ny mechanical contraprionrhat burnsfueland other consumables the interestofpropelling a human in occupant at ridiculous speedsis almost always expensive and

dafigerous. the speedof the gizmo goes As up, so do the expenses-andthe danger At somepoiflt, it becomes cost-prohibitive wen learn how to operare to rhe damn rhine.T\ar, where simula(ors comein. Take flying planes, for e;rample. Sending torally untestedrookie pilots up in the air in the hopesthat they'll figure it all out before crashing and dying is a poor training policy. Early f ight instructors recognizedthe needfor a devicethat could teach the basics of flight control fiom the saferyof z€ro miles per hour on the ground. The earliestsimuIators of the 20th century were simple rnechanical devlces-some were as primitive as a barrel with a seat in it that instructors uould rock to and fro usinga slsremof ropesand pulJeys. They weren't realisric, bur rhey imparredrhe basic principles of the controls and how they related to ya4 pitch and roll.

By 1930,a youngpilot namedEd Link had comeup with the 6rst simulator designto really catch on. An electricpump pressurizedan orgal bellows in the guts of the simulator, and the pressurewas used to pitch and roll the contraption in reactionto the controls.Beaer still, Link's creationhad instrumentsthat emulatedthe onesfound in an actualaircraft. Beforelong, the military wassold on the tactiel advantage ofpilots who muld fly ard land safelyin zero-visibility conditions.Link trainers became ubiquitousinAir Corpstraining, and Link'scompanycranked out 10,000 'World \Varof them during II. Counrless liveswere undoubtedly saved thanks to this quality simulauon trammg. DoYou Read HAL? Me, Leap forward a few decades,and computers started to shakeup the world of simulation.The military had the bestequipmentand programs, of course,but in 1980 dre 6rst flight simuladonsoftware home compurfor e$ was released. The wire-frame graphicsand slideshow frame rate of Sublogic's "Flight Simulator" are laughable by todays standards. However, forthousands ofpeoplewho

racing Quality like simulators iRacing their do bestto blurthe linebetween the virtual world of and the reality racing. However, cantime spent training cyberin space really make you a better racer We in meatspace? spentsometirne wrrna racng pro in a VW JettaTDI Cup carat VIRboth in reality and on a computer-Io find out.

Home

corrtputer

prograt-ns

featuring

cars actually

predate flight sirnulators by a nuntber of years, but
the earliesf ones fell under the category of garnes-

they were targeted at kids, after all.
Grossroots Motorsporls 89

dLeamed flying bur couldn't alIord a real airplane,the of serupallowedrhem to suspeud disbeliefand becomepilors in their own homes. Thatt grearfor wannabepilors, but what abourhopeful r . t " r. : r d r i v e r ' l o r n e . o n p u r e p r o g r r m 'f e a r u r i r c a r s H r g a .r u r l y p r e d r r f l i g h r i m u l l , u f .b t r i u n b e , o l ) e . r r ' . . r r \ e b r\ee.rrli.'rone' fellundcfrhecrregoryofgrmc. rl-e1 were r . l r g e r e d L i J , .a i r e ' ; l l .A , I r t . u l r .r h eb : , i . , o I d r i ' i n g ar werethere,but the physics werea crudeand often carroony approximationof the real thing. And while a jerlry frame race 'paneg-aphiu\ dr ponrJythee\.encc -nd oilor. .peed . i r i l i : r a v i . L . o n . e y. i n p l y c , r n i, o n u e y l - em i l l i m e t e r th r precisionand on-the-groundspeed ofan actualracecar. Fonunately, garnemarkethasa knack lor driving the the rapid development ofgraphicsand soundhardware. Before roolong.lrome wereup ro rhcra'l o'p'e,enring Lompuren : belevrbl<r:crngenvirorrmcrrr. complere wirh lluiJ high. 'pe<dvi.u" ,. pirch pcrlecr e'lgine nore.and 'quealing rire . o u d ' . B e r e n ri l l I o r s i n u l a r o rr , r h ea l U , \ : d b e . o m e r u list enoughro model basicphysics realtime, lcnding the in piety pictureson rhe screen belicvable a levelofrealism. Today,driving simulationsoftware widely available. is A numbeorhrrdcorr\imu aror,rar \pecit.:'ly ar gercd "dulr, have becnleleled ,irce rhc lo')0..enularirg renu* fronr historic Grand Prix to NASCAR. The most widely known currentofferingis iRacing,a subscription,based service thar boasts precision-scanned tracl<s, carefullymodeledcarsand some pretty hcfty pannerships.Bodr NASCAR and the S C C Al r o R a . . i r W J e r r T D l C u p u ' c i R a c i r rl g r h e i r g a omcLi srmul.lrLon I Parrnef.

