If the late 90’s ballads of Justin Timberlake and company were too much to stomach, longtime iRacing member Ian Plasch has just uploaded a short yet hilarious comparison video demonstrating the absolutely mammoth changes iRacing’s tire model has undergone in the previous handful of years. Rapidly swapping between footage of an early New Tire Model iteration on the 2009 Chevrolet Silverado, and Version 7 of the New Tire Model on the 2016 Chevrolet Silverado, Ian’s video displays all you need to know about the evolution of iRacing’s controversial driving physics in less than two minutes.
During the first portion of the 91 second video, Ian is struggling to put the power to the ground on an early version of the New Tire Model, and his Silverado is skating around as if the track surface at Kentucky Motor Speedway has been replaced with black ice. The truck is actively trying to kill both Ian, as well as his competitor directly out the front windshield, and Ian’s virtual wheel wildly flails back and forth at a rate you will simply never see in any on-board footage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. To contrast this ridiculous driving model, Ian inserts footage of New Tire Model Version 7 into the mix, showing a race car that is almost boring to drive – minute corrections are simply not needed, and by the end of the clip Ian is purposely thrashing the wheel; the truck’s trajectory completely unaffected by his absurd inputs, continuing to follow almost a predetermined path. By the end of the video, both versions of this theoretical tire model are shown to be completely busted, invalidating nearly half a decade’s worth of research and development on the iRacing software. Neither piece of footage is realistic in the slightest.
As someone who was once extremely active within the world of iRacing, I’ve both raced with Ian and have been around for the multiple launch days of these allegedly groundbreaking tire model improvements, upgrades that completely changed how the game drove. And I think this video does a fantastic job of outlining iRacing’s biggest problem in the shortest possible way. Every single time a massive post-season update would drop and radically alter the handling model of a certain car, the iRacing fanboys would predictably congregate on the forums and loudly proclaim this update of iRacing was the most realistic yet – a pattern of behavior that has repeated itself for years on end.
- In 2013, when the New Tire Model buzz was a prominent fixture on the iRacing software, iRacing fanboys boasted about how challenging and difficult the simulator was to drive; claiming iRacing was only for an elite group of sim racers – and if you spun wildly out of control or didn’t understand how to drive the car, it wasn’t the game that had issues – it was you!
- In 2016, with the New Tire Model currently on Version 7, iRacing fanboys now claim this version is the most realistic iteration of iRacing yet, and the team from Bedford Massachussetts are finally headed in the right direction.
Yet when you line the footage up side-by-side as Ian has done in his latest YouTube video, both tire models are completely horrendous. When iRacers complain that their tire models are stuck in a constant state of disarray, this is exactly what they’re talking about. From update to update, the cars change in such a radical fashion, the game drives in an almost entirely different manner, and never is it all that accurate unless the stars properly align for a unicorn car/track combination.