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iRacing 2.0 update with Shane van Gisbergen

While you’re all familiar with my rivals in the Australia V8 Supercar championship – names like Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes and Rick Kelly – you might be surprised to learn that some of my fiercest competition this year has come from guys named Down, McLeod and McLaughlin.  With the exception of my “junior” teammate at Stone Brothers Racing – Scotty McLaughlin — you won’t find their names in the results of the V8 Supercar Championship Series or Fujitsu V8 Series.
Instead, you need to go to inRacingNews or the “online series” portion of the V8 Supercar web site, where you’ll learn about some of the best racing on the planet or, I should say, in cyberspace: the V8 Supercar series. is the world’s leading online racing service, with digital versions of more than two dozen types of cars (including the Ford Falcon FG) and nearly fifty of the world’s great race tracks – from Indianapolis and Daytona to Spa, Silverstone and Phillip Island.   All you need is a computer, gaming steering wheel and pedals and high speed Internet and you can be racing against top sim racers from all over the world, not to mention guys like Dale Earnhardt Jr, Will Power and Simon Pagenaud who use the service.

For those of you in Australia and New Zealand, checking out is a great place to start. These guys will hook you up with some awesome sim parts to get you started.

When my “day job” permits, I compete in iRacing’s version of the V8 Supercar championship.  Although I’ve enjoyed some success, believe me, racing against the top sim racers in Australia and New Zealand – there’s a few of them who can pretty consistently dust me! And I take it pretty seriously.

When my “day job” permits, I compete in iRacing’s version of the V8 Supercar championship.

Most of the front runners in the iRacing V8 series are young guys and any of them could have a shot at a professional career if they got that opportunity I reckon. There’s some great potential there and you can see guys like Madison Down and Mitch McLeod already have great race-craft and great car skills.  That’s all thanks to the sim racing they’ve done and how accurate the simulation is. I’ve seen where another iRacing champion named Greger Huttu got the chance to drive a real race car and he did pretty well, so maybe one day for these guys . . .

Speaking of accuracy, one of the features iRacing recently added is McLaren Electronics’ ATLAS Express data acquisition system.  You read that right: Sim racers now have access to the same telemetry data as F1 drivers.  I’ve been using ATLAS Express quite a bit in my efforts to improve car setup and driving style in the iRacing V8s. As with the MoTeC system we use in the V8 Supercar Series, you try different things and overlay the traces versus your previous laps and see was it good or not. You can teach yourself with the system and it certainly makes you a better driver.

In any form of racing, your most direct competition is your teammate.  And just as I do in the V8 Supercar Championship Series with my SBR teammates Tim Slade and Alex Davison, on iRacing I compare my data with Scotty McLaughlin and a couple of others for a look-see at how our different driving styles work, where what you’re doing is a little quicker than your teammates and vice versa, then make some changes where it’s necessary and – ideally – blend the best of both.  
From an engineering point of view, if you have access to all your teammates’ setups and driving styles, you can learn what people are doing to help their car – or maybe you’re doing something better that they can learn from.

Atlas Express is a feature of the second generation of the iRacing system – iRacing 2.0 – which is being introduced in its entirety in August. Along with Atlas Express, iRacing 2.0 includes a whole range of major improvements including new cars, new tracks and enhancements to the system.

I’ve been pretty heavily involved in the development of one of those enhancements – iRacing’s revolutionary new tire model — as it applies to the Ford Falcon FG.  Up until now, race simulations have based their tires on a sort of “reverse engineering” process, where they take the performance numbers of real tires and try to mimic them as closely as possible.  Instead, the iRacing people have made a massive effort to understand the fundamental physics of tire performance in order to create virtual tires that inherently behave like “real” tires rather than as the result of “artificially” tinkering with their performance to make them match-up with a set of arbitrary numbers.

As you can imagine, the ATLAS Express data acquisition system is a critical part of the testing process, as I can actually overlay the data from the iRacing V8 compared to my real V8 at Phillip Island.  Unbelievable! The effects of changes in tire pressures and temperatures, camber, toe, ride height, dampers and springs; aerodynamics; different driving styles . . . it’s all there.  The notes I’ve made comparing the sim car vs the real car are all backed-up by the data, which really helps develop the accuracy of the new tires.

The new tire model has such huge potential and is already a massive step forward.  There’s a bit of work to do yet, but it’s definitely more realistic already.  You can feel the tire and the road, the gripping and when it slips away . . . the feeling is definitely more positive.  We need to make it better and make the car a little better as well, but it’s definitely going to be awesome when it’s finished. I can’t wait!

The new tire model is currently only available on iRacing’s equivalent of the NASCAR Nationwide Series car.   Myself and a few development drivers are working with the Ford Falcon FG.  A few of the guys from the iRacing V8 Supercar series are in the process of getting into it and all the iRacing cars will be equipped with the new tires in August. Also, a few of the other Championship Series drivers are in the process of signing up — so come on, join in the fun and take us on!

Note: After several seasons as an emerging star of Australia’s V8 Supercar Series, Shane van Gisbergen is enjoying a breakout season in 2011. Driving the Stone Brothers Racing SP Tools Ford Falcon FG, the 22 year old New Zealander scored his first V8 Supercar Series win at the Hamilton street race in April and backed that up with another win at Darwin’s Hidden Valley Raceway in June. “The Giz” currently occupies third place in the overall series standings.


About Shane vanGisbergen

Shane Van Gisbergen was born to race. From pestering his Dad Robert to buy him a Suzuki ATV at the tender age of five, to signing - at just 17 years of age - a contract to race V8 Supercars for top Ford team Stone Brothers Racing, the constant in his life has been competition.