Thecockpit the \ ,ry Cup carln iRacing a photorealistrepresentaof TDI is c tion of the realthing,and the surface V rg nia nternattonal of Raceway's FullCourse was laser-scannednearmillimeter to orecision helomakethe to s i T . l a t c o r a c k sc l o s e o r r t e So o s s i b r e . a t . a

Ground-Level FlightInstruction
_. Pefer Krouse.hos Seen o driving inslrudor for the posl 25 yeors. He got his stort wifh the Ferrori Club of Ameico, lhen ioined hock Time---<neof lhe fisl high-performoncedrMng orgonizotionsin lhe coun!ry-bock in 1987, ln 2007 he founded his own compony, Krouse& Associolet which is heodquorfe,red Viryinio Inlernotionol Rocewoy. ol Peterwos kind enough fo let us use his iRocingsetup ond focililies for the viduol componenl of our test. He's one ofthe biggest supportersof simulolinglidining we've ever met. Gtdssrools il,lotorsports: How did you gef your stori with rocing simulolors? .Peler Krquse: I bought my first computer in 1997. The first thing I bought wos "CARTRocing,"o Microsoftoffering. Thol's whot storted gelting me hooked. I got "Grond Prix Legends,"ond I storled using the originol "Gron Ttrrismo"when it come oul to teoch trocks like Loguno Seco. I didn't hove ony interestin doing online rocing or colloborotivestuff. I iust wonted to give studentsond clientsthe obility to procticeon their own. GRIMrWhy hove you setlled on iRocingos your sim of choice? PK: There ore other ones ouf there, ond I do use olher ones, bul iRocingis my sim of choice becouse of its relevonce.!t feoluresl frocks thot my clients go to, or wonf lo go lo. The fidelity ot which the trocks ond cors ore rendered is good enough to moke o quonlitotive onolysisof o driver's obility. lt's relevont becouselhe lrocks ore trocks oeoole know. Most sims don't hove thot-they hove Europeon or ficlionol trocks. GRM: In o nutshell,how do vou use simulotion lo help with your instruction? PK: My methodology is similor to being on in-cor inslrucfor.I sii next to them ond crifioue everythingfrom their cor plocemenfto theii control inpul. GRM: Does simulotion lroining hove ony odvonlogesover octuol time on lrock2 PK: Yes.becouseif's possiblefor people to be more open lo leorning while lhey ore not overwhelmed by the sensoryinput of driving the cor. They hove more time to think. I think thol o sim con never reploce driving on q frock, but il con ougmenl ond be o greol booster.The risk/bene{itrotio is differenf in o sim, so they con probe without penolly.

(on Peter Krause the right) a simulator has setup ght in hismainoffice, r ocatedon siteat Virginia lnternat onal Raceway. usest asa trainng tool He for h s coaching services. Peter offeredsomes mulatoT ntersto pro drver po and Bimmerworld owner iamesC ay,but despite James's expertlse the on rea-word track, wasunabe to getthe hangof the viftuaVlR. he

Grossroots Motorsporfs 90

Data Points
Simulators arean integral part offlight training, but they're not as universally loved in the world of moronporrs.ln facr.weVemer many profesional drivers who discounr rhemenrirely because the one key element they carrt emuof latq inenia. No matter how immersivethe graphics or all-encompassingthe sound, a computer racing simulator cant provide the sameseat-ofthe-pants feel encountered in a real car. And professionaldrivers rely on that feel asmuch as their eyesightto hustle a car at maximum speed. However,a erowine number of pro dlvcrs emDrace Lurrent lhe genet aoonol stmulalo|\ ns powerfulroolsfor improvingrheir. raft.They're nor obliviousLo the downsides. bur rhey\e found a way to take the positivesand turn them into lower lap times and improved race craft in highJevelwheel-to-wheel series. worls for Ifit them, can it work for you? To find our. we decided grrherdarafrom ro a few points. Our production editor, Scott R. Lear, is a casual iRacing enthusiast and occasional club racer who has no delusions about becoming nerr Randylobst orJames the Clay. Clay,on the otherhand, is already proa James Gssionalracecar driver, but het nevereventrred iRacing. Jamesis the owner of BimmerVorld, whose BM\?s have long been stapleson the \Vorld Challenge circuit. Ior 20 I 0, James and his teamhavemadethe jump to rhe Grand-Am ContinentalTire Challenge series. \7e wanredco give earh oi our lab mi,e sometime in the samecar at the sametrack in both the realworld and iRacingt virtual world. The test track would be one 6four favorr."", Mrginia International Raceway. The 3.2-mile Full Course offers a great mix of corners, a couple ofvery high-speed sections, and a few rrickyrurnsrharreally separare prosfrom rhe

