For 13.8 Seconds, Question What You’re Paying For

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You’d think for a piece of software that prides itself on being the most authentic & accurate simulation consumers can buy, massive discrepancies between real world car performance and the virtual counterpart wouldn’t exist to begin with, and simulation enthusiasts wouldn’t actively work to brigade someone drawing attention to what’s a completely reasonable talking point.

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series is set to visit Bristol Motor Speedway this upcoming weekend, one of the oldest circuits on the schedule despite it’s modern coliseum atmosphere, for the second of its two 2017 dates: one in the spring, taking place during the day, with this weekend’s being a night race that’s known for chaos and destruction akin to a local short track event. Despite being just a half mile in length, Bristol’s 25+ degrees in banking generate a very unique vibe; insanely high speeds and close quarter combat is the auto racing equivalent to flying fighter jets within the confines of a high school gymnasium. The Monaco Grand Prix may send Formula One entries blazing past elaborate casinos, and V8 Supercars can get a little hairy in the resort town of Surfer’s Paradise, but there’s nothing in the motorsports kingdom quite like Bristol Motor Speedway – a track that actively encourages mangled heaps of automotive wreckage..

In keeping with the standard formula of how iRacing operates, all major stock car series within the popular online racing simulator will mirror the real world NASCAR Cup series schedule and also visit the concrete jungle throughout the week. The top simulator drivers on the service have spent the past few days preparing for a multitude of high-profile events, whether it be the standard top Class A open run-offs that dictate the drivers eligible to compete for $10,000 USD next year, or the significantly longer NASCAR iRacing Series contests, which are more in line with the simulator’s origins. However, in testing for these events, one YouTube user flying under the name of GeneticJD has made a pretty startling discovery – and it’s one that all iRacers should be taking a close look at, if only to understand where their money is actually going.

In a single car qualifying run under realistic weather and track conditions – which he actually addresses directly to dispel the fanboys’ claims before they can arise – GeneticJD, who isn’t a prominent face in the Peak Anti-Freeze Series, but just another somewhat talented sim racer on the service, has clocked in with a time of 13.8 seconds in his virtual #31 Kraft Velveeta Chevrolet SS. To provide some context as to why this might be an issue, qualifying for the 2016 night race at Bristol saw now-retired ace Car Edwards snatch the pole with an elapsed time of 14.6. Drop down the results list to see how other talented drivers performed, and racers such as the inevitable 2016 champion Jimmie Johnson registered a 14.91, while three time series winner & short track veteran Tony Stewart clocked in with a 15.02.

GeneticJD’s lap by comparison is so absurdly beyond what these cars are capable of in real life, it actually matches the World of Outlaws Sprint Car track record set by Sammy Swindell back in the early 2000’s, when the series used to temporarily convert the half mile oval into a dirt track. Those cars have a power-to-weight ratio more ridiculous than a modern Formula One car, and aided by a giant wing that essentially allows them to turn an entire lap at full power while sideways – yet iRacing says a 3200 pound stock car is just as fast. Drawing natural conclusions from the car’s performance, GeneticJD comments that iRacing absolutely need to slow the cup cars down. How iRacing’s stock cars are going upwards of a full second faster than their real life counterpart in a track this short, is absolutely inexcusable.

iRacing reddit

Of course, the iRacing defense force have already appeared to downvote the post into oblivion on the simulator’s official subreddit, with comments conveniently dancing around how bizarre this performance is is – instead wanting to see pedal inputs, the setup used, or claiming that the video was “less interesting than I expected.” And sure, to them, maybe it really isn’t a big deal that some guy with infinitely more driving talent than they have somehow cracked a barrier that’s virtually impossible.

But to myself, and others as well, it’s pretty hilarious. iRacing isn’t just a boxed game you buy from Wal-Mart for anywhere from $60 to $80, and put up with the bad in exchange for the positive things the software accomplishes. This is a game that demands you fork out several times more than you’d traditionally find yourself paying for virtual race cars, and then thrives on a concept called post-purchase rationalization plus an admittedly exceptional marketing campaign, one which makes deluded motor racing enthusiasts believe they’ve acquired the very best in consumer-grade race car simulators. Usually this would be the part of the article where I would take aim at hardcore sim racers roped in by the cult-like mentality of iRacing’s finest to perpetuate such bullshit, but instead I will take a different approach.

