Project Sim Racer: Part 3 – Enhancing the Experience With Fanatec


The Fanatec Clubsport Shifter SQ V 1.5.

The box shows two different shift knobs. I wonder which one they sent me?

Two shift knobs! Rad!

The Clubsport Shifter is designed for both H-pattern and sequential shifting. It includes two knobs- one for each purpose. The taller “stick-type” knob is used for sequential shifting, and the ball is for H-pattern, although there’s no requirement to use one or the other. A sliding lever on the side of the shifter housing switches the shifter from H pattern to sequential by locking out other movements.

The H-pattern features not 6, not 7, but eight (!) gears if you include reverse. Both reverse and 7th gear are available by depressing the shifter before moving it into the desired position, just like on a street car.


I really should not quit my day job to drill holes.

This is why I have H Craft work on Project SC300. Just kidding. Well, only sort of. One extra hole is needed to achieve the right width in order to bolt the Shifter SQ to the GTA-F mount. The other slightly interesting thing is that the shifter throw on the Fanatec unit is both longer and much higher than that of the Logitech Driving Force shifter. When I initially set this all up, I ended up slamming my hand into the support for the steering wheel. I had to move the shifter a little further away in order to add extra clearance. I could probably re-drill holes in the mounting panel to get everything exactly where I want it, or perhaps I could fabricate another panel. In any case, it all worked out in the end.


And, work it does. All lit up and driving around Phoenix International Raceway in the iRacing Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

The Clubsport Shifter is an amazing unit with extremely realistic and solid feel. In combination with the Fanatec wheel and pedals, you definitely do feel like you have a close approximation to a real car’s controls. Here, you can see me driving in iRacing, and the Fanatec wheel has the Rev Stripe and gear indicator lit. The wheel base also has the shift lights active.

The Fanatec CSL Elite wheel base’s force feedback really is quite good, and it is extremely strong. While the Logitech Driving Force G920 wheel provides a good bit of force feedback, at times it feels a little mechanical. The CSL Elite, in contrast, feels sturdy and realistic. In fact, the Fanatec is more than capable of ripping itself out of your hands in certain situations. It feels downright violent at times. Where the Logitech Driving Force G920 supplies an experience, Fanatec extends and enhances that experience. It’s all just a little more real and a little more accurate. For the price difference, it better be.

Street price on the Fanatec set-up:

  • $299.95 – CSL Elite wheel base
  • $89.95 – CSL Steering Wheel P1
  • $199.95 – CSL Elite Loadcell Pedals
  • $199.95 – ClubSport Shifter SQ V 1.5

When you compare the Logitech setup’s street price of $458 to the total cost of the Fanatec setup at $790, you would expect a lot more bang for almost double the bucks. And, you do get it. If you are a wannabe formula car guy, you could maybe get away without the shifter, but you would probably want the more expensive Clubsport Formula wheel which itself is $179, higher than the cost of the P1.

In all, if you are really serious about using simulation as a practice and training tool, the investment will be worth it. You get a great experience from the Logitech Driving Force equipment for the price, but in the grand scheme of things and when you add up the total cost of all of the simulator equipment, you probably won’t miss that $300 or so. Then again, Fanatec has an even higher-end line of equipment: the Clubsport line of wheel base and pedals. My wallet hurts just thinking about it. If it came down to the difference between not having a home simulator and having one with a Logitech wheel and pedals, I would vote to have something over nothing every time.

But, if you can spare the change, you won’t be disappointed.

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