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#3350699 - 07/25/11 10:03 AM How do I become more constant in my lap times?
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 21885
Loc: Vienna, 2nd rock left.
Hi all

I'm really getting into my various racing titles now (currently back to NFS Shift #1 which with the right mods gives a pretty tight nice racing experience).

My main problem remains: Everything above 5 to 10 laps is a horror to drive. I can pick my AI difficulty and car setup such that I have a challenging but manageable race from the back of the grid to the front in the first few laps. Then I can stay there for another three or four laps. And then I'll start screwing up, smaller or larger mistakes costing me positions I can never recover.

Also of course lots of errors happening while chasing someone versus few to no errors in Practice and Qualifying, so the actual race business freaks me out.

Same thing for Shift, SBK, Formula 1. Doesn't matter which car or track. Anything that goes beyond 5 laps means I lose stamina and concentration (even in titles that don't model tire wear, so it can't be that).

Now in real life on the motorbike track, I noticed that while I'm not very fast, at least I'm constant. Actually surprisingly constant (about 1 second per lap for laps with 2:30 total time). It's nowhere near as badly up/down as it is on the PC (arguable on the PC I'm more on the edge of traction for obvious reasons).

But it's also clear that placing the line constantly and repeatly trough every turn is also easier in real life. Maybe I need better input devices?

BTW, it's pretty amazing how much the feeling of a real life track day translates into and improves the immersion on the virtual track. The hunt for the apex, the earliest possible throttle twist out of a turn, when you've tried it in real life it's much more visceral to find the last little bit of traction and speed on the PC. I wasn't driving more than 75% on the edge of the physics engine in my titles before my track outing. Now I'm much better at working to keep it 95% on the edge without flying off. Highly recommended for everyone to try a real life event once or twice a year at least.

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#3350722 - 07/25/11 10:27 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: RSColonel_131st]
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Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 13313
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I don't think it would be your wheel in this case, I think it's mental.
I'm very bad about having a very nice lap, only to blow it right at the end. I can show you a few videos where I screw up a decent Nordschleife lap on the 3rd to last turn. I think that track is great training though, due to the length and constantly changing to keep you paying attention. In a typical race, I think as you get close to winning that you can mentally lose it some putting pressure on yourself. More in MP, but the desire to wrap up with a good clean race can get to you (or at least me).

What's your seating situation? I think it was Darren at ISR pointing out having a good seat, fixed in place, to get more consistent. That was recent, but I can't remember if it was in the forums or a recent show.
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#3350731 - 07/25/11 10:41 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: RSColonel_131st]
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 21885
Loc: Vienna, 2nd rock left.
I have my Office Chair fixed on a big book so it doesn't roll around, the pedals firmly in place. That should do.

What I'm wondering about regarding wheel - but that may be a matter of car setup and behavior too - is that it's simple very hard to precisely put the car on the very track outside before turn in. Even more so with the XBOX360 controller for the Bike sim. In real life it's not that difficult to have a constant line for turn-in to follow, even though mentally it's a bit of an exercise to dare and go that close to the grass.

In Shift on the other hand I find myself often way too much inside the turn, or when I try to correct next time I'm on the curbs and spinning. Most of my errors are not on throttle or brake but on the line. But OTOH the cheapo wheel still has little to no deadzone and seems to be nice and linear in the controller interface.

And yeah, it's definitly a very mental thing too, I feel that most clearly in F1 2010 during a nice hot lap in qualifying. Knowing that you went green on two sectors places a huge amount of stress on the last few turns to bring the time home.

But how do you train for that? In flightsims I guess this ability to stay focused and on the ball has never played such a large part for me. You have lots of system management and navigation time between dogfights and ground attacks. In race titles it's 100% all the time, hard to get used to that.

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#3350740 - 07/25/11 10:49 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: RSColonel_131st]
Domestos Online   content
Member

Registered: 12/09/03
Posts: 244
Loc: Bingham UK
I've noticed this too. I've just got back into GTR2 and Race07. I think it's the pressure old boy! I find myself at the front (with tuned down AI), or near it and then I say to myself.. All I need to do is not crash and I'm a winner. Then I catch a glimpse of someone in my mirror and begin to push too hard, or I look at my HUD and try to figure out what all the information means and lose it.
It's the racing drivers nerves of steel you need. Ever see the thousand yard stare on Foggy whilst he waits for the race..? Nothing will distract him. I hope it comes with practice. Concentrate on not worrying about the future, just worry about the next corner, one by one.


Edited by Domestos (07/25/11 10:52 AM)
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#3350741 - 07/25/11 10:51 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: RSColonel_131st]
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 21885
Loc: Vienna, 2nd rock left.
I oughta try once more to drive with some music on. When I did that in F1 2010 it really helped my laptimes, likely because it made the head switch off and the gut take over.

