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  • David Phillips
    Editor And Chief
    David Phillips is a long-time contributor to print and electronic publications in the U.S. and abroad, including Racer, Autosport, AutoWeek, Motor Sport and, oversees the daily updating of news stories and assigns, edits and contributes feature material for
  • Wil Vincent
    Contributing writer

    Wil is a 25 year old student, town planner, and sim racing commentator, most well known for his work as the lead commentator for GlacierTV. Wil got into commentating through his college student radio, where he also worked as a journalist and interviewer, covering gigs and festivals within the UK, and joined GlacierTV in February 2012, becoming lead commentator a month later. His work culminated in him commentating on the 2013 World Championship Grand Prix Series, iRacing Indy 500, and iRacing All Star Race. When he gets in the virtual cockpit, you'll normally see will taking on the thrill of IndyCar Oval racing, or trying his hand in GT action

    Outside of iRacing, Wil's an avid IndyCar fan, having watched the sport since the late 1990s, and always looks forward to the Month of May. He also enjoys watching NASCAR, Formula 1, and V8 Supercars.

  • Jeff Jacobs

    Jeff Jacobs started autocrossing with the SCCA in 1990 while a student at the University of Florida. He has competed in the SCCA's National Tour and ProSolo series since 1995, winning a ProSolo National Championship in H-Stock in 2011 driving a 2010 MINI Cooper. Jeff completed his SCCA Club Racing drivers' school in 2012 at Roebling Road in a Spec Miata. He currently writes a column for the SCCA's Northeast Division in SportsCar Magazine and is the Region Executive of the Philadelphia Region SCCA.

    Jeff joined iRacing in October 2012. After starting with the MX-5 and SRF cars, he has been concentrating on the Ford Mustang FR500S, competing in the Mustang Cup series and the Continental Endurance Sports Car Series.

  • Cam Stark
    contributing writer

    I began taking sim racing seriously about a year ago, but have loved motorsports from a young age. I began following Formula One first, then realized there are a huge variety of motorsports to watch. iRacing has opened my eyes even more to the diversity and volume of “real world” motorsports, let alone on the sim itself. With the huge varieties of series to choose from, you're spoiled for choice!

    Ever since I began iRacing, I wanted to improve on my ability, be it road or oval. Having not really heard about oval racing prior to November last year (blame the UK press), my mentality towards it has totally changed from what it would have initially been - it's awesome! I recently began road racing again - in the Star Mazda - and have been having a blast ever since. On top of racing the series I have the privilege of writing the articles for iRacing News.

    In all honesty I have surprised myself on iRacing. From being a fairly casual gamer/racer, it's been a world of difference, but it has far exceeded my expectations. I had a very brief stint driving in rFactor leagues, but I found my place of sim racing on this service, and I can't see myself stopping anytime soon.

  • Justin Sutton
    series contributor

    Justin is 29 and lives in Texas with his girlfriend and three dogs. Although always a fan of road racing growing up, Sutton never got the chance to participate in Sim-Racing until 2012 and didn't join iRacing until 2013. The son of a writer, and former resident of Connecticut and Philadelphia, his interests vary. Currently Sutton is a co-owner of YouTube channel focused on racing games and simulators and more specifically Formula One along with his partner Mikko from Finland (BoxBoxBoxGaming). Currently Sutton writes the Skip Barber F2000 and Lotus 49 articles (and the occasional F1 article) for iRacing News, and doesn't get nearly enough time to race the cars he writes about.

    Gaming is a big part of Sutton's life as well as he is both viewer and broadcaster on Twitch along with his girlfriend of seven years. In addition to being an aspiring writer he is a skilled speaker with a focus on commentary of races and hopes one day to do commentary for road racing of some kind.

  • Matt Holden

    Matt Holden began his involvement in motorsports at an early age, moving to Charlotte, NC when he was 6 months old. Growing up next door to a NASCAR TV personality, racing has always been a major part of his life. Currently studying Mechanical Engineering at UNC Charlotte, Matt works for US Legend Cars International as a technical inspector and race official at local tracks such as Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. Within iRacing, Matt is the Crew Chief for Gale Force Racing's #05 car in the NASCAR Peak Antifreeze Series, as well as Chassis Engineer for the team's R&D program.

