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There's now a Sparco handbrake for racing games
Thrustmaster TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod brings skids to the masses
If you’re looking to build what amounts to a pretend car inside your living room, you’re pretty well covered. You can bag a force feedback steering wheel that will judder with every bump and rut in the road, pedals with realistic resistance to give you authentic clutch cramp and a sturdy H-pattern shifter so you can clatter satisfyingly up and down the box. Then you can bolt it all to a gaming seat for that perfect driving position and fully surrender yourself to sim nerd nirvana.
There is one part of the driving control set, though, that remains woefully under-represented in most people’s rigs: the humble handbrake. Thrustmaster and Sparco are hoping to change that, uniting to produce the TSS Handbrake Sparco Mod, a consumer-targeted addition to your setup that allows for precision skids aplenty.
Aimed at fans of rally and drift titles who up until now have been limited to jabbing a button on the steering wheel, the TSS gives you a proper ‘fever lever’ to yank as you’re negotiating mountain hairpins or kicking the tail out in a Tsukuba drift trial. The TSS is analogue, meaning it simulates a proper hydraulic motorsport handbrake rather than behaving like an on/off switch. If sideways is your preferred sim racing angle, this is a fantastically tactile addition to your rig and will work with just about any PC game. Sadly, console players need not apply for the moment.
It’s also adjustable like a Meccano set, allowing you to switch it from a WRC-esque vertical position, to the angled configuration you’ll remember from when you first learned to ‘rip the E-brake’ in your mum’s Peugeot 306. Thrustmaster boasts that the TSS is constructed from 90 per cent metal, meaning it should survive even the sort of sustained abuse the real thing would receive in a Burger King car park on a Saturday night.
In a smart touch, if you’re more omnivorous in your driving tastes, the TSS can be reconfigured for circuit racing as a sturdy sequential shifter for that old school GT racing feel. It’s doubly smart considering just how expensive this thing is, retailing at a staggering £240 here in the UK. One for committed rallyists and drift lunatics only, perhaps.
Still, that’s the last of the essential driving controls accounted for in TG’s Frankenstein’s monster of a racing rig. Now all we need is a force feedback cupholder attachment to realistically jiggle our overpriced latte and we’ll have the complete driving sim setup. How about it Thrustmaster?