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Volume5Number2

Volume5Number3

THEYEAROFTHECONSOLE
WEREVIEW WEINTERVIEW
FORZA3 DANGREENEWALT
SHIFT EERO&DOUG
TOPRACE 2PEZ
DIRT2 SEANEDWARDS
SUPERLEAGUEFORMULA DAVEKAEMMER
SUPERCARCHALLENGE RENATOSIMIONI
LOGITECHG27WHEEL AGUSTNCANAPINO
FANATECFORTHEXBOX TODDWASSON

AUTOSIMSPORTAwards2009,TheFutureofDirt,SimRacingBookReview,
RallycrossAtCroft 260PAGES LEGENDARYKYALAMI9HOUR,


InfineonIndyCarActionPLUS!14PageiRacingSpecialFeature


EditorInChief Contributors
LxMartini FabriceOffranc/AndrewTylerBjrnErik
ExecutiveEditors Hagen/MagnusTellbom/JimineeSmith/

Credits JonDenton/BobSimmerman
Business/Website/Advertising
LouMagyar
GaryPoon/LuisaGhibaudo/
SpadgeFromley/SimonCroft/Selena
Horrell/SandeepBanerjee
PhotoEditor
EditoratLarge OliverDay
SergioBustamante Logos/Design
ContributingEditors www.graphicaldream.com
SteveSmith/ArisVasilakos ContributorRelations
CorporateRelations LxMartini/JonDenton
JonDenton Merchandising
CommunityRelations LouMagyar
BobSimmerman FrenchEditor
ChristopheGalleron
Art
ItalianEditor
MikeCrick/JulianDyer
DrivingItalia.net
Layout/Design
LxMartini

AUTOSIMSPORTMediaLLCisanindependentonline orevenoffensive,providedthatthereisafactualbasis
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3 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

COVERSTORY INTERVIEWS
SEANEDWARDS 51 SHIFTINGSPHERES 71

LouMagyarsatdownwiththe2006and07sFIAGT3Champion,
SimonCroftwithSMSsDougArnaoandEeroPiitulainen

SPECIALFEATURES TURN10SDANGREENEWALT 75
JonDentonwiththecreatorofForza3
TRACKINGIRACINGSFUTURE 36

Tableof


JackUlstadcaughtupwithDave,Tony,andtheboysatInfineon
TWOLIVEFISH
IvanAskewsatdownwith2PEZsMarinSalaverry
63
AGUSTNCANAPINO

DIRTY&LOOSE

AUTOSIMSPORTwiththehotshoeArgentinetouringcarstar


87

101

Contents THERETURNOFRENATOREVEALED
IvanAskewdiscoversnewlyformeddevelopersReizaGames
HISSTORY
91

108
SimonCroftwithToddWassonandEeroPiitulainenondirtsims
VIRTUALR
AUTOSIMSPORTRobPrange,simracingsdailynewspapereditor
REGULARFEATURES
128

IvanAskewwithAlainLefebvre,simracingsfirsthistorian
KYALAMI9HOURTHRILLINGSILENCE116 HeadOpEd 5
GiuseppeMartiniontheclassicendurancerace,pastandpresent
News 8
RALLYCROSS123 AsTheWheelsTurn24
SimonCroftatCroftfordirty&looseaction
Fromadge 32
SpadgeFromleyprattlesonaboutstuffandstuff

ForceFeedback
Toolbox




33
97
DONTFORGETTO

READ
OURSPECIALREVIEW
PULLOUTSEE
WEBSITE
FORDETAILS
AVAILABLENOW!

The Formula 1 drivers have their own extremely complicated
simulators,whichIvehadacoupleofgoson.Theyareamazing
things.Theyre soaccurate thattheytestthe aerodynamicson
them.(Theytest)thefrontwingsondifferentcircuitsandthen
WIN
putthemontherealcarSeanEdwards WEHAVE5COPIESOFTOPRACE
TOGIVEAWAYSEEPAGE100
4
www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

THEFUTURE there with the best to be found on the PC. But does it have

Its been a tough old year financially for many of us in this enough to claim AUTOSIMSPORTs Award as best sim for
industry. The global recession sparked by the speculative 2009?YoullhavetokeepreadingtofindoutIcantellyouthis

HeadOpEd doingsandscrewingsonWallStreet(paidforbyus,ofcourse)
haveseenmanyofthecottagebusinessesinvolvedinthesim
racing world shrink up and, in many cases, vanish as our
community continues to tighten its belt. But for some, the
much,BestSim09didcausesomeseriousargumentsbetween
us, and many feelings remain hurt and bleeding. Of course
sincethismagazineisrunasacommunistdemocracy,thelast
personstillthumpinghisshoewonthedebate.
recessionhasbeenopportunity,andinparticularwehaveseen
enormous strides by our developers into the realworld of THEFURY
motorsportsthat,stungbadlybytherecession,seeknewand The release of NFS:SHIFT released, in turn, a fury of quite
cheaperwaysofdoingbusiness:Whattheyhavefoundinour stunning dimensions amidst some in the community. Simon
communityisalowcosthighrewardwayofgoingtesting,and Croftwillgiveablowbyblowaccountinthisissue,buttheidea
thefutureseemsbrighternowthanithasatanypointinthe that SHIFT isas one community member had itthe worst
lastdecade. gameeverwas,Ithink,abitmuch.Imean,didthisgentleman
This magazine, however, is struggling: Having had to cut never play Plant Tycoon? Oddly enough weve been here
ourfrequency,wehavealsochangedourdeliverymethodand before with Bells GTR2: That was panned and scanned on
made the magazine available for online reading (thereby release, featured dozens of accurate mods made by people
cuttingoutthenecessityofdownloading)whichhasresultedin noneofushadeverheardoftenhoursafterreleaseandyes,
LxMartini anuptakeinourreadershipnumbers:Volume5Number1was
viewed by 42, 229 people, and Vol5 Issue 2 by 41,267. This
ittookawhile,buttheNAPmodand,later,Power&Glory,
turned GTR2 into one of the most revered sims in history.
years total readershipincluding direct downloadsis just SHIFT beginswith similar issues,butits fate will echo that of
over 100,000 excluding, obviously, this issue that you hold in GTR2:Afterall,SHIFTisthefirstsimreleasedbythemakersof
yourvirtualhands.DonationsamounttolessthanUS$300for GTR2,ifyouthinkaboutitexceptitfeaturesatyremodelby
theyear.SoIhopeyougetthepicture! achapnamedEero(pronouncedhero).


THEPAST THEPRESENTS
Whatanoddyearitwas:Hardlyanythingwasreleasedduring SoitsChristmaswellalmost,anyway,if,aswehadplanned,
theyearandthen,comeSeptember,wewereinundatedwith yourereadingthisanditsnot2010.Asthesunsetsoverour
superb titles, notable amongst which stand Top Race, SHIFT, fifthyear,Icanthelpbutbeamazedathowquicklytimehas
Superleague Formula, and something called Forza gone by.I still recallcreating that firstissue backin that cold
Motorsports 3 on some game console or other. A console Decemberof2004andyet,inmylife,somuchhaschanged
what the hell is wrong with the world when one of the best in that halfadecade. A lot to be grateful for, and a lot to
puresimulatorsplaysonlyonanXBOX?Andwhatkindofsim celebrate.Ihope,lookingback,youfeelthesame.Ifyoudont,
racinggodwouldhaveitthattheonlywaytoraceonlinewithit well, thats what next year is for! All of us here at
isagainstelevenkidsinKansaswhospendtheirtime(between AUTOSIMSPORT wishyou all thebestforthe winter andwe
smashingintoeachotherandwalls)typingobscenities? hope well see you in the spring with another triple edition.
Still,though,asyouwilldiscoverinthesepages,developers MerryChristmasandHappyNewYearfromJonDenton,Bob
Turn 10 are serious about their simulation, and anyone who Simmernan, Lou Magyar, Simon Croft (good luck Simon!),
wantstodismissForza3asaconsolearcaderhadbestbuya Fabrice,MagnusTellbom,Sergio,Jiminee,andeveryonewho
Fanatec and try it for themselves: It is, quite simply, right up worksonthismagazine.

5 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
NEWS continued

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NEWS continued

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SlightyMadStudiosIvoFranicSurvivesTheBigOneAt
MantorpPark
NEWScomescourtesyofVirtualR.net AutoSimSport
Backduringthesummer,andwithSHIFTshippedofftoEA,theboysandgirlsfromSlightly
Mad Studios headed off to Sweden for a bit of a break which included a days racing at
MantorpPark.
Driving a Ginetta G20, SMSs Franic lost
control and had an enormous shunt that
resultedinhisarmgettingtrappedinthecar:
He was eventually cut out of the wreck and
VirtualR.netisyouronestopsiteforallyoursimracing taken to a nearby hospital where tests
news.AndnowyoucangetyournewsonRSS,oremail. concluded nothing had been shattered
exceptforhispride,futureasamotorracing
Nevermissamoment. star, and the Ginetta G20 which was
comprehensivelytotaled.
Congratulations then are in order to SMS and Franicsuch loyalty to providing for
accurateresultsofacarsdynamicsandvehiclesisbeyondthecallofduty!

WereOnTwitter&Facebookt
Your favourite simracing magazine is now on Twitter: If we get enough followers, we
mayevenpostalltheexclusivenewswegetandneverbotherpublishing:Ifwegetalot
offollowers,wewillsacrificeBobSimmerman.YoucanalsofollowusonFacebook.

DISCLAIMER
AUTOSIMSPORTisnotresponsiblefortheaccuracyofthirdpartynewsitems:Itemsthatfeatureany
byline other than AUTOSIMSORT have been contributed by entities not associated with
AUTOSIMSPORT and are printed here in good faith: AUTOSIMSPORT cannot verify the veracity of
anythirdpartynewsitem.

8 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

NEWS SLIGHTLYMADSTUDIOSATMANTORPPARK continued

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NEWS continued

GianCarloMinardiLooksForwardTo2010,AndSparesAThought
ForTheBriatorePiquetJr.Mess
Minardi.it
Nextseasonwillpresentmanynoveltiesintermsoftechnicalchallengesfortheteams:
Indeed, with the end of fuel stops, the cars will consequently sport much fatter fuel
tanks, and this means that their braking mechanisms will also require serious
alterations.AtSingapore,forinstance,wesawteamsalreadystrugglewiththeirbrakes
thisyear,andnextyeartheywillhavetoconfrontthesameissuesexceptwithanextra
240Kgs of weight. Canada is also scheduled for a return, and this track is notoriously
hard on the brakes. Well have to see what the constructors come up with in terms of
technical solutions to reduce weight, as 620Kgswith fuelis a significant weight.
WellalsoneedtoseewhatteamsdowithKERS.
Race strategy will change completely since the teams will be able to stop for tyres
but not fuel: using the soft option tyres with such heavy fuel loads will be impossible,
except perhaps during the final phase of a race. There are, consequently, numerous
considerations that need to be born in mind, and the possibility exists that, just as we
sawthisyear,nextyearsrulechangescouldmakeforsomebigsurprises.
I was left surprised and indignant at the treatment that was reserved for Flavio
Briatore:IdontbelieveitshouldbelefttotheWorldCounciltoapplysuchasentence,
but rather asporting authority. The decisionwas takenin a fewminutes, andwe have
interviewswithkeymysterywitnessesdoneoverthetelephone.Tomeitlookedlikea
manhunt, to get rid of Briatore, rather than trying to discover the actual facts. It also
seemsabitlikesciencefictiontoassumethatthisracefixwasevenpossible:Ifitstrue
thathemanagedtofixaracebyforcingthesafetycarontothetrackonlapthirteenof
a sixtyseven lap race, we ought not to ban him but give him a prize for best
clairvoyant!
As for Nelson Piquet, who was given immunity by the FIA and Max Mosley for his
testimony,itsasifakiller,afteraslaughter,wasofferedfreedomfromprosecutionin
exchange for his testimony. At this point, anyway, Nelson has no future in F1 since he
himself has demonstrated that he doesnt believe in his own potential, as well as not
havingapersonality.
In my career it has never occurred to me to give one set of tyres with less
performancetoonedriveroveranother:IfIhad,thedriverwouldrightlyhaveopposed
thisdecision.Imaginedrivingintoawall,then,onordersfromateam!

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NEWS continued

RTRRealTimeRacingIsBetaAndGo 18WheelsofSteel:ExtremeTruckerReleased
AutoSimSport AutoSimSport
Regular readers of this magazine will know that weve been keeping a close eye on the SCS Softwarehaveannounced theavailability oftheir digitallydistributed editionoftheir
developmentsoutoftheiOpenercrewandwecanreportthatthefirstgametofeaturetheir newest truck simulation game 18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker. The game has been
innovative technology is taking some massive strides forward. You can keep up with the releasedtoretailstoresinNorthernAmericaonOctober6.
newsbycheckingouttheirwebsitehere In addition to English language support, this updated release of the game contains full
Theres little doubt that this development is being tracked by all the developers, as its localizationstoGerman,French,Dutch,Italian,Spanish,andPortugueselanguages,tobring
innovationandpossibilitiesremainunexploredandyetintriguing.Hundredsofsimracers thegameclosertotheirinternationalfanbase.
manyofwhomyouwillknowarecurrenrlybetatestingthesimthatisassociatedwithone Extreme Trucker uses a different perspective than the previous games in the series
ofthecommunitysdevelopers,SimBin.Muchtolookforwardtoin2010,then,becausethis puttingtheplayerstraightintotheaction,lettinghimfacechallengingtaskswithgrowing
reallyisthemostinterestingdevelopmentinsimracingforquitesometime. difficulty.ExtremeLocations:Travelacrossthreehairraisingterrainsincludingdeadlyicein
Alaska, boiling desert in the Australian Outback, and the towering mountains of Bolivia.
Extreme Loads: Transport cargoes that would scare even the most fearless drivers
overweightloads,oversizeloads,roadtrains,andhighriskcargo.
A demo of 18 Wheels of Steel Extreme Trucker can be downloaded from the official
gamewebsite:

11 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
NEWS iRacingTracksEuropeFor2010 continued

BrandsHatchforiRacingisprogressingwellasDave
Kaemmerandhiscrewbegintotaketheirsimulator
to the rest of the world now that theyve scanned
prettymucheveryimportantracetrackintheU.S.
(with the obvious exception of MidOhio!). We
expect to see a fairfew European and Australian
based laserscannedtracks released in the next
twelve monthsOulton Park, Zolder, and
Zandvoort amongt themalong with a push to
introduce European drivers to iRacing. Meanwhile,
iRacing have also just saved a race track from
destructionasyoureabouttosee(nextpage)
surelyafirstintheworldofmotorsport.

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NEWS continued

OranParkRacewayandCircuitZolderJoiniRacing Park was also home over its long history to club roadracing events, so itsfitting that the
Pairof47YearOldTracksHalfAWorldApartToBeAvailabletoGlobalRacingAudience finalcompetitiveracemeetheldJanuary2324,2010isanallcomersamateurrace.
iRacing.com
When the checkered flag fell over a field of motorcycles at Australias Oran Park Raceway CircuitZolder
earlierthismonth,itmarkedthefinalcompetitivemotorcycleeventinthefortysevenyear Like Oran Park, half a world away, Circuit Zolder opened in 1963. It hosted ten Belgian
historyofthissuburbanSydneymotorsportfacility.Followinganallcomerscarraceatthe GrandsPrixduringthe1970sand1980s.MarioAndrettidroveaLotus79tovictorythereon
endofJanuary,2010,OranParkRacewayisslatedtobecomeahousingdevelopment. hiswaytothe1978FormulaOneWorldChampionship,butthedeathofGillesVilleneuvein
But that wont be the end of racing competition for Oran Park. In future years, while practiceforthe1982racesignaledthebeginningoftheendofFormulaOnecompetitionat
suburbanites sleep peacefully where Aussie V8s and Formula 5000 cars once thundered, the10turn,2.492milecircuit.
racing enthusiasts from all around the world will be competing with one another in the Following a series of safetyrelated upgrades in 2006, Zolder was host to a European
virtual world on an exact digital duplicate of this historic venue, including its uniquefor roundoftheNorthAmericanbasedChampCarseries.Theoveralllaprecordwasestablished
Australiaoverandunderfigureeightsetofturns. by Sebastian Bourdais on his way to victory in that oneoff event. Today Circuit Zolder is
Oran Park Raceway has played an important role in the history of Australian host to the FIA Formula 2, FIA WTCC Race of Belgium and the GT Belcar championship,
motorsport, noted Divina Galica, director of partner relations for iRacing.com. Too many includingthe24HoursofZolder.
greatracetrackshavebeenlostforever;Impleasedthatwereabletopreservethisdigital
versionofOranParkandmakeitavailabletoracersallovertheworld.
GalicaalsoannouncedthatiRacingandthemanagementofCircuitZolderhavesignedan
agreementthatwillseethesometimehostoftheBelgianGrandPrixjoinSilverstone,Brands
Hatch,OultonParkandZandvoortasinitialEuropeanvenuesintheiRacingservice.
ZolderisoursecondtrackonthecontinentofEurope,afterZandvoort,Galicasaid.In
the fullness of time well have quite a few more, but its exciting to have two such
challengingdriverscircuitstobeginwith.GalicasaidsheexpectedthatCircuitZolderwould
jointheiRacinginventoryinthelatterhalfof2010.

CapturingOranPark
LastmonthasurveyingcrewfromiRacing.commadeaseriesofmillimeteraccuratescansof
the1.65mileOranParkfacility,includingallthreeofthetracksexistingconfigurationsand
furtherdocumentingitwiththousandsofdigitalphotographs.Overthecourseofthenext
severalmonths,thedatagatheredbytheiRacingsurveyorswillbetransformedintoavirtual
versionofthetrackthatwilljoinPhilipIslandasthefirsttwoAustralianiRacingcircuits.
OranParkopeneditsgatesin1963andregularlyhostedroundsoftheAustralianTouring
Car Championship, V8 Supercar Championship Series, Australian Drivers' Championship,
andAustralianSportsSedanChampionship.
TheAustralianGrandPrix(notthenaFormulaOnerace,itfeaturedF5000cars)washeld
atOranParkin1974and1977.Inthe1970sthecircuitattractedlargecrowdsfortouringcars
and sports sedans. The Rothmans 500 for touring cars was staged in 1977 and 1978, and
touringcarenduranceracescontinuedthroughtherunningofthe1989Pepsi300.Thefinal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Oran_Park_Raceway.png(OranParkRaceway)
running of the contemporary V8 Supercar series Oran Park event was held in 2008. Oran

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NEWS continued

ISIsSuperleagueFormulaReleased
VirtualR.net
Image Space Incorporated and the Superleague Formula Series have releasedSuperleague
FormulaGame,bringingthe2009SLFseasontothePC.
Based on ISIs popular gMotor 2 simulation engine, the game includes all cars, drivers,
rules,and tracks of the2009SLF season, thesecondintheseries history.ThevirtualSLF
cars have been created by none other than CTDP, rFactors most popular openwheel
moddingteam.
The game includes six popular European road coursesMagny Cours, Zolder, Estoril,
Monza, Jarama, and Doningtonare included. Furthermore, the game includes all of the
seriesrulesincludingthetworaceformatusedonraceweekends.Duetochanges,thetitle
isnowofficiallybasedonrFactorversion1.330.
TheseriesusesanElandesignedopenwheelracecarthatispoweredbya750BHPV12
engine.AllteamsintheSuperleagueFormularepresentafootballclub,notableclubsinthe
seriesrosterincludeACMilan,FCPorto,LiverpoolFC,andGlasgowRangers.Eventhough
thefieldconsistsmainlyoflessknownopenwheeltalents,someknowndriverscompeting
inSFincludeTristanGommendy,DavideRigon,AntonioPizzonia,andSebastienBourdais.

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NEWS continued

SimDownloadsYouNeedToTest
TheOsellaDebutsFornKPro SuperleagueFormula2009TheGame
AutoSimSport AutoSimSport
After a full two years of waiting, the Osella hillclimb addon for nKPro has finally been YoucandownloadthefreeonehourdemoofthisISIproducedopenwheeledsim
released.Thegoodnewsisitsfreeandyoucanrunitbysimplyheadingforthislink.And followingthislink.
no,itwillnotrunonthecurrentbuildofNkPro,butrumourhasititwillfeaturelaterin2010
onthatplatform.


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NEWS continued

NeedforSpeed:SHIFTDLCPack,AndPatch1.02Released
VirtualR.net
EA and Slightly Mad Studios have released the second patch and the fivecar content
downloadpackforthePCversionofNeedforSpeed:SHIFT.
The free content pack includes five brand new cars1967 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray,
1967ShelbyGT500,1969DodgeChargerR/T,1971DodgeChallengerR/T,and1998Toyota
SupraMarkIVandwillalsointroduceteamracingtothemultiplayermode.
TogetherwiththeDLCpack,patch1.02isnowavailable.Alongsidevarioussmallfixesfor
allplatforms,thepatchwilladdressthetechnicalissuesonthePCversionsuchaspoorATI
support, crashes when changing graphic settings, and more. Furthermore, the patch will
increasethenumberofplayersinonlineracesfromeighttotwelve.Thefullpatchchangelog
canbefoundhere.

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NEWS continued

ForzaMotorsport3FirstHolidayDLCPackPreviews
VirtualR.net
Turn10willbereleasingthefirstpaiddownloadpackforForzaMotorsport3onDecember8,
addingtenbrandnewsportsandsupercarstotheXbox360drivingtitle.
TheFerrari458Italiaistheonlycarofthepackthathasbeenrevealedaswegolivewith
thisissue.Furthermore,thepackwillbeaccompaniedbyafreecarforeveryone,the2010
AudiS4sedan.
Thepackisexpectedtocost400MicrosoftpointsandwillbeavailableonXBOXLIVE.
ButTurn10 isnotjust busy addingfresh content totheir title; an updateforthegame
wasreleasedinlateOctober,fixingseveralreportedglitches,andaddingthemissinggear
shiftanimationstocockpitview.

TheFerrari458ItaliaistheonlyconfirmednewcarforForza3sDLCPack (Above: Turn 10 have released these teaser shots of their upcoming
carscanyouguesswhatitis?)



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NEWS continued

SimRacersGetPumaShoes:ForzaMotorsport3ShoeUnveiled AmaroliDesignIntroduceNewCompetition
VirtualR.net Amaroli.com
Back in August, Microsoft and Puma announced a cooperation based on Forza Simulation company Armaroli Design, who hosted the firstever online championchip for
Motorsport3andherestheresultasPumahasunveiledalimitededitionshoe,aimedat Nationsin2006(underthenameArmaroliWorldCup),areabouttolaunchanewchallenge
ForzaMotorsport3fansandracinggamersalike. whichcanmaketopsimracersfamousandrich!Butthatsnotallifyousignupnow,you
NamedtheSpeedCat2.9FM3Trainer,theshoeaddsracingdetailslikeheelgripanda willyoualsogetthechancetowinatestrideinarealFormulaOnecar!
rubbersoleinspiredbymotorsporttyrestothetypicalPumasilhouette.Only324examples WhatisthenewconceptofArmaroli.com?Itwillbeaonlinehotlapcompetition,
oftheshoewillbeproduced,anditsavailableforsaleinPumastoresacrossEurope.Pricing whichmeanseachcompetitior(thatsignsupforUS$100)isallowedtojointherace
infoisnotavailable. serverof
ArmaroliWorldCupto
setatime.Theyhave
24/7andunlimited
numberoflapstoset
theirfastesttimeon
thetracktheywillrace
onthatweek.Tomake
itinterestingfor
competitors,
ArmaroliWorldCupwill
notannouncea
calendarortrackthe
hotlapcompetitionwill
beheldthatweek!
Thetop5ofthe
hotlapcompetitionwill
winatriptoRiode
Janeirotodriveoneof
theArmaroli
Simulators!Soareyou
upforanew
challenge?Wantto
competeagainstthe
bestsimracersonthe
planet?Thensignup
now...onlyroomfor
965simracers!
Signuphere.

18 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
NEWS continued

G27EMod ARCTeamsDreamWheel
AutoSimSport AutoSimSport
We reviewed ARC_Teams G25E Mod in our last issue, and yes, we loved this thing. Thewheelthathasbeenindevelopmentforwhatseemslikeforeverisfinallyhere
Essentially it cleans up and strengthens the forces of your G25 wheel to a professional well, sort of. We spoke to ARCTeams CEO Andrea Rossetti, and he has confirmed
standard(weknowthatbecauseitsbeendevelopedbyrealworlddrivers). thattheyveproducedalimited amount, and hopeto uptheir production inthevery
ARC_Team are now back with their E Mod, only this time for the newlyreleased G27 nearfuture.
wheelfromLogitech(reviewedinthesepages).Ifyouhavesomecashtospendonyoursim Were also doing our best to get our grubby hands on this wheel. While we wait and
racingrig,youdbeunwisenottotakealookatthismodificationfromthePaviabasedmod barterandtrade,though,wewillhavetomakedowithoneoftheF1sinitialcustomers,Ste
teamthisreallydoeswhatitsaysonthebox. Rumbelowwho,alongwithARC_Team,werekindenoughtoallowustoreprinthisreview.

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NEWS continued

ARC_TeamWheelF1WheelReview
SteRumbelow
Afteralongwait,IfinallyreceivedmyARCWheel.Iwasexpecting
something brilliant but I was in for a shock. This wheel is truly
fantastic,Iwasstunned.Nothingcancomeclose.Thebuildquality,
placementofbuttonsanddesignisallperfect.
After unwrapping it, I just said wow. I knew what Id paid and I
expectedalotfromit,butnotthismuch.Ihadalotoffuninstallingit
ontomyG25base.Ilikethatselfinvolvementaboutit.UnlikebuyingaG25oraMomo,buying
thismeansyouhavetodomorethanjustplugitin;itfeelsmorepersonal.EveryonehasaG25,
butnoteveryonehasanARC.
IalreadyhadanF1inspiredcockpitandthiswastheultimatecomplimenttoit.Iwanted
that outandout F1 feel about my setup and without this wheel I wouldnt have gotten
there.ThewholelookandfeelofitjustshoutsF1atme.
I had a good look around the wiring and the setup on the back of the wheel, its so
complex. I wouldnt know where to start in building something like this. That made me
respect this piece of kit even more. Looking at a G25s insides, you see big expanses of
space, nothing difficult about a quick repair, but with this, you know its completely fine
tuned and developed. The difference between this and a G25 wheel is like the difference
betweenaFerrariandaFordFocus.
Ofcourse,theSLIMRPMgaugeandgearindicatorisnothingnew,thesamegoesforthe
second board, the BU0836, but the way theyve been implemented into this is far beyond
anything else. It takes full advantage of the components and utilises them in a way that
completesthewheel,leavingnothingtospare.
Thegripisgenuinelynicetohold,nothingtackyorfakeaboutit.Itsjustthewayawheel
shouldfeel.Ihadnopastexperiencewithawheelkittedoutwithclutchleversinfact,Ive
never used a foot clutch in simracing eitherbut the clutch levers on the wheel feel so
responsivethatitishardnottoturnofftheremainingdrivingaidandusethem.
If youve ever wanted something to feel as though its built to last, then this is
definitelyit.
Gonearethe days of accidentallychanginggear whenyouvegrazed thepaddle,these
aresolid,aproperclickandengage.Justthewayitshouldbe.Thequickreleasesystemis
perfectlyfittedtothewheel,thefinalcomponentthattrulymakesthisaspecialpurchase.It
finalisesthatF1feel,removingthewheeltoclimbintothecockpitandclickingitintoplace
before taking to the track. Amazing. And just when you think it cant get any better, you
rememberyouvegotthefullsupportoftheARC_Teambehindyou.CustomerServicehas
neverbeensogood.Ifyouvegotthemoneytospend,orevenifyouhavent,thisistheonly
wheelyoushouldbethinkingofbuying.

20 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
NEWS continued

GP3WheelForThePS3 TheARC_WheelQuickGlance
AutoSimSport
For those in the market for a topoftherange racing wheen for the console, ARC_Team The ARC_Wheel is derived from the Italian hardware
havedevelopedtheirGP3wheelwhichisbothPCandPS3ready.Andyes,itsgotallthe
bellsandwhistles. developersworkintheirdrivertrainingprogramme.Withthe

collaboration of four GP2 drivers, the ARC_Team are
developing their wheel for a general release in December.
Thewheelisafirstofitskind,sinceitcanboastactivereal
worlddriversinputindeed,thebasisofthewheelisderived
from the needs expressed by their realworld clients for
trainingpurposes.
Anotherfirstforthewheelisthatitcanbemodifiedtorun
an analogue clutch mounted onto the wheel, and will be
availablewiththefollowingoptions:
WithorwithoutquickreleaseSPARCOwheel
Withorwithoutclutchpaddle/lever
Withorwithoutdisplay
The wheel can be built in aluminium or aluminium and
carbonfibre
Itwillalsobeavailableinaselfmountingkitversion
Comes with up to twelve buttons (including gearpaddles
andclutch)
Analogueclutchhastwoseparatepotentiometers
User will be able to mount their own wheel to the unit:
Anythingunder32cms
ThewheelwillrunonaG25,G27,andwillalsobemountable
onaDFPorGTForce

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NEWS ASTHEWHEELSTURN continued

MassaIs2008sFormulaOneWorldChampion DrivingTheAlienWay
AUTOSIMSPORT
AUTOSIMSPORT

Whilewatchingareplayofanalientheotherweek,Iwasstrucklessbytheamazingspeed
FelipeMassais2008FormulaOneWorldChampion.YesIknow.Andyes,Iknow,buthangonjust
andcontrolthanbythesoundofthecarasitpitchedintotheturns.Something,Ithought,
a bit and let me explain. Right, lets cast our memories back to a sultry and hot afternoon in
soundedoff,andbyoffImeanwell,itdidntmuchsoundlikemysimcarwhenIbraked
September,2008.Thechampionshipwasatitsverypinnacle,Hamiltonvs.Massa.Inqualifying
and turned into a corner, thats for sure! No, by no means, the aliens engine note was
forF1sfirstevernightrace,Massatookpole,withhisPart2lapthesessionwhichseesthecars
higher,therevsfarhigher,andthatdidntmakemuchsensetome.
run with the lowest fuel of the weekend and always a barometer of the cars pure speeda
Ididabitofsearching,downloadedafewapplicationsalongwithafewalienlaps,and
massiveonesecondfasterthanLewisHamiltoninsecond.Onraceday,Massaimmediatelytook
began to compare. And then I became obsessive, as Im wont to do I downloaded my
theleadandwasfivesecondsuponHamiltonastheybeganlap14,thesinglemostshamefullap
MoTeC,andmyAiM,andprintedoutpagesandpagesofdata,searchingforwhatIbelieved
inthehistoryofFormulaOne.ItwasonthislapthatNelsonPiquetJrcrashedondemand:Tohear
wasevidenceevidencethatitwasnotmethatwasrubbishandslow,butthatotherswere
hisversionofthestory,PiquetJrhadbeenorderedtocrashashardashecouldinordertobring
doingthingswiththeirsimcarsthatwas,well,whatpreciselywasgoingon?
outthesafetycar.Hesucceeded:Thesafetycarwasdeployed,Massapitted,wasquicklyserviced
FeelinglikeFoxMulderwithscrapsoftelemetryportedfromvarioussimsonsheetsofprinted
andsentbackintotheaction.Alassowashisentirefuelrig.Endofrace,endofchampionship,as
paperscatteredthroughoutmyapartment,ittookmeawhiletoseeitbutitwasthere,the
HamiltonwentontoscoreapodiumfinishandsixpointswhileMassascorednoneandlostthe
evidencethat,indeed,Iwasnotinsane(well,notthistime!)no,Ihadreallystumbledontothe
worldchampionshipbyonepointtwomonthslater.
techniqueemployedbythealienswhoseDNAIhadthereonmyprintouts.
Sowhatdoesthatmean?ItmeansthatMassahadthefastestcaratSingaporeand,considering
It was clear what they were doing; now it was time for me to figure out whether I could
hemanagedtofinishtherace(inthirteenth),hadRenaultandPiquetJrnotcheated,thechancesof
duplicatewhatIhadspiedondrysheetsofMoTeConthetrack.SoIfiredupmyfavouritesimon
himhavingpickeduppointsinthisraceisnotindoubt.Butyes,Iknowwhatyouresayingifand
whichIhadspentthelastweeklappinginmyusualway,and,wouldyouknowit,aftertenlapsof
butneverwonaworldchampionship.Andyoureright.ThisisnotwhyMassaisworldchampion.
modifying my driving style, I had lapped almost two seconds faster than I had beeb able to
No,Massaisworldchampionbecausetheresultofthisraceshouldhavebeenanulled.Itis
achievepreviously.Twoseconds!
now known that in Brazilthat is, at the final event of the yearNelson Piquet Jrs father
Whatsthetrick,youask?Itssimplereally:Whencomingintoaturn,donotliftyourfoot
approachedF1schiefstewardandadmittedthathissonwasacheat.Anyway,inBrazilItalkto
offthegaspedal.Rather,brakewithyourgaspedalflat,andthenslowlyraiseyourrightfoot
Charlie{Whiting},saidPiquet.IgothimandIsaid,Look,whatcouldhappentoNelsonifIbring
toaboutseventypercent:Thensimplyuseyourbrakepedaltomodulatethecarthroughthe
thisup?ButintheraceinBrazilIcalledCharlieandItoldthewholestorytoCharlie.
turn.Andthen,asyouaccelerate,usethebrakepedalasaquasitractioncontrol.Thislatter
Thewholestory.AndwhatdidthechiefstewardofF1dowhentoldbythefatherofoneofthe
partthe exitwill be the most difficult to master, and I have yet to come close to what
drivers, a threetime world champion, that the race in Singapore had been fixed? Absolutely
someofthealiensareachieving,buttheentryiseasedsignificantlyasthebrakeservesasa
nothing; no investigation, not even a whisper (except, as it turns out, he told Max Mosley, as
sortofanchortominimizeundersteer.Youwillneedtocrankupthebrakebiasasfartothe
Piquet was to find out in July of 09). Whiting said he couldnt do anything unless Piquet Jr
rear as you can get it, of course (ever wondered why some of the alien setups you
confessedwhichhedid,aftergettingfiredfromRenaultsixmonthslater(altruism!).Ofcourse
downloadedhadsuchextremerearwardbrakebias?Wondernomore),andsetthecarupfor
whenPiquetJrconfessed,suddenlyhistelemetrytracesfromthateventwereusedasevidence
this kind of bizarre driving style, but it worksat least, in simracing it does. In the real
whichmakesonewonderwhytheywerenotlookedatbeforesincetheyofferedsuchaclearcut
world,yourbrakeswouldbeshotbylapsevenas700BHPpushupagainstthebrakediscson
caseastofindBriatoreguiltyofracefixing.Whichhewasbutonewonderswhatelsewasfixed
everyturn(ofcourse,youprobablywouldntgettolapsevensinceyourentiretransmission
intheyear2008?Inanysportworthyofthatname,theresultsofSingaporewouldhavebeen
wouldhavebeentorntoshredsbylapfive)butthisisnottherealworld,isit
declarednullandvoid:AndFelipeMassawouldhavebeenworldchampion.Onmerit.Instead,we
NaturallyIcouldnotwaittogetonlinetoraceagainstsomeofthealiens.Ittookmeabout
haveNelsonPiquetJrrunningaroundwithalicensetoracecarsafterhavingadmittedthathe
fortysecondstolearnthat,despiteimitatingtheirtechnique,Ididntactuallyhavethetalenttobe
endangeredthelivesoffellowdrivers,fans,andmarshalsinordertofurtherhisowncareer.Max
asquickasthem:Butontheotherhand,Iwasaboutasecondfasterthanguyswhotraditionally
and Charlie made a mockery of the sport and in the process took away Massas destiny.
werelappingonmypaceasmallvictory,yes,andoneIwillhappilytake
Whitingknewanddidnothing.Untilitwastoolate,toF1severlastingshame.

