Can Sim racing be able to predict your performance in real track?

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Do you think that Sim Racing games can predict if you are talented enough to take a real car on a racing track? Can it tell if you are talented in real life racing?

Like probably not in the past, but sim racing these days have gotten pretty much more advanced, in addition to VR which add more simulation experience.
 

wfooshee

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I would be interested in finding out how much real-world driving experience those guys have that come up through programs like GT Academy. Have they never driven a car competitively, even maybe just autocrossing, much less something at speed? (And that's not to put down autocrossing... I don't think there's any better teacher of a car's dynamics than autocrossing.) In other words, is the transistion from virtual racing to real racing a complete transition?

I would think that anybody seriously into sim racing is also a bit of a petrolhead and has some driving skill in the real world. I was a decent autocrosser "back in the day," although I've never done anything at speed in the real world.

This thinking makes me wonder how much of a jump the sim-to-real actually is for some of these guys. If they've never even squealed a real tire, then everything they learned is in the sim, but if they have a bit of skill already and don't mind it if the car gets a bit sideways on them, maybe it's not that big a deal moving from sim to real.

The biggest thing a sim can't possibly teach you is the forces involved, and much of your driving feedback comes from feeling those forces in the seat of your pants. Even a hydraulic rig can't fully simulate real-world feedback, especially for the more powerful cars. Sims give you audio clues, like the annoying tire noise in Gran Turismo when you're at the limits of cornering traction. Unrealistic, but no other way to know that you're that close to the limit. How does a non-driver, translate that in his mind when he gets in a car and there's no tire noise, just wind, engine, and gear noise, but he can't hold his head up after 5 minutes?
 

W3H5

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Certainly yes, but in the real world there are a few things you have to remember or learn, I mean overloads and physics.

Fear of injury or death or financial consequence is certainly absent from a sim vs real world racing but seeing so many sim racers progress into GT3, WEC and such really suggests, to me, that the skills are roughly transferable between in game and real life.
 

ROAD_DOGG33J

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holyc0w1
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There's a show called The World's Fastest Gamer where the top simracers compete for a race contract. It looks like the latest winner has already done some racing and is doing well.
 

TheCracker

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I think the biggest obstacle to overcome during the transition from sim to real life is fear. You can barrel into a simulated corner safe in the knowledge that, freak electrical fault in your rig set-up aside, you are not going to maim or kill yourself. As anyone who has driven on a track can tell you that is a real limiting factor when you are trying to shave a few tenths off your lap times. Everything about racing in the real world becomes so much more visceral and nothing can really prepare your senses for that level of stimulation. Of cause the more exposed you are to it the less of a factor it becomes. Those GT Academy winners received a hell of a lot of driver training alongside professionals before they took part in pro racing and even during their first few seasons. Having all that track time desensitizes you to that fear.
 
6,583
United Kingdom
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Do you think that Sim Racing games can predict if you are talented enough to take a real car on a racing track? Can it tell if you are talented in real life racing?

Like probably not in the past, but sim racing these days have gotten pretty much more advanced, in addition to VR which add more simulation experience.
I think it for sure helps, otherwise real drivers wouldn't use it at all. It will help build up your level of understanding of performance driving, it is like being able carry out a virtual practical of something you learnt in say a book. You won't really know how well you will do for sure unless you try it for real. IMO it is a million times more exhilarating but a million times more expensive unless you can get funding. If you can give it a go, worth trying for sure. I have been lucky enough to try some short driving experiences for free. It's a bit frustrating as you can't really get anywhere near your potential if you have only a few minutes of driving so I would recommend something longer if possible. I kind of regret not trying indoor karting and doing a track day at local track before they closed down.

Most people can learn to drive (Motorsport should be made to be part of the curriculum, would be interesting to see if that changes the demographics), same I think will apply to driving a real car on a racing track. For example on Top Gear, they used to have a star in a reasonably priced car segment. Most of them did a great job, they would probably fare worse in a game like GT5 than in real life. This is why I don't think you have to be great at sim racing to be great in real life racing and also going by how some real life racers struggle with racing games. It is quite a different feeling in real life compared to games although fundamentally quite similar approach you have to take.

