In just a few short hours we had a whopping 33 people fill out the preseason survey posted earlier today, meaning there’s no point in holding off the announcement for a few days. The sheer level of interest means the PRC V8 Supercars World Tour will commence on December 19th at Suzuka in Reiza Studio’s Stock Car Extreme. The Saturday afternoon events will be open to everyone, free of charge, only requiring you to sign up for a basic Race2Play membership in order to track your statistics and be counted as an official member of the league. Oh, and that’s free, too, in case you’re worried this is going to turn into some iRacing-style shenanigans. No longer is the excellent 2014 Australian Touring Car spec Holden Commodore relegated to the depths of your Stock Car Extreme install.
Questions will inevitably arise over the inconsistent start times. Race2Play doesn’t allow you to set a consistent start time if it’s at a popular timeslot, the same way iRacing staggers the start times of their various oval and road course series throughout the hierarchy. As we’re a new league and don’t have the privilege of locking ourselves into an ideal time slot, the start time will fluctuate over the course of the season. We’re extremely lucky to run this league on Saturday to begin with. Set your alarm on your phone and keep a close eye on the schedule. That’s just how they roll, and we did the best we could with the options available. When you sign up for the site, the start times will automatically be converted into your local timezone if you don’t trust yourself to write things down or memorize the various start time changes.
The three month schedule intended to carry us through a cold, miserable winter explores the best content Stock Car Extreme has to offer, as both first party Reiza tracks as well as Race2Play approved third party content receive a relatively equal amount of attention. As Australian Touring Cars respond well to high speeds, flowing corners, giant elevation changes, huge kerbs, and heavy braking zones, every track on the schedule is intended to promote the wheel-to-wheel insanity seen in the real life V8 Supercars series. We just happen to have a time machine and an unlimited travel budget.
Qualifying sessions will last a total of 15 minutes, and damage effects will are locked at 50% to allow for these cars to be driven in a way that replicates the aggression of touring car racing. The championship will be scored with the current FIA Formula One points format, awarding 25 points to the winner, 18 for a runner up position, and 15 for third place. This allows a good driver to miss a race or two, only to return and continue his rightful quest for the championship, as a much heavier emphasis is placed on finishing on the podium.
Joining the series takes less than two minutes, as signing up for an account on Race2Play is free, and joining the V8 Supercars World Tour itself is also free. Bring a friend or three. For those who would like a larger version of the image below, click here.
Along with signing up for the league, you NEED to sign up for each individual event. This is how the website knows who to send the race day password to. If you are on a free account, do not fret if you can’t press the JOIN button, it will become available as the date of the first event nears.
Once you have joined both the league itself, and signed up for the races you plan on participating in, the only step left is to join the server on race day with the password provided on your profile dashboard a few hours prior (you’ll see it, you can’t miss it) and drive your ass off. As long as your Race2Play name is the same as your Stock Car Extreme profile name, behind-the-scenes server plugins will record your statistics and complete the iRacing-like experience for you. Race2Play is basically iRacing for rFactor and other ISI powered sims.
As some events require the use of a third party track, the Event Page conveniently has download links to all files needed to participate in the race under the FILES USED tab. This ensures none of us will get fucked over by using the wrong version of a track, as Race2Play has already tested the tracks available on the schedule for compatibility. This is literally as painless as it gets.
For the moment, we won’t be using custom liveries, nor will we have a Teamspeak server running to touch base with everybody before the event. Race2Play runs on a strict schedule, and the times listed above are when the qualifying session begins. Obviously, you’ll want to practice a bit throughout the week because these cars can be a handful, and join the server about 30 minutes early to check up on the competition. While it may seem a bit anal, the results of running with Race2Play are pretty awesome. Each of our races will have a dedicated post-race write up by R2P staff, and there will be as many detailed statistics and records kept as you see on iRacing. I mean, let’s be honest, this is pretty dope that they’re gonna do stuff like this for us:
To get you started, this Baseline Setup won a Club Race over on RaceDepartment at Kyalami. I’ve run this setup in pretty much every public practice server on Stock Car Extreme since then, and I can’t find a track where it doesn’t work. If you’re somebody who has no idea what to do in the garage area, this will help immensely. This isn’t just some shitty baseline (even though we call it that), it’s a race winning setup against some pretty stout competition. For the first season, I want people to enjoy racing each other and forming rivalries, not pulling their hair out in the garage menu. These cars are tough and punishing enough as it is.