yoE i5" Rx1, rourciti,ratl ffi

giirir-medr.._ and tn Rotary

www.mudatrix.com
562-426'7960

Scott has done a few eventsat \4R ovcr rhe pasrfew years. hei nor a loral novile. 'o James,on the other hand, considersthis his home tracL, and he knows how to extracr evcry last ounceofspeed from it. MR is one ofthe signature tracks in iRacing, and a TiackDaze eventon a cool day in November wasthe perfect opportunity for our real-world excursion. Our friends at TiackDazealsohelpedus select a car, as theyve got srrong ties to Volkswagen. In facr,VW war having TDI Cup gaLhering a on the infield circuir that sameweekend, with several identicalJettaTDI racecarsgiving hot lapsro sponsor. serier and They generparrners. ouslyofferedup one ofthe carssowe could ger somereal-world timesfor both James Scon. and An iRacing rig was also on the premlses, as Peter Krause of Krause & Associateshas a simulator setup in his o€ficeat MRt RacePlex rrackidefacilirie:. wa: rime to seehow sim Tt driving really stacksup against the real thing. DigitalRecon In the week before our trip to the reaMR, Scottspenta chunk of time eacheveningafter work-typically 40 minutes-pracricing in the TDI Cup car ar VIR in iRacine. Loeirech A wheeldamped ro a de.k isni quiie aseles"anc a, a full cockpir serup. it gets'rhe doie uell bur lob enough.Scott paid closeattention to braking and:hift poinrs. ald even compared racing his line to sornein-carvideo clipsfrom the actual TDI Cup series. By the third day ofpractice, he was able ro Grossrools Motorsporls t2

we wonted lo pick the broin of o professionol
driver who is olso o big sim enthusiosl. Eric Foss wos the eosy choice. He wos the 2008 SCCA Ployboy MX-S Cup chompion, ond he finished sevenlh in lhe 2OOg World Chollenge seoson with two pole positions under his befi. Eric kicked off 2O1O with o de in o Posche 997 at Daytono in lhe Conlinenlol Chollenge series. In the virtuol world, Eric has s 2:12.303 fosf lqp ot V,R in fhe TDI Cup cor. He's olso o huge fon of iRocing's online compelifions, viduol rcces where reol-life drivers foce off ogoinsl eoch other in o very reolistic dpproximolion of on ocfuol roce. Since he ioined the iRocing service in Augusl of 2008, Eric hos logged 387 roce storls, 199 wins,303 top-five finishes ond o iolol of 6871 lops, not counting prcctice time. He's logged virtuol lop times in mony of ihe iRdcing cors ovoiloble, from the Riley MI<XXDoytono Prototype snd Dolloro lndyCor to the Spec Rocer Ford. Grdssroot! ,llloto'sports: Whof wos your first exposure fo simuloled rocing? Eric Foss: Oh, jeez. The first time I got info sim sluff in generol wos the first Indycor gome in fhe 1990s. I grew up on video gomes of lhe orcode. I used to ploy "Roce Drivin"'-l octuolly own one of fhose [orcode mochines] now GR/VI: Do you feel thot gqming experience helped you gel info reol rocing? EF:The simulolorsore whol gove me lhe tools. A lol of fhings come more nolurol for me, like deoling with overdll siluolionol oworeness. GR/VI: How do you fhink the iRocing simulotion slocks up to the reol world? EF: I think lhe strengthsof iRocingore thot the overoll feel is similor enough to o cor lhot if con creole good, close rocing.You gef the ups ond downs of whol if's like to be involved in o roce. l've worn my heorl rote monilor ond seen 150 beots per minule in lhe sim-nol quite os high os reol rocing, but close. The occurocy of lhe frocks, too-l hodn'l been 1o Doytono before, ond I wos tolking to o good friend of mine, Andy Lolly.I told him obout o bump thot wos o good turn-in morker, ond he soid, "l thought you hoven'l driven here before?" leom lhot l'm running wifh, Oh, lwonted to odd, the [Grond-Am Porsche] lheir driver,Brion Sellers,gol sick on the morning of flostyeor's VIR] roce, ond fhey hod me substitute.I hod never driven lhe cor ond hod only done two lops for reol ot VlR, buf the week before I hod been procficing in iRocing-hundreds of lops becouselwqs instrucfing. Hoving never roced or driven lhere, we monoged to finish third. I totolly ottribute my obiliiy to pick up lhe trock so quick ond fo be compefitive to the simulotor. GRlll: Some pro driverscomploin lhol compuler simulotionsoren'l useful becousethey don'l conveylhe seot-of-lhe-ponts feel of reol driving. How hove you been oble lo overcomelhot limitotion? EF: I think the foct fhol l've been o sim rocer for so long, l've been oble to go more visuol. l'm o prelty visuol driver-the biggesl inputs ore vision ond feel. I think [fhe lock of feel] limifs my obility in iRocingsomefimes.l've slruggled lo gef up lo poce with other drivers becouseI con't feel whot the cor is doing. GR/ll: As rocing simulofionscontinue fo improve, do you think more professionol driverswill embroce lhem? E F :l t h i n k m o r e people ore doing it, ond l've definitely convincedmore lo iry it. I wos the cooch for [v1X-5 Cup] Teom MER; we got six of the driverslogefher on iRocingond did mulliple sessions where we iusf lested ond tested. After our proclice, [MERdriver] Jeff Mosing wos fifth quickestol lhe reol trock despitenever hoving been lhere.

