When you begin endurance racing or participating in iRacing special events, you quickly realise just how much extra stuff you need to be aware of as well as the driving. Pit stops become important – but how do you make changes to your fuel and tyre settings on the fly? Trying to use the mouse to check/uncheck tyre changes or make fuel adjustments is such a terrible idea, and fortunately, there is a simpler way: chat macros!
Discovering this stuff at first can be difficult. But you just need to know exactly how to set your macros up prior to going racing, after you’ve decided what changes you’ll most likely want to make during a race.
I’ve been through that pain as I’ve graduated from rookie class stuff like the Mazdas to GTE class racing with my sim racing team, so, I’ll share what I’ve learned in the hope that it saves you a bit of time too.
As you saw in my Stream Deck article, I use macros to uncheck fuel and tyres at the beginning of a race, add or remove 1L of fuel and adjust tyre pressure by the corner. This leaves me only to worry about getting the fuel calculations right in the first place because making the actual adjustments is now really easy.
You don’t actually need a Streamdeck, of course – because all I’m actually doing is mapping my buttons to the auto text chat hotkeys in iRacing’s options screen:
So it’s as simple as knowing what changes you’ll need to make during a race and how to effect those changes with the right chat macro (or combination of chat macros).
This is the [Autochat Messages] section in my app.ini file. You can find this in your \\Documents\iRacing\ folder:
[Autochat Messages] AutoChatStr1=#clear$ ; Auto chat message, use $ at the end to auto transmit without hitting enter AutoChatStr10=#fuel -10l$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr11=#lf rf lr rr ws fuel 25l$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr12=#lf rf rr ws fuel 50l$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr13=#lf rf lr rr fuel 75l$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr14=#fuel 99l$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr15=#fuel 50l$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr2=#-cleartires$ ; Auto chat message, AutoChatStr3=#fuel +1l$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr4=#fuel -1l$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr5=#-clearfuel$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr6=#fr$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr7=#fl$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr8=#lr rr$ ; Auto chat message AutoChatStr9=#fuel +10l$ ; Auto chat message
We’ll work through a few of these to help you understand enough to build your own.
Let’s think about starting a race.
The first thing you might want to do is uncheck all pit-stop options. This is the first thing most drivers have to do manually at the start of the race while they’re waiting on the grid.
The macro #clear$ will do this for you. By entering this command in the options UI under “Auto Text Chat” – perhaps in the first box number 1, then pressing the number 1 on your keyboard will uncheck your pit-stop options. This will mean you will not receive new tyres or fuel during a pitstop! This is a safe position to be in so that you don’t waste any time in case you need to pit for a repair.
On that note, #fr$ will check “use fast repair” if fast repairs are available.
Time to race. You know that you’ll need tyres and 50L of fuel for your pitstop so a macro like this will work: #lf rf rr lr ws fuel 50l$ (change left front, right front, right rear, left rear, windscreen tearoff and add 50L of fuel.
Naturally you can adjust the fuel level and, if you’re working in gallons just change “L” to “G”.
If you’ve cleared everything but want to re-select your tyre change, use: #-cleartires$ – adding the “-” inverts the command (it makes the command do the opposite). Similarly, #-clearfuel$ will ensure you’re refuelling on your next pitstop:
If you want to double stint your tyres, then #cleartires$ unchecks only tyres but will leave your fuel settings alone – although I’ve found I don’t need this often with my setup.
Finally, my Fuel + and – buttons work like this: #fuel +1l$ adds 1 litre of fuel and #fuel -1l$ takes 1 litre of fuel away. If you add or remove a litre of fuel, the refuel checkbox will automatically activate.
Hopefully this is useful – let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!
Featured image: iRacing