Can a Virtual Reality Simulators Eventually Replace the Real Thing?

Virtual Reality headset used with motion simulatorsVirtual Reality Simulators

Virtual reality is becoming more popular by the day. The number of virtual reality users is projected to reach 171 million people across the world by the end of 2018. As the technology becomes more widespread, its price will decrease and maximize acquisition.

What’s even more intriguing is the fact that after a brief demonstration, 50 percent of people become more likely to buy a virtual reality set.

A recent article in Business Insider says:

“Total revenue for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) is projected to increase from $5.2 billion in 2016 to over $162 billion in 2020, according to the IDC.”

These numbers bring a range of important questions to the surface. Will virtual reality become so widespread that it will replace actual experiences in the future? If so, which fields are the ones more susceptible to such a revolution? Racing is probably one of these areas.

Race track with Ferrari getting ready to raceVR Will Make Some Experiences More Accessible

It’s a definite fact that VR simulators are doing some experiences more accessible to a wide array of people. While many still think of virtual reality as a gaming thing, they couldn’t be farther from the truth.

A virtual reality simulator can show a person what it’s like to climb the world’s highest peak. VR headsets can also be used to do deep water diving, racecar driving and even participate in archaeological excavations.

In essence, VR is providing an experience that’s independent of location, time and available financial resources. People who are interested in racing will also give it a try without jeopardizing their well being. Getting started with racing is far from an easy thing. Trying it out through the use of a simulator happens to be much more effortless and a whole lot safer.

Why VR Offers a Powerful Racing Experience

Playing a racing game on a screen is one thing. Using a virtual reality racing simulator is something completely different.

The VR technology offers an immersive experience. It’s much more realistic than watching events unfold on the screen. A person that’s testing out VR racing feels as if they’re participating in the simulation. This characteristic makes it much more powerful than reliance on other media.

What’s Still Missing?

While VR technology makes the experience realistic and readily accessible, there’s an element that’s still missing.

Actual racing comes with a sense of danger, the one characteristic that contributes to a powerful adrenaline rush.

As realistic as it may, virtual reality is still a simulation. It can’t provoke the same profound and shake motion. Thus, many people who have tried actual racing will not be that impacted by a VR simulation.

Racing is an activity and a hobby that gives many people a profound satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment that they can’t experience in any other way. VR simulations are becoming more complex and realistic, coming very close to the actual thing regarding visual and immersiveness. As such, they could give a bigger number of people a taste of what real racing is like.

While VR is not likely to replace the actual thing, it can expand the scope of racing. Many people simply can’t try it because of various limitations. Such people will enjoy the benefits that a virtual reality simulation can bring to the table.

Making Your 5.0 Mustang Hook – The Tires

The 5.0 Mustang is one of the most popular cars found at the track today. There’s a good reason for that too. The Mustangs excellent power to weight ratio in stock form. Along with the very large availability of parts from both the factory and the aftermarket. Make it a great starting point from which to build a competitive race car.

Still, the Fox-body Mustang is not without its shortcomings. The nose heavy weight bias, non-parallel four-link rear suspension, and other items need attention. Luckily most of them are easily remedied.

The first thing that needs addressing is the tires, on the 5.0 Mustang tires are a vital link between the car and the racing surface. Making them the single most important part for making your Mustang launch correctly. The factory supplied rubber, Goodyear Eagles for most years models. Are a great tire for a road going machine, but not exactly what you want for drag racing. The tires short sidewall height, combined with the hard rubber street tire compound. Mean lots and lots of wheelspin and long black skid marks everywhere.

So changing to a true drag racing tire is in order. For street/strip driven cars drag radials are a hard tire to beat, for a track only ride racing slicks or cheater slicks (AKA M/T ET Streets) are what you want. Mustangs can run with either a 26 or 28 tall tire (factory rubber generally runs about 25.5 tall) with only slight massaging of the inner fender wells. Using a 158 wheel with a 5.5 backspacing and you should be able to fit a 275/6015 drag radial or a 2812.5-15LT ET Street or a 2810.5-15 slick. The difference in numbering is in the way the tires are measured, slicks are listed by tread width, the others are given by section width (overall sidewall to sidewall width).

A 28 tall tire, like the above sizes works best for a high horsepower, stroker motor, supercharged, turbocharged and/or nitrous car. If your ride is more conservative in the horsepower department, a 28 tire would definitely be overkill. One thing to consider is the weight of your tire, taller tires = heavier tires. After your car launches that same tire now becomes a liability, because of rotational inertia (takes more power to turn em).

In other words, if your car hooks just fine with a 26 tire without excessive spin. It will actually be quicker and faster with the smaller and lighter tire. If your budget limits you to only one set of tires the shorter tires are definitely the way you want to go. A 28 tire will also require a rearend gear change (to keep your engine in its powerband) as well. Which is an extra expense that Ill discuss in a later post.

While Im on the lighter is better topic, most factory wheels are extremely heavy. Changing your rims to a lightweight aluminum rim like a Centerline or Weld Draglights, or if you’re really in the money a set of Bogart Dragonflies. Will definitely shave some precious time off your 60 ET , as much as .10 second or more on most cars.

Aluminum wheels will require longer wheel studs to properly fasten them to your Mustang.Factory studs are just not long enough to do the job.You can use a long shank lug nut that fits inside the wheel to secure them. Or better yet, use the 11/16 drive studs with a flat spacer and lug nut (much, much stronger).They also can be torqued to 100 ft. lbs. instead of 80 ft. lbs. like with the stock 1/2 studs. Safety rules require the stud to extend at least the diameter of the stud (1/2) into the hex portion of the lugnut (3 studs will do the job).

Radials are generally run tubeless, slicks and ET street type tires can be run tubeless, but are generally run with tubes inside. Running tubes in your tires requires you to run screws through the bead. To prevent the tire from creeping on the wheel and ripping out your valvestems. 10-12 self-tapping S.S. screws equally spaced around the bead on BOTH sides of the wheel should do the trick. Every other screw goes through the rim at a 90 deg. angle (straight in), the alternate screws should penetrate the bead at a 45 deg. angle. Make sure the screws you use are long enough to go through the wheel flange but not so long as to puncture the tube/tire. Something like a #12 hex head x 1/2-3/4 length should do the trick, (make sure you check though).

Make sure you have your new wheels and tires professionally balanced before hitting the race track. Peel and stick wheel weights work better than the hammer on kind that most tire stores use. Do yourself a favor and pick some up and bring them along with you when you go to have them mounted.

Now that your Mustang has some new rubber, its time to air them up. Buy a high quality tire pressure gauge (liquid filled is best), made specifically for low pressure. The old pencil/stick type gauge your granddad used is just not going to cut it anymore! My recommendation is to start out on the high side of the pressure range, (DO NOT EVER exceed maximum pressure rating on sidewall) and gradually lower the pressure 1-2 psi at a time. Keep checking your 60 times, look for the pressure that gives you the quickest 60 time. After that you can fine tune pressures by 1/2 pound at a time, to find the perfect number. Be aware of the fact that a drag slick with low air pressure is a bit of a hairy ride (Bias Ply Squirm) that takes a little getting used to, be careful! By now you should have lowered your ET by several tenths of a second (at least). Keep reading along with me and soon Ill bring you more racing tips and techniques to make you quicker and faster.