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#3350760 - 07/25/11 11:16 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: RSColonel_131st]
jdbecks Offline
Room Clear!
Member

Registered: 08/07/09
Posts: 1000
Loc: England
Originally Posted By: RSColonel_131st
Hi all

I'm really getting into my various racing titles now (currently back to NFS Shift #1 which with the right mods gives a pretty tight nice racing experience).

My main problem remains: Everything above 5 to 10 laps is a horror to drive. I can pick my AI difficulty and car setup such that I have a challenging but manageable race from the back of the grid to the front in the first few laps. Then I can stay there for another three or four laps. And then I'll start screwing up, smaller or larger mistakes costing me positions I can never recover.

Also of course lots of errors happening while chasing someone versus few to no errors in Practice and Qualifying, so the actual race business freaks me out.

Same thing for Shift, SBK, Formula 1. Doesn't matter which car or track. Anything that goes beyond 5 laps means I lose stamina and concentration (even in titles that don't model tire wear, so it can't be that).

Now in real life on the motorbike track, I noticed that while I'm not very fast, at least I'm constant. Actually surprisingly constant (about 1 second per lap for laps with 2:30 total time). It's nowhere near as badly up/down as it is on the PC (arguable on the PC I'm more on the edge of traction for obvious reasons).

But it's also clear that placing the line constantly and repeatly trough every turn is also easier in real life. Maybe I need better input devices?

BTW, it's pretty amazing how much the feeling of a real life track day translates into and improves the immersion on the virtual track. The hunt for the apex, the earliest possible throttle twist out of a turn, when you've tried it in real life it's much more visceral to find the last little bit of traction and speed on the PC. I wasn't driving more than 75% on the edge of the physics engine in my titles before my track outing. Now I'm much better at working to keep it 95% on the edge without flying off. Highly recommended for everyone to try a real life event once or twice a year at least.


I agree, I think its because in real life you have more peripheral vision and are more aware of whats around you, you can also feel each bump in the track and how the car reacting to inputs and feedback through the wheel. Where in a sim you only have the sound to go by.

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#3350765 - 07/25/11 11:21 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: RSColonel_131st]
Ahmad Offline
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Registered: 09/05/07
Posts: 2311
Loc: Victoria, Australia
Well, the first problem is that you are playing games that have poor FFB (and physics), especially compared to rFactor/iRacing/GTR2.
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#3350766 - 07/25/11 11:21 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: RSColonel_131st]
LugnutUSA Offline
Member

Registered: 08/11/08
Posts: 1104
Loc: VA, USA
I've had Pandora streaming during practice sessions to keep from out-thinking myself. It's very easy to do.

For me it's mostly mental. I find it very hard to "settle" into a good rhythm where I'm focused only on driving, because my mind is constantly wandering. This isn't something limited to my sim-racing, it's something that just happens all the time. It's like watching a thousand TV channels all at the same time, drifting from one screen to another every 15-20 seconds.

When I do manage to maintain focus, the next difficulty is perspective. When you're in a real car, you have a good perspective on where the car is at any given moment. It's a lot harder to visualize in a sim, where you're essentially looking at a picture of the inside of a car and having to figure out where you're at on the track based on how that picture looks.

This is why I prefer to race with the "TV Cockpit" option in rFactor (camera mounted on roof) so I can at least tell where the front of the car is. Most mods have an in-car view that is so busy trying to convince you "OMG SO REAL" that you can't see enough of the track or your surroundings to actually do anything.
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#3350781 - 07/25/11 11:38 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: Ahmad]
RSColonel_131st Offline
Lifer

Registered: 01/02/01
Posts: 21885
Loc: Vienna, 2nd rock left.
Originally Posted By: Ahmad
Well, the first problem is that you are playing games that have poor FFB (and physics), especially compared to rFactor/iRacing/GTR2.


Hehe, I have a non-FFB wheel. Beat that wink

Joke aside, as is my understanding the main thing a FFB wheel will do is tell me when I'm about to lose the front, no? Even on a real bike I can't feel that. I'm not sure what difference it would make on the computer.

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#3350787 - 07/25/11 11:45 AM Re: How do I become more constant in my lap times? [Re: Ahmad]
Raw Kryptonite Online   smile
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Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 13313
Loc: MS
Originally Posted By: Ahmad
Well, the first problem is that you are playing games that have poor FFB (and physics), especially compared to rFactor/iRacing/GTR2.


FFB and physics don't make you consistent, unless the game is changing them each lap, which they aren't.
rFactor has horrible FFB, it's the RealFeel mod that makes it nice. Shift actually does have pretty decent FFB, certainly after being modded, as does F1 out of the box.
In RS's case, I think this is a moot point though.
(edit: had that reply open for over 7 minutes? I'm easily distracted!)

FFB transmits a lot to you RS, check out some mod files to see a list. When you go back to racing without it, you feel practically blind.
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