Fortec Motorsport’s Luke Browning has underlined the importance of sim racing to stay sharp after the first five rounds of the 2020 F4 British Championship certified by FIA – powered by Ford EcoBoost were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide.
The 18-year old is a regular on the iRacing platform alongside his fellow rising stars, competing in online leagues and competitions to stay focused and race-ready whilst motorsport worldwide is on hold.
Browning also underlined the importance of using sim racing in the lead up to race weekends, enabling him to refresh his track knowledge and perfect technique as he chases the incremental gains that can make all the difference in Britain’s FIA Formula 4 series.
“Personally I think sim racing is great, it really helps me prepare and get focused,” said Browning.
“You use all the same skills that you would do on track, it’s just the fear element is taken away. It allows me to practice perfecting technique when testing is so limited. So, yeah, it’s a massive part of preparation.”
He also paid tribute to the wide range of car models and level of competition available on iRacing, explaining the kit he uses to take part.
“I use iRacing more than anything. I think their car models and attention to detail is great, they also have the best online community at the moment so it’s the place to be for competitive sim racing.
“In terms of my sim gear I use Fanatec Clubsport wheel base and pedals, with the formula carbon wheel. It isn’t a professional rig as it is but it’s certainly competitive.”
Browning also believes a lot of the international drivers coming to the UK to race in 2020 will have used similar platforms to learn the circuits.
“Many things transfer over, I think getting to know a new track is the best way you can use a sim, it’s perfect for me to learn all the tracks abroad and I’m sure it’s how our multi national grid this year learnt the UK tracks.”
He underlined how crucial the platform has been in keeping him sharp and social during lockdown, and believes generally it has an important role to play as testing in real life can prove costly.
“Sim racing is the only way we as racing drivers can really keep sharp as with the virus at the moment all tracks are closed and if it wasn’t for that testing is expensive. For me it’s crucial to stay on top of my game.”
“Sim racing has become almost the social hub of motorsports at the moment with all drivers indoors it’s amazing who you end up talking to and racing against, the levels are very high, racing against real life champions and F1 drivers.”
“If your starting out feel free to fly me a message on Instagram or Twitter, it’s really easy – many companies will do it for you now. If not, the forums are great there’s always someone on to answer your questions. Once you’re up and running it’s definitely worth the hassle.”
Motorsport in the UK is currently suspended until at least June 30th.