The "Latest" Rig

The "Latest" Rig
Bodnar Wheel w HPP Pedals (Added Rift in Summer 2017)

Friday, January 12, 2018

Baseline Setup for the 2018S1 iRacing FR2.0

Baseline Setups for the iRacing FR2.0


The most difficult part of building a setup is often “where to start”.

This article presents a “Baseline” setup, applicable to the iRacing FR2.0 version 2018S1.

The Baseline setup provides a starting point, from which the specific setup for each track and set of conditions is built by the individual driver, through a series of iterations during a testing session or a series of testing sessions.

The basic knowledge required by the driver for this process has been touched on in the previous articles presented.  A regular review of those is suggested.

Keep in mind that the setup will not make a slow driver fast.  Once the car handles reasonably with the right aero downforce, the majority of the difference in lap times achieved by different drivers is the driver inputs. 

And, my personal observation is that 20% of that is choosing the “optimum” racing line, and 70% is how the driver manages the car during the critical “deceleration” stage from the time the throttle is lifted for corner entry, thru the braking zone, to the mid-corner/apex zone where throttle is again applied. Finally, recognize that knowing what to do, and doing it are two very different things. Many drivers know what to do, but do not have the physical capability to execute.
So, first, I will present the “Baseline-FR2.0v2018S1”

Baseline Set Up

The file for download from Dropbox. Here is the link:

Discussion of the Process for Each Track (Road America Example)

As an example, we will take the Baseline set to Road America. First test will be running the Baseline at Time Trial conditions: Afternoon, No Wind, 78F, Partly Cloudy, 35% Track State.

My Time: 2:04.983 for reference using the unchanged Baseline Setup above.

It will become obvious that the car is being burdened with too much drag from too much downforce. So, the first step is to reduce the wings. 

We will start by adjusting the front wing down by 2 “clicks” from 31 to 29. Then, adjusting the rear wing down by 3 “clicks" to 11 so as to maintain close to the same 42.x % Front Downforce in the Aero Calculator provided. (While changing ride heights changes how this calculator works,  I prefer to leave the ride heights in the calculator fixed.)

Since this is clearly a relatively fast and smooth track, let’s try changing the front spring from 800# to 700#. This will drop the front end lower—especially at high speeds with downforce on the front wing. Let’s also try reducing the “rake” by lowering the rear ride height 0.40” (1mm) by adjusting both left and right rear Pushrods shorter by 4 “clicks. (On a bumpy track or a track where you run over curbs, I would leave the 800# springs alone and raise the ride height, front and rear a bit.)

My Time with 29/11 Wings: 2:04.624

Improved 0.359 seconds, but first laps with lower DF, I was actually slower. Had to get used to the lower DF.

Note: For drivers who like a really stiff car, choose the next 100# higher spring rate spring, front and rear.

While running with the lower wing and rake settings, take note of the top speed at the end of the longest straight. We are just hitting the rev limiter, so the car is not “constrained” by aero wing drag. Since it is only briefly, we will choose NOT to change the 7th gear ratio and will keep the one with more torque/less top speed.

Now, also take notice of any handling issues you would like to “correct”.  And, review your lap in “chase” mode, setting your “Z” camera angle to view the gap between the track and the bottom of the car. Watch for sparks indicating that the car hit the track and is too low. If too low, just increase ride height as required.

I noticed that the car tended to be a bit loose (oversteer) under full throttle in T13 (Bill Mitchell Bend) and was perhaps too understeery in T1.

The understeer in T1 could be corrected by reducing rear wing one click, but that would make the problem in T13 worse. I might also change the rear ARB, but, making the ARB less stiff to correct T13, would probably make the car more understeery in other corners.
I also noticed that the car seemed a bit unstable under heavy braking approaching T5. 

Reducing the Rebound stiffness on the rear dampers 2 clicks to would slow the transfer of weight rear to front during braking and slow the transfer of weight side to side in T13, making the car less loose or oversteery. So I adjust the rear Rebound stiffness from -1.00 to -1.25 on both sides. (This reduction in rear Rebound damping often will allow better handling—but not always—there are some tracks where you do not want to slow the weight transfer and increasing the Rebound setting from -1.00 to -0.75 or -0.50, speeding up the weight transfer can be productive. This is particularly true for drivers who prefer to have the car more oversteery under braking.)  

