Rig Upgrade: How Rallying Benefits More than Circuit Racing

Rig Upgrade How Rallying Benefits More Than Circuit Racing.png
Making the jump to a full rig is one of the best upgrades a sim racer can make. The added stability and customizability allows for a more enjoyable experience – but one discipline profits from this more than others: While racing on circuits in GT3 or Formula cars is also helped, the effects are even more pronounced when rallying, as I recently found out.

After years of using a wheel stand and an IKEA chair, I finally switched to an actual rig in late 2021. The benefits became clear immediately: No more setting up equipment if I wanted to race and put it back right after. Always the same position you adjusted for yourself, and no more flex that went all over the place when turning the wheel, especially in frantic situations.

You might already guess where I am going with this: Rallying is practically frantic situations from start to finish – but somehow, I had never tried a rally sim on the rig since I got it. I remembered that I wrote a review on WRC 10 on release last year, so I decided to give it a go again, but this time without the fear of flinging a wheel stand around the living room.

The difference is night and day: Even locations that need lightning-quick reflexes, especially the blindingly fast tarmac stages in Belgium and Spain, I was able to handle with much more confidence. While before, the thought of moving something unintentionally mid-stage and having to somehow move it back while plowing through a forest on a gravel road at 170kph had always been in the back of my mind, this distraction was entirely gone. Sure, my driving on gravel is still a debacle, but at least it is a confident debacle now.

Modern circuit race cars require mostly smooth input, which is why it is possible to be consistent in them even using a bit of an improvised rig setup like my wheel stand and chair combo. Most of the time, you are going to be fine, and the odd messy situation here and there can be handled. But the nature of rally racing makes it a different sport entirely, not just in its point-to-point nature compared to circuit racing, but also in what is required from the sim racer to conquer it.

If you are thinking about your next upgrade, definitely consider a full rig if you have the space. Unfortunately, this is one of the more expensive upgrades to make, but then again, good load cell pedals are not exactly cheap either – and those are the other “upgrade immediately” piece of equipment if you do not have a set of them. In both cases, it is important to note that just the equipment will not make you faster. They will absolutely help your consistency, however, and that is a key to good results.

Have you made similar experiences? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @RaceDepartment or in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

WRC? …Lol.!…Dirt Rally 2! In a sim rig with Next Level V3 motion seat base, hydraulic pedals and handbrake, Fanatec DD2 with a OMP 250mm rally steering wheel, 6x point harness done up tight, rallying comes as close as it can get.
Sorry about the shake, 6,000w of ButtKickers.
 
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Thank you, Yannik.
I need to kick myself into doing something about my wheel
coming loose on the table...
.. leading a race.. only three
curbs left to Finish.

McClutch's Homeoffice rig,
seems to be, very good for me. :thumbsup:
 
D
Just RBR.
Still waiting for a true RBR successor. Dirt Rally 1 was a step in the right direction. Then Dirt 4 happened, Paul & Christina left. Dirt Rally 2 cashgrab happened; still has lots of bugs, specially graphic bugs, like flickering, popping up and all that. At release it was so buggy and missed lots of features DR 1 had. WRC franchise made great steps, but still plagued by bugs that they never solved for years. Also DR & WRC are kinda too forgiving; in RBR if you crash into something with 30 kmh its likely game over for you. You have to drive defensively and manage your car. That's something I miss in DR and WRC. RBR with NGP 6 + Fmod + Pacenotesmod + Custom Co-driver still beats all the recent Rallye-games/sims out of the ballpark.
 
Still waiting for a true RBR successor. Dirt Rally 1 was a step in the right direction. Then Dirt 4 happened, Paul & Christina left. Dirt Rally 2 cashgrab happened; still has lots of bugs, specially graphic bugs, like flickering, popping up and all that. At release it was so buggy and missed lots of features DR 1 had. WRC franchise made great steps, but still plagued by bugs that they never solved for years. Also DR & WRC are kinda too forgiving; in RBR if you crash into something with 30 kmh its likely game over for you. You have to drive defensively and manage your car. That's something I miss in DR and WRC. RBR with NGP 6 + Fmod + Pacenotesmod + Custom Co-driver still beats all the recent Rallye-games/sims out of the ballpark.
I really enjoyed WRC10, with the january patch all the bugs i had are now fixed, and I love its stages.
Physics is still not perfect, but on tarmac is better than RBR for sure, and on gravel i find it really enjoyable.
I still drive RBR when I want to have a challenge, but WRC's career mode makes me stay much longer on it while in RBR I do a pair of stages and then change game.
 
Premium
If you build your temporary rig smart enough, it works for both, Homeoffice and Rally. All that really needs to be fixed in Place is the pedals, the rest is done with Straps and Gaffer Tape.
Pretty much what I do. I don't have an arrangement for a dedicated rig, so I am making use of a wheel stand and a gaming/office chair. I keep the chair in place by using a cargo strap, before doing this I use to block the wheels on the chair from moving. Every time I raced; the chair wasn't in the right spot. Since using the straps, the setup allows me to be confident in my inputs. I have even gone to using stiff bumpers on my LC brakes because I can put all my strength into braking if needed. Just having a repeatable and (somewhat) easy to erect setup made a major difference for me.
 
I have a similar feeling when talking about VR. It definitely made me quicker in circuit racing (roughly 1s on average per lap), but where it truly made a huuge difference was Rallying (Dirt Rally /2). I had to up the difficulty to max to still have a challenge while before i was quite slow
 
Premium
If you have the ability and space to leave everything in place between session then you can build a DIY rig quite cheaply out of some 4"x2"...
For each side you just need two lengths for front to back with an A frame to place the wheel base at the right height. Then some cross pieces to hold the sides the correct distance apart.
So if you place two spacers the correct distance apart you can drop a seat between them.
Then at the front spacers the correct distance apart to fix the pedals to, and then a cross piece to fix the wheel base to.
Do a search for "deathmobile sim rig"
There's no need to go down the hugely expensive aluminium section route if you have a saw a screwdriver :)
And of course youcan easily make additions to the design and amend as required.
 
WRC? …Lol.!…Dirt Rally 2! In a sim rig with Next Level V3 motion seat base, hydraulic pedals and handbrake, Fanatec DD2 with a OMP 250mm rally steering wheel, 6x point harness done up tight, rallying comes as close as it can get.
Sorry about the shake, 6,000w of ButtKickers.
Do you have any teeth fillings? Well if you had I'm guessing you don't have anymore.
 
Premium
I feel like Rallying is like the one discipline where you can use all of your peripherals all of the time....DR2.0 in VR with a solidly mounted rig, sequential or H-shifter and a dedicated analog handbrake is such an immersive experience...
 

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