Reader Submission #83 – Where Can I Buy iRacing’s Super Sticky Turf?

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Another day brings us another Reader Submission here at PRC.net, and once again we’re using our time to rip apart the physics model found in the extremely popular iRacing.com Motorsports Simulation. Often the subject of intense scrutiny away from the official iRacing forums, iRacing’s vehicle dynamics has their fair share of flaws, and PRC.net reader PlushLabs has discovered some interesting vehicle behavior while watching a stream of a high-profile Mazda MX-5 online series.


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Hey James. It’s been a while since I’ve written in, but I think the last time my email was published was when I talked about the F1 cars at Okayama putting two wheels on the grass with no repercussions at all handed to drivers – not through the stewards, and certainly not through the physics of the game. I’m not here to complain about stewards though, because this is a readily apparent problem with iRacing’s physics.

I just finished watching the Tidal Influence MX-5 World Tour’s stop at Silverstone while I was wasting time waiting for a C-Class Street Stocks race. The final moments of the stream were certainly entertaining and I was immediately immersed into the competition, only to be taken right out of my immersion by the sudden change in discipline from road course racing to rallycross.

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Of course, the series organizers aren’t running with incident limits, which is how I think all unofficial series should be run. The organizers also don’t have a rule against abusing track limits in such a ridiculous manner, but again, this isn’t an issue on the series’ behalf. iRacing’s off-road physics are so forgiving that you can actually drive onto the grass, catch air, and still be driving straight. Regardless of how much you need to practice to get this line on Abbey’s exit correct, the fact that it’s such a forgiving maneuver to pull should be another item on iRacing’s checklist of problems to fix. After a short talk with race winner Evan Maillard and runner-up Sonny Kanchin (which I unfortunately didn’t screencap), they both agreed that the grass is way too tacky and forgiving. Sonny had no ill towards Evan for abusing track limits because he figures if it’s an advantage you can legally use, you use it, no questions asked, and that’s all well and good! But the fact that they could even pull off such an insanely unrealistic maneuver is incredibly odd.

However, someone else in the chat suggested that the grass actually could have been stickier than usual, and the dynamic weather might have had something to do with that. I can’t remember which of the race leaders it was who said it, but I can guarantee one of them brought it up. I wouldn’t doubt them either, it’s very likely that course cutting and abusing track limits on unlimited incident races will be the norm on courses like Silverstone. Laguna Seca is also a problem, where the sand pits and gravel are incredibly forgiving if you enter almost any corner too fast and find yourself off the asphalt. Hell, Summit Point’s racing line is straight through the gravel pit, and as far as I can tell, barely anything even happens to your tires to make the next left handed corner which is probably the most dangerous turn on the circuit, considering how full of rocks and dust the sticky tires would be.

This is likely an issue VERY low on iRacing’s radar, so this kind of issue is likely to stay unchecked for a long, long time. But at least we’re getting the new MX-5 for free, right?


 

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I wonder who from Club Finland will link this article to the iRacing Member Forums for a free two week suspension?

All jokes aside, physics oddities like this are exactly why I’m not entirely upset that I can no longer participate in iRacing. Yes, it’s scummy as fuck that they’ve taken my money and I have nothing to show for it, but if this is the kind of experience they’re currently offering, as a sim racer I’m really not feeling left out like I should be. I’ve felt the MX-5 has always been a little odd to drive, but the fact that you can literally go off-roading with no punishment whatsoever is one of many indications that iRacing isn’t worth the price of admission. Our boy Maple will have a complete review of the new build within the coming weeks, so I’m interested to see how much more weird shit he finds in the physics engine given his role in the Peak Anti-Freeze Series – and now a few private leagues as you can see in the new banner at the top of the page.

It would be nice to hear that iRacing’s gotten their shit together, but unfortunately stuff like this is extremely frustrating. As I’ve said in the past, I don’t think they really care about getting the sim to a level where it’s on par with something like Automobilista or rFactor 2 – they are merely happy providing a huge online racing platform with intrusive content pricing, and any dissent is quickly dismissed as someone utterly obsessed with the game to an unhealthy extent. Even if the flaws are genuine, as pointed out above, iRacing is at a point where they’re not obligated to care – for each person that points out how ridiculous it is that you can go off-roading in a Miata, fifty others will gladly rush across sim racing message boards to spread the gospel of iRacing.