It is possible to learn more from watching onboards of the actual car and track you want to drive than any VR experience IMO, doing both will always be more helpful though.
I would be interested in finding out how much real-world driving experience those guys have that come up through programs like GT Academy. Have they never driven a car competitively, even maybe just autocrossing, much less something at speed? (And that's not to put down autocrossing... I don't think there's any better teacher of a car's dynamics than autocrossing.) In other words, is the transistion from virtual racing to real racing a complete transition?

I would think that anybody seriously into sim racing is also a bit of a petrolhead and has some driving skill in the real world. I was a decent autocrosser "back in the day," although I've never done anything at speed in the real world.

This thinking makes me wonder how much of a jump the sim-to-real actually is for some of these guys. If they've never even squealed a real tire, then everything they learned is in the sim, but if they have a bit of skill already and don't mind it if the car gets a bit sideways on them, maybe it's not that big a deal moving from sim to real.

The biggest thing a sim can't possibly teach you is the forces involved, and much of your driving feedback comes from feeling those forces in the seat of your pants. Even a hydraulic rig can't fully simulate real-world feedback, especially for the more powerful cars. Sims give you audio clues, like the annoying tire noise in Gran Turismo when you're at the limits of cornering traction. Unrealistic, but no other way to know that you're that close to the limit. How does a non-driver, translate that in his mind when he gets in a car and there's no tire noise, just wind, engine, and gear noise, but he can't hold his head up after 5 minutes?
I noticed in racing games, a lot of the top drivers tend to be good karters (Both WFG winners are) but there are still quite a few pure gamers out there.

I searched for following post by Stefan and managed to find a backup of it thanks to @Johnnypenso post. Might help answer OP and your questions somewhat about the possibility of transitioning from virtual to reality. I think also Juan Pablo Montoya said in a WFG season 2 episode, something along the lines of it being about just filling in the blanks as you fundamentally know what to do. Also from personal experience, I concur with that being a complete noob myself. Surprisingly, you can still be reasonably competitive without any previous track driving experience thanks to virtual experience against much more experienced drivers who have raced for many years. I think if one can get few hours hours of track time with no previous experience apart from relying on top level virtual experience and can adapt well, you could be reasonably competitive against some pro drivers. However, that is probably the easier part. The hard part will be making it due to the level of funding required and it being a super competitive sport with so many talented drivers out there with not as many drives to go around.

Stefan Johansson:

It was very interesting. It’s all done over the course of a week. There’s filming every day and each day one of the contestants gets knocked out. It’s the usual reality show format. It’s all very compressed when you do the filming as all of these things are.

Before you get to the finals there are something like 800,000 people who compete online, playing the Gran Turismo racing game on Sony PlayStation to earn a chance to go to the GT Academy.

It’s astonishing to me that nearly every one of the kids who made it to the Academy had never driven anything competitive. Some of them had hardly driven a car period. Most of the kids are 18 or 19 years old. But what they’ve learned on the gaming platform translates incredibly well to real cars. That blew my mind. The car control these kids have is incredible. I think the game is actually much more delicate than the real cars so their hand-foot coordination is amazing. The Swedish kid who won our country section - I’ve never seen anyone with car control like this guy has.

On the first day of the contest, the first thing we did was a stock car race on some little banger track outside Silverstone. The Swedish kid was so young he’d never even driven his mom’s road car. He got in this stock car and went from last to first in his first heat ever in a car of any form! The kid was just balancing the car right on the edge between understeer, oversteer and adhesion, never going off-line too far, always hanging on the edge of grip. It was amazing.

He’s got a natural talent obviously but what’s cool is that the game is somehow able to extract that. Imagine, without the game he would probably have never even known he had a talent. Normally a kid would have to go karting and by the time he was 12 his Dad’s spent every penny he ever earned just helping his son get to the next level in karting. Here, the kids are basically doing the same thing on PlayStation and it works! I was massively impressed by how good the kids were - all of them.

The competition is interesting from the judges point of view too because I think it was up to us to really get to the core of these guys’ potential. It didn’t just come down to driving the car. It was their attitude. You could tell how hungry they were and if they had a fire in their belly to compete. I think the guys that got to the finals were pretty damn good.