DeLAY: The Threshold Between Virtual & Reality

Andy DeLay Andy DeLay Blog, iRacing, Staff Columns 0 Comments

Sim racing has become even more realistic with the introduction of virtual reality devices like the Oculus Rift headset.

I’ve been married four happy years as of this upcoming February, and one of the things my wife got with me was my love for auto racing, as well as an ultimatum.

That ultimatum was that I’m a racer, and I want another race car.

Now, don’t get me wrong, my demand wasn’t for anything real pricey. My dreams of NASCAR racing blew up crossing the start/finish line at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Andy Hillenburg’s K&N car in 2009. I’m just talking a slammer to run at the local redneck quarter-mile track.

The dawn of 2016 came and still found me without a race car.

There was a glimmer of hope though. Since my aspirations of redneck racing were falling victim to budget cuts, I took to iRacing, and sim racing quenched my thirst for racing.

The only satisfaction I didn’t have with sim-racing was being able to sock the idiot in the mouth that drove like a jerk and wrecked me.

Enter the Oculus Rift.

In 2017 the clouds parted, and a ray of light shone down with angelic singing. I discovered virtual immersive racing, and got to test the Oculus Rift CV1.

I was instantly sold.

I put a big black X through that slammer idea and replaced it with the idea of getting the Oculus Rift. Luckily for me, the price of the Rift CV1 fell from $600 to just $379 over this Christmas holiday.

I brought my ultimatum to my wife, and she was more than happy to part with $400 in place of the multiple thousands the slammer would surely have cost after it was all said and done.

Now, my wife was unaware that earlier this year, I replaced our old aging computer with a new one. It just so happened the new one had a smoking hot new Intel I5-7700K Kaby Lake processor, 16 gigs of RAM, a Fatal1ty motherboard and a GeForce GTX 1070 video card.

In short, it was everything I needed to run my race car … er … I mean the Oculus.

I got my Oculus Christmas day. After having to wait until the day after to buy my needed adapters, I set it up and jumped in the K&N car at Charlotte.

My initial reaction? OH MY GOD!

Everything I was seeing was in vivid 3D. After two or three laps around the track, my mind was convinced that I was in a real race car at Charlotte Motor Speedway. I then giddily jumped into the Ferrari 488 GT3 and tested out the Daytona road course at night, and wow, did that definitely beat sweating my posterior off pulling dents out of the slammer in my garage and blowing a hundred bucks a week on a physical race car.

The Oculus met and exceeded my expectations, plain and simple.

If you are wondering about making the leap into virtual reality, my advice is this: take it.

iRacing provided good competitive racing on my 2D monitor, but it crosses into the realistic excellence category with the Oculus Rift CV1.

If you’re serious about racing, iRacing coupled with the Rift is the real deal … minus punching out idiots at the track, of course.

But then, everything does have its limits.

Until next time!

The opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views of Race Chaser Online, the Performance Motorsports Network, Scorpion Radio Group, their sponsors or other contributors.


About the Writer

Andy DeLay is a career law enforcement officer for Clearwater, Florida who carries a passion for motorsports at both the local and national levels. He is an avid iRacer who also spends time away from the virtual circuit at local tracks.

In addition, DeLay is a host of the long-time Burning Rubber Radio Show on the Performance Motorsports Network, the wireless mobile radio affiliate of Race Chaser Online, as well as an onsite reporter for PMN in various capacities.

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