24 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

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100,000
&
YOU

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NEWS continued
Fromadge Frei

COMMENT ThisistheMaternityTShirtinanewlineofintimate Another brilliant gift idea would be this, a clock that
SpadgeFromleyisaway apparel featuring the greatest simracing legend of all reminds you that youre quicker that Mr. Huttu. The post
THEGREGERHUTTUCOLLECTION time,GregerHuttu.Wearenotabletoconfirmwhether modernist nod here is, we believe, very much up Mr.
WeHonourSpadge this is, indeed, a fashion line that was designed by Mr. Fromleys alley, and its selfreflective naturewatching as
Spadge is away at present: The last sighting of our dear Huttu,butwesuspectMrs.Fromleywilllookgorgeousin thesecondstickawaybeneathatransluscentplasticface
Fromleywasa photoofhisnewhouse,andwedidnoteit this. issheergenius.
lookeddistinctlydodgy.Wevenotheardfromhimsince Itcanbewornbothasamaternityshirtor,ofcourse, Another feature is its AA battery which, as it slows,
To honour him, however, we have decided to scan the asaslinkysimracingoutfitthatwillnodoubtoffervery slows the clock downthereby slowing down time and
entireinternetsinsearchofthatperfectChristmaspresent little resistance from any neighbours who keep butting making one, in theory, see the world in slowmotion,
thatwillenticeourbelovedcommentatorbacktothefold. in and asking, What are you doing, Spadge? Playing preciselyasMr.Huttuseesthesimulatedworld.
Webeginwiththis: racegamesagain? All very charming, youll agreebut here is our gift for
Mr.Fromley:MerryChristmas,mateandyes,Mrs.Fromley,
too(shecanthankuslater).TheGregerHuttuClassicThong!


You can buy your Greger Huttu line of
apparelfollowingthislink .

32 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

FORCE-FEEDBACK
LETTEROFTHEMONTH EverythingSucksOrIsItJustMe?
YouPeopleAreLateAgain! JasonMyerssentyoualetterlastissuesayinghehateseverything.Typicalwhiningsimracer
DearAutoSimSport, ooo,IwanteverythingandIwantitnowandIwantitforfreeorelseIlljustcryandcomplain.I
Yet again youre lateafter I sent you a letter in the last issue (so long ago I dont even bet that jerk hasnt bought asim allyear, am I right? TypicalI bet the community have not
remember sending it!), I would have expected a little more but here we are again, four bought ISIs new sim and yet expect rFactor2, despite not supporting the developer. This
monthslaterandstillwaiting.Whatareyou,aquarterlynow? communityisashamandshouldbeashamedofthemselvesImsickofthewhining.Andno,
Getonwithit! thatdoesntmakemeawhiner,notlikeJasonMyerswhois.
Yours, Yours,
GusPerry

JeanTodtandMickeyMouse

JasonMyers

SonowTodthasdecidedtochangethepointsstructureinF1makingalltheprevioussixty
years of results irrelevantreally when are these stupid people going to understand that
itsnotthepoints,itstheracing!TheonlydifferencebetweenTodtandMax?Atleastwe
canwatchMaxgettingwhippedinpublic!
Andsincethepointsdonothingmuchtochangeanything,allitdoesitstampthelittle
French Napoloeons stamp on F1, destroy all the stats, and make the past irrelevant:
Welcome,GREATDICTATOR.Howpathetic.
Yourstruly,
DaveHudson

SENDYOURLETTERTO:LETTERS@AUTOSIMSPORT.NET

33 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
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35 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

TRACKINGIRACINGSFUTURE


RRaallllyyCCaarroonntthheeH
Hoorriizzoonn??

DDrriivviinnggSScchhoooollCCoom miinngg

FFooccuussoonnEEuurrooppeeaannaannddA AuussttrraalliiaannTTrraacckkss
1100TTrraacckkssSScchheedduulleedd


TThheeiinnssppiirraattiioonnbbeehhiinnddG
GPPLL

IIm
mpprroovviinnggtthheeTTyyrreeM Mooddeell

TThheeD DaallllaarraaPPaarrttnneerrsshhiipp

36 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

ThereleaseoftheIRLDallaraisacrucialadditiontoasimulatorthatisnowall Andno,IamnotaniRacingfanboyquitetheopposite,infact,asanyone
primedforprimetime:Indeed,amidstalloftheantagonismthathasexisted whoknowsmeorhasreadmypostsonthevariousforumsinthepastyearswill
withinthesimcommunityovertheiRacingprogrammethroughtheyears, readilytestifyto:IllgoasfarastoadmitthatIwasonceoneofiRacings
thisreleasestandsastrongchanceofbreakingdownthelastvestigesof harshestcritics.IwassuspiciousoftheirownershipoftheN2003physicsengine,

resistancefromanyhardyoutsiderswhohavenotyetsuccumbedtothe annoyedbythemotivesbehindtheiraggressivelawyeringupwhendealing
nectarofitscurrentcropofcarsandtracks(includingtheentiregamutofUS
withcertainmembersofthiscommunity,andkeenlyskepticaloftheirbusiness
tintopovalracing).ThisIRLcar(andtheVirtualIndyraceiRacinghave modelexpectinghardcoresimracers(andrealracers)tobecomemembers
plannedfor2010),though,isawholenotheranimalconsideringitshistoric andforcingthemtopayamonthlyfeeevenforinactivityIbelievedtobe
rootsinUSracing,anditwilltakesomeseriouslytoughcommitmentforany anathematoourcommunity,andIdidntquiteunderstandhowtheirbusiness
hardcoresimracertoremainoutsidewhatisanunmatchablelandscapeof modelwouldgenerateenoughrevenuefromarelativelysmallcustomerbase
availablecarsandtracks:Theabsolutecreamof(nondirt)USbasedmotor inmymind,thenumbersdidntquiteaddup.
racing,bothopenandclosedwheel,hasnowbeenlicensedandfully Buttheyconvincedme:Andtheydidsobytheoldesttacticinthebook
integratedforiRacingsmembers. theybuiltsomethingthatIwanted.WiththetalentedDaveKaemmerasoneof
ButifyoureanythinglikemenotabigIRLfanandyetloveaccurately theirprincipals,IsupposeIshouldhaveknownitwouldeventuallyhappen,butit
simulatedversionsofseriousracevehiclesyouneedtotryouttheDallaraits tookachallengefromoneofmyoldGPLbuddiestochangemymindwhen,
simplyfantastic.WhileattendingtheIRLraceweekendatInfineonwherethe eighteenmonthsago,hesentmeanemailorderingmeto,Justtryit,before
iRacingcrewunveiledthebetaofthiscaralongsidetherealworldcounterpart,I adding,Youknow,John(Henry)hasliterallyassuredusthatthisprogramme
overheardsomeonesay,Itsanabsolutebeast!Iwholeheartedlyagree,but willeventuallygivebirthtoGPL2Immersedinthegraphicsandsound,and
whiletheywerereferringtotheIRLcar,Ithinkwecansaymuchthesamething thewaythecarbehavedandthosetrackswell,letssayittooknotverylong
aboutiRacingitsabeastalright,physicswise,andcontentwise. atalltomakemeabeliever.Andapayingmember.
ButcontrarytowhatcriticshavecitedasevidencetoJohnHenryandcos Sincethen,Ivebeenamazedattheratetowhichtheyvebeenableto
overallstrategy(todestroyanyandallcompetition),whatwehavewith continueaddressingalmosteverycriticismshotdirectlyatthem.Forexample,
iRacingisacompanythat,whilecertainlyintendingtobethelastwordin itwasnotlongagothatIvisitedanactiveonlineracingleagueforumandread
commerciallyavailablesimulation,aregoingabouttheirdominationina apostbyaguywhoclaimedhewouldprobablyneverbecomeaniRacing
singular,respectful,determined,andnonfractiousmanner.Andthathas memberbecausetheydidnthaveleaguecapabilityorIndycars,their
comeasabigsurprisetomanyofusinthecommunity.Astheirmomentum licensingmethodwastoodemanding,andthecoststocompeteweretoohigh
continuestobuild,whatisstrikingisnotthedegreetowhichtheyare Well,inlessthansixmonths,iRacinghasaddressedallofthoseconcerns,as
preparedtopromotetheirproductbut,rather,thewayinwhichhave theyhavenowrolledouttheirleagueresource,releasedtheIRLcar,
conductedthemselvesandinaroundaboutway,thewaytheyhave introducedafasttracklicensingprocess,anddramaticallyreducedrunning
representedus,thecommunity,totheoutsideworldwithenthusiasm, costs.Atthisstageinitsdevelopment,ifyouveyettogiveitachance,
confidence,andrespect.Thisbodeswellforthesimracingindustrysfuture: chancesareyouveprobablyrunoutofrationalexcuses.Havingsaidthat,Im
Promotingtheheckoutoftheirproductandconsequentlysimracingis suretherewillalwaysbepeopleouttherewhowillsaythecostsarestilltoo
somethingthatthiscommunityhassorelyneededforadecadenow,andwe high,haveissueswiththewayJohnHenryhasgoneaboutbuildinghisevil
needtoalwaysbearinmindthatasuccessfuliRacingwill,ultimately,leadto empire,orsimplydontbelieveintheconcept,andindeed,Iadmitto
successesthroughouttheindustry.Atthispoint,toholdtheirambition harboringalotofquestionsaboutthehealthofthecompanyandthedirection
againstthemissimplytowanttoholdbacktheentireindustryoutofspite. theyweregoinginuntil.

AfinedayinearlyAugustthephonerangandmyoldfriendLouMagyaraskedwhetherIwouldbeatallinterestedin

attendingtheIRLraceweekendatInfineon:TheresgoingtobeanannouncementbyiRacingandtheIndyRacing
Leagueoftheirmultiyearagreement,saidLou,andIdalsobehavingdinnerwithDaveKaemmer,andohyes,
almostforgot,ifIwasinterested,atwoseaterIndyCarwouldbemadeavailabletomeduringtheweekendso,
37 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
askedLou,youthinkyoumightwanttoattend?

ANINFINEONFUTURE

JACKULSTAD

AformervocalcriticofiRacing,veteransimracerJackUlstadspentan
intimateweekendwithDaveKaemmer(alongwithStevePotter,andTony
Gardner)asthebossesfromBostonunveiledtheirmultiyearIRLdealat
Infineonsodidhecomeawayanyscoops?Whaddyathink?

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SpecialReport:iRacing continued

DINNERINSONOMA
Friday eveningwith my IRL twoseater experience gift
wrappedunderthrillofalifetimeinmymemorybankI
met with iRacings Dave Kaemmer, Tony Gardner, and
StevePotteratTheSonomaInnalongwiththeguysfrom
Inside Sim Racing for a two hour chat: More of a get
together between friends than a traditional Q&A, I felt it
safetobeginbyaskingwhatelseDavestakeonGrand
PrixLegends.
DidyoueverreadthebooktitledTheWorldAtlasofMotor
RacingbyJoeSaward?Daveasked.WhenIgotthatthiswas
in theearly nineties, andits a fabulousbook, its a historyof
motorracingincludingallthetracksnolongerinexistence,he
continued before ending his exposition on this book by
revealingthatthishadbeentheinspirationbehindGPL.Iwas
pleasedtohearthatGPLisstillnearanddeartoDavesheart,
andmysenseisthatheisquiteawareofGPLscontinuedgood
health, a proud father occasionally reminded of his youthful
enthusiasm.Thediscussionthendrifted,logically,totherecent
releaseoftheLotus79foriRacingafterall,thelate70swas
meant to be the setting for GPL2and whether this release
could be interpreted as a signal for the development of a
branch within iRacing dedicated to historics I pressed as
hardasIfeltcomfortable,butIwasnotabletogetanykindof
confirmationthatiRacingwereconsideringaparallelhistorics Thisisnotavideogame.Forgetthat.Thisissimulation.
branchwithintheircurrentcarstricture:IsupposeIhadhoped,
comingin, tohearhim confirm thatalongwith their Classic AndreaToso,DallaraAutomobiliHeadofResearch
Lotus licensethey were at least investigating an option of
bringinginmoreF1carsofloreintothesimulation,butDave actually raced it, but with its downgrading into the bigger considercreatingtracksusinganyothermeans,perhaps
dismissedthattrainofthoughtbystating,Wehaventreally ranksoftheBlicenseholders,Icanonlyhopethisseasonsees moretraditionalones?
talkedaboutitfromthatstandpointandhowwewouldre anuptakeinnumbers. StevePotter,bynowfullyawareofwhereIwasheaded
createtheoldracetrackswithoutlaserscanning? TRACKS&COSTS with that question, replied that, Some historic track
PerhapsIamreadingintoourconversation,butIdidget Thediscussionofrecreatingaraceseriesfromthepast configurations still have the original track sections intact,
the distinct impression that theyre waiting to see what the then meandered to a discussion of track building: likeLagunaSecaatTurnTwo,andInaturallyfoundthata
response is like regarding the Lotus 79, which is a bit iRacingstracks,itwasexplained,arecurrentlymapped bittantalizing:HowcoolwoulditbeifiRacingweretolaser
depressing considering its first season in iRacing was using LIDARa laserscanning processwhich is both scan and recreate the old Laguna Seca layout (considered
disappointing in terms of the amount of members who time and finance consuming. Would iRacing, I asked, bymanytobe a much better version thantodays layout),

39 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
SpecialReport:iRacing continued

orperhapstheoldbankingatMonza?Iquicklypointedout

that,aslongastheyattemptedtousetheinputofdrivers
Fromlefttorightare:
who had driven these courses (perhaps through verbal
DaveKaemmer,JustinWilson,
description), that the bumps and other features of that
TerryAngstadt,andAndreaToso
track could be recreated with adequate realism. Noting
Daves look, I quickly compounded to my misery by
addingthatmostpeoplewouldnotknowthedifference
andiftheydid,theydprobablybehappytosuspendtheir
skepticism and just appreciate the fact that they were
drivingsomethingveryclosetotheoriginal.
Dave kindly deflected this issue. iRacing, he stressed, are
committedtorecreatingtracksviatheirlasertechnologyand,
furthermore, they are committed to doing so on an ever
expandingbasis.Tonyaddedthattheyhaveahugenumberof
tracks in the pipeline waiting to be built (many already
scanned), and not just in North America, either: Indeed,
continuedTony,theEuropeantrackstheyreplanningtocreate
demonstratesiRacingsdesiretodoforEuropeanracingwhat
theyhavealreadydoneforUSbasedcircuits.Ipressedashard
asIfeltabletoheretogetsomenamesandlocations,butthe
bestIcouldgetwasTonysadmissionthat,Wehavesomany
tracksnowinthepipelinethatwecanhardlykeeptrackofallof
them, before later admitting, When I first started at iRacing ItwasiRacingsdemonstratedabilitytoworkcloselywiththemanufacturers
severalyearsago,wejustdidnthaveenoughcontent,butnow
{}wehaveatleasttentracksoverseastobuild.
ofthecarsalreadyinitsinventorythatpersuadedustograntthempermission
This led usmoneymatters being Tonys raison d'tre tobuildvirtualversionsoftheDallaraI09andIP09.Ithasbeenaninteresting
into an interesting conversation on costs in which it was
revealed that they now own their laserscanning equipment: project,andwecontinuetoenjoyworkingcloselywithDaveKaemmerandhis
Thereasonforthisisnotonlyfinancial,butitalsofreesthem
up to maintain the current tracks on their simulator. I dont
engineers.AndreaToso
think most people realize how much it can cost, Tony
explained, {to laserscan a track}: For instance, we paid One of the mostused criticisms of iRacings laser they explainedthat keeping alltheir scannedtracks upto
$100,000 for track X (by that I mean, allin costs, licensing, scanned tracks is that they were indeed the worlds most dateandonehundredpercentaccuratewasanintegralpart
building, laserscanning, the entire cost of creating the track accuratetracksatthetimeinwhichtheywerescanned. of the service: If a track is repaved, Steve explained, or a
frominitiallicensetofinaldeliverytoourmembers)andthen Butasweallknow,trackschangeovertheyearsandmuch new building is added to a tracks location, iRacing will go
theywantedaroyaltyontopofthat.Nevermindtheroyalty oftheworkdonelaserscanningisnowwastedbutbefore back as part of their license with those tracks, and, using
part,Ithought$100,000foralicenseforonetrack? I could even bring this discussion to its logical conclusion, theirownLIDARequipment,rescanthetrackandupdateit

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SpecialReport:iRacing continued

for their members. This, Steve maintained, was key for (Thechargeappliesonlytothehostthereisnochargeto Butitsajugglingactforsure,andonethat,sincetheyrein
them to be able to provide a truly authentic, accurate theparticipants.)Theonlythingthehostcannotchooseis uncharteredterritory,comeswithalotoffinancialrisk:Dothey
trainingtoolforracedrivers. the track: The track will coincide with that weeks official listen to the more vocal side of the community, and lose the
I think this shows a laudable commitment to their trackforthecarselected(thatis,ifyouwanttorun,say,the silentmajoritywhojustwanttoturnupafewtimesaweekand
customerbase:Afterall,JoeBlogenhorstfromVienna,Austria, IRLcar,youwillonlybeabletorunitonthetrackthatthe have a clean, cheatfree race? Or do they assume the silent
would probably not be aware that, for instance, the back currentofficialscheduleisrunningforthatweek),andthisis minorityarehappyandignorethem?Dotheyintroducemore
section to a littleknown oval in the US had been repaved because iRacing will run your hosted race on one of its carsandfurtherwhittledownthefields,orupsetaminorityof
duringthewinter:Itreallyis,Ifeltastheeveningcontinued,in servers.Therestrictionofchoiceremains,wearetold,one membersbynolongerfeaturingonecarthatenjoysasmallbut
the details where one can see the determination of this ofmemoryissueswiththeserversasopposedtocost,and dedicatedfollowing?
companyandoftenindetailswhichtheirmembershiparenot iRacing are confident that they will be able to offer any Whiletheyreworkingonthat,iRacingarealsonowinthe
evenawareofwherethecommitmentofthisprojectshines. car/trackcombinationinthenearfuture.Butthisdidbring processofmakingavailableacorporatelicense:Detailsofthis
theconversationontothebackgroundtoiRacingsdecision licenseareyettobeworkedout,butclearlytheideaistoallow
LICENSES:PRIVATE,COMMERCIAL&LOGICAL to cater for these private leagues which, from afar seems theuseoftheiRacingsimulationinpublicsettings,anavenue
iRacing is setting a new standard here, theres no doubt like a nobrainer, and yet when examined from their that has been wellexplored by ISI over the years. For sim
about it: Not only in maintaining the highest levels of perspectiveopensupawholecanofrelatedworms. hardware manufacturers, or other businesses interested in
simulationfortheircarsandtracks(theMazda,forinstance, For instance, now that theyve made the decision to running the simulator (perhaps even without an internet
features the new thinner tyres as used last season in the appeasetheratherlargeprivateleaguefaction,theyneed connection),iRacingwillnowofferthatcapability,butwhether
realworldseries),butinlisteningtothedesiresandneeds tomakeasupremeefforttoensuringtheexistingarrive& thiscommerciallicensewillextendtootherdevelopersleasing
oftheirmembers.Manyofyouwillbynowbeawareoftheir drive divisional structure will continue to survive (and Kaemmersengineforoneoffcommercialsimulatorsis,asfarI
recent announcement that, from this season, they will be better yet, grow) for the thousands of members who couldmakeout,notanoption.
providing a private license segment to their simulation cannotcommittoadefinitiveweeklyscheduletoraceina Recently,iRacingalsomadetheannouncementoftheir
(which is iRacings way of introducing private leagues {PL} league. In the official iRacing forums, members have newFastTrackLicensingprocesswhichwillenabledrivers
into the mix). This was something that was discussed alreadyexpressedconcernthatthenumberofentrieswill toadvancetohigherlevelsimmediatelyuponachievingthe
extensivelyoverdinnerandthroughouttheweekend,andI drop off dramatically. On the other side ofthisequation, minimum Safety Rating of 4.0 (and who have fulfilled the
walkedawaywithasensethattherehadbeenafairamount however,isiRacingspreoccupationaboutintroducingtoo minimum participation requirements). Theyll be
ofsoulsearchingatiRacingonthismatter. many cars for its current subscriber base. Daves reply automaticallypromoted,andeligibleforallthebenefitsof
The problem is that many real racers with whom I have herewasrevealingwhenhenotedthat,{Privatelicenses} their new license. ThecurrentiRacingprocessthat is, the
spoken over the years have often expressed their isoneofthethingsImexcitedaboutforsomedrivers, end of season promotion schedule for racers with a
frustrationwithasimulationthatrequiresyoutoearnyour instead of them being upset that were not running the minimum of 3.0 Safety Ratingwill continue as well. I
wayuptothehigherlevelracecars,especiallywheninreal Silver Crown car (in the current series), where they say believe this strikes a good balance for a system which, up
life these same drivers spend their weekends throwing Im going to quit, theyll now be more likely to find a until now, have forced far too many new membersmany
600BHP around real race tracks. With this PL addition, groupofpeoplewhowanttorunthatcarandhaveformed of whom have had years of experience in either real or
members can now organize iRacing leagues irrespective of aleague.This,Ibelieve,doesgiveacertainindicationof simulatedracingtoraceagainstrookiesandothersbelow
their licenses: Itll be up to the host to select the car, what iRacing intend to do with their older cars, or cars their level which has led, in my opinion, to demoralized
durationofpractice,qualifying,therace,aswellasahostof that do not capture their members enthusiasm: Rather memberssimplygivingupwhentheyrealizeditwouldtake
other options. The hosted racing sessions will be available thanconsigningthemintothetrashheapofhistory,they themuptoninemonthsbeforetheycouldraceagainsttheir
virtuallyanytimeofdayforacostofonly$3.00perevent. willbeavailableforprivateleaguesandenthusiasts. matesorothersattheirlevel.

41 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
SpecialReport:iRacing continued

DINNERINSONOMA

Kaemmerisintheprocessofaddressing
theimbalancebetweenwhatispossible,
tyrewise,intherealworld,andinthesim
racingworld,Withthegoalbeingtogo
beyondjustcurvefittingtoamodelthatis
actuallypredictive,hesays
42 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
SpecialReport:iRacing continued

DRIVERTRAINING,DATAACQUISITION&REALTIME
Justin Wilson has been a keenearly
YetanotherexcitingnewadditiontotheiRacingagendaisanew
adopter of iRacings simulator, and
driver training program that theyll be releasing, I believe,
was a visible presence at Infineon
sometimein2009orearly2010.Tonydescribedthisasfollows:
throughouttheweekendattheIRL
Wehaveanewdrivertrainingprogrammethatwillbecoming
iRacingtieinannouncement
outusingtopinstructorsinavideoformatyoullhave,for
instance,afourminutevideoexplainingthedrivinglineina
chapterbychapterformat.
Whenconsideringthisnewdrivertrainingmodule,Isuspect
werenotgoingtogetanythinglikewhatwevebeenofferedin
the past: Through iRacings connection with Skip Barber, for
instance,theyhaveaccesstosomeofthebestdrivinginstructors
intheworldthatis,theguyswhohaveactuallytrainedtherace
driverscurrentlyearningtheirtradehurlingracecarsaroundthe
worlds race tracksand we will be able to access their deep
knowledge as part of our membership. Itll be tantamount to
attendingaSkipBarberschoolatalowercost,fromthecomfort
of your home. Im betting that this driver training programme
willbefarmoreextensivethananythingseenbeforeinprevious
simracingtitles,andwillbeabrilliantadditiontothesimulator.
The discussion then turned to yet another new module
iRacingsfixedsetupraceseries(soontocome),andTonywas
curiousastowhetherfixedsetupcompetitionwouldbepopular:
Fortherecord,andshouldthiscometopass,Iassuredthemthat
thiswasindeedagreatidea,especiallyforthoseofuswhohave
jobs,lives,families,andnotenoughtimetospendoncreating
competitivesetups.
In that connection, I noted that the lack of a MoTeClike
application in iRacing was a serious oversight. Dave confirmed
Simracingusedtobejustawayformekeepmyreflexessharp,
that iRacing are looking into adding a dataacquisition and butsincebecomingamember,iRacinghasactuallyenhancedmy
analysis system, and noted: One of the areas we still need to
lookatishavingsomewaywhereyoucancomparelapsusingan driving/racingabilities.Thewaythecarsflex accelerating,
analyzerprogram.Asweknow,thereexistplentyofsimulation
software out there already using MoTeC (SimBin) and AiM braking,changingapexes,hittingcurbsisgenuinetoarealcar.
(nKPro), and theres been a lot ofin my opinion justifiable
bellyaching by iRacing members frustrated by the lack of iRacingisagreattoolforreallifedriverstogetmore practicefor
telemetryorawayinwhichtheycancomparelaps.
thepriceofagymmembership.KartchampBradyHalbasch
43 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
SpecialReport:iRacing continued

As the evening progressed, another interesting discussion


came about when Tony asked for an opinion on the new
iOpener/RTR beta programme, and whether it would have
muchofanimpactonthesimindustry.Imentionedthatthis
ideaofmixedrealitiesracingisanideathatsbeenaroundfor
quite some time, with one U.K.based sim company having
toyedwiththisideaaslongagoasthe1990s(ahintastowho
this might have been is to simply ask yourself where the
domainnameinteractiveracing.comcamefrom).Itsanopen
secret that several companies have had plans to someday
developanapplicationinwhichthehomebasedsimracercan
raceinrealtimeagainstrealworldcompetition,andkudos
to the iOpener guys who seem to be on the brink of finally
pullingitoff.
Personally,though,Iwonderedjusthowpopularitwillbe
with the hardcore sim racer: The novelty of the idea lends
itself more to the literal gamer, in my opinion, not the
hardcore sim racer or, for that matter, the realworld race
driver. iRacing is most likely watching the progress of this
new project closely, and with the iOpener project now in
officialbetastage,itwontbelongbeforewehavesomereal
answers as to its functionality and popularity. An intriguing
asidewhich was raised when it was mentioned that such
realtime racing would fit in perfectly with some form of
Idontthinkmostpeoplerealizehowmuchitcancost{tolaserscana rallying simulationwas when Dave confirmed that at least
someformofrallyracingwillbepartoftheiRacingstructure
track},TonyGardner(foreground,above),iRacingsPresidentand inthefuture.

CFOexplained:Forinstance,wepaid$100,000fortrackX(bythatI TYRES,BRINGINGALIENSBACKTOEARTH&REALISM
As the eveningbegan to wind down, and asis usual in these
meanallincosts,frominitiallicensetofinaldeliverytoourmembers) sortsofgatherings,theconversationdriftedontoafascinating
discussion which began when Dave was asked where he was
andthentheywantedaroyaltyontopofthat.Tolowerthecosts, spendingmostofhistimethesedays.

iRacingnowowntheirownlaserscannerwhichtheyusetoconstantly Thevastmajorityofhistime,camethereply,isbeingspent
onthetyremodel.Not,youllagree,newsworthyonitsown,
updatetheirtracks:Inaddition,theyhaveatleast10tracksoverseas butDavethencontinuedtoexplainthattherearestillcertain
driving techniques used in simracing (yes, even in iRacing)

waitingtobebuilt,accordingtoGardner
44 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
SpecialReport:iRacing continued

wheredriverscandothingsintheracecarthatyouwouldnot fan base seemed to bethere must be have ten times the changes he was enacting were precisely those his
normallygetawaywithinreallife.Daveadmittedthathewas amountofpeoplefollowingheraroundthananyotherdriver mechanics would do on his Dallara for the same handling
aware that many realworld race drivers feel that one of the In any event, the idea was for me to cruise the pits and issues. The result? The car was instantly transformed, and
biggest weaknesses in iRacing is in its tyre wear and heat determine precisely how much iRacingand simracing in this pleased Justin who noted that he was impressed that
characteristics: Its too light on tyre wear, especially for road generalhaspermeatedtherealworldofmotorracing. setup changes were true to life. To prove his worth, he
racing, and tyre wear and tyre temperature is now being Simracingusedtobejustawayformetokeepmyreflexes then proceeded to lap over two seconds quicker than any
lookedatextensively.IsharedwithDavesomeanecdotesfrom sharp, but since becoming a member, iRacing has actually invitedsimracershadmanagedallweekend.
realworld racers who havetoldmethattheyveracedonline enhancedmydrivingandracingabilities.Thewaythecarsflex Another professional race driver we had the privilege of
withsimracerswhogetawaywithdrivingcarsinawaythat,if {when} accelerating, braking, changing apexes, hitting kerbs watchingdrivetheDallarawasSimonPagenaud,driverofthe
applied to the realworld, would see their laptimes drop off {allthis}isgenuinetoarealcar.iRacingisagreattoolforreal de FerrariAcura LMP1 car (which competes in the ALMS
almostimmediatelyastheirtyreswouldgetcooked.Daveisin life drivers to get more practice for the price of a gym series), and former Team Australias Champ Car driver (he
the process of addressing this imbalance between what is membership.Thatwasthestatementmadetomebyayoung, finished eighth in his debut season in 2007). Simon was also
possibletyrewisein the realworld, and in the simracing obviously talented kart champion (winner of twentyone quiteabitfasterthanthesimracers,runningalow1.19,which
world,Withthegoalbeingtogobeyondjustcurvefittingtoa kartingtitles,infact)namedBradyHalbaschwhenImethim wasrighttherewiththefastesttimesofrealIRLcars.Notsure
modelthatisactuallypredictive,hestressed.Myimpressionis while hanging out at the iRacing trailer. And this kind of ifhewasavisitorattheIRLracetosecurearide,butifhewas,
that hes quite confident this will be achieved. In fact, he has enthusiasmwasdisplayed throughout the entireweekend by hesureprovedhisabilitytodriveanIRLcararoundInfineon,
already made a great deal of headway, and stated that new everyracerIspokewith:Withoutadoubt,iRacinghasbecome especially considering this was his firsttime running at the
updates will reflect this work: There will be noticeable the training tool for real racers who dabble in simulation, at track.Takingadvantageofabreakintheaction,Ilistenedas
differencesonsomeofthecarsinupcomingreleasesasthey leastsofarastheUSinconcerned. Simon related to having tested what many believe to be the
showoffrevampedtyremodels.Theimprovementswillnotbe most advanced simulator in the worldthe Wirth Research
seen all at once for the entire iRacing carset, but feature in HOWACCURATEISTHEDALLARA? simulator that has often hosted Fernando Alonso and which
individualcarsgoingforward. AspartofthemediablitzthataccompaniedthetieinwithIRL, AUTOSIMSPORT ishoping to test sometime early next year.
iRacing brought the betaversion of their virtual IRL car to But despite having driven what is undoubtedly the most
IRLWEEKEND@INFINEON Infineon, and I knew Id never be forgiven (by either Alex, or technicallyadvancedfullmotion 6DOFsimulator (thatexists
ThelateFridaynightledintoanearlySaturdaymorningwhere you,thereader)ifIdidntdoallIcouldtofindananswertothat inthesamefacilitythatiscurrentlyemployedindesigningone
atouroftheIRLpitarea(garagesandpitlanestalls)wason burningquestion:Howaccurateisaccurate? of the newcars that will enter F1 next season) the world has
tap,andwhereseriesdepthoftechnologywasdemonstrated. Late on Saturday, after qualifying, Justin Wilson everseen,heremainedimpressedwiththeiRacingexperience:
TyretechnologyplaysamajorroleintheracestrategyinIRLin saunteredovertothemediacenterinhisusuallaconicway: thesoftware,hesaid,wasjustasgoodifnotbetterthanwhat
muchthesamewayasitdoesinFormula1,sincethecarsare iRacinghadsetuptheirthirdsimulatoratthecentreforthe Wirth was running. That, for me, was a stunning revelation;
required to use two different compounds during the race. I weekend, and earlier in the day when wed spent some that someone as accomplished a race driver as this, who has
asked around to gauge sentiment on whether Bridgestones quality time on it, Id noted that it seemed to have a bit experienced what many believe to be the most advanced
announcementthattheyrequittingF1hadcausedanyconcern more highspeed oversteer than Id have expected in a car simulator currently available anywhere, would be that
overtheir(undertheFirestonebrand)involvementinIRL,but with this much downforce. Justin experienced the same thoroughlyimpressedwiththeiRacingsoftware,andthatIhad
the official word was that Firestone sees a lot of benefit in handling problems, and immediately went about tinkering accesstothissoftwareforundertwentybucksamonth...well
havingtheirbrandalliedtotheUSstopopenwheelseries,and in the setup options: Whatever he was looking for, he thatdidalotofvalidatemybeliefinsimracingasmorethan
especially the Indianapolis 500. While walking past Danika seemedtoknowexactlywhattochangeinordertocorrect just a game. This is a sport, and with iRacing, the word is
Patrickspitgarage,Iwasamazedtoseehowmuchlargerher the cars behavior and, interestingly, he noted that the gettingoutfarandwide.

