CART 88 Has Been Released for rFactor!

No longer constrained to the semi-private confines of the Historic Sim Racing Organization for testing purposes, the highly anticipated CART 88 mod for ISI’s original rFactor has now been unleashed to the public, and you can grab a copy by clicking HERE. A season dominated by Penske’s Danny Sullivan, in which virtually every team on the grid played musical chairs with engine suppliers and chassis, the classic American open wheel racing mod is the pinnacle of what the gracefully aging simulator can do when pushed to the absolute limit by a talented group of modders. HSO have meticulously constructed every single car to take the green flag over the course of the fifteen round championship, including one-off Indy 500 entries, part time drivers, and even brief chassis swaps that only lasted for a partial segment of the season, while also faithfully replicating mechanical improvements teams had made from event to event – such as Teo Fabi’s notoriously unreliable Porsche gradually improving throughout the season.

Part highly detailed rFactor mod, and part virtual museum, CART 88 is as comprehensive of a living, breathing encyclopedia as it is exhilarating to drive; an open wheel counterpart of the mammoth HistorX Touring Car package that has established itself as one of the all time legendary releases for the popular sim racing modding platform. Recently, we caught up with resident HSO physics guru Richard Wilks to learn about how the in-house HSO modders felt when refining the physics, which will be used for a year-long championship that mirrors the real world 1988 CART schedule, with the exception of the East Rutherford Grand Prix.

Hey guys, while you all wait for the CART 88 mod to finish downloading, I’d like to talk about something that came up in a conversation with one of the Historic Sim Racing admins during the testing process for this mod. He was telling me that after he drove the cars, another high profile mod we were running at the time didn’t seem as fun to drive anymore – he argued that it was way too time consuming to create a setup that made the car feel planted and ready to attack the track.

Now we all know the sim racing landscape is awash with mods or even vanilla content that feels artificially difficult or “funny” to drive – sometimes it’s twitch, or demands a great deal of focus, to the point where it’s hard to understand how someone strapped into the thing for real survived more than a handful of laps, when you can’t even make it around the track from the comfort of your sim rig.

I want to stress at this point that I am not talking about raw numbers being right or wrong here, but of the overall feel and connection that you experience when driving a virtual car on the limit. It’s a mix between the last little slice of tire adjustments that admittedly already borders on guesswork (because as I’ve stated before, it’s wrong for any one developer or modder to claim they’ve nailed tires), together with the force feedback, visual cues from the behavior of the car itself, and how this all relates to the way the car was implemented into the software.

You see, the last little bit of testing is the point where not everybody can sit back and analyze if this particular part of the simulation is at a good level or not. My rule of thumb is that a car must feel “natural” for you to drive. If you are a high skilled sim racer, you already know how to drive. Therefore, when you sit and drive it, all the inputs you receive must convey exactly what the car is doing. You shouldn’t have to be “translating” the inputs to what the car is supposed to be doing. To more clearly elaborate upon what I mean with this, imagine you are driving old IndyCar Racing II with a keyboard or a joystick. You are basically translating on the fly what the car is doing in relation to your inputs on the controls. That’s why even if you know how to drive a car, even at speed, you will basically start almost from zero if you choose to play a racing game like this, when it comes to muscle memory, or applying the theory to practice.

So the goal I had in mind with CART 88 was to create cars that are not only realistic in terms of numbers and performance, but also in terms of feel. You are supposed to sit in the car, and be quick right off the bat if you already know what you are doing. A real example is how hard it is to light the tires when exiting the pits in most open wheel mods, when it’s very easy to do in real life. This sounds like a simplistic example, but I knew I was getting things right once I was able to do this out of the pits seamlessly.

Once again, I am not talking about fudging numbers, I am talking about getting the final 1% right, the percent that separates a really enjoyable mod to drive, from just a “good” mod that sits in your already cluttered rFactor install. The the harder the car is to drive, usually as you go back in time, the more important this becomes. During the CART 88 testing process, I went through twenty different tire compounds I had built, all after I had completed the rest of the car, until I achieved the natural feeling I was searching for, making such minuscule changes that despite all of them being realistic from a pure number vs. real life point of view, made a huge difference in terms of car behavior on the limit. And you need this degree of work and dedication if you want to get something right; it’s like everything else in life, you can’t shortcut your way to knowledge.

Cars talk a lot to you in real life, and this is something sims struggle to do, not because they can’t, but because this gets neglected. Now, I know everybody has different equipment and all that, but if you get this right, the car will feel natural no matter what gear you are using, and the amount of input translation goes down to a minimum, making the sim racer feel one with the car on the edge of adhesion.