Raised on the rural fringe of New Zealand's largest city Auckland, Shane spent his formative years racing ATVs on natural terrain Motocross tracks and a Quarter Midget on speedway ovals before a brief but typically successful dalliance with karts and a year in the Formula First class courtesy New Zealand's SpeedSport magazine Scholarship programme saw his focus turn to tarmac.

Since then he has been on a fast track to major league Australasian success, winning the New Zealand Formula Ford championship in 2006 and finishing a close second to teammate Daniel Gaunt in the Toyota Racing Series in 2007. Later the same year he signed a long-term driver contract with Stone Brothers Racing, making the V8 Supercar championship debut he has always dreamed about at the Oran Park round in August.


That’s awesome to know that when it comes to NTM testing, they cooperate with real drivers like you Shane. I can only imagine if there are reallife drivers for each car =) but it does not mean alot since V8 is one of my favourites car on service.

Good read!

June 30th, 2011 at 4:46 pm
Evgeny Garanin

It’s not long a go when I heard a rumor that “Cheeseburger” is helping iRacing out with the FG Falcon. And it’s true! Great news :) You really need a racer guy/gal that is familiar with sim racing and it’s pros and cons compared to real life before the feedback is really valuable. Big, BIG thank you, Giz! Can’t wait for August!

June 30th, 2011 at 5:17 pm
Tero Dahlberg

Sweet. It’s good to know that you are testing the new tire model with real life data back to back on ATLAS. I’m Really looking forward to 2.0.

June 30th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

Shane, first of all, i’m a big fan and watch all the V8 races. I raced a season in the V8s last year but switched because of participation. Looks like im going to be back in August! Looking forward to seeing you on the iRacing track. Dont be creeped out if you notice me following you everywhere on the track and good luck with the rest of your season.

June 30th, 2011 at 7:07 pm
Vishnu Rajam

nice to know you’re helping them in the tests, Shane.
good luck in your pursue of the championship in the real v8 supercar!

June 30th, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I am very happy that a real race driver that is also fast in the virtual part, is helping to develop iRacing.

July 1st, 2011 at 5:34 am
Matthias Egger

where is the name Rens Broekman???
he is now on top of the championship
why do you only name guys how come out of australia
not to be a hater or something
just want some little respect for someone out of the benelux

July 1st, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Thanks again, Shane, for another impartial and honest interview.

For those of you around the world who have checked out and who live outside of Nw Zealand or Australia, please be aware that Hyper Stimulator can supply you with the Hyper Stimulator race car simulator that suits your requirements no matter where in the world you live.

Feel free to visit or drop an email to

Kind regards,

Nathan Addis

Marketing and Business Development Manager – Hyper Stimulator New Zealand

July 2nd, 2011 at 5:35 am
Nathan Addis

Great writeup… enjoyed it

July 2nd, 2011 at 8:59 am
jeff thomas

I ran in an iRacing event at Road Atlanta, fixed Vette at Road Atlanta during S1 2011 against “The Giz”
He took me to school on the line in the first few corners and eventually lapped me twice with a courteus “smily” as he passed.
Shane, you are a class act and I know we’ll all benefit from your development work with the NTM.
Good luck for the rest of the season.

July 5th, 2011 at 10:11 pm
jeremy testar

Please note that Shane, the author of this article, did not regularly race against Rens Broekman until midway through Season Two. The majority of his battles at the front of the highest splits have thus far been against the guys he named. When racers from Benelux, The Netherlands and Scandanavia have challenged the Aussie regulars, and there have been a few who have, they have been given their due recognition in the race reports on .

July 26th, 2011 at 11:54 pm

not bad for a kiwi and a ford driver

July 29th, 2011 at 5:46 am
holden fan and aussie

hi Shane could you do something about getting iracing,bigpond or v8 supercars to at least sponsor the race with a prize for the winning the world championship in v8 iracing i hear you get nothing. all the time effort and money they put in to get nothing but just the title. i think is a joke when these corporate companies are making millions. eg; iracing free 1 yr subscription, bigpond 1 yr free internet, v8 supercars tickets to bathurst, hot lap with you, or driver of there choice. for the internationals im not quite sure maybe ask them. hope you have got the pull to get something done for next season. hey hope you finish off this yrs v8 supercar championship on a good note, all the best for next yr.

November 10th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Shane, I’m a true blue Aussie but am a big fan of yours! The way you throw your SBR falcon around is always alot of fun to watch. It’s great you are investing time in iRacing (to help all of us dreamers), because as a former sports sedan racer who simply ran out of coin to continue at a competitive level and having a sim and iRacing in my garage it gives me the fix I need to satisfy my hunger.
All the best for 2012 both on and off line!
P.S. If or when you drive for another team, please make it in the Red Lion…….!!!

December 15th, 2011 at 4:09 am

im ain’t in v8 im in legends and i just started my score keeps droping in crashes that aren’t my fault can you tell me how to if you can.

January 27th, 2012 at 4:51 pm
devon jackson

Really? Top Gear is broadcasted on the BBC, blcsiaaly a government channel. I still have to see them make a bad claim about any British car. . While we don’t have any popular car shows, out magazines remain private, and they do say any bad points on any car. American or otherwise. Anyway, Top Gear isn’t really about cars. It was originally, but now its more about humor than any proper car review. To get actual facts, watch Fifth Gear.

May 9th, 2012 at 6:19 am

Top 3 iracing:
1.Shane Van Gisbergen
2.Jon Adams
3.Ray Alfalfa

August 22nd, 2012 at 12:30 am

Ill actually race with him on iracing

January 26th, 2013 at 6:42 pm
Timothy McGouirk
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