45 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
SpecialReport:iRacing continued

twentyyearson.Inordertoaidthistiein,iRacingandtheIRL
Wehaveanewdriver willbeorganizingaVirtualIndianapolis500thesameweekas
the real 500. For the first time in history, fans will be able to
trainingprogramthatwillbe driveatthefabledBrickyardandgetatasteoftherealdrivers
experience: Tantalizing indeed, but the actual framework
comingoutusingtop remainsunderwraps.
Whatwasnotunderwraps,though,wasthattheIRLwere
instructorsinavideoformat genuinely enthusiastic about iRacings potential to draw in a
segment of motor racing fans who have either fallen out of
youllhave,forinstance,a touchwithwhatremainstheUSspremiereopenwheelseries,
or,indeed,willcometotheseriesduetoitspopularityinthe
fourminutevideoexplaining sim:JustinWilson,forinstance,wassocommittedtoattending
the press conference that he actually ruled out attending the
thedrivinglineina firstthirtyminuteautographsigningsessioninordertolendhis
weighttotheannouncement.ThedesireherewasthatiRacing
chapterbychapterformat willnotonlybeagreattrainingtoolfordriversandalowcost
optioninatimeofeconomicuncertaintybutthatitwillalso
ARETURNTOKAEMMERSROOTS givetherealworldseriesashotinthearmasitstagnatesona
Saturdayaroundnoontimewasonourscheduleastheofficial thirdrate cable network. Its an interesting experiment, of
press conference announcing the new multiyear agreement course,forbothseries:foriRacing,theupsidewillobviouslybe
between iRacing and the IRL. In the Infineon Raceway media thatotherserieswillbekeentosignonthedottedlineinorder
center,DaveKaemmerwasintroduced(inhisofficialcapacity, to reap the benefits of being virtually recreated should this
not as God of all things virtual), and, as part of the partnershipsucceed.
entertainment,abriefpromowasplayedinwhichthehistory But it was toward the end of the Saturday that I finally
ofhissimswasbroadcastbeginningwiththevideogamethat foundthe answer to the question I had been searchingfor
starteditall,1989sIndy500:TheSimulation.Whileitbrought all day: How real is the iRacing Dallara? As the head of
back memories to those of us in the room familiar with researchfromDallaraAutomobili,AndreaTosoisprobably
KaemmersstatusastheGodfatherofourindustry,itnaturally about the bestplaced person on the planet to provide a
broughtaboutafewchucklesfromthemoretraditionalmedia. definitive answer. This is not a video game. Forget that.
TwentyyearsofprogresswasthenhighlightedbeforeiRacing This is simulation, Mr. Toso said, before adding to the
flashedontothescreen,andeventheuninitiatedamongstus conferred guests his now welldocumented thoughts: It
were amazed to see how far weve all comeled, it should wasiRacingsdemonstratedabilitytoworkcloselywiththe
probablybeadded,byDaveKaemmerinhistimeatPapyrus. manufacturers of the cars already in its inventory that
AspartofDavespreparednotes,itwassuggestedthatthe persuaded us to grant them permission to build virtual
old Indy 500 series enjoyed a heightened public interest with versions of the Dallara I 09 and IP 09. It has been an
thereleaseofthegame;withthenewstandardthatisiRacing, interesting project, and we continue to enjoy working
confidence was high that the same thing could be achieved closelywithDaveKaemmerandhisengineers.


46 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
SpecialReport:iRacing continued

INTOTHEFUTURE
ThebestwayIcandescribemyimpressionoftheweekendis:
These guys get it. And I just want to repeat that: Finally,
someoneinthisindustryreallygetsit.Withoutgoingintotoo
many details of the circumstances, I cant tell you how many
times I have discussed with software developers and league
ownerswhatcanbedonetopromotetheirproduct,andhow,
most of the time, it has just fallen on deaf ears. Ive even
offered my services and various ideas for little or no money,
and there has never even been a followup. Im afraid that
much of what Ive seen in the past from many of the key
players in the simindustry is a lack of real vision and
commitmenttodowhateverittakestomakethingshappen.
What I heard from the iRacing crew confirmed that they
understandtheimportanceofpromotingthehelloutoftheir
productforinstance,takealookatindycar.comwhereyoull
find none other than iRacing sponsoring the IndyCar Race
Controlsection.Andthatsthekeyforme,perhapseventhe
mainreasonwhyImnowabigproponentofiRacing:Theyare
mercilesslygoingoutandworkingtheircollectivebuttsoffto
succeed, and yet, at home, their members are consistently
beinglistenedtoandacknowledged.Havingnowmettheguys
in person, I confess that I find it hard not to root for them:
Thesearegoodpeople,workinghardtoenlivenandenrichmy
hobby, and theyre doing this for the price of a movie ticket:
Moreover,theirsuccessisnothinglessthanthesurvivalofour
entireindustry.Iftheirmodelfails,weallfail:Iftheysucceed,
the futurewhich is none other than the merging of the real
andthevirtualisnotonlyassured,butincrediblyexciting.
John Henry has not only put a great deal of money into
developing this programmetwenty million dollars is the
Totalaccess:Theworkingrelationshipwithmanyrealworldserieshasoffered figure that was floating around during the weekendbut he
iRacingsmembersneverbeforeseenbenefits,fromunerringlyrealsimulation hasalsoputoutagreatdealofmoneytopromoteit.Andthat
promotiondoesntjustputiRacinginthelimelight;itputsthe
tolivefeedbackonline.TherealwiththevirtualcombineforAUTOSIMSPORTs
wholeindustryintothelimelight.NowIrealizetherearethose
JackUlstad(behindthecamera!)while,ondayoneoftheDallarasdebuton whohavetheiraxestogrind,butweshouldreallyremember
iRacing, IRLs Will Power was online sharing a new ride and advice with what the future held for highquality racing simulation a few

membersneverbeforehasthevirtualandtherealbecomesocloselymeshed
47 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
SpecialReport:iRacing continued

years ago:Wewerethe redheadedstepchildofthegaming the world in terms of graphics and column inches in gaming the start. These guys are not only talented, motivated, and
industry, always off in the corner unnoticed and slowly magazines,wefoundourselves(adecadelater)attheopposite wellfunded: Theyre also extremely ambitious. And dont be
withering to death. Look around you: how many new end of the spectrum. Our most important developers had fooled,thealliancebetweentheIRLandiRacingisofanature
simulators(notgames)arebeingcurrentlydeveloped?iRacing either left the scene (Crammond), or gone console (Slightly and depth that has never before been witnessed in this
understandthatourfuturedoesnotlieinthegamingindustry: Mad).ItisnowTonysjobtofigureoutwhythatwas,andhow community. It is a strategic alliance that has already had
Ourfuture lies in the motorracing industry, albeit as a junior todevelopanentirelynewmodelthatwillseeiRacingsucceed massive consequences for us, the simracing community.
partnerasbefitswhatitisthatwehavetooffer. where all others have failed (failed in terms of raising sim iRacingunderstandthat,ultimately,itisintheworldofmotor
OverthecourseoftheIRLweekend,itbecameclearthatan racing to a level into which the realworld of motor sports racing where they will find new members, and new
integralpartofiRacingsprogressisduetotheteamofpeople wouldbeobligedtodiptheirtoes). opportunitiesforgrowth.Andfortenbucksamonth,youcan
theyhavebroughttogether,andthisisfrequentlymissedwhen For Tony, its clear that what is needed is more than just join the ride and be a part of what is nothing less than a
one analyses the potential and growth of the company: Yes, great websites, established leagues, and an occasional revolution in terms of how the virtual merges with the real.
JohnHenryhasthedeeppockets(thoughnotasdeepasthey appearanceofasoftwaredemoatatradeshoworracetrack: Virtualreality,butnotquiteasyourfatherimaginedit
werewhenhebeganthisproject),andyes,inDaveKaemmer Whatisneededisadevelopertostepuptotheplateandreally
theyhavethemostimportantsimracingdeveloperinhistory commit to bringing the industry into the forefront of the
whohaving been given a sandbox and adequate funding publics attention, especially that of the insular motor racing
hasdevelopedtheiRacingmodelbeyondanythingcurrently(or fraternity. And that is exactly what Tony and the boys have
probably ever) available. But in the background, silently and donewiththeirtieinwiththeIndyCarseries.
passionately, beaver a whole host of impressive individuals: The economic meltdown sees iRacing perfectly placed to
Thinkofthemassivestridesforwardtheirwebsitehastaken,or offer virtual solutions to realworld motorracing teams and
theirnewschannel. driversfranticallysearchingforwaystocutcosts.Simulationis
This spiritthis desire for successis perhaps best the solution: Its the solution to a more green planet, its a
exemplifiedbyTonyGardner,whoseofficialtitleisPresident solution to cutting testing costs and getting around testing
and CFO: Tony is an outsider who comes to the community bans in all motorsports, and its a solution to an economic
armedwithangreatdealofexperienceandexpertiseinboth stagnationthatislikelytobewithusforageneration.iRacing
startups and mature, webbased companies, and was, as are at the very forefront of lowcost, highperformance
manyofyouwillrecall,draftedinsothatKaemmercouldletgo simulationan hour on the Wirth machine, for instance, will

ofthefinancialreignsinordertodedicatehimselftowhatwe costyouaboutintheregionoftenthousanddollars.Ayearon
wanthimtodo(whichis,inhisownwords,Focusmoreenergy iRacingwillcostyouaboutahundred.Andwhileyoudontget Totalaccess:JackUlstadfeelswhatits
on leading the development team {which} ultimately our fullmotion,whatyoudogetisalaserscannedtrack,andacar
liketogetuniqueaccesstoallareasas
customers in the motorsport worldparticularly those in the thathasbeendeveloped alongsidetheactualmanufacturers.
simracingcommunityaregoingtobenefit{from}).iRacings And Tony gets this, iRacing get this, and theyre out there enjoyedbytheiRacingcrewintheir
growth is Tonys charge, and growthin what we like to call everyday selling themselvesand therefore our industryas strategicpartnershipwiththeIRL.Here
thesimracingcommunitywasnevergoingtobeachievedby anintegralpartofmotorracingssolution. JustinWilsonaniRacingmember
themethodsthathavebeenemployedbythisindustryinthe A lot of what was discussedas alwayshas not been
past.Letsfaceit,thegrowthoftrueracingsimulationhasnt permitted to enter this article, but allow me to conclude by discussestherealandvirtualwithDave
matchedthepotential,andifyoucomparewherewewerein saying this: Having been privy to their plans, both short and Kaemmer,TonyGardner,andJackUlstad
themid1990s when anew Crammond simwould beleading longterm,Icantellyouthatwhatyouveseenuptilnowisjust

48 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

SpecialReport:iRacing continued

49 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

50 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

SEANEDWARDS
COVERSTORY Lou Magyar sat down with 2006 and 07s FIAGT3 Champion,
twentythreeyearoldSeanEdwards,tofindoutabouthiscareer,
hisfather(GuyEdwards),andhisaddictiontosimracing


LOUMAGYAR
Photocredits:
http://news.seanedwards.eu/

51 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
COVERSTORY continued

SEANEDWARDS
2008:PorscheMobil1SuperCup
2007:FIAGTChampionshipwithTech9
Motorsport:3rdat24HoursofSpa
2006:FIAGT3Champion
2006:PorscheChampion
2005:BritishGT
2004:FormulaRenaultUK
2003:BRDCSingleSeater
2002:Italian/EuropeanICA
2001:Italian/EuropeanJika
2000 Italian/EuropeanJika
1999:FrenchCadet
1998:FrenchMinime
52 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

COVERSTORY continued

Lou Magyar: Its been a while since we last chatted. Was it 2006 at the 24Hours of
Daytona? Tell me a little bit about what youve been up to the last few years. I know
youre doing a driving school, training racing drivers and such. I read that you didnt
have a fulltime ride this year, but you have done some races, and done well in them!
Canyougivemeaquicksynopsisofwhatyouvebeendoingforthelastfewyears.
waaarrrdddsss: Well, I started my Performance Driving Coach company in 2006, just
SSSeeeaaannnEEEdddw
w
aftergettingbackfromDaytona.Itsbeenquitesuccessful.Imdoingabout100daysa
year of coaching, which gets me all over the world, meeting some great people, and
drivingsomenicecars.Ontheracingfront,obviouslylastyearwasgreat:Winningtwo
races in the Porsche Super Cup, best rookie of the year, and winning the team
championship with Konrad Motorsports. This year was a bit difficult, with one of the
teamsponsorspulledoutwithacouplemonthstogo,soIwaswithoutafulltimeride
intheSuperCup,butIlookedaroundandmadethebestoutofabadstartfortheyear.
Ididallsortsreally,FIAGT3,FIAGT2,LeMansSeries,CarreraCupGermany,withsome
goodresults.
LM:Soundslikeyouvebeenverybusyracingdespitenothavingafulltimerideorasponsor.
SSSEEE: Yeah, it was great fun. I am already looking forward to my first race next year,
whichisthe24HoursofDubaiinJanuary.
LM:Andwhatwillyouberacingatthatpoint?
SSSEEE:ImgoingtobedrivingaPorsche997RSR,ora997CupCar,butIllprobablydothe
RSRattheendoftheday.
LM:Sodoyouhaveasponsorofyourown,orwillyoubeusingteamsponsorship?
SSSEEE:Well,thatparticularraceisjustamanagementdriverownstheteamandwantsa
professionaltohelphimouttogettheresultshewants.Itsacasewherehehasafew
littlesponsors,butismainlybackedbyhisownfunding.
LM:Sohesbasicallyanindependent.Thatsoundslikeatoughrowtohoe.
SSSEEE: Yeah, hes obviously a successful person in his own business, so he has enough
moneytosparesometohavesomefuninracing.

LM:IwishIhadmoneytothat.ItssomethingthatIvealwayswantedtodo.WhichiswhyIgot
startedinsimracing,Iguess.Speakingofsimracing,Ihaveafewquestionstoaskyou.First,lets
startbymakingtheassumptionthattherearentverymanysuccessfulrealworldracers,suchas
yourself,whoarealsosimracers.Ihavetalkedtonumerousrealworldracers,thoughmostof
thoseonlyturn lefteitherinopen wheelorclosedwheel, and not very manyof them,maybe
twentythatcometomind,haveactuallyeventriedaracingsimulator.Howdidyougetstartedin
racing? I know your dad is a former Formula 1 driver, but did his career spark your interest in
racingingeneral,andatwhatpointdidyoubecomeinterestedinsimracing?

53 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
{Myfather}didntreallyknowNikiLaudaverywell,yethehelpedpullhim
COVERSTORY continued
out.Ithinkhewasthefirstoneonthescene.Acoupleothercarsthat
crashedintoLaudascaralsogotouttohelpNikiout.Idontthinkhewould

doitanydifferentlytodayiffacedwiththesamesituationhedstillgotry
gethimout,eventhoughNikineveractuallysaidthankyoutohimorto
anyoftheothers


54 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
COVERSTORY continued

SSSEEE: On the realracing front, I was just brought up around cars prototype, single that quite well. During the offseason, like now for example, how many times a week
seaters, Formula 1 with my dad obviously racing back in Formula 1 in the 1970s, and wouldyousayyousimrace?Howoftendoyousimracetokeepyourskillssharp,ordo
alsobeingquiteabigsponsorshipmaninFormula1backinthelate1990searly2000s. youactuallygetoutonarealtracktodoit?
SoIwasbroughtuparoundthat,andalwayslovedandwasveryinterestedinracing.It SSSEEE:Wedontreallyhavemuchofanoffseasonwithtestingand all.Idoquiteabitof
was just a natural progression to get into it. On the simracing front, I think I was workonthesimulator.Improbablyonitmostdaysuptoanhour.Somedaysalittlebit
StewartMoseleywhoracesandhaswonquiteafewRadicalchampionships,andraces moreifImracinginaleague.WheneverIgetsomefreetimeIlljumponthesimulator.
theLMP2Radicalworkscarheintroducedmetoitbackin2004,Ithinkitwasand Ivegotagamingrigdownin Monaco,and agamingrigoverinEngland,soIcanrace
youknow,Ijustusedittolearnthetracks,dostints,tohelpmyconcentrationthings wherever I am. Ive got Rich Westbrook, and also Marco Holzera couple of my
likethat.Ireallyenjoyedit,aswell.Imquiteheavilyinvolvedwithitatthemoment. teammates this year, who are both factory Porsche driversinvolved with it as well.
Theyrehavingagreattime.Wealltraintogetheritsgreatfun!
LM:Whatsimtitlesareyouracingrightnow?
SSSEEE: Well, iRacing has very kindly given me a free subscription in exchange for giving LM: Tell me a little about your simrigs. You said you have two of them. Are they
themaquotefortheirwebsite,soIplayiRacingeverysooften.rFactormainlythough. identical,andwhatkindofhardwaredoyouhaveinthem?Whatareyouracingin?
TheresagoodbitofabunchofpeopleIracewithonthere.OveratTYKAmainly.Ialso SSSEEE: Back in England, I have I won the Fanatec cockpit, so I run in that its a very
racetheenduranceseriesmodIhelpeddeveloptheRSRphysicsforit.SoImainlydo nice setup. I use the Logitech G25 back there also. I also have the Fanatec 911 RS
theenduranceseriesstuff.IhavealsodonesomeFormulaSimRacing(FSR). wheel, which they sent me, but I havent actually tried it yet. Over in Monaco, I just
haveanormalchairandtablesetup,withaLogitechG25aswell.ThegamingPCsare
LM: How accurate do you find the sims? In particular, lets start with iRacing. How built by a friend, Dave CarrSmith. Theyre both pretty identical they cost about a
accuratedoyoufindthecarsandtracksiniRacing?Haveyoueverdrivencarsortracks grandeach(Euros),soyouknow,theyregoodPCs.
in iRacing that youve driven in reallife, and how close are they to the real world cars
andtracks? LM:Soundsprettysolid.YousaidyoureracingtheG25wheelinbothplaces.Haveyou
SSSEEE:Well,ImeantheonlycarthatIvedriveniniRacingthatcomparestoanythingIve heardoftheARC_TeammodfortheG25wheels?
drivenforrealistheSkipBarbercar,whichIwouldputsimilartoaFormulaFord.You SSSEEE:Ihavent,no.
know, the car is great, it handles really well. In my opinion, its probably the best LM: The last issue of AUTOSIMSPORT Magazine we published I did a review of the
handlingcarclosesttoreallifeoutofthefulliRacingfleet,apartfromthatNASCAR. ARC_Team mod. Its an Italian company that modifies the G25 wheel to give it much
The data on the prototype doesnt feel particularly good in my opinion, particularly more realworld feel to the feedback levels. Its something I would recommend if you
withthegriplevels.ButtheSkipBarberisgreat.ObviouslytherearentmanyEuropean liketheG25s.YoumightconsideraddingthismodtoyourG25scheckoutthereview
tracksonthere,soIcanreallyonlycommentonacoupleofplaces.Silverstone,itssort Ididinthemagazine,orjustGoogletheirwebsite.Itwouldbeagreatimprovementin
of identical to reallife, its definitely the best track Ive ever driven online. Its very the feel you get. During the racing season, it sounds like you dont get a whole lot of
closetoreallife.AcoupleofmyfriendstriedtoraceatSebring.Theytrieditonlineand time to simrace, but it sounds as if you still find at least some time to do so. Is that
said,Yeah,itsninetyninepercentaccurate.iRacingdidagreatjobwiththat! correct?
SSSEEE: Yeah, I do. Normally in a racing season you have between thirtyfive and forty
LM:Well,youknowthatiRacinglaserscanstheirtracks.Thatswhatweweretryingto races,dependingonhowbusyyouare,andwhichchampionshipsyouredoing.Butyou
dowithD3backin2006gettingstartedwithlaserscanningoftracks.Soitstandsto know, you leave on a Thursday and youre back on Sunday night or Monday. So you
reason that their reproductions of the track would be quite accurate. When it comes havethreeorfourdaysbetweenraceweekendsforphysicaltrainingandsimracing.So
downtosettinglevelsofgriparoundthetrack,theresabitofsoftwareinterpretation, yeah,IstilltryandsimraceImean,Idoitalittlemoreduringtheoffseason,butIm
butforthemostpartitshouldberealisticitsgood tohearthatthey arerecreating stillhardatitduringtheraceseason.

55 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
COVERSTORY continued

LM:Sothen,withthatinmind,whenyousimraceduringtheracingseason,doyoudo
it for practice purposes, pleasure, both? To what extent do you use simracing to
improveyourdrivingskillsonaregularbasis?
SSSEEE: Well, especially last year, one of the main things was to learn the tracks in the
PorscheSuperCup.FollowingaroundtheFormula1teams,alotofthetracksyoudont
really get to experience on everyday racing, so I raced rFactor mainly, because they
haveallthetrackswhereiRacingdoesnt,becauseittakesalongtimetoscanthetracks
withthelaserstheydonthavemanyEuropeantracks,soImainlyusedrFactor.Just
knowing where the track goesokay, its not particularly accurate in rFactor, but you
know if it goes left or right, and you get a bit of the camber changes and things like
that,soitwasinvaluabletolearnthetrack. Youveonlygotfortyfive minutestesting
in the Super Cup, so to learn the track, get the car set up, and get your head into it,
theresnotenoughtimereally.Butsimracingdefinitelyhelps,andyeah,Istilldoitfor
pleasure. I did the odd league race, I didnt do a full championship this year or last
because of time, but I just do a league in the winter normally. Its really good for
learning the tracks, and also for your handeye coordination, its very good. Because
youhaventgotahugeamountoffeelinglikeinreallife,soyourhandeyecoordination
improves quite a bit, which also helps your reallife reactions, it keeps them up. Also
endurance,longstintsyouknow,two,threehoursyoutrytokeepconcentrationon
thePC,youknow,onemistakehereusuallyendsupinthewall,whichislikereallife,so
WinningtheBritishGrandPrixinfrontof100,000 itsagreattoolforendurancetraining.

fansjustbeforetheFormula1racestartedbackin LM:Itsoundsasif,whenyouusethesimulatorforatrainingtool,yourenotjustusing
it to learn the tracks, but to train your brain as well, which is something that hadnt
2008,standing onthepodium,looking outover occurred to me before. If I asked you which your favourite simtitle is, and why, what

the massive crowd there is nothing that can wouldyouranswerbe?


SSSEEE:Thatsadifficultquestionreally.Ithinkeachoneservesadifferentpurpose.LikeI

beatthat.Also,winningtheFIAGTbackin2006 was saying earlier, if iRacing had, I guess, a bigger budget, and they could buy more
laserscannersandgetmoretracksdone,thatwouldbethe ultimate racingtoolwhen
wasalsoabigstepforme,aswellasfinishingthird theyhavethecars.Butatthemomenttheyjustdonthavethecontent,especiallyover
in Europe, for me to get everything I need to do done. So rFactor is the tool I use
intheSpa24Hoursin2007.Itwasmyfirsttwenty mainly, but like I said, if iRacing did do it, then they would definitely be the better
platform.rFactor2iscomingoutsoonbuttheyrelyonpeoplewhomakemodsintheir
fourhourendurancerace,andwasoneofthetop spare time to produce a lot of the content, so iRacing is obviously going to come out
withabetterproduct.
threeachievementsIvehad

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COVERSTORY continued

LM:Soyourekindalikemeinthateachonehasitsbenefits,andtheyarebothreallygood,
butitshardtopickafavourite,whichIcompletelyagreewith.Inthe2008PorscheSuper
Cup season, you did really well in the wet. Is that down to your driving skills, or can you
attributethatperhaps to learning the tracks better,and having the lesssensation of feel
which you may experience in a wet racetrack being similar to that youd experience sim
racing?Doyouhaveanythoughtsonwhatmayhaveinfluencedyourabilitytodosowellin
thewet?Andcongratulationsontheexcellentwetraceresults!
SSSEEE:Idontthinkitsanythingyoucantrainforactually.Youeitherhavetheskillnaturally,or
youdont.Theintensityisalothigher,andyouhavemorewearinthewet,andtheresalot
toconcentrateon.Itsquiteagoodlevelerforthecarandthedrivingskill.Wehadquitea
goodsetupforthewetlastyear.ButIguessitcomesdowntoqualifying.Wequalifiedwell
forbothracesinthedryandobviouslyitjustrainedfortherace,whereIwasintheright
placeattherighttime,withtherightcar.Inearlywonacoupleofdryraces,too.Iwason
poleforValenciainthedry,andweranoutoffuelontheinlap,whichPorscheSuperCup
rulesstateyouneedtwolitresafterqualifying,soIwasdisqualifiedandstartedattheback.I
wentfromfirsttothirtieth,andmadeitbacktoaneleventhplacefinishintherace,whichis
pretty good, but that should have been a win right there. I think its just that Ive always
beengoodinthewetreallygoodinthewet,andgoodinthedry,soitsjustthatIhave
thatbalance.

Idoquiteabitofworkonthesimulator.Improbably LM: Back in 2006, you and I both went to the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona to work with a
onitmostdaysuptoanhour.Somedaysalittlebit teammakingtheDaytonaPrototypeModforrFactor.Whatmadeyoudecidetotakepartin
that? Was there anything beside just the experience and the friendships you made? Was
moreifImracinginaleague.WheneverIgetsome theresomethingmoreyouwantedtogetoutofit?Talkaboutthatforabitifyouwill.
SSSEEE:ObviouslyitwasalongtimeagoandIcantrememberexactlywhatIwasthinking,butI
freetimeIlljumponthesimulator.Ivegotagaming thinkitwasmainlyjusttogetovertotheAmericansceneandseewhatwasup.Youknow,I
rigdowninMonaco,andagamingrigoverin wasverynewtoPCracingbackthen,soanyexperience,contacts,andthelikeIcouldget
wereveryuseful.AndobviouslyIhadanicecoupleoffriendsfromthesimracingsidethatI
England,soIcanracewhereverIam.IvegotRich couldmeetupwithandflyoverandweallhadagreattimeokay,wedidthatworkforthe
mod,butitwasaltogetheragreatexperience.IjustloveracingobviouslyIprefertobeon
Westbrook,andalsoMarcoHolzeracoupleofmy thetrackratherthanwatchingbutIllwatcheveryformofracingonTV,frommotorbikes
totruckracing,toFormula1,soIjustlovethesportingeneral,anditwasgreattogetout
teammatesthisyear,whoarebothfactoryPorsche thereandseewhattheoldDaytonawasabout.
driversinvolvedwithitaswell.Theyrehavinga LM:DidyoubringhomeanycansofManwich?
SSSEEE:Idontthinkso!ButIthinkactuallysomeonesentmeacanofManwich!IthinkI
greattime.Wealltraintogetheritsgreatfun! stillhaveitathomeinEngland.

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LM:ImsuremostofourreaderswillknowthatGuyEdwardsisyourfatherifnot,theydonow.
SomeofthemmightevenknowthatdespiteaseventeenracestintintheF1championship,heis
morefamousforhelpingrescueNikiLaudafromhisburningcar.HewasawardedtheQueens
GallantryMedalfordoingso.DidyourdadevertalktoyouabouthisroleinsavingNiki,andwhat
itmeanttohim?Whatpartofhisbeingaracedriver,friend,andfellowhumanbeinginfluenced
himtogetoutofhisracecarandhelp?
SSSEEE:Well,wehavehadvariousdiscussionsovertheyears.ObviouslyhisF1careerwasoveraspan
ofthreeyears.HeneverreallyhadacompetitivecarinthemainFormula1championship.Hiscar
fortheBritishFormula1Championshipcarwasdecent,butheneverreallyhadachanceinthe
mainseries.Nikicameoutofthepitsonslicks,justaheadofdadwhowasonwetsthetrackwas
stilljustabitgreasy,andhejustlostitonthekinkjustbeforeBergwerk(attheNrburgring)
whichisnownamedtheLaudakink.Nikihitthewall,camebackacrossthetrack,andmydadjust
clippedhiscarwithhisrightfrontwheel.Whatpersuadedhimtostop?Iguessitwasthehuman
instinctinsidehim.Notmanyracedrivers,Iguess,wouldstopiftheircarwasstillokay.Buthe
stopped.HedidntreallyknowNikiLaudaverywell,yethehelpedpullhimout.Ithinkhewasthe
firstoneonthescene.AcoupleothercarsthatcrashedintoLaudascaralsogotouttohelpNiki
out{ArturoMerzario,BrettLunger,andHaraldErtlEd}.Idontthinkhewoulddoitanydifferently
todayiffacedwiththesamesituationhedstillgototrytogethimout,eventhoughNikinever
actuallysaidthankyoutohim,ortoanyoftheothers.HedidgettheQueensGallantrymedal,
andhealsogottheAustrianGoldmedalforit.Ithinkitwasagreatachievementforhimself,and
justabitofthehumansidecomingaroundintheracing.
LM:Itmadeitmoreofahumanaspectratherthanjustmanandmachinetogethercombined.I
knowthatitssomethingthatwhenmostpeoplethinkofNikiLauda,theythinkofhisaccident,
TheFormula1drivershavetheirownextremely andmostpeoplethatknowGuyEdwardsthinkofhimsavingNikifromthefire.Itsinterestingto
hearhowhisdecisiontodothatmayhaveinfluencedothersandinfluencedyou.
complicatedsimulators,whichIvehadacoupleof SSSEEE:IthinkifIwasinasimilarsituation,Ivealwaysbeenacaringpersonandhappytohelpoutin

goson.Theyareamazingthings.Theyresoaccurate situationswherepeopleareintroubleorinneedofhelp.ImsureifIwasinasimilarsituationI
woulddothesamething.Obviouslyyouneverknowwhatyouwoulddountilyoucomeacross
thattheytesttheaerodynamicsonthem.(Theytest) the situation, but there have been some great heroic acts over the years from race drivers.
RecentlyJamesWinslow,aBritishdriveractually,savedsomeone,IthinkitwasaChinesedriver
thefrontwingsondifferentcircuitsandthenput overinMacauwhowasupsidedownandonfirehepulledhimouthewasawardedseveral
medalsforthataswell.{WinslowwasfeaturedontheBBCOneprogrammeAccidentalHeroeson
themontherealcar.Sothatshowamazinglygood 25September2008forhisdaringrescueofformerrivalintheAsianFormulaThreeChampionship
theyaretheyspendmillionsandmillionsofpounds MorenoSoeprapto,anIndonesiandriver,afterthetwocollidedinaroundofthechampionship,at
SentulinIndonesiaEd.Source:Wikipedia}.Eventhoughweareracedriversandpreparedtowin,
onthem attheendoftheday,thereisstillsomecompassionforourfellowracedrivers.

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COVERSTORY continued

LM:Youarestillhumanbeingsafterall.Sean,Iimaginewithyourupbringingandyour
surroundingasachild,andayoungadult,youvemetmanyracedriverswhosenames
lotsofpeoplewhoareracefanswillinstantlyrecognise.Whichoneisyourfavoriteand
why?
SSSEEE:DoyoumeanonethatIknow,orfavouriteingeneral?
LM: Lets do both. A favorite that you know personally whom you met through your
dad,oronyourown,andfavouritethatyoumaynothavemet.
SSSEEE: Ive always supported Michael Schumacher for one, all along. Hes been the guy I
lookedupto,fromkartinguntilnoweven,hesbeenmyhero.Imafan.Ivelookedup
to him. Hes my favourite race driver. Ive always had a lot of respect for people like
Fangio,too,evenwhilehewasalittlebitbeforemytime.OfthedriversIknow,Iwould
sayNicoRosbergorLewisHamiltonareprobablythenicestpeopleIhaverelationships
with. Of course I was brought up with Nico in this area (Monaco), and both our dads
weregreatfriends.Andthen LewisHamiltoncoached me backinFormulaRenaultfor
the season. Hes a very down to earth guy and he hasnt changedin the media, he
looksalittlebitMercedesPRandallthatnoemotions,toldwhattosayandhowto
actbutwhenhesoutofthecamera,andoutofthepubliceye,heshisnormalself.He
hasntchangedatallsinceImethim.AlsoMikaHakkinen...Hewasprobablyoneofthe
nicest Formula 1 drivers Ive ever met along with Johnny Herbert. Theyre both really
down to earth guys. Theyd always make time for you in the paddock. When I was
OfcourseIwasbroughtupwithNicoRosberginthis young and my dad was off doing sponsorship stuff, they wouldchat to me or give me
an autograph and stuff like that. It was nice, there arent many drivers like that these
area(Monaco),bothourdadsweregreatfriends.And daysinFormula1,whichisunfortunate.
thenLewisHamiltoncoachedmebackinFormula
LM: I get the impression that lots of them these days feel like theyre superstars and
Renaultfortheseason.Hesaverydowntoearthguy that were not worthy of their attention or their time. Of those guys that you
mentionedyougrewupwith,haveyoueverdoneanysimracingwiththemorshowed
andhehasntchangedinthemediahelooksalittle ittothem?
SSSEEE: Well, not them specifically. I have introduced several race drivers to simracing
bitMercedesPRandallthat,noemotions,told though. Theyve had great fun, but theyve been mainly on the GT side of stuff. The
whattosayandhowtoactbutwhenhesoutofthe Formula 1 drivers have their own extremely complicated simulators, which Ive had a
couple of gos on. They are amazing things. Theyre so accurate that they test the
cameraandoutofthepubliceye,heshisnormalself. aerodynamics on them. {They test} the front wings on different circuits and then put
themontherealcar.Sothatshowamazinglygoodtheyaretheyspendmillionsand
HehasntchangedatallsinceIvemethim millionsofpoundsonthem.
LM:Itwouldbegreattohaveasimulatorlikethatinyourbasement!
SSSEEE:Yeah,itsurewould!

59 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
COVERSTORY continued

IfiRacinghadabiggerbudgetandtheycouldbuy
morelaserscannersandgetmoretracksdone,that
wouldbetheultimateracingtoolwhentheyhavethe
cars.Butatthemomenttheyjustdonthavethe
content,especiallyoverinEurope,formetoget IvejustenteredtheTYKA.netwinterleague,also
everythingIneedtododone.SorFactoristhetoolI an endurance mod. I havent decided what class
usemainly,butlikeIsaid,ifiRacingdiddoit,then Imgoingtorunyet.ItwilleitherbeLMP1orGT2.
theywoulddefinitelybethebetterplatform.rFactor2 Hopefullysomeofyourreaderswillcomeandjoin
iscomingoutsoon,buttheyrelyonpeoplewho in. TYKA is a great little tool, and its a great
makemodsintheirsparetimetoproducealotofthe community. It will produce some great racing!
content,soiRacingisobviouslygoingtocomeout HopefullywellgetRichardWestbrookandMarco
withabetterproduct Holzerandacoupleothergoodguystorace

60 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
COVERSTORY continued

LM: Can you tell me what your favourite motorsports moment is, and why its your
favorite?SuchaswininginthewetatSpa,forexample?Whatstandsoutasyourmost
rewardingandexhilaratingexperiencesbehindthewheelofaracecar?
SSSEEE:MostdefinitelyeasyitwouldhavetobewinningtheBritishGrandPrixinfrontof
100,000 fans just before the Formula 1 race started back in 2008. Standing on the
podium, looking out over the massive crowd theres nothing that could beat that.
Also, winning the FIA GT back in 2006 was also a big step for me. And also finishing
thirdintheSpa24Hoursin2007.Itwasmyfirsttwentyfourhourendurancerace,and
wasoneofthetopthreeachievementsIvehad.

LM:Whatisyourfavoriteracetrack,andwhatmakesityourfavorite?
SSSEEE: Thats another difficult one. They all have different attributes that I like, but Ive
always said to the media that the SpaFrancorchamps circuit would be my favourite. I
likelong,flowing,fasttracks.Spaasanormaltrack.AndprobablytheNordschleifeis
anotherone.Itsgotabsolutelyeverything,youknow.Itstwentyoddkilometerslong,
has fast corners, slow corners, long straights. Its not a normal track though So Id
havetosaySpaSilverstoneisaclosesecondforme,beingmyhometrack.

