After the initial launch of the 2015 Stock Car content for rFactor 2 failed to impress us here at PRC.net back in September, today ISI have rolled out the first public update for the once highly-anticipated mod, along with a handful of new tracks to give folks an extra incentive to check things out. Citing much-needed tire behavior updates and AI improvements among the relatively small change log, the revised mod aims to establish rFactor 2 as a legitimate alternative to iRacing’s dominance over American oval racing from the comfort of your own home.
Judging by a Facebook post from the Stock Car Evolution mod team back in September, it appears the rFactor mod group has played an integral role in the development of these cars; though the precise level of their involvement with ISI is something we’re can’t provide concrete info on. It appears to us that ISI are reaching out to talented mod teams in an effort to flesh out the rather patchy list of default content in rFactor 2, as Stock Car Evolution stated in September that they’d like the hardcore Stock Car guys in rFactor 2 to participate in the weekly online events and “provide the feedback we need.”
Along with releasing Version 1.04 of the mod today, ISI have worked with a third-party entity by the name of JM Virtual Tracks to release a new batch of unlicensed NASCAR facilities, ensuring an adequate selection of tracks for those who want to dedicate a serious amount of time to oval racing in rFactor 2. Homestead and Talladega have received minor updates, while Richmond, Kentucky, and California are new additions to the sim.
Reception to the new locations has been mixed. Some are thrilled at the updated roster of oval tracks, as almost all of them are locations that the Dallara DW12 can compete at as well, inadvertently increasing the size of the schedule for the IndyCar fans using rFactor 2 as their sim of choice. However, an anonymous user on 4chan has already began criticizing the shortcomings of the third-party additions. Noting graphical errors at Kentucky and Richmond, as well as the wrong downforce package being used at California, this update may potentially have needed one final revision before going live.
Regardless, I’m sure we’ll get around to evaluating the new build ourselves at some point in the future, but for now, all you need to know is that it’s out, it’s free, and you should try it if you’ve got rFactor 2 installed.