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39 thoughts on “Reader Submission #83 – Where Can I Buy iRacing’s Super Sticky Turf?

  1. u guys have a problem with offroad physics while iracing = understeer racing. i don t get this. I mean iracing has much higher rated probs in physics than off road…..

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  2. In the hundreds of Mazda Cup top splits I’ve raced in the last year, I’ve never heard any complaints about this issue. Although the traction on various off road surfaces probably isn’t accurately simulated, it hasn’t affected any races that I’m aware of, and iRacing certainly has bigger issues to fix (website loading being primary among them).

    That said, I do wish they’d re-think their off-track policy. With a four wheels off rule (instead of the current centerline), off-tracks would become much more intuitive.

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  3. Wow, haven’t finished the article yet but I see a clear issue when cars are running with both wheels on the grass, not being penalized and not losing pace.

    WTF is this, PCARS AI?

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    1. “Wow, haven’t finished the article yet but I see a clear issue when cars are running with both wheels on the grass, not being penalized and not losing pace.

      WTF is this, PCARS AI?”

      Four wheels off (as in the screenshot) and you lose quite a bit of pace. At least in the MX-5.

      Maybe not as much as you should, but I’ve never seen anyone (in a +2000 SOF top split) cut the track like that on purpose.

      Sonny and Evan (both 7K+ iR) are two of the very fastest MX-5 drivers on the service, and don’t run off-track very often.

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      1. Mmm be that as it may, someone taking pole while running 4 wheels on the grass intentionally really brings the relative competitiveness into question. If you’re winning races by using techniques that are completely irrelevant to actual racing, there’s a serious problem with the platform.

        That ‘technique’ doesn’t work in rf2, doesn’t work in Automobilista and doesn’t work in AC.

        I really do not find exploit racing attractive at all.

        Out of curiosity, what happens if you brake on the grass in the mx-5?

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  4. umm there is a new build in like 3 days, don’t blow your ‘i hate iracing’ load early on trite matters such as this.

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  5. Looks like they took a page out of Codemasters F1 games! That sucks. For those saying this does not happen with top split racers, go have a look to the line the F1 WC guys use to turn in for Interlagos last corner.

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  6. So, what am I missing here? It’s grass. Coming from a real world road racing background, I’m not sure what your complaint actually is here. Provided dry conditions, you go off straight into the grass, and you’re going to keep going straight until you whoah it down. At which point you have enough grip to turn. It’s not a gravel trap, you’re not going to immediately scrub speed off or spin just because you left the pavement. There’s no real world penalty going two off to clip a chicane or anything. Obviously, if we’re taking rain or otherwise damp conditions under consideration, You are going to have a serious loss of grip and you’ll likely loop it around, but since iRacing doesn’t model rain, seems like a moot point.

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    1. This is 4 off, not two.

      I want you to take even a normal road car and tell me how you feel going 80+ MPH with 4 off and no throttle liftoff . Grass is slick man, be real. These guys are running 4 off and keeping it floored.

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      1. “Out of curiosity, what happens if you brake on the grass in the mx-5?”

        With four wheels off, I’m not sure (but I’ll get back to you), but from memory, braking with two wheels off doesn’t end well.

        Whether it’s the traction difference between tarmac and grass, or the grass itself, I’m pretty sure it’s been instant spins for me.

        Since I haven’t seen the video of that part of the MWTS race, I don’t know the context behind Evan’s off-road excursion, but as I mentioned earlier, running off track (especially so flagrantly) to gain an advantage is pretty rare. At least in Mazda and Advanced Mazda Cup races.

        Obviously, veteran drivers have discovered that specific track boundaries can be exploited, but IMO, they’re exceptions, not the rule.

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    2. You can put on grass unloaded wheels in the coasting part of a short radius corner. This is not what is displayed here. In the grass you can’t:

      -Get traction.
      -Stop the car.
      -Maintain the previous lateral effort.

      If you see someone in a game using grass on purpose in any other situation than a small off down a straight (when not traction limited) or trying to cut the apex of a short radius corner, game’s shit.

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  7. Is the grass as realistic as it should be? Of course not. Is it a major issue? Not really. I mostly only drive the MX-5, and for the most part, the most common off course areas (the last turns at Summit Point and Lime Rock) aren’t necessarily advantages, though they aren’t really that much of a disadvantage either. Also, FWIW, there is an exploit on the Phoenix road course where you can short cut turn 7 without penalty, and even after discovering it, Sonny was choosing not to take advantage of it.