We at the Historic Sim Racing Organization hope you enjoy CART 88.

Weighing in at just over 160 megabytes – a very reasonable size for such a large collection of cars – HSO’s CART 88 release may possibly be the final hurrah for a simulator that will go down in history as one of the most influential pieces of software ever released in the genre.


47 thoughts on “CART 88 Has Been Released for rFactor!

  1. Looking forward to trying this once it’s ported to Automobilista (with some more polygons) as the rendering and tracks of rF1 can’t cut it. Then I’ll have CART 98 and CART 88 to drive there. Richard is a good guy, I’m sure he did a great job here.


  2. We gonna convert it to rF2 without asking and just use it in our league.

    Its a fucking dumb move not to use rF2 and use rF1 …


      1. I think the RF2 tire model is likely beyond mere human comprehension and will only be truly appreciated once we’re past the Technological Singularity.

        Our cyborg descendents will look back with equal parts awe and dismay at just how *much* our reach exceeded our grasp on that motherfucker.


  3. Instead of ‘CART 88 Has Been Released for rFactor!’ the headline should read.

    CARToon 88 Has Been Released for CartoonFactor1

    No doubt the dirty cancerous motherfuckers in the CartoonFactor 2 community, what little there is will, rip this and port it to their shitty crap cartoon factor dated Victorian shit game, its a game not a sim, the screen shots that ass hole licker Marcel Offermans showed during week if the long dated directx 11 screen shot for shitfactor 2 looks more dated than anything, R3E looks One hundred time better than the affect they have put in, it will not change a thing, because you cant paint a pig and call it a princess, the cartoonfactor shit g motor engine can not be updated, the code is to old to added modern data to it fuck off Marcel OfferBrain.

    Hiya I’m Gjon, I fucked you over by selling you a dated engine that no AAA company wanted, only two bit bedroom users wanted it.


  4. look forward to the conversion to rf2. will still be better than those simcade pieces of crap made for giving kiddies a fat


    1. More than likely yes.

      Ian’s online persona indicates he has a well below average length appendage, something he often tries to overcompensate for. Whereas Auston’s own online persona indicates very strong homophobic tendancies, with lots of experience in both taking and receiving various game developers cocks.


        1. Weird how all these white nights only showed up yesterday, probably just Ian and James posting from shill accounts, PRC is compromised


  5. It’s shocking that everyone is being bought so easily these days. No where to go to get an honest opinion annymore. No where to go to get a refund as well. If you bin sold a shite game (Assetto on console among others) The devs can do as the please now. A little bird told me pcars2 is the same shite as pcars1. Let’s see if we get told the truth her. Fat chance I’m afraid


    1. Assetto Corsa on console reminds me of those stores you used to get in the 90s. Where they’d sucker you in for £5 and give you a bag that “could” contain a camera or a Walkman. When you unwrap it you’ve actually got a 99p calculator and a chocolate bar.
      It’s a similar experience after the loading screen on Assetto Corsa.
      Con merchants.


      1. Or if you were really lucky, a calculator watch 😉 I had hoped Kunos would update their way to improving the console release and they’ve announced private lobbys which is a step in the right direction but it may be too little too late


      1. If PC2 does feel like RF2, it’s incredibly good news for everyone. I’m actually an outspoken fan of at least the *vision* of what PC1 tried to achieve: An actual, real, feature- complete racing game with an offline career mode.

        Yes, it basically never made it past the mid-beta stage before they calculated it was past the point of inflection on their monetization curve, but still.

        At least they fucking tried, you know?


          1. I actually work for a living.

            So, no. I get a bit less than one track day per month and take a ton of shit (wife) for all the prep work I have to do as it is (changing pads and wheels/tires).

            If I got back into karting, what little budget I’ve got left would go for child support 😉


  6. “while also faithfully replicating mechanical improvements teams had made from event to event – such as Teo Fabi’s notoriously unreliable Porsche gradually improving throughout the season.”

    How did they implement that?


  7. I think I said this before, but I just can’t get past how rF1 looks nowadays. Yeah, I know – I’m a total fag for caring how shit looks yada yada.

    I recently reinstalled rF1 just to play the greatest mod ever made (F1-S-R 1991 Historic Edition), but ended up fleeing back to F1RFT 2013 (RF2) and F1 ASR 2012 (AMS).

    They drive great and look so much better. I can’t take rF1 anymore.


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