Why Oval Racing?

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On this video …

… a German speaking YouTuber posted:

Rechtskurven sind wohl zu schwierig…

mit maximaler Geschwindigkeit 500 Runden in einem großen Oval abspulen

which tranlsates to:

Right handers seem to be too difficult…

going maximum speed 500 laps in a huge oval

Dieser Artikel wurde auch auf Deutsch übersetzt: https://SimRennsport.de/warum-oval-rennen

Those who love Oval Racing know this is bullshit by someone who doesn’t know shit about oval racing, which once also fitted me! Do you wonder about what makes it so interesting to us? Read on!

Why Oval Racing?

This is a tl;dr explanation of why we love oval racing.


Every race is about Maximum Speed, that’s what racing’s all about. In the past, I thought Oval Race were boring, too. Until I began racing Ovals in rFactor and iRacing.

Taking a serious look, Oval Races are extremely thrilling: The competitors have almost equal opportunities (unlike Formula 1, which is more a car than a driver competition (which is okay in itself, but it’s different)). You have a lot of passes on track. And I find Oval racing purer than all other Road Course races.

It’s true that the brakes aren’t use throughout race laps in Indy 500, with the exception of the extremly tough pit entry, where you decelerate by almost 300 km/h, in a toughly spring-loaded and extremely low-riding sports prototype that tends to the left by itself, with tyres almost dead and really low downforce, and that inside a turn! But despite that, you are in the need of perfect wheel and throttle handling, where you use your throttle for turning purposes, too.

In that regard: The more equal the opportunities, the tougher the competition. The lesser the input devices, the more perfect your handling thereof has to be!


And regarding going left-left-left-left-left-left-left….left: Imagine (JUST imagine) the following. Look out for a nice road in your neighbourhood. How far can you go without hitting barriers and while using all of the available road. 150km/h? 250km/h? Now imagine you are followed by 10 tailgaters, of whom everyone keeps a safety distance of 20-100 cm (few inches). While driving through turns! And NOW: Imagine that on your left and on the right, there are another 20 cars, doing all the same.

Is that still easy and relaxing to you? (if in the unprobable event of “yes”, you should definitely go for a racer career or become a surgeon)

What I think about NASCAR/IndyCar vs. Formula 1

I am watching NASCAR and IndyCar for a few years now, and I must seriously admit that I am watching Formula 1 more out of a feeling of duty (active watcher since 1993; observed whole Schumacher career). While Indy and NASCAR races are thrilling from the first to the last lap, I think that the tension of a Formula 1 race is 95% concentrated on the moments where the bunch gets compressed, i.e. the starts and the restarts; that’s it.

Or just try it out yourself!

Go read this intro article, or get some hardware: Logitech G27 or perhaps Fanatec Stuff.


  • 2019-04-09: fixed formatting
  • 2019-04-18: fix formatting & typos

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