RaceDepartment to Revive GTR 2?

rd-leagueThought it hasn’t been officially announced on the parent website – only mentioned casually on the brand’s Facebook page – the gang at RaceDepartment appear to be working on putting together one last grand finale for GTR 2 – the critically acclaimed FIA GT simulator which marked the end of sim racing’s golden age, in which developers pushed out incredible feature-complete packages focused around one specific auto racing series. Details are obviously scant at the moment, but RaceDepartment rarely tease these things without following through to completion, so it appears we will soon see a lot of sim racers dust off their copy of GTR 2 – or nick it from the Steam marketplace for a mere $8 USD to avoid obvious Starforce bullshit – to partake in a throwback series of sorts.

In my opinion, it’s a great move for the website to host such a championship, as many modern sim racers we see currently clogging up the message boards were simply not around during the title’s original heyday in the late 2000’s, or were just too young at the time to become heavily involved in the competitive side of the GTR 2 community. Rather than telling these sim racers how things used to be in the world of sim racing and hoping they’ll understand the rants of veteran sim racers dissatisfied with the current crop of eternal science projects, they’ll be shown what a complete racing simulator offered in a setting where these elements are made use of, such as a 24 hour day/night cycle, fully animated pit stops, and even wet-weather racing. While it’s an extremely bold move for any website to start an online championship with such an old product, there are certainly enough people chilling out on RaceDepartment on a daily basis to guarantee a large field of cars for the first event on the schedule.

243552-gtr-2-fia-gt-racing-game-windows-screenshot-time-to-admireHowever, as with every older simulator running on modern hardware and operating system combinations, there are of course mammoth potential problems that could dismantle the whole thing before it even starts. Facebook user Jim D. notes that he had tried to administrate an online league for himself and his acquaintances using the excellent Power & Glory mod for GTR 2 – a package focusing on historic GT vehicles from the 1960’s and 1970’s – but was eventually forced to give up due to the massive amounts of technical issues relating to mismatches. This is something RaceDepartment will have to figure out long before initial qualifying rounds begin, as the website traditionally only allows paying premium members to enter in multi-race championships.

Also throwing a dastardly curve ball into the mix would be the Prodrive-backed Ferrari F550 GTC – which drastically altered the online playing field when GTR 2 was once a prominent player in the sim racing landscape. While Slightly Mad Studios had done their absolute best to faithfully re-create every single vehicle entered in the FIA GT Championship, as well as some of the Proximus 24 Hours of Spa entry list, the Ferrari F550 GTC as constructed by Prodrive exhibited Mercedes-like dominance throughout the 2003 and 2004 campaigns, with this ridiculous performance accurately being reflected in GTR 2’s virtual counterpart. If RaceDepartment don’t attempt to neuter the F550 GTC for league play, 95% of the grid will be running this car, defeating the purpose of the very diverse vehicle roster.

maxresdefaultAs RaceDepartment are known to have somewhat close ties with Sector 3 Studios and the SimBin operation as a whole, my own personal speculation is that drivers who finish well at the end of the GTR 2 RaceDepartment championship will receive some sort of advanced access to the allegedly upcoming GTR 3, provided the recent announcement is set to materialize in the distant future and not what appears to be a subtle attempt at securing funds for the project behind the scenes. As the CEO of SimBin, Chris Speed, has revealed in a prior interview with RaceDepartment, they intend to have a rough draft of the game ready in only six months time, so I can see a GTR 2 league on none other than RaceDepartment contested throughout the spring being the perfect pre-game meal into an onslaught of promotional material.

We hope to see a more official announcement about this online championship in the coming days.

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35 thoughts on “RaceDepartment to Revive GTR 2?

  1. Racedepartment is waaaaay to toxic.

    You can ram, insult, troll around as a Premium Member and the staff doesn’t give a sh**t.

    Racedepartment will fail sooner or later … they have already financial troubles, there are not enough donations to cover the costs by far, if the admins wouldn’t step in all the time,

    Racedepartment is doomed! So my advise is to ignore that pile of garbage.

