The world of SimRacing can be intimidating – there always seems to be someone boasting a more impressive hardware setup or setting a faster lap time out there. For new SimRacers, the pace of others can often be a mental hurdle that keeps them from joining online races. That, however, is where they could potentially learn the most.
Practice makes perfect, and something along those lines is usually the first advice given to new SimRacers when they ask for tips on how to learn a certain track, car or a combination of both. That means most of them keep lapping the track in free practice or hot lap mode, because they do not want to disturb other racers online. Sure, a certain amount of car control and grasp of the basics of racing against other should be there, but the fear of ruining someone else’s session is often overblown – and keeps them from learning.
However, asking for advice is crucial if you hit a wall in your quest to improve your racing: Having someone look at your replays, for example, can help uncover certain habits that keep you from doing better. Even watching your own replays from outside of the car can help, as it can be hard to tell if you are using the full width of the track from the cockpit. Looking at your laps from chase cam, for example, can show you how much space you may leave unused.
On the other hand, many SimRacers upload their hotlaps to YouTube, and there are tons of streamers and content creators that race on video as well. These can be a good source of race craft being on show, which can serve as a base for newcomers to learn from. Seeing how things are done by SimRacers with more experience can lead to moments of realization that certain things should be differently, certain apexes need a different line on corner entry, or that certain corners are not made for overtaking.
Just like in sports, newcomers should not be afraid to ask more experienced participants for advice. If this means recording a lap and posting the replay to the SimRacing Reddit – go for it. Many helpful people will usually give good advice on how to improve, sometimes even with a corner-to-corner rundown. Even better: Join a league with friendly faces, and do not be afraid of letting them know that you are trying your best, but still have a lot to learn.
Ideally, you can get someone to go out on track with you and show you different cornering techniques, small setup tweaks or give you general advice. This does not just work with improving lap times: Race craft can be learned this way as well. Knowing when to go for an overtake or to back out of it, driving defensively and keeping out of trouble are important elements of motorsports and SimRacing, but they need experience to build confidence. Knowing where to start is very valuable in this regard.
The community thought is a strong point in SimRacing. Do not be afraid to ask if you do not know certain things, and if you can get other racers to show you how they do it, that is even better. As a bonus, you might make good friends along the way.