When I browse YouTube videos of either NASCAR: The Game, or the current iteration of NASCAR Heat – two console offerings that admittedly aren’t up to par with what we should expect from video games in 2017 – I always see the same comments from miscellaneous users: “Why are you playing this trash when iRacing exists; it’s the best and most realistic racing simulator money can buy.” Sometimes it’s worded a lot nicer than that, but the overall theme remains the same.

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I have to ask, what weight does this argument hold now? It’s been a while since we’ve gotten a genuinely good oval racing game, but acting like iRacing is this be-all, end-all solution for dedicated NASCAR fans, only for the most popular cars on the service to generate performance figures that are significantly less accurate than these supposed “arcade games” everyone has no problems shitting on, is pretty comical.  In no way am I defending the horrid dumpster fire that was NASCAR Heat – not by a long shot – but seeing the average person parrot claims of iRacing’s alleged realism, when this is demonstrably false just by comparing virtual lap times to the real thing, definitely raises the question as to what sort of brainwashing has been taking place.

It also makes me wonder how more people aren’t genuinely questioning where their money is going when renting the content on iRacing, and how there’s not a more widespread level of criticism surrounding the biggest name on the market today. Sure, I got screwed over by DiRT 4’s decline in quality – as did many others – but at the end of the day it was a one-time, $60 purchase, not a long-term investment that continuously asked for my money just to explore a fraction of the content available on top of annual subscription fees. And though Codemasters did parade around a couple of real world drivers to vouch for the authenticity of some of the vehicles available in DiRT 4, their promotional efforts were nowhere near as extensive as those carried out by iRacing, who for years upon years upon years have touted close working relationships with a multitude of real world teams and engineers to ensure the utmost of accuracy out on the virtual race track.

Let me ask a simple question: Where is this accuracy customers have been promised?  Because there seems to be a pretty major disconnect between what the marketing team would have you believe, and what actually occurs within the game world. For a development team to supposedly be in touch with Monster Energy Cup teams on a regular basis and actively employing individuals within the Cup series garage area, how in the fuck do we reach a scenario where Cup cars are blasting around Bristol at World of Outlaws speeds? No, it’s not a case for false advertisement, but I’m genuinely surprised that so many people have no problem parting with their hard-earned cash primarily due to the game’s self-proclaimed status as the most accurate and thoroughly researched simulator on the market, with some members even being blissfully unaware that other racing simulators exist altogether because they’ve bought into the iRacing or bust mentality themselves, yet are suddenly silent or apathetic when this authenticity is objectively proven to be false?

I’m also a bit surprised in regards to how on top of the demonstrable lapses in authenticity, sim racers are unable to read between the lines and notice something is amiss when it comes to how iRacing advertise themselves as the pinnacle of realism, when real teams aren’t actually using it.

Chevy SImulator

I’m not a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, I’m actually in the Kevin Harvick camp that believes his lack of on-track success has kind of hurt the sport – usually the most popular athlete is also the most successful, and in this case he’s not – but one thing Dale has done a good job at is being an ambassador for sim racing on a global platform, and he’s been doing this basically since the start of his career, which we all very much appreciate. However, in his weekly podcast, #186 at the 42 minute mark if you’re looking for something to get you through your workout routine, Dale mentions that the Chevrolet simulator uses “old gaming technology”, and though iRacing as a company don’t currently provide simulators for any of the teams (which in itself should be a red flag), it’s something they have an interest in – and he’d prefer for them to enter the realm of professional simulators as well.

Yet this “old” gaming technology, which Dale refuses to name – though we all know from pictures it’s clearly a variant of rFactor – helped his own Hendrick teammate tie his father’s NASCAR record by notching his seventh championship last season. In the meantime, average Joe’s on the iRacing service are blowing the doors off real world qualification charts, running times that would put them in an entirely different vehicle class. With this tidbit alone, you’d think people would figure out that maybe they’re not getting the experience that they’re paying for.