  • Paul Slavonik
    iRacingNews Series Writer

    For all intents and purposes, Paul Slavonik was a late-bloomer to racing. Growing up watching NASCAR drivers such as Davey Allison and Earnhardt Sr. was the furthest extent of Paul’s racing aspirations at the time. Fast forwarding 20 years, Paul began watching the UK show Top Gear and thus ensued a fascination with all things fast. Soon after, Paul stumbled upon and has been hooked on racing ever since.
    A United States Army Veteran, Certified Audio Engineer and aspiring author, Paul spends his time hanging out with his wife and working on his first book. Currently residing in Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), TX, his favorite racing series is the Australian V8 Supercars (go FPR!) and he has recently joined a local ChumpCar racing team. Paul began writing news stories for iRacingNews in January of 2014 and currently covers the GT3 Challenge Series and the V8 Supercars Series.

  • Thiago Izequiel

    Born in 1985 in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Thiago Izequiel is a graphic and web designer, go kart racer, aiming to get a career in motorsports. He started racing in 2007 and joined iRacing in 2010. Thiago lives in Maricá, a little town located in Rio de Janeiro state, around 60km far away from Rio de Janeiro city. In 2014 he started to write for iRacing News and also started to design layouts for racing cars.

    Working as a freelancer today, he started working as a designer in 2006. After a few years working in web design agencies, Thiago decided to follow his dreams and quit his job to work with a racing driver named Suzane Carvalho in 2011, on her driver's school. Things didn't worked out as expected and Thiago, after getting jobs as a front-end developer and social media content developer, went back to the dream path as a freelancer so he could have more time to focus on his driving career.

  • David Moulthrop
    NASCAR Contributor

    David Moulthrop is an award winning motorsports photo journalist and has covered auto racing since the mid-seventies. While he is most well known for his NASCARimages he has also covered F1, American Road Racing, and IndyCar on a regular basis. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and online news sites including, National Speed Sport News, Area Auto Racing News, Auto Racing USA, Stock Car Magazine, Sprint Cup Dateline, and Jayski. David joined the iRacing team in 2004 as a contract photographer and became iRacing's Laser Scan Project Manager in 2005.

  • Jack Davidson
    Staff Videographer

    Jack is a recent grad from Boston University with a passion for filmmaking as well as racing. He grew up playing games such as the Need For Speed series, Gran Turismo, and more recently, the GRID and DIRT franchises.

  • Jason Lofing Series Writer
    Jason is 21 years old and was born and raised in Elk Grove. California. A big time NASCAR fan, he hasn’t missed a race on Sunday in years. Lofing is also a huge San Fransisco Giants fan and tries to take in at least a couple games a year. Other than sim racing, his biggest (and far more expensive!) hobby is photography. Although he is rather new to sim racing, Lofing has already accomplished some pretty impressive results, qualifying for the 2011 iRacing Oval Pro Series in Season 1, 2011, winning the inaugural Landon Cassill Qualifying Challenge and finishing runner-up in the second one.
  • Katier Scott
    Contributing Writer
    I am a veteran sim racer who first started racing way back in 1993 on the SPRTSIMS section of Compuserve with a league who can trace themselves all the way to the present. Within that league I act as Chief Steward and try to bring the unique viewpoint that this experience gives me into my articles.
    I have a BA (Hons) in Journalism and Editorial design and have been writing for seven years and currently cover the Lotus 79 CTC and Radical series alongside my freelance work. Living in the UK, as well as motorsports I love Photography, Arts and Crafts and reading.
  • David Ifeguni
    Contributing Writer
    I was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1988 and moved to Midland, Michigan when I was two years old. I stayed there until third grade when I moved to Farmington Hills, Michigan and now I currently live in Naperville, IL where I'm attending Metea Valley High School as a 9th grader. In the past, I have participated in soccer and this year I plan on joining swimming or water polo. My family includes my 15 year old sister, a 7 year old sister and my mom and dad. I have been writing since 6th grade and have participated in many writing contests in my school and have received several awards for writing.
    My fascination for motorsports began when I was nine. The first NASCAR race I watched on TV was the 2009 Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway, won by Kasey Kahne. My favorite NASCAR drivers are Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jimmie Johnson. I have watched all the races in the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series since 2010. I currently have three wins on iRacing, two of them in the Nationwide car at Daytona and one in the Street stocks at Charlotte. My favorite car and type of track on iRacing is the Nationwide Series (B Class) car and superspeedways.