(on pro who also Eric Foss the right)is a real-world driver record. Wh le he'saware hasa prettyirnpressive iRacing that wth of the shortcorn Eric confident timespent ngs, is ife racing simulators helped m win real- races. has h
GrossrootsMotorsports 93

crenk out prtttv consistelt laps in e high 2 : 1 r s , u d l o r ' 2 : I 8 s o n h i s s i n r .T h c g a sr v a sl 1 a t t o r h e H o o r l e r d i n g L r pt o a n d t h l o u g h o L r td r e u p h i l l e s s c sa n d * , h e n S c o t r h . r d , r n o f i , i r w a s . qpicalLv in rhe IIog Pcn coLnel rhat preceoes rhe liont str:righr.-l'hese fli were rnost ersilv o , " t , , tb ' l r n d i n t e n s ec o n c t n u a r i o n i n t h e b L a k i n gz o n e , | | . l: 'd of f,.l 'g ' lri'. nay have rv|er heading into e tlickl rurn on ThcLc are mucl, fisrcr lap rimcs to bc nact on iRacing wl rhis combinarion ol crrrrrnrl t L a c k a h a n d f l l o f s i n r a c c L sh r v c b r o k e n into dre 2:l1s bur oul ou,n experience hols s dr,rt it takcs hundreds ofl:Lps in lRrcnrg bcf-oLc t h e u l L r a - l o wl r L p i n c s s t a n c o m i n e . l i o r c o m t f. , ' , ' , , ' . 1 . . . . " r d . . r , g . 1 ' r . , 1i r - 1 i r r r c a l r v o l i d ' l l ) l C L r pe v c n t a r V I l l i n A p l r t o r 2 0 0 9 i v . r sa 2 : 1 i . 5 1 ' 1 . Whtn \{'e :rrrivcd at thc.rctLrrL Virgurra lnternatioral Raccnal', r'e srnck our RLC r o , | ,i,,1 L,lr l..., R..r.c L\ | " . , 1 ' rr t i o n s e t L r pn r o a T D I C r p c r r r o g e r a b r s e l i r r e . i T h e L l r i r c L f i r t h o s e h p s r v a sJ : r n I l c v l c n , , r , , p , , 1 . r \ l n . r r e r " r i r f , rr " r L p r o f c s s i o n r Ln s t r r r c t o rl b r t h c c l t i r c T D I C L r p i s c l i c s .H e s r p r e r n s o l i d s h o e ,r m : A t t h e 2 0 0 9 j, l ' ] R I Sh o r vA l l S r r rs K a r t i n g C I r r s s i cr n * r L sh c t o v c L a l lw i n n e r r h c a d o f F o L c c t n d i ; r F l r a c c L lbnh Liuzzi. Hc mmcd a 2:l;.I07 in thc TDI CLrpc.rL. Vhile ir rv,rsobvic,us th.rr Jan r,.'.rs not .rt r lullrtrcli r.Lct pacc. Scorr rvls plcascJ ro ser rhar h i s i R r c i n e h p w r L sn r h c n c i . s h b o r h o o d f r h i s i o r e u l w o r l c lt i m c .