LM: And what about when youre racing in the simulator for fun? Do you have a
favourite track or car you like to run, or do you just run where everyone else is at the
MikaHakkinenwasprobablyoneofthenicest timeyourace?
SSSEEE:Well,Irunwheremyfriendsarerunningon.Mainly,atthemoment,itwouldbethe
Formula1driversIveevermetalongwithJohnny endurance racers series. Le Mans, ALMS, GT thats recently been released. I run the
Herbert.Theyrebothreallydowntoearthguys Porsche 997 RSR on that I occasionally run on a public server, or get one of my
friends to set up a server for me, because you know how the standard of driving on
LM:Who,asaracer,doyoulooktoforadvice,experience,andtipsandthings?Whodo publicserverscanbeattimesnotexactlythebest,soItendtostickwiththeprivate
yougotowhenyouneedhelpsolvingaproblemyouhaveonthetrack? leagueservers.
SSSEEE: No one really. Im always learning new things for myself. Im an experienced
enoughGTdrivernowtoknowwhatIneedtoknow.Buttheresalwaysstuffyoulearn LM:SowhichrFactorleaguesdoyoubelongto?Withwhichdoyouraceregularly?
everyseason,anddifferentthingsyougetoutofdifferentpeople.Notjustdrivers,but SSSEEE:Thisyear,IdidFormulaSimRacing.IthinkIdidthreeorfourroundsinthat.Ivealsoracedin
engineers too. They can help you along, and help you with the setup of the car or RaceDepartmentintheirenduranceseriesmod.Theyhavebetweensixandtwelvehourraces
differentdrivingstylesthingsthatcanhelpyougofaster.Weretalkingabouttenths Ialwayshadateammateforthat!AndIvejustenteredtheTYKA.netwinterleague,alsoan
ofasecondthatmeanfiveorsixpositionsonthegridintheSuperCup.So,yeah,Ive endurancemod.IhaventdecidedwhatclassImgoingtorunyet.ItwilleitherbeLMP1orGT2.
always taken advice from people, and my dads obviously always been very helpful. Hopefullysomeofyourreaderswillcomeandjoinin.TYKAisagreatlittletool,anditsagreat
Lewis always helped me back in Formula Renault, but I dont have anyone that I community.Itwillproducesomegreatracing!HopefullywellgetRichardWestbrookandMarco
specificallygoto. Holzerandacoupleothergoodguystorace.

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COVERSTORY continued

62 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

PROFILE2PEZ

IVANASKEW

Photocredits:canoprensa.com

63 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
PROFILE2PEZ continued

MARTINSALAVERRYANDHERNANJARDN
MOSTENDEARING
CREATEDONEOFTHE
SIMULATORSEVERBBUILTONTOPOFISISGMOTORENGINE
2007SSIMULADORTURISMOCARRETERA:
THISYEAR THEYREBACKWITHAWHOLENEWSIM,
TOPRACE,AGAINSETINTHEGRITTYINDUSTRIAL
WORLDOF ARGENTINEMOTORSPORTS.
IVANASKEWSATDOWNWITHSALAVERRYTOTALK
SIMS, HISRACINGCAREER,ANDWHATCOMES NEXTFOR

THETWOLIVEFISH
64 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
PROFILE2PEZ continued

Itisrareinourmodernworldthatadeveloperwillonedaycomeoutofseeminglynowhere
anddumpatopnotchsimulatoronthemarketwithoutanyfanfareormarketing.Butthats
prettymuch what 2Pez did back in the summer of 07 with their Simulador Turismo
Carretera,asimthatcamewithafullyleasedISIengine(includingthatwondrousthing,the
rFactorbasedmultiplayercode),anofficiallicensefromtheArgentineTouringCarserieson
whichitwasbased,andtestimonialsfromnighonhalfthefieldfromthatseries,manyof
whomactuallyplayedaroleinthecreationofthesim.
Even more impressive than that, though, was the sim itself: Yes it suffered from an
uninspiringpalletandsomeshabbygraphics,butvisualsnotwithstanding,theferalfeelof
thesimwasoneofthehighlightsofthatyear,anditremains,intheopinionofmany,the
Touring Carbased sim created on the ISI engine. As a marketing tool, further, for the
Argentine Touring Car series, the sim was an astonishing success, introducing tens of
thousandsofforeigneyestoanexciting,hardchargingchampionshiprunontracksmostof
ushadneverheardof,incarsmostofusfellinlovewithinstantly.
With their new simTop Race, reviewed further on in these pagesnow available,
AUTOSIMSPORT thought it was hightime to find out a bit more about 2Pezs head
honchos,ArgentinesMartinSalaverryandHernanJardn.

MartincutshisteethinArgentineTouringCars TwoFish(Live)

Martin Animal (dont ask) Salaverry, a thirtythree year old Argentine, married with two

MartinSalaverry,thephysicsguyat2Pez, kids who calls Buenos Aires home, is one half of the symbiotic relationship that creates
2Pezssims:Hisroleistoimpartanintimateknowledgeofracinggarneredfromadecadeas

bringsinawealthofexperiencefromrealworld asemiproracedriver.
Indeed,Martinmaylayclaimtobetheonlysimdevelopertohaveactuallyracedthe

motorracing,andthatdoesmuchtoexplain cars that he is now simulating: He got his start at age ten with karts, and at sixteen
foundhimselfinateamwithlegendarydriver(andnowclosefriend)EmilianoSpataro

why2Pezssimsfeelsoauthentic:Hereis (Turismo Carretera driver, twotime Top Race champion, and Fiat works driver in
TC2000)drivingPCRkarts.MartinscareersawhimprogressuptoFormulaHonda(an
openwheel series on a par with Formula Renault in Europe) where he enjoyed a few
Martininthelate1990sinArgentinasTopRace podiums, lap records, poles, and one win. In 1997, Martin won the Formula Tico
championship (featuring slow but fun Daewoo cars) before he entered the Top Race
seriesthathasgonefromstrengthtostremgth touringcarserieswhereheimmediatelybecameasteadyhandcompetingagainstthe
bestdriversfromArgentinaandelsewhereinSouthAmerica.Inthatsameyear,Martin
thiscentury:evenexF1WorldChampion headed north to train with Skip Barber: In the U.S., he put down a record time at
Homestead.In2000,herananenduranceracewithexF1driverOscarLarrauri,andhis
JacquesVilleneuveenteredtworacesin2009 careerwasset.

65 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
PROFILE2PEZ continued
MartininhisFormulaHondacirca1998

Twoyearslater,though,Martinhadwhathedescribesasfamilyissuesbackhomeand, instance,Australiansusematewiththeirfriends,orinMexico,cuate...soHernanandIwill
after spending that season away from the track, decided it was time to hang up the greeteachotherbysaying,Hey,pescado,comoandas?Pescado,ofcourse,literallymeans
balaclavainlate2003. adeadfish,whilepezmeansalivefish,andonetimeHernangreetedmebysaying,Hola
When asked if hes ever tempted to don the old helmet again, Martin replies that Pez,andobviouslyIreplied,WhyPez?towhichhereplied,Becauseyourenotdead!So
racing has changed since his retirement, and that hed need some serious money to thewordpezsortofstuck,and1pezplus1pezequals2Pez!Stupidreason?Youbet!
spendand serious hours to wasteboth of which, he notes, I cant afford, because I Martin,toacertainextent,isfreetoexpresshishumoursincehisdinnerisnottiedtothe
mustwork,myfriend! successcommercialof his sims: This is not his job, or Hernans for that matter, this is
Theotherhalfof2PezisthirtytwoyearoldHernanJardn,anexsimracerasMartin theirhobby.
wouldhaveit:Hernanisthetechguruat2Pez,themanwhotranslatesMartinsexperience Westartedwiththis,Marinreplies,becauseweareracingfansandformanyyearsin
into0sand1sfromhistechnologicalkitchenfromhishomeinBuenosAires. ArgentinawehadtomakedowithNASCARsimsorF1simspaintedwithoursponsors(yes,
The first thing that comes across when you begin to speak with Martin is his sense of we have a lot of imagination!). But somewhere along the way, Martin began mulling the
humour:Selfeffacing,humbleandfrequentlyironic,hiswordsarepunctuatedwithajaja! possibilityofconvincinghiscontacts(andfriends)intheracingworldinArgentinatocreate
toaccentuatethejokemostlyaimedathimself. ahomespunsimulatorbased onthatnationspremieretouringcarchampionship:Having
When I asked where the name 2Pez originated from, Martins reply was typical of his somepositiveresponsefromtheseriesorganizers,Martinsatdownonenightthreeyears
laconicstyle:2Pezhasnoreasonortranslation...hereinArgentinaweusepescadolike,for agoinfrontofhisPCandtypedoutanemailtoGjonCamajatISI:Talkswentwell,andsoon

66 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
PROFILE2PEZ continued

Martin had negotiated a price for leasing simracings workhorse engine. A year later, the Thereare,hecontinues,alotofpeoplewhospendalotofenergytalkingandwriting
resultwasTurismoCarretera. on forums, talking crap about us, converting our sim, unencrypting things, and many
WewanttohaveasimforeachoftheserieshereinArgentina,Martintellsme.We otherstupidandunnecessarythings,butweusedthatenergyonlytoworkharder.
dont want to compete (and probably we cant) with any other developer outside our Itis,naturally,acommonthreadthis:Howdevelopers,smallandlarge,mustbattle
countrywe know we have a good and fun simin TurismoCarretera created thanksto against the community in order to create a sim: I was once told that over seventy
the great gMotor, but our intention is to show our racing cars to the world, not to percent of GTR2 online drivers were running a cracked version of that sim. These, I
compete with other developers. Martin pauses before he adds, laughing: You know, imagine,wouldbethesamefanswhothenwentontotheforumsdecryingSimBinfor
sometimes I read reviews talking about the ugly tracks in Turismo Carretera ... and it not creating GTR3, fully realizing, of course, that it was their actions that killed any
makes me think they dont know the real tracks for sure! Here we have only two or chance of that sim being developed in the first place. There is a dark heart in this
three good tracks ... the rest are grass, grass, grass, and more grass ... oh and some community:Adesiretodamageandcripplethedevelopersforreasonswhichmanyof
cowsmaybe! uswhohaveseenitfirsthandcannotquitefathom.TurismoCarreterasufferedasimilar
2Pezcreated in 2006has now swollen to ten guys including Hernan and Martin: fate when they signed a deal with 777 studios.net to sell their sim internationally in a
This comprises three programmers, five 3D/2D artists, and a webmaster. They are box: The ACTC game published by 777 was cracked within a day or so, and posted on
working on their own engine, which Martin suggests is their most important job at thenet:Thesafediscprotectionisnotagoodsolutiontoday,Martinsays,avoiding
present, but this is not going to power any of their racing sims since they have an the conversation by simply stating that Jasonthe man behind 777is a good man
excellent working relationship with ISI as well as that allprecious component Martin is keen to avoid this subject, and instead turns to the process itself, focusing
knowledgeoftheengineandhowtogetthemostoutofit. nowashedidthenontheproject,onthework.
Theotherreason,ofcourse,isthattheISIenginedoesnotcomecheap:Thisisthe Thefirstthingwedidwastraveltoeachtracktotaketonsofpictures,videos,andlap
enginethathaspoweredvirtuallyeverysiminthiscommunityformostofthiscentury thecircuitswithGPS.Thenwewentbacktotheofficetobeginthelaborious3Dprocess.We
(starting from SimBin, through The Sim Factory, and now powering Slightly Mad builtabasicroadeditionfirstinordertotestwithrealTCdriversinordertogetasenseof
Studioslatestandgreatest),whichledmetoask,withasmuchtactasIcouldmuster, whetherwewereontherighttrack,sotospeak,withthefeelofthetracks.Thiswasagood
preciselyhowtwoenthusiastsoutofBuenosAiresmanagedtoaffordit idea,asitturnedout,becausesometimestheGPSisnotonehundredpercentaccurate,and
It was not easy, Martin concedes. We worked a lot talking with racing managers nobodyknowsbetterthanarealdriverhowthetrackactuallyfeels.
andespeciallytheTCseriesowners(ACTCAsociacinCorredoresTurismoCarretera). Withthecars,Martincontinues,theworkwassimilar:Wetookalotofpicturesat
Thanks to my experience as an exdriver, we could talk with the right person at the races, a process that was eased by the ACTC organization who, for instance, put a
right moment, and the ACTC owners understood the importance of a sim as a kind of specialsectorattheBuenosAirestrackwhichallowedustotalaccesstothecarsaswell
promotionaltool,too.TheyhelpedusleasethegMotorfortheTurismoCarreterasim. asthedriversandteams.IhavetosaythatACTCsorganizationherewasexceptional.
Going with gMotor as the engine of choice was a simple decision: We are fans of ISI All the teams went to the special 2Pez box that Friday, from which we created the
simssincethedaysofSportsCarGT,andgMotorisverymoddable,easytoworkwith. likenessofalltheteamsanddriversandcars.
Forourlittleadventure,thiswasboththeobviousandbestsolution,nodoubt. Then, of course, we were back at the office to work on 3D. One of the most difficult
WiththeofficiallicenseandthegMotorengineassandbox,2Pezbeganworkingon elementswithrecreatingTC,wesoondiscovered,wasthesound:WeworkedwithTVreplays,
their debut sim; Martin recalls it being a tough process, not only in terms of the build weputadigitalrecordinacar,westuckalaptopinacar,too,beforewewerefinallyreadyto
itselfbutthisbeingthesimracingcommunitywhere deprecatingtheworkofothers head into the soundforge: TC cars have an strange sound, very difficult to obtain a good
is a passionfinding the motivation to ignore the usual whirlwind of hate, spite, and recordingofbecausetheresalwaysalotofbackgroundsoundsandweirdnoises.Weuse
envythatwelcomesanynewdeveloperintothecommunity. goodmicsandequipment,butwejustcouldnotgetthesoundsright:Inmyopinion,theACTC
The most important thing, Martin tells me when I ask whether hed have some sound is not worth ten points ... maybe an eight! Some modders have tried to make better
advice for anyone out there with an idea of creating a sim, is that we had a dream. sounds,butnobodyhasgotitrightyet.

67 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
PROFILE2PEZ continued

MartinatSkipBarberinMiami:HelaiddownarecordtimeatHomestead

TurismoCarreterawasreleasedin07tocriticalacclaim,andcommercialsuccessinitstarget
market, Argentina, where it enjoyed a sixmonth run in the bestseller list in that countrys
biggest gamesretailer,Musimondo. Martin will not reveal numbers, butdoes suggestthesim
shifted enough units to cover their costs, and fund the development of their second sim, Top
Race,whichisnowavailableatadownloadretailernearyou.
ThesimwasalsowellreceivedwithintherealworldofTC:JoseMariaLopez(exRenaultF1
AttheRafaelaracetrack,2Peztakingmeasurementsaspartofthepainstakingeffortofsimulation
tester)andRicardoRissatti,twoArgentinedriverswhoareoddsonfavouritestofindtheirwayto
Europe,useTCtolearnthetracks,whileAgustinCanapino,ayoungandfastdriverwhostarted The real Top Race is not that much different to TC, Martin continues. Both series
hiscareerusingsims,isawellknownTCfan. feature similar stock cars with six cylinders weighing more then 1,300kgs and powered by
Thisisnotsurprisingofcourse:AnyonewhohasspentsometimewithTCwillreadilyadmit 350BHPplusenginesthroughtherearwheels.TChasabiggerhistoryhere(usingtraditional
thefeelofthecarsissuperb.Sohowdidtheygetthisfeelsoright? carsthat,inthemain,are no longer being commerciallyproduced),while TopRace is the
WeworkedtogetherwithBrianSmithandEmilianoSpataro,twoTCdrivers,Martinexplains. newoptionwithmodernbodyshapes.Rules,meanwhile,arethesame,asistheengine
TheydidalotoftestinglapsinTC, workingwithmeIm thephysicsguyat2Pezduetomy thatpowersoursim:gMotor.TheTopRacesim,though,hasalotoflittleinnovations,allof
experienceinracingcars,andIwasagoodtestdriverinmydriverdays,headdslaughing.Ialso themduetoourexperiencefromTC.Wehavebetterlookingtracks,andwehavecreateda
hadagoodexperienceforsomemonthsinEuropeworkingalongsideEnriqueScalabroniwhohas rainoption(rainisfixedingMotor,butwegetsomefundriving!),andtheUIisverynicein
worked with Ferrari, Williams, and other big teams. And of course we received a lot of myopinion.
collaborationfromtheactualTCconstructors,whogaveusallthedetailsweneeded. WhenIaskhimwhatisthebiggestdifferencebetweenthetwoseriesandthetwosims,
ForthosewhodontknowandthatwouldprobablyincludeeveryoneoutofArgentinaTop Martin replies: Fun. We want fun for this sim. Top Race is easy to drive, and fun. TC is
RaceisnotaplayonanewSimBintitle(orthedesperatesearchforanameforasim)but,rather, difficult, Martin continues, its sort of the GPL of Stock Car sims while Top Race is just
theofficialnameofarealworldseriesthatrunsinArgentinasidebysidewithTurismoCarretera. meanttobefun:thecarsinTopRaceareeasytodrivebutnoteasytowininand,Martin
TopRacehasdifferentmanagement,Martinexplains,butthetwoseriesarefriends,andId pausestoinformmethatwhathesabouttotellmeisconfidential,whatpeopleshouldpay
say eighty percent or so of drivers run in both series. Here in Argentina, he continues, its attention to is the slogan for the sim: Do you want to drive a Top Race? Maybe we will
commonpracticetohavethesamedriversracingintwoorthreeseriesatsametime.Theyre makerealsomesimracersdreamscometruejaja!ForthatreasontheyneedtheTopRace
workingallweekendlong,Martinsays,ifyoucancallracingcarsforalivingwork. sim.Whenpressedfordetails,Martinwillnotrelent:ThatsallImsaying!

68 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
PROFILE2PEZ continued



TheboysatParana:Anofficiallicensesees2Pezgiventotalaccesstoallcarsandtracks
Partofthelicenseisrealworlddriversgettonotonlytestthesim,butgivetheirfeedbackandinput
TopRacealsofeaturesoneofthebestdamagemodelsweveseeninaquitesometime:Not andthathastranslatedbrilliantlyintothefeelof2Pezssims
onlyvisually,butalsointhewaydamageeffectsthecarshandling.
Yes,saysMartin.IchataboutthatwithGjonsometimeago.Butfirstweneedtohave
Really?Martinasks.OhGod,Ihaventgotananswerforthat!Sorry!Wedidprettymuchthe
rF2available!
samewithTC...maybeitsbecausethistimewetriedtomakemoreeyecandydamage?
Sointhemeantime,whatcanweexpectfromthetwolivefish?
Eyecandyis,indeed,amajordifferencebetweenTopRaceandTC:Thequalityonallaspects,
I dont know, replies Martin. Maybe nothing. Maybe a free TC2000 game, maybe a
sound, graphics, textures, is obvious from first glance. Moreover, 2Pez have attempted to
mod,maybeafullgame,whoknows...Thevideogamebusinessisverysmallinourcountry,
integratealotofnewcontentintoTopRacesomeofitsuccessful,andsomeofitnotquiteas
andtheresalotofpiracy.2Pezisalittlegroup,andwecantfightwiththat.AsIsaidbefore,
much.Indeed, an early versionthat was shipped to AUTOSIMSPORTcame withfeaturesthat
wehadadream,andwehaveachievedourdream.Maybenowisthetimetofollowanother
youwillnotfindwiththecurrentversion,sincemanyofthosefeatureswerealittle,howshallwe
dream. I want to be a singer like David Gahan! Hey, its not crazy or impossible to be the
saybroken.
localDepecheMode!Jajajaja....Hernan,too,wantstoplayinournationalfootballteam,I
Yes,itwasourfault,wedidnttestitthoroughlyenough,admitsMartin.Butnextyearwe
thinkhewillcallMaradonatotalkaboutthatsoon!Really:Theresalotofpeoplehereand
wanttoincludetheTopRaceJuniorseriesalongwithnewtracks,while,fortheactualsim,wewill
outsideArgentinaplayingoursims.Alotofpeoplediscoveredsimracingthankstous.We
trytoreincludeastatssystemandakindofregistrationonourserver.Allisworkingwellnow
cantaskformore,canwe?
withupgrade1.25,andweareworkingonadifferentstatssystemaswell.
Maybe not. But I can: Im a big fan of 2Pez. I like their sims (gritty, yes, and not at all
As for sales, Martin confirms they are good, but readily admits that Top Race is
glitzy, but with a racers heartbeat), and I like the guys behind the sim: For those two
not as popular as TC. Can we then, I ask, expect Turismo Carretera 2 using the
reasonsalone,Imrootingformoresimsandcontinuedsuccessforthetwopescados
rFactor2engine?

69 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

70 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


SHIFTingSpheres
INSIDE Simon Croft sat down with Doug Arnao and Eero Piitulainen, the
physical brains behind Slightly Mad Studios, to get the skinny on

REPORT theMadEngine

SIMONCROFT

71 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
INSIDEREPORT continued

SimonCroft:Canyoupleaseexplainwhatyourroleswerein for really being able to play around with the car at the
thedevelopmentofSHIFT,andwhattheserolesentailed? DOUGARNAO limit.Oneoftheinitialdesignconsiderationsforthetyre
DougArnao:IvedonewhatIdidinthepasttriedtoget Need for Speed SHIFT (2009), modelwastomakeitextensiblesothatitcanhandlethe
the numbers for the cars as accurate as possible, and ElectronicArts,Inc. extralayersrequiredforloosesurfacetyremodelling.
defaulttunethemtobedrivableoutofthebox.Ialsowas GTR 2: FIA GT Racing Game (2006),
involvedcreatingthebasicAIdrivingdata. 10taclestudiosAG,VivaMedia,LLC Simon: A number of tyre manufacturers appear in the
GTR: FIA GT Racing Game (2004), game: Did any of these assist with tyre modelling in
Simon: What were the scope statements given to the 10taclestudiosAG terms of realworld data, or in any other way? Do
team? The marketing message from EA claimed that F12002(2002),ElectronicArts,Inc. different tyres (make, size, shape, and so forth) have
SHIFT was getting hardcore, but how was it translated GrandPrixLegends(1998),SierraOn differentpropertiesinthesim?
to the development team? You obviously dont need Line,Inc. Doug: No realworld data from any manufactures. We
SlightlyMadStudiosandtheirbackgroundifyouwanta hadtorelyonourownresearchforthat.
blatant arcade game, so what was the overall remit at EEROPIITULAINEN
thebeginningoftheproject? RichardBurnsRally(2004),SCiGames Simon:TherearealargenumberofcarsinSHIFT.What
Doug: Maybe Ian should answer this, but basically it was: levels/typesofdatawereusedinsimulatingthedifferent
We want what SMS does for our new NFS direction. Can vehicles?
youdoitforus,andmakeitagreatexperienceonconsoles into English: What frequency does the physics engine Doug: We used whatever was available from the car
and PC. There was no talk about dumbing it down. Just operateat? manufacturers and our own research. No secrets here.
makeitdrivable,enjoyable,andconvincing. Eero Piitulainen: The effective physics tick rate for the Just get as much info as possible on each car and plug
vehicledynamicsare360hz. the numbers in. Sure there were some gaps, but (very)
Simon: A look through the game files shows a lot of the educatedguessescouldfillthemin.
code structure is from ISIs proprietary enginewhich Simon: SHIFT contains a brand new tyre model, as Doug
obviously has been Ian Bells sandbox for almost a decade touched on earlier: Eero, we know this is prettymuch the Simon:SHIFTscarsexistatvaryingperformancelevels,
nowwith some new code in place for the tyre and reason why you were brought onboard, considering your with many different drivetrain configurations,
suspension modelling. Would this be a fair assessment of workonRichardBurnsRallywas,atthetime,streetsahead suspensionsetupsandsoondoyouthinkSHIFTdoesa
SHIFTsunderlyingphysicscode,oristhismissingthemark of all competition: Can you reveal any details about its better job of simulating certain cars than others? If at
ofwhatSMShaveundertaken? nature/features? What do you think are its strengths and all so, can you say which car(s) you think provide the
Doug: The only big change was the new tyre model, but weaknesses relative to other models out there? And could bestlikenesstotheirrealworldcounterpart(s)?
therewerelotsoflittleadditionstomakeitfitthetargetof this tyre model potentially be used along with loose Doug: No I dont think it does a better job at one type.
workingonconsoleswithpads,aswellasthePC. surfaces? Onlypersonalpreferencemakesme(personally)likeone
typecaroveranother.AndIthinkthisisthegreatpartof
Simon:WhatwasthereasoningbehindusingamodifiedISI Eero: The model is a similar to a brush model, in other the game. Everyone likes something different, whether
MOTOR1.0/2.0asopposedtoawholenewengine? words,analyticalatitsbase.Thenthereareseverallayersof its a car type or a certain combination of car and
Doug:Strictlylogisticsandtimeschedule. complexity above this, such as dynamic tyre stiffness and performancelevel.
temperatureeffects.IthinkImmostsatisfiedwiththeway
Simon: As it is the only physics related question that Alex that it combines lateral and longitudinal forces when the Simon: How have the likes of the Nissan Skylines with
knows: What speed is the engine? And to translate that tyreapproachesthepeakandbeyondthepeak.Thisallows theirwealthofonboardelectronicsbeentackled?

72 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
INSIDEREPORT continued

Doug: We couldnt model individual differences in Simon: There are numerous tuning options available on Eero: The FFB is calculated from the wheel forces and
electronic control systems,if thats thequestion. That had many of the cars. Is there much realworld basis for the torques, fed through the suspension geometry and then
tobekeptmoregeneric. numbers seen from the various tuning options and measuredatthesteeringrack.
packages?
Doug:Yesofcourse. Simon: What impact has developing SHIFT with a primary
market of joypadwielding console owners had on the
Thenthereareseveral Simon: I think its fair to say that, for a number of product?IsasimracersittingbehindtheirPCwheelgoing
people, SHIFT takes a bit more effort than some other tobeexperiencinganyfalloutfromthis?
layersofcomplexity sims to get controllers set up correctly. Probably the
most prominent complaint in this area, and one I can
Doug:Joypaddevelopmentwasaprimaryfocusandhadto
be good. But the wheel was already a given from our
abovethis,suchas personally sympathise with from experience, is steering
inputlagIliterallycouldntkeepacarinastraightline
previousexperiences.Thecontrolpathswerekeptseparate
so the wheel is pretty pure. Its my personal preference

dynamictyrestiffnessand at speed, but, thankfully, with controllertuning the


problem has been reduced, if not totally eliminated: Is
whenjustplayingthegame.

this a problem you are aware of, and what are the Simon: The reaction to SHIFT has been somewhat
temperatureeffects.I chancesofseeingitremedied? interesting from the simcrowd. There have been
Eero: Its fair to say that at the end of the development complaints of not enough grip, too much grip, arcade
thinkImmostsatisfied most of our internal testing and focus has been on the
console versions as these have to pass submission
handling, and a whole host of other reactions running the
entiregauntletfromthebestsimevertotheworstgame
withthewaythatit testing. Unfortunately, this caused a few bugs to slip
through for the initial release of the PC version, which
everofpossibleopinions:Thisreactioncanthaveescaped
yourattention,andsoIhavetoask:Howdoyoufeelabout

combineslateraland havesincebeenremediedwiththepostreleasepatches.
Alsoduetotimeconstraints,wewerenotabletoaddan
the selfproclaimed hardcore communitys observations
andreceptionofSHIFT?
option to change the actual available wheellock from Doug: Its not surprising. Everyone has different
longitudinalforceswhen within the game on the PC version. Because of this, the expectations and opinions, the hardcore community
wheel settings are all set to match the outofthebox especially.MypersonalgoalforSHIFTwastokeepitasreal
thetyreapproachesthe defaults for the various controllers, which, for example,
is only 210 degrees of turninglock on the Logitech
andintenseaspossibleatalldrivinglevelssoanybodythat
playeditwasprettydarnconvincedtheyarethere.Ithink
peakandbeyondthe wheels. If a multiturn wheel is used, one that has 360
degrees of more turninglock for instance, its essential
thiswasaccomplished.Ithinkgriplevelsandsuchareonly
oneparametertogetyouthere.

peak.Thisallowsforreally to set the Speed Sensitive Steering to 0% in the


AdjustControlsmenupage.

Simon: There seems to be a real, We the community can

beingabletoplayaround
Simon: How isForceFeedback implemented?Isit calculated
tell you about physics attitude being demonstrated by
some in the community. What is your reaction to seeing a
fromthesteeringrack,likeRealFeel,orisitdoneviathegrip realism mod released within a matter of days of SHIFTs
withthecaratthelimit levelsaswiththedefaultISIFFBorLeo'sFFBmod? release (amongst other things adjusting parameters

73 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
INSIDEREPORT continued

relating to elements of the code that have been updated Doug: The core is a pure simengine. The product brings
andcantpossiblybefullyunderstoodbythemodders...)? that to a wider audience than ever before allowing more Itsfairtosaythatatthe
Doug: Like I said previously, everyone has their own playerstoenjoythattypeofexperience.
opinionsonwhatfeelsrighttothem.Imsureanymod
willgetjustasmuchpositiveandnegativeastherelease

Simon:Asmentionedabove,therearecertainomissions
endofthedevelopment
version.

from the feature set of the physics modelling such as


tyrewear.Aretheseomittedforanyparticularreasons?
mostofourinternal
Atheart,theengineispure
Once all aids are turned off, have there been any
deliberatedeviationsfromsimulatedrealityforthesake testingandfocushas
ofeaseofplayability?

simulation:Butwithwell Doug:Tyrewearandsuchweredecidedtoberemovedto beenontheconsole


makethegeneralgameplaymoreconsistent.Wedomodel

handlingvehiclesandwork tyre heat, if you havent noticed. Although the tyres dont
startdeadcold,soitssubtle.No,wedontdoanydeviation
versionsasthesehave
onareascoveringjoypad
inthephysicsoncetheaidsareturnedoff.

topasssubmission
filterstodrivingaids,weve
Simon: From a physics point of view, what elements are
youmostproudofinSHIFT?Arethereanyareaswhereyou
testing.Unfortunately,
thinkyouSHIFTstandsabovethecompetition?

createdsomethingthat Doug:Theanswertobothishowapproachableitisfora thiscausedafewbugs


wide range of player. If I had to pick one thing though,

boththesimulationracers Id say were pretty proud of the tyre model. That one is
Eerosbaby.
toslipthroughforthe
andthemorecasualplayer
Eero: What Doug said: At heart, the engine is pure
simulation: But with wellhandling vehicles and work on
initialreleaseofthePC
canenjoy
areas covering joypad filters to driving aids, weve created
something that both the simulation racers and the more
version,whichhave
Simon: There has been a lot of debate among the
casualplayercanenjoy.
sincebeenremedied
communityaboutexactlywhereSHIFTfitsintothearcade Simon:Andfinally:YouhaveonesessionleftinSHIFT.Just
sim spectrum. There are some obvious you,onecar,andonetrack.Whatwouldtheybeandwhy? withthepostrelease
compromises/omissions, such as severe damage and Doug:GT3RSattheRing.Youhavetoaskwhy?
brake/tyrewear,buthowwouldyouappraiseSHIFTasasim
in terms of the core physics engine itself, and also the
Eero: McLaren F1 at the Ring for the feeling of just being
ontheedgeandslightlyoverattimes,butstillgettingaway
patches
productasawhole? withit.

74 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3



MythBusta

Turn10sDan
JONDENTON
Greenewalt
DanGreenewalt,whosportsaBAinReligion,isprobablyanunlikely

candidate to turn the XBOX system into the worlds foremost

simulator platform: But as of this writing, Turn 10s Forza

Motorsports 3 is the purest simulator available on any console, and


can easily matchand in most cases outmatchanything currently
availableonthePC.Sohowdoesthatworkthen?

75 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
MythBusta continued

AUTOSIMSPORT: Inourlastinterview(Vol 4Num 3), you


explainedthatduetotheinfoyouhadgatheredfromToyo
tyres, you couldn't get Pacjekas magic formula to 'meet'
your data: This meant you had to roll out your own tyre
physics.Canyouexplainhowyouwentaboutimprovingon
thismodelforForza3?Whatcanweexpectintermsofthe
tyremodel,andhowhasitbeenimproved?
DDA
D AN
A N GRRREEEEEEN
NG
G N WA
NEEEW
W ALLLTTT: For Forza 3, we developed a strong
A
connection with Michelin tyres through Peugeot Sports
who obviously work with Michelin for their sports car
programme, and their LMP and other cars. That gave us a
highlevel partnership with Michelin, and they exposed us
to loads and loads of testdata not only on race cars, but
their production cars as well. This partnership also meant
we were able to talk to their engineers to find out how
thingswork.ThePacjekaformulaisgettingalittleoldnow,
butitsbasedonsomereallygreatdatainMillikensbook;
most racing developers like us start with Millikens book
becauseitissocomprehensive.
{Theproblemwas}wecouldntmakethecurrentdatareally
TURN1OPROFILE
fititslikeaweathersysteminthattherearealotofvariables
Establishedin2001asMicrosoftGameStudiosfirstpartyracingdeveloper,Turn10StudiosbeganworkingontheoriginalForza
in weather:Ifyoure tryingtopredict theweather, andif you
MotorsporttofillthevoidofsimulationracinggamesontheXBOXconsole.Overthecourseofthreeyears,ourdedicatedteamof
want to be a meteorologist, you really need to get the most
developerslaidthefoundationfortheForzaMotorsportfranchise.Withanemphasisondrivingmechanicsandpowerfulfeatures
cuttingedgescienceeveryyear,andyourenevercompletely
pushingtheboundariesofXBOXLIVE,theoriginalForzaMotorsportwasreleasedinMayof2005tomuchcriticalacclaimand
right,butyourealwaysgettingbetterandbetter,andstriving
communitysupport.
tobeasadvancedasyoucan.Buttherearesomanyvariables
BuildingoffitssuccessTurn10srosternearlydoubledinsizeastheteamimmediatelybeganworkingonasequelintendedto
involved,tradewinds,heatofftheequator,etcetera,variables
bereleasedonMicrosoftsnextgenerationconsole,theXBOX360.TwoyearsofdevelopmentgavebirthtoForzaMotorsport2
wekeeplearningaboutmoreandmoreabouteveryyear,and
that was released in May of 2007. Furthering the intuitive racing experience was only the beginning for Turn 10, as Forza
tyresarethesameway.
Motorsport 2 pushed the boundaries of User Generated Content (UGC) with the addition of a robust livery editor and online
In Forza Motorsports 3, we added tyre flex and
AuctionHousewhereplayerssoldtheironeofakindcreationstothehighestbidder.Fortheveryfirsttimetheconsoleracing
incorporatedthatwithothervariablessuchastyreheating
genresawagamethatgavecasualplayersthefeaturestheyrequiredtheexpresstheircreativityonandoffthetrack.
(outer,inside,andmiddleofcarcass),gasesheatingup,and
Withnewonlinetoolsattheirfingertips,theForzacommunityblossomedintoaspecializedsocietyfilledwithpainters,tuners,
the aspect ratio of the tyre. The tyre compound impacts
sellers,racersanddrifterswhomasteredtheircraftandsharedtheircreationswiththeworldviaForzamotorsport.net.
how stiff the sidewall is, and as the gases increase in
Inlate2007,Turn10StudiosbegansculptinganaggressiveroadmapforthenextiterationoftheForzafranchise.Withan
pressure, all of this affects how the carcass will deform
intensedevelopmentschedule,Turn10Studiosmovedtoamuchlargerdedicatedstudiospaceaswebegancraftingourmost
under the load of the tyreall this is interrelated, all the
ambitious project to date. Doubling down on graphics, presentation, driving physics, UGC and broad accessibility, Turn 10
variables touch each other, so you cant just decide to
announcedForzaMotorsport3attheE3Expoin2009toexcitedfansaroundtheworld.

