iRacing’s New Surface Model is a Mess

11950178_10205393789696674_7952378258627965862_oAfter a 24 hour delay, iRacing’s newest build dropped today during their Week 13 Offseason, introducing the much-anticipated New Surface Model that will allegedly revolutionize the sim, or so the promo footage had you believe. Reports from an anonymous source on Reddit claimed iRacing deliberately removed the thermal vision camera  at the last minute, so users could not precisely determine whether the surface model was working as intended, or if it was uniform across all users connected to a server – this was a sign of things to come.

Now that the build is out, people have gotten a chance to actually test the thing, and it sure isn’t pretty:

oopsThat’s not how you deliver after a solid couple of months hyping this thing up with a bunch of blog posts and technical videos…

As one iRacing member writes:

I want to first start off by saying thanks to iRacing for trying to bring something so big to the service. I know it was a massive undertaking to get it ready this fast.

But here is the bad. The 1.5 milers are back to the 2009-2010 days when it was wide open draft fests. Where did this grip come from? We are flat footing it at every track, so much grip that the tires are pretty much melting at 300 degrees. So at least that is going to factor in maybe.

The track change is not there, I didn’t expect it to be perfect, but I have watched many races in my life, and I know you can see a change in the track a heck of a lot faster. We are running blind right now without the temp camera, so we can’t even understand what is happening, if anything, to the track.

I appreciate the effort and the work you guys do, but I felt that someone had to speak up and get over this placebo effect. I know many people are going to love it now that they can keep up due to the draft, but this has went in a really bad direction with the amount of grip we have in the top three NASCAR series.

And no, for those who say it, the high side is not working, its just as slow as before because there is soooo much grip around the entire track at 0% or 100% (which all run the same lap times).

Please prove me wrong, hopefully Week 1 will do that, but there is something not right with the amount of grip we have now.



37 thoughts on “iRacing’s New Surface Model is a Mess

      1. This build just confuses me, at low speed its pure ice, and then at high speed you cant lose grip if you tried, to the point the tires are hitting 300+ degrees and still not losing grip, just smoking around the whole corner cause iracing smoke is based off tire heat


  1. Damn, surprisingly broken.

    It’s clearly not finished and is going to take a long time to fix. They need to simplify the release version ASAP and leave what ‘works’. There’s no point trying to add all new features at once if this is the result. Well, aside from marketing, of course.


  2. ISI deliberately “broke” their dynamic track for years in rF2 with its accelerated rubbering and it appears iRacing may have accidentally broken theirs. Perhaps a scripted dynamic track like Simbin’s Live Track is the best solution after all. Not perhaps for ovals but for road courses where the racing line is predictable.


  3. I like how it works. Reminds me the 3 laps i have take in gt3 race taxi passenger place in moscow raceway, when sls gt3 have to heat tyres up at half of track and then start to really beat me off the seatbelts on every corner, because so much grip – and it was pretty consistent on the edge. Why people hate everything that was made with science in mind?) If u dont have real correct experience, dont put lie in web lie world) The dynamic track CANT be powerfull factor, except of rain racing. Ii is an applet for racing, where you have more things to keep in mind, not only car setup. If you cant realise, when you have tires work – means you cant make consistent laps for 25 mins, so don’t judge the system – you cant taste it correctly =) ITs like an FFB, where people want to FFB show them all. But they forgot that IRL steering wheel take forces through the whole front suspension. Also emptybox is just a typical simracer -he’s good, yes, only, i love his channel. BUT I more prefer “True Racer” channel, just because he’s regularly race kart/sportcars, going to racetracks, etc – means he have much more real experience then me. I will wait his conclusion on it. I dont know anyone who is realracer + active simracer + youtube channel owner. Do you?