g;52.291.o6oo

No WoRRTES
you when have a

FUEL SAT' O u nN n m e

S n v s r A l l : F u g rS n r e ! l -

Screen lest \ V c s a r l r m e sd o * n i n t h c K r a u s c &
Associltcs sim sctup end ser hjnr loose orr thc vinLrrl rL:rck.Ilaving ncvcr driv.n thc i R a c i n g s i n r u l a r o Lb c l o r e , J l m e s e n c o u n r e r . - d ; s r c c p l c a r n i n g c u r l c r s h e g o r u s c c lr o t h c $ustangcell FactoryPunp f e c Lo f t h e c o n r o l s . R , r t h e Lf i a n c o m i n g u p t o l e e d s l o i v l l . l a m c s t , r s r r l L r l la t t a c k i i e h r o u r c , i c b o x , d r i v i u g t h c p r o f c s s i o n a lc u r t r h o p p i n e l i n c t h , r t h e u s . ' sr o w i n r a c e si n r h e rcal 'r'oLlct. As .r ,csult, Iamcs hrd r lor of ofis ,rncl c r , r s h c sI.n i R a c i n g , r h e r r . r s s i r v c r y s l i p g , c , r ; , , u . ,t . . n , . . i . - , , , t . . , , , , . , , ( , , , . . s o a h i n gi v c t . T h e i R r c i n . l ts i n r a l s o: r p p l i c sp c n a l t v p o i n t s r v h e n o t r . r c a L l s c n t c r ' l i n cl c a v c s c the trrck, ud Jamcrs rggressive ine throrrqh I t h c s l o r r L c f i H o o k s c r : r i o no f t c n r c s u l t c di , r r r r o f f - c o u r s ec r l l . \ t - i t h i n a i e r v a t t e n p r s , J r m e s r. . 'Ll. ' ' r l . r " 1 ' " r r L < . 1 ' L i1 "-.' cssest-irh sorre rcguLLLjtv.Hono'cL. hc ofrcn i l e w o f f t h c S o u r h B e n d n L r n p r e c e d i n gt h c d \ r t h a t l c : r d si n r o O r l t T r c f . A f i r f s c v t f r l c r r s h c s ,J +. | J..l. ,;|1.,,1 '..1 ,L'. alourlal le aours(. " l t . s h r r c l t o r l a n s l a r cr v h a r t h e y ' r er e l l i n g n r e is +rccd wirh \l'hr I rehrc ro spetrl rhings likc s o u n d r n d p c L i p h . r a L v i s i o n .e x p l . r i n e d n r i l d l v a .. r , , 1 ,. r e . . ,r .. r . r r . i,. lrr.'.r LowCostRace Srtu Cerl whtn iti so virlrrc." I Ic sas smiling b,rnv.cn c r r s h e s , u r h i s e e m e f e c er v , r s v i d e n rr v h e n h e b e was in rhc middle of.r l,rp. I It .lid .rcknowlt.dgr r ' . , 'r 1 i .... i' r' h i m t o p L r s hr s h r r c l . r s h c r v a s . I t s e r s i t r r o c ( r n r eL r f r o s p c c d w i d r i R a c i n q r h . r n a g l n r e . b c c r r u s ct i s r e . r i , h e n o r e r l . i Just liLe oLrr homc ri.q, rhc ptd.rl scr on Fuel Systems,1550 Safe NEKingwood R€dmond 97756 541"923.6005 541.923-6600 P e t c r ' s s i n u l a t o r r v a s r n i n e r p e n s i v c o n c Ave, T6l: Fax OR

FREE GroundShipping whenyou ShopOnline!

www.fuelsafe.com 800-433-6524

Grossrools Molorsporfs

94

rhat used pedal compressiondisrance,not pressure, determine to braking values. see To if hardware was parr of James'problem, s we switchedfrom the cheapplasticpedals to a much more expensiveall-metalload-ceil pedalsecup. was James immediarely more comfortable with the leelofthe sim. His compedtive instinctwasobviously strong-he refused to dial it back in the interestofposting a pokey but solid lap. Between offs,crashes overzealous and timi-negaiing cutb hops,h. *"i"ltim"tely unableto Dosra valid lao in the rime we had with the sim. Scott hopped in neir, and after a couple of familiarization lips with the siightly different setup he'sused ro the cheappedals,after ali-he curneda 2:18 in dre sim. Takethat, pro driverlPerhaps our , \ a r c e so f g o i n gp r o w i l r : n . r e a . ef rh e m r . I i n e ' r a k eo " e ra n d ' h e i Matrix gersswitched on. Jamesobviousiy hadn't found much to love about the iRacing sim during this first exposure. Beforewe headedro the feal track to drive a real cat we decided to try one more experiment.Ve loaded up a

ln a reversal of the srmulator pro result, driver james(r ght) was signficantly faster than Scottin the real-wor VW TDI d C u pc a ra t V l R .

