It goes without saying that racing is expensive. It’s also clear that there’s no substitute for seat time – or is there? The use of racing simulators has been increasing over the last few years and really exploded when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The beauty of using a racing simulator is that you’re still able to get “seat time” but at a substantially lower cost than actually hitting the track. Not only do you save time and money, but the results can be astounding. Drivers have learned race tracks to such an extent that the very first time they visit; they come home in Victory Lane! 

Frank Rico is an expert in auto racing simulators. His company Ricmotech Racing Simulators has supplied sim units to drivers in the NTT IndyCar Series, NASCAR and many other professional racing series. Amateur racers and gamers alike have also used his racing equipment to improve their skills behind the wheel. In Part 1, we learn how Rico got started in the industry and he gives valuable insights into how it’s evolved over the years. He shares his experience with the hardware, software and how best to use it to your advantage. Enjoy!

NOTE: In Part 2, Rico explains how data acquisition is also part of today’s simulator experience and how driver coaches work with their drivers to improve their craft. We’ll also have video of his top of the line simulator that’s available for racers to rent or purchase.

By Larry Mason

Copyright © 2022 Larry Mason

Frank Rico is the owner of Ricmotech and is an expert in the world of racing simulators.

Photo courtesy of Frank Rico

Here’s an example of an entry level simulator setup for those on a budget. BYOC – bring your own computer, screen, speakers/headphones and chair.

Just like in real racing, speed costs money, how fast do you want to go? For more money invested, you get more bells and whistles.

The Ricmotech systems just keep getting better when you invest a bit more for your setup. High quality chassis, wheel, pedals, computer and more will satisfy most high-end gamers and racers. But wait there’s more. In Part 2 we’ll show you some more sophisticated systems.

A wide variety of steering wheels, pedal boxes and more allow each user to customize their racing simulator system to their specific needs.

Interview and photos Copyright © by Larry Mason unless otherwise noted