The Codemasters Formula One Series for the most part has been of good quality with a couple of quirks here and there that have taken away from the overall feel of the sim.
F1 2016 was a good game but felt little more than a driver and livery update. With F1 2017 Codemasters have recreated the new look cars with bigger tires and better aero performance which makes these cars corner like a dream compared to there 2016 counterparts.
If you have been living under a rock the last twelve months you may not know that Slightly Mad Studios have been working on the hotly anticipated successor to Project Cars with the highly original name of Project Cars 2.
Project Cars 2 was announced with a number of different systems to make sim racing more realistic with the announcement of livetrack 3.0 offering a dynamic track that responds to the sun and cars laying down rubber to a new advanced weather system that rains and snows.
Having played the game for a number of days both playing career mode and doing some custom races and private test sessions, I absolutely love the weather system and live track 3.0. One of these great moments came from running a Bathurst 12hr GT style race (The AI have some work to do, more on that later) but back to the weather the practice session I started off in was a nice clear sunny afternoon then after a couple of laps I noticed that there was a fog or haze starting to roll in and then as I hit the top of the mountain the track was like ice with rain coming down but only on that section of track it took another couple of laps or so for the rain to settle in over the entire track. This brings me to live track 3.0 which with the rain puddles started to form on the inside edges of corners and rivers of water going across the track which causes the car to aquaplane. This was just one of many moments that put a big smile on my face.
The AI with this multi class racing was a different story I ran classes from GTE through to GT5 which caused one Ginetta to create a traffic jam on mountain straight due to the AI actively defending it’s line to the point were they would run you off the road. Hopefully this will be rectified in an upcoming patch as the idea of multiclass is great. I have also run a Group A race which was great fun but the AI with standing starts is an absolute abortion and even the Slightly Mad guys recommend doing rolling starts until they fix the issue with a patch. I tried a rolling start with the Group A cars and the iRacing Rookie style pile ups at the first corner were gone.
I have made a start on the career mode and so far after only running the Ginetta everything seems to be running quite well, I have noticed that the AI pace can vary from track to track which is annoying or potentially I am faster on certain tracks then others. I would advise not to skip qualifying as for some reason the AI cars post laps a number of seconds faster that you and you end up qualifying last and a number of seconds off the pace. Hopefully SMS can patch this or add an accelerated time feature.
Overall I am really enjoying the game as it is especially running some of the older classes or racing which can’t be done in iRacing especially the Group A cars living my childhood dream of throwing Godzilla around Bathurst as being an absolute blast. if Slightly Mad can solve the issues of the AI with the standing starts and their telepathic weather predicting skills they will be onto a winner.
Release Notes for 2017 Season 4 [2017.09.05.01]
This season release features a wide array of new content including a pair of cars, a pair of tracks, and a hearty dose of updates all around.
Week 11 of the iRacing IMSA series came from Virginia International Raceway (VIR). The race circuit is really tricky with a number of slow speed corners, long straights and some fast flowing sections which can really unsettle the car.
Qualifying was a mixed result with a reasonable first lap posted but then a spin on the second lap ruined any chance of a decent qualy position.
Battling understeer and snap oversteer with the car was the main issue for the race. I got off to a good start making the most of other drivers incidents but then into one of the more flowing sections of the circuit the car got really loose and snapped off the road. I was able to recover but a good race result was never going to come my way after that accident.
iSpeed is a free virtual dash and telemetry logging system for iRacing. At its core you can simply just use it as a virtual dash like dashmeterPro or for telemetry logging and comparison just as you would with the virtual racing school software.
When using iSpeed in conjunction with a second monitor you can display all the data that you would expect from virtual dash software. The HUD component of iSpeed supports the following:
- Supports second monitor
- windowed mode
- tablet phone etc (this requires purchase)
- Audio of lap times using windows text to speech
- Shows your best splits
- Auto saves best lap times and setups
The lap analyser part of iSpeed is were the tool really shines in my opinion. The online “datamart” allows yourself and iSpeed users to upload your various lap times so that they can be shared and analysed with other racers. With this data you can compare your driving line, brake, throttle and steering inputs to see were you are losing and gaining time. This feature is really great for free software and I feel works better than the virtual racing school and iAnalyze software. The big thing you need to lookout for are the weather conditions that the lap times have been set in, as this can have a big effect on lap times.
The software is highly recommended and works with all modern windows versions.
I highly recommend reading Troy Schulz One Second At A Time which is an excellent guide for using iSpeed.
Good qualy result, I managed to qualify in eighth position an just over a second off the pole time. Was really happy with the time I posted as it was my fastest time around the Interlagos Circuit.
The iRacing IMSA series is coming from the home of the Brazillian GP at Interlagos. This circuit has a fast outside of the circuit with a tricky infield section with a combination of left and right slow corners.
Dashmeter Pro is virtual dashboard for iRacing which displays various gauges both in digital and analogue on your android or iOS compatible device. The software has a server side file which runs on your PC and an app that you download for your phone or tablet.
Dashmeter Pro allows up to 3 screens of information whether you want the default screens from the app or you can create your own custom screens by dragging and dropping the gauges that you want, position them and resize them to your desired size. Cycling through the screens is as simple as touching the screen.
I personally use Dashmeter Pro to display shift lights, gear, speed and the quantity of fuel required to finish a race. The dash software can display much more information than the standard black boxes that iRacing uses.
You can setup up to three different phone/tablet combinations to display different information on each screen.
The software is easy to setup and does not cost an arm or a leg and runs flawlessly to allow you to get on with your racing. This was one of the first apps I purchased when starting out with iRacing and I have not being disapointed.