Call it an update of sorts regarding some recent topics of discussion. Today I am revisiting the Yokohama A052, as well as providing an update on my Sim Racing journey.

Yokohama A052, take two.

The A052s don't fit into the tire class I am claiming for NASA TT, so I can't run them in competition, but I used them again during Friday's practice sessions at Carolina Motorsports Park. I bought 'em, so I have to use 'em, right? You can read my first impression of the tires here.

It was my first time driving at CMP, and I didn't have any preconceived notions about the track surface, traction level, or how the car should handle there (especially since it is newly-ballasted and classed down to TT6). With only one heat cycle on them, I figured that the A052s would be perfect for the test day.

The A052s still had a tendency to get greasy and fall off after about 3 or 4 laps, but after dropping off a bit, they were still quite fast and drivable for a full 20 minute session. On Friday I wasn't too aware of how they were squirming, until Saturday when I put the Toyo RRs back on. Even on the cold out-lap, I was reminded how much more crisp and responsive that they feel, bringing back my memories of how badly I disliked the treadblock squirm of the A052 when I tested them back to back at Roebling.

That said, by the end of the weekend, I only just matched my best time on the Toyos that I had done on Friday on the Yokohamas. So, feeling be damned, they certainly are fast tires. I would not hesitate to run them in any class that requires 200tw (or even 100tw) tires.

Sim Racing Update

About three weeks ago, I picked up a sim racing rig to get into iRacing with my buddies, and to train between events, since I don't make it to the track as much as I'd like to.

As expected, even though I haven't had to make any sim-related hardware purchases (of which there are overwhelming choices), I've still been tweaking my settings and setup on a near-daily basis, trying to extract the best feel and performance from my rig.

Some changes have been fruitful, others not as much. My direct drive wheel base has a lot of setting customizations, and my time spent there has greatly increased the realism of the steering feel and has helped me achieve faster lap times. On the other hand, I've spent a lot of time using SimHub to customize a "tablet dashboard" using an old iPad, with only marginal results. The dashboard is killer, don't get me wrong, but it's not making me a better driver by any measure.

Although the week leading up to my race at CMP had me wrenching on my real-life car more so than driving the sim, I still got some time in the sim that week. I have to say that it really does feel like it helps in keeping my skills sharp. When I stepped into my car for the practice sessions @ CMP, I was quicker to adapt to a new track than I usually am, and throughout the weekend I felt like my inputs and reactions on-track were sharper than they usually are.

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