Does sim racing make you a better driver?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by GDUBMX, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. GDUBMX

    GDUBMX Registered

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    Driving back from work today in my van (which I love by the way) and I thought..

    Does racing simulators improve your driving in real life?
    I personally find I pay more attention to apexing and wheel control. What are your thoughts? :)
     
  2. MikeeCZ

    MikeeCZ Registered

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    ON Street? In case of heel and toe, blipping, yes, but other than that i dont think so..

    On track days? Massively, in fact so much so that people did not believe it was my first ever track day back then
     
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  3. Emery

    Emery Registered

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    Like any tool, it's all in how you choose to use it.
     
  4. Seven Smiles

    Seven Smiles Registered

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    I remember one of my first track days, at Silverstone with an instructor on board my car. Playing GP4 with keyboard steering assist hadn't prepared me for how hard I needed to turn going on to the start straight with the result that I understeered onto the grass at 90+ MPH. I can still hear the instructor screaming "KEEP YOUR FOOT IN" :eek:

    On the road it came in very handy when aquaplaning on a motorway at rush hour - "Just don't do anything. Make sure not to make any sudden changes in input. Steer with your fingertips." "Phew!"
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  5. Guimengo

    Guimengo Guest

    Karting helped with sim racing, which in turn helped with karting in the rain. Even certain arcade games helped with handling snow and icy conditions with sharper subconscious responses.
     
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  6. jerrymcc

    jerrymcc Registered

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    It does. I've had a couple of times when cars in front of me lost control, on a wet road or braking too hard, and I think sim racing helped me not panic when things are going wrong right in front of me. Basically, I eased on the brakes and steered out of an accident before it happened.
     
  7. woochoo

    woochoo Registered

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    In real life driving I seem to have developed an automatic focus on, and love of being balanced on the suspension in turning and braking, and keeping the car semi-loaded/stable at all relevant times, in case it needs any quick input to avoid cars/animals. And then being ready to correct the balance immediately. It seems to me a car is like a steel bouncy-castle. Keep those four springs smooth and steady, and with some spare compression. And know when to lock the brakes to try to control the direction of an out-of-control car/bouncy castle.

    And an increase in automatic attention/responses to wheel feedback, to surrounding cars and their intentions and likely dynamics/momentum. And noticing road conditions that others have mentioned (e.g. being extremely terrified of the smooth highway grooves on wet days). F1 sims perhaps help with the high-speed information overload, and being able to drive on the road under me, and the road 50-100 metres ahead at the same time.

    Maybe summed up as trying to know the things I need to be ready for, before I need to be, and as a consequence hoping to avoid those things. And then being hyper-ready to act as a result. Having the capacity to act more automatically and quickly, and hopefully correctly, rather than thinking consciously and panicking. I'm fortunate that I've never had to prove that in an extremely dangerous real life situation though, and perhaps that's why? But let's not get complacent now...

    Considering the dangers on the real roads, there is no way I'd throw away what I've gained from sim-driving.
    Stay legal and safe on the roads, for you and for others :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
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  8. Joel.Brown

    Joel.Brown Registered

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    Absolutely it helps. Although I'm speaking from an oval point of view. But I would think learning a road course would be even more helpful.

    Don't think that because you're fast in a simulator means you can do it in real life though. It's a big difference when you climb into a real car that's shaking, vibrating, hot, noisy then the G forces kick in and take your breath away. Self preservation also kicks in when you sail down into the corner of a real car knowing that you could be seriously injured or killed. And it definitely doesn't prepare you for how much it hurts when you hit the wall.

    It's one thing to be sitting in a comfy chair in the A/C behind your computer and take chances. You want real life. Point a heater straight at you, put on a jacket, gloves, and helmet, and if you hit something have a friend standing next to you slap you up side the head with a 2x4.
     
  9. Comante

    Comante Registered

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    What everyone have said. I always drove crappy or old cars (Autobianchi A112, Fiat punto, 1st model, a 1998 twingo), those are just a horrible death waiting to happen on modern roads populated by car twice (or thrice) their weight. On the plus side, those car have very nice FFB :) and no powersteering. Sim helped understand what weight transfer mean, and the difference it can make on a slippery surface, how to not lock brakes (no ABS) , how to feel tire slippage.
     