76 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
MythBusta continued

simulate some new aspect, you have to reinvent your tyre brokentraction,andalreadyhastendegreesofyawinthe Essentially weve made drifting far easier by intuiting
systemtoincorporatethesenewaspects. bodythats just winding up that tyre. If youre looking at what the controllerplayer wants to do, and thus making
WealsohavetyrespringinessinForza3:Tyresactasa racingsimsonthePC,whichgenerallyaredonewithracing the game much more fun for them, But that sits on the
spring on top of the suspension itself, and they absorb a tyresonly,thosetyrespeakataboutfourdegrees,threeto same raw physics, so the physics have become more
certainamountofbump,andthatissomethingthatisalso four total, and so the cars never have any drift angle, and simmier,butthecontrollershavebecomemorebuffeted.
built into tyre flex. Most people wont feel these that explains the simracers expectations. But thats not
differences, but pro drivers will, and it actually makes the actuallywhatproductiontyresdo:productiontyreshavea
Tyresdontgettotheirpeakfriction
gameeasiertodrivewhichisfunny because,by becoming farlaterpeakangle. untiltheyreuptoatentotwelve
moresimmy,weremakingthegameeasiertodrivesince ButImnotdefendingconsoleracervs.not,Iunderstand
thetyresaresofterandmoreforgiving. itsabitmorecomplicatedthansevendegreesornotitsa degreeslipangleratio.Thatmeans
range from threetofour all the way up twelve degrees
AUTOSIMSPORT: You have noted that Forza has to be a even some really bad tyres, like truck tyres with high thatthecarisntevendriftingyet,
perfect balance of realistic, intuitive, and fun. Can you
explain how Forza 3 has improved these parameters? In
sidewalls,havealotofloadonthem,andtheywillpeakata
sixteen degree range. This is all based on data, were not
hasntevenbrokentraction,and
particular, the idea of intuition seems to be where talking this sim vs. that sim: Weve modeled all of this, alreadyhastendegreesofyawin
developers are now headed in terms of realism: That is, thatsthenatureofthebeast.
cars are relatively simple to control at speed (we see Toreplytoyourpointaboutthebalancebetweenintuition, thebodythatsjustwindingup
people like Clarkson, after all, on Top Gear, throwing fun,andrealism,itgetsdowntotheinterface.Whenyoudrive
Ferraris around with abandon, and provoking lurid drifts Forza3withthewheel,youhavenobuffersbetweenyouand thattyre.Ifyourelookingatracing
which, in sims of the past, would have ended in a massive
spinout),butthatdoesnotmeanthatacarcanbeheldin
thewaythecarisdriving;youhaveadirectlinkbetweenthe
wheel,thethrottleandthebrake,andtheactualphysicsitself.
simsonthePC,whichgenerallyare
adriftat,say,sevendegreesorso,whichseemstobevery But when it comes to the controller, weve done a lot of donewithracingtyresonly,those
muchpartofthefunfactorinconsolesims.Letmeexplain innovationbetweenForza1and2,and2and3,totryandread
thatmoreadequately:inthe60s,withbiasplytyres,acar the players mind. When you steer all the way left on the tyrespeakataboutfourdegrees,
would be drifted into a turn, but with modern tyres, cars controller,forinstance,youdontmeantogoallthewayleft,
reallydontdriftatthesmallestinputofthewheel:Ifacar youre trying to go peak left, youre trying to do it gradually,
threetofourtotal,andsothecars
breaks traction, it will slide, of course, but sliding and
drifting is something that happens when you are going in
and if you taptaptap, maybe youre trying to go to eighty
percentpeak, and sowe have to read the players mind, and
neverhaveanydriftangle,andthat
too hotor coming out too hotbut many console sims thatsmadedriftingwiththecontrollermucheasierandmore explainsthesimracers
seem to have the cardrifting allthe time. Can youexplain intuitivebecausetheplayerisnotoperatingthecontrollerthe
howForzaseekstoaddressthisfunandrealismdebate? waytheywouldwithawheel.Withthewheeltheyregoingto expectations.Butthatsnotactually
D
D AN
DA
A NNG
G NEEEW
GRRREEEEEEN
N WA
W ALLLTTT:EvenfromthedatawegotfromToyo
A domuchmoreexactlywhattheywanttodotheyregoingto
whatproductiontyresdo:
and Michelin, we know that production tyres that come steer in the direction and the angle they wantwhile on the
stock, for example, on a Chevy Avaya, have a pretty high controller, they go full left, full right, full left for a while and productiontyreshaveafarlater
sidewall, and tyres dont get to their peak friction until pauseand full left againbecause they really dont want to
theyre up to a tentotwelve degree slip angle ratio. That golocktolock,whattheyretryingtodoishitacertainangle, peakangle
means that the car isnt even drifting yet, hasnt even andwehavetoreadtheirmind.

77 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
MythBusta continued

AUTOSIMSPORT:Manysimsontheconsolearecomingin
boastinghundredssomealmostathousandcars.Onthe
PC, we are accustomed to one car taking months to be
created:Canyouexplaintheprocessofgivingsuchquantity
ofcarsanauthenticfeel?Isitaprocessinwhichallthese
carsaretestedor,rather,isitthecasethat,onceyouhave
thephysicsright(thatis,thatitautomaticallygeneratesan
authentic car for those for which you have all the
numbers),youtrusttheenginetocreateanauthenticfeel
for all cars? You have referred to this as Automagic: Has
thisprocessbeenrefinedbetweenForza2andnow?
DDA
D AN
AN GRRREEEEEEN
N G
G N WA
NEEEW
W ALLLTTT: We actually have an inordinate
A
amount of dataits the whole garbage ingarbage out
mantra.Wecollectalotofdata,andalotofthetimewego
around the manufacturers and go to the parts
manufacturers directly: Sofor gear ratios, tyre data,brake
date, well go to Brembo for example, and Alcon, and not
talk to manufacturers at all, because weve found that the
car manufacturers themselves know very little about their
carsatthelevelthatweneedtoknowaboutthem,sowedo
research and research and research as opposed to tuning
andtuningandtuning.
Wemakesurewehaveallthedatagoinginright,sowe
collect thousands and thousands of parameters on every
Racecarsaretheworst;everycargetssetupforspecificraces,soyoull car, and then we put it into the simulation before the
havepeoplesay,thiscarhasatopspeedofthatbecausetheyranthatat simulation,andthatiswhatwecallAutomagic.Automagic
isbasicallyaserverfarmthatactuallyreadsinallthisdata
LeMans,andyetithasadownforceratingofthisbecausethatswhat andrunsitthroughawholebunchofphysicsmodelsweve
built, then pumps out raw data on the car to feed our
theyranatRoadAtlanta:Butthosetwocantcoexistyoucanother physics engine. All that data gets baked into a giant
havethattopspeedorthatdownforce,butyoucanthaveboth.Of databasethatdriveshowthecarsrun;ifyouthinkaboutit,
thats why we are so anal, why were trying to update our
coursethererealotofhorsepowermythsoutthere:TheBugattiVeyron physics every time, and trying to get it just right. Working
withpartnerslikeMcLarentogetouraerodynamicsmodel
doesnothave1,001BHP:Its998,thatsjustthetruthofthematter,998 right,andoursuspensionmodelright,becauseeachoneof
those variables makes the car drive more realistically, and
isthewayitis. youcantplaceavalueonit.

78 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
MythBusta continued

Manydriverswillsaythemostimportantthingisthisor

WhenyoudriveForza3withthewheel, that,andyes,Ithinkthemostimportantthingistyres,but
outside of that, therere a whole lot of variables, and its
hardtojudgewhicharemoreimportant,sowhenyoulearn

youhavenobuffersbetweenyouand aboutavariable,yousimplyhavetobuilditwhenitdefines
how the car drives. So we have a giant expert team that
contact car manufacturers, and we go test cars and put

thewaythecarisdriving;youhavea themonthedyno,andactuallywefoundawholebunchof
mythsaboutcars:Peoplesay,ohinForza,itdoesthis,and
in the realworld it does that, but actually. in Forza it does

directlinkbetweenthewheel,the that because in the realworld it does that, and what


manufacturers and what you read on the internet say is
actuallybunkwebustedthatmyth,thatcarcantdothat

throttleandthebrake,andtheactual speedbut we dont talk about it, we dont go on forums


andsay.actuallywererightbecausewetesteditsince,as
well as keeping good manufacturer relationships, some of

physicsitself
thosemythsarefun,youwanttobelievethatthiscarworks
likethis,butthetruthis,Itrustmyphysicsmodelmorethan
Itrustthewordfromanymanufacturer.

79
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MythBusta continued

AUTOSIMSPORT:Anyexamplesofthismythbustingthat models from their engineers. And since we dont compete answers and insightsthe goal was not to use the text book
wecanrelateto? withthem,theydontseeanissuewithtellingusapartof from last year even, but to put in data that will put into text
D
D AN
DA
A N NGGRRREEEEEEN
G N WA
NEEEW
W ALLLTTT:Racecarsaretheworst;everycargets
A thepuzzle:Theywonttelluseverything,becausetheybuilt books two years from nowstuff that people dont know
set up for specific races,so youll have peoplesay,this car their simulator for Lewis Hamilton, and they want to have aboutyet.
has a top speed ofthat becausethey ranthat atLe Mans, the bestsimulator available, but therere things that were
andyetithasadownforceratingofthisbecausethatswhat doing that can help them such as our tyre model, for AUTOSIMSPORT:Oneoftheissueswhenitcomestosim
theyranatRoadAtlanta:Butthosetwocantcoexistyou instance, andwe learned somethings fromthem likefluid racing is expectations: People expect to be as good as
can other have that top speed or that downforce, but you dynamics which, quite frankly, was amazingfor us, we MichaelSchumacher,andyetweknowthatthereareonlya
cant have both. Of course therere a lot of horsepower couldnt believe what they were able to do in realtime, fewincrediblytalentedindividualsonthewholeplanetwho
myths out there, too: The Bugatti Veyron does not have trickswewereabletoincorporateaswell. canmakethemostoutoftheircars.Sohowdoyougetto
1,001BHP:Its998,thatsjustthetruthofthematter,998is AUTOSIMSPORT:Soyouveseenthesimulator? thesituationwhereaneighteenyearoldkidwhowantsto
thewayitis. DDA
D AN
A N NGGRRREEEEEEN
G NEEEW
N WA
W ALLLTTT:Yes.
A havefunandtherealdriverwhoneedsaccuracyareboth
AUTOSIMSORT:Racedonit? satisfiedwithyoursimulation?
AUTOSIMSPORT: In our last interview, we discussed how DDA
D AN
A N NG
GGRRREEEEEENN WA
NEEEW
W AALLLTTT: No, they were training Lewis on it D
DDA AN
A NN G
G NEEEW
GRRREEEEEEN
N WA
W ALLLTTT: Comes down to your approach.
A
ForzaatthetimehadpartneredwithPeugeotandCorvette whenIwastheretheyhaveabeautifulfacility,Imahuge Balance again. Its like an onion with layers; we have the
racing depts: Has there been any further links made fanofdesigningeneral,andthatfacilityisamazing. raw physics at the core, no comprises, no sacrifices: We
between Forza and racing teams? Can you discuss these Onethingthatmostgamescompaniescantgetwere build the best simulation we can, we learned as much as
partnerships, and how it has benefited your simand the luckywerepartofMicrosoftbecausethatallowsusaccess couldandimplementeditall;thenweaddedlayers.Weadd
raceteamsinvolved? and partnerships that you wont get if youre a normal. the controller buffer layer, weadd aids likeABS, and PCS,
D
D AN
DA
A NN GG NEEEW
GRRREEEEEEN
N WA
W AALLLTTT: Well, race teams tend to have publisherorgamecompany. the rewind button, autobraking which will brake for you.
engineers on the front line, whereas manufacturers tend Whenyouturnallthoseon,youhaveahardcoresimulator
nottosowhenitcomestoaraceteam,wecantalkwith AUTOSIMSPORT: How comfortable are you with the thatasixyearoldcandrive.Asixyearoldcantdriveacar,
the engineers. By partnering with Peugeot Sport, for current tyre model, and has there been any sacrifice given muchlessfastbutthatsthepointratherthanabalance,
instance,wehadafactoryteamthatwastestingtheircars to gameplay values? And are you comfortable enough I see it as a progression: One of your readers will enter at
and building their cars, and we had great engineers we runningyourtyresasasimulatorforwhatcouldhappentoa the core, with their Fanatec wheel and all assists off, and
could work with. I made connections with the guys on the realworldtyreinagivensituation? theywoulddrivewiththerawphysicsandfeeltheloadon
CorvetteTeamforForza2butthatwasmoreofapersonal DDA
DAANNN GG NEEEW
GRRREEEEEEN
N WWAALLLTTT: The only trade off iswere not
A the cars balance, while the six year old will go with all
thing, not a MicrosoftCorvette thing, its just some of us simulating catastrophic failure cause its not much fun in assistsonandthecontroller,andjustkindofexperiencethe
from Turn 10 and some engineers from Corvette, and we gameplay.Thetruthis,wedevelopourmodelwithtestdata enginethatsoundscooland,Icansmashintothewallsand
trade notes cause were not really competing with each so its hard to use the simulation to test something that you Imhavingfun,andImhavingagoodtime,whilethegame
other,sowedontkeepsecrets.Wehavealotofdriverswe haventtestedyet,becausewedhavetousethetestdatato handles all the complex controls for them: The eighteen
workwith,too,likeStefanSarrazinfromPeugeot. inputintothesystem,andthenyoucouldreplicatethesame year old, meanwhile, is somewhere inbetween; He turns
Then theres McLaren Electronics that provide all the testdata in the systembut if you never actually tested the off TC, but plays with the controller and the controller is
electronics for Formula Oneits McLaren and Microsoft tyrebeforeintherealworld,thenalotofthedatayouwould readinghismindandthinking,Hestryingtodrifthere,so
working in partnership, so we were able to meet up with putinishypothetical.Everythingwelearnedweimplemented itll countersteer more intuitively: Its a complex problem,
McLarenandswapnotesonhowtheymadetheirsimulator, inthetyremodelweweresponges,weabsorbedasmuchas but it comes from knowing your customers well and
and learn things about aerodynamics and suspension wecould,andwhenwehadquestions,Michelinprovidedgreat treatingthemallasnuanced.

80 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
MythBusta continued

AUTOSIMSORT: In terms of sim racing: Are we


approaching a time when consoles will catchup, or are
wetherealreadywithForza3?
D
D AN
DA
A N GRRREEEEEEN
NG
G N WA
NEEEW
W ALLLTTT:Idliketothinkwerealreadythere
A
with Forza 3. I think the issue is focus. When youre
makingasimforthePCcrowd,youknowyoursalesare
only going to be a certain number, and the age group
anddemographicsareskewedacertainway.Soyoucan
only invest a certain amountif youre a logical
company, you cant go investing tens of millions of
dollars and recouping only a few million dollars. On the
PC market, thats what youre looking atthey dont
have the money, and they dont spend the money to
investthatway.
Within the consolegaming space, if youre able to
capture both the hardcore simracing market and the
casual audience, theres a lot of money, and because
theresmoney,youcaninvestmoney,andthatsthekey.
I want a larger group of people because I want them
to become morepassionate aboutcars; but in so doing,
we are able to get more money and spend more money
WewereabletomeetupwithMcLarenandswapnotesonhowthey to make a sim that appeals to the casual guy and the
hardcore guy. So will the PC stop being the place for
madetheirsimulator,andlearnthingsaboutaerodynamicsand sims? No, theyre really focused, theyre only making a
game for the simguy, and that allows them to be lean
suspensionmodelsfromtheirengineers.Andsincewedontcompetewith and mean, and just make a game for that person;
them,theydontseeanissuewithtellingusapartofthepuzzle:They howeverbecausetheydonthavethemoney,theycant
investthetimetobecuttingedgeonthescience.Ithink
wonttelluseverything,becausetheybuilttheirsimulatorforLewis the consoles will have better physics, but if youre
lookingforagamejustmadeforthesimracer,itwillbe
Hamilton,andtheywanttohavethebestsimulatoravailable,buttherere morelikelyonthePC.

thingsthatweredoingthatcanhelpthemsuchasourtyremodel,for AUTOSIMSPORT:Forza3comeswithcockpits:Didthis,
instance,andwelearnedsomethingsfromthemlikefluiddynamics pun not intended, change in perspective have any
consequencesonhowthegamewasdesigned?Doesthis
which,quitefrankly,wasamazingforus,wecouldntbelievewhatthey change the way Forza feels to the user? Was there any
discussiononthatlevel?
wereabletodoinrealtime,trickswewereabletoincorporateaswell

81 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
MythBusta continued

DDA
DAAN
N GRRREEEEEEN
NG
G N WA
NEEEW
W ALLLTTT: Well we did a lot of study around how
A
peopleusedcockpitsinProjectGothamRacing3and4,andwe
hadcockpitsinMidtownMadness.Whenwewereplaytesting
Forza 3, we found we needed to put more of an animation
systemin it. We wanted it to be very subtlesothe cockpits
have thirtysix layers of animation in it, very subtle and very
small,buttheychangethingslikethefieldofview,aswellas
acceleration, bumps on tracks, and suspension on the road.
Thatwasbasedondrivingthecockpit,anditfelttoodeadwe
didnt want to go over the top and get all arcadey and silly
withhugeanimationsandallthat,wewantedittobesubtle,to
immerse the player And oncewe developed that system, we
actually implemented it on the first person and third person,
and on the bumper cameras as well because it was such a
powerfulsystem.Asfarasdriversgo,lessthantenpercentof
drivers use the cockpit camera for actual competition: Most
peoplegoinandtryandloveitcausethisgameisacarlovers
game,andoneofthethingstheydowhentheygetanewcar
theyve neverdriven before is tosit in thecockpitbut when
they go compete, they go the preferred first person or third
person.

Automagicisbasicallyaserverfarmthatactuallyreadsinallthisdataand AUTOSIMSPORT:Forza3nowalsofeaturesdamageandcars
abletofly:Therehaslongbeenarumourthatsuggestedreal
runsitthroughawholebunchofphysicsmodelswevebuilt,thenpumps world car manufacturerswere reticent in allowing developers
outrawdataonthecartofeedourphysicsengine.Allthatdatagets theabilitytogeneraterollingintheircars.Howdidyoumanage
toassuagetheirfears?
bakedintoagiantdatabasethatdriveshowthecarsrun;ifyouthink DDA
DAAN
N GRRREEEEEEN
NG
G N WA
NEEEW
W ALLLTTT: Total truth iswe were afraid to ask.
A
Weve had damage with PGR and Forza for years, and we
aboutit,thatswhywearesoanal,whyweretryingtoupdateour already asked about thatwe have a good relationship with
manufacturers.Soyes,wewantedtoallowthecarstorollover,
physicseverytime,andtryingtogetitjustright.Workingwithpartners ourphysicscouldsupportitfromForza1whereyoucouldroll
likeMcLarentogetouraerodynamicsmodelright,andoursuspension our protoypes in 2002, so weve always supported it, but we
addedagimblelocktokeepthecarfromrollingovercause
modelright,becauseeachoneofthosevariablesmakesthecardrive weweretooscaredthatthemanufacturerswouldnotallowit.
We never askedthem, though, but after we shipped Forza2,
morerealistically,andyoucantplaceavalueonit wewentouttoallourmanufacturersandapproachedeachof

82 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
MythBusta continued

them and said, Look, we have been great partners, were


buildingsimulators,ourgoalisnottomakesillygameswithbig
explosionsandthingslikethat,ourgoalistosimulate,andcars
rollover.PluswewereaddingafewSUVsatthetime,andif
youveevertriedracinganSUVatthelimit,evenwithracing
slicks,youhaveabigchanceofrollingover,sothatforcedusto
ask the question and to my surpriseand it makes me feel
stupid for not having asked soonerall of them said yes. A
couplesaidno,initially,andwetalkedaboutoursimpedigree
and our partnerships, and all of them eventually agreed that
yes,itmakessense,andwedidnotloseonesinglecarorone
single manufacturer because of it, or create any ill will: We
didntburnanybridges,justsometookmoreworkthanothers.

AUTOSIMSPORT:ThecustomisationofthecarsinForza3is
set to make a mockery of what has come before: Where
previouslywecouldswapengines,wecannowswapanything
fromswaybarstodrivetrainsandmore:Canyoudiscussthisin
as much detail as you can in terms of the challenges this
brought to the design of the game, as well as its potential
accuracyandsoforth?
D
DDAAN
A N GRRREEEEEEN
NG
G N WA
NEEEW
W ALLLTTT:Weactuallybuilt our model onsome
A
limiteddatafromguyswhohavedonesomeengineswaps,
so all of this the simulation before simulationthe Ithinktheissueisfocus.WhenyouremakingasimforthePCcrowd,youknow
Automagicgetsbasedonawholeloadoftestdata.Now,
of course, we go well beyond what it is possible to test
yoursalesareonlygoingtobeacertainnumber,andtheagegroupand
because people dont go spending a million dollars on a demographicsareskewedacertainway.Soyoucanonlyinvestacertain
Volvototurnitintoasupercar.WhenyoutakeataVWGTi,
we just dont have people out there who are investing
amountifyourealogicalcompany,youcantgoinvestingtensofmillionsof
millions of dollars to turn that into a supercar. This means dollarsandrecoupingonlyafewmilliondollars.OnthePCmarket,thatswhat
we have to research what seems possible, and what can
money do. Its not what is out thereyou cant judge it yourelookingattheydonthavethemoney,andtheydontspendthemoney
based on, Hey, noones done it yet so its not possible:
Peoplehaventdoneathingbecauseitseitherprohibitively
toinvestthatway.Withintheconsolegamingspace,ifyoureabletocapture
expensive, or because therere no manufacturers that are boththehardcoresimracingmarketandthecasualaudience,theresalotof
excited by the idea. So youre not going to get some
privateerspendingmillionsofdollarsdevelopingaScirocco. money,andbecausetheresmoney,youcaninvestmoney,andthatsthekey

83 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
MythBusta continued

reallywidewheelbaseandtrack,widetyres,lightweight
seewhereImgoing?Itsasetofparameters,notaspecific
car.SoIdstartwithacarthathasanevenfiftyfiftyweight
distribution,likeaBMWM3orsomethinglikethat,andId
add weight by addingtothedriveline,and thenreduceby
takingweightreductionout.Wealsomodelbodyflexsoif
thecarhasntgotaveryrigidbody,itwilladdalotofslopin
thetransmission,andyoucanactuallyupgradethecarwith
bodyreinforcingtotakethatslopoutandputmoretyreon
theground,inessence,bykeepingthebodyrigid.Sooneof
thefirstthingsIdoismakethebodystifferwhichaddsaroll
cageandaddsabitofweight,whichmeansIthenpullout
theweightintheunsprungweightintherims.Andthisis
real physics; anyone who knows about building carsall
thisstuffisfamiliar

AUTOSIMSPORT:DoyoustillkeepaneyeonPCsims?
Therefore weve built what seems plausible to us, and tenmillionbucksandIdontcareaboutit,Imightjustdoit, DDA
D AN
ANNGG NEEEW
GRRREEEEEEN
N WA
W ALLLTTT:LiveForSpeedoccasionally,alittlebit
A
whatourphysicswillbear;westandbehindourphysicsasa soundscool. ofrFactor.IlikeGTLegendsbecauseitwasmoreofagame,
playset,achemistryset,anditseemsplausible.Butsomeof andIlikevintagecarsandthatrolloverslipangle,soIlike
thethingswouldbereallyexpensiveyoudontseepeople AUTOSIMSPORT:SowhatsthebestcarinForzathatyou thatgamealot,butIvenotplayediRacingbecauseImnot
putting old drive systems in Ferraris necessarily because it cancreate? serious enough to plug down that membership. I know it
would be ridiculously expensivebut is it possible? Yeah, I DDA
D AAN
NNG
G N WA
NEEEW
GRRREEEEEEN W ALLLTTT:Wellthereisnoperfectsolution:What
A soundscheapfromagamedirectoronaracinggame,butI
dontseewhyitwouldntbepossibleitsjustgoingtoadd it comes down to ismillions of people are searching for dont play often enough, I play these PC sims, Ill go play
weight, complexity, add friction to the driveline, and we that right now, theyre almost like a search engine, and emforafewdaysoramonthandIwontplaythemforsix
modelallthosethings. theyre all actively searching. When it comes to classes, months soI want to try it, I keep thinking Ill go to my
NowputtingaV10inthespaceofaninline4,youknow, whattheyredoingistryingtofindthefastestforthistype buddys house who has a membership, but invariably we
thatswhereyouhavetostartmakingjudgementcalls.No of track or that type of track: Now one of the things I can landupplayingonlinetogetherusingrFactor.
ones done it, there might be enough space if you round tellyouis,theresareasonwhyallwheeldrivewasbanned
thingsoutenough,butthingis,peoplehavedonesome in certain motorsports, because it gives you an AUTOSIMSPORT:Sowhatcomesnext?
crazy stuff. {Star driftcar driver} Rhys Millen just took a advantageitgivesyoudisadvantages,ofcourse,butwith DDA
D AN
AN G NEEEW
GRRREEEEEEN
NG N WA
W ALLLTTT:Anythingispossible.Rightnowwere
A
HyundaicoupandputaV8inthebacksohemadeitintoa money you can overcome those things, like weight, just taking a break and trying to see what our next steps
rearwheel driven rearengined carpeople do crazy stuff! drivelineinertia,drivelinefriction,youcanovercomeallthat are: For me this is a long term vision for a brand and a
German tuner MTM took an Audi TT and put a 450BH withmoney. franchise,andwehavealotofroomtogrow.Theresalot
engine front and back: its an alldrive car driven by two Soallwheeldrive,weightdistributiondoesntmatterif moretocome,andwehavenotyetscratchedthesurfaceof
separatemotors.Sowhenpeoplesaythatsbullshit,noone itsmidenginedbecauseyoucanmovetheenginebackor what wed like to do, which would take the franchise and
willeverputanwheeldriveinaViper,likereally?Giveme push the tyres forwardyou have a platform that has a brandinarightdirection.

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86 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


AgustnCanapino
RealTime AgustnCanapinoisthesonofmultiplechampionshipwinnerAlbertoCanapino.Agustn
wasintroducedtoracingbyhisfatheratagefifteen,andayearlaterhewontheMegan
Championship.HedebutedinTurismoCarreterain2008inanHAZRacingChevy.
During the 2009 season, racing for Dole Racing as teammate to Carlos Okulovich,
AgustnCanapinosstarburstashedumpedhisChevyontothepodiuminhisfirstrace
fortheteamintheinauguralMardeAjoroundofthechampionship.
AUTOSIMSPORTcaughtupwiththeonetimesimracernowturnedproracertodiscover
whatitslikemakingtheswitch

AUTOSIMSPORT AgustnCanapinoProfile
Dateofbirth:January10,1990

Racesentered:98
Wins:13
Podiums:27
Polepositions:9
Translation:
Fastestlaps:7
Source:Driversdb
SergioBustamante TurismoCarreteraDetails
Car:Chevrolet
Photos:ACTC.org


Team:DoleRacingA.Fernandez
DebutinTC:2008
PolePosition:0
Races:14
Podiums:2

HeatVictories:4
FinalVictories:0

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AUTOSIMSPORT: Your father Alberto is a Geoff Crammonds GP series (I remember very little
famous motor-racing personality in Argentina: about the first one because I was so young) and
Could you give us a sense of what it was like kept at it until when I started messing with racing
growing up with him, and how his involvement online, and it all grew from there.
in motor-racing influenced your career? Do you
think it is easier, or more difficult, to follow in a AUTOSIMSPORT: You transitioned into real-world
famous father's footsteps? motor-sports a few seasons ago, starting in the
AGUSTN CANAPINO: Its really wonderful for Megane Cup (which you won): can you tell us what it
me to have him as a father because I was was like stepping from the virtual into the real? Were
brought up at race tracks and I inherited an you immediately comfortable, or was it a big step?
unexplainable passion for motor-sports that AGUSTN CANAPINO: I was lucky enough to get
goes back all the way to my grandfather, whos started in real life more due to my persistence than
name is also Alberto. Theres definitely no anything else! My dad man gave me the chance to
doubt, if it werent for my father, I wouldnt have try a Copa Meganethen confessed that he did it to
come this far, and be able to keep on dreaming show me how hard it was, and to get me off his
of progressing further and further. Hes taught back, but his plan backfired I wrapped the first
me everything I know to this day, and he keeps day by doing some good laps, and that convinced
teaching me because I still have a long way to my dad to let me try my luck in that class of racing
go in the learning curve. thats how I got started, back in 2005. I was fifteen,
and all I had done before that was take sim-racing
AUTOSIMSPORT: Before becoming a too seriously as if the sims were real. Its a huge
professional race driver, your interest was change, of course, going from virtual to real. The
confined to virtual racing: Could you tell us a bit physical strain is really big, the fear, jitters, heat, and
about your virtual racing history? What did you that sort of thingits very different. But by the time I
play, what were your favourite sims, how fast first got into the cockpit, it was just like being in front
were you, who did you race with and so forth? of the PC when it came to driving. It took me a few
AGUSTN CANAPINO: Ive always liked laps to get adjusted, but luckily, the further the day
computers, and as a young boy I started went by, the more I was able to feel comfortable and
playing lil car games as we call those which improve my pace.
are not sims in Spanish, both in public arcades
and on my PC. I was passionate about it, and I AUTOSIMSPORT: Do you feel that your exposure to
tried to simulate reality as much as possible. I sim-racing prepared you for real-world racing?
devoted as much time as I could because its a AGUSTN CANAPINO: Its helped me to understand
passion I have. I loved spending hours going a race, to know how to manage all the resources, to
around the tracks in simulators, trying to be as perfect focus and concentration, maneuvering
perfect as I could lap after lap, working on different types of turns, and so forth. Those are
setting up the car, and all that I started on things where I have no doubts about how much sim-

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RealTime continued

racing has helped me. I also believe that another fact AGUSTN CANAPINO: TC is Argentinas most drivers feeling and in the test sessions, prior to the
that made me so passionate was watching races and popular class, and its got a big following, a lot of race, with the help of data acquisition.
analyzing themits helped me improve day by day. tradition, and the countrys fastest cars. As every top
level race car, going fast is really tough, and it leads AUTOSIMSPORT: Do you have a favourite track in
AUTOSIMSORT: What do you feel are the strengths you into being close to the grip limit at all time, which Turismo Carretera?
of sim-racing in terms of preparation for racing? And makes it really hard. 2Pezs simulator was made for AGUSTN CANAPINO: Yes. 9 de Julio and Potrero de
what do you think is its weakness? Does it give you a hard-driving style and I like that because it makes los Funes.
any bad habits? it close to reality. I believe the problem that comes
AGUSTN CANAPINO: I think the strength, giving it with it is that people who are not used to driving that AUTOSIMSPORT: What is the most frightening corner
some quick thought, is concentration, more than hard find it impossible to keep the car on the tarmac. on the Turismo Carretera schedule? Is there one turn
anything else. Sensitivity, reflex, managing car Set-ups, as in the sim, are managed according to the that scares you, or, more accurately, makes your
resources, racing maneuvers, and Im sure something
is eluding me. This, of course, is if you take it
seriously enough, with the objective of perfecting
yourself a little more every day. The only shortcoming
I can think of is that maybe it makes you a little
immune or careless, because in the sim you never get
hurt, it never takes any money to get the car fixed,
and if you spin out or crash, you just hit the ESC key
and thats it. Thats why you need to take it as if it
were real life.

AUTOSIMSPORT: Does a fast sim-racer


automatically become a fast racer? If not, why not?
What are the major differences between the two
worlds?
AGUSTN CANAPINO: Im sure not. The differences
are really big. But its hard to explain with words. The
major differences, as I mentioned before, are the
physical effort, fear, jitters, heat inside the cockpit, the
pressure you have to handle, that sort of thing

AUTOSIMSPORT: You are now racing in the Turismo


Carretera series: Could you tell us a bit about these
cars? Are they as extreme as they feel in 2Pezs
sim? Can you tell us also a bit about setting the cars
upand what the cars feel like on the limit?

