Virtual racing really helps a lot, I've realized it a couple of years ago; years earlier the VirtualRC project even started. There was a VRC-1 adapter by Serpent which was connecting your reciever to PC's game-port and it appeared as a standard joystick for the PC. Due to absence of a good software simulator on the market I've used a very old game by Papyrus - Indycar Racing 2. Of course it's completely different in driving that and an RC car, still the game had a good physics and helped a lot, at least not to loose your skills in the periods of RC inactivity.
I'm from Moscow, Russia, and as the racing season is over over here, and no nitro racing till end of may possible, I'm planning to obtain a copy of VirtualRC with a USB-adaptor too.
: As for the VRC v4 it's only planned out fall 2007.
Excuse my English, guys! I hope it's still clear.