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Your first Sim Racing Setup: Our Ultimate Beginner’s guide

my sim racing setup

Featured image: My sim racing setup

While some racing games can be played on a console with a controller, it’s a far better, immersive sim racing experience once you invest in a cockpit, a sim racing wheel, gaming PC and pedals.

If you’re ready to step up to the next level, read my advice and guidance for beginners looking to build a sim racing cockpit, get it set up properly, find support, join communities and be ready to race.

When I first found sim racing, I intended to use my new simulator as a tool to improve my “real world” track driving. At the time, I was racing a Radical SR3 rsx and a Mazda MX5 (Miata) here in the UK. With my new sim racing cockpit installed and set up, I was ready to race.

Little did I realise at the time just how huge the sport of sim racing is.

Grid MPX sim racing wheel mounted
You can build a sim yourself or order a fully built and ready to go simulator – read on for more

Your sim racing setup will include a wheelbase, direct drive wheelbase, pedals, a rig or cockpit, and a PC to run simulation software. When set up well, these components all work together to create a fun, lifelike racing experience – a platform upon which you can finesse your driving technique and improve your racecraft.

Table of Contents: What do I need to know to build a sim racing setup?
  1. What do you get out of sim racing?
  2. The anatomy of a sim racing cockpit
  3. Seats
  4. Wheelbases
  5. Wheels
  6. Pedals
  7. PC
  8. Ready-Built Simulators
  9. Budget
  10. Pro Driver Setups
  11. Communities
  12. Training

It might surprise you to hear that sim racing as an industry is a huge consumer market, with the market-leading equipment manufacturer, Fanatec, turning over £40m annually. When you add up the numbers, the participants, the different software platforms, the number of PC and Playstation owners running a racing simulator – you realize that sim racing is here to stay and to the trained eye it’s just as real as “real” motorsport.

“The global gaming simulation market size was valued at $4.86 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $20.76 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 15.2% from 2021 to 2030. Gaming simulation is a tool in gaming world that recreates real-world situation.”

Allied Market Research

Sim racing is a big business, it’s attracting large numbers of very talented drivers and, at the top of their game, participants are sponsored and paid competitive salaries to compete. It’s expanding into the world of professional motorsport by becoming a virtual support race in the racing paddock, and most importantly, it’s here to stay.

BMW on top at the Nürburgring
ESPORTS: Naujoks puts BMW on top at the Nürburgring, Baldwin closes on Sprint Series lead (source)

Sim racing is just as competitive and difficult as Motorsport in real life

A good sim racing setup means you can quickly and easily go and participate in a life-like racing environment, with little more than the initial setup cost to bear.

Unlike real Motorsport, sim racing is vastly inexpensive by comparison. It’s also a far more efficient way to spend your time. You may stand around almost all day waiting for a 15 minute race at a club racing weekend. In iRacing (for example) some championships run a new race on the hour, every hour for 24 hours a day.

 Just some of the upcoming races in iRacing

In the simulator, you can amass a season’s worth of racing experience in just a few days, and for a fraction of the cost. And, believe me, competition is fierce. Sim racing is a pure driver vs driver championship in a fair but fiercely competitive environment. Winning is far from easy thanks to the lower barriers to entry for this sport.

Fanatec Direct Drive Wheels

Naturally, talent always rises to the top which is what we’ve been seeing – there are top teams and drivers who in terms of pace, are virtually untouchable.

The competition and growing media interest is why professional Motorsports have embraced the sim world with stunning enthusiasm. I have raced Fernando Alonso (yes, really!) in a Mazda MX5 in iRacing. He was faster than me and won.

It can be hard to compete in the top echelons of the sport.

I raced Fernando Alonso in iRacing
I raced Fernando Alonso in iRacing, and didn’t win…

Since the dominance of Max Verstappen began in F1, we’ve entered a time in Motorsport where almost every professional driver has (or very certainly should have) a sim setup at home.

Max Vestappen's simulator setup
Max Verstappen simulator setup (read on for a kit list)

Beginner Sim Racing Setups

The Moza R3 bundle setup on my desktop
The Moza R3 bundle setup on my desktop

If you’re completely new to sim racing, and you’re keen to “dip your toe” in the water, then a smart move would be to buy a direct drive wheel bundle. You see, it’s very easy for experienced sim racing bloggers like me to jump to “the best” stuff, when truly, budget setups are very, very good these days.

