I got the unique opportunity yesterday morning to finally meet with the Simraceway folks out at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for the 500. If you have been following our site over the last six months, you will know that we have been working with the company as they continue beta testing the Simraceway product. It was also announced a couple of weeks ago that they have been given the license for the next IndyCar game that will feature the new DW12 from Dallara. We were lucky enough to give the car a shakedown this morning around the world’s most famous race course.
I have vast experience with old car with the iRacing sim and was really excited to get my first stab with DW12. Our professional driver was laying down laps of 39 seconds and making it look effortless to be honest. I figured that it would be a walk in the park. Boy I could not have been more wrong. Every little piece of information I had heard real drivers talking about came rushing back into my mind. Bottom line was that flat out was not going to work here. I needed to refine my style. My first fast lap that did not involve impacting the walls was a 44.7. Doug attacked the course while I talked with the engineer about how to get the most out of the car. One of the things Simraceway did really well with this was handling characteristics. One of the biggest complaints with the new car is the understeer. Simraceway and Dario Franchitti have done a great job with capturing that as I crunched the right sidepod about 6 times. I would eventually get the hang of the car and set a pretty good time. Good enough to beat Doug and our friend Phil. Was still about 5 seconds off the professional times.
The thing that you could tell right away was the level of passion for detail the physics engineers had. They don’t want to produce another sim or another Forza. The objective with Simraceway is to make the car as real to drive as possible. That means handling has to be spot on and the way the car behaves has to be as real as technology will allow. While I have never driven a DW12, I can say that all of the driving points we have heard being discussed by the actual drivers are factors. When you look at the relatively short amount of time the company has had to work with the car, it is truly impressive the way it replicates on track behavior. Dan Wheldon and now Dario Franchitti have worked extensively to make all of the cars as real as possible including the DW12. Their technical know how and feel for the cars on the sim are felt with each turn and bump on the track. The company is still working to iron out potential wrinkles in the handling. They fully understand the limits technology can present including tire models. That is something that even iRacing has struggled with over their existence. It was explained to us that a lot of that data needs to come from the tire manufacturers. Some manufacturers are not willing to release that information to companies like Simraceway. All things tires aside, the cars feel really good and handle appropriately.
the best part about the whole entire thing is the cost. The software to race is free with select cars being free as well. Tired of the free cars? Not a problem, Simraceway has a wide range of road and track cars available with some costing as little as ten cents. That is the best deal out there to be honest and there is also no subscription cost! I have decided this year will be my last for iRacing. How can I justify a subscription and really expensive cars when I can get a service that is just as good for a cheaper price? Head over to Simraceway.com, download the software and we will see you on track!