The Porsche Cup is a popular series in iRacing, but the 992 is far from the easiest car to drive. To help you out, PESC race winner Zac Campbell is here to guide you through driving the Porsche GT3 Cup in iRacing.
A brilliant engine note, single make racing to die for and links to one of the biggest esports series in the world. It’s no wonder the Porsche GT3 Cup is a popular series in iRacing. But, being a Porsche, the 992 GT3 Cup car is far from the easiest car to drive in iRacing.
With the car’s popularity being in no small part thanks to the Porsche Esports Super Cup, we wondered how the pros handle this beast. From Coanda Esports, we sat down with 2023 PESC race winner, Zac Campbell. He gave us plenty of advice, tips and tricks. So, here’s a guide to the Porsche 911 Cup car from a pro.
A Popular Series
As you will find out in this guide, the Porsche Cup car in iRacing is an exciting car to drive. It requires immense precision and focus. When you get it right and nail the perfect lap, the satisfaction is like none other.
However, it’s not just the car’s characteristics that makes this series so popular. Hundreds of iRacers flock to the series on an hourly basis, be it in the fixed setup or open events. A large part of this attention has to be down to PESC. The Porsche Esports SuperCup is one of the largest esports championships out there with countless racers looking to join the ranks. And the Porsche Cup Series on iRacing is certainly the best way to get there.
Furthermore, with identical cars throughout the field, races are typically very close allowing for driver skill to show itself. A racer with excellent race craft and speed will always rise to the top in this series, which is why so many love racing in it.
Slow Corners in the Porsche Cup
An important aspect of driving the Porsche Cup car on iRacing to look out for is the brakes. The 992-generation lacks driver aids such as ABS, so lock-ups are easy to do. Being gentle on the pedals is therefore crucial, as Zac Campbell explains.
“Braking and turn-in are where you have to be extremely smooth. Since the interaction of the tyre model that got applied to the Porsche Cup car in around 2020, it’s been extremely important to have slow-to-threshold braking inputs. Making sure that you’re not overloading the tyre in any way is critical to managing tire temperatures, which are the single biggest topic of driving the car. Really keeping those temps low should always be the emphasis to any corner you take, especially over the course of a longer race run.”Zac Campbell, Coanda Esports driver in PESC, on corner entry
Braking and turn-in may be all about being gentle, but according to Zac, corner exit is no different. It’s all about not over-working the tyres.
“Corner exit especially has a very defined edge to it, with the car really not liking having too much going on at the same time. You’ll really want to think of things like having a string attached between your throttle and your steering. The more throttle you use, the less steering you should use. If you’re planting your foot down with a lot of steering input, you’ll spin up the tyres extremely easily and definitely begin to overheat them and wear them much quicker than you should.”Zac Campbell on gentle power application.
Slower corners certainly involve a lot of modulation and care. Get on the power too early and you’ll overwhelm the rear tyres. Get on the brakes too quick and you’ll overwhelm the front tyres. Any slip in the iRacing Porsche Cup car results in heat and a loss of grip, in turn producing more heat. Furthermore, the additional slip in the tyre will cause it to wear quicker, ruining any chance of a good race result.
In total contrast, faster turns seem to make the iRacing Porsche Cup car come alive. Whilst the slower corners require patience and focus as the cumbersome car struggles round, downforce takes over through faster sections allowing one to have more fun. Zac explains this well:
“The car is much more stable in high speed sections, and you can really lean on the rear end. With the 992 producing much more undertray downforce than the previous iteration of the car, the rear end is extremely stable and you can very much lean on it through high speed stuff.”The Porsche Cup car in iRacing is much more stable at high speeds according to Zac Campbell
Through corners like the fast sections at COTA or Maggotts and Becketts at Silverstone, drivers can fling this car around. In fact, it’s thanks to its large and effective rear diffuser that the car seems to stick to the tarmac so well. Drop below the speed needed however and you’ll lose all grip, so keep the speed up where you can and trust the downforce.
Race Start Guide in the iRacing Porsche
Two series exist for the Porsche Cup car in iRacing; one runs a fixed setup format whilst the other allows custom setups. They each run every other hour meaning you always have a race to take part in with this car. Furthermore, it often forms its own class in endurance special events like the Nurburgring 24 Hours and 24 Hour Series.
In many cases, notably in the single-make events, races kick off from a standing start. For the top-level racers, it’s important to use a dual-clutch system as this allows them to perfect the bite point, as Zac explains.
“Standing starts vary. Most of us utilize a dual clutch on the steering wheel. You’re in first gear, and when the green lights come on you’re bringing it down to the 2nd clutch that’s set at the bite point, and slowly slipping that off the line.”Zac Campbell on standing starts in the Porsche Cup car
For those of that don’t have a dual clutch paddle on our wheels, pedal modulation is important. Etching the clutch bite point into your muscle memory would most certainly help to get off the line as quickly as possible. But if you have a spongy clutch pedal, it’s best to gentle release the clutch, slowly apply throttle and hope. In any case, you want to avoid spinning the rear wheels so a slower start is better than a chaotically fast one.
Porsche Cup Setup Guide
If you are looking to take part in one of the open setup races with the Cup car, you’ll want to understand what makes this car tick. Despite having very little to tweak on the setup page, iRacers often find heaps of time via small tweaks. In fact, fixed setup races traditionally run at a much slower pace than open setup events.
To get the inside scoop on what the pros do, Zac gave a few tips to guide you through the iRacing Porsche Cup setup screen.
“Porsche Cup setup wise you definitely want the car to pivot on the front end. So a lot of the time we’ll utilise the front ARB to be softer than the rear ARB. Typically you will want almost minimum rear ride height to maximize undertray downforce.”Zac Campbell on setting up the Porsche Cup car
As mentioned above, the higher speed sections of tarmac really play to the Porsche Cup car’s strengths. That is, as long as it’s set up properly. Zac recommends to drop the rear ride height to maximise the vacuum effect under the diffuser. In turn, the car will stick to the ground.
The difference in anti-roll bar settings front to rear is crucial to helping the car rotate. A soft front will stick to the tarmac better than a stiff one whilst a stiff rear should allow the car to swing around the front wheels. Over-do this however and you will end up spinning on more occasions than one.
Overall, and in all aspects of driving the 992 Cup car, Zac was keen to emphasise the need for smoothness. Be smooth on the brakes. Gently apply steering lock. Pretend there’s an egg under your throttle pedal. Protect the tyres from over heating. If you can do all this, you should find speed.
Do you enjoy driving the Porsche Cup car in iRacing? What tips do you have for your fellow racers? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!