Pre-Season Testing

What begins in the mindless urban sprawl of Alberta’s capital city soon gives way to an all-out dash across the prairies reminiscent of the North Dakota levels in Need for Speed: The Run, where gentlemen sporting barbed wire tattoos and a not-so-hidden fixation for nose candy hold the throttle on their identical Ford Raptors wide open, blatantly disregarding speed limits in pursuit of an early Calgary arrival. Heading west from the home of the 1988 Winter Olympics, we traverse the provincial flag from the bottom upwards – wheat fields to the Rocky Mountains in the span of about an hour – before cruising through several national parks, eventually settling in the sauna that is the Okanagan region of British Columbia. It’s a fantastic drive for newly-weds and retired folk, offering an extremely diverse glimpse of what makes Canada such a spectacular vacation spot but when there’s a race car with your name on it at kilometer marker 914, it’s rather difficult to sit through.

Google indicated the 900 kilometer journey from Edmonton to Kelowna would last around nine hours and some change, but in reality I clocked in at just over twelve. I spent the night at a friend’s place to try and cut an hour off the drive to Dustin’s house, but this was invalidated first by a speeding ticket, then by two construction delays on the Trans-Canada Highway long enough for people to get out and mingle, and lastly by a trip to Enderby’s ICBC branch to pay said speeding ticket – which caught the receptionists off guard. I was hoping the ramblings of Sportsnet 960 and a partial discography of Sum 41 would make this marathon significantly easier to put up with, but eventually all sound from the radio blends together and you desperately wish life had a fast forward button for these very moments.

PRC shit-slinging scrolls across the top of my phone – which is mounted to my windshield as a GPS during road-trips – but even the most rabid fanboy wars in our comments section have a limited effectiveness in their ability to pass the time. This is the not so glamorous part of starting a shitty WordPress blog, and winding up as an amateur race car driver two years later – sometimes you’re driving across the province on a random Tuesday for a pre-season test session on Thursday, and you can’t bring a friend to keep you company because your friends are at work like normal people.

Regardless of how our readers feel about our newfound partnership with Slightly Mad Studios after years of hyper-critical pieces on the original Project CARS, this isn’t really something X amount of angry comments below can undo. Late May in Canada means the snow has melted in most of the heavily populated areas – thus allowing racing season to commence – which means PRC is now in the process of transitioning from some obscure sim racing blog into an amateur stock car team. It’s certainly a mindfuck to go from arguing about iRacing participation levels on WordPress, to walking outside and seeing a 450 horsepower race car up on jack stands – general sim racing chatter and reading retarded comments out loud helping to pass the time during transmission fluid replenishment and other routine maintenance tasks – but that’s where we are.

So how can I describe the past few months from a personal standpoint?

Absolutely wild.

Upon revealing we’d be campaigning a late model this year, we actually pulled into a Boston Pizza location for that particular evening and watched the phone light up over our meal, but this was really only the pregame show for what was to come. My phone was virtually unusable for roughly 48 hours following our announcement of the race car sponsorship, obliterated with notifications from family, friends, and even foes wanting to smooth things over – while I had to save the influx of emails and other miscellaneous attempts at contact for day number two. Word travels fast through Facebook, so one innocent “like” turns into a spontaneous reunion with people you haven’t heard from in a few years, and many understandably have a lot of questions if you just sort of switch everything on your social media one day.

It’s one thing to grow up with race cars and always have that as part of who you are, but when you’re a rental car jockey one month, and after quitting your job suddenly there’s sponsorship from an international video game company all over your Facebook page, your average classmate, former co-worker, or family member not totally in the loop becomes extremely curious – and they have every right to be; it’s certainly not normal at this age, and in this province.

I have been lucky that so far, this has been relatively easy to deal with. But of course, none of this hysteria actually matters if you can’t deliver on the physical track. Penticton Speedway gave us a test date prior to our season opener on June 3rd, and this is what we’ve been up to.

Knowing how many developers have pushed the sim racing to reality angle as a clever marketing gimmick, I’ve gotta say there were certainly some butterflies about the whole ordeal, but it had nothing to do with the physical act of driving a race car.

Aware of how many times similar endeavors hadn’t gone well, I wanted to ensure things would be different. It helps our genre and community gain a little bit of respect in the eyes of outsiders. Flight simulators are seen as essential, mandatory training tools by private and commercial pilots alike, yet many in the real world auto racing community still see race car simulations as mere video games that can’t and won’t teach you a damn thing.