Fixed Setups and iRacing: Empowering Your Inner Driver or Frustrating Your Inner Engineer?

by John Bodin on August 4th, 2010

When iRacing unveiled the 2010 Season 3 schedule they also announced the addition of two new fixed-setup series — both of these fixed-setup series will be B-Class series, featuring the C6.R Corvette on the road course side, and the Impala SS Class B on the oval side.  These new fixed-setup series will run in addition to the existing open (adjustable) setup iRacing GT Championship and NASCAR iRacing Class B series on the same schedule but with race distances set at 50% of the adjustable setup events.

Fixed setup racing is hardly new to iRacing . . .

Fixed setups are nothing new to iRacing . . .

Fixed setups are nothing new to iRacing — every member initially stated out in fixed-setup series:  The Rookie Legends on the oval side is a fixed-setup series, and the Rookie Solstice on the road racing side is also a fixed-setup series.  Moving up the iRacing license ranks, the Volkswagen Jetta TDI Cup is a fixed-setup road racing series that runs at the D-Class, and while the Skip Barber Race Series doesn’t qualify as a true “fixed-setup” series, the Formula Skip Barber 2000 cars features a very limited number of setup adjustments, including tire pressure, fuel load, front ride height (spring perch settings), brake bias, and rear anti-roll bar setting, which positions it very close to the fixed-setup end of the spectrum.

Given all of this, you would think that the addition of two fixed-setup series at the B-Class level wouldn’t be a big deal — in fact, on the oval side, the addition of the fixed-setup Class-B series means there will be more opportunities to race in that car.  These new fixed-setup series offer a different set of challenges than the open (adjustable) setup series, and should encourage more people to try racing in these series thanks to the level playing field provided by the option of racing in a fixed-setup series without having to worry about trying to become a race engineer on top of having to learn the cars and tracks.

Still, despite all this, I’ve seen a lot of offhand comments in the iRacing member forums indicating that fixed setup racing is going to take away a significant aspect of realism here at iRacing . . .  but I’m not so sure.

I think the issue of how you as an individual driver is going to be impacted by the prospect of being “forced” to race in a fixed-setup series has a lot to do with whether you primarily think of yourself as a driver or as a race engineer.

Consider what it means being a race driver in the real world, especially among the professional ranks — I’m sure a lot of drivers often find themselves “at the mercy” of their race engineer because they provide feedback to the engineer, the engineer dials-in settings, the mechanics do their thing, and then the driver has to go out and try to drive whatever concoction the engineer and mechanics have thrown together.

There's no blaming your inner engineer when this happens with a fixed setup!

There's no blaming your inner engineer when this happens with a fixed setup!

In many ways, this is one crucial area where sim racing differs from how it really is in the real world — a lot of good drivers understand what works, but even the best drivers today typically aren’t the ones turning the wrenches, or analyzing the telemetry data.  It takes a good driver/engineer combo to establish the necessary rapport required to give and receive good feedback in order to produce positive results, and it sometimes takes a team of mechanics a significant amount of time to make the necessary changes (stuff that we accomplish with a few simple clicks in a menu).

