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Simracing per tutti: iniziare spendendo poco

I costi nel motorsport reale sono proibitivi... ma nel simracing si può cominciare spendendo poco!
Simracing per tutti
  • VELOCIPEDE
    VELOCIPEDE

    Un simracer prova la Formula E

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    Carroll was given the opportunity to drive the Spark SRT_01E after winning the Long Beach round of the Road to Vegas Challenge, the Cloud Sport-run competition to find the 10 sim racers who will challenge the 20 Formula E drivers in the million-dollar Vegas eRace.
    The 26-year-old Edinburgh-based sim expert is no bedroom racer. In fact, was a handy real world driver – winning the Scottish Formula Ford Championship in 2007 and then clutch of national titles the following season. But with the next rung of the ladder requiring a budget of £100k+ it was simply beyond his means. But the love of racing persisted and sim racing offered a competitive – and cost effective – alternative.

     

    But don’t think these are just glorified computer games. The world of sim racing is every bit as competitive as its real-world cousin, with the drivers having commercial sponsorship and teams spending hours honing the ultimate set-up, not just of the car, but of the peripherals like the pedals and steering wheel too.
    “Some of the guys I am racing against are the best sim racers in the world,” he reveals. “Some are 30-40 years old and have been doing it for 20 years, using games that were about before I was born! I’m not here to get beat by these guys. I just need a bit more knowledge about the simulator itself and the computers and so on. Because those guys are sponsored by the wheel manufacturers and so on, so the company tells them the perfect settings to use. We’re not at a disadvantage, we can test all these things, but we’re up against some stiff competition.
    The Road to Vegas Challenge using rFactor software, but there are a variety of sim racing title like iRacing and Assetto Corsa where whole communities of ultra-competitive drivers compete on a regular basis. Equipment doesn’t come cheap, with wheels costing upwards of £1000, which anything less than a top-spec PC is going to leave you floundering.
    Such has been the attention to detail Graham has spent on sim racing, he even credits it with allowing him to make a winning return to the track, when he took a great victory in the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy in 2015.
    “When I came back and won the Walter Hayes Trophy last year after been absent since 2008, I would never have won it without iRacing, I can say that 100 per cent. If I didn’t use that and changing the set-up and feeling what it’s doing and keeping my mind on track, I would never have won, so it’s a massive thing.”
    A good result in this weekend’s Berlin round of the Road to Vegas will mean that Carroll is assured of a place in the Vegas eRace – and guaranteed a minimum of $20,000 in prize money, not that he’s even remotely settling for that.
    “I want to go there not to think about winning $20,000, but $200,000,” he says, referring to the prize for winning outright. “I know some guys out there are really good on set-up work and bits and bobs in that department and maybe try to do some work with them. There’s a guy I know in Germany who I want to spend a couple of days testing with and if we can work on the set up and tweak the dampers and really just prepare like crazy for Vegas.
    “If we can have a good qualification this weekend. I go into London with no pressure, all I want to do is win that and keep the momentum up. Every track is different, so we’ll probably find some new stuff in the set-up that works there. So when we get to Vegas we’ll have data from Long Beach, Paris, Berlin and London, so four set-ups and maybe we’ll just combine these together to create something. There are just so many things you can do, that’s really the thing, just keep going where we are going and full steam ahead. The opportunities that could come from it are just crazy.”
    Such is the level of the sim racers taking part in the Road to Vegas, there is the very real possibility that they will sweep all of the top 10 places. Carroll offers a glimpse as to why this is likely to be the case.
    “I get up at nine in the morning and dodge about until 12 and from then I can be on it until six, eight or sometimes 10 at night,” he states. “It can vary, it’s not every single day. It’s until I feel happy and confident.”
    So after spending all this time in the sim, how did it feel when he swapped the triple-screen set-up at home and donned a crash helmet and drove the car for real?
    “Obviously it had five gears, which was the same as on the simulator,” he says. “The biggest thing was the brakes. I spoke to Dario Franchitti last weekend at Silverstone and the first thing he told was that the carbon brakes take a while to heat up and you need to have all the regain settings just right.
    “When I was in car I wasn’t even driving at 40 per cent, because it’s not worth crashing and making me look like an arse. And if I do well and I bring it home and there’s no damage and everyone’s happy maybe I’ll get another shot. To really feel the differences, I’d love to go to Silverstone or somewhere and get a couple of the guys to do a few laps and see how far I was off them because it’s like a big go kart, there’s left and right and go and stop. I know it gets harder the more you climb the ladder, but I’d love to know how far I was off in a real test against these guys.”
    But now Graham needs to put memories of testing the car to the back of his mind and focus on ensuring that he qualifies for the Vegas eRace this weekend. You can see him in action through the live streaming of the heats and finals, which is available on Cloud Sport’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaPiHbF2FkqfpreJLTXHRIw
    For more information about the Road to Vegas Challenge, click here: http://roadtovegas.cloudsport.club/index.aspx

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