Off season training in iRacing

Hi KP members with iRacing, I don’t know if there would be any interest in this, but I dusted off my rig last weekend and found an awesome car/track combination that I think could be very good for driver development.

The car is the free-with-iRacing Ray Formula Ford, and the Track is Sonoma’ (will always be SearsPoint to me); run in the ‘Cup’ configuration, which is the original layout. The possible downside is this track must be purchased ($14.95), and I’m not sure how often it is used in their racing series. Anyway, this is what makes this a great combination:

The car is a paradox; it is a tiny, light, nimble formula car with little HP and no areo, so it is very responsive. It is also VERY sensitive to driving inputs, tire loading, and yaw momentum.and responsive. However, it runs on essentially street radial tires, so optimal slip angles for the car feel very large, which makes getting the tires to optimal slip angels feel like it takes a long time, which makes managing the trajectory of the car very challenging, especially in fast corners.

The track is just friggin awesome (although I’m biased… I saw the first pro race there 1968 TransAm, and basically grew up between SP and Laguna Seca). For example it has almost 15 stories of elevation change and 7 elevation direction changes, 4 corners with exits that are completely blind at the turn-in point, a high speed ess (top revs in 3rd) that is dicey as hell in this car, three types of 180 turns; tight, medium and wide, with the wide one having a few stories of elevation change from entry to exit.

If you’re interested in checking out the track, this video shows it from inside and outside of a Skip Barber car. BTW, I drove the SB car just to check it out, and it felt like driving a brick compared to the Ray.

If there is any interest in this, let me know, and I will do a turn-by-turn analysis of the track, including the challenges with the ray, and ways to work on driving technique, sensitivity, etc. I’m not a great sim driver, but I did set the track record at SP back in the day in an IRL FF.


Dammit Warren.

Down the rabbit hole we go. I was thinking on the drive home about the rig and how to use it again.

This sounds a bit like VRS in a way… an alien figures it out and shares with his students the way

My son spends hours upon hours in iRacing. He is mostly driving endurance racing in LMP2 or LMDH platforms for Driven Performance team. 20-30 hours per week easily.

They drive much different from a kart, but he feels that the off-season focus helps keep him fresh come spring.

He hasn’t found anything, even on a couple kart specific sims, that he thinks is close to the 206 kart driving. I wonder how that might change when he starts driving Ka100 this year?

He might. I find that two strokes feel great in sim.

Hi Dom, which Kart simulator are you using looking at setting a basic sim up for my son (7) to do some laps on.

I was a huge advocate of kartkraft but that’s not an option because the studio got bought out and the game is abandoned.

I have heard from others that Kart racing pro, although a bit older, is very good.

We just finished putting together as SIM rig and I am curious what cars should be used to closely simulate a kart. I’m sure the answer is Zero, but looking for anything close.

Formula imo, the downforce cars seem to drive more kart ish to me.

I think if it’s for karting purposes maybe @speedcraft has a thought.

I suspect the big learnings are racecraft related which iracing does a good job of providing.

@revolutionracing you are right, nothing in iRacing is going to simulate a kart, but like @Bimodal_Rocket said, any of the small formula cars feel light and responsive (e.g. Pro Mazda, Formual Renault 2.0, Dallara F3, USF2000, FIA F4, Indy Pro 2000),

The Pro Mazda and F Renault are older cars. I would probably go with USF 2000 or FIA F4 to start, and then move up to Indy Pro 2000 or Dallara F3 if you want to go a bit quicker. And if you want to go very fast, get the Super Formula SF23 car.

That said, drive the Ray FF 1600, it’s free, and runs on radial tires, so you can really feel what’s going on at the tire/track interface, and how your driving inputs influence the car’s potential/performance.

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I’d echo the Ray as Warren has tasked me with driving it…

I managed a lap last night and omg that’s a funny car. It releases all 4 wheels midcorner very easily and controllably. It would be very useful from a feel perspective.

I also like the usf2000. The new formula 3 is sweet but very similar.

I’d echo the above. Avoid anything touring car in nature if you want it to translate directly to karts. The open wheel cars with moderate downforce are fun to me, specifically the F3 car as Warren called out.

Just now seeing this topic, so I’ll have to see if I can boot up my rig and try the car/track combo mentioned. I was having crashing issues a few months back after one of the big iRacing updates and haven’t touched it since. Hopefully updated software and drivers can fix things :crossed_fingers:


Do the people who do iracing feel it improves there actual track racing lap times?
I realize most sim steering wheels these days have force feedback but a major missing component is the lateral gforces on your body and sensation of speed. Having never really tried it I’m curious?

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I think one of the biggest factors you have to consider when trying to answer this question, is the development/performance level of the driver. If you cannot yet consistently take a kart/car to its limit (not yours) in real life, then I think iRacing is a useful tool for expanding the breadth and depth of both your understanding of and ability to execute driving techniques, and that will likely make you faster and more confident IRL.

If you can already take a kart/car its limit, then even though some critical sensations are not present, I think iRacing is good for learning new tracks, playing with different lines, rotation techniques, trajectory driving, etc., so I think it’s still useful, although perhaps not with as direct an impact on IRL lap times.

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Kartsim in rfactor 2 is pretty good. The tire physics is a little wonky (probably an rfactor thing) at really high slip angles but it’s good for training nonetheless. I’m also a proponent of the euro F3 car, handles well.

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I think it can be a great tool to make a more complete driver. You have to look beyond raw lap times. Being quick over a single lap has limited usefulness if you’re doing races.

You can train for consistency and or shortest time to complete a certain number of laps. Strengthen your concentration and focus. Practice racecraft and strategy. Practice “looking ahead” and slowing down your perception of speed. Managing your emotions during a race. You can even practice a bunch of the great stuff on @speedcraft ‘s website.

Yes. This is something one forgets but is reminded of in the chaos of iracing.

Finishing the race is required to place. Iracing requires you to put ego aside and learn to stay away from trouble.

I feel like it can help with focus and race craft, especially with the open wheel cars. My son was explaining how he was setting up passes in advanced.

And for anyone who like us who have a 6-7 month off season, I would think ANY driving simulation would be helpful.