Coming March 29th: Mediocrity?

Just three more sleeps remain until a large portion of the iRacing fanbase is sent into mass hysteria; after an April Fools’ joke turned into reality, dirt oval racing – a discipline long rumored to appear in the popular online racing service for several years – will finally be launched for sim racers to purchase. The new variant of racing will feature an abundance of dirt oval-oriented vehicles, some of which will be flying the World of Outlaws banner, and four locations in which to drive them – though you’ll have to pay for three. Europeans obviously won’t be too excited about these cars, but given how big this kind of racing is in both the United States and Australia, as well as the sheer number of iRacers who are also amateur dirt oval racers away from the keyboard, it’s seen as a mostly positive addition to the simulator.

Currently, your options to drive these cars in a modern simulator environment will see you busting out your most likely pirated copy of the original rFactor, or hooking up your PlayStation 2 for a rip in Ratbag’s excellent officially licensed World of Outlaws title from 2002, so it’s hard to knock iRacing for at least venturing in this direction to begin with. However, a recent preview video depicting the 410 Sprint Cars in action has raised a few red flags within the iRacing community itself – a very uncommon occurrence, as iRacing members typically brush aside any glaring oddities thanks to a severe case post-purchase rationalization.

Regardless of the sanctioning body in charge of the event, or the particular engine size class on display, sprint cars exhibit a very distinct driving style that doesn’t change when you cross state lines or international waters; there’s often varying degrees of holy shit sideways assisted by the giant wing on the roof, coupled with the appropriate dose of counter-steer depending on each individual driver’s angle of attack in the corner. Yet in iRacing’s dedicated World of Outlaws trailer, which comes in at just under two minutes in length, there are several instances where large packs of cars are all understeering simultaneously. If you’re new to sprint car racing, here’s a tip: turning left means you’re doing it wrong.

It’s probably not a good thing if there’s a drastic difference between the on-track product versus your virtual depiction, and several iRacing Subreddit members seem to echo that sentiment. Yes, sim racers are often blasted for their armchair physics criticism when they haven’t even driven the car in-game themselves, but in this situation the differences are so blatantly noticeable to the average sprint car fan, it’s hard not to speak up. This simply isn’t even close to how real sprint car racing looks, and that’s not good if you’re three days from release and asking people to spend close to $100 for all the content at launch.

So what is happening here? Why is iRacing’s Sprint Car promotional footage so far off the real thing, to the point where even iRacing fanboys are questioning the lack of realism in the trailer?

First, we’ve heard from our inside connections – including some sim racers who also race dirt cars in real life and have been lucky enough to privately try out an advanced build of the upcoming content – is that the dirt oval package is extremely well done and people should be genuinely excited for it. I can’t elaborate much more on that without giving people’s identities away, but supposedly it’s pretty good in the hands of people who happen to know what they’re doing. How much of that is “new game euphoria” and how much of that is genuine praise, we’ll find out in three days.

However, in relation to the baffling trailer, which showcases a very poor sprint car driving model, the general consensus from people in the know is that those actually tasked with testing the game, creating promotional material, and giving upcoming content a proper shakedown to sort out issues and oddities before it’s released to the public, have absolutely no idea how to drive. In one anonymous contributor’s words, “it’s a bunch of 1500 iRating fanboys” – sim racers whose message board post numbers exponentially eclipse their on-track skill level.

While this will at least give Sprint Car fans looking to shell out a lot of disposable income for the full dirt package some peace of mind after video footage showcased a very unrealistic style of racing for what iRacing is striving to be as a simulator, it points to a much bigger problem behind closed doors; some of the people tasked with testing upcoming releases for iRacing are brutal sim racers, and can’t even run the proper line or push the car in the desired fashion. Usually this could be covered up with artsy camera angles or visual effects in Sony Vegas, but Sprint Car racing is so unique and requires such a very specific attitude for the car to sit at in corners, any drastic deviation will immediately raise gigantic red flags among those with even a passing interest in Sprint Car racing.

Now that they’ve been exposed, could iRacing’s long-standing issues be the result of inept testers unable to turn competitive lap times, simply signing off on any new update to appease their overlords?

We’ll find out Wednesday.

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51 thoughts on “Coming March 29th: Mediocrity?

  1. It’s clear for anyone to see who isn’t blinded by the the shear desire to taste the devs foot cheese that the people testing any content are clueless and just a bunch of yes men

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  2. This type of redneck racing never did appeal to me. And I’m from Tennessee.

    My friends were always into this while I would be obsessing over some new aero doodad that Gérard Ducarouge had come up with for Lotus. Made me feel real superior and shit.

    Still does, kinda 😉

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  3. “asking people to spend close to $100 for all the content at launch”.

    5 items at launch priced at 11.95 which equals to 59.75. That’s not close to $100.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s not close to $100. The article exaggerates the price of the content, regardless. I bought all of the dirt content and a Camping World truck for $60 which is around $80 Canadian.