    1. So are you saying a super late model driver, and a formula 2.0 drivers both of which have driven high end sports cars on the side and also high level sim racers aren’t good judges? or our opinions don’t count cause we don’t have youtube accounts. I’m confused


      1. Who you talk about? ) Show me them and their opinion. The opinion must be clear of buttheart – less words i mean. The 98 percent of drivers cant explain the physics – lack of experience, lack of race driving time. Also things will be different anyways – here is the sim, here is the reality. You want to sim to be as reality? it cannot be – its programmed. It can be close to it only ))
        The only one type of comparison will be true – if you will find exactly the same everything in sim and IRL and compare it with 3 – 4 drivers on track. And this info will be correct. I mean everything – tyre, suspension, weather, track state, seat position, etc. Without it its just a different opinion. I mena non scientific, it can be, but i think the people who have made measurement, calculations, etc (iracing devs) are more trusted in taht case. Understand me clear – i wish to someone make true comparison, not just a bla bla bla. Respect you guys.


      2. You can’t be this fucking clueless, MYSELF, TIMMY HILL, JUSTIN BOLTON, SEV, MAX VERSTAPPEN, DAN ROEPER, BRODIE KOSTECKI, JOSH BERRY, SAM ADAMS, DALE EARNHARDT JR list goes on forever. All people I have worked with on teams, and all people who agree iRacing is nowhere near realistic, and half of which do not even run on it anymore! The ones who do play it as what it is. A GAME! I’m still on iRacing on a regular basis building the top drivers setups so I don’t see how you can possibly think that your 1200 irating buddy is even close to being able to give a reasonable opinion of what is realistic and what isn’t in comparison to real world drivers and top level sim racers, Let me guess you don’t know how to build a setup either cause it confuses you……………..


  4. NSM doesn’t seem such a mess on road courses.

    I just finished a W13 Mazda Cup 20 lapper, and the track may have been a bit grippier as it rubbered in (assuming that happened). I definitely lapped more consistently than previously, but I didn’t notice any offline marbles, nor did the driving line seem any darker late in the race.

    On the iRacing forums, opinions are very divisive, especially among oval racers, and I question how many of us really understand how a dynamic track should appear, let alone function.

    One comment will suggest excessive rubber being laid down, only to be rebutted with real world images documenting even more visible on-track rubber.

    Some claim grip should decrease on a rubbered in track, while others claim the opposite.

    Add temperature into the mix, and the opinions only multiply.

    I hope, and expect iRacing will implement the NSM conservatively, gather data, and move on from there.

    This is obviously an extremely ambitious undertaking, and I’ll reserve judgment until things have shaken out a bit.


    1. >Some claim grip should decrease on a rubbered in track, while others claim the opposite.
      This depends on the track temperature a lot. In general more rubber means more grip, but at some point, when the track becomes too hot, the rubber stops acting as glue and starts acting more as a slime that makes the track quite slippy. That, however only starts at a track temperature from ~55°C/130F, which requires ambient temperatures of ~35°C/95F + no clouds.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve not seen anything that suggests the track surface modeling is broken, it needs a few tweaks here and there. All the problems still seem to stem from the tyres, Totally munted when it comes to temps. Even the staff admit this. The wisdom of going ahead with such a project with the tyres the way they are is suspect but I guess after 4 years they needed to just get on with it.


  6. The people who have tell here in comments (or where?) that even empty box said in twitter that NSM are mess?
    here is the video
    If you dont trust me..
    And he have good admit – everyone want to SEE how it works immidiatly. But, its like in IRL isnt as much important thing that everyone messing up right now.. I have different point of view – its something is just works, is just a fact which you need to work with. Like IRL. All works for fast track – if u cant develop it irl – its ur problem not NSM problem. So…


  7. For everything i have say t defend iracing nsm:
    1. All NSM do and ALL WE WANT – more accidently happeningg during race, more deep in physics, which means MORE REALISM, NOT EXCITING.
    2. If someone try to tell that -“i dont see any changes, things not works like IRL” does it mean that people want to physically correct wotk of NSM or game-like work? You know, in games, everything slightly engaged to make yo uexcited. IRL if you excited on track, you loose time, for ex.
    3. Stay logical. Its a tiny new thing, which has take months (years?) of development to make it physically correct as much as it possible for devs. Like everything they make. This is awesome because they still make the highest steps in developing, its a hard work if you know what i mean. Why oval guys messing up? The dont have motion simulators, for example, when all the aero (draft, turbulency, chasis turbulency) work + NSM of course its a MESS. BUT NOT IN NSM. Its in your FEEL of SIM. Deal with it and learn REAL racing driving, dont you? As i posted before, empty box, which you sometimes post here as trusted simracer who are “left angled” like blog authors (i really think, he dont know it, he just try to stay clear in mind – like you) and he trust the NSM. Simply.
    But again. If someone dont trust – make scientific comparison. All i have to say.


