What we learned about rFactor 2’s Stock Cars from SimHQ’s New Interview

It’s an exciting time to be an oval racing fan, as rFactor 2’s Stock Cars are nearing release! SimHQ published an interview today with Tim Wheatley, talking extensively about the notNASCAR content coming to ISI’s flagship racing simulator later this year.

The full interview can be read here, although we’ve trimmed it down below to get to the good bits.


  • The car itself is slightly ahead of where it was, almost release ready now. It is really more the core that has been developed over that time for the car.
  • We have our generic manufacturers back again. The Centennial, the Titan, and the Edgar EVO. They are a Cup-level stock car.
  • The stock cars will naturally use all the latest developments in the rFactor 2 code base, chassis flex, special stock car chassis adjustments (truck arm height and ackermann setup options for example).
  • It has also forced us to look at existing things and optimize them even further, such as drafting. That is very important in all racing, but absolutely critical in stock car racing.
  • Indianapolis, notCharlotte, and notDaytona are three ISI oval tracks compatible with the new Stock Cars.
  • Modders are currently working on scratch-made versions of  notKentucky, notDarlington, and notRichmond.

While I wasn’t a fan of the notNASCAR series found in the original rFactor, advancements in the engine and ten years of working on rFactor will hopefully let ISI blow everybody away when these cars are finally released, and hopefully re-ignite interest in rFactor 2, which is practically a ghost town online at this point.

upgradesCurrently, the best place to drive stock cars in a virtual environment is in ARCA Sim Racing, a freeware title based on the original rFactor game engine.

Is Reiza Studios offering the Cheapest (and coolest) Vacation Ever?

GSC 2015-04-19 04-49-19-12Last week, Reiza Studios announced an IndieGoGo Campaign designed to capitalize on the success of Slightly Mad Studios’ Project CARS crowdfunding experiment. The project features several tiers, with the highest including an all-expenses paid trip to the Stock Car Brazil season finale at Interlagos.

Compared to paying for the trip yourself,  including finding a hotel, getting tickets for the race, and the ridiculous amount of planning involved in simply going on vacation, what Reiza is offering for the Level 12 contribution tier is an insane deal. Using Google to check what an average flight to South America would cost, it takes no time at all to see Reiza is giving away a trip that puts most family vacations to shame.

Untitled-3Living in Europe, even the cheapest flights to Interlagos almost cost more than the total all-inclusive package Reiza has up for Level 12 members –


Given how crazy Brazilian Stock Car racing is, with 56-car entry lists and a rabid following that puts NASCAR to shame, Reiza Studios might be offering the coolest vacation in the world of auto racing, and only a handful of people know about it.

GSC 2015-04-19 04-45-54-64

iRacing finally adding a feature seen in rFactor 2, Live for Speed, and Assetto Corsa

iRacing released this really neat video today, showcasing a future build where the sim will feature a dynamic racing surface, one that heats up and cools down as the session progresses based on the different lines each car runs. Previously seen in Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, and Live for Speed, this technology is still yet to be seen in the premiere online racing sim, yet that is all scheduled to change.

Provided they can work out some of the more interesting bugs that have crept up in the most recent build, this will be a welcome addition to the sim, particularly for oval racing fans as the current racing environment

single fileCompare this to the most recent NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan…


The long awaited update for Bugbear’s Wreckfest broke the game

Spending over a year in Steam’s Early Access format, Bugbear’s spiritual successor to their much-loved FlatOut series entitled Wreckfest received its first update in eight months today. And according to reddit user smudi, it broke the game.

smudiThe entire thread can be viewed over on r/SimRacing and provides multiple sources for every complaint listed. Bugbear’s Wreckfest originally delighted driving game fans as Bugbear promised the game would be the FlatOut we always wanted to make, yet after a string of early updates and staggering financial success, the game sat dormant for eight months.

It’s a shame this new update appears to be less than stellar, as the base product is quite good – and like all Early Access driving games, it just needs more content.

