- Looks fantastic
- High-quality build
- Sturdy frame
- Little to no flexing with direct drive wheels
- Tonnes of adjustability
- A touch expensive
- Rally seat is a snug fit
- Some monitor shake with the integrated mount
Trak Racer TR8 Pro Sim Rig Review and Unboxing
The Trak Racer TR8 Pro is a fantastic sim rig, there’s no denying it. If you don’t have time to read through the rest of this review, I’ll tell you now that I would recommend this rig in a flash.
It’s a little towards the pricey end, coming in more expensive than a fair few 8020 aluminium profile rigs. But for the cost, you get a lot of neat design features, adjustability and most importantly, a sturdy as hell sim rig.
Trak Racer TR8 Pro Cost
Before I jump head first into this review, I want to touch on the price of this sim rig. Price is often a big decision maker, so this should help you decide pretty quickly whether you should consider this sim rig.
In its base form, the Trak Racer TR8 Pro costs £575 or $690.
For that price, you’ll get the whole frame, including the seat slider and seat mounts, the wheel mounting plate and a shifter and handbrake mount.
From there, you can decide if you want to add on a monitor mount or a seat, as well as a few other extras such as a keyboard tray and tablet holder.
If you simply want to add a seat, that would bring the cost of this rig up to £850 or $1040 before shipping.
Now that is rather pricey, and you can find some very good 8020 sim rigs for less than this. But the level of design, customisation, and build quality do go a long way towards justifying this price tag.
TR8 Pro assembly and build quality
During assembly, I really didn’t run into many issues. All bolts fitted together well, and each part of the rig came packaged in just enough protective foam and packaging to keep it from being damaged.
In fact, this was probably one of the better-packed sim rigs I’ve had the pleasure of unboxing. There really was minimal waste in excess packaging.
During assembly, all bolts fitted together nicely, and there weren’t any parts that didn’t align.
My main complaint with the assembly is that there aren’t any physical instructions included. Instead, you are emailed a link to an online PDF with instructions to follow. This is good for the planet so I won’t complain too much, but it did require me to be constantly checking my laptop and phone.
The instructions themselves were super easy to follow. Everything was pretty clearly illustrated, and most parts came with the correct screws and fittings already pre-installed.
While it did take me a good 2 hours to fully assemble this rig that time is possibly longer than it would normally take. Some time must be accounted for the constant moving of my camera.
I assembled this completely by myself, showing just how much of a responsible adult I am. Go me! But having a second person helping with the installation would make certain parts easier to install.
Mounting some parts of the main tubular frame together for example required me to hold two parts of the frame, and insert some screws at the same time. So this would have definitely been easier with a spare set of hands.
Design and aesthetics
There is no denying that when the Track Racer TR8 Pro is fully assembled, it is a rather pretty sim rig. This design is a long way from the practicality-first approach that 8020 aluminium profile sim rigs offer.
And it’s quite refreshing to see. This sim rig looks good and I’m excited to show anyone who comes around as it looks incredibly professional. The majority of the rig is constructed from an incredibly thick 2″ tubular steel frame. And it’s all powder coated in black giving it a stealthy appearance.
Once constructed, one of the first things I noticed which felt like a luxury, was the lack of any side supports. There is simply no obstruction at the side of the rig allowing you to easily slide in and out of the seat. With a lot of sim rigs, you’ll often have to climb past vertical support beams. But not with this Trak Racer sim rig.
The standard wheel plate that comes with the TR8 Pro is pretty good. It has a solid construction and comes pre-drilled with various mounting positions. Every wheel base I tried with the TR8 Pro fitted well, including the Fanatec CSL DD and the MOZA Racing R9.
There is some angle adjustment along with forward and back adjustments available. And there is also some height adjustment. Overall, it’s pretty easy to find a comfortable mounting position for your wheel. And once your ideal position is locked in, there is no movement at all during use.
The pedal plate is a similar story. There is a fair bit of adjustment, both forward and back and up and down. I had to max out the angle to achieve a comfortable position. And when it came to mounting my pedals, there was no issue at all thanks to the variety of pre-drilled holes.
At its furthest distance away, the pedal plate sits directly over the tubular frame, ensuring that it’s incredibly sturdy. Even when applying a lot of pressure to a variety of load cell brake pedals, the TR8 Pro’s pedal plate didn’t even flinch.
Trak Racer rally seat
I opted for the Trak Racer rally seat when purchasing this rig. If you don’t fancy this seat, there are a few other options, or you can purchase it without a seat and bring your own.
But for me, the GT-style seat looked a little cheap with the huge area of glossy fibreglass on the rear. And the rally seat has a lot more interest in its design.
And I’m more than happy with this choice. The seat itself looks fantastic and uses a combination of different materials. There is Alcantara-style material that Trak Racer call “ultra-soft cloth” along with what I presume is a fake leather material.
Both of these work well together to create subtle accents and highlights in the design. Underneath these materials is a really soft foam padding. And I was actually surprised at just how soft this padding was.
When you first sit in the rally seat, it is incredibly comfy. And that comfort doesn’t really decline as you spend longer in the seat.
A word of warning though, this rally seat is quite snug. I’d say I have a pretty regular to slim frame, coming in at 6 foot 1, and the seat feels snug even for me. If you’re a larger sim racer, you may not find this seat overly comfy.
The restrictive area is more around the shoulders than the waist, almost forcing your arms forwards. And I did feel a little cramped, especially after some longer race sessions.