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    1. RD is basically a mirror image of this site, which I find pretty funny because they always bitch about how awful it is here. They’re not exactly the most well adjusted people either. They’re guilty of plenty of odd behavior themselves.

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    1. This^, they can be added back in if you know what to do, but the ‘legality’ or whatever of a big forum doing so is a whole different matter.

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      1. The cars are still there if you pre-owned a physical disk and then just “imported” the game in your Steam account. But if you were to buy the game today (so, from the Steam store), the Ferraris and the Porsches are erased from the archives because the licensing agreements expired a long time ago, probably 10 years or so. The other cars are fine, especially because most brands are either out of commission and don’t exist anymore or they simply don’t care about the free advertising they might get from a 10+ years old game.

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  2. GTR2’s multiplayer was a gMotor1 mess. My favorite thing in that engine, besides the usual crappy-netcode jittering was having opponent cars hovering 50 feet above the track. I’m pretty sure that’s the reason no one really ran leagues in it unless everyone was local.

    One thing I kinda miss about GTR2 is how different teams running the same car sometimes had performance differences. The Scuderia BMS Prodrive-550’s you mentioned were one example, but there was (in addition to the standard 550) a team whose 550 was slower than most of the GT class (Wieth? I think it was the yellow one) and the Creation and factory-backed Listers had different performance specs, although IIRC all the cars of the same model listed the same info in the game menus and you had to dig into the physics to realize they weren’t the same.

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    1. It was due to Wieth Racing (and maybe some more teams) using Pirelli tyres instead of the dominant Michelin tyre.

      It’s the same in N-GT class with card using Michelin, Pirelli and Dunlop tyres wich are very different grip wise.

      That’s simulation for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I forgot about the tire differences. There was definitely a power difference between some of the 550’s and Listers though, in addition to that.

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  3. Having hosted a GTR 2 race on chans very recently, I can tell that it works flawlessly on modern operating systems. Even the lobby still works, which surprised me considering Simbin’s troubled history of bankruptcy and shit. No big mismatches apart from users not running the custom GDB I had made, but then it was all stock content so no risk of a player getting kicked while sitting on the grid for some obscure file mismatch that wasn’t caught before.

    [post-mortem] Sadly it wasn’t as popular as I would have expected, perhaps because you had to actually pay for the game before joining and as we all know, chans are roamed exclusively by people with 2003 computers that can’t afford to spend a fiver on Humble Store for one of the best all around packages available in simracing.
    Another thing that may have played is the “strict” separation between the different modes: the server browser will only show servers with the realism mode you selected. Probably a side effect of this is that since I had put the server in simulation mode, and despite allowing some assists in the dedicated server, the race was effectively ran with no assists which makes the GTs rather lively to drive. Too lively for some.
    Finally, the small differences in car performance could be used to help balance the field. In the second race, I only allowed NGTs and had a very pleasant battle with a guy several seconds slower than me in GTs thanks to the fact I picked a slower NGT. Perhaps this could be a way to have a soft handicap and form bigger battles.

    Animated pitstops are sex though.

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  4. When I drove in GTR2 league races in Sweden we used a token system for the whole season. The best performing cars (Ferrari 550 in GT and Ferrari 360 in N-GT) used more tokens than the worst cars. So over a season you had to be smart and save tokens by using lower performing cars on some races. Also you needed to attend a few races before you could work up your token allocation for the season so people just joining for one race couldn’t hop in to the 550 straight away.

    This leveled the playing field considerably. Also there’s more than outright speed. Some slower cars use much less fuel so they have an advantage in longer races.

    Before starting a league, RD needs to collect some vital mods (FFB, track updates, HD graphics and so on) and make them mandatory to download before joining the league.

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  5. James did you not hear the things Kunos were saying about you on Stefanos stream yesterday? I thought for sure you would have an article talking about it today. Some of the insults they gave you were pretty extreme.

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  6. “but was eventually forced to give up due to the massive amounts of technical issues relating to mismatches.”

    But was the game to blame or the mod?

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  7. I’m worried about the deep state Jews in our own government that leaked illegal recordings of the General Flynn calls to the Jew York Times.

    Like

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