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  10. bwana

    bwana Registered

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    if you can bear it have a read of an article recently published in pretendracecars.
     
  11. F1Fan07

    F1Fan07 Member

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    Yup. I think of sim racing like a flight simulator... you don't get 100% of the realism but you get the experience to calmly deal with situations when they happen. Based on server stats it looks like I have done over 150,000 km of sim racing (it's probably closer to 200,000 if I estimate off-line and lost data). That builds situational experience.

    Last year, I was driving in the mountains and came around a corner right where rain changed to snow. I lost the rear end, counter-steered, lost it a little less the other way, counter-steered and straightened it out. This all happened with a police car coming at me in the oncoming lane yet I was completely calm, even spinning the steering wheel back and forth with one hand because I was reacting too fast to two-hand it.
     
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  12. bwana

    bwana Registered

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    Trying to think of IRL situation where simracing has helped me feel to react and i think probably cornering on steep declines on dirt roads where inevitable understeer is common , brake pressure and steering inputs learnt from sims on green tracks in fast cars has helped in knowing how to deal with it, power drifting on exits is something I managed to improve as well with a lot less over correction and a smoother drift angle.
     
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  13. GDUBMX

    GDUBMX Registered

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    Awesome stories guys! Loved @Comante story about the death cars hahaha yeah I don't know how people can get in them smart cars and little french toy cars.. Instant death for sure.. I own a 2011 Vw transporter t5.1 2.0tdi 140bhp kombi, I've lowered it 40mm with h+r racing springs, believe it or not it handles amazing for a van. Would love a model in game though haha
     
  14. Comante

    Comante Registered

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    Lol, well, my first car was like that:
    http://static.allaguida.it/625X0/www/allaguida/it/img/Autobianchi-A112-settima-serie.jpg
    It was already old when it became mine, I spent a whole summer restoring and pimping it (only on the body). That car weight only 670 Kg without driver,and it was a lot of fun (on dry asphalt). But apart the danger of other drivers on the road, I miss that lively little car, lot of fun. It was like sitting in a Go-Kart for me, with the wheel between the knees.
     
  15. davehenrie

    davehenrie Registered

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    In some ways, simulators probably can help, but in my case, they also cause confusion. Most of my long long life, I've driven manual transmission cars or trucks. But for the last 3 years or so, I've given my clutch side knee a rest and have been driving a car with an Auto-transmission. HOWEVER, on those days where I spend a good deal of time simming with a car that uses the H-pattern shifter on my G25, I then find my self trying to engage the clutch as I approach a stop sign or intersection. Stab stab....nothing there!
     
  16. woochoo

    woochoo Registered

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    I drove an auto for the first time a couple of months ago... it was an awful feeling.
    And as I was accelerating there were times i'd almost or actually hit the indicators or highbeams when it seemed like time to go up or down a gear. And the dead-pedal copped a work out each time i had to stop the car :confused:
     
  17. Comante

    Comante Registered

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    I'm italian, auto transmission is the devil! :D
     
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  18. Mauro

    Mauro Registered

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    Absolutely yes. studies done about it. Simulators help train reflexes, quickness and control in emergency cases
     
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  19. Araripe

    Araripe Registered

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    Sure it does. That's why professional drivers use simulators to practice :)
     
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  20. green serpent

    green serpent Registered

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    For sure racing sims help with real life. As far as car control goes, you can try certain skills (ie powersliding/drifting) for hundreds of hours, whereas in real life you could never get that much practice. Sim racing definitely helps with steady and smooth wheel control (but lightening quick when required) and same with throttle control. Similar to other stories here, in my first ever competitive racing event (a hill climb), I was right on the pace with basically zero practice.

    These days I find that I can get my real life car super balanced through corners, which I attribute to lots of sim racing. From the apex toward corner exit as I'm unwinding the steering wheel, I can get both rear tires spinning, then I straighten up without going into opposite lock, with the rear tires still spinning and doing a straight line burn out. Not sure what that move is called, but it's my favorite thing to do, very smooth and fast! Also, doing a small four wheel drift before the apex is something that I fully mastered in the sim before even attempting it in real life. The sim allowed me to overcome the fear.

    I think the ultimate is to combine the two. Sim racing has helped me with real life, but real life has also helped me with sim racing, as it allows me to 'fill in the blanks' and understand what the sim car is doing.
     
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