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Simulations The latest news, kit and reviews from the world of racing sims Words: Matthew Hayward

Peripherals

Oculus Rift

Price: `30,522* From: oculusvr.com

GAME OF THE MONTH

iRacing

Due to go on sale in the autumn, the Oculus Rift looks like the first step towards a full-on virtual-reality set-up. It is a head - mounted display which is cheap and effective enough to be a viable prospect. Expect support for racing games within the next couple of years…

Formats: PC (online) Price: from `3,025 (yearly subscription) From: iracing.com Famed for its accurate physics and its loyal online racing community, iRacing is perhaps one of the most serious simulations on the market. Launched in 2008, the online service has grown and developed over the years, now boasting more than 45,000 active users. Quite a few, as it happens, are real racers too. It’s an interesting business model, and without going into too much detail, it allows for a much more in-depth online racing experience. It’s pretty much selfgoverned, with the more committed drivers building up points and levels through good results and clean driving. A basic `3,025 annual subscription comes with a few starter cars and circuits. Extra content is then available for one-off fees. Ranging from around `600-900 a pop, the circuits are top-class, with a decent selection of international courses like Spa and

Silverstone and a huge number of legendary US tracks such as Mid-Ohio and Daytona. All are laser-scanned to ensure millimetre-perfect accuracy, and although they perhaps aren’t as pretty as on the latest console games, they look impressive nonetheless. There’s also a great selection of racing cars from a variety of differing series and eras. Each additional car costs around `730, with some very cool machinery to purchase, including a 2009 Williams F1 car and the McLaren 12C GT3 racer. Of course, the more powerful your PC the better, but thanks to iRacing’s unique browser-based user interface the whole process of buying cars and tracks and selecting a series to race in is a cohesive one (assuming you have a fast internet connection). After some basic steering wheel calibration and configuration, you can

hit the track. We started off by keeping things simple with a Mazda MX-5 Cup racer at Laguna Seca (both are in the start-up package). While it didn’t take long to get into a rhythm, it’s clear that iRacing is not something for the casual gamer as it requires concentration and focus to put in decent lap times. Driving the Williams F1 car at Suzuka was a joy, although it again took a while to learn how the car behaves, with cold tyres initially catching us out. Interestingly, there is no option to race against AI racers, meaning every race you’ll ever take part in will be against real human drivers from around the world. If you have the time and resources to commit to iRacing, then it could prove to be a lot of fun. We certainly enjoyed our first taste, and we’ll likely revisit the sim to try out new cars and tracks when they become available. L

Logitech G27

Price: `34,995 From: logitech.com

The G27 might be a few years old, but it’s also many racing sim enthusiasts’ entry into the world of modding. With a number of unofficial off-the-shelf upgrades available, it’s perfect if you’re starting out in the daunting world of full-on simulators.

DSD Hydraulic Handbrake

Price: `24,142* From: derekspearedesigns.com

* prices excluding customs and duties

Plan on using a simulator to hone your rallying skills? This hydraulic handbrake is said to replicate the exact feel and progression of the real deal. It’s a proper piece of engineering for the hardcore sim racer.

April 2014 |

evo India

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evo india april2014  

evo India’s April 2014 issue features the fastest, most powerful hypercars in the world – McLaren P1, Koenigsegg One:1 and the Hennessey Ven...

evo india april2014  

evo India’s April 2014 issue features the fastest, most powerful hypercars in the world – McLaren P1, Koenigsegg One:1 and the Hennessey Ven...

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