Next Car Game 2014-02-22 18-01-17-86

What you Need to Know About DiRT Rally’s Two Newest Updates – *REVISED*

drt 2015-06-29 15-50-15-15DiRT Rally news deserves to be pushed to the top of the queue over autistic man-children fighting about NASCAR Racing 2003 Season. After a day to reflect on the article and do a bit of editing based on some people’s initial reactions, consider this a revised version of the original article.

With DiRT Rally releasing their Tarmac Terrors update, I pretty much have to give some sort of impressions on it, and since I never really talked about the Pikes Peak content either, despite releasing a Camera Pack for it, I’ll just combine my impressions of the two content updates in a really brief, to-the-point entry. DiRT Rally is a game I’ve played the shit out of since launch, but gradually have reduced my time on it in the past few weeks since there aren’t very many tracks, and like Assetto Corsa’s early access period in 2014, I sort of ran out of things to see and do within the game. Despite my own personal gripes, it’s a fantastic, yet understandably shallow rally sim in its current state. Is it better than Richard Burns Rally? Yes.

drt 2015-06-29 15-42-23-59The default cockpit camera views are still atrocious. Every cockpit view in DiRT Rally has extremely poor positioning and have a field of view that is ten degrees too small for my taste. There is never an adequate sense of speed, and the camera is inexplicably tilted downards towards the bonnet instead of focused on the road ahead. Above is my custom Lancia 037 cockpit view, and I have to do this with every single car in the game I’m interested in driving. It’s not fun to constantly edit XML files to get a cockpit camera that isn’t shit. Codemasters, if you’re listening, I’ll do all the “dash” cameras for you. People at RaceDepartment seem to like them.

drt 2015-06-29 15-51-00-60Graphical issues still plague my personal install. Take a closer look at my screenshots and you’ll see everything looks like a highly detailed rFactor mod. Since the game’s launch a few months ago, I can’t have Shader Quality on anything other than Ultra Low, otherwise I instantly lose 20-30 FPS. Because of this, I can’t drive at night, as the shader quality set at the minimum setting doesn’t allow my headlights to illuminate trackside objects, and I can’t see. I have no problem running DiRT 3 with everything set to Ultra, and this doesn’t look to be too big of a step up from the 2011 game. With everything else cranked up in DiRT Rally, it runs perfectly. I’ve got a Radeon 7870 with a recent Motherboard/Processor upgrade, and this is the only game my PC currently struggles with.

Chris also has some sort of solid state drive issue, where the game’s physics engine lags momentarily and makes the game completely unplayable for him. His impressions of DiRT Rally are from watching YouTube videos or from me streaming it on Steam.

Fix these bugs, and throw in a photo mode for good measure, since judging by other YouTube videos the game looks amazing and it basically generates free publicity for the game.

drt 2015-06-29 16-06-53-68The Force Feedback settings have seen a marginal improvement. I’m a scrub who runs minimal force feedback effects, but with the latest update, the fundamental values that DiRT Rally configures your force feedback with have changed. It’s worth venturing into the options menu upon booting up the latest version, as the force feedback screen now has an Assetto Corsa-like list of options instead of three generic FFB values. I set everything to 13% with my Driving Force GT and carried on my merry way, yet those wanting to really fine-tune their expensive toy steering wheels will be able to do so as if they’re in a traditional hardcore racing sim.

To me, it feels much more detailed on dirt, and not smooth enough on tarmac. It’s like the tires chirping is exaggerated on tarmac. Something I can live with, though.

drt 2015-06-29 15-49-37-90Tire Model adjustments push this fully into sim territory. The keyboard and gamepad players littering the Steam forums are going to want their money back very soon. I didn’t have a problem with the way the game drove in previous updates, but I have to agree that I was able to pull off some really crazy shit I shouldn’t have been able to. The straw that broke the camel’s back for me was running a low 8-minute lap of 1980’s Pikes Peak, when the real life lap record was an 8:47. I’m fully aware that I’m really damn good at driving games, and that’s part of what makes PretendRaceCars.net so successful, but the lap times I was clicking off were far beyond what the real life car could accomplish, even under ideal conditions.