Another tidbit worth noting, would be Dale’s own career statistics. Earnhardt Jr. advocates for iRacing to enter the professional simulator realm, as he was a very active driver during the service’s early years, believes the software has the potential to go above and beyond what rFactor Pro provides, and obviously has a great relationship with the people in Massachussetts, but these years spent diving deep into sim racing – moreso than his Windows XP years – also happen to ironically coincide with a disastrous four-year slump that has defined the final half of his career.  From June of 2008 to July of 2012, NASCAR’s most popular driver failed to win a single race – a slump so crippling, his own teammate posting similar statistics lost his job. As you can see from the video above, Earnhardt Jr. was most active on iRacing starting from it’s beta period, until about late 2011 or early 2012, during the initial stages of the new tire model when a lot of people thought it was quite good.

Look, if there’s this top level NASCAR driver going around telling people about how helpful this one piece of software is compared to all the others, but while doing so he’s actually putting up results that would be job-threatening to anyone not named Earnhardt, how is anyone not asking questions about the accuracy of the software, but instead just sort of going along with it and using it as a reason to spend even more money on the game? The North Carolina rumor mill has obviously lit a fire under claims that Dale was asked to stop iRacing until his on-track results improved, because supposedly people figured out it was messing with his driving style, but that’s not really something we can confirm as 100% fact.

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For 13.8 seconds, you should question what you’re paying for. A team supposedly this in-tune with the current motorsports climate, hiring engineers directly from the industry, and working closely with individuals to ensure their software is the absolute pinnacle of sim racing, should not be producing virtual vehicles this far off the mark from their real world counterparts. Yes, maybe DriveClub’s version of a Ferrari Enzo will drive as more of a ballpark guess than anything else, and sure DiRT 4’s R5 rally cars are pretty fucked up, but that’s almost to be expected with those pieces of software. But with such a heavy marketing campaign surrounding it, one which swears up and down that iRacing is the last simulator you’ll ever need, these claims shouldn’t be getting blown the fuck out by a random YouTube personality who somehow figured out how to break the sim in such a way, Cup cars are as fast as World of Outlaws 410 deathtraps. No, just stop, that’s fucked up. You’ve failed at your goal. Go back to the drawing board.

You should also question why real drivers, the same that can be seen on iRacing’s testimonial pages bragging about how great the software is, are accidentally admitting in their podcasts that iRacing to their knowledge isn’t actually used by any professional race teams whatsoever, yet they’re still advocating for the use of iRacing despite this “old” software winning their teammate his record-tying seventh championship.

I don’t think there is a simulator out there that uses iRacing software. – Dale Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jr. Download Podcast #186

Lastly, you should question why this professional driver coincidentally suffered from a career-defining slump during the exact time frame he was actively helping out with the development of the game.

But, of course, the country club members won’t want to ask these questions, because bringing iRacing into disrepute is against the sporting code, and can therefore warrant a suspension or outright ban for those who dare to rock the boat.

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100 thoughts on “For 13.8 Seconds, Question What You’re Paying For

      1. WTF I love GamerMuscle now.

        That video nails iRacing’s biggest problem for me. There is no good feedback from the front tires. It’s better than it used to be but not close.

        Like

        1. “Oh man get your pre-orders ready, these pCARS 1 physics make everything else seem like a joke. Simulation on a level never seen before.”

          *6 months later*

          “Oh, a pCARS 1 build leaked and is total shit? Well that particular build is a month old, it’s a completely different game by now, hehe”

          “The pCARS 1 day one patch and first major update will fix all the huge issues, after that it won’t be total shit anymore”

          “Oh man get your pre-orders ready, these pCARS 2 physics make everything else seem like a joke. They finally got the tire model working, feels like rFactor 2.”

          *6 months later*

          “Oh, the pCARS 2 media build feels only slightly better than pCARS 1? Well that particular build is two months old, there’s still a month to release…”

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Ben Collins in 2019: “Project Cars 2 was a bit too forgiving at the limit and in Project Cars 3 you get this threshold of the tyres like in the real car.”