Just consider that the fixed setup races are roughly equal to moving to a new team in the real-world, with a race engineer with whom you’re not familiar.  Fixed setups are kind of like if you were picked-up by a big team to fill-in for an injured driver — the team would give you a car that was setup to perform in a relatively predictable manner; it would have a decent setup, but it wouldn’t be dialed-in and fully-tweaked to match your preferences and your driving style.

When it comes down to those fully dialed-in, “personalized” setups in the real world, they only come from long-term relationships between drivers and engineers who work well and closely over time.  Drivers who are given setups that “should” work and then asked to jump in a car and go fast and compete is probably closer to the norm in the real world, and we sim racers are quite spoiled by being able to be our own drivers, race engineers and mechanics — this just doesn’t happen all that much in the real world, where things that we would consider “fixed setups” are much closer to the norm.

With all of this in mind, the prospect of fixed-setup racing really only impacts our “inner engineer” — the driver within still has a car to master, and a track to tame.  Keep that in mind — and keep an open mind — and fixed setup racing begins to seem a lot less “unrealistic.”

6 Comments or Trackbacks

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  1. Mark A Warmington
    August 5th, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Good article and an interesting viewpoint on the topic that became quite emotive on the forums.

    For many, the issue of realism never entered the debate. Instead – the emotive point for many was that the option to satisfy the inner engineer was being removed. The scenario we have now (fixed and open) resolved the issue as those wish to focus just on driving the car can do so and those who wish to develop their own understanding can do so.

    It’s all about what you want to get from iRacing: some just want to race and some want to continue the development of their skill-set with what is arguably the finest racing simulation available to the general public.

  2. Ryan
    August 5th, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    I like fixed setup racing and I’m anxious to raise my license level high enough to be able to run the oval series.

    The one “catch” to just “being the driver” is the fact that in the real world that engineer is still there to listen to our feedback and make changes accordingly. We don’t really get to give iRacing feedback to the fixed setups to make any changes let alone dial it in.

    I can understand why people are frustrated, but their complaints don’t hold water as long as it doesn’t hurt participation in the open setup version of the series. In my opinion I suspect it will help. You run the fixed setup one day and get comfortable with the car and then you’re more apt to try the open setup on the same track even if you only run the fixed setup.

  3. Alexandre
    August 5th, 2010 at 9:27 pm

    “…should encourage more people to try racing in these
    series thanks to the level playing field provided by the
    option of racing in a fixed-setup series…”

    some people will never understand that fixed setups
    do not level any playing field, much less in the case of
    the corvette, where you see people lapping 1.55s at
    sebring while others are lapping 2.01s.

    people who lap 1.55s in the fixed series would be the
    fastest ones with open sets anyway. people who lap
    2.01s would have difficulty in any corvette series, no
    matter what restriction you made to it.

    shorter distances are another matter and that, maybe
    is what these people are looking for in the fixed series.

    i don’t have an opinion on the oval side of things.

  4. Jay
    August 10th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Well said Alexandre, fixed setups certainly save time, I’ll concede that, but they definitely don’t do anything to level the playing field. Especially when you consider that a lot of the fast drivers share their setups with the public anyway. So if there are fast/good setups out there, what’s the need for fixed series when you already have the best setups available to you? In that sense what does it really accomplish for you?

    Secondly what does level the playing field are the splits. So if you don’t have a setup equal to the fastest guys you still have the opportunity to be competitive. If you’re not being placed in the top split because of your setup, guess what, that’s simply the nature of racing.

    Finally the fixed setup, for the Corvette, has taken away from the open series. Like I’ve said before it’s nice to have your options, but not at the expense of something else. There just aren’t enough active members to have this many series going right now.

  5. robert fuller
    September 15th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    I felt bad not having my own setup. this will help me

  6. john graham
    September 29th, 2014 at 10:30 pm

    I am actually reassured by learning that some of the cars are ‘Set’ because I was starting to think other drivers using the same car (VW Jetta) must have something ‘extra’. No matter how hard I try they simple gain ground with each lap. Now I know it’s not down to special engineering set-ups but pure skill … So, back to the drawing board… I have no excuses …. I just need to become a better driver!