And obviously, past marketing stunts have sort of reinforced that belief. The Formula E Visa Vegas eRace awarded champion Bono Huis a private shakedown session, but we’ve never actually seen how this turned out – only photographs that could be described as “spy shots.” Greger Huttu – the “world’s fastest alien” and easily the best competitive sim racer of all time if we’re looking at cumulative stats over an entire career – threw up after a few laps in a Star Mazda at Road Atlanta. Ray Alfalla and Pablo Lopez were both unspectacular on the timing sheets in their respective trials, while some personalities tried to outright scam their way into a proper ride that – surprise – failed to materialize.

I just really wanted to be the change I was advocating for. If one of us goes out with the support of a developer’s marketing department, and doesn’t shit the bed in a real car, it offsets many instances of gear snobbery and message board autism, because you can point to someone and say “this guy is proof that it’s worth getting involved in this sub-genre of video games and putting up with all of the bad shit.” Again, I wasn’t nervous about the actual process of driving a race car that sends 450 horsepower to the back tires – a recent ESPN interview with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the low age requirements for certain late model classes indicate anybody can drive these things – I wanted to make a statement on behalf of the sim community.

We were thrown a pretty drastic curveball immediately after unloading. Penticton Speedway had graciously allowed us to have the facility to ourselves Thursday night, but as luck would have it, the previous weekend hosted Hit-to-Pass competitions; DiRT Showdown and Test Drive: Eve of Destruction aren’t fictional arcade racers – this sort of thing exists in real life, and you could technically call Eve of Destruction a hardcore hit-to-pass simulator.

What this means is that the entire racing surface was coated in glass shards, wood splinters, dust, and other miscellaneous metal bits. My first time in a late model would not be on a pristine track with fresh rubber, but in the most extreme adverse scenario imaginable that didn’t include a torrential downpour – though there were clouds a couple miles away. The positive in all of this, before some of you rage at the track for not cleaning the surface, is that I would receive a major lesson in car control. We didn’t bring new tires to the test session either; the trailer was loaded with compounds that had sat outside for a couple of Canadian winters, so this would be like playing Grand Prix Legends and manually editing the track INI file to give only 40% grip. It also meant that if the debris punctured one, two, or all tires, it was no loss whatsoever – the tires were going to be thrown in a dumpster anyway.

Dustin took the car out for a couple of segments to dial in the setup and ensure everything was running smoothly, as the ride had undergone several major setup changes in the off-season thanks to some very supportive connections in the iRacing community (whose names you can probably figure out based on our past articles) and a lot of SAE reading. His first moderately quick lap, the car jumped sideways shot an enormous cloud of brown dust and glass segments into the sky upon braking for turn one, so it was clear we wouldn’t have a stopwatch out and be comparing times for the rest of the evening – it was all about keeping the car under you and getting comfortable with being sideways while refining the driving line.

I will say this; it’s definitely surreal seeing a guy you met on iRacing a bunch of years ago turning laps in a real car with your number and name above the door. I’m glad I took the time to appreciate the insanity of the moment while also noting where his braking points were, because this shit just doesn’t happen, like, ever. The shot below is us on the front row of some Coca-Cola 600 race back in 2013, an event I eventually won using his setup. Four years later, I’m still using his setup, we’re just not in front of a computer screen anymore.

Sliding into a late model is significantly easier than climbing into a hornet. With the car sitting so low to the ground, and quick release steering wheel freeing up another portion of the cockpit, there’s a surprising amount of room for you to just sort of step through the window. You sit extremely far back – with your head beside the B-pillar – and as low as possible, so the change in visibility from a normal street car everyone’s familiar with driving, to our Chevrolet SS, is pretty drastic. It’s almost concerning when you’re sitting parked in the pits because you honestly can’t see over the hood and basically need people to guide you, but out on the race track it makes much more sense, as the banking pitches the car in a way that frees up your sight lines. It also doesn’t look like much inside, but I’ve always been blown away by just how comfortable these cars are. Proper racing seats installed at an angle are like the best patio lawn chair you’ve ever sat in, the sides conforming to your body just enough to act as an arm rest for holding the steering wheel during long green flag runs, and like Lewis Hamilton once mentioned in an interview, falling asleep sounds like a viable option.

Once the engine turns over – and I have to remind myself to simultaneously feed a bit of throttle during the start-up phase because we’re still on the old-school carburetor configuration – it’s uncomfortably loud. I have been around nitro-powered drag racing for most of my life to where stock car racing seems exponentially quieter by comparison, but inside the car it’s an entirely different story. We don’t have a muffler rule up here and the exhaust travels directly under my seat, so once I figured out what I could get away with on a dusty track, I clicked off about ten half-assed laps before bringing it in.

