Speed Secrets Podcast #2 - Davin talks about Karting and Sim Racing

Ross invited me back for another episode of the Speed Secrets podcast to talk about karting and how sim racing was keeping me sane during COVID quarantine.

We also had a chance to talk about the Motorsport Book Club Facebook Group that I’m working on, which is probably the only reason I enjoy going on Facebook lately…


Just listened to this today. Such an enjoyable podcast. I find it interesting how a lot of people like to race F1 as they feel it can help with normal racing. I imagine it’s due to the rush or being in a race more than technique?

I have been racing on iRacing in the skip barber series which I feel has helped my 4 stroke racing due to the cars also being momentum cars which made you focus on similar things as kart racing 4 strokes.

Hearing about racing on Assetto Corsa was cool, I would love to make the transition over from iRacing but haven’t found a way to get into the serious competing side in AS. I also feel the cars need more setup off the bat compared to iRacing, but that could be just me not being used to it.

What racing sims do you guys recommend besides KartKraft in order to improve 4 stroke karting? I was thinking Assetto Corsa Competizione, heard its a super realistic sim

For iRacing the skip barber or Miata series I think are helpful. They are momentum cars so the racing is close, can’t do a ton of setup too them and it’s all about race craft and car control.

I just don’t want to pay too much money since I can’t play every day, I really like the idea of those ones though, are there any other sims available that I could get or are those the best ones?

IRacing does cost but if you do stick to once class it’s reasonable as you’re only really paying for tracks. Aside from that Assetto Corsa or rFactor are ones people like. Unfortunately not much IMO that match r stroke, even kartkraft the Karting sim doesn’t have 4 stroke right now.

it’s been awhile since I tried ACC or rFactor but back when I did try both of them they were quite a ways behind iRacing still in regard to physics models and ability to learn race craft in a respectful and monitored environment…meaning there are consequences if you don’t race respectfully.

I’m sure those 2 have bridged the gap but I’m soo content with iRacing I see no reason to branch out.

I’m not sure any of the sims are a great training tool for karting in a direct fashion. What they do help to develop is hand-eye coordination, decision making in a racing situation and an overall driving focus in one way or another. The reason I haven’t tried kart kraft yet is that I’m just not sure it’s any better of a training tool than iRacing.

If I were to use iracing, in the skip barber and mazda racing, do I need a shifter or can I get away with using the paddle shifters?

paddles will work fine

Um, hello? I am demonstrably faster IRL from all of my kk. Inevitability of massive amounts of seat time. I can tell where reality and game part ways, but it’s not enough of a difference to invalidate its usefulness as a training tool.

Also, I’d argue of all the sims, KK in its present form is an actual simmer’s sim. It is entirely focused on the driving dynamics. There’s no fluff.

you’re faster because of kart specific chassis tuning that you’ve taken from the sim and applied in real life?

You’re faster because of tire pressure characteristics you’ve learned that directly apply to the tires / setup of the kart you’re driving in real life?

You’re faster in real life because you are practicing the tracks you regularly race on giving you muscle memory for your home track?

Or you’re faster because you’re practicing driving consistency, hitting your marks and pushing the limits of the equipment at hand? If this is the answer I’d argue any of the sim’s will give you this which was the point I was trying to make.

I will give you the fact that I’m sure things happen quicker in kart kraft which is more relatable to what we’re doing. Driving a miata in iRacing is really boring at say Road America if you’re just pounding laps by yourself and not in the middle of a race.

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Yes to the driving bits but probably no to tuning. Although, to be fair, the only tuning I do is in game and it has taught me something. What it’s taught me is pretty specific to the game though, as the tuning doesn’t behave exactly as in irl.

100% this.

Yes, to a point. But remember our karts don’t have suspension etc. KK is the only sim that does karts well. So, I think AC, IRACING etc are terrific sims but I don’t know racecars irl at all. Can’t speak to wether it does any good to sim cars. But, I know enough about karts and karting to be really, really excited about how good KK is as a training tool (for me).

To be specific about what training in sim has done: I have noticed that the dispersion in my laptimes competitively is much lower (traffic excluded).

Oh wow. I’m glad this thread actually started a conversation.

Personally, I’m using ACC as the PC sim that I’m using for seat time, and just fun racing practice. I’d normally have more to say, but most of it has been covered above!

ACC is the one that I was considering, but would the sim help with my driving in 4 stroke? Or would what @Photocycler mentioned above about using iracing for Mazda Miata and Skip Barber be more helpful? Not thrilled about the idea of paying a subscription for it tho

Honestly, I wouldn’t try to use sim racing as a 1:1 for karting. Just extra seat time.

  1. Have fun
  2. It’s good mental programming to help work on focusing, relaxing and making decisions while racing.

Personally, the IRacing payment model isn’t super attractive to me, but there is always someone to race, so that’s a plus.

I’ve stayed with ACC and the Codemaster F1 titles, because I can always find leagues to race in, and I can race on my schedule without paying for the time that I’m not using it. Just depends where you want to spend your time.

Yeah that’s my thing, I would like iRacing, but I won’t be on the sim too often, maybe once or twice a week, so ACC sounds better for me. Don’t wanna exactly do F1 exactly cause I want a more realistic sim that I can multiplayer on

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Acc would be ideal I think. Iracing is fabulous but the actual racing requires some time. It’s not as casual. Regular old AC has a million cars and tracks but acc seems to be equally successful.

I found that I was happiest driving formula cars in Sim. Felt the most kart-like. High or low powered. The lower powered stuff like the the formula E, formula mazda are 4-stroke like (momentum). But, so are the f1 cars, in a way.

I agree with James… the primary benefit is fun. The secondary is what he mentioned about the mental. Tertiary is the actual driving. Sim helps facilitate a higher comfort level with driving. It’s a low stress (no risk) way to practice.

Also, you can max the grid and practice passing all you want.

One other thing… I think sim is great as a complement to regular racing. I suspect that if you already have experience IRL, it is more useful because you know what is likely to not work irl. Someone who learns to drive purely on sim would have to adapt to real life.

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Arguably iRacing will provide the most competitive racing environment. For some like me, it’s worth it even if it’s just a coupe hours a week. Plus if you do feel like being part of a series no better place to race. But the other side is if you do VR, there is no feeling or look and immersion that is like ACC…it’s just beautiful and very immersive.

Sim racer Baldwin wins in real-life pro GT3 debut – simRace247

Well, maybe that don’t always need to adapt…

But I get what you mean, sim gives the closest representation of racing without getting in car