GT Omega ART Cockpit Review
This text is provided for transcript purposes - this review is best put across by watching the Youtube video above but the text below is there for your benefit, too.
The GT Omega ART cockpit is a budget friendly piece of hardware indeed and I have really positive experiences using it, but there is probably no better way to sum it up than to say I was only willing to sell my 8020 rig because I knew I had this cockpit ready to step back into and I knew my sim racing wouldn’t actually suffer for it. If I sold my Fanatec wheel base and went back to a Logitech wheel I would really struggle and my results would show it, so to say that stepping back into the GT Omega rig gives me no cause for hesitation is a really meaningful perspective.
Despite the ART costing less than half of the setup just sold there’s no difference to me lap times and race results, and that is some really high praise for this cost friendly kit.
So let’s say you’re on the prowl for your first proper cockpit and the GT Omega ART catches your eye, how far can you push this kit and are you going to need to upgrade from it in future? Where does the ART sit on the scale of price vs performance? Let’s dig into it.
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First let’s address how this cockpit does for competitiveness and consistency because that’s very important for me and no doubt for you too. I absolutely want to win, especially league races where the points matter and there’s no second chances. These days the word eSports is buzzing around everyone’s head and the ache that you feel when you’re looking at all the amazing kit and the fixation that spending more money will turn you into a winning machine is real, and I feel that too. That’s why I sincerely advise that if you’re firmly holding out for a top of the line rig because you think anything less won’t make you as competitive as everyone around you, this isn’t the case most of the time.
You can hit 99% of your competitive potential on the ART, I honestly believe that. I take part in the Apex Racing League GT Championship on iRacing and Tom McMahon of EvoSR has won that championship 3 times previously with a Fanatec Clubsport wheel on a GT Omega frame. In everything there’s a point beyond which spending more money has vastly diminishing returns and I consider the ART to be right on that apex of most competitive per pound spent.
Secondly, consider what wheel and pedal hardware you‘ve got or plan to have in the near future. If you’re to be using any wheelbase up to and including the Fanatec Clubsport, or any of the Thrustmaster lineup for that matter then the ART is perfect for you. Pedals up to and including the Fanatec Clubsport V3’s are also suitable. I use a Fanatec CSL Elite wheelbase and Clubsport V3 pedals with a very firm brake and I find no cause for complaint in terms of rigidity or adjustment range. If you’ve got imminent plans for top level equipment like a direct drive or heusinkveld pedals then you should really commit to an 8020 to ensure you’re getting full use out of them.
Thirdly, consider how far you want your overall budget to go. The lower cost is one of the big draws for the ART. My previous 8020 rig with the triple monitor stand was around £1000, my ART setup would be around £500 if I had the GT Omega triple stand to go with it. No matter how you slice it, if there was any measurable difference in my race pace between driving an 8020 and driving an ART, it certainly isn’t a difference I’d give up the £500 I’ve saved to resolve. That’d be an extra £500 you could put towards your wheel, pedals, screens or accessories, all of which would have a big impact on your competitiveness.
So, by now it’s clear that I have a strong fondness for the ART but let me explain my perspective on things. I am the kind of guy that really respects things that can do 95% of the job for 50% of the cost, this itself brings its own satisfaction to me. I just love things that perform well without weighing heavily on the wallet and that is exactly what the ART’s all about.
There’s compromises with everything in this life though, so let’s see what limitations the ART system has which you might consider. Firstly, although the ART’s wheel column and pedal plate have very little flex, there is still some. Whatever movement is here is really minor and simply not noticeable when driving, but it’s there if you go looking for it by eye. Interestingly, because the ART is basically a box-shaped structure full of straight lines, it’s possible to brace and strengthen it with DIY solutions as demonstrated by fellow user Karl Gosling whose proof of this concept is linked in the description. I can totally see how some simple bracing can lock this frame down hard and really cut out what little movement is there. I have never felt the need to do this but I know some of you love to enhance and optimise so this is right up your street.
Second of all, there is no option for an integrated triple monitor mount like you can get with some 8020s. If you want triples you can get a standalone monitor mount that’s physically separate from the ART, or you can get a table and fix a desktop triple mount to it like I’ve done here. It’s always a good idea to have standalone monitors so this isn’t much of a problem, but worth knowing if you don’t yet have triples and are planning to go 3-wide.
M. The range of seats made by GT Omega that pair with the ART are all reclinable and being as GT Omega is also a gaming chair company this should be their bread and butter. The one I have, the RS9, is seemingly the sportiest one and not the comfiest of the bunch on the shoulders but feels racey, the RS6 looks less aggressively moulded and more suitable for the average adult, and of course there is a wider XL seat for NASCAR drivers. However, whilst convenient, reclining seats introduce some flex so if you wanted to eliminate that you could opt for a hard-backed rally or race seat from a motorsport vendor instead as the ART’s mounting rails should accommodate it fine.
Lastly, because I’m stacking it up against the 8020 I just sold, construction time is worth touching on - it takes 2 hours maximum to get the ART put together and that’s being laid back. Adjustment is also much much quicker. If it has to be removed from a room then it can be detached in half leaving you with two manageable pieces. If you needed this thing to be on wheels then you can get castors for it from the shop, too.
I love this cockpit and genuinely consider it to be in that sweetspot of price vs performance. In saying this, I do it having gone from ART to 8020 to ART again so I hope my opinion on this holds water, this isn’t one of those situations where I haven’t experienced something better than the ART, I’ve been well beyond it in terms of price tag and have that experience to draw on. I plan to stick with this ART for a long time yet, as it gives me all that I need to race well at a price that makes me feel good about it, especially at a time when that money is needed elsewhere. If you have a direct drive wheel then you’ll be needing a frame that’s much costlier, I am not suggesting otherwise, but most of us use mid-range equipment that is well within the ART’s capability, so if what you really care about is having a chassis that can help you be competitive but for a good price then in that regard the ART proves itself to be very worthy against other cockpits twice the cost.
I haven’t had to look far to find numerous drivers in my various circles that are using a GT Omega ART so If you have one of these cockpits then share your experiences in the comments so that people browsing for opinions can hear yours.
That’s it - Feel free to ask questions in the Youtube video's comments and please remember to check out the discount link if you’re heading to GT Omega’s site and let me know how you get on with yours. Like and Subscribe on Youtube if I’ve been helpful and thanks for the support.