Any more than 35% throttle and I could feel pressure build in my ear drums, with wheel spin from the sketchy track conditions starting at 45% pedal input. I received some pretty good feedback from the team after my first laps, lots were surprised that I was on-pace with Dustin and had a solid, smooth line given that I’m some random guy from the internet who ran a season in shitboxes – again, we’re on old tires and throwing up clouds of dust and glass shards on corner entry, so there’s only so fast you can go – but I actually told them to disregard anything I’d done during that session; I was sandbagging pretty hard because the car was too loud and it hurt my ears to be aggressive on the throttle.

What I’m saying is I’m a little bitch, but y’all knew that already.

I think we found some ear buds in my bag from the radio system I use in Edmonton, and as a result I was able to attack the track exponentially harder – to the point where I was bottoming out in turns 1 & 2 from throwing the car in there. We didn’t have the cameras on for most of the evening as I didn’t want the pressure of all my mistakes being potentially recorded and uploaded to YouTube, but sadly this ended up being a bad call as instead of backing the car into the wall like a pleb and embarrassing myself, I ran pretty well and hung the rear end out on a few occasions. I have no idea how to drift, but there was one lap in particular I chased the rear end up the race track and according to Dustin it looked pretty sweet from the pits. It’s also not something rookies should know how to do, so it calmed a lot of the nerves of throwing someone completely green into a car this quick & powerful.

The only footage we have of the evening is from the final stint, which was cut short due to a part failure. I actually think I ran a bit slower in this session, but it gives you an idea of the sound, speed, and wheel inputs needed in such treacherous conditions.

But being a sim racing blog, a lot of you obviously want to know how video games compare to the real thing, and this is where I think tons are going to be upset with my findings. Even with the track surface being a mess, this is the easiest race car I have ever driven, across both simulators and reality. Within three or four laps, I immediately understood how teenagers are climbing into these down in the states and causing tons of scandals by lying about their age to officials, and why Dale Jr. in an ESPN interview said driving a race car is so easy “anybody can do it.” In testing I couldn’t go any faster because of the insane wheel spin from the lack of track grip & shitty tires, but I certainly wasn’t overwhelmed by the experience.

The absolute one hundred percent truth is that it handled like a fusion of Grid Autosport’s V8 Supercars, and the 1995 SCCA Mustang in Project CARS. It felt like you had insane turn-in grip and an overall heightened sense of nimbleness, and the throttle pedal directly correlated with how sideways you wanted to be on corner exit. Balancing the throttle to maintain a bit of a slip angle, the right rear felt ultra-mushy as it does in Project CARS, while over-doing it still felt like you had complete control of the vehicle, which is what you’ll experience during heavy oversteer situations in Grid Autosport. It was comical how easy it was to rip around in such disastrous conditions, and I remember thinking to myself real life would most definitely be called simcade by Reddit’s sim racing community.

Also, the visibility is about the same. I sit a little lower, but it’s basically this:

The challenge comes not from driving, but knowing that if you fuck up and hit the wall, you’re probably going to the hospital on top of the man hours & cash needed to fix the car. As I mentioned above, it’s also quite loud, the smell of burnt race fuel is overwhelming, and you can physically feel shit pinging off the underside of the car – which sometimes is the entire goddamn race track if you bottom out. The sheer sensory overload is what fucks with people – especially in a car this loud & powerful – but provided it’s not something that personally will bother you (a good test is to see if you get bored on rollercoasters or public karting), it’s certainly doable if you put your mind to it.

The biggest takeaway I got from testing is that my taste in simulators and other miscellaneous racing games is now broken beyond repair, but let me explain why.

I’ve spent the entire off-season driving as many different simulators and car combinations as I could in the hopes that some of it would translate into reality, sticking to cars with a power-to-weight ratio in roughly the same ballpark as ours.

I love how Tire Model V10 on Assetto Corsa feels – especially considering I was one of the several sim racers advocating for that “classic Assetto Corsa tire behaviorto return – and was stoked to see them include a personal favorite car of mine, the Maserati MC12 GT1 in their most recent DLC package. Before taking off for Kelowna, I ran a couple of shakedown laps at the Nurburgring GP circuit, and was blown away by how much fun the car was to drive. I thought it was awesome, and couldn’t wait to get home to give it a more thorough look.

