember driving a red plastic pedal car around my parents garden. I probably spent all my free time in this toy car, seeing as a kid doesn't have a lot to do, it probably explains why I have always loved cars, motorsport, racing, driving games and especially driving simulations, otherwise known as sim racing.

Having seen and played nearly all driving games since the days of the ZX Spectrum, I believe I am fairly qualified in saying what I do and don't like about driving games / driving simulations and which ones are good and which are bad. I have driven well over 100,000 miles in both Forza 2 and Test Drive Unlimited on the XBox (and believe me this is a conservative estimate!), an unimaginable number of miles in the Gran Turismo franchise and played some very bad arcade racers that have sometimes not lasted many laps due to how bad they felt. I think I have gone through an official playstation steering wheel, 2 official Xbox steering wheels before I decided to buy a better quality build of sim racing equiptment. I decided upon a Fanatec Porsche Turbo S Steering Wheel and a set of Fanatec Clubsport Pedals as they can be used on XBox, Playstation and PC. I love the wheel and also own a Fanatec GT3 wheel (as a spare) that is still to be unboxed! I told you I was a sim racing junky!

The progress of real-time driving games and sims has progressed at a rapid pace, thanks to better technology. When Forza 2 came out it felt amazing, the best driving experience at that time with a steering wheel. Real time physics were being calculated and things felt good. Then Race Pro was released, whilst there were bugs in the game it was much closer to a simulation with very good physics, probably the best on a console up to that point. However, the number of active drivers was very small, especially if you hosted races longer than 10 laps and being a stickler for detail I always wanted to do F1 race length races. This probably didn't help with getting the numbers up!

I was watching a Nascar race one night on a satellite channel and heard mention of iRacing in some form. I'm not sure if they were sponsoring a car or there was a feature on their website and virtual sim racing product. I fired up the laptop to have a look. Due to the lack of players on Nascar 09 and Race Pro I was quite keen to find something new, the only downside being I didn't really have a PC capable of doing anything let along sim racing, but that was another story! I looked through the iRacing website and was like a kid in a sweet shop, it looked like the perfect sim racing product for me.

As a dedicated sim racer I can't really think of anything that comes close to how good iRacing is. It's also hard to know where to begin in singing it's praises. There are so many good features and little details that add up to make it a fantastic virtual racing product. Not including the laser scanned tracks and licensed cars that both feel realistic due to the use of accurate data and the physics engine and new tyre model. I will list just a few features that I really find cute:
  • night racing - different coloured headlights on GT and Prototype cars
  • amazing replays with depth of field
  • telemetry
  • constant development of the motorsports simulation
Most racing video games, as well as the handful of software packages that could be considered racing simulations, have progressed to the point where the cars look real. This is usually where the simulation stops. It is no longer just a graphical representation of a stock car, formula car or sports car. It is now a complex set of inter-related mechanical systems influencing a myriad of ever-changing forces to control physical consequences. It feels real because, mathematically, it is real and this is why I love iRacing.

I think that people overlook the benefits that games and simulations play in improving both skills, awareness, visual brake markers and enjoyment. If you set things up properly and make things hard enough, concentration levels have to be immense to survive a full distance race if you are driving near the limit, one momentry lack of concentration can mean spinning and hitting a wall and it's the end of the race. Treat things like reality and a lot can be gained out of gaming or simulations, plus a lot of fun if that is your passion.

If you are not already a member, or you know someone who would like to try iRacing we have some iRacing bonus codes, iRacing promo codes or iRacing sign up codes whatever you want to call them.

Buy 1 Get 2 Free Your Price: $9 A discounted 3 month Membership for new customers

USE CODE : PR-2FREE on sign up

please add the email address finkydinky (at) gmail dot com where it says "Referred by: (email)"

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