            But maybe already in 2018…

            Like

        2. No offense but J. Broadbent says bad FFB and says directly because of that its not sim … this is bullshit. He also claims iRacing is a full sim (that incl. physics), which it clearly ISNT – for me that disqualifies his opinion on the spot.

          He should have simply objectively analyzed what he felt and saw and not just judge because 1 thing didn’t work to his liking (rF2). You could also clearly see that he has no idea about physics / realism. Thats often the problems about such nerds, they never saw the real thing and are basically keyboardwarriors.

          Like

              1. That means someone like Techrax is the most considerate human being on the planet, and is doing the right thing CUZ SUBSCRIBERS XD

                Like

              2. Yeah I’m the jealous one who’s hasn’t been bothered to upload in months. LMAO.

                I never took YouTube seriously, but I imagine if I kissed ass like everyone else maybe I’d have 1000 subs by now lol.

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          1. Who’s this clown and why am i supposed to take his “highly regarded” opinion as a Gospel?

            Thats no way to talk about SMS marketing is it? marketers are kinda people too, they are a little sub human, but im sure some might have feelings.

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              1. “He talked about austist J. Broadbent (yes he said himself he has autism)”

                Oh right, thanks for the correction, I would of felt silly otherwise………o_0

                Like

      1. Great, more propaganda. I am an expert at this, so I will comment.

        It is all well and good to proclaim that you can do this or that (like, say, flatten Osaka). But you must then back it up with painstaking detail work to make it into Reality. So: little things, like correct damper rates or implosion tamper material, they make a gigantic difference to the actual outcome.

        I have zero confidence that SMS is capable, as an organization, of actually nailing down all these small details. I predict that some cars will be perfect, some will be weird (due the typos and such in their data files), and many will be horrible.

        It has been always thus with SMS products. They are inherently sloppy. Perhaps modders will eventually decrypt the data files and fix all the shit SMS messed up. That is your best hope.

        Like

  1. Hey….how about a few articles to really get the traffic here faster that a 12.8 second lap like…

    1. Whats the real reason dale earnhardt jr. is quiting nascar?

    2. Whats the real reason that seat belt broke on dale earnhardts car in the 2001 daytonal 500?

    3. Whats the real reason brooke seally( i mean brooke gordon) left ol jeffy?

    what do you say? 🙂

    Like

    1. 1. Amy
      2. I know the head of Simpson resigned following the crash so installed improperly? Faulty? One of the two.
      3. Allegations that he had an affair with Playboy bunny Deanna Merryman

      Like

    2. 1 – Dizziness
      2 – He was so bored he couldn’t get out of the car quickly enough
      3 – Every time they went out together in the car they had to plan a route that didn’t require a right turn.

      Like

  2. I have no idea how realistic iRacing is, but it offers the best pickup racing I’ve encountered for something like $12/month, so I’m a satisfied subscriber.

    Like

    1. @Michael Henke

      If you believe that then you’re truely dumb.
      You can have much better pickup racing in active leagues for less than 144$ / year, included in that is decent social interaction, getting some decent friends and eventually meeting them at one point incl. a lot of fun.

      Like

  3. Yet the fanboys claim monthly that top oval teams are using iracing,sub expires in sept,haven’t raced there for over 4 months,I mentioned this while pointing out that not one model in iracing actually works in anyway shape or form that resembles what the fanboys and iracings own marketing states.

    Yet I’ve been told to go play in traffic,and jumped on by the usual fanboys proclaiming they are counting the days and I won’t be missed.

    Dynamic weather,more like static random weather,tyre model that still doesn’t act like a real life tyre,surface model that on no way shape or form effects the racing,the list goes on.

    Iracing are the greatest marketing company in history,their product and marketing differ so much you could say they are lying,yet people get delusional about it and actually troll people for pointing out flaws.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sadly even Jimmy Broadbent believes the stuff. Lately he called it a true sim.
      I(ce)Racing is so fucking unrealistic, in terms of realism/physics its simcade at best and yet dumb people worship it and waste their money on such douchebags.

