We’re still getting through the winter, but we can glimpse spring in our near future. Track season is definitely coming up soon—or it’s already here if you’re in a southern state—and you’re probably ready to get some seat time after watching the thrilling Rolex 24 at Daytona.

What if you don’t have a track date in the coming weeks, though? We’re very lucky to be in a time with technology that gives us powerful tools to help keep us sharp as we prep for the race track. I work with several clients, both over the winter and prior to events, on the simulator.

There are several simulator platforms that give you access to the tracks most relevant to you. They allow you to really work on familiarizing yourself with a new track or getting in lots of repetition and consistency at a track you already know.06_Simulator_Ashton

Simulator time can also provide food for thought about what your next goals will be for the coming season or event. After all, track time is truly a limited opportunity for most. The simulator is not only a great way to practice but it’s also a dramatically less expensive alternative.

And don’t forget all the online resources, such as YouTube, to review videos of any particular race track. Doing this can help bridge that gap between the sim world and reality. I’ve seen times when someone might be dialed in on the simulator, but the subtleties of the real track can throw you off if you don’t have a reference for it, too.

No matter how complex or simple your simulator is, getting time on it can be extremely valuable. You can get familiar with the track and make notes, so once you do get to the track, you can optimize your time there.