Young Guns Diesel in Demons
For lhe posi few yeors, young drivers hoping to breok info the pro ronks hove hod o greof olly in the SCCA Pro Rocing Volkswogen Jetto TDI Cup. The serres piis ospiring driversbetween the oges of 16 ond 26 ogqinst one onofher in identicolly prepored turbo-diesel VlV roce cors ol some o{ lhe mosl fomous frocks in lhe counlry They're vying for $50,000 in prize money os well os Volkswogen foclory coreer odvoncement support worlh roughly twice thot omounf. A few yeors bock, "diesel roce cor" wos o contrqdiclion,but lhoi's no longer lhe cose.The TDI Cup cors ore only lightly modified compored to their rooogoing Jetto counterports-boh-on suspensiongoodies ond Pirellirocing tires ore fhe biggestchonges.The stock 2-liter direct-iniection turbo diesel engine bumps out neorly I 70 horsepowerond o whopping 258 lb.-ft. of torque os low os 1900 rpm. They run 85 Biodiesel, weigh oboul2850 pounds, ond use WV's DSG duolclu'tchgeorbox, meoning no clulch pedol ond neorly inslonl shifts. To eorn o seot in lhe series, hopeflrl drivers foke porf in one of lhe Korting Quolifiersthot WV hosts ocrosslhe country-it's $995 to porticipole.Rocers who do well in fheir korting round ore inviled to the Finol Driver SeleclionEvenf, complele with pro instructirs. Hopefuls ot this level get froining in oulocross, on-trock rocing, physicolfilnessond even morkefing ond medio luioring. Those who moke lhe cul ore offered one of the limifed seofs in lhe series. The enlry fee-including the use of o fully prepored TDI Cup cor-is $45,000. Thot fee will be woived for the top korting quoli{ier in 201 l. Simulotor use is o criticolelement of this series:Reol-worldtesfing ot the trocks in lhe series is stricfly prohibifed, but the drivers ore ollowed to drive virtuol TDI Cup cors on fhe iRocingserviceto their heorls'conlenf. Leorn more oboul fhe cors ond fhe seriesot ldi.wv.com. 2OlO SCCA Pro Ro.ing VW Jeth ?Dl Cup 3.hedule April 23-25': VirginioInt'l Rocewoy, Allon, Vo. Mby 7-9: New Jeisey Motorsports P;rk, Miil'ille, N.J. June 5-6: MillerMotorsports Pork, Tooele, Utoh July 30-Aug. l: AutobohnCountryClub,Joliet,lll. Aug.2O-22*t RoodAmerico, Elkhort Loke,Wis. Sepl. 22-25*: AutodromoMigel E. Abed, Pueblo, Mexico 'denirtes doubleheod"'r

GrossrootsMolorsports 95

www.powerstreamind ustries.com f s C o n t o u r u to r M a c h i n e dr o m . . . C

