#DirtConfirmed

DiRT Confirmed.jpg

The greatest April Fool’s Day joke of 2016 ended up not being much of a joke at all. Teaming up with Clint Bowyer Racing and the University of Northwestern Ohio, iRacing used a date typically reserved for bullshit news stories to announce that the highly popular online-only racing simulator is aiming to introduce dirt oval racing by the end of the calendar year. The five minute video includes a few oddities intended to throw people off due to the video’s upload date – such as an iRacing staff member literally tasting the dirt – but near the end displays a very real render of Darrell Lanigan’s #15 Chevrolet SS.

Thanks to the University of Northwestern Ohio’s involvement with the project, to me it seems obvious that Limaland will be the first dirt track created for the iRacing software. The University recently purchased the track, and when not being used for traditional weekend events, is actually used as a classroom for part of the school’s High Performance Motorsports Degree. This is Formula SAE taken to an entirely new level, and in some aspects may surpass programs provided by rival entities such as Universal Technical Institute.

Unfortunately, the initial excitement of the announcement and resulting mass hysteria may be more enjoyable to partake in than the actual finished product. After covering the state of iRacing for slightly over a year here at PRC.net, it’s highly plausible that this technology will do little more than frustrate hardcore sim racers looking for an authentic experience. While the relatively newer iRacing members praise the title for the online community and overall organization of the service, virtually anyone with experience driving real race cars, or those involved with the prestigious iRacing World Championships, pull no punches when discussing the disastrous physics model.

Behind the scenes, many iRacing “Pro” drivers actually wanted this news to be an April Fools joke, explaining that iRacing needs to “fix their fucking game” before taking on an entirely new challenge – which will undoubtedly bring on an entirely new set of issues specific to loose surface physics. When half of the field angrily blasts the game on a weekly basis, and the occasional talk of a boycott pops up due to how the software’s physics are making each race a total shitshow, it’s probably not the best time to say you’re now focusing your efforts on something entirely different.

PRC.net staff member Maple has echoed these complaints given his work in the iRacing.com Peak Anti-Freeze Series. His most recent review of the software left some relatively scathing remarks, indicating iRacing still has a long way to go before trying to bite off more than they can chew with dirt oval racing.

The Generation 6 Sprint Cup car received a full overhaul, featuring the new low downforce aerodynamic package, as well as some adjustments to the tires. However, iRacing has seemed to have gone overboard, to the point we have what seems to be no grip whatsoever – as if the only grip we’ve ever had to begin with was from the aero itself. After PEAK Series testing at Phoenix, we soon learned that the cars in iRacing were over two seconds slower than the lap times being run in real life, and this is at a track where aerodynamics don’t play an integral role in the car behavior. iRacing’s physics guy Eric Hudec believes rectifying this is too time consuming.

It is difficult to get excited about the announcement of Dirt Oval Racing coming to iRacing, when this is the reception the game’s asphalt oval racing is currently receiving. If they can’t get normal oval racing right, how badly will they fuck things up on dirt? Again, those with a 1500 iRating and a cheap three month subscription probably won’t mind, as they simply can’t drive fast enough to expose certain physics flaws, but for a developer who claims to strive for the utmost of accuracy, this is a harsh slap to the face of each hardcore user.

And wasn’t the goal of iRacing to appeal to those hardcore users?

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30 thoughts on “#DirtConfirmed

      1. Look, I’m with you: I want the most perfect simulation, with everything working as in real life, etc. And as a european I cannot care less for dirt. But first of all I think that it’s nice that a lot of people will be happy as iRacing listened to them. I imagine my reaction if karting were added (I love Kart Racing Pro and will try KartSim, but what if the guys with the resources tries to simulate something I love?) Other than that, maybe I’m wrong in this, but maybe working on making dirt racing possible will help the developers in improving the simulations overall (see for example the behaviour off road).

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  1. Can you name a racing game that is not work in progress?Every developer has different people working on patches/refinement etc. and new content,DLC etc.

    I will admit your site is entertaining but you could do better if you paid some attention to the fact that the developers are running businesses and are not just solely developing an accurate racing simulation that will perform to 100% on day one for gamers.New features like dirt attract new people to a game.I am thinking of joining IRacing.I would prefer that it had dirt in the game rather than an accurate lap time for Phoenix,so Maples point valid for him bu not so important for me.

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    1. So your saying that since they are a business that they are not obligated to holding up their end of the bargain and delivering a quote unquote “realistic sim racing game” and being honest with their customer base? With customers like you who needs a game that works…

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      1. Please stop typing quote unquote and then putting something into actual quotes. We can see your punctuation just fine.

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    2. 2 seconds on a one mile oval is a huge difference and when money is no issue, try it. But be aware you have to spend at least 400 $ for content the first year (more is better) or it gets boring soon.

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    3. “Can you name a racing game that is not work in progress?Every developer has different people working on patches/refinement etc. and new content,DLC etc.”

      But that’s like the problem man. AC is functionally in the same state it was 3 years ago when it entered Early Access, rFactor2 has been in the same state since 2011ish?, iRacing keeps gaining functionality but sometimes it doesnt completely work?

      The developers as a whole need to stop having their skype buddies and the most asskissing of the asskissers be their beta testers. They need the Huttu’s of the world to be telling them that the game is a piece of shit and not blowing sunshine up their ass,

      Hopefully Forza 7 is fully functional on PC, I miss playing completely finished products.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Iracing is fucking 10 years old,it just shows that either they physics and tyre guy has no clue,or they are going the arcade route to get more customers.
        But everyone knows rf2 has the best physics and ffb while iracing just offer pick up and play online racing.

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      2. Bro, forza for PC is going to be minimal sim support initially, wheels will not work afaik either. It’ll be at least another year or two before PC forza is up to the console’s standard in terms of simulator (or at least that’s what I’ve read).

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    4. 2 seconds at Phoenix is 11mph difference in average speed. That’s lapping at the speed of a K&N Pro Series car three rungs down the ladder.

      It’s the equivalent of being like 10 seconds a lap off with an F1 car, it’s flat out laughable.

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  2. I mean fuck I love dirt, but if you can’t get a truck arm pavement stock car to work how the hell are you going to get a dirt late model to work?

    The short oval player base for iRacing is like 100 people split across 6 cars as it is either, so you basically get a league environment of being able to race 15-20 guys once a week anyways but pay $150-200 up front to buy 12 tracks, a car, and the first year’s subscription for the privilege.

    Best entertainment will probably be watching people argue over which rear suspension they should have scanned but I doubt I’ll be subscribed to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. is it true that iracing, pcars and ac are the only racing titles on pc that manage to get over 1000 concurrent players on daily basis

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