      Like

  4. Aren’t you getting sick of writing the same shit over and over again?

    Doesn’t matter if it’s iRacing, rFactor 2, Automobilista and of course Assetto Corsa. It’s always the same negative crap worded differently and with the same “hurrr I’m James and I’m so full of myself” undertone.

    I don’t even have to read the articles anymore, i can almost write down exactly what’s going to be said only by looking at the title.

    You need new bait…

    Like

                1. man, i’m the one that replied “at least you admit you’re here for the bait james feeds you 🙂 “. What I wrote is the opposite of sucking up to James. Have some reading comprehension. This place damaged your brain or it was already?

                  Like

  5. What bugs me in iRacing is the unlimited seat time. People who have all the possible free time can practice the track and car combination (in static environment) to perfect the craft and exploit all the holes. It is never possible in real NASCAR. There is off-season testing ban and other than race weekends there is no driving (apart from some random Goodyear tire tests).

    Add such a limit to iRacing and now we are getting closer to something. Of course players would be able to race their street stock cars at some dirt oval as much as they want.

    Like

        1. But at the same time Bristol is so much easier. Look at Monaco in the rain and try it yourself in either rF2 or PC on a highperformance car at racing speed. Have fun crashing all the time.
          Bristol is easy, the only thing difficult about it, is creating a good setup for it, the rest requires no alien skill.

          Like

  6. “how is anyone not asking questions about the accuracy of the software, but instead just sort of going along with it and using it as a reason to spend even more money on the game?”

    Because they don’t want to.

    In the psychology of human behavior, denialism is a person’s choice to deny reality, as a way to avoid a psychologically uncomfortable truth.[1] Denialism is an essentially irrational action that withholds the validation of a historical experience or event, by the person refusing to accept an empirically verifiable reality. In the sciences, denialism is the rejection of basic facts and concepts that are undisputed, well-supported parts of the scientific consensus on a subject, in favor of radical and controversial ideas.

    [1] I racing is a video game.

    Like

  7. Sorry, but I’ve never understood the obsession with absolute and total accuracy in any video game. It’s all still fair as everyone’s using the same guns, planes, cars or whatever. If iRacing were to de-tune the cars in some way to add a second or two to the lap times, would that make everything ok?

    Like

    1. “Officially licensed car replicas engineered from the ground up in cooperation with real-world race teams, applying accurate mechanical and dynamic models” iracing.com

      0,8 seconds doesn´t sound that much, but i calculated this would be like 10 seconds difference in GT3-cars around Spa. That´s quite a lot.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Rather calculate it in % and then you see quickly that it is huge.

        its about 16% or more (remember the guy that drove the 13.8 lap is no top alien) – probably something up to 25%, which is huuuuuuuggeeee and shows how unrealistic iRacing is, even at what this game is best at (oval racing).

        Liked by 2 people

            1. I don’t know how to calculate a 25% faster lap?

              14.6s x .25 = 3.65s

              14.6 – 3.65 = 10.95, or just under 11s.

              And if a good driver is running 13.8s laps, an alien isn’t taking another 1.8, let alone 3, seconds off that lap.

              Liked by 1 person

  8. These posts are too long lately and thereby test my patience.

    Do not test my patience.

    Thanks to recent criminal import embargoes by imperialistic capitalists, I cannot get my Ritalin, forcing me to buy shitty Chinese MDMA brought in by my patriotic workers.

    Keep this in mind.

    Like

          1. Joe, seriously. That was pretty sad.

            I know you can do a bit better than a kindergarten rejoinder like that.

            Perhaps you should just go back to playing rF2 and hoping whatever 3rd party mod you’re using has been updated to DX11 and the sound from the GT500 is no longer coming from just your left speaker.

            Long way to go, Joe.

            Like

  9. It’s stuff like this that remind me to NOT go back to iRacing. I’m learning game programming and physics simulations so that I can build my own simulator. iRacing should have been dethroned a long time ago!

