Oculus Rift in iRacing first impressions

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I just got the Oculus Rift. Fellow iRacers praised it as the ultimate experience. So I checked that I could use it with my glasses on and gave it a try.

First things first, it is the ultimate experience. Sitting in an IndyCar, seeing the wheels and the pit crew, it is just amazing. Even though the resolution is not perfect, the impression that you get is just unbelievable. There is one downside though, without the virtual mirror you really have a hard time to see what is going on behind you.

The first laps are quiet hard because you don’t have a fixed field of view anymore you have to learn where to look at first. Once you figure that out you can drive more precise than ever before. I tried Interlagos in the IndyCar and was just 2 tenth of a second slower than my best lap ever. Then I tried the Lotus 79 at Laguna Seca and I was just about to get a new fastest lap when I spun.

It is also easier to catch a spin as you are more aware what the car does, at least in my impression.

So far so good. There is one downside too, the motion sickness. Which isn’t a problem when you drive in a straight line but the first corners my brain expects some g forces especially when the corner is up or downhill. So Corkscrew in Laguna is a bit tricky and Interlagos also. I managed to avoid it a bit by looking in the right direction but it never went away. It is quit heavy when you spin or rolling backwards. As it is not the whole time and not so strong that I have to stop immediately I’m still hoping to overcome it once my brain gets used to VR. Otherwise I would need a motion simulator.

I hope it will get better. As I mentioned before, the driving experience is really good. Actually “sitting” in the car gives you more oversight and the ability to drive more precise. My main problem with one monitor was that I couldn’t estimate the distance to the end of the track. So I didn’t use the whole track. This is totally possible with VR and I realized it in the Lotus 79 in Laguna Seca.

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