89 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
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stomach go into your mouth? Is their a track you prefer go on the throttle and I spin I am always sure that if class due for the currency exchange. Beyond that, it
over all others, and if so, why? you go easy on it, youll be a lot more stable and youll seems that Jos Mara Lopez is going to race for
AGUSTN CANAPINO: Every circuit has a critical improve your lap times. Obviously, its racing, but those USF1 next season, and we hope he can really pull it
corner which you know you got to respect more than who define how fast the cars are, are the drivers and off: It will be good for us to have a driver represent
the rest because you have the risk of a bad shunt that the people in fronton the track and on the screen. us at the top of motor-sports.
comes with the risk of hurting yourself. I believe the
most popular, and one of the most rewarding to go AUTOSIMSPORT: How accurate do you feel these two AUTOSIMSPORT: Are you Europe-bound? Any
through is the Curvn Salotto in Buenos Aires. simulators are? Do you use them to train? What do they ambition to try and get into F1? What is your future?
give you, in terms of an advantage over the other drivers? AGUSTN CANAPINO: Obviously thats every
AUTOSIMSPORT: Turismo Carretera or Top Raceif AGUSTN CANAPINO: Theyre well developed, but drivers dream, but Im aware that its impossible due
you had a choice? very different from reality for logical reasons. I dont use to money issues.
AGUSTN CANAPINO: Both. Both are very demanding them for training. I know theyre good for my virtual
and tough. Even though it is a fact that TC is more competition training because I take them seriously. AUTOSIMSPORT: Who is the toughest driver in Turismo
popular and has more tradition in the eyes of the fans. Unfortunately I am a bit distant from this because real- Carretera? Who is the dirtiest? Who is the fastest?
life takes a lot of my time. AGUSTN CANAPINO: There are so many! No, just
AUTOSIMSPORT: Left foot or right foot braking? joking: Norberto Fontana is one of the toughest. When
AGUSTN CANAPINO: Left foot, as learnt with the sim! AUTOSIMSPORT: Are you still sim-racing? If so, it comes to the dirtiest, there are some, but usually
Ive got good sensitivity with that foot, even though Im a what are you racing, and where? What are your theyre not at the front! The fastest, in my opinion, is
righty. I think its due to braking that way in sim-racing. favourite sims? Matas Rossi.
AGUSTN CANAPINO: I still do, from time to time, in
AUTOSIMSPORT: You were credited with doing a lot www.acvra.com.ar, and www.formula-simracing.net
of work on 2Pezs Turismo Carretera simulator, as well where we race with an F1 mod, and theres a lot of
as Top Race: Your experience, however, in sims professionalism both from the management as well as
makes you that rare breeda real-world racer who on the competition side.
understands simulators as well. A lot of drivers who are
unfamiliar with simulators will expect different things AUTOSIMSPORT: Argentina produced probably the
from the sim because they are unable to control the car best grand prix racer who ever lived in Fangio and yet
without the seat of the pants feel which usually sees its been a very long time since we have seen an
them wanting more grip: Can you discuss how your Argentine in F1 with a top team. Why do you think this
translate your real-world experience into a simulator? is? Is Argentina a tough place to go racing? Are the
AGUSTN CANAPINO: Whew, we could spend hours costs prohibitive, and do you have to get to Europe to
talking about this. But basically, what needs to be stand a chance?
understood is that you have to adapt yourself to the car AGUSTN CANAPINO: I believe the main reason is
you have at the time and try to go as fast as possible. If because Argentina is a third world country, which is
you say I cant brake, I always go beyond, Im sure not a target for F1. There hasnt been a driver who
that if you brake sixty feet earlier, youll have a good has really made it in Europe, and for an Argentine, it
braking point and youll make a faster turn. If you say, I means a lot of money to take part in a European

90 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


TheReturnOfRenato
Scooooop Revealed
From simracing to modding, from modding to SimBin, from SimBin to fullblown
developer at newlyformed Reiza StudiosRenato Simionis star keeps getting brighter
asAUTOSIMSPORTcannowexclusivelyreveal
AUTOSIMSPORT

91 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
Scooooop continued

Renato Simioni burst onto the modding scene as the


physics guy behind the GP79 rFactor mod back in the
summer of 07. That mod enjoyed enormous success, and
commandeddozensofcolumninchesingamingandracing
magazinestheworldover.Intermsofcommercialsuccess
(asfaraswecantalkaboutthisforafreeaddon),itis,inall
probability,themostsuccessfulrFactorcommunitycreated
content.Onthesepages,itwascalledthemostimportant
modsinceSimBin(whentheywerestillamodteamrunout
ofIanBellsLondonapartment)releasedtheiroriginalGTR
sometimeatthebeginningofthiscentury.
As it turned out, that was rather providential: Through
sourcesclosetothescene(hohum),wediscovered,latein
2007,thatRenatohadbeenflownintoSwedenandhiredon
to refresh what remained of SimBin after the Ian Bell
BlimeyGames! split. A few months later, SimBin released
GTREvo,asimthathadRenatosnamealloverthephysics
files:ItwasSimBinsbestsimsinceGTR2(thelastoftheIan
Bellera),andputanofficialstamponthegeneralheldbelief
thatRenatowasatthevery forefront ofcoderswho could
bleed the final drops of performance out of an ageing ISI
engine. Renato then went on to work on the STCC
expansion pack, creating the Camaro STCC car, as well as
the Formula Master car in Race ON. Things, as they say,
werelookingupforbothRenatoandSimBin
Inlatespringofthisyear,AUTOSIMSPORTlearnedwith
some dismay that Renato was no longer associated with
SimBin: In July, we managed to get some official
confirmation that hed left the Swedish studio. Why, we
wondered, would SimBin be as smart as to hire him, and
Whatthereis,Ibelieve,intermsofPCtitles,isashortageofsimsthathave then be as silly as to lose him? Slowly we were given the
backgroundstoryby(hohum),andthingsstartedtomake
succeededincapturingtheimaginationoffansofthegenre:someofthem a little more sense Still, though, this was a shortlived
haveveryspecificfocus,aimedforcertaintargetmarkets,othersare association for a developer and physics guy who seemed
perfectlymatchedforalongmarriage,anditseemed,also,
followingtheconsoletrendofpackagingasmuchcontentaspossible, an ideal place to begin our interview when we spoke with
Renato,nowbackhomeinLondrina,Brazil.

couplingitwithmoreapproachablebutshallowgameplayvalues
92 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
Scooooop continued

development of ISIs Superleague sim. Perhaps more


notable, however, is the appearance of legendary physics
guruNielsHeusinkveldwho,wearetold,willbepartnering
RenatoforphysicsandAIduties.
Fernando Oliveira Jr, Renatos partner, meanwhile,
has both programming expertise and a couple of
successful ventures in software development behind
him, and is focused, along with Renato, on the business
sideoftheventure:Atthispoint,withinvestmentbythe
two partners along with a loan and private investors
(who will not have a say in the creative direction of the
studio), Reiza Studios is fullyfunded to begin
development: When we ask Renato on whether this
actually means anything, considering the times, he
noted that, It will take some time until we can feel
comfortableenoughtopopthechampagne,forsure.
Champagne remains on ice until Renato and crew
finalisethedevelopmentoftheirfirstproductwhich,we
assume, is Yes, interrupted Renato, the focus is on
the development of a new racingsim. We wont be
doing everything inhouse though; these days the
market is spoiled for choice in terms of good, reliable
gameengineswithgooddevelopmentpotential,andfor
us it makes more sense to minimize the risks and settle
ImverygratefultoSimBin,repliedRenato,clearlynot In late October, we were informed that Renato had for one of those options, keeping our focus and
abouttogiveusanyjuicehere. begun his own development house named Reiza Studios, resources where our knowhow actually is, which is
They gave me a wonderful opportunity, and my time basedinLondrina(yes,itlooksabitlikeajungleupthere!). developmentofhighqualitycontent. Inparalleltothat,
working for them turned out to be a fantastic learning ThestudioismanagedprimarilybyRenatoandhisbusiness well also be open to developing this sort of content
experienceonmanylevels. partner, Fernando Oliveira Jr., and comprises eight fixed cars and tracks and everything associated with them
With the divorce with SimBin, the question became: members along with a backup team who will work on a for private clients. There are many interesting things
where would Renato turn up next? Slightly Mad Studios freelancebasisasandwhentheyareneeded. being done with vehicle simulator software these days,
were topheavy in the physics department, ISI werent Reizas development team features several well and we can provide our knowhow for a variety of
hiring,andgoingbacktomoddingforfree,whileprobably established names from the simracing modding scene, purposes, including professional driving and racing
tempting, was clearly a reversal of fortune for a modder including Alex Sawczuk (the_lonely), and Luc Van Camp simulators.
who has shown, from day one, the kind of resolve, (SLN)whohaveproducedsomeofthebestaddontracks Renatos career is synonymous with the ISI engine:
dedication, and nerve to make a nameand a careerfor forrFactor,JeffNewmanwhoworkedinthesoundsofthe Wouldit,weasked,beastretchtoassumehellbesticking
himselfinthisindustry. CART Factor mod, and Alex Borro, who led the towhatheknowsbest?

93 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
Scooooop continued

The ISI engine would be a Which is not to


logical choice, as its where not suggest our first
only I, but the rest of the team, project will be just
have developed their craft, and passable. But the
thus where we feel most scale of production
comfortable. Its also an evolving and licensing costs
engine, with a proven track record involved in such
of consumer appeal and reliability. projects must be
We also feel theres always been appropriate to our
someunexploredpotentialinthere capabilities, so that
still, even with their current we can still provide
version. ISI have something new something that is
cooking, too, which should also thoroughly good
become an excellent option, but value for the
naturally licensing this or that customersmoney.
depends on ISI and their terms as When a developer
much as it depends on us. As for says he has
projects, yes, we have a couple of something on his
optionsonourtable. table, it means he
Whenlookingatoptions,weask, isnt going to show
and considering theyre a startup, youallthesame,the
what are the primary aspects question must be
theyreconsideringwhencomingto asked, because
adecisionontheengine? sometimes the reply
The choice of platform really reveals just a sliver of
depends on the combination of pointing out that everyone involved in this company are the ideal, and so it
several aspects, such as the conditions provided by this passionate and active simracers, and as such there are proveswithRenatowhenhenotesthattheyreafterafully
potential partner, the type of project youll be developing, some dream projects that wed love to do, which were licensedsimfortheirdebutrelease.
whats your development timeframe for it, who you are confident would make great sims, and financially Licensedcarsandtracksarenaturallythepreferredway
targetingwithit,andwhatyoucandowithitthathasntyet worthwhiletoo.Butpreciselybecausewehavesuchpassion togo,anditswhatwereaimingfor.Whattheywillbewill
beendonebefore,Renatoexplained.Forcertainprojects,I for certain projects, wed like to make sure first and dependonwhethertheyareaccessibletoustobeginwith,
believeyoucouldstillproduceveryworthwhilegamesusing foremostthatwecanaffordtheirdevelopment,enoughto andwhetherwecanmakeworthwhilegamesoutofthem.
therFactorengine,forinstance.Forothers,youdbebetter handle them with the appropriate care. It would be a Soisitacaseoflicenseorbust?
off with a newer platform, which offered new, broader mistakeandirresponsibleonmanylevelsifwesetouttodo Official licenses are important mainly for market
developmentpotential.WhatIcansayisthat,forastartup something huge and ended up delivering a mediocre appeal,asauthenticity is an important aspect in a product
likeourselveswhoarestillrestrictedtolimitedresources,it productor worse, failing halfway through. Well tackle that is supposed to simulate realitynot quite a
is more sensible to take things stepbystep. Its worth bigger things when were properly equipped to do so. fundamental requirement though, as weve seen in the

94 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
Scooooop continued

past. Wed get creative if we felt we could make a good marketand would he agree that, iRacing aside, 2009 has
productgoingthatroute.Werenotrestrictingouroptions beenabitofatoughyearfortheindustry?
inanyregard. Idont thinkthesimracingmarketisshrinking, there
I personally feel there are a few main elements that have certainly been plenty of new titles over the last
Thereareafewmainelementsthat
products of the genre have to accomplish in order to be couple of years, certainly more than at some periods in productsofthegenrehaveto
successful: Providing an immersive experience is the main thepast,Renatoreplied.Whatthereis,Ibelieve,interms
thingthat comes from a depth of detail, accuracy and of PCtitles, is a shortage of sims that have succeeded in accomplishinordertobesuccessful:
highqualityproductionstandards,whichareparamounton capturing the imagination of fans of the genre: some of
alllevels.Gameplay,inthesenseofagamethatinvitesand them have very specific focus, aimed for certain target Providinganimmersiveexperience
challengestheplayertodrivemore,beitinasingleplayer
campaignormultiplayersession,isalsoimportant:Intuitive
markets, others are following the console trend of
packaging as much content as possible, coupling it with
isthemainthingthatcomesfrom
presentationandcustomizationoptions,toallowtheplayer more approachable but shallow gameplay values. There adepthofdetail,accuracyandhigh
to easily tune the game to his preferences, rather than havent been many sims of late that you could rate
requiring him to go through a daunting learning curve of alongsidetheclassicsofthegenre.Itsunlikelytohappen, qualityproductionstandards,which
tweaksandsettings,isalsoafactor.Thatswherethefocus given the general belief among game developers and
hastobe.Itsoundssimpleenough,butthoseareelements publishers that good business cant be made out of that areparamountonalllevels.
that have seldom been combined successfully in the sim
racing genre in recent years. If you do combine them,
kind of product anymorenot an unreasonable
assessment,ifyouconsiderthekindofsalesfiguresthese
Gameplay,inthesenseofagame
though,Ibelieve youhave a simthatanygamingrace fan companies have to aim for. But that shortage is exactly thatinvitesandchallengesthe
canenjoyatsomelevel.Itisnotnecessarilyrestrictedtoa whatisprovidingthedemand,whichweaimtoattend.
given series or a given type of racing. Basically, we feel Ifthiscamefromanyothersource,naturallyyoudbe playertodrivemore,beitinasingle
thereisavarietyofracingseries,orevenavarietyoferas, forgivenforabitofskepticism:ButRenatohasaproven
whichcouldbemadeintoaveryappealingsim. record when it comes to creating sims and content that
playercampaignormultiplayer
Thefirstconsideration,ofcourse,hastobewhatwecan
make financial sense out of; at this stage our focus is on
the community responds to, not only in terms of
developing dream content (GP79), but, as he
session,isalsoimportant:Intuitive
delivering quality products and making the best business demonstrated at SimBin, creating physics that enable a presentationandcustomization
we can make out of this common concept, rather than simtoriseaboveitsstature.Andthis,Ithink,wouldbea
tryingtoreinventthewheel.Werecognizewereoperating more accurate reflection of what we can expect from options,toallowtheplayertoeasily
inanichemarket,andwevestructuredourselvestobeable
tosurvivewithinthisniche.
Reiza Studios first sim: Think more along the lines of a
local series, perhaps in Brazil, than Formula One, and
tunethegametohispreferences,
In order to survive, Renato confirms a rumour that has that, in Renatos hands, will still be a treat because ratherthanrequiringhimtogo
been making the usual rounds of late: That hes already theres a primal force with hisand his teams
workingonafewprojectsasawarmupbeforethestudio creations, something that connects to simracers on an throughadauntinglearningcurveof
settledowntodevelopingtheirdebutsimulator:Thisbeing intuitivelevel.Immersionmatters,andwithRenatonow
a publishordie industry (which isnt?), you can probably immersedinhisfirstcommercialsimasadeveloper,the tweaksandsettings,isalsoafactor
expectsomethinginlate2010,ifnotsooner.Butwhere,we simracing scene has something special coming their
wondered, did Renato see opportunity in the simracing way.Wecantwait

95 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
Scooooop continued

96 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


OddnEnds
Rumblings and ramblings and oddsnends and quotes and other meaningless tripe
fromtheworldofmotorsportsohandprizestoo!
Toolbox

AUTOSIMSPORT

97 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
Toolbox continued

TheWishIHadntSaidThatDept. afriendwhenhewasactuallyjust GTR,GTLegends,GTR2,Sonys


Theyreallkindoffantyish tryingtostealyourwallet. F1,EAsNASCARandEvo.{SHIFT}
theyarealittlefaketheyre UncleChuckleonVirtualr.neton isagreatracingtitle.Ifyoudont
missingthatperfectionthing, SlightlyMadStudiosNFS:SHIFT. likeitdontbuyit.Justcrawlback
thatreallifethingInsideSim undertherockyoucameout
Racinggetoddlyintellectual TheWishIHadSaidThatDept. from.Nowonderdeveloperspay
withDiRT2 Everytimeanewracingtitle noattentiontotheracing
Ithinkwhatneedstobedoneis comesout,halftheracing communityblogsandforums.
allthosewhohavebeenduped communityhastoshowtheir Thereinhabitedbyabunchof
needtocall{Ian}Belltotaskand arcesandloadtheInternetwith malcontents.Howie47on
askhimtojustifyhisliesand curses,swearingandmindless Virtualr.net
explainhimself.Hesidleduplike mayhem.HappenedwithrFactor, mailto:odds@autosimsport.net

98 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
Toolbox continued

SouthAfrica France
TheFIAhasover172 ChampionshipWinningDesigners: ChampionshipWinningDesigners:
SouthAfrica:24 France:2
mobilityclubsand GordonMurray Matra
sportingclubs.AndIam (1981,1983,1988*,89*,90*,91*)
RoryByrne
(1969*)

notsurethattheyare (1994,95*,1999,2000*,2001*,2002*,2003*,2004*)
WorldRecordsAllTime: WorldRecordsAllTime:
concernedwithwhois Mostwinsinaseason: None
1. Murray(McLarenMP4/4,198815wins
goingtobetheF1 outof16races)
2. Byrne(FerrariF2002,200215winsout
Commissioner.Doyou of17races)
3. Byrne(FerrariF2004,200415winsout
thinkpeopleinSouth of18races)
Africacarewhatis MostConsecutiveWins:
1.Murray:11,1988


happeninginF1? 2.Byrne:10,2002
MostPolesinaSeason:
FrenchmanandFIAPresident 1.Murray:16(1988,89)
GPsHosted:23 GPsHosted:58
JeanTodt CurrentF1Race:No CurrentF1Race:No
Anytruthtothesewords?OntherightisSouthAfrica FirstDriversWorldChamp: FirstDriversWorldChamp:
andFrancespedigreeinF1:Asyoucantell,itsa JodyScheckter:1979 AlainProst:1984
beating,whichmakesTodt:(a)ignorant(b)aracist
(c)abigot(d)abuffoon,or(e)alloftheabove.
Ofcourse,whicheveryouchoosemakeshima
perfectcandidateforhiscurrentjob. *DenotesbothConstructorsandDriversinsameseason) *DenotesbothConstructorsandDriversinsameseason)

99 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3
Toolbox continued

WIN!

WEHAVE5COPIESOF2009s
TOPTOURINGCARSIM
TOPRACETOGIVEAWAY
COURTESYOF2PEZ!

QUESTION:
WHICHFORMERFORMULAONEWORLD
CHAMPIONMADEHISDEBUTINTHETOP
RACESERIESTHISYEAR?
SENDYOURANSWERTO:TOPRACE@AUTOSIMSPORT.NET
1

ND
DRAWWILLTAKEPLACEONJAN2 2010
(HINT:ANSWERISINTHISISSUESOMEWHERE!)
100 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3

Dirty&Loose


SimonCroftwantstoknowwhatitwouldtaketosimulateloosesurfaces:Toaidin
his quest, he turned to two of the main tyremodelgurus currently working in the
industry: Slighty Mad Studios Eero Piitulainen, and Virtual RC Racings Todd

SidebySide Wasson, to find out what the future holds for what has become simracings
forgottenstyleofracing

SIMONCROFT
ALLPICTURESCHRISWEST
CHRISDWEST@GMAIL.COM

101 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


SidebySide continued

EEEER
ROOPPIIIITTU
ULLA
AIIN
NEEN
N surface properties interacting with that model, or is it necessary to have an augmented
modelforrunningonloosesurfaces?Inotherwords:shouldanaccomplishedloosesurface
WiththereleaseofRichardBurnsRally,EeroPiitulainenburstontothesimracingsceneby model, without manipulation, work on solid surfaces just as well as a purpose built solid
creating what has gone on to become a rally version of GPLthe word seminal comes to surfacemodel?
mind, and it has yet to be equalled, much less bettered, in terms of its feel. Whilst RBR Eero: Yes, its a unified model but in several layers. When on a hard tarmac, the tyre will
keeps the flame of dirt and rallying lit via a number of talented modders and coders, its simplynotsinkintotheground,whichmeansseveraleffectsarenolongerinplay.Soyes,a
beginningtoshowitsage(goingonsixyearsnow).Sowhobettertoaskaboutthefutureof wellconstructedloosesurfacemodelshouldworkwellonhardsurfaces.
loosesurfacesimulationthanthelast(only?)manwhogotitright?

SimonCroft:Eero,overtheyears,alotoftimehasbeenspentwithinthesimcommunity
Youalsohavetogetthetracksright,as
discussingtyremodelsandtheintricaciesofdifferentmethodsandtechniques,alongwith
detailssuchasslipangles,temperaturebuildup,tyrewear,andsoforth.Thereareobvious
muchofloosesurfacedrivingisabout
differencesbetweentheinteractionofatyrewithaloosesurfaceandthoseofatyrewitha
solidsurface;whatwouldyousayaretheessentialcomponentstogetrightinordertohave
findingthegrip.Thevehiclebehaviour
a realistic model of loose surface/tyre interaction, and what are the biggest challenges in
achievingthis? willbequitedifferentdependingon
Eero Piitulainen: First, for any tyre model, you need to get the solid surface model right,
becauseevenaloosesurfacetyremodelwillinteractwithwhatwillverymuchresemblea whereyoupositionitontheroad.
solidsurface,suchastheworndownwheeltracksofagravelroad.Youcouldsaythatthe
solidsurfacemodelisreallyamodelofthetyrecarcass,asithasverylittletodowithhow
thesurfaceitinteractswithbehaves.
Withoutgettingthisvarietyintothe
The second part of the tyre model is modelling the dynamic nature of a loose surface.
Hereyouhavetotakeintoaccountthatthetyreinmotionwilltodifferentextentssinkinto
trackdesign,theresnopointin
theground;whengoingthroughacornerwithwheelspin,youwillclearthesurfacetogive
youmoregripandthereareseveralothereffects{aswell}. simulatingitinthetyremodel
With having so many different mechanisms affecting tyre behaviour, the challenging Simon:Thereareveryfewtruesims(atermseeminglybecomingincreasinglymeaningless
part is to identify these, rate them in order of importancein other words, what effects and irrelevant)thatmodel loose surfaces.Indeed, for many,RBRis theonlyloose surface
reallyinfluencethebehaviourandwhateffectsarealmostnegligible.Wheredowehaveto title that can claim this accolade. Is there anything (be it hardware constraints,
be really accurate, and where can we allow for coarser approximations? Also, in loose mathematical/codingdifficulties,data,orsomethingelse),thatmakesarealisticmodelfor
surfacesimulation,gettingthetyremodelrightisonlyoneaspectoftheproblem.Youalso loosesurfacesintrinsicallymoredifficulttoachievethatoneforsolidsurfaces?
havetogetthetracksright,asmuchofloosesurfacedrivingisaboutfindingthegrip.The Eero:Aloosesurfacetyremodelismorecomplexthanoneforsolidsurfaces,andyouhave
vehicle behaviour will be quite different depending on where you position it on the road. to take more aspects into account than with the slip based approach used in most solid
Withoutgettingthisvarietyintothetrackdesign,theresnopointinsimulatingitinthetyre surface models. The problems however arent difficulties with either processing power or
model. software design but, rather, that there isnt much documentation on the subject. I had to
developmostofmymodelfromscratchbyusingwhatlittleavailabledocumentationIcould
Simon:Soattheheartofanaccomplishedloosesurfacetyremodelliesagoodsolidsurface findandexpandingonthisbyanalysingthemostimportantfactorsoftyretoloosesurface
model.Isitthecasethatyouactuallyhaveaunifiedmodelforallsurfaceswiththevarious interaction.

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Simon: Some people have made attempts to simulate loose surfaces by adjusting
Aloosesurfacetyremodelismore surface parameters within a standard framework (see for example some of the mods
forrFactor),adjustinggriplevelsandslipcurvestotryandgainagoodfeel.Whilstsuch
complexthanoneforsolidsurfaces, approaches will obviously not be explicitly modelling certain aspects of a tyre
interacting with a loose surface, do you believe it would be possible to obtain
andyouhavetotakemoreaspects reasonablyaccurateresultsfromsuchanapproach?
Eero: I havent really thought about it in that way because Ive always been on the

intoaccountthanwiththeslipbased developersideoftheprojectsIvebeeninvolvedin,andthushaventbeenlimitedtoa
fixedtyremodelbuthavebeenabletoaddenoughfunctionalitytohavetheimportant
parts simulated. To some extent, I think it would be fairly accurate, but would be
approachusedinmostsolidsurface limited to the case where you are driving on a worn gravel road. On the worn down
parts there isnt any loose gravel and the surface isnt that different from tarmac. But
models.Theproblemshoweverarent on a proper loose surface, Id say you are missing out on too many of the important
aspectsofloosesurfacetyremodellingtomaketheapproachrealistic.
difficultieswitheitherprocessing

powerorsoftwaredesignbut,rather, Eero, as he notes, has always been in a position to develop his tyre models with a
certain amount of creative freedom: And as he correctly points out, modders do not
have access to this level of freedom of choice when it comes to the underlying tyre
thatthereisntmuchdocumentation model or physics code. So how do modders get around this problem, and does the
possibilityexistthatthenewRBRwillcomeoutofthecommunityrefininganalready
onthesubject existing code? How would someone else in a position to model loose surfaces at the
corecodelevelapproachtheproblem?

If anyone has the answers to these questions, Todd Wasson is likely the man: For
Simon: What sort of documentation did you find to help you in this task, and by what
manyhisnamewillbeinstantlyfamiliarashehasbeen,forsomeyearsnow,oneofthe
methodsdidyouestablishthesemostimportantfactors?Wasthissiftingthroughscientific
communitys most valuable and respected commentators. His knowledge,
papers,experimentation,orabitoftrialanderror?
understanding and experience of tyre modelling and its intricacies coupled with a
Eero: Lots of different documents, which do not necessarily have to be about tyre
wealth of information makes Todd a unique presence in the community, and this
modelling, but could be general rubber friction properties in interaction with different
uniquenessisaugmentedbyhisabilitytoarticulatetheconceptsandprocessesathand
materials.SeveralSAEpaperswerereadandthenyoupickoutthemostimportantfactors.
inawaythateventhelesstechnicallymindedcanappreciate.ToddsVirtualRCRacing
Exactlywhatscientificpapersweusetobaseourmodelsonweregardascompanysecrets
simcomprisessixyearsofvehicledynamicsdevelopedbyTodd,andhehasgoneasfar
asitcouldgiveawayimplementationspecificdetails.Whendevelopingtyremodels,yougo
as to commission windtunnel tests at the worldrenowned aerodynamics lab of the
throughallthestages,readingthroughmaterialonthesubject,experimentingandthenin
University of Delft in the Netherlands to verify his numbers: As for the tyre model,
theenditsdowntotrialanderror.Youhavesomethingthatisdrivableandyoutestdriveit
extensivetyretestsledbyoneofthegreatexpertsinthisfield,DougMilliken,fromthe
alotandanalyzehowitbehaves.Ifitsdoingsomethingitshouldnt,youbreakdownthe
US, have all contributed into making Todd one of the most knowledgeable physics
modelandseewhyitbehavesasitdoes,andyoutrytofigureoutifsomeimportanteffect
guyscurrentlyworkingintheindustry.
inthemodelismissing.

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TTO
ODDD
DW
WAASSSSO
ONN increasinggentlywithslip.Surfacetemperatureeffectsfromextremeslipareprobablyalot
different on dirt (certainly in snow) which would lead to changes in curve shapes. For
Simon: Youre known to many across various simforums as a bit of a tyreguru. What instance,theforcedropsoffatreallyhighslipratios(wheelspin/braking)onasphalt,buton
experience/thoughtsdoyouhaveabouttheintricaciesofmodellingonloosesurfaces? dirtthisseemsunlikelytome.Idontrememberseeinganyhighslipratiodatathoughso
ToddWasson:Ihaventdoneanyloosesurfacemodellingyet,butamusuallyontheprowl thatsjustmorespeculationwithoutdoingenoughhomework.
for tyre data for any surfaces that can be found. Some of this includes snow, dirt, and so OnmyfirsttryIdkeepmysamebasicapproach,butthenlookataddinganextraforce
forth.ItspossiblethatIhaventlookedcloselyenoughatityet,butsofarmyimpressionis totrytoaccountfordirtbeingthrownaround.Youmightcalculatetheamountofdirtflung
thatthelateral/longitudinalforceversusslipangleandslipratiocurveshavemoreorlessthe bythetyreroughlybyusingthevolumeintheopenareasofthetreadblocksandtheslip
samebasicshaperegardlessofwhetheritsaloosesurfaceorasphalt.Theforceincreasesas velocityofthetyre,forinstance.Thismightbesosmallthatitsnotworthbotheringwithon
slipangleclimbstoapoint,andthenlevelsoff.Withasphaltyoucangetalittlebitofadrop something like a rally car, but might be more important with tractorpull tyres or buggies
after the peak with some rubber compounds at extreme camber angles and high speeds, runninginsanddunesandsoon.ThedataIveseenonregularcartyresindirtorsnowjust
muchmoresowithslipratio,butbyandlargetheylookquitesimilar. showsadeadflatforcecurveafterthepeakinslipangle,whichisusuallywhatyouseeon
asphalttoounlessitswet.Inthatcase,anysolidsurfacemodelwillprobablydo.
Simon: What is your view on being able to achieve reasonable results by fudging a solid
surface models parameters in order to simulate the interaction of a tyre and a loose Simon:Youmentionthequantitiesofdirt/mudbeingthrownupandthereactionforceon
surface?Doyoudeemthisarealisticgoal,ordothesubtletiesofwhatsgoingonunderthe thetyre,andhowitcouldberoughlyapproximatedbythevolumeintheopenareasoftread
surface,sotospeak,makeittoodifficultinyouropinion? andtheslipvelocityofthetyre.Justhowcomplicatedwouldthisbetomodel?
Todd: If someoneweretosend a set offorcecurves with theforceandslip axeserased,I Todd:Youcanmodelthingsatvaryinglevelsofcomplexityofcourse.Takingthefirstthing
wouldnt be able to discern asphalt curves from something measured on snow or gravel that pops into mind here, probably the simplest (and least accurate) way would be to
unless the slip ratio was really high. What this means is that its likely that an empirical calculate the crosssectional area of dirt the tyre is moving through. You could let this
model like Pacejka's Magic Formula would suit any kind of surface quite well. A more changedependingonslipangleifyouwanted.Inthestraightaheadaccelerationcasewitha
physicallybasedmodellikestretchedstringorbrushmodelslikelycould,too.Again,thisis wheelspinning,youcouldusethewidthofthecontactpatchandthetreaddepthtogetan
a little speculation here, but it seems likely that thered be little more than just changing area.Assumingthedirtwassodeepitfilledthespacesbetweenthetreadscompletely,you
someoftheconstantstofitwhateverdataisavailable.TyreXondirtversusasphaltwould could multiply by the wheel velocity to get the volume of dirt the tyre passes through.
likely amount to little more than different load sensitivity curves and cornering stiffness Multiply that by the density of the dirt and you have the mass of dirt that youll move
changes. through each second. You might then assume the dirt was accelerated exactly to the slip
velocity. For instance, a tyre moving forward at 30MPH with the wheel spinning quickly
Simon:Ifyouweresetthetasktomorrowtowritealoosesurfacemodelfromscratch,what enoughforyourspeedometertoread60MHwouldmeantheresa30MPHslipvelocity.So
wouldbeyourapproach? youvegotsomemassofdirtthatgoesfromrestto30MPHeverysecond.Maybeitwouldbe
Todd: For the offroad version of Virtual RC Racing this will indeed be necessary. At this 20MPH for some tread designs and 25MPH for others, or it might change somehow with
pointIdontknowhowwelltheexistingmodelwillwork.Onesneakingsuspicionisthatthe howdeepthestuffyouredrivingthroughis.
forcecurvesinoursituationmightneverreallypeak,butkeepclimbingduetomomentum I tried some back of the napkin calculations this way using a 225mm tread width and
transference to the loose surface itself. If you have some really big grooves in the tyres 5mmtreaddepth.Withaverysimplemodellikethisyougetsomethinglike8090poundof
(thinktractorpullcompetitionswiththosebigpaddlestheycalltreadblocks)thatthrowa extraforce(foronetyre)inthisparticularcase(30MPHwith30MPHslipvelocity)whichyou
lotofdirtaround,thatmomentumthetyresaregivingthedirthastogottoshowupasa couldthenaddtowhateversolidsurfacetyremodelyoureusing.Spinthetyrefasterand
reaction on the tyre and car. It might not be much, but theres a possibility that it would yougetmoreforce.Ifyoutookthistotheextremeandhadacargoing90MPHandkicked
change the asphalt curves from flattening out or dropping off after the peak to just keep completely sideways with no throttle or braking (no slip ratio), this model would give an

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extra 800 pounds of force. Accurate? I dont know. But if that much momentum is being modelledthenyoushouldbeabletogetmoreintricateeffectsinthesolidsurfacepartof
impartedtothedirtthenthatswhatshouldhappen.Ifitssomethingotherthandirtyoud thetyremodel.ThatsanareaIdontwanttogetintothoughforapublicarticle.
justchangethematerialdensityandtheforcewouldchangeaccordingly.Inrealitytheforce Keepinmindthisisalljustspeculationandhypothesizingonmypartandcouldbewrong.
isprobablymuchlessthanthisifitsthereatall.Thisissomethinglikeslidingintoadirttrap
offtrack somewhere. It seems likely to me that this force would be some fraction of this. Myimpressionisthatthe
Maybeabouthalforso,butthatsjustaguess.Idthinkthiswouldbeagoodplacetostartif
onedoesnthaveamoresophisticated,wellresearchedandtestedmodeltouse.Seeingas
dirt cars are usually getting some really serious yaw and running way beyond the normal
lateral/longitudinalforceversusslipangle
peaksofthelateralforceversusslipanglecurves,thisisprobablyhappeningtosomeextent
inreality.
andslipratiocurveshavemoreorless
Thisissomethingpeoplemighttryiftheydonthaveanytyredatameasuredindeepdirt
andaretryingtogetadecentapproximationofit.Ifyouhaverealdatameasuredlikethis thesamebasicshaperegardlessof
then of course youre just fine using any mathematical model that can replicate the data.
There should be no need in that case for all this dirt velocity calculation stuff. However, I whetheritsaloosesurfaceorasphalt.
thinkmostofusknowhowdifficultitistogetourhandsondatalikethat.
Anyway,forVRCoffroad,thisisbasicallyhowIllprobablyhandleormakeafirstshotatit.
Just to add something to this: If you were running something in a really deep, loose
Theforceincreasesasslipangleclimbsto
surface like a buggy in the sand dunes, chances are what youd get is something like a
velocity gradient that could theoretically go deeper than the treads. On other words, you
apoint,andthenlevelsoff.Withasphalt
might throw some dirt at the slip velocity, but then lower down (even under the tread
possibly)thevelocityprobablydecreasestowardszeroinagradient,likeafluid.Inthatcase
youcangetalittlebitofadropafterthe
thedepththatyoumightusewouldbemorethantheactualtreaddepth,andtheaverage
velocityfromsprayingthedirtwouldbelower.Possiblyasmuchashalf. peakwithsomerubbercompoundsat
Therethetyreisnotreallydownandrunningsomewhatonahardsurfaceatanypoint.
In this case though most cars are stuck in the sand, so to speak. In more typical rally
conditions, if you were to assume that theres some percentage of the normal area on a
extremecamberanglesandhighspeeds,
hardsurfacecontactpatchthatsactuallytouchingtheroadsurfaceduetothelayerofdirt
or whatever, you might do well with a hybrid type of model. The solid surface model
muchmoresowithslipratio,butbyand
(PacejkaMagicModel,brush,andsoforth)outputssomeforce,thenyoureducethatforce
basedonthispercentage.Addinthesprayingthedirtforce,andyoumightbeofftoagood
largetheylookquitesimilar
start.Thatwouldgivesomevariationinbothmodelsseparatelywhenthedepthofthestuff
youregoingthroughchanges.Ifyoureatthelevelofmodellingthecontactpatchpressure Simon: Not just would you need the properties of the surface and tyre, but I imagine
distribution along the length of the contact patch (my models do this), then this changes alsoahistorywouldbeimportanthere;ifatyreisspinningonalowtractionsurface,
quitealotwiththedepthofwhateveryouredrivingthrough.Yougetawallofstuffbuiltup clearing the upper surface as it spins, would the quantity being thrown up not
infrontofthetyrelikeawave.Ihavealittlebitofdataonthathere,butcantpostit.Im constantly be changing based on initial conditions, tyre properties, slip angle, slip
sure theres some online somewhere if youre interested. Anyway, if this variation is velocityandsoforth.?

