How to keep cool when sim racing in the summer
Image credit: Saber Interactive

How to Stay Cool Sim Racing in Summer

Summer may be nearing its end, but it is still hot in many places and we sim racers must put up with even hotter hardware. So how to stay cool in summer when sim racing? Here are some tips.

August is only just over, and for the Northern Hemisphere, this means that summer is still at its peak. For most, this simply comes with some discomfort sleeping at night and the need to apply plenty of sun cream.

But for sim racers, the hottest summer weather brings the dilemma of racing in the heat or not. In fact, running resource-intensive racing games can really send one’s PC or console temperatures through the roof at the best of times. With forecasts showing up to 37°C at times, the desire to race is certainly low as a result.

Sim racing in summer is hot stuff
Sim racing in summer is hot stuff. Image credit: iRacing.com

But what if there was a way of making the most of the hobby through the summer all whilst avoiding the heat? Well, you are in luck: Here are some tips to staying cool whilst sim racing in the summer heat, from the smart to the whacky.

The Best Sim Racing Fans

Obviously, the most widely used method for keeping cool in hot conditions is using a fan. Be it electric or a simple newspaper, the soothing relief of air passing over one’s warm skin is second to none. This method is just as effective for sim racing.

Many racers already adopt this technique whilst racing, aiming an electric fan in their vicinity. It is however best not to aim it at one’s face as this could cause you to catch a cold. Many companies have even taken this a step further by creating USB electric fans that pick up the rolling speed of a car in-game. These speed up or slow down depending on how fast you are going, adding to the immersive factor of sim racing.

If you want to take the cooling effect of an electric fan to the next level however, try making an air conditioning unit. No, this doesn’t mean rushing to your local store to buy an expensive machine. Take a bowl and fill it with ice and water. Place the full bowl in front of the electric fan and it should pump cold air into the room.

Once again though, blowing this drastically colder air towards one’s face is an easy route to catching a cold, so perhaps aim for you feet and legs instead. Turn on the oscillating functionality with the fan rotating between your body and your PC and you will even see your hardware suffer less from the heat.

Hydrate Whilst Racing

Whilst some of the options on this list are intended as a joke, this entry certainly is not. Sim racing, or racing in general, can lead to a lot of sweat at the best of times. The sheer effort of keeping a hold of one’s car all whilst competing against other racers is a challenge. Often times, racers will end competitions in puddles.

In the summer heat, this is only worsened. The hotter you get, the more you sweat. As we all know from school biology, sweat is simply water escaping from your body in an effort to cool you down. Therefore, the more you sweat, the more water you lose, ending in a mess of dehydration.

With that in mind, it is important to drink plenty whilst sat behind the wheel. Make sure to fill up a large glass of water and place it next to you at the beginning of a race. You should be able to take a hand off the wheel on longer straights, providing time to take a swig. If you feel yourself getting light-headed, it may be time to stop. There is no point in pushing your hydration to dangerous levels for the sake of a race.

Cool Down With an Ice Vest

If you have every watched the pre-race shows prior to a Grand Prix in a hot country, you will notice the drivers wearing white vests that tend to look wet. These are in fact ice vests with pockets full of dry ice. Pressed against the drivers’ bodies, they help cool down their core temperature.

Surely sim racers can learn a thing or two from these top-level racers and adopt a similar strategy. Take an old piece of clothing or a towel and place ice cubes or other frozen objects within. Then, wrap the clothing around your chest and feel the ice do its job.

The best thing is, drivers have to take these off before putting their overalls on and getting in the car. We sim racers can just as easily race bare naked as we can wearing several jumpers. Therefore, you can continue wearing this improvised ice vest all race-long.

Use the Immersion

Speaking of what real drivers do, it is no secret that race cars are very hot machines. Bar endurance sports cars, they do not feature air conditioning, nor do they have much insulation. “Weight reduction, bro” and so on.

Racecar interiors are hot so don't worry about staying cool whilst sim racing
Racecar interiors are hot, so do not worry about staying cool whilst sim racing. Image credit: Straight4 Studios

Therefore, making the most of the heat and putting up with it in the name of immersion may be a good idea. In fact, racing in the cold may be the less desirable option. One cannot move quite as rapidly in the cold and reactionary movements are sometimes critical when racing online.

Some people wear gloves when racing to add to the experience. Maybe donning a jumper or two in 40°C heat is truly the best way to sim race. After all, immersion is all we are truly looking for, right? Although, this is best avoided if you’re already racing in sweaty a Virtual Reality headset. There is no need to go overboard!

What are some of your top tips to stay cool whilst sim racing in the summer? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!

A petrol head and motorsports fan since the early days, sim racing has been a passion of mine for a number of years. The perfect way to immerse myself in my true dream job; racing driver. With lots of experience jotting down words about the car industry, I am happy to share my passion for pretend race cars here on Overtake!