Over my Christmas break, I dove deep into Sim Racing and built my first sim racing cockpit, the Sim Lab GT1 Evo. I’m really glad I decided to make the purchase and in this article I’ll talk more about this sim racing cockpit and what I like about it and what I dislike about it.
Getting back into Sim Racing
I had delved into sim racing briefly in the past, coming from the Playseat Challenge and a Logitech G920 wheel. After digging both of them out of the closet and playing some Assetto Corsa, I was hooked. I decided to do some research on the latest sim racing accessories and was blown away by how much the hobby had developed.
Later that week, I went to my neighborhood Microcenter to check out the sim racing section and I walked out with a Moza R5 Bundle. I brought it home and affixed it to my playseat challenge and I was blown away by the force feedback. It was like I could feel every little detail in the road from just the wheel alone. Whoa. That was cool.
There was just one problem though. The new upgraded wheel made my playseat challenge shake and flex like crazy. The playseat was comfy but I thought I could do better.
Deciding on a Sim Racing Rig
I did hours of research on sim racing rigs before making a decision. (By the way, check out our article, What is a Sim Racing Cockpit? to learn more about sim racing rigs). There was so much to learn about and understand. Space requirements and new terms were confusing to me. After a while, I knew the Sim Lab GT1 Evo was going to be the answer for me. To be honest, a lot of my decision was because my local Microcenter had them in stock. I was off work for a week and a half for Christmas break and didn’t want to wait on another model to come in the mail.
So one Friday night, I traveled to Microcenter in my Subaru WRX and purchased the Sim Lab GT1 Evo Sim Racing Cockpit. Alongside that, I also got a seat bracket and seat adjustment set, a Simlab Speed1 XXL seat, triple monitor mount, a Moza HGP Shifter and a keyboard mount. We were going all in. Ship it.
And somehow I took it home in my Subaru WRX. That was a miracle of god.
We build our first Sim Racing Rig, the Sim Lab GT1 Evo
That night, I eagerly pulled all of the stuff out of my car and staged it to be built. I actually didn’t have a space for the rig to go yet. I had to clean out one of the basement bedrooms that was cluttered with junk. The next day, some friends and I tackled the Sim Lab GT1 Evo Build. I started around noon and they came over at 2:30. We had finished the sim racing rig build by about 8:30 pm.
Additionally, I still had to build the triple monitor mount, which then took another ridiculous amount of time to get together.
Looking back, building the rig wasn’t all that bad. But in the process, it was super painful. The Simlab GT1 Evo instructions were clear enough to understand but definitely lacked in some areas. I’ve read worse manuals I guess.
The Sim Lab GT1 Evo Sim Racing Rig is like a lot of other sim racing rigs that are built out of what is called 8040 aluminum extruded pieces. This refers to the 80 mm by 40 mm pieces along with the 40 by 40 mm aluminum pieces it’s constructed out of. The process is kind of like building Lego or an Ikea set, just a little more heavy duty. You affix aluminum beams to one another with bolts and these little eyelet pieces that fit into the tracks of the pieces.
Getting the bucket seat on and the seat adjustment was maybe one of the hardest parts. You have to fit the lever that you use to adjust the seat and then bend it, test fit it and bend it some more.
The triple monitor mount I used was the TK Racing Triple Monitor Stand. I actually built it a little differently and used these instructions on YouTube to do so.
I had read that a monitor mount that doesn’t directly mount to a sim racing rig had the advantage of not shaking from the cockpit and wheel’s forces. I’m glad I got the TK Racing Triple Monitor Stand for that reason. It seems sturdy enough for my monitors and doesn’t shake when I race.
Sim Lab GT1 Evo: Pros and Cons Breakdown
|Very sturdy and heavy duty material
|Takes up a reasonable amount of space
|Instructions are clear and easy to understand
|Takes a long time to build, up to many hours
|Reasonable price at $469 on-sale in comparison to more expensive rigs
|Customizable 8040 aluminum has plenty of room for more accessories
The Sim lab GT1 Evo Delivers
Overall, I would definitely recommend the Sim Lab Evo GT1 sim cockpit rig. Although it was a pain to put together, it’s really sturdy, the seat mounts to it well and it has plenty of room to add accessories on to. This sim racing cockpit will not let you down.
I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I’m absolutely addicted to iRacing. In fact, I have a race coming up in just a few minutes on Mount Panorama with the Formula Ford 1600. Maybe I’ll see you there?