When it comes to exciting pieces of old news you may have missed – because it wasn’t exactly addressed outside of the members-only message board – it’s important we throw a bone to some of our iRacing readers and make the uninformed aware of Eric Hudec’s departure from the development team after seven years of valiant service. Sticking with iRacing from the title’s humble beginnings, all the way up to the sim establishing itself as the premiere online racing service in terms of popularity, Hudec’s role among the team was that of the Vehicle Dynamics Engineer. If a car within the service was exhibiting strange characteristics that couldn’t always be attributed to David Kaemmer’s constantly evolving and sometimes flawed tire model, high ranking iRacing users could and often did point the finger directly at Hudec.
Given how unique American Stock Cars can be out on the track, even the slightest discrepancies between the sim and the real thing would often result in the top Peak Anti-Freeze Series drivers bombarding Eric with complaint after complaint, a problem further compounded by the game’s source code, which has its roots in a commercial NASCAR title from the early 2000’s. As a result, Hudec was essentially the guy everyone called an idiot whenever they found something in iRacing that wasn’t quite right – a setup exploit, unrealistic values – that sort of thing. Regardless, his credentials prior to joining the iRacing team were nothing short of impressive, and some now wonder if the shortcomings in the iRacing.com were the result of poor coders unable to translate the specialized information into 1’s and 0’s, not mistakes made on the part of Hudec himself.
Eric’s LinkedIn profile confirms the departure from iRacing.com, to a much greener pasture over at Richard Childress Racing in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Now, after our last piece of woefully outdated news supplied to us by someone with good intentions but slightly too late to the party, many are going to wonder why we’re choosing to publish yet another article discussing something that happened a while back. This one is much easier to answer, as we don’t need to omit a larger story behind the scenes: according to their official website, iRacing still haven’t found someone to replace Eric Hudec as a Vehicle Dynamics Engineer. Provided you have the appropriate qualifications, you can still apply for Eric’s old position at iRacing.com as of May 31st, 2016 – otherwise known as today.
This could be the result of a lazy staff member failing to take the advertisement down from their official website, but traditionally iRacing are quite good at keeping their online presence up to date. Since Hudec’s departure in March of 2016, iRacing have not introduced any new cars to the popular online racing service, and although they have announced loose surface racing as the next major addition to the simulator, no official date has been given for the inevitable release aside from “hoping” to have everything ready to go by the end of 2016. It’s also possible that another individual from the iRacing developer team is pulling double-duty and filling in as a temporary Vehicle Dynamics Engineer for the time being, but given the stature of iRacing’s overall endeavor, they most likely won’t want to operate in that manner for an extended period of time.
It’s interesting, to say the least. A new individual taking the reigns of the Vehicle Dynamics Engineer position will most certainly make iRacing feel like an entirely different game. As we have seen with titles such as RaceRoom Racing Experience, Assetto Corsa, and even Project CARS, a mere change in ideology can result in a simulator almost completely unrecognizable from a previous build. How iRacing proceeds to move forward, and how the actual product feels out on track, is something we’ll be sure to keep a close eye on as the year progresses.