    Like

        1. He’s even removing comments on their Facebook feeds now. If you dare criticise the shit frame rates or the fact that the game hasn’t even worked in single player mode all weekend you get banned from posting. His game is dreadful and he can’t bear criticism of his baby. Needs to grow a pair of bollocks and sort it out before shitting out more low quality dlc for the brown-nosers to buy.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Which shit frame rates, the same ones project cars has on xbox one?

            Do you honestly believe Stefano is moderating facebook comments?

            The way you talk about him and the words you chose sound more hateful than constructive. Maybe you need to grow a pair of bollocks and stop getting triggered by whatever Stefano or Kunos does.

            Like

            1. Hi Stefano. Done anything productive today? Your masterpiece hasn’t worked on Xbox One for the past four days. Customers can’t even launch the game. How about you have a go at fixing it instead of pinning the blame on MS like you always do?

              Like

            2. The problem my friend is that Kunos appear to do very little apart from promote more content for people to buy. There appears to be a definite “quantity over quality” policy. The game is 1 year old on consoles on Friday. I wound expect a game to be well sorted in that time. Instead we still have day one bugs, awful frame rate issues, and a “fuck you” attitude. PCars runs miles better than AC. You’re commenting on something you clearly know nothing about so wind your neck in and shut the hell up.

              Like

              1. There was a number of posts yesterday on their Facebook feed by a lady who quite rightly dared to question the quality of the product. All were censored later. They let you read what they want you to see. AC is like every Italian car or motorcycle I ever owned. Looks great from a distance, but falls apart at the slightest provocation and will probably spend the rest of summer waiting for someone to come back to work to fix it.

                Like

                1. I just went over to their facebook page and I’m reading some harsh comments there posted a couple days ago. Weren’t they supposed to censor these? Oh right, rf2 and pcars fanboys like to lie sometimes when the subject is Assetto Corsa and Kunos. Could be just like their master Ian Bell when promising and promising stuff for project cars.

                  Like

          1. Agreed. Once GT Sport arrives, you will see what a marginal player iRacing truly is (in terms of active users).

            I predict that there will be more users *per hour* on GTS than iR gets per day.

            You will also see exponentially more people emerge from GT Academy and become real race drivers than you will ever see coming from iRacing.

            Like

            1. I don’t see how a console game could be as realistic as a PC simulator when all you have are a couple of thumb-sticks and pressure-sensitive buttons. Do wheels like the G29 give you the fine control on consoles necessary to learn how to drive a race car?

              Like

            2. While GT Sport will undoubtedly maintain a higher user base, the jury’s very much still out regarding the quality of that racing.

              Like

                1. Yeah, because shifting pixels around a screen teaches you everything you need to know about driving a race car. Ayrton Senna had a G29 and Johnny Herbert had a controller. It’s why Senna was so great and Herbert wasn’t.

                  Like

  10. I can’t remember if I read it somewhere not mainstream or heard it on TS amongst other guys last in the Aussie community last year. But supposedly when Shane van Gisbergen was practicing for the Bathurst 1000, he doesn’t touch the Supercar at all for his practicing, simply because the handling characteristics don’t resemble the Supercar at all, instead using the Z4 GT3, I assume the handling hasn’t changed too much, cos I ain’t subbed.

    Also a similar piece I recall with Nick Percat stating that the Supercar has far too much front grip/turn in compared to the real car.

    Like

              1. “2rd grader”

                It’s called “2nd grade”, my ESL (I hope) friend.

                Guys, if you’re going to even attempt to cross swords via words, wouldn’t it be worth your while to occasionally pause and do a grammar check?

                I mean, you’re trying to insult the intelligence of the leader of a Workers Paradise (plus: Nukes) and you’re not even spelling shit right.

                Pretty sad. I certainly hope THAAD is manned by similarly “clever” crewmen.

                Like

  11. You honestly don’t think that if these teams had 24X7 access to BMS for a year and zero fear of death that they couldn’t figure out how to shave off another second and run a 13.8 lap there?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The fact that iRacing delivers 24/7 quality drop-in racing is amazing.

    What’s even more amazing though is the number of people willing to publicly make the statement that “iRacing is the most realistic sim” as though that is some kind of objective statement of fact.

    THAT is what, more than anything else, pisses people off about iRacing.

    Like

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