    1. Pretty typical, let’s ignore the real world racers cause they don’t agree with me. You can’t make a scientifical comparison like you can with other sims because iRacing purposely hold information back, Yet the sims you can do this with such as rFactor 2 rFactor pro are very close feel wise and the real world racers agree, so saying it is just their feel that’s wrong when many of them race on professional simulators as well, and are living the dream is just pure idiotic. I’m pretty sure the opinion of a professional means alot more than your fucking retarded ass


      1. It’s always the same, person with no real world experience disagrees “GO BACK TO RACING GO KARTS YOU DON’T DRIVE THESE CARS IRL SO HOW WOULD YOU KNOW”, then guy with real world experience show up “YOU DONT KNOW HOW A SIM SHOULD FEEL YOU ARE EXPECTING THE WRONG INFO THROUGH THE WHEEL”, yet we constantly race other sims as well that feel correct and are backed up by statistical, and physical evidence. It’s the same predictable argument from fanboys every single time and it is the reason they just keep putting out shovelware bullshit and you play it because marketers tell you “ITS THE GREATEST EVER”. Yet I play it for a living even with its flaws cause of idiots like you! So yes keep playing PLEASE and don’t give companies a reason to fix it so that real world setup information would transfer over and take a bunch of my $$$ away 😀


    2. Man you have got to stop this. Your justifications are completely delusional.

      Basic logic comparisons are in and the laptimes are off. You don’t know how much it’s broken (that’s why we need science), but it is broken right now. Now, if iracing is open and explains what’s going on and how they will fix it, then perhaps this isn’t such a big deal. That’s probably not going to happen.


  8. The saddest part is the defenders always seem to have <2000 irating, can't even make around the track in traffic more than 5 laps, 3 seconds off the pace. Yet they think they have a more correct view of what feels realistic cause it feels just like what they think their honda civic would feel like at top speed as they drive in traffic to work


    1. I was reading through the comments on the iRacing forum and there are some many “gurus” talking about how it is wrong or how it is good. Then in their signature they proudly present their D class licence with 1500 iR.


  9. Why can we do legit multigroove racing on a STATIC track in NR2003, but not on a static track in iRacing? To me this could mean either there are far deeper issues with iRacing’s physics engine that fuck with multigroove racing, and having the track grip changing dynamically is a workaround, or iRacing’s behaviour with static tracks was correct and NR2003 was just borked. Personally I’m going for the former…


  10. I like the idea of paying for service like iracing – because of pros. Even in russia where i pay twice more now, because money conversion shit my money (its kinda you pay 30 dollars for track half year before). I dont know anywhere else where i can find service such as this. And real race drivers have always judge contraversal about iracing physics. What can i say about irating? – fuck this. I know many irating dupers (u know how it can be made 😉 who cant run 5 laps without spinouts/touching others – because THEY CAN :D. its another story.
    Yeah lap times… When your lap times can vary because of track state, isnt it good or what?)) I dont know but all professional simulators prefer iracing and rfactor2. We can trust them as well as AC.


  11. only one thing that goes totally wrong – is a track grip, thats why im not defending the result of system , understand me correctly, im telling you that system work fine, really fine, the grip is another question, as you guys remember there is an updated NTM6,


  12. charlotte SS – full throttle flat out all race, 4th gear, 20 laps, right tires on 120 Celsius. no damage to tires on the end of race. So i think its a NTM problem, i will test it with 0 dirty track and 100 dirty later, but i think its more NTM problem, not the NSM. Or maybe how they connect together. Partly systems are in best. My scientific mind will find the answer tomorrow :DD


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