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#GetCreativeWithPorsche: how to be a sim racer

Max Benecke – Porsche sim racing champion – reveals the skills and discipline required to make it to the top in virtual motorsport in the latest instalment of the #GetCreativeWithPorsche series.

But the financial realities of progressing onto the track at a professional level soon put an end to his real-world racing aspirations. And I was addicted to racing games. In the early 2000s I got into Gran Turismo 4 and this is where I began to get competitive. I always wanted to be the best, but at a certain point racing against the AI gets boring.

Getting started

“I recommend buying a game that isn’t too expensive – Codemaster F1, Gran Turismo or Asseto Corsa – where you only pay once. Then, just drive. And drive against others and see how you feel. If you like it, you can always upgrade, but just make sure that you’re dedicated enough before you start to really invest.

“If you feel that sim racing is something you’d really like to pursue, upgrade your game. ‘iRacing’ is quite expensive – you pay monthly or yearly on subscription and you have to pay for cars and tracks additionally, so there can be a lot of money going out! It has a unique system that enables you to drive all the time and matches you to other drivers.

Set-up “There’s a lot you can change on your car in iRacing, from tyre pressure and ride height to roll stiffness, camber and toe and wing settings. It can be hard to figure out what works from track to track, but as a general rule, if it has faster corners, make sure your set-up isn’t too soft to stop the car sliding away on exit.

“You can set your wing from one to nine, with one being the lowest level of downforce. But on a low downforce circuit like Le Mans a wing set of nine will cost you 5-7 km/h on the straights, so you’ll lose a lot of time on a four-minute lap. There you want a two or three wing setting.

Technique

“Learn from others: watch what other drivers are doing, especially with the brakes. When I first came to iRacing my braking was a huge issue. Ninety per cent of the time you lose is on the brakes, so make sure your braking is absolutely on point.

If there’s a kerb on the entry to a corner, use it. Use all the space available wherever possible and try to brake at exactly the same point on every single lap.

Getting noticed

“Make sure you are good enough for every race you attend. As you soon as you’ve finished midfield in a couple of races, people will start to wonder what’s going on, so be dedicated enough to really practice. “Try to be as open as possible and seize every opportunity that arises. I got where I am by winning the Porsche Sim Racing Trophy and the iRacing World Championship in the same year and from there people began to get in contact. “Try to be really professional in everything you do. Do all this and the opportunities will open up for you.”

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Jun 04, 2020 at 17:42

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