My Awesome Rig: Avenga76
It’s Community Spotlight time and this week we’re talking to Codemasters forum member; DiRT fan and owner of one of the sweetest gaming rigs we’ve ever seen; Avenga76.
Tell us about your rig and give us some hard specs
My rig is a heavily modified GT Omega EVO chassis using a Fanatec Clubsport wheel, pedals and an H-Shifter. For rally I use the BMW M3 GT2 rim with a DSD hydraulic handbrake and Short Shift Pro-Comp Sequential Shifter. The Fanatec CSW has a quick release system so I can swap over to the formula rim for open wheelers.
I’m also using a SimXperience GS-4 6DOF motion seat which uses servo motors to simulate the sustained G-forces, bumps and impacts you would feel while racing. Under the seat cover there are these large metal paddles on the bottom and back of the seat which will press against you as you race.
So for example if you are turning right then the seat will apply pressure to the left side of the seat simulating the lateral G-forces you would feel as your body is pushed against the seat towards the outside of the corner. Also, to further enhance the motion feedback I have an 8 transducer SimVibe setup which has eight bass shakers positioned strategically around my rig to recreate the different vibrations coming from different locations in the car based on the suspension, engine and other motion data from the game.
This is great in games like DiRT 3 because you can feel how hard you are cornering and braking through the seat and the vibrations really helping to give you feedback about what the road is like and how much grip you have. You can feel the transition between gravel and tarmac and the seat gets a real workout with all the jumps.
My rig was very much built with immersion in mind so in addition to all the motion I have a full set of gauges running off 2 SymProjects boards, a SimInstruments Dash and 2 SymProjects SimScreens plus a TrackIR head tracking camera.
What game was it that led you down this path and why?
I used to race an old Hillman Avenger on the track, hill climbs and rally…
I used to race an old Hillman Avenger on the track, hill climbs and rally, so I have always had an interest in classic rally and race cars. I would say rFactor and Game Stock Car were the games which started my rig, mostly because of the large amount of mods. This means I could race classic cars on local New Zealand tracks so it was very similar to my real life racing experience. For my rally fix I like to race old RWD or Group B cars in DiRT 2 & 3.
What was the first big of kit you added?
The first big thing was my GT Omega race cockpit. Before that I was just using a G27 on my desk, now you can barely recognise the GT Omega chassis because it has been so heavily modified. I picked this chassis because the box section made it easier to weld and bolt on all my extra bits. The most expensive part, and by far the coolest is the GS-4 motion seat and transducer setup.
What would you like to add to the set up next?
I have my next add-on on its way from the states as we speak, a set of DSD Wilwood Professional Grade Sim Racing Pedals. These are some off the shelf Wilwood pedals, like you would use in a real race car but they have been converted over to work on the PC. They have a more realistic and have a much heavier feel to all the pedals. My future plans are to add a 2 DOF full motion setup using DIY linear actuators.
What game are you most looking forward to trying on the setup?
Probably GRID Autosport, I love racing in open wheelers so I am looking forward to giving them a try, the other classes look really fun too. I am really excited about the new zoomed in cockpit view, it will save me hours of editing xml files to get the camera FOV and position right.
One of the best things about current Sim Racing titles is the new content coming out all the time, so most of the things I am waiting for are updates for current games like the 1.20 update for Game Stock Car which will add 3 new tracks plus the Formula Extreme and Formula Vee cars. rFactor2 and Assetto Corsa are also exciting at the moment because they are bringing out new content all the time.
One last question before we head off… Tell us a bit about your cool car.
My car is a 1975 Hillman Avenger which I have fully restored. It started off life as a gutless little Avenger 1300 Super but now I have branded it as an Avenger Panther, named after the Avenger Tiger which was a limited production high performance version of the Avenger used in rally and circuit racing.
I started off by replacing the 1300 with a rally prepped 1500 with a Tiger head, dual dellorto carbs and a Ford Sierra 5 speed gear box. It has fibreglass bonnet, boot, spoilers and flares which were all custom made for the car. After I gave up racing I kept my old rally Avenger so I stripped out all of my rally suspension and put it in to the new Avenger.
I used to only do tarmac rallies, hill climbs and circuit racing so the suspension is setup quite hard. The wheels are custom made in the States by Diamond Racing wheels, they are the same kind of wheels used in NASCAR style race cars. They are 15×7 on the front and 15×8 at the rear so you get phenomenal amounts of grip out of the car.
I had to cut a lot out of the body to fit such big wheels under the flares. I also run the Avenger Club in New Zealand and I have a 1974 V8 Avenger project car as well as a 1972 Chrysler Valiant Charger.
So you’re really into your Avengers then?
You could say that.