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Insideslipyoumightusesomethingotherthanthetreaddepth.Perhapsatextreme
Thesolidsurfacemodel(PacejkaMagic slip angles if the dirt is deep enough to come up on the sidewall you could modify that
crosssectionalareatogetthetotalareathatthetyreisdiggingintothedirt.
Model,brush,andsoforth)outputs Another thing that people could try is to modify the cornering stiffness of their tyre
modelsaccordingtosheareffectsoftheloosesurface.Itmightbetreatedasaseparate
someforce,thenyoureducethatforce springlayerinadiscretebrushmodelorsomethingsimilar,forinstance.
It all sounds interesting and fun to try, but I really dont know how accurate this

basedonthispercentage.Addinthe wouldbe.Thisisjustthrowingoutanideathathasnthadmuchthoughtputintoiton
my end. So take it with a grain of dirt! The data Ive seen so far on loose surfaces
doesnt really reflect these ideas. Granted, the data was very likely measured at very
sprayingthedirtforce,andyoumight low speeds (1015MH even) where the effect would be pretty minuscule, even in this
model.
beofftoagoodstart.Thatwouldgive
Simon: Similarly, would the grip offered by the surface not be changing in realtime as
somevariationinbothmodels thetyredugdowntothehardersurfacebelow?
Todd:Iwouldthinkso,yes,butdontknowhow.

separatelywhenthedepthofthestuff
Simon: How would you approach tyre temperature and heat? I can envisage the heat
build up and wear on a heavily treaded tyre interacting with a loose surface would be
youregoingthroughchanges muchmoreintricateandcomplicatedthanthatforthecaseofaslickorlightlytreaded
tyre onan,toallintentsandpurposes,smoothsurface? Anyonewhohaswatchedthe
Todd:Thiswouldbeeasytodoatabasiclevel.Ifyouhaveaprettyhighdensitygridplaced WRCwillknowhowcriticalabadtyrechoiceonaneventsuchastheAcropoliscanbe
over the driving area, which we have already for varying levels of traction for the racing inregardtothesefactors;doesthedatayouveuncovered offermuchinsightinthese
groove,youcouldadd/removedirttoandfromvariousareasasatyrepassesthroughthem(a areas?
goodwayto changegriponthe racing line, too. I dontbotherwiththatin VRC,butitd be Todd: Tyre temperatureeffects onpavement are pretty straightforward. On dirt I dont
simpletodo).Afterall,wejustcalculatedthemassandvelocityimpartedtothedirtwejust know.Thesurfacetemperatureswouldprobablybealotlowerindirtwhichwouldchange
passedthroughonthelasttimestep.Removethatmassfromthecurrentgridspotandaddit thedynamicsabit.Ifthatisknowntherearethingsyoucando,butthenImtreadingon
toanothergridspot,perhapsbasedonthatvelocityandaroughtrajectorycalculationusing anarea(punintended)Idontwanttogetintopublicly.
somesimpleassumptions.Youcouldbecreativewithvariouswaysofsprayingthedirtlikethis
onto nearby grid spots. Next time you pass through this area the amount of dirt would be Simon: Finally, do you think there are any foreseeable changes in the way the loose
different. The above force calculation depends on the tread depth. However, if this time surfacesthemselvesarehandled?ThelastSegaRallytitledemonstratedrealtimesurface
throughtherewasntenoughdirttofillthetreads(suchasalightlayerbecauseyouvepassed deformation for example; have you thought about such possibilities for VRC (or
through this area many times before and have cleared out a bit of a groove by now, for otherwise)?
example),youcouldjustuseafractionofthatforce.Theresultcouldbeprettybigchangesin Todd:NotanareaIknowalotabouthere.IfIweretodoitIduseagridlikedescribed
gripindifferentspotsonadirtoval,forexample,causingyoutoadjustyourlineasthedirtis earlier, probably. There are ways to get some really nice visual effects that might very
sprayedtowardstheoutside. wellbeworkingoffofagridlikethat(justamap),butIdontknowhowtheywork.

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Metry

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TeleMetry continued

AlainLefebvrehadanoddthoughtsometimelastyear:Hedecidedtowriteabookonsim
racing. Odder still, he found a publisher and, six months later, his bookSimRacing
landeduptoppingthechartsatAmazoninitsgenre.
Ofcourse,itdoeshelpthatfortynineyearoldAlainLefebvre,whocallsSavoie(upintheFrench
Alps)home,isaretiredITanalystnowcarvingoutacareerforhimselfasawriter,andwhohashad
severalbooksITrelatedbooks,aswellasnovels,alreadypublished.Andthefactthathehasenjoyed
relativesuccesswithhislatestbookisnodoubtwelcomedinhishousehold,consideringhehasfour
sonstofeed:Neverhasawriterhadsuchamuse,oneimagines,norsuchamotivator!
Alainsinterestinsimracingcame,likemanymenofhisage,withIndy500,theveryfirst
Papyrus title.SincethenIve never stopped,hetells me when we spoke in late September,
adding:NaturallyIprefersimulationsratherthangames,butIthinkwecansaythatitsonly
recentlythatsimulationshavebecomeseriousenoughtobelongtoadomainbythemselves.
SimracingsmaturitycoincidedwithAlainsfirstthoughtsonpenningasimracingmanual:I
hadthisideain2002whenIstartedonlinesimracingwithLFS,herecalls.Sincethen,theidea
neverreallyleftmyhead;Iwasalwayslookingfortherightopportunitytorealizeit.In2008,with
timeonmyhands,Idecidedtodiverightin.Fourmonthslater,theprojectwascomplete.Why
sofast?heasks,acknowledgingthatmostofhisbookstakeoverayeartocomplete.Becauseits
about racing of course! No, just kidding: In fact, when the publisher {Pearson} gave me the
greenlight,therewasonecondition:Thebookhadtobecompletebeforethesummerof2009.
So,withthisdeadline,Ihadnochoicebuttoworkinahurry.
Alainskeennesstoworkwithhispublishersdeadlineisnotsurprisingconsideringthisis
the first book on simracing ever published: The mere fact that he managed to get a
publisherisaminormiracle.Itwasalongshot,confirmsAlain.Ittookmeaboutayearto
convincethepublisheraboutthisprojectsviability,andIthinkitsthesimplefactthatthe
bookwillbethefirstoneinthisdomainwhichwasthemainfactorinswingingtheirdecision:
Whenyouarethefirst,itseasiertobecomethereferencework.
And indeed, Alains book is now the official reference for all things simracing: Peculiar
then,thatitwaspublishedinFrenchonly.HowbigistheFrenchsimracingsceneafterall?
ItsdifficulttohavereliablefiguresabouttheFrenchmarket,Alainsays,butitsnotany
differentthantheothermarketssuchastheU.K.,andGermany.Myguessis:thereareabout
fourtofive thousand serious simracers in France spread among many sims and leagues.
ThereisnoonedominantleaguesuchDrivingItalia,butrather,numeroussmallones.
In the course of his writing and research, I wondered whether Alain had come across
anything hed regard as surprising. Not really a discovery, he says, but a confirmation of
how people can be passionate when its about their favourite sim! With the help of the
community,IalsogottoknowsomeveryinterestingsimssuchasRichardBurnsRally.Alittle
bitlikeGPL,RBRisstillaliveandstrongbecauseofthesupportofthecommunity.

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TeleMetry continued

AnotherlittleknownanecdoteAlaindiscoveredwhilewritingthebookwasthathehad
toobtainauthorizationfromthesimseditors:Anyscreenshootofthesimsfeaturedinthe
bookhadtobevalidatedbySimBin,ISI,theLFSTeam,andiRacing,anditinvolvedalotof
backandworth,saysAlain,whosebookhassoldatthetimeofthisinterviewover2,000
copies. Naturally sales would be increased if the book were available in Englishso is he
planninganEnglishedition?
Ifitwasonlyonmydecision,yes,ofcourse.Butonthepublisherssideand,inEuropein
particular,thiskindofprojectismanagedbythePearsonsU.K.branchandforthemoment
they have said no. A German version is scheduled, but I cant tell how the situation will
changeforthemuchneededEnglishedition.Iamhopingfindasolutionforsure.
Since Alain is now simracings official historian, its time for him to enter the world of
punditry:Whatsthescenegoingtobelikein2010?
Predictionsarealwaysdifficult,especiallyaboutthefuture,Alainreplieslaughing.But,
okay, lets play this game: I think simracing will mimic real life (racing life at least!) ever
moretherewillbenodomainleftuntouched.Everybitofrealracinglifewillbeduplicated
in one way or another. For example, we will see a big increase in the availability of racing
schools,virtualracingschool,andwecanalreadyseeexperimentsinthisarea.Also,wewill
see more and more races with prizes (including money) provided by sponsors because the
keyfactorisaudience,andtogetbroadaudience,youneedincentives(andprizesarealways
a strong incentive, of course). If you think about audience, you have to think beyond sim
racers only, and we will also see an increase in spectatormodes (there are already some
eventswhicharebroadcastedbothliveandinrelayonwebTV)thisisbothaninteresting
andsignificanttrend.
Theothermegatrendsurroundsrealtimeracing,andwhilewerestillatthebeginning
ofthatproject,itsaninterestingdevelopmentasitsitsasathirdwayofgoingsimracing:
Thatis,itsitsbetweenofflineandonline.WhatImeanis,itisonline,butwithanotherkind
ofopponent,therealdriversthemselvesonthesametrackforthesameevent,insynctime,
orinreplaymode.Itwillbeveryexciting,anotherdimensionofourmicroworld!
Andwillweseeadominantsimcomethesummerof2010?
A dominant sim? Its tricky to answer, but I would put my money on iRacing which is
poised to become the first megaplayer in the simracing world: Because of the resources
this actor is pouring into their sim, and also because they have understood that a sim is
nothingwithoutalltheorganizationsurroundingtheproduct,theydoseem,asIsaid,well
positioned to dominate the market. This, actuallytheir organizationis one of the key
factors if you want to explain the success of iRacing, and why this sim is well on track to
becoming the most important sim in our domain. But, having said that, I dothink thereis

110 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


TeleMetry continued

good alternative to the leagues. Dont get


mewrong,Idothinkleaguesareveryuseful
and will have a major role to play in the
future as they do today. Actually, he adds
afteramoment,itsdifficultformetoreply
to this question because, as an author, I
shouldbeneutralonthistopic.AndIhaveto
confesstobeingastrongfanofotherssims
such as rFactor, SimBins titles, and LFS,
because each of them have pros and cons
which form a unique proposition of their
own: They all form the richness and
diversity which make our microworld so
attractivetospeedracingfans.
Considering his unease at answering
such questions, I thought Id give Alain a
simpleone:Whosthebestsimdriver?
You know, aliens are so special, its
difficult to really get to know these people,
repliesAlain.Buttherearetwoofthemwho
have really impressed me, and they are not
wellknown (notas famous as Greger Huttu,
forexample),buttheyarereallyfine(andfair)
drivers: Othmane Belmachi, and Uwe
Klppel.IracedwiththeminaGP79champ
(GP79isoneofthebestrFactormods),and
theseguyswerereallyabovethelevel!These
two have something unique, in my humble
opinion,butnodisrespectmeanttotheother
aliensofcourse!
roomforanothersimortwo...AndISIwithrFactoriswellplacedtoretaintheirstatusasthe Finally,whichdeveloperwouldherateasthemostimportant?
numberonemoddingplatformwhichwillremainanimportantdomaininsimracing. Ofcourse,you,me,andnumerousotherswillthinkaboutDaveKaemmer(Papyrusand
But what, I asked, if you were forced to take one sim to a deserted island (that has now iRacing), but I cant forget about Geoff Crammond. I deeply regret that Geoff is not
broadbandaccess,ofcourse) aroundanymore...
iRacing,nodoubt, repliesAlain,because there iseverythingIneediniRacingtoenjoy Indeed,Crammondisnolongeraround,butinyearstocome,Alainsbookwillbe,andit
my favourite form of racing: good cars, hifidelity tracks, a lot of opponents with various willrevealafascinatingsliceofwhatoursportwaslikein2009:SimRacingisamusthave
levels, and all of this deeply integrated in a realrace organizational framework which is a foranysimracingfan.

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TeleMetry continued

SimRacing Thebookthenmovesontowhatwefeelisabitofanoddinclusion:SimBinsRACE07,
ByAlainLefebvreandSoheilAyari andGTREvo,simsthat,Alainnotescorrectly,cannotdisavowtheirorigins.Alainsustainsa
Pages:224 fascinatingchapteronSimBinslatest,beforeintroducingthereadertothelastwordin
Publisher: Pearson Education (24 July modernsimulation:iRacing.Henotesitsbrilliantphysicsbut,atthesametime,considersthe
2009) simtohavearestrainingconcept,avalidoneandonethathemaintainsrigorously.
Genre:Games/simulation WiththeentiregamutofoursimsmadecompletewithGPLandRBR,Alainturnshisbook
Language:French tothemeatandbonesofoursport:thecommunity.Hegivesusatouroftheopensource
ISBN10:2744092657 simsRacer,Vdrift,andsoonandsustainsanintriguingconversationwithNiels
ISBN13:9782744092657 Heusinkveld,beforeintroducingamuchwelcomedexpositiononthelegalitiesbehind
modding,aswellasthegenesisandmakeupofmodernleaguesintheageofiRacing.
Alaincallssimracingavocation,and Communitybasedforums,andwebsites,arealsotouchedon,withaslanttowardthe
stressestheimportanceoftimewhenhe domesticaudienceofAlainsbookFrance.
askswhetherthisisahobbyorasport. AlainthenturnshisattentiontotherealworlddriverSoheilAyari(whogetsacrediton
Itsaquestionthathewillreturntoinhis thecover,incidentally)withwhomwespendsometimeengagedintestingsimsand
conclusion,andonethatisveryapropos comparingthemtohisextensiverealworldexperience:MonzawithrFactor,MagnyCours
fortodayssimracingscene,bothfor withRACE07,SilverstonewithiRacingWedlovetogiveawaysomeofhisthoughts,but
simracers,andmodders. really,youneedtogetthebooktogleanthedetails:Sufficeittosay,Ayariisanamiable
Fundamentally,Alainissayingthatsim companiononoursimridecomparison.
racingrequireswork,andhispreface Withtheinsightsoftherealworlddriverinourcollectivegut,thebookthentakesona
servesasbothawarninganda technicalnoteasitcoverseverythingfromsetupstobrakingtechniquesandmuchmorea
testamenttothehoursittakestobe treasuretroveforarookiesimracer,and,fortheveteran,enoughtokeepusoccupied,
successfulinbothmoddingandracing. entertained,andinformedforquitesometime.Notignored,inthissection,isthemental
Withtheintroductionleavingusinsuspenseastowhatconclusionshewilldraw, preparationneededtobeasuccessfulsimracer(yes,youllbeamazedatwhathes
Alainthentakesusonasweepingtouronthehistoryofsimracing,fromREVSthrough discoveredaboutus!),aswellasathoroughexplanationonhowtoeffectivelyusetelemetry
iRacing,andwitheverymajorsiminbetween.ThenamesofKaemmerandCrammond withaturnbyturnassessmentatMonaco.
loomlargeinthischapter,astheyshould:Afterall,itissurelyavalidargumentthatthe Thebookthendrawsoutitsconclusions,andtherearesomereallyinspiredthoughts
latterinventedthegenrewhiletheformerrefinedit.Interspersed,Alaintraces here:Alainaskswhetherthefutureofsimracingcouldbedominatedbydriversheseesas
elementsofmanysims,andputsintoprint,forposterity,awellresearchedandnicely beingmonk/soldiersasthegenrekeepsaimingatprofessionalism:Indeed,forAlain,the
writtenvistaofourcollectivehistory. futureofsimracingwillbeinenhancementsinimmersion,andprofessionalism.
AlainthenbringsusbanguptodatebydiscussingLiveForSpeed(coveringthesims Thebookendswiththeusualappendiceswherehardwareandsoftwareisdiscussed,and
highlightsandweaknessesinquitesomedetail),beforemovingontoafascinating itisimportantreadingforanyonenewtothegenre.Anindispensableguide.
explorationofrFactor.Thissectionwefoundstimulating,startingwithhisbestmod Fundamentally,itsagreatbooktohaveonthebookshelf,andanysimracernewtothe
(GP79),toawholehostofmodsandfamiliarnamesinthecommunity.Itfeelsodd,actually, scenewhomightwanttogetmoreinvolvedintheirhobbycouldpickupsomegoodtips
toseenamesofmodsandmodderswithintheconfinesofapublishedbook,andIimagine fromthistomb:Veterans,meantime,willnotbesurprisedbymuchofthecontenthere,
manymodderswillbecharmedtofindtheirnamesandaccomplishmentsmentionedinthis thoughtheresearchistopnotch,andgivesoursportamuchneededreferencework.
section:aGoogleegosearchneverfeltquitesogood! REVIEWEDBYJONDENTON

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T
Thelegendaryenduranceraceisback,andsoisJoeMartinionlythistime,fortyyears

ThrillingSilence afterwatchingPiperandRedman,hereturnsasacompetitor

KYALAMI9HOUR



Thelegendaryenduranceraceisback,andsois
GiuseppeMartinionlythistime,fortyyearsafter
beingthrilledbythelikesofRedman,Piper,Ickx,and
Andretti,hereturnsasacompetitor

GIUSEPPEMARTINI

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The 1960sFerrari vs. Ford, David came back with the new Ferrari 275 LM and made it a hattrick. Not content, Ferrari
Pipervs.JackieIckx camebackin1965and 1966withwhat mustbethemostbeautifulcarseverbuilt,the
Endless sunny skies, wafting P2andP3s,andPipermadeitfiveonthetrot,foreverleavinghismarkinKyalamilore.
boereworsscented braai mixing with For1967,however,thingswouldnotprovenotsoeasyforeitherFerrariorPiperas
the rolling thuderclouds in the sultry the might of Ford arrived in South Africa with a young man named Jackie Ickx (in his
heat, veldskoene and khaki shorts, GT40 Gulf Mirage), and a grudge (born from Enzos snub directed at Dearborn): Ickx
combs in kneelength socks, massive dominatedandwon,andthenrepeatedin1968.Healmostmadeitahattrick,too,but
sideburns, Lion Lager beneath a 1969belonged,yetagain,toDavidPiper,nowplyinghistradewithPorsche(917).
brooding black sky, and then, Ayearlater,PiperwastolosepartofhislegwhilefilmingthemovieLeManswith
naturally, that massive thunderstorm SteveMcQueen,andKyalamiwouldhavetowaitthirtyeightyearsbeforeitwelcomed
at 5pm when the local champs (John thelegendbackforthe9HourRevivalintheveryPorsche917thathehadpoweredto
Love,DaveCharlton,andlater,Trevor hisfinalvictoryfourdecadesearlier.
vanRooyen,JodyScheckter,andlater
still, Sarel van der Merwe) would The1970sTheLegendOfJackieIckx:The1980sEndOfTheWorks
make the foreign stars look a bit ThedecadebeganwithFerrariandPorschesendingtheirfullWorksTeamtothe19709Hourrace:
foolishforanhourorsountilthetrack ItendedwithIckxandIgnazioGiuntihumiliatingthemightofGermanywhentheir512Mbeatthe
dried thats what we remember, Martini917sbyafulllap.(PorschewouldgettheirrevengelaterthatyearatLeMansthoughwith
those of us who spent our innocent McQueenonhandtocaptureitforposterity.)Ferrariwouldthenmakeitahattrickofwinsin1971
childhoods alongside dad watching (312P),and1972(312PB,withClayRegazzoni),butwewouldneveragainseethemercurialGiunti:
themight(ohthesound!)ofPorsche, The Italian, who was the last in a school of champions going all the way back to the days of
Ford, Ferrari, Matra, Lola, and Nazzaroattheturnofthecentury,wouldgoonfromKyalamitowinthe12HoursofSebring,and
Chevron do battle at the 9Hour of theTargaFlorioin1970beforelosinghislifeinArgentinaattheageofthirtyearlyin1971.
Kyalami. We didnt know it at the Porsche won the last of the great endurance races at the 9Hour in 1973 (908): For
time, I suppose, but we were right in 1975, the big factory teams were a noshow and that let the Simcas through for a
the midst of the finest era in simple 12 finish in a race that had been shortened to six hours because of the global
endurance car racing, when the energycrisis.
Works Teams would descend into Whenthecarsreturnedin1974,theywerenolongerthefiercefirebreathingprototypesoflore:
deepest Africa in November to begin Insteadweweretreatedtothesiteofseriouslytunedproductioncars,andamazingastheywerein
their epic battles forever captured by retrospect,theywerenotquiteamatchforthosebeatsofthelate1960sandearly1970s.
themovieLeMans. The final racein 1986was won by a Porsche 956s, but it was a tame end to an
Thefirst9HourenduranceraceinSouthAfrica dates backto1958butwasntheld endurance race that had featured the greatest drivers and cars in the world between
at Kyalami: That track was only opened in 1961, and the 9Hour was its first major 1966(whenitwaspartoftheWorldChampionshipofMakes)and1974Wesawthem
event. A year later, however, the track would become synonymous with its most allatKyalami,though:Redman,Love,Piper, Ickx,Giunti,Regazzoni,Andretti,Siffert,
importantrace(untiltheF1circuscametotownin1967)whenwhathadbeenmostlya younameyourenduranceracingstarofthatera,andhecameandracedatthe9Hour:
local event turned into a global feast of motorracing. It all began in 1962 with we saw them and their legendary cars, too, the Ford GT40s, Ferrari Pseries, Porsche
legendary driver David Piper and his magnificentlooking (oh the sound!) Ferrari 250 917s, Ferrari 512Ss, Lola T70s amazing times indeed, and never to be repeated, of
GTO.Hewonthatyear,andthenrepeatedayearlaterinthesamecar.In1964,Piper course,inourultrasterileoverbearingworld.Butstill,noonesayswecanttry!

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AThrillingSilence straight bathed in red dust, sweeping like a tide of colour beneath the bridge all headed
IrecalldrivingdowntheoldroadtoKyalami,anarrow,singlelanecountryroadinthelate1960s, towards Crowthorne, jostling for position, this way and that, and then they were into the
and feeling the excitement mount for what I would see when we crested the rise four or five first cornerfifty of them, sidebyside, and I would follow them with the noise dizzying
kilometresawayfromthetrackwhichsatinanaturalbowl.Itwasalwaysearlymorning,about throughCrowthorne,thenroundBarbecueBendwheretheydvanishforamomentbefore
sevenorso,withmyfatherbehindthewheelofhisFIAT1500,and Id see them again entering Sunset. Then again theyd vanish from
thesunwouldalreadybehighintheskycastingasternshadow view until they reappeared into Leeukop, and now theyd be full
this being late November early December (highsummer throttle all the way back to Crowthorne, the mighty prototypes
already)andthefirstthingIwouldseeinthedistancewouldbe alreadyadistantmemoryfortherestofthefield.
thousands of cars lined up in rows around the track shining Ninehourswasalongtime:Afterthefirstfewlaps,thebraaiswould
beneaththesunthatreflectedandtwinkledofftheirwindows. be stoked, and the unmistakable smell of burning coal and boerewors
Thenwedslowlymakeourwayintothetrackandfindour would drift in the breeze. Up on the scaffolding in the infield, people
seats (we would usually sit at Crowthorne, though I seem to would slowly eat their lunch as the shadows deepened over the
recallbeingatLeeukoponce),andthethingIremembermost, Highveld; ever so quickly, then, because sunset in South Africa is an
asIsitherenowandtrytorecallthememoriesofaboyforty abrupt affair, dusk would blanket the track and the accidents would
years ago, is the scent of bacon mixing with fire and fresh happen:Thedriverswouldslow,now,ontherunintoLeeukopasthesun
coffeeand,believeitornot,wetgrass.Allthesescentsarenow wasdirectlyintheireyesforafewlapsbeforethenightsetin.Iusedto
all strongly supported by the most amazing soundthat of a listen for the sound of the engines coming down the straight so as to
silent race track, the most eerie and evocative sound, recognizewhichcaritwas,asthelightswereshininginyoureyesand
punctuatedsporadicallybythedistantclingingoftoolsasthe you could not see who it was: A screaming V12? Must be the P4: A
mechanics went through their final preparations in the pit, of burblingthunderousV8?MustbetheMirage.IrecallwatchingtheGT40
distantvoices,andeverynowandagainofamotorfiringupandechoingthroughthevalley andtheFerrarichasingeachotheruptoLeeukopallIcouldseewasredlights,roundones,one
likeapredatorinthebushveld,primalandenoughtostartletheunwary. carsbeingbiggerthantheother,andIdkeepwatchingwhichcar/driverwouldbrakelaterthan
The sight of the tents and the caravans in that makeshift minicity where people had theotherforthedemandingLeeukop:Whentheywerefollowingeachotherclosely,youcould
camped through the night partying, the Anglias, the Cortinas, the 1500 FIAT, the Alfa seethebrakelightsblinkingonandcarpetthecarbehind.
Giulias, the DKWs, the Fairmonts, and Beetles all lined up in the infield, and everyone Imustconfess,Idonotrecalltheendofanyoftheseraces:IguessIwastired,Iwasonly
fiercelyproudthattheircarwasthebestthisiswhatitwaslikewhenyoufirstarrivedat sevenoreightthen,butnothingexcitesmemorethanthesoundofanemptytrackthe
thetrackforracedayintheearlymorning. thoughts of all the people that have gone round that track, the experience they had, the
Andthenwedwait.Themostamazingthingwasalwaysthestart:SittingatCrowthorne fear,thethrill,theexcitement.
meantyoucouldnotseethestartline(itwasjustbeyondthecrestonthemainstraight),but Mystrongestmemory?SittingatCrowthorne,Ithinkitwasprobably1968or69,whenthe
theanticipationwasunbelievablefirst,thesoundofthecommentatoronthePA:Allcars GT40ofHailwoodcameoffIthinkherolled,thoughmaybeIamconfusingeventswithtime:
arelinedup Ickx onthefront row, with Giuntinext to himthereisoneminuteto go WhatIamsureofisthat,oncehedcrawledoutofthewreck,MiketheBikesaunteredover
beforethestartofthe1969NineHour.Starttimewasatabout2pm,ifIrecall,andthesun andbegankickingthehelloutofthesmokingwreckofhiscar!WewentbackontheSunday
wouldbehot,theanticipationofthetypicalhighveldstormshigh,tooyoucouldseethe morning,myfatherandI,walkedovertowherehedhadhisaccidenttofindsomepiecesofhis
cloudsbuildingfromthewestandstartrollingacrossthehorizon,andweallknewwhatwas blue and white GT40: I dont think we found anything, then. Well, nothing physical. What I
coming! Then all I could hear was the unbelievable sound of forty, fifty engines all being found,instead,onthatsilentSundaymorning,wasamemory,ofmeandmyfatherstanding
revved at the same time, and up beyond the crest a billowing cloud of oil, followed by a underanendlessblueAfricanskyatKyalamiwiththeghostsoflegendsdriftinginthebreeze:
suddenloweringoftheunbelievablenoise(thunder),andsuddenlythecarshadcrestedthe Athrillingsilencethathasenduredsalifetime.

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ThrillingSilence continued

TheSpringbokSeries
The9HourofKyalamitookplacewithinthebackdropoftheSpringbobSeriesthatranbetween1966and1973:In1974theworldbecame
embroiledintheMiddleEastoilcrisis,and,withtheimpetusbroken,theserieswasabandonednevertoreturn(exceptin2007,whenitwas
reintroducedasarevivalseries).
Heresalistofracesandwinnersfromthegloryyears:Oldtimerswillimmediatelyrememberthecarsandnamesfromanerathatdidfor
sportscarswhatGrandPrixRacinginthe1930sdidforsingleseatersthisindeedwastheAgeofTitanswhereAndrettiwoulddobattlewith
Ickx, Redman with Hailwood, Ford GT40s with Ferrari P3s, Lolas with Chevrons, Reinhold Jst against James Hunt and Derek Bell (the Jst
PorschebeatingtheMiragedespitebeingfivesecondsslowerinpracticein1973):Aspecialtime,this,inmotorracinghistory,andinaboyslife.

SpringbokSeries1966 SpringbokSeries1968
TheNinthRandDailyMailNineHourEnduranceRace,Kyalami:5.11.1966 RandDailyMail9hours,Kyalami:9.11.1968
DavidPiper/RichardAttwood:Ferrari365P2 JackyIckx/DavidHobbs:MirageM1Ford
CapeInternational3hours,Killarney:19.11.1966 CapeInternational3hours,CapeTown:23.11.1968
DavidPiper/RichardAttwood:Ferrari365P2/P3 PaulHawkins:Ferrari330P4
LaurenoMarques3hours:17.12.1966 3horasdeLaurenoMarques:8.12.1968
RoyPierpoint/DougSerrurier:LolaT70 MikeHailwood/MalcolmGuthrie:MirageM1Ford
PietmaritzburgDickieDale3hours,RoyHesketh:27.12.1966 Pietmaritzburg3hours,RoyHeskethCircuit:26.12.1968
MikeHailwood/DavidHobbs:FordGT40 PaulHawkins:Ferrari330P4Spyder
EastLondonFrontier500kilometres,ZA:4.1.1969
SpringbokSeries1967 PaulHawkins:Ferrari330P4Spyder
TheTenthRandDailyMailNineHourEnduranceRace,Kyalami:4.11.1967
JackyIckx/BrianRedman:MirageM1 SpringbokSeries1969
CapeContinental3Hours,Killarney:18.11.1967 RandDailyMail9hours,Kyalami:8.11.1969
PaulHawkins:LolaT70Mk.3 DavidPiper/RichardAttwood:Porsche917
3.LaurenoMarques3Hours:16.12.1967 CapeInternational3hours,Killarney(ZA):23.11.1969
PaulHawkins:LolaT70Mk.3 FrankGardner/MikeDeUdy:LolaT70Mk.3B
PietermaritzburgDickieDale's3Hours,RoyHesketh:26.12.1967 LaurenoMarques3hours(Mozambique):5.12.1969
DougSerrurier/JackiePretorius:LolaT70Mk.1Ford4 MikeDeUdy/FrankGardner:LolaT70Mk.3B
GPBulawayo3hours(Rhodesia):13.12.1969
JohnLove:LolaT70Mk.3B
3hPietermaritzburg,RoyHesketh(ZA):27.12.1969
JohnLove:LolaT70Mk.3B

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ThrillingSilence continued


SpringbokSeries1970 SpringbokSeries1972
RandDailyMail9hours,Kyalami:7.11.1970 Kyalami9hours:4.11.1972
JackyIckx/IgnazioGiunti:Ferrari512M ClayRegazzoni/ArturoMerzario:Ferrari312PB
CapeTown3hours,Killarney(ZA):21.11.1970 CapeTown3hours,Killarney(ZA):18.11.1972
BrianRedman/RichardAttwood:ChevronB16SpyderFo7001 JochenMass/GerryBirrell:ChevronB21/23Hart
LaurenoMarques3hours,(Mozambique):29.11.1970 LaurenoMarques3hours(Mozambique):26.11.1972
BrianRedman:ChevronB16SpyderFo7001 GerryBirrell/JochenMass:ChevronB21/23Hart
Bulawayo3hours(Rhodesia):5.12.1970 Goldfields3hours(ZA):2.12.1972
BrianRedman/JohnLove:ChevronB16SpyderFo7001 GerryBirrell/PeterGethin:ChevronB23Hart
Pietermaritzburg3hours,RoyHesketh(ZA):27.12.1970 RoyHesketh3hours,DePietermaritzburg(ZA):17.12.1972
BrianRedman:ChevronB16SpyderFo7001 PeterGethin/JochenMass:ChevronB23Hart
Welkon,Freestate3hours,GoldfieldsRaceway(ZA):2.1.1971
BrianRedman/RichardAttwood:ChevronB16SpyderFo7001 SpringbokSeries1973
9hKyalami:3.11.1973
SpringbokSeries1971 ReinholdJst/HerbertMller:Porsche908/03
RandDailyMail9hours,Kyalami:7.11.1970i CapeTown,Killarney(ZA):17.11.1973
ClayRegazzoni/BrianRedman:Ferrari312 JohnWatson/JodyScheckter:ChevronB26Hart
CapeTown3hours,Killarney(ZA):21.11.1970 Goldfield
HelmutMarko/JohnLove:LolaT212FordJohnLove/RSR Cancelled
LaurenoMarques3hours,(Mozambique):29.11.1970 Kumalo
EdSwart/JodyScheckter:ChevronB19Ford Cancelled
Bulawayo3hours(Rhodesia):5.12.1970
MikeHailwood/PaddyDriver:ChevronB19Ford
Pietermaritzburg3hours,RoyHesketh(ZA):27.12.1970
JohnHine/DaveCharlton:ChevronB19 Fullresultsareavailablehere.
Welkon,Freestate3hours,GoldfieldsRaceway(ZA):2.1.1971 ForatrulyinspiredracebyraceaccountoftheSpringbokSeries,followthislink.
JohnLove:LolaT212Ford FortheRevivalSeries,followthislink.

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A330P4Ferrari.Ferrarionlymadefourofthem,andanoriginalwillfetchabouttenmillion
TheGT40Continuationcarsareprecisioncrafted,authenticrecreationsofthe
dollarsifoneshouldevercomeupforsale.Whichitprobablywont,sincethereisonlyone
Ferrari beating, Le Mans winning GT40s of the 1960s. So authentic in fact, that
originalstillincirculation.TheP4wasEnzoFerrarisrevengeonFord,whentheGT40shad
morethanninetypercentofallthecomponentpartsareinterchangeablewiththe
taken a 123 at Le Mans in 1966: In 1967, in Daytona, the P4s finished 123, in a photo
original cars', including the entire monocoque chassis itself. Chassis numbering
finishwhichEnzokeptinhisofficeuntilhisdeath.
continuesfromthoseoftheoriginal1960sproductionrun(GT40P2000Series).
Noble build a replica of this car, and some appear with nonFerrari V12 engines: The one
TheGT40ContinuationcarsarehandbuiltbyHiTechonthesameproductionline
survivingcarisownedbyCanadianLawrenceStroll.
as the renowned Noble M12 GT, in their factory in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Thesameinnovativetechniquesandexactingstandardsensuretheverybestbuild
qualityandfinish.Followthislinkformore.