jabru legils titrulum

engineercdllas|ics

./iO.),

rear-wheel-drive Skip BaLberFormula 2000 car Janes is far moLe familiar with rhis drive conliguration and picked a track he kncw far lessincimarelythan VlR, Daytona's in6eldcourse. Jrmes was much noLe receptivcto this combination.Unlike the froncwheel-dLive Jetta, the lightwcight opcn cockpir F2000 cat oflets many more visual cues-the wheels are in plain sight, for exanplc and he was imnediatelymore comfortable wirh Ending the cais limits. Although Jamesknew the basics ofthe Daytona layout,he wasn'timmcd i a t e l L r 1 . nr " ' c ' u " r l , l r c . o r J 1 u ' i n g , g b cvcly trick in the book like he had beenar thevirrualVIR. C)urpessimistic admitted pro r h r rl r c . o ud , e er l - e r u e o l : ' r r n . r l a r r n or r siruarions like rhis. ShoMime wasrhe first to hit thc realtrack in the James biodiescfburningT Cup car OuLRLC tack Dl ( - o r r r r n d e rJ . , ' ' h o q . r h , r h i ' q t r ' . L e ' ri n . r rvasa 2:20.190 on lap Fve-fairly solid for a lirst-tirneouting in an unfaniliar and borrorl,ed ftoncwhcel-drivecaL. Scott'.s lapwas best hissecond, a2:24.841.The RLCI pretlictive tirning fearuLe showed that he wason pacefor a mid-2:22on his 6nal lap,but a bobble in the Rollcr Coasterturn killeo rnc artcnpt and then thecallto pit carne from thc VV pir cre*,. The pro hadtrounced in the real us worlclb1'nore than 4.5 seconds. I r e r ' r h o r g h! e \ a d r r m , . ' ee d . . r p. n , h e. . r n . " r r r r . c e , n e"dr a dn o - e r p p r c i, r r i ' r J . ofthe iRacing experience his srint in rhe after realcar."The basics were most importart," he reported,"roughlyrvhat gearto be in, and rhe brakingpoints.The mannerisms oflronr wheel drive carried over,and lrhe sim hefed rvirh] basiccomfort in thc car cvcn somethingas simpleasthe way rhe dashboard Looked." Did he feel the dynanics were spot on betrvccnthe two? "lt is a differcnr car than u \ : r T n u ' e d r o . L ' u rr h e i n d i d - i ' e a l l y prepare mc. Srnoothness norncntum nake and it fasr." lor a professionaldriver iikeJames So, who knows VIR bcttcr than you know your r d r i ' I , o r r r r u r er h ep r r . r i . e i n e n r i R a i. r g probabll' wasn'tcritical. Even rhough we got our burr kicked in thc realworld, we cane awayfron the tesr rather rnolc irnpLessed with rhe iRacingbeneErthan rveexpecred be.For exampLe, theClimbin to ing Esses, did lift a bn ar cntr1.,but the rvc iRacing experience gaveus rhe confidencero be flat on the throtrle all thc way up the hill by o r l e . o n d [ 1 ' . \ i r \ o u ri R . . i r ' g w ep r o h : bI . h * e r . q rr , d 6 ' , o r . i r l ; p . 1 . r r r g r i r ' 'o "oulJ rhat level of confidencein the car Thanks ro rhesim,we werealsousedto theJeccas rapid6rc DSG shiftingand rhe shorrratio ofthe 6rst rhree gears. Without rhevirtualpractice, wed havebcenon rhe rev lirnitera lor more the lou -rewi rg d e'el 'ound. '.r y d irfe"errr frorr a high-rcrwinggasolile engine. Vhy did we trounce the pro driveLin rhc simulatorbut get our hclmct handedto us on thc track?A glanceat dre RLC tclencuy rells a story that will be familiar to anybody who has seen dara from a pro driver velsus an amateur,In a nutshell, we hnow fear,and Jamcsknows none. For one, we used the brakestoo early and stayed on rhcm too long. In rhc NASCAR

Grossrooh Motorsports 96

a

I

e rdr

.i

ProdriveriamesC ay (redlineand belowleft)was s mp y fasterthan Product EditorScottR. Lear(bluelineand belowright) on nearly everywhere the track.Thevertlcal on element showsm lesper hour relative t me n the lap The bravery to Scottenloyed n the no-risk virtua wodd took a backseatto self-preservation the hardasphalt VlR.Note how lames's on of speed chartshows strongcornmtment to the gasand brakes, le Scotthestatesand feathers thrott e n a few of the tr ckjercorners. wh the James a l s ob r a k e s t e ro n t h e b a c ks t r a i g h tr,e s u ln g i n a m u c hh i g h e t o p s p e e d . a t r

Spending Daze the Track at
TrockDoze High-Performonce Driving slorled os o woy for Volkswogen fons in fhe mid-Atlontic region to get their cors out on frock for some noncompeliiive filn. Orgonizers Eric Compbell, Jeremy Jens ond Jon Felton hove since exponded the formoi to encomposs oll mokes ond models; their primory offerings ore instruclion ond open lrock time for vorious skill levels. Rocing is not pori of lhe formulo. Their current hosl lrocks ore Virginio lnternoiionol Rocewoy,New Jersey Moforsporls Pork ond Summit Point in West Virginio. Of their seven 20I 0 dofes, obout holf ore on weekends-the rest ore weekdoy excursions. full two-doy pockoge A with inslructionis generolly priced under $400. Visit trockdoze.com complete informolion ond specificrotes. for 20lO lr.t.kDcre S.hedule Morch l -2: VirginioInt'l Rocewoy, Alton, Vo. Mqy | 5-l6: SummilPointRocewoy, WVo. June l2-l3r New Jersey Motorso6rts Pork.Millville.N.l. July l2-13: SummitPointRocewoy, WVo. Aug.26-271Virgi^io Int'l Rocewoy, Alton,Vo. Ocf. 2-3: SummitPoinlRocewov. WVo. Nov. l5-16: VirginioInt'l Rocewoy, Alton,Vo. GrossroolsMotorsports 9t