My 3 favourite starter bundles all come with a sim racing wheel, direct drive wheelbase and a pedal set.

I’m a big fan of both Moza and Fanatec – both manufacturers have always strived to bring high quality systems to the market at a reasonable price. The Moza R3 bundle, (pictured above) retails at $399! It’s XBOX compatible, and runs on PC too. I’ve recently reviewed the device in one of my latest articles and I suggest you take a look.

Meanwhile, Fanatec offer a similar beginner’s bundle, comprising of the CSL DD:

CSL DD bundle
CSL DD bundle – McLaren GT3 Starter Kit (CSL DD review here)

I’d argue that the FFB quality and overall level of community support is slightly higher with the Fanatec ecosystem. Both Moza and Fanatec are equally easy to get started with, though.

The cool thing about trying sim racing out for the first time is that you need very little provided that you don’t feel the need to build a full cockpit and buy huge gaming monitors. A reasonably good gaming/sim racing PC with an NVIDIA RTX GPU will likely be powerful enough for you to sample sim racing on your desktop.

And, if you find a passion for sim racing, you can migrate your new wheelbase and wheel/pedal set to a cockpit – good ones (with a seat included) start at around $600.

I admit much of my writing tends to be drawn towards the higher-end kit, but I have so much respect for the far more accessible new direct drive systems that we simply didn’t have when I first started sim racing. So, bear that in mind; you don’t have to drop $10000 just to sit in a race seat!

What do you get out of sim racing?

As a sim racer, you’d be surprised by just how much you can learn.

There’s the technical assembly discipline of constructing your new sim racing cockpit, your gaming PC, and so on, and then there’s the software aspect; you’ll need to set up and calibrate your equipment, install drivers, and inevitably, tackle a few technical issues down the road.

build detail - rear CSX-3
A Cube Controls CSX3 (rear) – a lot of engineering has gone into this sim racing wheel and it’s up to you to add a QR hub and mount it to your wheelbase!

Something you’ll be pleased to hear: there are manuals and clear instructions available with every item of equipment you buy. I’ve seen some very, very good manuals and rarely a bad one. You’re lucky that many sim racers before you have helped to refine these products to the point where special expertise is not needed.

If you’ve ever assembled flatpack furniture, your assembly skills will be fine. Most of what we work on requires only a good Allen key set in the toolbox. If you’ve ever installed software in Windows, you’ll be fine on the PC side too.

I enjoy the opportunity to practice the discipline of driving and pushing myself to drive smoothly, hitting every apex and controlling the car well. But I also really like working with new equipment (hence this website!) and helping others get an introduction to the sport (again, this website!).

Simulated or real? This is Oulton Park in the wet in Assetto Corsa Competitzione
Simulated or real? This is Oulton Park in the wet in Assetto Corsa Competizione

Something that has surprised me is the social aspect of sim racing. There are lots of friendly Discord communities with helpful and supportive people. There are several Facebook groups and there’s always Reddit serving up a healthy dose of fun and “whose fault was this” video. I’ve made a lot of friends through sim racing; and I can tell you – during quarantine, having people to meet up with and race is a really good thing to have.

If you’re a beginner – don’t be put off. Support is everywhere, including on this site. And to anyone who might think learning all this might be a waste of time, think differently. I believe that finding an interest that teaches computer literacy and assembly skills is a fantastic hobby to have, particularly for young people who might not have started their careers just yet.

The confidence earned from an interest that develops expertise in computing is immeasurably valuable and will pay dividends for the rest of their lives.