Yet after driving the late model (450 HP at 2500 pounds, we didn’t have any ballast in), the MC12 GT1 in Assetto Corsa (600ish HP at 2750 pounds) now feels unnaturally heavy, as if the track was coated in sludge, and the car itself suffered from enormous understeer – a common complaint about Assetto Corsa, but I didn’t really understand where these complaints were coming from until now. In my personal opinion, the GTR 2 – and subsequent Race 07 conversion variant – both of which feel like the cars are on rails and dart around with a nimbleness that seems almost too fast to keep up with, are instead basically what our car felt like. So I’ll be on GTR Evolution a lot more in the future.

NASCAR Racing 2003 Season, a simulator I’ve held in extremely high regard since starting this website, now feels entirely incorrect save for one element – the braking. The way the rear end flares out in this game under heavy braking, that’s what our car does, and it’s a large part of why I was able to start throwing the car into corners very aggressively only minutes after being strapped in – it honestly felt like I was at home playing NASCAR, but that’s unfortunately where the similarities ended.  It’s enormously difficult to generate wheel spin at short tracks in NASCAR 2003, and when you do, the tires heat up so quickly they become sludge – an old Papyrus defect still present in iRacing – and the car spins out at 30 km/h in first gear if you do so much as breathe on the throttle. Real life isn’t like this; I’m no drifter, but I figured out how hang the ass end way out around an entire corner, and getting that level of sideways on the computer is impossible in NASCAR 2003; you’ll instantly spin and wreck the car because the tires nuke themselves.

As a tool to learn the racing line though, it’s perfect. This guy under the name of Wild Kustoms & Cars made a stellar recreation of Dells Raceway Park in Wisconsin – which is roughly the same layout as Penticton – and I must have turned at least two thousand laps there over the past six months. The first laps at speed, it was like visiting an old friend. So there’s that.

But it was actually Project CARS – in particular the 1995 SCCA Mustang – that gave me the best second impression, and it’s hilarious given how everyone – including myself – had previous;y written off this game as a rushed simcade title intended to generate the most sales possible.

Let’s start with the basics. The cockpit view is identical to what I see, though I sit much lower, so it’s a good prep tool to learn how to deal with the lack of visibility as the overall windshield dimensions are roughly the same. The engine sound, a point of contention in the sim community for being too over-the-top and aggressive compared to the real thing, well, unfortunately for some I’m here to say that the real thing is like that, to the point where I pulled in and dug some ear buds out of my suitcase because it was so distracting.

A lot of people, including myself, complained that the cars in the original Project CARS felt too nimble and had too little weight to them. Well, again, this is how our car drives. It darts everywhere and feels like it’s on rails on corner entry, and that was in adverse track conditions with a trail of wood splinters and debris shooting up behind it. Tire behavior, something that was a major point of contention considering how in some cars – including the SCCA Mustang – you could have these crazy slip angles going and it felt like the outside rear tire was made of silly putty, flexing at an enormous rate… Yeah, that’s pretty much what the car was doing under me. I think careful attention to detail should be made to ensure the team doesn’t over-do the initial turn in grip for Project CARS 2, but after blasting around in a late model, I’m here to say that the “on-rails” feeling people had complained about is actually pretty close to reality.

But the throttle management aspect has to go to Grid Autosport, and yes I’m actually being serious here. Dustin and I bought this game out of boredom over the winter, as the online multiplayer allows you to fill private online sessions with AI bots and still earn XP/buy cars/acquire sponsors, but this game ended up being much more than a time waster – it taught me throttle control. You’ll see in this video that the cars float around in a pretty unrealistic way, and things look all sorts of bad on corner entry, but the way the car snaps under power when exiting a corner and does this really pronounced wiggle (which the guy actually shows off)… Our car does that too. Thanks Codemasters, you’re the real MVP.

Our schedule for the season is under the Team PRC tab; it’s certainly subject to change (welcome to racing), but I can confirm we’ll be in Prince George on June 17th if any of you guys are in northern British Columbia and want to come hang out for an evening. This whole ordeal is insane, and I’d certainly like to thank both the Lengert family and Ian Bell of Slightly Mad Studios for allowing it all to happen. We’ve got a small Facebook page going if you’d like to keep up on our week-to-week activities, but I’ll do my best to keep y’all updated on our season through here as well.

 

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92 thoughts on “Pre-Season Testing

  1. Much as I love GRID Autosport, I’m surprised to hear it’s relatively accurate on one point, amusingly excessive as it usually is. Also, never heard it called a hit-to-pass competition before; I oughta look into those. Anyhow, consider me intrigued for the rest of the season!

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  2. See kids that’s why project cars is the most realistic car game. Afterall sms kept the promises and delivered a true next gen sim. Now we just have to wait for the second edition.

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      1. I can’t show my criticism? I learned with prc to always say the things that come to my mind without considering the other.

