Last week we unboxed the simpack, now we can test it!
I’ve decided to demonstrate the data logger in iRacing as it is the sim I use the most and am most comfortable with, however, I successfully used the simpack to find time in rFactor2 and Asseto Corsa Competizione as well beforehand.
Being able to look at data, alongside my racing footage from in the sim helped me put what I was doing wrong into perspective, although I could still see what I was doing wrong in the data, I was able to link it back to what I saw at that moment, helping it all make more sense.
I began by doing a five-lap run in the Audi R8 at Watkins Glen, this allowed me to set a banker lap time that would be representative of my driving. One of the first problems that was instantly brought to light was my braking trace, the initial gradient of the line was not high, ideally, you want a straight line going up, however that can be hard to achieve.
I went back out on track, with what I needed to change in my head. During those five laps, I found just over four-tenths in my lap time. Upon looking at the data again, I saw another problem with my brake trace; I wasn’t lifting off the brake at a smooth rate, and I was back on the throttle before the apex of the corner (as shown below).
Another five laps later and I had improved my driving, and lap time once more, this time, however, by a smaller amount, 3 tenths of a second.
Still I wasn’t completely happy. Again, by using CircuitTools I could see that I had a small amount of time with the car rolling and not on either the brake or the throttle. This was one of the hardest changes to make, it took many runs to perfect, but eventually, I was able to reduce the time the car spent rolling without any pedal input, this change brought my lap time down to a 2:16.268, a big change from the original 2:17.539, a total gain of 1.271 seconds.
Would I recommend the VBOX Simpack?
Yes, I would, the gains are obvious to see and doubtless, if I could have used it for longer I would have found more time. This has been the first time I have really used data logging on the sim and I can clearly see it’s benefit.
A small negative here is that at a price point of £900 it’s not necessarily cheap. However, there are two things to consider here. Firstly, if you are serious about your simracing then the VBox will undoubtedly enable you to improve your lap times, and let’s face it, many people spend many thousands on their sim set up and hence this could prove just as invaluable as a good wheelbase to improving their performance. Secondly, for anyone who races in the real world and uses a sim, then this really is an invaluable piece of kit. It will enable you to practice on the sim, using the data logging to refine your performance, and then do the same in the real world and compare the two……. This is where it excels! In this respect, £900 looks a bit of a bargain!
My thanks go to Racelogic for the loan of the VBOX Simpack!