Shifter and handbrake mount
The shifter and handbrake mount comes included as standard with the TR8 Pro which is a lovely touch. And it can be mounted very easily to either side of your rig. This is simply a good design allowing racers from different countries to mount their shifter on the correct side of the rig to them.
However, I am a little disappointed as to how low this shifter mount sits. It actually sits completely level with your seat. And this means depending on your shifter of choice, you may have to reach down to pull a shift.
Many sim racers, especially those who often drift or race rally cars are used to the shifter and handbrake being mounted up closer to their racing wheel.
This could be a problem with the positioning of this shifter mount. Despite this, there is some adjustability with the angle that you mount your shifter, and there are a lot of pre-drilled holes making mounting very easy.
Integrated monitor mount
The integrated monitor mount which I have on my TR8 Pro is a slightly different story to other areas of the rig. There is some minimal adjustability in terms of how close and how high you mount your screen.
But my main issue is in how close I can mount my monitor to the back of my wheel base. Like many sim racers, I like to have my monitor sitting as close to the rear of my steering wheel as possible. This provides the best opportunity for correct FOV in-game, and brings the action closer to your face.
For me to achieve this, I had to actually mount the monitor plate backwards. The plate is designed to sit facing the other way, which would force your monitor to sit around 2 inches further away from your face.
I would have loved to of seen a slightly better implementation, allowing the monitor to sit closer to your face and racing wheel. Possibly some form of extension on the mounting arm itself to bring it closer and hang over your wheel base.
One area where the Trak Racer TR8 Pro does shine is in the adjustability.
Now we all know that 8020 aluminium profile sim rigs are among the most versatile and adjustable sim rigs available. However, to adjust an 8020 sim rig, you often need a set of tools and a bit of time.
The areas of the TR8 Pro that are adjustable are all baked into the sim rig. This means you can adjust multiple areas of the rig without any tools.
The rig comes with a seat slider, allowing you to move a good amount of distance backwards and forwards. This is especially useful when sim racing with others, or if you’re jumping in and out of the seat often.
The included seat mounts also have a range of holes allowing you to really tailor your seat angle and position. You can see that I have added the maximum amount of recline to my seat to give a more formula-style seating position.
You can also move the position of your racing wheel without tools. There are two funky built-in levers that can be loosened to allow you to slide the wheel plate closer or further away.
However, if you want to move your pedal plate or change the angle of your racing wheel, you will need an Allen key. Once you’ve found one, you can adjust your pedals closer or further away, and change the angle of your pedals and wheel.
I would have liked a little more adjustability in the pedal height, as even at their highest they don’t really lend themselves to a formula-style racing position.
Trak Racer could have included a little more adjustment on the angle of the pedal plate. But the maximum height just about worked well for my preferred sitting position.
Does the Trak Racer TR8 Pro sim rig perform well during racing?
So now that I’ve touched on how this sim rig looks and the overall construction, it’s time to talk about how it performs. This is easily the most important part of any sim rig, because if it shakes and rattles it’s not doing its job properly.
And I’m happy to report that there is zero flex, movement or rattling with this TR8 Pro sim rig.
Can the Trak Racer TR8 Pro handle direct drive wheel bases?
I spent a lot of time with this rig using direct drive wheel bases, including the Fanatec Podium. And even the 20Nm of torque that the Podium wheel base creates didn’t phase this sim rig.
I was concerned when I first assembled this rig that there might be some side-to-side rocking. As the frame is relatively rounded and the rubber feet didn’t feel too sturdy. But that is absolutely not the case.
I was able to crank my Fanatec wheel base up close to maximum without any noticeable flex or movement in the wheel plate. If you are running a wheel base such as the Fanatec CSL DD or MOZA’s R9, you won’t notice any issues at all.
But one area where I did notice a little shake is with the integrated monitor mount. And this is really an unavoidable side effect of attaching a monitor directly to your sim rig.
When using higher torque modes with the more powerful Fanatec Podium wheel base, you can sometimes see the monitor shaking along with the force feedback.
The monitor is mounted directly to the top of the sim rig, right next to the wheel base, so removing this shaking is pretty tough. The ideal scenario is to use a separate free-standing monitor mount. But I wouldn’t say that the shaking ever concerned me or took me out of the action.
I’ve touched on the compatibility of this TR8 Pro sim rig a few times, and overall it is good. Both the wheel plate and pedal plate come with a tonne of pre-drilled mounting holes.
This allows for a wide range of sim racing products to be used including those from Fanatec, MOZA, Thrustmaster, Simucube and more. My only gripe with the pre-drilled holes affected the pedals.
If you’re using either the Fanatec CSL pedals or the MOZA SR-P pedals, you may not be able to mount them at the rear. Depending on the individual pedal positioning, you may struggle to align the rear of the pedal up with a mounting hole.
I had this exact issue, and you can see that I only managed to mount them at the front. This isn’t ideal but does still allow me to use them without issue.
Is the Trak Racer TR8 Pro sim rig worth buying?
Overall, the Trak Racer TR8 Pro is a brilliant sim rig. It is well-designed and possibly one of the best-looking sim rigs I have ever used.
It is a little pricey compared to some other options, but you get a tonne of adaptability included. And it does come with some extra elements such as the seat slider and shifter arm that are often paid for extras with some other rigs.
I could certainly recommend the TR8 Pro to anyone looking to upgrade from a wheel stand or purchase a sim rig that is going to last a long time. If like me, a sim rig that looks good is high on your priority list, then this sim rig from Trak Racer is among the best you can buy.