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    1. If I may, I really like the Superkarts in Project Cars in terms of having a more realistic slip angle than most, but it would be nice to see more realistic and updated bodywork if possible.

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    2. I’m calling bullshit on Ian Bell right here right now, you love it. Your most vocal, obnoxious POS, hate poster boy of shit slinging, just ate a scoop of extra fermented, left in the sun to ripen, dipped in shit, humble fucking pie, what’s not to love about that?

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    3. Are you a fucking Nazi as well? Is SMS a white supremicy rassist antisemite company? If you disagree, why are you paying one? This will go viral I promise.

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  3. Nice article lads, I was invited to a track day running v8 Supercars and was surprised myself how grippy and friendly the thing was to drive .

    Race car setups are super solid not like driving on jelly or fighting the thing all the way around the track , once you find your Corning lines and breaking points you can then start to push for more pace and a little later on the breaking points once familiarity has set into your brain.

    We also ran Mazda mx5 I think they were , fun little cars to race . I can thank a crane manufacturer by the name of liebherr for that opportunity .

    I wish you the best of luck James / team and SMS , pretty exciting times for you guys , nothing like jumping into car with grunt to heighten the senses and stimulate the brain .

    I can only see good things come to project cars 2 with your experiences conveyed to the developer .

    Cudos gentlemen .

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  4. This is a May 27th, not April 1st. So to sum it up, Project cars is the most accurate sim on the market? Make sure your running zero camber, you shameless shill. I hope daddy Ian gave you a repairs allotment.

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        1. Completely agree with that statement , asseto has the ffb very nice , project cars has the graphics and track roster , f1 2016 has working rules , blown engines and pit stops . Dirt rally damage all be it a little light in punishment.

          I could go on and on , just if we could put them all in a mixer and come out with right ingredient.

          Dirt 4 soon to keep me occupied.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. I think that’s the only right conclusion. And it comes down to wat you want out of a game witch’s one is the best for you.

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        3. Maybe if you said something positive related of other sim as you did a long time ago when going on track (rF2 and R3E for example) would be more convincing as there is nothing positive on PCars direct competition now.

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  5. Good to hear your finally turning laps, best of luck to ye. Interesting observations as well, hopefully we’ll read more of those as your experience grows. Oh and fix the windscreen dude

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  6. With the horrible wait transfer and cars feel floaty especially on braking and turning, James You might be wrong for PC1. Grid is a better experience i agree. But one question, with This new revelation for codemaster, we need to dig if there is any connection between SMS and codie.

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  7. Fwiw: independent of the frequent grasping on microfilaments out of condensed vinegar, as power food for frequently imaginary mice to grow up into big pink elephants, I congratulate you on nailing this ride.

    As far as I can gauge it from here, you earned this the honest way, and I appreciate you taking it seriously, and having a pretty neat first crack. Consider me moral supporter of Team PRC.

    Cheers from Berlin

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  8. Yeah bro, you’re totally qualified to disregard almost all modern racing sims because you have done a few half assed left turns in a random amateur stockcar on a track with glass all over it. And guess what? The game of your sponsor who made all of this possible doesn’t seem to be so bad anymore.

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    1. And guess what? This guy’s out here in an actual racing car, while you’re sat in your basement casting aspersions borne of your own jealousy.

      You wouldn’t turn it down, and you know it.

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  9. Let’s put it simply if someone gave you a opportunity with something you love and desire to do you would not hesitate to jump in , James has done just that .

    He has been the most outspoken person within sim racing because he has a desire for a good if not great experience in a game , I for one can not bag the guy for that , I’m sure Ian and SMS have the same desire all be it for money . That’s business.

    If successful they deserve every cent they get , I know that pcars one was actually pretty dam shit to put it bluntly as I have been out spoken and banned from SMS forums more then once.

    I’ll I want and I’m sure most of us would like all be it without admitting it is for cars 2 to be fuckn awsome and well looked after in the patch d partment if need be as most titles do now days .

    I for one hope you negative fuckers eat your words .

    Good day gents .

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    1. problem is that james is not just a forum poster, he makes articles about sim racing games. Ian Bell is trying to influence the masses by giving money to james from prc and montoya from virtualr who both run websites in the same area as ian bell’s products.

      Ian bill is not just giving money to a random person from sim racing, he is doing it to people of influence. Like it or not, James and Montoya have more influence in sim racing than a normal player.