Bend, for example,we were nearly 10 mph slower than James.Despite having a higher exit speedout ofOakTree, we shut down rhe parry on thc back straighrway too soon, hitto ting 115 mph compared Jamest121 mph rop speed.Finalll our graph showsa number atd other ofbrake+hrotle brakeadjustments momenrs, whileJamestgraphshows indecisive : i m u c h r n o r t c o m m i r n e n r r r d . o n F d e n . en zones. braking and acceleration

exceed 1gpull ofEarth. Motion simulation the rigs dont usually 6r behnrd the couch when you'redone using them, either. Until scientists lab coars6gureout a way in l r o F o oo u r i n r e re : r ' a r d r e - v ee r d ' n B 'i n r o r.r.irg.irr' feelngrhing'rhar rrcnr reelllrhere. will alwaysbe a distant secondto the intense realiry of driving a race car. And no simulation will everbe ableto marchthe levelofrisk rh"r come,wirh hurrlingrlong ar t\e edgeof control at potenriallylethal speeds. The whole i' T\e heroi. ls poirr ofa simularior rharir' sale. Ihis ConclusionSimulated Racilg simulatorsare bound to improve as bmvery a driver can mustef in a sim dissolves computer technology evolves.Photorealistic quickly when the resetbutton is taken out of visuals are already here, and advancements the equation. Irt very likely rhar a generarionraisedon in graphicstechnologywill inevitably impart will a more lifelike and 0uid fecl to the already videogames bemorcwillingto adoptracrng that as stunningiook ofsims.Biggerscreens wrap simularors a learningtoollor their nce craft. be drivers will always rhose around the drivershouid becomemorewidely That said,the fastest of who can 6nd the very limir ofa cart potenral available, adding to the sense immersion. ' a . There are alsowaysto add inertial leel to a u s i n g l lo f r h e i r e r . e .i n . o n , e r r I r r c l i l y..i n r highs ofexcuesirnulator,but like high-endflight simulators, racingcan providecomparable to low menrand accomplishment the relatively for theserigs relyon grcatbig hydraulicsysrems rilt rhe driver and usuallythc entire cockpit orr(c ol a comD[tcr. 50mc \olt*lle assenbly, too. As a result,they cant lnd: b,ror.pare rine. and screen 6fit"

Bimmerworfd: professionoldriver, bimmerworld.com, lA77) 639-9 648 Eric Foss Rocing: professionoldriver, ericfossrocing.com irocing.com iRoaing:simulolorsoflwore, pelerkrouse.net, selup,Ieedbock, 74O-1871 Krouse & Asso.iqtes: simulotor 1919) RLCEnterprises, In..r dolo ocquisition, rlcrocing.com,lSoO)752-8324 Tro(kDozer trocktime, lrockdoze.com (434)a22-A83 Virginio fnternqlionol Ro.ewqy: trock,virnow.com, Volkswogen: letto TDI Cup roce cqr, ldi.vw.com

sources

Are lt All the Fl Drivers Doing
There's simply no olher rocing series lhol con molch Formulo 1 for performonce ond cost. To keep budgets down ond prevenl lhe betler-funded leoms from gett;ng more frock fime lhon lhe smoller orgonizolions simply becouse fhey con offord to, fhe FIA hos ploced stoul resirictions on the omounl of octuol in-cor lesiing time. There's no limit on simuloled seot fime, however Red Bull Rocing recenlly posled o video of their own simulotor sefup, with Mork Webber cronking out o lop ot o reconfiguredBohroin circuitthot none of the drivers hod ocfuolly roced in reol life. lt's on omozing peek into the world of high-end simulotor iechnology ond how ihe pros use it to gqin o compeiilive odvonfoge. Visil tinyurl.com/yb3o37c fo check if ouf.

,.0 rr? .a

@

reD- gI

GrossroofsMolorspods 98