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Esports

Cop the set-up: The sim racing equipment the pros use

Porsche Coanda Esports hub consist of a stellar set-up for all drivers

Nine of the best pro drivers in sim racing give us the low-down on their preferred home set-up, including wheel base, cockpit and more.

I’m not going to lie, when I first started writing about sim racing, I thought most drivers used a controller.

My naïve self imagined a beautiful big-screen TV hooked up to an Xbox, a comfy recliner and a bowl of snacks. That’s my ideal vibe, actually.

For the pros, however, their sim set-up is somewhat of an art form. Each piece of equipment has its purpose and for that, many drivers are extremely proud of their masterpiece. Almost like they’re showing off a real car.

They’ve spent years finetuning in the garage and now it shines like a diamond straight out of Pimp Your Ride.

If you need a little inspiration for your home sim racing set-up and want to know what the best drivers in esports are using, you have come to the right place…

JAMES BALDWIN – MERCEDES-AMG TEAM PETRONAS ESPORTS/VELOCE ESPORTS

James Baldwin is formerly the World’s Fastest Gamer, a British GT race winner, multiple SRO Esports champion and the current Autosport Esports Driver of the Year. At just 25 years old, James Baldwin continues to be a household name in the motorsport industry due to his sheer talent in the sim.

He appreciates his current set-up simply because it feels as close to a real race car as possible.

James Baldwin Pro SimRing sim racing set-up
  • Wheel base: Simucube 2 Ultimate  
  • Steering wheel: Cube Controls Formula Pro 
  • Pedals: Heusinkveld Sim Pedals Ultimate+ 
  • Cockpit: PRO SIMRIG PSR1 
  • Monitor: 3x AOC C32G2AE/BK 
  • Gloves or no gloves: Gloves

MORITZ LÖHNER – DÖRR ESPORTS

Not only is he a team manager and driver for Dörr Esports, Moritz Löhner is a real-world DTM Trophy Driver, DTM Esports Champion and three-time ADAC GT Masters Esports Champion. Löhner is a trailblazer in sim racing, proving that making the leap from virtual to reality is achievable if you put the work in.

He chose his gear as he thinks it’s some of the best equipment in sim racing at the moment.

  • Wheel base: VRS DirectForce Pro
  • Steering wheel: Ascher Racing F64-USB V2
  • Pedals: VRS DirectForce Pro Pedals
  • Cockpit: Heusinkveld Sim Rig GT
  • Monitor: 3x BenQ 32″ Curved 144Hz (EX3203R)
  • Gloves or no gloves: Gloves

RISTO KAPPET – R8G ESPORTS

Driving for Romain Grosjean’s eponymous team, R8G Esports, Risto Kappet is Estonia’s three-time E-Autosport Champion, the 2021 Formula E: Accelerate national sim racing champion for Estonia and a winner throughout the 2022 Le Mans Virtual Series.

Kappet is a humble racer and enjoys his set-up since it’s great bang-for-buck: not too expensive, but top-quality. Plus, some of his equipment, such as the cockpit, are via R8G Esports team.

Risto Kappet's home set-up featuring R8G sponsored cockpit
  • Wheel base: Simucube 2 Pro
  • Steering wheel: Polsimer F74N Formula Wheel
  • Pedals: Heusinkveld Sim Pedal Sprint
  • Cockpit: Simlab P1-X with Sparco R100 seat
  • Monitor: Samsung G9 Neo 49″
  • Gloves or no gloves: No gloves

JOSHUA ROGERS – PORSCHE COANDA ESPORTS

An official Works Driver for Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team, Josh Rogers has a long list of accolades, including a Porsche Esports Supercup Championship in 2019 and 2021, and a VRS GT iRacing World Championship in 2019 to name just a few.

His gig with Coanda Simsport boasts a stunning set-up, shared by the entire hub and chosen based on the feeling. The sturdiness helps extract more from each driver by having the ideal hardware underneath.

Two prototype future products are also in use, no doubt to provide feedback.

  • Wheel base: VRS DirectForce Pro
  • Steering wheel: VRS DirectForce Pro Formula (Prototype)
  • Pedals: VRS DirectForce Pro
  • Cockpit: VRS DirectForce Pro GT Sim Rig (Prototype)
  • Monitor: Quad-monitor set-up with MSI Optix MAG274QRF
  • Gloves or no gloves: Gloves

JACK KEITHLEY – WILLIAMS ESPORTS

As a professional sim racer for Williams Esports, Jack Keithley’s highlights in esports include third place in the 2020 ADAC GT Masters Esports Championship, first place in the 2020 ADAC GT Masters Esports – Shootout 3 and first place in the 2019 AvD Masters and the REMUS GT3 Championship.