The anatomy of a sim racing cockpit

My simulator setup: 8020 Aluminium profile cockpit, Simucube 2 Pro direct drive wheelbase, Custom 911 rsr wheel, SimTrecs GT ProPedals
My simulator setup: 8020 Aluminium profile cockpit, Simucube 2 Pro direct drive wheelbase, Custom 911 rsr wheel, SimTrecs GT ProPedals

Your sim racing rig or cockpit consists of the following components:

We’ve covered every aspect of the equipment categories above in detail in the article links featured above, however, as a beginner, I’ll break down the meaning and purpose of each of these items:

Sim Racing Cockpit or Rig

Almost every item of your sim racing equipment is mounted to the chassis of your cockpit. There are many manufacturers and two different manufacturing styles. Most of the best cockpits are manufactured from Aluminium profile, although customised Aluminium tube rigs are also reasonably common. My personal preference is the “8020” profile rig.

side view of aluminium profile 8020 rig
8020 Aluminium profile chassis – note the brackets, plates added for stiffness and assorted hex bolts – all assembled with a selection of Allen keys

The reason for my preference towards Aluminium profile cockpits is that it’s just easier to eliminate flex. Flex is the unintended movement of parts of the cockpit under large loads, like braking. So, a good rig is easy to assemble, easy to modify and add accessories and one that doesn’t flex.


The benefit of being a sim racer is you can save a bit of cash on the seat because it won’t need FIA approval. With that said you’d be amazed how many sim racers want a real motorsport seat installed in their cockpit.

my racing simulator
My current racing simulator setup.

From an authenticity point of view, having a proper bucket seat to climb in and out of before and after a sim racing session is a very nice thing to have. There are lots of seats available (we’ll cover a few in our recommended rigs list later on) or you can read more of our recommendations in this article.

Monitor stands, wheel decks or wheel mounts and pedal bases

Monitor stands can either be standalone or an accessory to the sim rig you’ve bought. Sim-Lab (a very well-respected sim racing cockpit manufacturer) produce both standalone options and stands that will mount to your chassis.

monitor mount for sim racing
Sim Lab Triple monitor mount (19″ – 42″) VESA

It’s usually easiest to check whether a stand is included in your purchase. Sometimes, monitor stands are an optional extra. I prefer a monitor stand that is mounted to my rig. It makes a great deal of sense to do it this way unless you have some reason not to, for example, if you have motion actuators!

Like the monitor stand, wheel decks (or wheel mounts) are almost always supplied with, or an optional extra for the rig you’ve chosen. Some wheelbases need a flat wheel deck as they’re mounted from underneath (like all Fanatec wheelbases), but some wheelbases need a front mounting wheel mount. Check the compatibility section of the sim racing cockpit product you’re interested in as there’s always a list of compatible accessories.

Simucube with wheel mount fitted ready to attach to wheel deck
Simucube with wheel mount fitted ready to attach to wheel deck

You can mount your pedals straight onto the 8020 profile or a pedal base plate. My chassis uses an arrangement of aluminium profile section and t-nuts to mount the pedals, but some rigs come supplied with the pedal base included. Like the wheel deck, a pedal base is probably compatible with your pedals but always check first if you want to avoid drilling.

Sim racing wheelbase

The wheelbase is the device that translates the simulated forces in the simulator software to Force Feedback (FFB).

If you’re buying brand new, there are two budget options from Logitech and Thrustmaster, but a little extra money buys you a lot more torque. And, more torque roughly translates to more detail. There are only a small number of wheelbase manufacturers which include Fanatec, Simucube, VRS, Ricmotech, Simagic and Leo Bodnar. All of these devices are priced differently and require varying levels of setup work (“tuning”) depending on the software platform you’re keen to race on.

Simucube 2 Pro mounted to my rig
Simucube 2 Pro mounted to my rig

If you’d just like to go racing without too much hassle, I recommend Fanatec at the beginner / lower budget level (the CSL DD is the latest budget direct drive wheel) or Simucube at the slightly more intermediate to advanced levels, like the Simucube 2 Pro pictured above.

Sim racing wheels and QR hubs

If you’re anything like me, it’s probably inevitable that during your sim racing career, you’ll build a collection of sim racing wheels!

If you’re new to sim racing, it’s very easy to buy a wheel that comes bundled with your wheelbase. Fanatec, for example, is very good at this. All of their wheels are compatible with all of their wheelbases, so there’s little potential for confusion. Here’s the wheel side hub on a Fanatec DD2 direct drive unit:

fanatec dd2 hub with z-ring installed
Fanatec DD2 direct drive wheelbase hub close up with a Z-Ring fitted

And here’s the hub connector on the back of a Fanatec wheel. As you can see, they very clearly connect with each other – if you stay in the Fanatec universe, everything is very simple – which makes Fanatec an ideal beginner’s manufacturer:

Fanatec LTD edition F1 wheel
Rear-facing – a Fanatec LTD edition F1 wheel – note the wheel side hub simply pushes onto the wheelbase hub

With more advanced options, such as wheelbases from Simucube, VRS and others, you’ll need to find a compatible QR hub.