You WILL be required to pit at least once in each race, as a full tank of fuel doesn’t last the full hour. There is NO POINT to running hard compound tires, as taking the soft compound with a single pitstop is much faster over the course of an entire race. I learned this the hard way at Bathurst a few months ago when this car was first released. Also, do yourself a favor and map a button to Launch Control. When the lights are red on the starting grid, hold the button, mash the gas, and let off the button when the lights go out. The Speed Limiter button is your friend as well.
Need a quick way to increase FPS in online races? Turn shadows to medium and special effects to off. If you’ve got an ATI card like myself, check this post out on RaceDepartment to learn the optimal catalyst control center settings. It makes Stock Car Extreme look much better than a game on the gMotor engine ever should.
I think that covers just about everything, so now it’s time to introduce you to the twelve locations we’ll be visiting throughout the PRC V8 Supercars World Tour.
Round 01 – Kansai East
The NASCAR Winston Cup Series ran two exhibition races here in the late 1990’s, once in 1996 and again in 1997 before moving to the Twin Ring Motegi oval in 1998. The East layout of Suzuka proved to be a natural fit for American Stock Cars, akin to a Japanese version of Sears Point. As the Holden Commodore can be a bit of a handful, we’ll begin our season with this very simple layout to ease people into the car.
Round 02 – Johannesburg Historic
Otherwise known as Kyalami, many sim racers had their first taste of this classic facility in the 1998 title Grand Prix Legends. The massive front stretch and heavy braking zone going into turn one is exactly the kind of insanity one would expect from V8 Supercars, and the rest of the track is a combination of long straights and high speed corners.
Round 03 – Barbagallo
A stop on the real life Australian V8 Supercars calendar, many sim racers will recognize this track from it’s heavy usage in the classic Codemasters title DTM Race Driver 3. One of the shortest tracks on our schedule, the track features ONE left handed corner, and relies primarily on momentum to execute a quick lap.
Round 04 – Bologna Historic
Known by most people as Imola, the 1994 layout of the San Marino Grand Prix was a welcome addition to Stock Car Extreme, and the Holden Commodore will eat the massive rumble strips lining each corner for breakfast. It’s a wild track in a massive saloon sedan, and given how much these cars can take compared to a light, nimble Grand Prix car, the track drives in a completely different manner.
Round 05 – Mosport
A track practically unchanged since it’s stop on the 1967 Grand Prix calendar, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park currently hosts a date on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series calendar. The wide, sweeping corners, heavy braking zones, and massive back straight make this an easy choice to be included on our virtual calendar.
Round 06 – Road Atlanta
A popular testing facility for NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams, as well as the host of many American Le Mans Series events over the years, Road Atlanta was one of many stops on the SCCA Trans-Am tour of the 1970’s. Featured in every game from Forza Motorsport to the Sega Dreamcast’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, there’s no reason not to make a stop here.
Round 07 – Road America
Currently hosting a summer date on the NASCAR Xfinity Series calendar, along with several Can-Am events in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, Road America is Elkhart Lake Wisconsin’s pride and joy. Several heavy braking zones will wear down the equipment over the course of an hour, and the high speeds reached on three separate portions of the track will make things pretty hectic in the latter stages of the race.
Round 08 – Vanport
Otherwise known as Portland International Raceway, Oregon’s premiere racing facility once hosted both a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series date, as well as SCCA Trans-Am events well into the 21st century. Though the track has rarely appeared in hardcore racing sims, the facility made a surprise appearance in Need for Speed: Pro Street, as well as being a semi-official add-on track for NASCAR Racing 2003 Season by Project Wildfire. We’re running without the intrusive chicane on the massive front stretch because going fast is fun.
Round 09 – Ribeirao Preto 2012
I am a sadistic asshole. That is all. A yearly stop on the Stock Car Brasil calendar, this is Brazil’s version of Surfer’s Paradise. We must embrace pain, and burn it as fuel for our journey. Finishing this race will be an accomplishment in itself.
Round 10 – Spielberg Vintage
While the Red Bull Ring is a blast, the race-spec Holden Commodore responds much better to flowing corners, rolling hills, and massive stretches of open road. Prior to the modern renovation to keep in line with Formula One safety standards, the 1970’s layout of the Österreichring is a perfect fit for V8 Supercars. Thanks to the magic of Sim Racing, we can live in an era where Herman Tilke hasn’t ruined Formula One, and we’re going to take full advantage of that.
Round 11 – Bathurst
You knew this one was coming.
Round 12 – Laguna Seca
It’s wrong to decide the championship with the unpredictable and cruel nature of Mount Panorama, so we’re ending the season at a place virtually everybody knows, whether they like the track or not.
See y’all on the track. Bring some friends.