Many people who start simracing do so because they see racing and want to do it, whether its Formula 1 or Blancpain GT Series, they're usually fast cars. In this short article i’ll discus why you shouldn’t just skip onto fast cars, and why racing slower cars can be more fun.
Along with many other people, when I started simracing and iRacing in particular i went through the license system as quickly as possible to get onto the fast GT3 and LMP1 cars, it's only now over a year after having joined the service and getting lots of experience that I thought about going back to slower cars. After contemplating it for a while I had seen the amazing participation that the skip barber gets on a daily basis at all times before taking the plunge and buying the skip barber.
Why should you race slow cars?
The main reason i enjoyed going back to slower cars is because the racing is close, very close. You just don't get this in the faster classes like you do in the Skip Barber or the Mazda. I don't think in any 'fast' car I have ever done a full race side by side the entire time, whereas in slower cars this is just a regular race. The racing is close and exhilarating, often 3 or even 4 wide lap after lap and from what I've experienced the racing tends to be cleaner than you find in faster classes as the limits of the car don't often exceed the limits of the driver.
How it helped me improve
Whilst being fun racing slow cars can actually help you improve a lot more than you think, even in simple things such as practicing close racing, being bumper to bumper for 30 minutes helps you improve your awareness and close racing a lot for when you jump back into those quick cars. As well as improving awareness, slower cars help improve your placement of your car, as the car is slower keeping your momentum is vital, therefore a perfect line is required to be quick in slower cars, if you can improve your lines at a slower speed it also helps a lot when you next try that track in a faster car, helping you place your car exactly where you want it and knowing the limits of the line. Finally slower cars are close and this means there is a lot of running off of the racing line to try and overtake or defend, this helps you learn the grip in other points of the track and how much speed you can carry for next time you are trying to overtake in fast cars.
I think that all sim racers should go and race some slower cars at least every once in a while, not only can it help you improve as a driver, but it's also a bundle of fun, close, clean racing, what more can you want?!