Five things we learned from iRacing’s Q&A Session at iRace4Life

InsideSimRacing uploaded a 52 minute video detailing the Q&A Session with Tony Gardner that took place recently at iRace4Life, a seminar that has turned into a miniature iRacing Festival over the past few years. The audience asked Mr. Gardner over 40 different questions, and we’ve picked out five of the most controversial (in our minds) responses to analyze. The full video can be seen below, for those with a bit more time to spare on this lazy Sunday:

1. How is the Steam release going?
It’s going well. About 15 members a day joining via steam. Steam is fairly slow on their end getting stuff through. More integration [is] needed. Steam needs to do some work, because iRacing is ready to go. 

At the inception of this blog, we reported that iRacing’s Steam integration was poor at best, and most likely a half-baked attempt to stay relevant, as at the time Assetto Corsa was exploding in popularity through Steam and ultimately dominating iRacing. What I find curious about Tony’s response is that he blames Steam, not iRacing, for the amount of time it’s taken to properly integrate the game into Valve’s online distribution service. While Valve has recently made headlines for the absurd concept of introducing payware community mods to Steam, Valve is hardly “slow” as Tony would describe them. This is a company that gave the thumbs up to a text adventure based around depression and helped create not one or two but three (Half-Life 3 confirmed?) of the greatest PC games ever released. I highly doubt this problem is on Valve’s end.

iRacingSim64 2014-01-27 23-04-05-152. What caused the Indy 500 issues in 2014?
Unrelated, that was fixed. Hard to simulate 55,000 people. This is why Netflix doesn’t do an 8’o’Clock movie. If iRacing could just throw money at it, they would. It’s technical

We’ve made a detailed report of iRacing’s constant outages during several of their marquee World Tour events. Gardner’s response of “hard to simulate 55,000 people” is a response I just don’t buy. During iRacing’s Daytona 500, maybe 1,800 people participate, and for Indy Cars I’m sure that number is just slightly less because Stock Cars are easily the most popular form of racing on iRacing. How do I know this? I’ve participated in these events in the past. There’s no way either of these events draw 55,000 people. Straight up lie.

iRacingSim64 2013-03-09 03-50-20-853.With the McLaren F1 coming, are there plans to make a fixed F1 series?
A fixed F1 series. Sure we’ll do whatever people want… I think a lot of the open wheelers are really hard. 30-40 people can actually dial this thing in. Most people don’t have time to dial these cars in, I think we should, but the 30-40 people are extremely vocal about fixed. I’m with you, you have to be an engineer to set the thing up.

This is my favorite question of the interview because it shows just far off the mark iRacing has it when it comes to actually playing their game. As someone who’s won championships in both rFactor and iRacing, and done some leaderboard driving on Assetto Corsa & R3E, a good baseline is all you need to be fast. I’ve gotten through an entire GT2 season just by having a solid base setup and adjusting the front and rear anti-roll bars. I use ONE SETUP on R3E: -3.5 camber up front, -2.8 in the rear, 30/30/1 for the differential settings, and 540/18 for rotation – this works in every car in the game that isn’t front wheel drive. Everything else gets dialed out with the roll bars as if you’re playing NASCAR Thunder 2003 on the PS2 – tell yourself that roll bars = wedge adjustment and front roll bar = front wedge. Boom. You can set up a car.

Wanna know how to set up an F1 car, or any open wheel car in general? The car has two giant wings. Use them.

And this whole concept of developing a good baseline & making tiny adjustments isn’t some crackhead theory I’ve dreamed up to make myself sound smart. Instagram is a thing and you can straight up ask professional drivers how they approach a hectic race weekend, and if they’re bored enough, they’ll tell you:

4. What stage is the tyre model at? Is it nearly finished?
Don’t know if it’ll ever be finished. Getting close though. Hopefully something in June, he’s working 10 hours a day and it’s literally all he’s doing. 3-4 things he would like to fix. not going to talk to him, but the things people are talking about are the things he’s working on. 95% there, but the final 5% is going to make a big difference.

iRacing’s “new tire model” is something that’s been talked about since September of 2011 when it was first introduced, and I myself have failed to see any improvement in how the game drives or feels as a whole with every new tire model upgrade. The cars are notoriously tight, and aside from the few combinations that “click”, such as the Dallara DW12 that was phenomenally fun at Pocono, Stock Cars are still varying degrees of bad. I personally prefer the old tire model, as the heat gain and eventual degradation were natural despite the ridiculous oversteer and instability that presented itself to newcomers. When you got a handle on it, tire strategies actually made sense.

5. Are you actively trying to get a Ferrari into the sim?
Been out of our price range to be blunt. Some things we haven’t announced yet that are pretty cool. We’ve sat across from them, great relationship, decided to not sign the dotted line. Maybe someday. It’s expensive. 

Maybe it’s because I’m not privleged to this information and I can only speculate to the best of my abilities, but with iRacing’s steep pricing approach and how they’re able to do stuff like the , plus the , plus the Blancpain license, plus the Nurburgring license, plus the TUDOR license… and that’s just in the past few months or so… I don’t get how all of that is achievable, yet Ferrari suddenly isn’t. Especially when a group of Italian guys with close to zero funding just sort of show up and have some of the greatest Ferrari’s ever in their racing sim. And then McLaren. And Lamborghini as well.


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