Simucube has a system called SQR, which has a wheel side and wheelbase mount. Fitting a wheel to the wheelbase then is as simple as tightening a few bolts. I prefer the Simucube and SQR hub, but there are lots of happy Fanatec customers out there too!

Sim racing pedals

Like all sim racing gear, Pedals can be priced cheaply and cost in the thousands for high-end equipment. I’ve owned several different pedal sets over the years, and there’s a benefit to splashing out in this area.

Good pedals don’t make you faster, but they’re useful for consistency, minimising mistakes and fine control. Most sets come as a clutch, brake and throttle either as a single unit (for instance, Fanatec’s Clubsport V3 pedals) or as separate units (as Heusinkveld’s Sprints and Ultimate+ pedals are supplied).

Heusinkveld Ultimate+ sim racing pedal set
Heusinkveld Ultimate+ sim racing pedal set

What matters with pedals is feel and control. You’re looking for a pedal set that allows you to learn to finely control the car by modulating your brake pressure as you enter a corner and by steering with the throttle in the corner exits; ideally, the pedals will “feel” consistent and will be sensitive to your inputs. It’s pretty important to at least have a load cell brake, but most modern sets have either load cells, high-quality potentiometers and a combination of elastomer or hydraulic damping.

Sim Racing PC

Some simulation platforms are more power-hungry than others. Assetto Corsa, for example, will work a GPU far harder than iRacing. But regardless of your intended use, a good sim racing PC is the backbone of an enjoyable racing experience.

My sim racing PC: Intel Core i9 11900K, 32GB Corsair DDR4 Vengeance RGB PRO SL ram, MSI MPG Z590 GAMING CARBON motherboard, NVIDIA 3090 rtx
My sim racing PC: Intel Core i9 11900K, 32GB Corsair DDR4 Vengeance RGB PRO SL ram, MSI MPG Z590 GAMING CARBON motherboard, NVIDIA 3090 rtx

With this said, there are always good pre-built solutions which I regularly recommend as the best option to take. CPU choice is less important than GPU in terms of bang-for-your-buck gaming – but as a rule of thumb, any modern pre-built gaming PC with a GPU higher than an NVIDIA RTX 2080 will be able to run a racing simulator easily.

My racing simulator
My racing simulator (more info here)

What budget should I set for a good racing simulator?

I recently put a guide together to answer exactly this question. I think there’s a false economy in buying the cheapest gear to start with – if you can avoid this, you must. Let me explain:

You could buy a Thrustmaster wheel, pedals, and a Next Level sim rig for around £1000. But if you wanted to upgrade any of that equipment, you’d be starting again. There would be a good chance that the cockpit you’d bought wouldn’t be able to handle a larger brake force from upgraded pedals or the rotational force from a direct drive wheelbase.

The moral of the story is, if you’re serious, avoid cheap sim racing gear!

Cube Controls Formula Sport sim steering wheel mounted to a custom built sim rig from Digital Motorsports
Cube Controls Formula Sport sim steering wheel

So to get started on a proper footing with equipment that will last and won’t disappoint once you start to build your experience, I think a budget of £3,994.38 / €4,639.35 / $5,650 will build you an exceptional sim racing rig.

Here’s a kit list I came up with to build a high-end racing simulator on a budget:

  • Sim Lab GT1 Evo cockpit: £285
  • Direct Drive wheel mounting bracket: £33
  • Simlab GT1 Evo Single Monitor Mount: £51.00
  • OMP Racing Champ Seat: £280
  • Bucket seat bracket set: £38
  • Heusinkveld Sprint Pedals: £501.40
  • Simucube 2 Sport: £884.59
  • Cube Controls Formula Sport Wheel: £572
  • LG UltraWide 34WN750-B 34 Inch QHD monitor: £399.94
  • ADMI Gaming PC: i5 9400F 4.1Ghz SIX Core CPU/NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB / 16GB: £949.95
  • iRacing $20 one-year membership (for new users) enter code PR-2022NEXTGEN

Total: £3,994.38 / €4,639.35 / $5,650

For some other suggestions, check out the table below. I’ve classified each recommendation by “beginner”, “intermediate” and “advanced”.