Keithley is a gem off the grid, too. He’s cheeky and kind, yet a true competitor who enjoys his comfy, convenient and easy-to-use sim set-up. “I simply love it!” he told me.

  • Wheel base: Simucube Pro
  • Steering Wheel: Ascher F64 V3 (most of the time)
  • Pedals: Heusinkveld Ultimate+
  • Cockpit: Heusinkveld Sim Rig GT
  • Monitor: BenQ triple-screen
  • Gloves or no gloves: No gloves

ENZO BONITO – TEAM REDLINE

Nominated for the 2022 Autosport Esports Driver of the Year, Enzo Bonito is a star across many sim racing platforms, with a successful career in F1 Esports and winner of the eRace of Champions in 2018, his recent performance at the VCO ERL competition and Rennsport summit are an indication of his sheer talent in the sim.

As for set-up, Bonito chooses comfort over everything. He appreciates the smoothness and confidence of the Simucube 2 Pro wheel, but admits he doesn’t think there’s a “particular combination of things that can make you faster.” He says, “if you feel comfy enough, stick with it.”

Enzo Bonito Team Reldine sim racing set-up
  • Wheel base: Simucube 2 Pro
  • Steering Wheel: Simlab Grid P911
  • Pedals: Fanatec CSL Load Cell
  • Cockpit: Simlab TR1
  • Monitor: Old BenQ 144Hz
  • Gloves or no gloves: No gloves, but wears them in pressure situations when needed

LOHAN “NEXL” BLANC – LDLC OL

The four-time WRC Esports Champion makes it look easy each time he takes a podium in the virtual world. Lohan Blanc, simply known as Nexl, is somewhat of a legend when it comes to rallying – he’s the reigning world champion.

Nexl’s set-up was actually one of the prizes he won at the WRC Esports event, which he says allows for drivers to keep good habits throughout races.

  • Wheel base: Fanatec DD1 Podium
  • Steering wheel: Fanatec CSL Elite WRC Steering Wheel with Black Clubsport Quick Release Adapter/Fanatec Formula V2.5 X when driving F1
  • Pedals: Fanatec Clubsport V3
  • Cockpit: Playseat Sensation Pro Black Actifit
  • Monitor: BenQ Mobiuz EX3415R 34″
  • Gloves or no gloves: OMP KS-4 Gloves

TyrannoCyrusRex – SAMANTHA TAN RACING ESPORTS

A Twitch partner, stuntman and sim racer for Samantha Tan Racing Esports, TyrannoCyrusRex competes in the Gran Turismo World Series, in particular the final of this season’s Toyota Gazoo Racing GT Cup in Monaco. He was also a 2022 Porsche Esports Finalist.

His rig is ideal for Gran Turismo 7 play and he says Fanatec has the best pattern shifter/three-pedal set-up along with an e-brake for wheels that double on console.

TYRANNOCYRUSREX sim racing set-up
  • Wheel base: Fanatec GT DD with Boost Kit 180
  • Steering wheel: Fanatec Gran Turismo
  • Pedals: Fanatec CSL Pedals with Load Cell Kit
  • Cockpit: RSeat S1
  • Monitor: Curved AOC 32″ curved
  • Gloves or no gloves: Gloves when needed

CASEY KIRWAN – XSET

XSET’s very own is basically the king of NASCAR in 2022. Casey Kirwan, at just 23 years old, is an icon when it comes to iRacers all over the globe. He’s had more than 500 wins – including being crowned this year’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Champion.

Kirwan’s also one of the top iRacing streamers on Twitch, boasting over 26,000 followers.

Casey Kirwan's swagged out set-up, poised to pick up even more iRacing victories
  • Wheel base: VRS DirectForce Pro
  • Steering wheel: MPI 14″ Bandolero/Legend wheel (NASCAR), MPI-GT2-13″ (NASCAR Road/misc road), Gomez Sim Industries Formula Pro Elite Tony Kanaan Edition
  • Pedals: VRS DirectForce Pro
  • Cockpit: Sim Seats SR-X Driving Simulator
  • Monitor: 3x 24″ ASUS Monitors
  • Gloves or no gloves: Moradness Gloves

Huge shoutout to the pros for essentially giving Traxion.GG the MTV Cribs treatment by letting us take a peek at their epic sim set-ups. Let us know your go-to equipment in the comments below!

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