There’s been a slight amount of overall grip reduced on dirt, yet the tires bite more under acceleration. The Tarmac sections of Pikes Peak were pretty fun with the new update and more closely in-line with the various on-boards we’ve seen over the years. Drifting around hairpins also felt much more natural, and losing/regaining traction felt like a gradual process instead of a sudden on/off switch. I’ll have to give it a few more laps, but my initial impressions are that it’s like a mix of DiRT 3 and Assetto Corsa, and Codemasters are starting to mix in more and more Assetto Corsa as they learn more about how tires work.

drt 2015-06-29 15-55-13-98We still need an Alien difficulty. My third lap ever in the Lancia 037, without so much as a setup or proper gearing, I went over ten seconds quicker than the rest of the field. Master isn’t challenging for guys who have played RBR over the years.

DiRT-Rally-Pikes-Peak-Peugeot-405-T16-PPPikes Peak is worth the price of admission, while the Germany stages are a mixed bag. The Colorado Rockies are a fresh and dangerous challenge compared to the classic Nurburgring Nordschleife, which as appeared in countless racing sims over the past decade and a half. Both versions are included; the modern, fully paved version, as well as the 1980’s version where the back half of the track is a dusty gravel road. There are people who bought Assetto Corsa for the Nordschleife, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there are people who bought DiRT Rally for Pikes Peak. The level of detail is astounding, and I remember after my first night with the track, I watched Loeb’s on-board and could easily point out where he was at any given time. It’s a really wild creation.

The Germany stages released today, however, aren’t. Even if they’re based off of real-world stages (as are all stages in DiRT Rally), they drive as if you told Herman Tilke to re-design . The dirty trick of chopping up two long stages into twelve variants is also very disappointing as it inflates the track count to a ridiculous degree. Pikes Peak also suffers from this issue, although it’s understandable as the track is so long and hectic that it’s smart to chop the track up into portions – otherwise new guys would never figure it out.

drt 2015-06-29 15-30-33-92The Hillclimb cars will frustrate you, and the Lancia 037 is the best sim car of all time. The hillclimb cars give me a strange sense of pseudo-nostalgia to last year when the Lotus 98T first came to Assetto Corsa and nobody could drive it. The Hillclimb cars are the same way in DiRT Rally; too much power and 80’s aerodynamics. Only a handful of people will ever figure these cars out compared to the overall userbase of the game, and I think you’ll see a lot of smashed PS4/Xbox One controllers when this game inevitably hits the consoles. The hillclimb cars demand your undivided attention and are pretty much trying to kill you at any given time. The Audi, at least in my experience, was prone to aero stalling – Too little speed through a corner and you’d understeer off the track because the wings weren’t producing enough downforce; too much speed and the rear end would come around. Again, your average person won’t figure out these cars.

But they’re a ton of fun when you get them right.

As for the Tarmac Terrors pack, the Lancia 037 is incredible. Once this game is in a finished state later this year, I have a feeling this will be the car, or even the class, that most serious leagues flock to. Having this much power sent to the rear tires is insane, and each stage becomes a crash course in throttle control. You essentially steer the car with the throttle, and the steering wheel merely suggests which direction the car should be pointed in. It’s an awesome ride and was everything people anticipated it would be, and more.

The rest of the cars in the Tarmac Terrors pack are unexciting 90’s kit cars that you’d see in add-on Richard Burns Rally car packs for the RSRBR mod. I hope at least someone drives them. I can’t comment on them too much as I’m unsure of their historical significance and will avoid them altogether like a casual scrub.

DiRT-Rally_Seat-Ibiza_1With each new update, the game is going up a small amount in price, so if you’re curious about the title, save yourself $20 and pick it up right now. It’s Richard Burns Rally with better graphics, and even though it still lacks a bit of variety in the stage department, the current road map Codemasters has laid out for the title from now until release in November looks pretty damn promising.