In the third run, the car feels pretty good.  

My Time: 2:04.480 (Would have been in top ten hot laps in Time Trials 10/2017)

I then change the weather to Mostly Cloudy and make a fourth run. (I find this makes up for my slow reaction time and my time usually is on par with the fast guys running on sunnier track.) I also changed the wings settings down one click to 28/10-the same 42.x % front.

My Time: 2:03.113 (Optimal 2:02.85)  Pretty quick—fastest Time Trial Hot Lap in 10/2017 was Fredy Eugster at 2:03.297 and the David Williams Forum Demo Time was 2:03.856

Finally, set the Fuel level to 7.9 Gallons (30 l) and make a fifth run—this time also checking the car’s ground clearance with the chase camera.

As a final test, I will reduce the fuel back to minimum 2 Gallons and reduce wing settings to search for better lap times, and make other adjustments as required to address any new handling issues noted that I think I can improve with setup changes. Often, experimenting with damper settings can achieve some improvement.  For advanced drivers, sometimes decreasing front brake bias is productive. And, read the article about differential settings as this may be an area where driver preference comes into play--the Baseline set will have a bit of understeer on corner entry and assume the driver uses trail braking to help rotate the car to the apex.

Montreal Example

Another example. Try out the BaselineDWS Set running Montreal (Gilles Villenueve). First thing to consider is the chicanes here with the large sausage curbs. 

To make the car more "tolerant" of contact with the curbs, whether on purpose or by mistake, I softened the compression settings for the front damper from 10 to 20, and the compression settings for the rear from 10 to 15. I also reduced tire pressure from 21.5 psi to 21.0.

The car was a bit loose and oversteery in the chicanes and front tire temps were higher than rear , so I changed the wings from 31/14 to 29/15--a lot more rear downforce in proportion to front.  To make the car more "responsive" in the chicanes I increased rebound damping from -1.0 to -0.75 front and rear. 

Car felt good, but i was getting wheel spin in the slower corners so I dropped, ARB from P3 Soft to P2 Soft.

Tire temps were very balanced and the car achieved good lap times at Time Trial conditions. 

Not many changes required. I reached this result in less than 30 minutes. Then I proceeded to try all kinds of additional changes, with no improvement. 

Here is the set for download from Dropbox.

(The VRS set for the same track conditions was MUCH stiiffer, with less wing. But, it was not very tolerant for mistakes. 1 mph faster at end of long straight but the lower wing hurt times in the chicanes. )

My previous experience here is that you will see a few impressive hot laps at Montreal, but mistakes are so prevalent that actual Q and Race times are almost always much slower, so a car that is reasonably tolerant to mistakes (hitting curbs) is usually very competitive. 

On a hot track, I got good results by simply adding wing, changing to 30/17 


These examples are by no means exhaustive. Keep experimenting. Review the articles about the various setup parameters.

In fact, in time, you may choose to create your own “Baseline” for the starting point.
I am sure many drivers will simply respond to this article with the comment, “I already knew this stuff” or “I can do better”. Fair enough. There is no perfect setup and often there are several that achieve similar results—just differently. These articles were designed for newcomers and those with iRating below 2500. The advanced guys do already know most of this “stuff” and I am not in the top tier of drivers.  But, I will say, that in building the Baseline setup, I was actually surprised at how few changes were needed to adapt it to each track. Usually only two or three changes. 

Building setups this way is quick and fun. Sort of practice for the race. By the time you get the setup the way you want, you are hot-lapping at near your best times. 

Wings and rake can make a big difference.  A couple of tracks required a higher 7th gear. A couple tracks liked a softer ARB.  Tinkering Front Toe Out and Rear Toe In and tinkering with dampers was often productive.  

Take notes for each track. They will be helpful for future tracks and seasons.
Keep in mind that iRacing changes the physics from time to time. Each Season you will probably need to retest your setups.

I hoped you have enjoyed the series of articles and I hope they will help many guys to be competitive and enjoy this great activity. 




My Favorite Race Car-1986
Competing at SCCA Runnoffs at Road Atlanta against future IndyCar driver Jimmy Vasser.
Swift DB1-This exact car won two SCCA National Championships (with other drivers after I sold it with special dampers and engine) The most wins by a DB1 in history. 

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