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10 July 2023

Brandon’s going through the gears to racing success

Man seated in full video game racing setup
A shift from automatic to manual is giving Brandon the all-important chance to compete at a higher level in Assetto Corsa Competizione, and he’s relishing the challenge. Brandon’s left-sided weakness meant that he’d been restricted to racing with an automatic gear change – too slow to be competitive online – and he was hoping that paddle-based gear shifting on his steering wheel would provide the breakthrough he needed. Conventional gaming paddle-shifters are available, but Brandon faced the uncertainty and expense of buying and trying, not knowing if any of them, modified or not, would help him race to the very best of his abilities. Our specialist assessment team invited him to our Games Room in Oxfordshire to see if they could find a solution together. Our specialist team have a large library of assistive gaming equipment to draw on, and after pinpointing exactly how he preferred to operate the gears, they trialled a wide combination of equipment and mounting methods with him, finally arriving at a setup that had the most potential for the gear shifting boost he was looking for. The great news is that our help is proving to be a game-changer, even though he knows the competition will be tough. But, as he wrote in a tweet soon after the assessment, “I wouldn’t have it any other way!” We’re so glad that our attention to detail and our tenacity to find the best possible customised gaming setup for Brandon is paying off. It’s an approach that we use for everyone we help as it so often means the crucial difference between frustration and success. We wish Brandon the very best in his racing journey, and we’ll be there if and when he needs our help in the future. How we helped Our team arrived at the final setup through a process of iteration. They began by suggesting a spinning steering aid so that his hand could always reach the accessibility switches regardless of the wheel position. After a trial though, he preferred the option of switches attached directly to the top of the wheel. The team duly mounted two downward-facing switches on Velcro tape that was wrapped around the wheel. After further trialling, Brandon asked if the angle of the switches could be increased, which was achieved with foam wedges. After more trial laps, Brandon’s feedback was that the switches needed to be more firmly secured so the team swapped in a pair of Manfrotto Nano Clamps to serve as switch mounts, and these were firmly fixed to the wheel with Dycem and Velcro strapping. Brandon then found that his finger was sometimes triggering both switches together. The team swapped in two Logitech switches which required a greater force to operate, and whose shape gave less chance of accidental activation.