      How many guys in sim racing are also looking for funds to race in real life? Dozens/hundreds maybe, but Ian bell chose a person that runs a news media website and sim racing games review articles. Therefore his work on prc will always be biased and influenced by a 3rd party, no matter if before james was already biased on his own or not, now his bias comes with extra sauce from the side of sms. For sure we are already seeing that in action when reading pcars2 articles and about any other racing game.

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  10. Not everyone thought pcars was made for the masses as a simcade. Only the dimwitted trolls and fan boys like your self. I still don’t think they nailed it as ffb is not good. In a sense the grip level is easier to feel in ac even though it has less realistic grip and has a better sense of weight transfer. Also why are you now admitting this profound mistake after you got sponsored by them, when raced last year I don’t recall this discovery?

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  11. Nice article!

    Driving a powerful car on a track is awesome. I drove an F430 for 5 laps, with a co-driver, to the best of my abilities. It’s breathtaking!

    Everyone interested in sims or sport/race cars should do it at least once in their life.

    As for how your track experience translate on a sim, would you mind posting your car and ffb setup, for the 1995 mustang, in pCars?

    I’ve messed with mine way too much, to the point of losing my references.

    Thanks,

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      1. Yep that was the killer for me and pcars , I spent countless hours doing ffb only to lose all saves , I was done with the title.

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      2. Yeah, i have that mental illness…

        I’m not spending night on that anymore. I’m just curious to paste someones settings whenever they say it’s working well.

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        1. The FFB can be very good, but what wheel do you have?

          I can post up the correct settings and also point you to the relevant thread where they’re discussed on the old PC1 forum.

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          1. Personnaly, i’ve always thought the FFB was great on most cars. I think i’ve had a pretty good (G27)setup since a while.

            It’s more a matter of enjoying both an apple and sugar pie i guess.

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                1. you’re joking but whenever someone showed support or liked Assetto Corsa, James would drop a fanboy or shill word. So if anything, he’s to blame for this fanboy shill paranoya. Now it seems when other people are doing it to him and his friends he’s getting all bitchy about it. The fun thing though, dr.kondor, is that is true he and his friends are pcars2 shills.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I think the major reason people are so paranoid about shills is all the viral marketing that SMS/WMD unleashed on the community during the run-up to PC1’s release. Before that, I didn’t hear much about paid shills in the sim racing community, except for the iRacing whores over at ISR (and they were blatant about it).

                    I guess SMS thought this would be “innovative”, but all it’s done is turn VirtualR into a virtual ghost town, and made their own forums into an echo chamber where only blind praise and meek passivity were allowed. And of course the game looked perfect to those sycophants. All the people who were giving real feedback on PC1 were relentlessly hounded off the forums and went back to playing AC.

                    This marketing tactic where companies are paying people to post positive BS “reviews” and such on forums WILL backfire. The fact that we’re constantly calling each other out as shills in response to any positivity about a game is proof of that.

                    Liked by 1 person

  12. Don’t you use a g27? Is that really the best tool as a measure of sim vs realism. I don’t see Ian bell sitting Chris Goodwin in front of a G27 to try & dial in realism.

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    1. Ian Bell prefers to use gamepad because the gamepad support is so well made in pcars2. I dont see why he would recommend others to use anything else than what he himself is using.

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  13. When all the dust settles after the haters and trolls are gone to rampage elsewhere, we who are serious about simracing and have been for ages advocating for a more mature reality to sims transfer will for sure profit considerably from Austin’s experience. To us it shouldn’t matter at all how his amateur racing career goes, but instead how the average quick guy feels in a real car and how his experience is comparable to simracing. Austin, hats off first for willing to spend the time to write down your experience and second for being so good at explaining it. We never had that with Huttu in the simracing side, or Earhardt Jr. in the real racing side. Your experience both as simracer and writer shows, and that is a blessing as your track engineer Dustin will for sure recognize. I will follow with interest all your feedback on this, but let me already drop a caveat -because we are serious about this: Your feedback will for now IMHO only apply to how a stock car feels, not how f.e. an open wheeler does. I hope you have the chance to try that some day and let us all know how the experience goes, but your feedback will be exponentially better as long as you recognize that you are driving in anger only one type of car. Looking forward for more of this, and here goes my one fingered salute to the trolls and haters to keep them busy meanwhile. Sit on top of it and pedal till your are exhausted 😀

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    1. I suggest you read Austins previous blogs & his twitter account for that matter if you think he is anything but a troll & hater.

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      1. I don’t care what he did before, I care about what I see now. His feedback and comparison about real car racing and simracing is a blessing in the current simracing world of confussion and subjectivism and can add much value to those developing mods or even sims. If you happen to know any other simracer that doubles as real world racer, can describe and explain things as accurately and is not a troll or hater, you are welcomed to post the link to the blog where he shares all that, and you bet I will be going there inmediately to enjoy it.

