How a racing sim rig helped a driver win at LeMans

This is just your everday home-built rig for running race simulations. It's one anyone could build for a few thousand dollars and a basic understanding of PVC cement. Except the rig you see below helped Tommy Milner win the 24 Hours of LeMans.

Tommy Milner's season driving C6R Corvettes ended early this weekend with a broken gearbox, an anticlimatic end to an otherwise strong debut season that peaked with the team win at June's LeMans. That leaves Milner plenty of time to work on next year's races with this setup.

Built around a 52-inch LCD TV and a built-up PC, the hillbilly homefurnishin' is pretty basic except for its cradle — a racing seat pulled from a BMW M3 that Milner got crunchy in 2005, measured to specs from the car itself.

"I spend probably 2 hours on the sim a week when im not racing and 2 hours a day a few days leading up to a race," Milner told Jalopnik. Using iRacing, rfactor and Need for Speed Shift 2,
the rig "dramatically reduces the learning process of new tracks. It's also a good way to refresh your mind of tracks I havent been to in a while and get your brain focused on the flow of a track again."

How a racing sim rig helped a driver win at LeMans

Milner's not the first professional driver to use iRacing as a training aid. Back in February, 20-year-old rookie Trevor Bayne became the youngest winner of the Daytona 500 in Nascar history. His first experience with the track was driving the iRacing video simulator at Daytona a year earlier, with Michael Waltrip giving him pointers.

If you want to spec out the setup for yourself, Milner's using a Logitech G25 wheel and BRD Speed 7 pedal set. Milner says the setup does the job even though it costs a fraction of what high-end simulators run — and you can always paint the PVC.

Photo Credit: Brandon Fierro