    Personally, I’d like to see the grass tear up the front splitters and/or cause overheating on prototypes and other similar vehicles like in real life, as it would probably cut down on people cutting the bus stop at Daytona.

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    1. That’s awesome, he’s a sporting individual. Problem is, others will not be so sporting. If there’s an unpenalized cut, iRacing really needs to fix it instead of relying on people to decide not to use it.

      Agreed with the second paragraph.

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    1. Why did they do that,because he told everyone stuff they try oh so hard to keep from non members.
      I call them the third reich,they will lock posts and delete certain posts if you speak any truth.
      And the truth is,the game in its current state is a joke,I have only been a member less than 5months,and I’m already bored,the cars are just plain shot to drive,the new f1 car is easier than the skip barber,how can that be.

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      1. I haven’t driven the new McLaren, but I’ve always found the Skippy very easy to drive (and unlike James, I’m no sim racing prodigy).

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  8. iRacing is an absolute fucking disgrace to sim racing with it’s ridiculous pricing model, and people still suck up to them. It’s even more ridiculous that people are willing to spend over $1000 on iRacing alone, when 65% of the game’s code is from NR2003.

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    1. so how much of that 65% should have been replaced, and with what code instead? I get most of the reasons to criticize iRacing, and why some people might not like it, but that’s the stupidest reason anyone can give.

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      1. How about they make their own code instead of leeching off of stuff from 13 years ago. Many sims today refuse to evolve from the great advances that were made in sim racing in the early-mid 2000s, and it’s worse that iRacing is trying to capitalize off of that with its terrible pricing model.

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      2. Dont feed the trolls. They latch onto this 65% number for whatever reason. It was only true in 2008 when it went public. They had to start somewhere and they had a pretty damn good sim from a few years before so why not start there.

        In the 8 years since public launch, Ive heard that I pretty hefty majority of the codebase has been re-written completely so that 65% number is no longer true.

        But the trolls will keep regurgitating it because its low hanging fruit which requires no actual knowledge to barf up.

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  9. Its that leagues fault for not having incident limits turned on. Theres a reason why off-tracks arent done in official racing, youd be disqualified pretty quick.

    Does the grass need some work, is it a high priority for a purely pavement based racing sim, no.

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  10. The tricky thing when it comes to grass and sand in sims is that they lack deformation… Always tricky to find the correct band-aid to mimmick that. As far as iRacing is concerned, grass is usually pretty slick… But in some corners and circumstances, it might be advantageous to use it, just like it would IRL. But then usually IRL officials intervene pretty quickly, not sure why that league in the video didn’t do anything about it. It was kinda crappy anyway.

    If there’s one thing I don’t like on iR regarding off-tracks tho, it’s that sand doesn’t bog you down nearly enough, or alternatively make you skip over it. It’s far too lenient.

    Generally tho, doesn’t affect the racing much, you don’t really want to go in the grass… Especially not on corner entry, unless you like headbutting walls. Maybe we would see more DNFs if sand was actually proper tho 😛

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  11. iracing is a bush league joke on every level. The cars do NOT handle at all like a car does period. Setups are equally fucked reflecting the fucked car physics.

    The laser scanning is questionable since places like old Monza are in no state to even be scanned.

    The pricing model is absurd and they bring out new content instead of fixing the core issues in the game.

    The officiating is a non-existent excuse. It’s a fucking joke, their officials seem to have ZERO real world experience and they pander to their dick licking pals.

    They play god with their censorship. FUCK THEM!

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    1. They did say that the Monza oval scan was unusable in it’s unaltered version. Beta testers confirmed that it was… “Interesting”, lol. So they tweaked the oval section to something closer to how it was back in the days, so it could be used. Nothing wrong with that IMO, at least we can experience what the old Monza was like more or less.

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  12. Dumbasses who willingly shovel their money into sim rental. You can’t even play the shit offline. If they go belly up, what the fuck does that leave you? You don’t own shit. The fuck kind of stupid people are dumb enough to get swindled by this? Must be fucking Obama Deocrat motherfuckers. Fucking morons.

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  13. Here is a video of F1 cars driving over wet grass without any problem and just continuing. Its soaked grass actually in the middle of a rain storm. Problem is too many people don’t know what they are talking about and just assume nonsense. Enjoy. That damn super grippy grass!

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