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  4. Having been a tester during the driver-swap testing phase a few years ago, yes, most testers are shockingly bad. Like…. Really, really bad. Thankfully there are a few decent, and even actually quite good drivers on there who are able to give actual feedback. But not the majority I’m afraid.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Billy from ISR have been one of the testers and afaik he have also been racing these in real life. I dont know if he is a 1500-guy but he probably know what he’s doing with these cars at least.

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  6. Can’t comment on driving dynamics before actually driving it but the lack of opposite lock may be down to steer offset like you can get on the Indycar on ovals?

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  7. iRacing’s forthcoming dirt ovals release reminds me of their rallycross plans. Is there a date in the pipeline for a rallycross release?

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    1. No news on this? So i guess iRacing’s plan is collecting experience from dirt ovals and then releasing rallycross at a later date, right?

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    1. It isn’t a feature in Project Cars 2, but I can honestly say that if it was, it would be the best version of dirt racing on the market with realism that Assetto Corsa can only dream of until they pay me to say otherwise.

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    1. Honestly the accusation of James being an SMS employee went old quickly. And I’m not even his fanboy or anything, it’s just part of the recurring shitposting fest like Ass0c’s or Scawen the Truther’s shitposts, which is also tiring.

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          1. Lol. Only difference between PRC and VirtualR is that speech is not “yet” suppressed in this comment section.
            Both website owners received money from SMS and are therefore an employee and biased in my humble opinion. How are the Project Cars stickers on James his racing car not a form of PR?

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          2. The disclosure page literally says that SMS pays James for his work, how on earth that doesn’t make him SMS employee? Also VirtualR Montoya said that SMS hired him aka making him their employee.

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              1. Read the disclosure page Felcha, he is paid as a quality assurance worker for finding “exploits” in Project CARS 2 and according to his Reddit post it pays well enough for him to drop his previous job altogether.

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  8. Knowing several of the dirt alpha testers and getting to play it myself often, I can confirm that there are quite a few that didn’t have a clue about dirt. Luckily, they weren’t the ones providing feedback to how they drove, rather just finding some bugs and stuff. In some the of hosted sessions I got to join in on, there was no dilly dally turning left crap, rather, full out racing with slide jobs and a fair share of rubbing. There was a huge discrepancy in speed though between the guys that knew what they were doing, and those that did not.

    I would guess that the people in the video (I was not a part of it) were told to go slower and stay in a pack for “visual” purposes, which in part caused the cars to push. I can assure you that you will not be turning left all the way around the corners at full speed unless you set the car up so tight that you need a 10 acre field to actually make a turn. I do agree that it is a piss poor video for showcasing realism though.

    I’ve played ever dirt “sim” since the old DTR days, and what iRacing has accomplished is the best representation of dirt racing to date. It’s a long ways from perfect, but it’s still better than anything else. I can’t wait to witness the absolute shit show that will ensue on Wednesday when people that don’t know anything about dirt racing try to drive these things…it’ll be worth the astronomic sub price just to see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Just rename your blog like “PRC2” 😁. With project cars logo That will be awesome!! Be honest with your riders, You have no choice now.

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  10. I won’t be giving them any money for this content but I will be trying to sign on when it releases so I can witness those server crashes from the PREMIER racing sim on the planet.

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  11. First time coming across this blog….and wow, what a pathetic excuse for an article. I don’t have a dog in the fight, I play a bunch of racing games, they each have their own strengths. You’re basically trying to trash something that hasn’t been released yet…completely based on a promo video? Yet, if you talk to anyone who has tested it, they will tell you how good it is. Ignore that part tho, definitely go by a video!

    Looked at some of your other posts and in reality you just bash iRacing whenever you get a chance. You must have some interests lying elsewhere, or you’re just really bitter

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    1. Because making an observation that you’re not turning right as they doing in real life with WoO sprint-cars is such a bad thing @_@

      I’ll believe it’s good when someone who actually drives the damn things in real life, and is actually good at it, tells me it’s good.

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  12. Don’t know shit about this Dirt stuff and not interested, but I saw this Rene Rast video driving GT3 in pCars 2 and that was looking awful more like cruising around the town than driving a race car anywhere near the limit. His own onboards looking a lot more spectacular.

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  13. Are there any sims you like that you’re not paid to promote? Such a basic bitch move to be pessimistic towards everything.

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      1. I read it and it’s basically just you saying iRacings dirt sucks, based on a promotional video.

        Many many words and just looking past the simple fact that the drivers in the vid didn’t push the cars and that’s why they understeer …

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        1. Clearly didn’t read it. First said I heard Dirt was quite good, but the promo footage (which made use of closed testers) was garbage, and that’s worrying if you imagine what else those people are tasked with testing.

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