CockpitSim Lab GT1 – EVOSim Lab GT1 – EVOSim Lab P1-X
WheelbaseFanatec CSL DDSimucube 2 ProSimucube Ultimate
PedalsClubSport V3 Heusinkveld SprintHeusinkveld Ultimate+
Sim Steering WheelCSL Elite Mclaren GT3 V2 Cube Controls Formula SportCube Controls Formula Pro

Pro Driver Setups

Naturally, we’re all very proud of our sim builds, it doesn’t matter if you’ve had to compromise and build to a budget, but what are the professional drivers running? What do their rigs look like? Let’s take a look.

Fernando Alonso’s sim racing setup

The man who needs no introduction was very prolific during the Covid-19 lockdown era, arguably the time that sim racing as a sport really hit the mainstream. The Race hosted a series of special events which included an F1 driver series that included Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, and some big names in motorsport:

Legends Trophy race at Lime Rock Park. Featuring Jenson Button, Fernando Alsonso, Jan Magnussen and David Brabham
Legends Trophy race at Lime Rock Park. Featuring Jenson Button, Fernando Alsonso, Jan Magnussen, and David Brabham

Fernando Alonso’s home sim racing setup is pretty simple compared to the works Aston Martin simulator:

Fernando Alonso's sim setup
Fernando Alonso’s sim setup (source)

It’s perhaps not well known that outside of F1, Fernando Alonso is an investor and member of the board of directors of MotorSport Games, which includes Zak Brown (Mclaren CEO) or Gerard Neveu (former WEC CEO) and Dmitry Kozko as CEO of MGS. Critically, Motorsport Games owns the rights to the simulated annual Le Mans on rFactor2.

Fernando’s sim setup is relatively simple:

Philip Eng

Philipp Eng is an Austrian professional racing driver, and BMW Motorsport works driver. He also owns an impressive sim racing rig with a range of high-quality components. Admittedly this update is actually from around 202 so I suspect by now he’ll have changed that wheelbase!

At the heart of Eng’s sim setup is the now obsolete CSL Wheelbase. It’s probable that Fanatec has supplied their DD2 or even an 8Nm CSL DD which are arguably two of the best direct drive wheels you can buy. In the picture, you can see the Fanatec CSW BMW V2 wheel, again it’s likely he has the new BMW M4 GT3 wheel instead!

BMW M4 GT4 sim steering wheel
BMW M4 GT4 Fanatec sim steering wheel

Eng’s pedals the Fanatec ClubSport Pedals V3, a ClubSport Shifter SQ V1.5 and a ClubSport Handbrake V1.5 to complete the package.

To fully immerse himself in the experience, Eng uses a Samsung C49RG90SSR monitor with a massive 49-inch curved screen and a high resolution of 5120 x 1440 pixels. With a 120 Hz refresh rate (the G9 will do 240hz, just by the way!) and a low 1ms response time, this gaming monitor provides incredibly smooth and clear visuals.

The Simlab P1-X Black cockpit is the perfect base for Eng’s sim racing rig, providing a sturdy and adjustable frame that can accommodate drivers of all shapes and sizes.

Eng’s PC is an April 2022 PC Sim Racing Build, and Eng uses the ASTRO Gaming A40 TR headset for crystal-clear audio and the Logitech K400 Plus keyboard and mouse for easy control of his PC.

My Astro Gaming T40R USB soundcard / headphones are excellent (excuse the dust)
My Astro Gaming T40R USB soundcard/headphones are excellent (excuse the dust)

In conclusion, Phillip Eng’s sim racing rig is an impressive setup that combines some of the best components in the industry.

Juan Pablo Montoya

The Juan Pablo Montoya simulator is based on its association with WFG and AllinSports, companies that, in one way or another we have also seen in Fernando Alonso’s simulator setup. His location in Florida makes AIS a logical provider for all of his gear.