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        1. Holy shit dude, be prepared for shill and ass licking accusations from people commenting here, with messages like this :^)

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  14. Another day, another user posting constructive feedback got banned on the wmd2 forums by Ian Bellend, yet James won’t dare to post a single article about it cause same person got him a race car.
    Same shit happened with the other guys on the WMD1 (BigRon, MaxyM, GAT_Montana to name a few I remember).
    HHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

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  15. Nice footage! In terms of grip I have a question about older games. I’ve tried F1 Challenge 99-02 (the precursor to rFactor) and Grand Prix 4. In F1C you have a lot of nice details but the cars feel like deathtraps, even with some assists turned on. It’s like they flip out of nowhere or understeer into oblivion. In GP4 they seem a lot more planted but very very light.

    Of course a lot of that can be blames on my lack of skill with open wheelers. But can anyone here tell which one is closer to the real feeling?

    I really like how this article makes a parallel between real racing and simracing and I am looking forward to reading more.

    Keep up the good work!

    Like

    1. It took me so long to get the hang of the cars in F1C, and yeah they do have that deathtrap feeling to them. You just have to learn to manage the weight transfer on the cars, it’s very easy to overdo it and just snap oversteer into oblivion during corner entry.

      Realistic or not, it feels so good to conquer these cars and be able to turn in some consistent lap times. Also the cars are not random, the only problem is poor surface modelling – low poly elevation changes, especially noticeable on Sepang.

      Like

  16. Write about the banned wdm2 members show us that you Are unbiased ( just preordered the most expensive PC2 edition because of this article, also started again to play PC1 as its the most accurate sim that doesnt need any further development)

    Like

  17. Congrats and kudos to Ian Bell for having the balls, the money and yes the brains to take his biggest internet troll, put him in a for real ride and put him on the payroll as well. Too bad it’s so late in the dev cycle for the real world driving and concurrent sim driving to have much feedback or impact on product development but then seeing as you have other real world racers with proven ability giving input all along I guess you’re not missing much.

    Austin, I liked your use of the sim to reality attention you paid homage to in this post and hope you can and will collaborate with others to bring more of that type of messaging to the site, yea sure I enjoy a good shitposting as much as the next guy but the minutiae is really where it’s at.

    I wish you the best of luck on track and just a suggestion for your road travel, sure you want folks to see the car on the road but the cops just see another dick racer, even doing the speed limit you will be subject to spot safety inspections and harassment unless you cover the car or get an enclosed toy hauler, been there done that. Another tip is always flying the flag, I’ve literally avoided dozens of tickets simply by driving under the Stars and Stripes here in the USofA, that and always have your sticker showing your support for the larger uniformed police organization in an obvious spot, sounds dumb and corrupt even but don’t let idealism overrule the tried and true, many cops are ex military, nuff said.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. james talk about the people banned in wmd2 by ian bell and the mods. They are just trying to make the game right with criticism and are shut down by ian bell. Or has prc changed?

    Like

      1. +1 and except when talking about games from the competition. There he can go as bitchy and biased as he wants. His usual self before the SMS financial deal.

        Is amazing how two of the most unscrupulous guys in sim racing got together for this stuff, but alas, now that we know of it is no surprise.

        Like

          1. in fact joe doesn’t like prc as much as you think. He’s constantly defending rf2 and even made a video about prc is bad. He’s quite the shill for rf2, just look at his videos and titles for that game.

            – rFactor 2 Is The Answer – Best Physics, Most Features, Yet Ignored?!
            – The Vegas eRace and How PRC Continues To Do More Harm Than Good
            – Why rFactor 2 Is A Must Buy – rFactor 2 Review
            – rFactor 2: The Best Offline Sim Racing Experience/Best AI

            those and several others, I’ll give you that he’s as tabloid and dramatic as you James. We find same level delusion too though as yourself, a case study for dr.kondor.

            Those titles could have come straight out from associat0r shilling dictionary. So maybe lets add this third guy too for dr.kondor’s appointments.

            Like

      1. You just got lucky once. I live to far away to hurt you, but told some jewish communities where and when to find you. Maybe they just want to talk and don´t kill you, but i don´t think so.

        Like

        1. If Jews then make sure to have Austin O pay for their expenses first or ze juden will get nauseous knowing they’ll have to pay money.

          Like

  19. Always good to have a backup Plan 🙂 , Just in case one of the psychos here tracks you down while your out walking the dog .

