What is the lap simulation?
The simulation feature allows you to estimate the lap and sector times that should be possible based on the information that you enter about your car. A simple way to think about this is that it is what you would see if an imaginary “perfect driver” drove your car around the circuit. Note that at this time the simulation is only ideally suited for cars, it only has limited use when considering boats or bikes.
What can I use the simulation for?
The simulation is a really powerful tool, and is typically used for one of two reasons:
- For investigating where you have the potential to drive your vehicle faster on a track, i.e. where there is the greatest potential for improvement in driving
- For investigating what the effect of vehicle changes will have on lap times. For example how do the lap times improve if you increase the cars power by 10%?
Below is an example highlighting areas of the track where improvements can be made:
How to view Lap Simulation?
To view lap simulation on the track map window (as shown above) click on (options) icon in the track map window. You will see a pop up window like this:
Enable the "Map colour based on" check box (if not enabled) and select on any of the simulation parameters (enabled through variable manager) from the dropdown next to that.
You can manually set min and max values as needed from here.
When you close the options window, the track map will be rendered with the selected simulation parameter data showing a coloured path on the track map.
Shown below is the most comprehensive of the three acceleration setup options. Using this allows you to get more accurate results than the simpler acceleration setups. It will also allow you see the effects of any proposed vehicle modifications on lap times - such as power modifications to the vehicles power curve, gearing, weight etc:
What effects are not accounted for in the simulation?
The simulation is designed to be relatively simple and only model the most significant effects on lap time. There are a number of factors that are not accounted for at this time:
- The simulation assumes that the rolling resistance of the tyres is constant, in reality the rolling resistance increases with the load on the tyres
- There is no attempt to model weight transfer of the vehicle and so we do not simulate uneven loads on tyres
- Similarly since there is no weight transfer the simulation assumes that the car can go from maximum braking to maximum cornering instantly
- The simulation assumes the same level of grip is available everywhere on the track, i.e. it assumes that there is no significant camber on the track and that the track surface is the same all over.
- Finally the simulation does not account for gradients on the track, it assumes that it is flat and level
However even with these limitations, the simulation is a very powerful tool which can be used to make some quite accurate predictions. The intention is to keep making incremental improvements to the simulation and account for more and more detailed effects.
How accurate is the simulation?
That is impossible to say as it depends on the circuit, the car and the accuracy of the car data that is entered. However for a typical circuit with a lap time of about 2 minutes and comparing the results from the simulation with those from a professional driver then the differences/errors are in the range of a “few seconds”. What is clear is when comparing with a “typical” race driver that corners that are not taken so well are clearly highlighted and this is really the power of the simulation; very high precision is not always required to give big benefits.
What is simulated?
The simulation calculates:
- The maximum speed at any point on the circuit
- The optimal/best lateral, longitudinal and vector acceleration at any point on the circuit
- The maximum power output from the car at any point on the circuit
- The time slip rate and time slip of the actual result, compared with the simulated results.
- The RPM that is used on the simulated vehicle
- The gear that is used in the simulated vehicle