Juan Pablo Montoya in his home simulator
Juan Pablo Montoya in his home simulator

The pedals are similar to those of Fernando’s, uniquely built and designed by Allinsport and it is a set of two pedals probably of a very similar specification to other high-standing pedals such as the NWS 3P, the Heusinkveld Ultimate+ , or the SRP-GT.

The wheelbase is a Direct Drive, possibly a Simucube 2 or 1.

In view is a 49-inch Samsung ultrawide monitor, with a Fanatec handbrake and a sequential shifter, possibly from Fanatec too.

Max Verstappen

Another F1 World Champion, the thing we love about Max is that he just wants to race all the time. When he’s not fulfilling his Formula One obligations, you’ll probably find him in his sim.

What’s amazing about the F1 star is that he travels with a simulator. There’s one in his private jet, and there’s one installed in his motorhome. Here he is, competing in the Nurburgring 24h whilst at an F1 race weekend in Imola:

Max Verstappen in his motorhome (which now houses a full simulator setup!)

Here’s Max’s latest kit list:

  • Ascher Racing McLaren Artura Ultimate sim racing wheel.
  • Team Redline Simucube 2 (it looks like a Sport).
  • Sim-Lab P1X Pro sim racing cockpit.
  • Simucube ActivePedal.
  • Samsung Odyssey Neo G9 57-inch monitor.
  • Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset.
  • An APC so he doesn’t lose power during a race.

    As I mentioned on our Facebook channel, the Ascher Racing logo has been taped over, this is because Team Redline does not have a partnership with Ascher Racing. You can read the review of my McLaren Artura Pro racing wheel here.sad

Lando Norris

Lando is an avid sim racer, too, spending a lot of time in the F1 202x series games. It appears his home sim setup is from Cool Performance:

Lando Norris in his cool performance simulator

Sergio Perez

Sergio’s setup is a little more down-to-earth than some of the other pro drivers’ high-end setups, with some very familiar-looking gear indeed:

Sergio Perez's home simulator setup
Sergio Perez’s home simulator setup (image source)

Sergio Perez’s home simulator setup:

Timo Glock

Timo coaches various eSports drivers. Here you can see a pretty full Fanatec setup.

Timo Glock (right)
Timo Glock (right) – image source

Here’s that rig in full:

Full Fanatec Rig at BMW Live (image source)

It’s rare to see a Fanatec cockpit in the wild. Still, here we are – that’s a Rennsport V2 cockpit from Fanatec (see our recommended sim racing rigs here), a BMW DTM style Fanatec wheel, a DD2 direct drive wheelbase and a Samsung G9 Ultrawide monitor. Obviously, it’s impossible to tell what sim racing PC the setup is running, but I’m sure it’ll be a strong spec.

Romain Grosjean

It’s no secret that Romain Grosjean is much more popular since his departure from HAAS, particularly in the United States. Since his terrible accident in Bahrain, and curiously his departure from F1, things are going better for Romain recently. He has found a competitive car in Indy Car and has returned to the circuits with a fresh air that leads him to recall his greatest successes.

Romain in his home sim setup not long after his Bahrain crash
Romain in his home sim setup not long after his Bahrain crash

Together with this, he continues to grow his sim racing team, bringing together the best talents and trying to develop other types of activities, although always related to racing. Of course, it is Romain Grosjean himself who also enjoys racing at home.

Romain practices with the members of his R8G team in one of the many simulations that we deal with on the web, such as iRacing, Assetto Corsa Competizione and even some F1 2020 games.

His cockpit and seat are from Sim-Lab – a P1-X, most likely. With this, Romain supports 4 monitors from Acer, one of his main collaborating partners. The pedals are Fanatec Clubsport v3, and to complete the setup, a Fanatec Podium DD2 base. All this is crowned by a Cube Controls steering wheel – Cube Controls being among our favourite sim racing wheels.

Antonio Giovinazzi

Antonio Giovinazzi is one of the reserve drivers for Alfa Romeo Racing, with rumours of a re-entry into F1 in 2023. Although his results are not very always very showy, he is a very fast driver in the right car.

