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How Does Sim Racing Compare To The Real Thing?

With laser-scanning, ever-evolving tyre models and pro driver consultants, sims strive to become more realistic with every new version. But how well does the virtual driving compare to the real world?

Pro racer Scott Mansell tries to answer this burning question based on his own experience.

Mansell has driven many of the cars he’s racing in sims such as iRacing, Project CARS & rFactor in real life, allowing him to draw a direct comparison. His real racing credentials include seasons in the Porsche Carrera Cup, Superleague Formula, Indy Pro Series & Radical Masters.

So how does sim racing help drivers prepare for real races? Do setup changes have the same effect in the sim as they have in real life? All that and more is answered by Scott below.

  • melanieuk1

    Now here is someone who knows what he is talking about.
    Also agree Laser scanned tracks are the ONLY way to go, and in my opinion anything less is just pure guess work and pointless, all sims that class themselves as “Modern” and want to be taken seriously should have laser scanned circuits, iRacing knew this from day one.

    • MC

      Thoughts on the accuracy of SMS and their drone scan? From what I’ve seen (review wise) it doesn’t seem to be as good.

  • Leynad

    Nice but seems he doesn’t know SimVibe. With my setup (chassis & seat) i feel in almost all sims very well when the brakes lock up and can’t drive anymore without it. And the seat-of-pants-effects are at least very immersive like in Raceroom and at best so informative as in pCars 2, which is IMO second to none so far.

    iRacing is certainly not the best sim for developing real setups, to say it politely and my guess is, all others make more sense. I know that small VLN-teams used pCars 1 already to make setups and you can even take the values for the real cars. rF2 is certainly better in this regards as well, just too much manufacturer-based content is missing. Certainly nothing beats real practice laps with telemetry, but some sims should be good enough for a base-setup.