    Like

    1. dr.kondor we need you, there’s a case of prc fanboy that needs isolated, we skip triage and take it directly to quarantine.

      Like

  20. Nice article.I used to race in one make and historic racing.It is true that race cars are easy to drive.What is difficult is winning consistently.I found it easy enough with a good car to run in the top 10.Running every week in the top 3 against the best guys in any series is very difficult.Some have raced for 20 years in the same series,all of them have a great motor,good car setup and some cheat.The guys who win championships used to also work hard between races on their car.

    I would say that in your first season the more seat time you have the better..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No he just have to play Project Cars 1 to win. A lot! An as there is no oval in PC1 and he is driving on it, i m starting to have some questions about the mental capacities of some of you and especially the author.

      Like

  21. Dale Jr. in an ESPN interview said driving a race car is so easy “anybody can do it.”

    Must be why you can drive a NASCAR around the oval at Vegas. I did and it was a lot of fun.

    Like

  22. Almost anyone can drive something like a Cup Car or a GT3 (though not competitively).

    Almost no one can drive F1, GP2 or even Formula Atlantic. These cars require many years of experience in lower formulae and are extremely physically demanding.

    Everything else is somewhere in between. The Roush Mustang I drove would be instantly lethal to anyone without some experience with twitchy, high-hp lightweight cars. You had to be incredibly patient with the throttle. IIRC it was running a locked diff and that gave it incredible exit grip, right up to the point where it wanted to kill you.

    Most would likely put that thing into the wall coming out of turn 1 at Road Atlanta, where you start rolling back onto the throttle as you go up the hill, and especially coming out of the hairpin onto the back straight. Very hard to get right.

    In general, however, I think people would be surprised that these cars are fairly easy to drive up til about 9/10. Even a novice, with sufficient practice, can get within 1-2 seconds of a lap record (depending on the track obviously). But getting those last .10’s of a second quickly becomes nearly impossible and this is where most people will hit a wall.

    Figuratively, one hopes 😉

    Like

  23. Enjoyed the article and agree with a few things you say:

    The visceral nature of real race cars especially the noise the feel of the car moving about on cold tyres and the track debris pinging around in the arches. Brought back lots of good memories of those first few track outings.

    The utter monotony of travelling to tracks across Europe in my case. I think the anticipation of the track makes this worse.

    The link you make to games and you are right that each game gets something right – and an awful lot wrong.

    A few things I don’t agree with though:

    Grid Autosport, no car I’ve driven on track has ever felt anything like Grid. I see your point about throttle control but that same point would apply to Forza as that has the same oversteer bias in the quicker cars.

    Pcars may well feel like your car, only you know. I think you are cherry picking the example though. Pcars gets the feeling of some cars right, the Palmer Jaguar for example. The road cars on track feel is almost universally awful. We can agree that the seating position is good and even better in VR where you can adjust for your exact experience.

    Equally you are a little tough on Assetto, though there are many things wrong with the game and the console version remains distinctly average. Again Assetto gets some cars spot on. This time it’s the reverse of pcars. For example the GT3 RS is as good as spot on, plenty of understeer as a warning before oversteer. Your point that each game gets something right stands though.

    Good luck with the racing and keep up the articles exposing the issues in games.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. “Again, I come to the point in another Project CARS article where I’m supposed to summarize the tomfoolery I’ve just experienced. And all I can say is “this shit is fucking whack.” You’re retarded if you defend this game and claim it’s some sort of authentic simulator.”

    “Would you like me to do more, or should I wait for the disaster that will be Project CARS 2?”

    – Austin

    Like

    1. This was before Austin realised that all Project Cars problems were caused by it being

      rushed out the door thanks to pressure from key investors and an impending schedule of heavy hitters that could easily steal its thunder in the fall”.

      Project Cars 2 is perfect in every way, Austin and Sev have already told us. If it is somehow not perfect then I’m sure Austin would have toldl us about it just like he did with the Project Cars beta. It’s not like his employer has to proof read and approve all Project Cars 2 content he writes first, he’s totally unbiased.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. You know, I always wondered why you don’t mention Glenn McGee or Kamil Franczak when you mention past sim-to-real drivers. Both won their respective competitions and did very well (top 5s for Glenn, top 10 for Kamil)

    Thats not even mentioning that Huttu had heat sickness, which is understandable, and was still able to turn laps within 105% of the fastest time, which was about 3 seconds off on his first drive while sick.

    Also you cast Huis in a negative light when you said his drive wasn’t documented; it doesn’t mean he did poorly, its neutral at best. I’m just wondering why you fail to mention all this while dragging everyone else through the dirt.

    Like

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