| | | | | | |

Crew Chief V4 Setup: How to Install and run Crew Chief in iRacing

Crew Chief V4 - a complete setup guide

Crew Chief V4 is free software developed for sim racing enthusiasts. This versatile application seamlessly integrates with a wide range of sim software, including rFactor2, Assetto Corsa, Project CARS, F1 2021, iRacing, Assetto Corsa Competizione, RaceRoom, and Automobilista, among others.

By continuously monitoring real-time data from the sim racing application API, Crew Chief V4 serves as a virtual spotter, offering valuable vocal updates on various aspects of the race such as lap times, gaps between competitors, and race standings.

Additionally, it provides crucial insights into the vehicle’s condition, including brake and tire temperatures, tire pressure, and other pertinent factors, as well as environmental conditions and much more.

The key feature, in my opinion though, is proximity warnings and fuel management.

Launching Crew Chief
Launching Crew Chief

The main site for Crew Chief can be found here. It’s a huge forum with thousands of contributors. Crew Chief has a very engaged development team, too so I hope it’ll be around for a long time!

Let’s begin by downloading and installing Crew Chief:

How to Install and Run Crew Chief for iRacing
  1. Download Crew Chief at https://thecrewchief.org/
  2. Unzip the downloaded file
  3. Open the installer and follow the prompts
  4. Follow our Crew Chief setup guide for the best settings

Getting Started

Launch Crew Chief. To update the software with the most recent sounds and driver names, click on any of the green buttons (if they are green – meaning there’s an update available) “Download sound pack” and “Download driver names” buttons for example:

You may see green buttons indicating crew chief needs a software update
You may see green buttons indicating the need for a software update

Whenever Crew Chief downloads a sound pack, driver name pack, or personalisation, the software will ask to be restarted:

Restart Crew Chief once it's updated
Restart Crew Chief once it’s updated

Next, choose your desired game from the list located in the top-right corner. You’ll also need to select the audio devices for your voice messages and background volume My Astro Mix Amp has two separate audio devices, one for the main game and the other for chat (usually on Discord). Crew Chief works really well with that particular soundcard/headset combo so take a look if you don’t have one.

If all the sounds and driver names are updated, and you’re happy with your audio levels, click the “Start Crew Chief” button in the top left.

At this stage, you can actually go out for a drive. in iRacing, you’ll want to at least disable the iRacing spotter voice )I leave the text messages on screen but voice off when I’m using Crew Chief:

Unclick "enable spotter" or select "text only" in the highlighted drop down
Unclick “enable spotter” or select “text only” in the highlighted drop down

This is where a lot of people stop, but there are of course a lot of Crew Chief settings that you might be missing that you shouldn’t ignore.

Auto refueling

Crew Chief will collect data on your lap-by-lap fuel consumption, making a dynamic calculation for when you should make a pit stop and, how much fuel to take on board to finish the race. Setup correctly, this is a game-changing feature.

For every setting change, you need to start with the “Properties” button:

Clicking properties will take you to a view that can be a little overwhelming at first. In fact, there are probably hundreds of controls here. But, thankfully you can search for the setting we need. So, auto-fuelling. Search for “fuel” here:

Search for "fuel" to display all fuel properties in the Crew Chief settings dialogue
Search for “fuel” to display all fuel properties in the Crew Chief settings dialogue

Firstly, select “Enable iRacing auto refueling when entering pit in race” (or make sure it’s selected). With this selected, when you enter the pit lane you’ll get an in-ear audio message to let you know you’re being fuelled for the end of the race.

Things can go wrong with this setting as it’s really only looking at average consumption. What if you’ve been in another car’s tow this whole race? My “get out of jail free” top would be to set the “Additional fuel to add to finish the race“. 0.7 additional Litres seems to work very safely for me. No need for a fuel calculator, and not to much driver overload thinking about fuel.

Pit box distance

The pit box distance countdown is a little bit of a lifesaver by giving you an audible countdown to your pit pox approach which should make missing your pit slot highly (or just much less) likely.

Enable pit box distance warning in Crew Chief
Enable pit box distance warning in Crew Chief

We’ve lost a race in the worse possible way before discovering this little setting, so, I recommend it!

Minimise on Startup and Run Immediately

When you initially open Crew Chief, you have to manually click the “Start Crew Chief” button. Did you know there’s a setting to automatically start and minimize the window?

Clear your previous search, then using the Category filter drop-down, select “UI, Startup & paths”. Look for the “Minimize on Startup” checkbox and the “Run immediately” checkbox.

These settings will make Crew Chief automatically run without any intervention from you.

Sector reports

I like to get regular updates on my sector timings. In Crew Chief properties there’s a setting that I find particularly useful: “Race sector reports at each sector”

Race sector reports enabled
Race sector reports enabled

To find the “Race sector reports at each sector” checkbox, select the “Timings” option in the drop-down menu.

Disable rants

Occasionally you’ll get a cheeky message from your Chief, like “maybe try it the other way up” if you roll the car.

To disable rants, search for “rants” then unclick the “Enable rants” checkbox

Funny, sure but not always the most helpful thing in the world!

Voice Recognition

Provided you have a microphone on your headset, and of course that’s setup correctly in the software, you can enable voice recognition and ask your Crew Chief questions related to the race, for example “how long is left in the race?”.

Like Alexa or Google, a trigger word activates a voice answer. In Crew Chief, it’s “Chief…”

Here are the voice commands via the add/remove actions button at the bottom of the UI:

There are a lot of Crew Chief voice commands to choose from

Below are some of the more useful voice command questions you can ask your Crew Chief, always remembering to start with “Chief…”

“how’s my [fuel / tire wear / body work / aero / engine / transmission / suspension / pace ]”
“What are my [brake temps / tire temps]” (gives the actual temps)
“what’s my [gap in front / gap ahead / gap behind / last lap / last lap time / lap time / position / fuel level / best lap / best lap time]”
“what’s the fastest lap”
“how long is left / how many laps are left / how many laps to go”
“what’s [the car in front / the guy in front / the car ahead / the guy ahead]’s last lap”
“what’s [the car behind / the guy behind]’s last lap”
“what’s [the car behind / the guy behind]’s best lap”
“What time is it / what’s the time” (reports current real-world time)
“What’s my fuel usage / what’s my fuel consumption / what’s my fuel use” (reports the per-lap or per-minute average fuel consumption)
“Where should I attack / where am I faster / where can I attack”: If the app has enough data, it will report the corner name where you’re gaining the most time on the guy in front
“Where should I defend / where am I slower / where is he faster / where will he attack”
“Damage report” / “How’s my car” / “Is my car ok?”

Hopefully, this is a useful and thorough enough introduction to setting up Crew Chief precisely how you need it (especially in iRacing!). Let me know if you have any questions or comments below!

Related articles

Crew Chief V4 Setup: How to Install and run Crew Chief in iRacing