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Steering Wheels, Shifting and Rallycross

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I have installed a Thrustmaster TMX on a stand, and I'm attempting to learn how to use it instead of the controller. The first realization I came to is: How does anyone use the paddles to shift in rally?! My hands were turning so far I was losing track of which paddle was where (to say nothing of the handbrake). I decided I need a gear shifter, but not sure what would be a good choice - it's my first one, but I don't want to be buying another in 6 months because the first one is too flimsy/unrealistic. Is there another "hack" that I could use to get the shifters off the wheel?

Suggestions?

Now, I've also dipped my toe into RallyCross, and I am completely lost. It seems to me a race born of an unholy tryst between stage rally and motocross. It's everything about racing that stage rally isn't - circuit-based multi-car lap-time events with "Joker" laps and insane speeds in a small package.

Just curious how many players enjoy both racing styles, or do most prefer one or the other?

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I think the rallycross is neat, and generally well done minus some AI time issues, but it's not really for me and I don't really do it often.

As far as shifting - First, I'd recommend setting your wheel rotation to 540 degrees, which matches modern rally cars.  The "soft lock" doesn't seem to work well in my experience, and unless you want to change your wheel rotation for each car (there's a post somewhere that has what the actual rotation of each car is), 540 degrees is what I'd recommend - you don't have to turn the wheel so much, which should help in numerous ways, including paddle shifting should you continue that route.

As far as paddle shifters, I don't think they're allowed in most rally cars.  Pretty sure WRC banned them in 2011, minus an exception for Kubica at one point.  [Edit: push/pull paddle shifters are the current normal for modern WRC cars - my info was out of date.]  For rally cars with sequential shifters, which is most modern ones (depends on class, of course, the super production class for example would use a H pattern with a clutch, and anyone else without the money to put a dogbox in) with a push/pull stick around the area where a gear shift would be [Edit: or a single push/pull paddle on the steering wheel]

As far as what to get for that, should you choose to do so, you have a number of options.  If you want to stay with Thrustmaster, the TH8A has a sequential shift mode, and the Sparco Handbrake/Shifter is really nice, and also really expensive.  I have two of those for my setup, one for sequential and one for handbrake.  The TH8A is fine though if you don't want to drop the money.

Outside of that, there are numerous other sequential shifters out there, whether Fanatec or a number of more niche (and expensive) brands.  My personal recommendation if you're able and willing to drop the money is the Thrustmaster Sparco one, but I used a TH8A in sequential mode for a while before I got those and it was plenty fine.

All that said, a huge number of sim rally drivers just use the paddle shifters and there's nothing wrong with that.  Eventually you'll likely get the hang of it, especially if you have your wheel at 540 degrees of rotation.

Edited by shortspecialbus
outdated info corrected by another poster.

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"As far as paddle shifters, I don't think they're allowed in most rally cars.  Pretty sure WRC banned them in 2011, minus an exception for Kubica at one point.  For rally cars with sequential shifters, which is most modern ones (depends on class, of course, the super production class for example would use a H pattern with a clutch, and anyone else without the money to put a dogbox in) with a push/pull stick around the area where a gear shift would be."

 

Modern WRC cars use a single static paddle shifter with a dual movement (pull and push), to shift up and down...

Edited by Opassac
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5 hours ago, shortspecialbus said:

I think the rallycross is neat, and generally well done minus some AI time issues, but it's not really for me and I don't really do it often.

As far as shifting - First, I'd recommend setting your wheel rotation to 540 degrees, which matches modern rally cars.  The "soft lock" doesn't seem to work well in my experience, and unless you want to change your wheel rotation for each car (there's a post somewhere that has what the actual rotation of each car is), 540 degrees is what I'd recommend - you don't have to turn the wheel so much, which should help in numerous ways, including paddle shifting should you continue that route.

As far as paddle shifters, I don't think they're allowed in most rally cars.  Pretty sure WRC banned them in 2011, minus an exception for Kubica at one point.  For rally cars with sequential shifters, which is most modern ones (depends on class, of course, the super production class for example would use a H pattern with a clutch, and anyone else without the money to put a dogbox in) with a push/pull stick around the area where a gear shift would be.

As far as what to get for that, should you choose to do so, you have a number of options.  If you want to stay with Thrustmaster, the TH8A has a sequential shift mode, and the Sparco Handbrake/Shifter is really nice, and also really expensive.  I have two of those for my setup, one for sequential and one for handbrake.  The TH8A is fine though if you don't want to drop the money.

Outside of that, there are numerous other sequential shifters out there, whether Fanatec or a number of more niche (and expensive) brands.  My personal recommendation if you're able and willing to drop the money is the Thrustmaster Sparco one, but I used a TH8A in sequential mode for a while before I got those and it was plenty fine.

All that said, a huge number of sim rally drivers just use the paddle shifters and there's nothing wrong with that.  Eventually you'll likely get the hang of it, especially if you have your wheel at 540 degrees of rotation.

This is very valuable information. I definitely will change the rotation! Maybe that will help with the paddling.

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4 hours ago, Opassac said:

Modern WRC cars use a single static paddle shifter with a dual movement (pull and push), to shift up and down...

My mistake - I thought only Kubica was allowed to use that, but my info is apparently well out of date.

Either way, having a single paddle with push/pull eliminates the problem of forgetting which paddle is which during heavy rotation - push is always going to be gear down (or however each driver has it set up) no matter the wheel's orientation.

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17 hours ago, EggBerry said:

How does anyone use the paddles to shift in rally?!

I play with a F1 rim 😉 

For paddles you either need long ones that you can reach at higher rotations, or you use a low rotation. I use 360 because anything higher doesn't make sense with an F1 rim.

 

 

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