Antonio Giovinazzi in his home simulator setup
Antonio Giovinazzi in his home simulator setup

We don’t know exactly which simulation is Antonio Giovinazzi’s favourite, but in the picture, he is seen testing the Honda F1 available on iRacing. His simulator is simple and full of logos and sponsors who have apparently given up their products to associate his image with that of the driver. Sponsorship isn’t unusual, even I get sent free stuff!

The setup consists of a Sparco Gaming cockpit and seat that support a 49-inch curved Samsung monitor . The pedals are Heusinkveld Ultimate, throttle and brake-only assembly completed by a Fanatec Podium DD2 wheelbase. All this is crowned by a Cube Controls steering wheel (a CSX2, now updated to CSX3)

Antonio Giovinazzi’s sim kit list

  • Fanatec Podium DD2
  • Cube Controls CSX2 (Now updated to CSX3)
  • Heusinkveld Ultimate
  • Samsung G9
  • Sparco Simulator G02300B Complete Gaming 2
  • Logitech G PRO X – Gaming Headset with Blue VO!CE, USB, Black

Sophia Floersch

This time, Sophia Floersch, F3 driver, shows us through a video that she has published on her YouTube channel, the components to use in her simulator.

The PC is a high-performance one from a German store, similar to one of the expensive ones that we advise you from time to time here on the web, whose most important pieces are an i9 CPU and an RTX 2080Ti. Of course, now higher-end GPUs are available, although in iRacing we found that the 2080 rtx ti is still a very good GPU for sim racing.

Sophia uses a Fanatec DD2 base, combining the F1 2020 rim (this was a LTD and is now unavailable but check out our recommended Fanatec wheels here) and the Formula V2 to simulate her real car. In her opinion, the customization offered by Fanatec is the best that can be achieved in terms of realism compared to a real F3 racing car.

Sophia Floersch’s sim kit list

Bruno Spengler

Former DTM champion Bruno Spengler needs little introduction. Currently racing for the BMW factory/works team and clearly a sim racing enthusiast too, here he is using the flagship LM-X Wheel from Precision Sim Engineering.

Bruno Spengler's Sim Setup
Bruno Spengler’s Sim Setup

It looks great in this setup which includes: triple monitors (using 34″ triple monitors), Heusinkveld Ultimate+ pedals, the LM-X Wheel from Precision Sim Engineering, and a SimHub-based dashboard on a tablet (right). While some photos in interviews show him using Fanatec gear, I think it’s just as likely that there’s a Simucube 2 Pro or Ultimate hidden away behind this shot. As for the cockpit – it could be a Sim-Lab P1-X.

Sim Racing Communities, Channels and Useful Links

There are so many places to meet, discuss and get help it’s difficult to know where to start. Firstly, you’re going to need to get Discord!

Discord is an app that runs on your mobile, tablet, and gaming PC. It allows you to talk over voice, video, and text inside channels. You join via an invite link, and that’s about it:

Dan Suzuki's Discord
Dan Suzuki’s Discord

Discord is useful for connecting to other sim racers and team communications during a race. Here are some good Discord servers:


Sim racing is obviously huge on Youtube. I mostly use Youtube content for reviews and track guides. Here are my favourite channels:

There are many more YouTubers, but those are some of the channels I find myself watching on a regular basis!

Training / Coaching

Some of the biggest steps forward I’ve made as a driver are thanks to Scott and the team at Driver61. Driver61 offers courses for beginner to advanced sim racers – starting with their sim racing fundamentals masterclass.

Driver61: Sim Racing Academy
Driver61: Sim Racing Academy

I’m also a member of the VRS community, and as a more advanced toolset, I use their data analysis package, which comes with different setups for whatever car I’m racing:

VRS Telemetry
VRS Telemetry

To get started with VRS, head here.

I hope this introduction to getting started has been useful and (with a bit of luck) has served to give you a kickstart into sim racing.

Ultimately, there’s no other way to gain experience other than getting your first sim rig built and going racing!

The secret to being a good sim racer is testing and seat time. Make sure you know your car, and try to focus on one championship. Slowly but surely, you learn to get the most out of everything you own until you honestly feel that it can’t be improved further. This is a good way to ensure you’re learning at every step without wasting your money by progressing too quickly.

Have fun!

Related articles:

Your first Sim Racing Setup: Our Ultimate Beginner’s guide