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ThrillingSilence continued



Original V8 Capri Perana with original Gunston paintscheme. If youre Jean Todt, youll The Dart, above, is one of the only cars ever designed, manufactured, and built in South
probablybesurprisedtohearthattheyusedtoraceinSouthAfrica,andthisisoneofthe AfricabyGlassportMotorCompanybasedinCapeTown.Theyproducedtwosportscarsin
survivingPeranasthatclinchedthelocalsalooncarchampionshipin1970.About500Capris theirshortlifespan(1958and1964):TheFlamingo,andtheDart,whichwastheirfirstand
wereconvertedbylocaltuningspecialistBasilGreenMotorstorunthe302MustangV8.The mostsuccessfulcar.ThefiberglasssportscarranaseriesofengineincludingtheCoventry
carhadabout280BHP,andranasaZ181.Itwasbannedafter1970becauseitwonevery Climax lump with which it went on to win the second Kyalami 9Hour, in 1959. The car
racebarone,drivenbynoneotherthanMr.Green. remainspopulartothisdayasareplicacalledtheHaydenDart.ButdonttellJeanTodt!


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Futurist


Onacoldweekendat
theendofOctober,

SimonCroftandhis
brothermadetheir
annualpilgrimageto
theCroftcircuitinorder
towatchtheRallycross
Superprix.Saturday
sawthefinalroundof
the2009Fuchs
LubricantsRallycross
OpenChampionship
playout,whilstthe
SIMONCROFT
ALLPICTURESCHRISWEST Sundayplayedhostto
CHRISDWEST@GMAIL.COM theGetConnected
S.G.PetchRallycross
Superprix

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Futurist continued

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Futurist continued

Asusual,Croftservedupaheadymix
ofcold,windandrainfordriversand
spectatorsalike.Overthecourseofthe
weekend,somefiftyracestookplace,
coveringvariouscategoriesalongwith
alargespectrumofcars.
Theactionwascloseandentertaining,
withmanybattlesdecidedatthefinal
corner,andafewatthefirst.Foraday
ofmotorsportaction,youcandoalot
worsethanattendyourlocalrallycross
meet.Theresalltheflamboyant,
sidewaysactionofrallying,combined
withthedoortodoorcompetitionof
touringcarsdirtandcars,aheady

mixindeed!

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VirtualR
ProFile Fromnowheretosimracingsfirstportofcallforallthingsnewsworthy,VirtualR.net
hasseizedaprecioussliceofthesimracingpie:Butisitablog,aforum,anewssite?
AUTOSIMSPORT thought it best to ask Rob Prange about what has become the de
factosimracingcommunitysdailynewspaper

AUTOSIMSPORT

VirtualR.net istheleadingnewssourceforthesimracingcommunity.
Thesiteisrread byover1
15.000 readers onadailybasisandp
provides
content toothergenreleadingpublicationssuchasAUTOSIMSPORT
Magazine,andInsideSimRacingTV.
Coverage includes driving simulations like rFactor, RACE 07, GTR
Evolution , and iRacing , as well as racingrelated hardware and
products.VVirtualR.net ismainlyreadbymalevisitorsbetween1545
yearsofage,interestedinracinggamesandrelatedhardware.

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ProFile continued

AUTOSIMSPORT:Soletsstartbyasking:whoareyou?
RRROO AN
OBBBPPPRRRA
A NG
N GEEE:MynameisRobPrange,ImtwentysixyearsoldandIworkinawholesale
G WWeellll,,tthheettoonneeiinntthheessiim mccoom mm muunniittyyccaann
business.IliveintheRuhrmetropolitanareaofGermany,butconsidermyselftobeaworld
citizenreally. bbeeaabbiittrroouugghh,,yyeess..BBuuttm moossttppeeoopplleejjuusstt

AUTOSIMSPORT:Howdidyougetinterestedinsimracing? eennjjooyyaappaassssiioonnaatteeddiissccuussssiioonnaannddkkeeeeppiitt
RRROO AN
OBBBPPPRRRA
A NG
N GEEE:My simracing interest started out with the sound card of my first PC that
G
included Papruys Indy 500. I played that until my fingers bled before moving on to Geoff cciivviill..IIaallw
waayysslliikkeettoosseeeettw
woogguuyyssaarrgguuee
CrammondsGrandPrixandlaterGrandPrix2.Ikeptonenjoyingvariousracinggamesafter
that, but it was the internet and especially the modding scene that fueled my passion for aannddffiinnddssoom meeccoom mm moonnggrroouunnddiinntthhee
sims once again. Seeing volunteers create stunning material in their free time was and is
somethingthatreallyamazesmemostaboutthesimracingcommunity. pprroocceessss..IInntthheeeenndd,,w mrraacceerrss,,
weerreeaallllssiim

AUTOSIMSPORT:Howdidyoucomeabouttheideaofcreatingthesite? sshhaarriinnggtthheessaam meeppaassssiioonn..W Whhaattss
RRROO AN
OBBBPPPRRRA
A NG
NGGEEE:Theideatostartasitedatesbacktothesummerof2007.Backthen,Iwas
intoPhotoshopeditingofscreenshots,andwaslookingforaplacetostoremywork.SinceI rreemmaarrkkaabbllee,,tthhoouugghh,,iisstthhaattssoom meeppeeooppllee
didnt like the free options available, I decided to order a small webspace package. The
package came with a domain name I had to choose I really had no idea but wanted aarreehhaavviinnggtthheessaam meeddiissccuussssiioonnoovveerraanndd
somethingwithvirtualandracinginit.Sadly,allcombinationsIcouldcomeupwithwere
taken, so I decided to just drop the acing part from racingVirtualR was born. I didn't oovveerraaggaaiinn
pickitbecauseIthoughtitsoundedcoolorclever,Ididnteventhinkthatmorethanfifty RRRO
O AN
OBBB PPPRRRA
A NG
NGGEEE: I don't think Ive ever had a problem with anyone in the simracing
peoplewouldevervisitthesite. community on a personal basis, but sometimes you just have a disagreement on a
Since the webspace came with lots of features, I started playing around with blogging professionallevel.Ithinkitsincrediblyhardtojudgethesimracingcommunityasawhole
software just to learn some skills. I came up with a basic design and started posting my aseachsubdivisionisverymuchdifferent.Forexample,youhavetherFactorcommunity
screenshots.ThatshowVirtualRcametolife... where there's always trouble brewing with teams competing in the same segment,
permissionissuesandstufflikethat.Thoseproblemsareprettymuchnonexistentinother
AUTOSIMSPORT:Isitablog?Anewssite?Howwouldyoudescribeit? areaslikeGrandPrixLegendsandGTLegendswherepeopletendtoworktogethermoreand
RRROOBBBPPPRRRA
O A NG
AN
N GEEE: Technically, the site is a classical blog, yes. It uses the blog method of
G
theatmosphereisgenerallyabitdifferent.
presentingcontentinacleanandsimpleway,butIusuallydontrefertothesiteasablog. Overall,Ithinksimracingisinagreatshapeasitisnow.Afewyearsback,onlyahandful
From my point of view, blogs are sites where the authors share personal info or opinion, ofsimracingtitleswereavailablewhilenowweprobablyhavetherichestchoiceofsimIcan
somethingIveryrarelydo.IseeVirtualRasasimracingnewssiteasItrytomaintainalevel remember. iRacing has done great work promoting simracing on a highprofile level,
ofjournalisticprofessionalism,ifyouwill. introducingalargenewcrowdtotheconceptofvirtualracing.
SlightlyMadStudiosinvolvementintheNeedforSpeedserieshasmovedthatfranchise
AUTOSIMSPORT: As with all of us in the simracing media (for lack of a better term), closer to simracing and established titles are also continue to run strong. While GPL still
youveprobablyhadafewruninswithothersitescouldyougiveusabitofinformationon getsimpressivenewmodsliketheTargaFlorio,netKarProandLiveForSpeedseemtobe
thatand,whatisyouropinionoftheoverallsimracingsceneasitisnow? very healthy as well, adding lots of new content recently. Adding the trusted rFactor and

130 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


ProFile continued

Simbins simulations, you get a great mix that offers all kinds of sims, from casual stuff to
hardcoretitles.
IIaallw
waayyssttrryyttookkeeeepptthheenneew wssssttoorriieesssshhoorrtt

AUTOSIMSPORT:WhendidVirtualRstartlife? aannddssw mpprreehheennssiivvee
weeeettbbuuttssttiillllccoom iitt
RRRO
O AN
OBBBPPPRRRA
A NG
N GEEE:ThedomainwasregisteredonJuly8th2007:Ipostedtheveryfirstcontentitem
G
twodayslater. hhaassbbeeccoom meessoom meetthhiinngglliikkeessiim
mrraacciinngg''ss

AUTOSIMSPORT:Whendidyouknowyouhadstumbledontoasuccessfulformula? wssppaappeerr
ddaaiillyynneew
RRRO
O AN
OBBBPPPRRRA
A NG
N GEEE:AsIexplainedabove,thesitestartedoutasaplaceformyscreenshots.During
G AUTOSIMSPORT: How do you explain the success of your site? What do you think is its
thefirstmonths,notmorethantwentythirtypeopleperdayvisitedthesite.Oneday,Idecided mostimportantfactor?
to post a story about DeDios VLN 2007 for rFactor project. He had made quite impressive RRROO PPRRRA
OBBBP AN
A NG
N GEEE:ThemostimportantfactoriscomfortIthink.BeforeVirtualRexisted,itwas
G
progressonthemod,butnotmanypeopleseemedtohavenoticedit,soIwroteupaquickstory quiteatasktokeepuptodateonthesimracingscene.Youhadtobrowsethroughseveral
and linked itinseveralforums. Suddenly,visitorscamepouringinandIstarted to realizethat forumsandsites,collectingyourinformationpiecebypiece.Ifyouhadbeenawayforafew
peoplearemuchmoreinterestedinsimracingnewsthaneditedscreenshotsfromaguywith weeks, it was very hard to catch up. VirtualR makes it much easier as youll get all
barelyanyPhotoshopskills. importantsimracingnewsinonespot,makingitmuchmorecomfortabletokeepupwith
what'sgoingoninthecommunity.
AUTOSIMSPORT:What'syourtrafficlikenowadays? Ialwaystrytokeepthenewsstoriesshortandsweetbutstillcomprehensive,makingit
RRRO
O AN
OBBBPPPRRRA
A NG
N GEEE:Thesedays,VirtualRgetsvisitedbyaround15.000readerseachdayandover
G easy for people to stay informed. Thats what makes the site successful, I think, it has
5,000peoplehavesubscribedtheRSSfeed.Trafficvariesalotdependingonifitsaslownews becomesomethinglikesimracing'sdailynewspaper.
dayornot,weekendsaregenerallymorequiet.
AUTOSIMSPORT:Howdoyouseethesiteevolving?WherewillVirtualRbe,say,inayear
AUTOSIMSPORT:Howdoyoufundthewebsite? fromnow?
RRRO
O PPRRRA
OBBBP AN
A NG
N GEEE:Thesiteiscompletelyfundedbymeandadvertisingrevenue.Giventhefactthat
G RRRO
O PPRRRA
OBBBP AN
A NG
NGGEEE:MyfirstandforemostgoalistoexpandthesitesexposurebecauseIwantto
thesitehasbecomeverypopular,itneedspowerfulserverstooperate.Theresultingcostscanbe give new simracers easier access to whats going on in our community. To outsiders, the
moreorlessmetbytheadvertisingincomewhichisverymuchneededtokeepthesitealive. simcommunitycanlookrathercomplex,andgivingthemeasieraccesstowhatsimracing
hastoofferisoneofmygoals.Thegeneralconceptofthesitewontchangemuch,unlessI
AUTOSIMSPORT:Someofthe'discussion'suchasthatsurroundingShiftcanbeabit'brutal': comeupwithaclevernewideaoneday
Doyouevercringewhenyoureadsomeoftheposts?
RRRO
O PPRRRA
OBBBP AN
A NG
NGGEEE:Well,thetoneinthesimcommunitycanbeabitrough,yes.Butmostpeoplejust AUTOSIMSPORT:Areyoulookingtoextendintoreviewsandsoforth?
enjoyapassionatediscussionandkeepitcivil.Ialwaysliketoseetwoguysargueandfindsome RRRO
O AN
OBBBPPPRRRA
A NG
N GEEE:Ioccasionallyreviewsoftwareandhardware,butIwontextendthistypeof
G
commongroundintheprocess.Intheend,wereallsimracers,sharingthesamepassion.Whats contentanyfurther.ThewayIseeit,thesimracingcommunityisnowperfectlycoveredin
remarkable,though,isthatsomepeoplearehavingthesamediscussionoverandoveragain. terms of mediaoutlets. Shaun,Darin and the lovely Jessica of Inside Sim Racing provide
IfIpostastory,let'ssayoniRacing,Iknowverywellthatsomeguyswillbehavingadiscussion topnotch simracing video content, AUTOSIMSPORT has all the indepth articles and
on whether or not the sim is too expensive. They had the same discussion in countless other reports,andVirtualRoffersdailynews.
topicsbeforeandnoneofthemisevergoingtochangetheirmind;stilltheykeeponarguingeven Idontthinkitsawiseideatostartdoingsomethingthatotherpeoplecandobetter,the
thoughitdoesnotseemtomakemuchsense.ButsomepeoplejustlovetoargueIguess! communityisbestoffIfweallsticktowhatwedobest.

131 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3



LegendaryLotus
OvalOffice BloomsAgain

SANDEEPBANERJEE

132 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


OvalOffice continued

BLOOMINGLOTUSISSOFT legendary Lotus 79 into its online simulation racing service. And so it proved: Kaemmers
ItwastwelveyearsagothatDaveKaemmerandhisteamatthePapyrusRacingGroup firstFormulaOnesimsinceGPL.Wasitworththewait?
released a simulation that went on to enjoy a cultlike status among its many loyal After a season of putting it through its paces around the many laserscanned tracks in
followers.GrandPrixLegendswasadaringattemptatpioneeringabreathoffreshairin thesimulation,theresnodoubtthatthiscardoesindeeddeliver.
the simracing genre by recreating the entire 1967 Grand Prix season in all its glory, Brief history lesson first. The Lotus 79 was the brainchild of legendary F1 designer
fromaccuratecarsandtracks,todriversandschedules.Itfeaturedarevolutionarynew Colin Chapman. One of the basics of Fluid Mechanics Theory, as Daniel Bernoullis
physicsengine which gave fans of racings goldenera a simulation thatwasalmostas equation explains, is that, if fluid flows through a constriction, its speed will rise and
hardcore as the era it represented. GPL spawned a tremendously dedicated pressure will fall. Applied on racing car, this theory goes like this: air is a fluid. If the
communityand one that remains imbued with a sense of accuracythat began life bottomofthecarisshapedcorrectly,itispossibletocreatealowpressureareaunderthe
by the humble altering of car car, and the car will therefore be
skins and track mods which, literally sucked to the ground. That
over the course of the last phenomenon is known as ground
decade, has mutated to effect. Since the cornering speed
complex physics mods and dependsonfrictionbetweentyresand
the addition of entirely new tarmac, and friction depends on
elements such as downforce verticalforcewhichisequaltothesum
simulation, an improved tyre ofcarsweightandliftforcegenerated
model, and seventytwo by low pressure area beneath the car;
kilometer tracks like the the bigger the pressurefall is, the
TargaFlorio. betterthecarperforms.
However,GPLs Lotus first tried this concept on the
uncompromisedauthenticity Lotus78,butperfecteditwiththeLotus
andrealismwasitsownundoing 79,withwhichMarioAndretticruisedto
assaleswerelowandPapyrus his only Formula One World Drivers
returnedtofocusingexclusively Championshipin1978.
onitsacclaimedandaward Now, thirty years later, as you slide
winningNASCARRacingSeries yourself into the virtual cockpit of the
tillthecompanysignedoffwith Lotus 79, the first thing you notice are
NASCARRacing2003,leaving the lack of any digital modernities
fansofGPLwonderingwhat compared to Formula One cars of
couldhavebeen. today, whose cockpits resemble the space shuttle more than a race car. Three very
ThebirthofiRacing,ofcourse,leftmanyGPLerswonderingifwithoutthecoldbreath functionaldialsandafewrudimentaryswitchesandknobsareallyoullseeinfrontofyou
ofpublishersandsalesontheirneckswhatwasoncePapyruswouldbetemptedbackinto whichmakessensebecauseChapmanwasneverabigbelieverintheessentialintelligence
historicalFormulaOne:TheannouncementthatiRacinghadsignedapartnershipdealwith of race drivers. Unlike most open wheel cars, however, you cannot see the front wheels
ClassicTeamLotus(nottobemistakenwiththeLotuswhowellbeseeinginF1nextyear frominsidethecockpit.
those guys have as much in common with Colin Chapmans Lotus as I do) caused a bit of Onceyoufireitup,thefamiliarCosworthDFVV8,whichwasusedbyeveryteam
excitement, and so did the news that iRacing would be scanning and incorporating the exceptforFerrariatonepointduringtheseventies,resonatestolife.Theenginethat

133 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


OvalOffice continued

started lifein thefamous 1967 Lotus 49 produced around 475BHPat10,500RPMby having to constantly adapt yourself to the fluctuating downforce levels from slow to
1979. As you engage the 5speed Hewland FG400 transmission and exit the pits to fastcorners, theres a tremendousamountofdepth infiguringout andmastering this
take your first laps, youll notice the grip increases the faster you go, and pieceofF1lore.
progressively reduces the more you slow down, true to the principles of ground Eventhoughamajorityofthedownforceisgeneratedviathegroundeffects,wings
effects. iRacing have worked this most important aspect of the car to a pretty high were still present on the car. It wouldnt be until the Lotus 80 that Chapman would
standard. I say pretty well because there are problems here: Essentially, ground completely do away with wings, having taken the logic of his genius to its inevitable
effecteracarsranasstiffastheycouldbecausetheairthatwastrappedbeneaththe conclusion:Acarthatwas,itself,onegiantwing(itfailedbecausethechassiswasnot
car(viatheskirts,whicharepresentontheiRacingcar)wasvitaltothegripmanyof firmenough,incidentally).
thedriverswould literally losetheirfillingsorbreakribsinthosecarssostifflywere Here,withthe79,youhaveawiderangeofwingandwickeranglesthatyoucanplay
theysprung.Ifthecarjumped,airwouldflowoutandgripwoulddisappearwhich,if with to perfect your setup. Also present are the host of chassis adjustments that was
youknowyourhistory,causedsomeenormousaccidentsduringthatera,andwasthe adjustableontheactualcarlikesprings,caster,camber,toe,bumprubbers,aswellasa
reason why skirts were banned for 1983. In iRacing, however, as you will note from myriad of transmission adjustments that any GPL fan will be instantly familiar with,
TheHacksidebar,theLotusrunsfastestwithasoftsuspensiongeometry,andthat suchasindividuallyadjustableratios,aswellasclutch,preload,andrampangles.
is, as I noted, problematic: The last thing youd want from one of these cars is an Theneedforsmoothairflowdictatedthecarmusthavecleanlines;asaresult,Chapman
oscillatingsoftsuspension. spent time in the windtunnels
Having said that around a (unheardofin1978),andtheresult
track like Barber Motorsports Park wasoneofthemostbeautifulcars
in Birmingham, Alabama, which ever to take to the track;
has a good mix of slow and fairly nicknamed 'Black Beauty' by the
fast corners, most of them bumpy press and F1 fans alike for its
with a lot of elevation and camber graceful design, sleek profile, and
changes, and after coming off the its black and gold livery through
loosehandlingontheslowerturns, sponsorshipbyJohnPlayerSpecial
youhavetotakeafewattemptsat cigarettes,thesilhouetteofthe79
convincing yourself to commit willforeverbeunmistakable.Inthe
through the faster bends to the simulation,youcanapplyavariety
cars limit because conventional of paint schemes and designs in
race cars do not generate that different colors as well as the
much gain in downforce at high range of sponsorship and club
versuslowspeeds. decals available on offer. Dont be
Thecarsengine,meanwhile,is surprisedifyoucomeacrossapink
just pure simulated perfection: It Lotuswhileontheracetrack!
is a joy to drive, and anyone who The Lotus 79 is now available
likescontrollingtheirracecarwith for purchase at iRacing.com for
the accelerator and brake pedal $9andisrunasaBlicensecarin
more than the steering wheel is in for the best time of their lives. With an advanced the Classic Lotus Grand Prix Series that runs three times a week (Wednesday, Friday
setup,itsveryresponsivetoalongrangeofbrakeandthrottleinputs.Combinedwith andSunday).

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OvalOffice continued

THEHACK
VOLKERHACKMANS
LOTUSCHEATSHEET

FIXEDSETTINGS whichwouldcompromiseyourdriveoffthecorner.Anotherwelcomefeatureofhaving
TyrePressures:10psiFront,1112psiRear more lock on the drive side than on the coast side is that you can lock the diff on
(Using 11 will offer more grip out of slow turnsthe tyres need two or three laps to purpose by continuing to apply some throttle while going into corners. This would
reallygetuptotemperatureatmosttracks.) resultinanundersteer,whichcanbeusefulincornerswherethecarnotoriouslywants
tooversteeronentry.)
Toein:Front&Rear:0.0
TRACKDEPENDENTSETTINGS
Brakebias:38% Rideheights:1.0inches
(This determines how much downforce you can get from the wing profiles under the
Camber:1.0Front&Rear car:Thelowerthecar,thehigherthedownforce,soyou'llwanttherideheightsallthe
way down to 1.0 inches everywhere except at Daytona. The downside of running low
Shocks:Soft rideheightsisincreaseddrag,andthat'swhyyouwanthigherrideheightsatDaytona,
about2.0inches.That'stheonlyexception,though,everywhereelse you'llbewayoff
ARBarms/ARBdiameter:Soft thepaceifyoudon'tmakeuseofalltheunderwingdownforceyoucanget.Duetothe
shape of the wing profiles, the car does not require any rake angle to work, which is
Differential: Drive ramp angle: maximum lock/Coast ramp angle: minimum lock. differentfromcarswithaflatuntertray.)
Adding clutch plates or preload will increase diff lock on both the drive and the coast
side:Notnecessary. Wings:2Front:8Rear
(WhatIwantthedifftodoisbeingopenonthecoastside,sothecarturnswellon (The undertray produces more front than rear downforce, so you will generally need
entryandinthecenterofthecorner,andlockedonthedriveside,soyoucangetitto low front wing angles with fairly high rear wing angles. The wings also produce less
rotateonexitandtopreventtheunloaded{i.e.inside}reartyrefromspinningonexit, downforceforthedragthantheundertray,sotheyregenerallysettolowsettings.Get

135 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


OvalOffice continued

the downforce you need from the undertray first. At tracks with shorter straights you fastest corner(s) of the track, while the slower corners arent affected at all. As the
mightwanttorunslightlyhigherwings,especiallyifthisgivesyoumoreconfidenceina Lotus is usually looser in faster corners than in slower corners, this is great thing to
certain fast corner, or if it allows you to run a fast corner flat out that would have have: By setting up the bump stop gap correctly you can run a rather loose car that
required lifting with lower wings. The highest I've run was 5/10 at Laguna which has turnsgreatinmediumandlowspeedcorners,whilethefrontbumpstopswillpreventit
really short straights. If you dont run low ride heights, you will lose more front from spinning out in the fastest corner(s) of the track, where it might be completely
downforce than rear downforce, and therefore you will no longer need a significantly undriveable if it wasnt running on the bump stops. If youre at a track without fast
higherrearwingtokeepthecarbalanced.AtDaytona,Irun4rearwingangle,with2 corners,orifthefastcornersareeasilyflatoutevenifthefrontendrunsonthebump
onthefrontwing.) stops, you can also lower the front bump stop gap to prevent the car from bottoming
out too much on the straights, which might increase top speed slightly and/or might
Wickers:Full allow you to get away with running softer springs. I mostly use it to finetune the
(Thesedevices,alsoknownasGurneyflaps,increasethedownforceandthedragofthe handlinginthefastestcorners,though,andthereforetherearetrackswhereIrunalow
wings.Forsomereasonthe car appearstobefaster withthelargest available wickers bump stop gap setting {such as 0.3 inches or less}, as well as tracks with the highest
on the car, rather than by trying to generate the same amount of downforce with a possible value or something close to it. If you lower it too far {such as running a
lowerornowickerand aslightlyhigherwingangleinstead. Theexception herewould negativesetting},thehandlingcanbecomeabitbouncy,though.)
beDaytonaagain,whereyouwanttoremoveeverythingfromthecarthataddsdrag.)
FinalDriveRatio:3.444
Springs:Soft:1000lbs/in800lbs/in
(You want springs as soft possible for two reasons: Firstly, softer springs increase Gearratios:Setituptorunonly3or4gears
mechanicalgrip,andsecondly.theyallowthedownforcetolowertherideheightwhile (The first thing you need to think about is how many gears you actually want to use
the car is travelling at speed, which then increases undertray downforce even further. duringnormaldriving.Thecarhasfivegears,butIonlyusefouratmosttracks,oreven
Atsomepointthecarwillbottomouttoomuchonthestraightsandscrapeoffspeed, threeatsome.ThatsbecauseofthelongshiftingdelaysintheLotus:Ontheonehand
oronsevereroadbumpsincertaincornerswhichmayresultinalossofcontrol{e.g.in theymakeitdifficulttogoallthewaydownfromfifthtofirstgearbeforeahairpin,and
theuphillatLimeRock}.Iusuallystartwith1000lbs/insprings,andhaveendedupwith on the other, less can also be more during acceleration off a corner. If you use more
800 to1200lbs/in at every track except Daytona whereI ranstifferspringsduetothe gears,thiskeepstheengineclosertoitsoptimumrevrange{Idshiftupatabout11,000
bankedcorners.Youcouldalsorunstifferfrontthanrearspringstotightenthecarup RPM by the way}, but every additional upshift also means having no drive at all for
{or vice versa to loosen it up}, especially in slower corners, but personally I've found threetenthsorsomethingclosetothat.Fifthgearissetforthelongeststraight,thecar
thatthehandlingwithequalspringsonbothendsofthecartobejustfine.) makes the most horsepower at 10,600 RPM, so you'll want that somewhere in the
middle of the straight. First gear is usually for starts as you don't need it for normal
Bumpstopgap:Trackdependent driving, as explained above. Second, thirs and fourth gear are more or less trial and
(You can limit the suspension travel by lowering the bump stop gap at the respective error;youwanttoholdtherevshighenoughinthecornerstogetadecentacceleration
cornerofthecar.Ifthesuspensionexceedsthistravel,itwillstarttocompressarubber on exit, you dont want multiple downshifts in braking zones that are too short for it,
spring{thebumpstop},whichhasanincreasingspringrateasitiscompressedfurther. etc.Fortherace,youusuallyhavetorunatallerfifthgeartokeeptheoiltemperature
Ifyourrearsuspensionhitsthebumpstop,thecarmightjustspinoutduetothelossof down,itshouldn'texceed120Ccontinuously,andsometimesmakingyourfourthgear
mechanicalgrip,andthisissomethingyoudefinitelywanttoavoid,soIalwayssetthe tallermightbeusefulaswell.Eithertohelpyoukeepthetemperaturedownifyouuse
rearbumpstopgapstothehighestpossiblevalue.Thefrontbumpstopgapcanbevery italot,orsimplytomakesurethatthegapbetweenthegearsdoesntbecometoobig:
useful,though.Asthehighestsuspensiontravelisachievedinfastcorners{duetohigh Theresjustnotalotofpowerdownthereat8,500RPM,soyoudontwanttodropthat
downforce and high centrifugal force}, this can be used to tighten the car up in the lowafteranupshift.

136 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3


Volume5Number2

Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection

HOLIDAZESPECIALREVIEWISSUE
AUTOSIMSPORTAWARDS2009
DIRT2
TOPRACE
NEEDFORSPEED:SHIFT
SUPERLEAGUEFORMULA
SUPERCARCHALLENGE
FORZAMOTORSPORTS3
FANATEC911TURBOSWHEEL


LOGITECHG27WHEEL


EditorInChief Contributors
LxMartini FabriceOffranc/AndrewTylerBjrnErik
ExecutiveEditors Hagen/MagnusTellbom/JimineeSmith/

Credits JonDenton/BobSimmerman
Business/Website/Advertising
LouMagyar
GaryPoon/LuisaGhibaudo/
SpadgeFromley/SimonCroft/Selena
Horrell/SandeepBanerjee
PhotoEditor
EditoratLarge OliverDay
SergioBustamante Logos/Design
ContributingEditors www.graphicaldream.com
SteveSmith/ArisVasilakos ContributorRelations
CorporateRelations LxMartini/JonDenton
JonDenton Merchandising
CommunityRelations LouMagyar
BobSimmerman FrenchEditor
ChristopheGalleron
Art
ItalianEditor
MikeCrick/JulianDyer
DrivingItalia.net
Layout/Design
LxMartini

AUTOSIMSPORTMediaLLCisanindependentonline orevenoffensive,providedthatthereisafactualbasis
magazine,producedquarterly,thatcoverstheexciting thatunderpinsthecontent.
sportandhobbyofsimulatedracing.
AUTOSIMSPORTMediaLLCbelievesandwillconduct
AUTOSIMSPORT Media LLC covers simracing by itselfwithintwodefiningconcepts:
focusing on every area that defines the sport/hobby Integrity
includinghardware,software,andcompetition. Independence
Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect
AUTOSIMSPORT Media LLC maintains an equal thoseofthewriters/contributorsorotheraffiliates,and
distance to every entity with which it conducts all content is copyright AUTOSIMSPORT
relationships including developers, software and Media LLC unless otherwise stated. All photos are
hardwareproducers,andthecommunity. used by permission. Should you feel your rights have
been violated, please feel free to contact
AUTOSIMSPORT Media LLC will always defend and AUTOSIMSPORT Media LLC through its website at:
claim the right to free speech, and will also include www.autosimsport.net., or email autosimsport. Not
editorialswhichsomemaydeemtobecontroversial responsibleforcontentsoflinkedsites
3 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection

SPECIALWINTERREVIEWPULLOUT
REVIEWSHARDware

Tableof
LOGITECHG27WHEEL 6
LouMagyarontheevolutionofaclassic
FANATEC911TURBOSWHEELSPECIALEDITION13
BobSimmermanonthebestwheelfortheconsole
REVIEWSSOFTware
DIRT2 27

TOPRACE
Rasfigjohnappealstothemasses

MagnusTellbomonthebestsalooncarracerintheworld
37 Contents
NEEDFORSPEED:SHIFT46
SimonCroft&BobSimmermanfindplentytolove
SUPERLEAGUEFORMULA66


HristoiItchovonISIsfirstsimeinhalfadecadeno,dontcallitamod!
SUPERCARCHALLENGE 76
JonDentonon2009sBlackHorse
FORZAMOTORSPORTS3 81


REGULARFEATURES
MODSQUAD 92
ENDURACERSMagnusTellbom
COLUMNS
5thColumn 97
AUTOSIMSPORT2009AWARDS
GPLegacy 107
SergioBustamante
TheDent 108
JonDentonsvodkadiaries
MagnusOpus 111
MagnusTellbomwearshishelmetandstepsintotheminefield
SimSmith 115
CheckeredFlag 116

4 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection


HARDWARE REV S U
P P

LOGITECH G27 WHEEL 7


FANATEC PORSCHE 911 TURBO S WHEEL 13

5 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection


LogitechsGSpot
G27 WithLogitechnowreplacingitsvenerableG25withtheG27,LouMagyarexamines
whetheritstimeforanupgrade

LOUMAGYAR

6 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
G27 continued

Swissbased Logitech is hands down megalargecorporationswherereviewersgotodie.


theleaderinthePCperipheralmarket It took some convincing but, as you can no doubt
for the average consumer, and their guess,itfinallyarrivedintomygrimyhands.
rangerunstheentiregamutofgaming At first glance, the G27 doesnt look too much
hardware,fromgamepadstojoysticks, different than its predecessor, but look a little
from gaming keyboards to racing closer and youll find the wheel is of a more
wheels.TheirlegendaryG25wheelhas ergonomicdesignthantheG25:Intermsofgrip,
altered the landscape of simulated thereisnowacutoutwhereyourhandswillgrip
racing since its introduction three the selfsame eleven inch wheel which will
yearsagowithapackagethatbundled reduceif your hands are anything like mine
whathad,untilthen, been thedomain those ugly blisters I would get from prolonged
of bespoke boutique hardware boutsofrunningtheG25usingthepaddleshifter.
manufacturersa clutch pedal, a More importantly, Logitech have listened to
sequential/H shift gearbox, and a probablythebiggestgripewiththeG25alackof
tremendous twinengined Force buttonsonthewheel:Younowhavesix,insteadof
Feedback system all available for an two, and they appear on significantly widened
affordableprice:Itwent ontobecome brushed stainless steel spokes. This makes the
the lowcost highquality option for wheel look more modern than the G25 whose
simracers, and became, along the appearancealwaysremindedmeofa1960ssports
way, a defining moment in wheel carand,atmyage,Ifindthatmoreattractivethan
manufacturingbefore the release of the G27. Given the lack of choice, though, Im far
theG25,themarketwasawashinlow happierwiththefourextrabuttons...
costwheels,manyasbadasanother The spokes, incidentally, may well help reduce
ascantfewmonthslater,Logitechhad the number of returned G25s due to wheels being
swept all asunder and became the bentduringshipping.
dominantforceintheindustry. Also noteworthyand perhaps bad news to a host of cottage industries that have
Allthatwasthreeyearsago,andLogitecharenowbackwiththesuccessortotheG25, developedaroundtheG25isLogitechsdecisiontoincludeontheirnewwheelwhathave,
theG27,which,beforeyouask,isnotsomuchanevolutionasitisafinerefinementofwhat until now, been modifications offered by third party developers. Take, for instance, the
worksLogitechhavebeenlisteningtotheircustomers,andtheG27comeswithahostof seriesoftenLEDsjustbehindthecenterhub(twored,fouryellow,andfourgreen)thatlight
solutions to issues that nagged the G25 while, at the same time, leaving well enough upfromtheoutsidetothecentresequentiallyinordertoindicatewhenitstimetoshift,a
aloneincludingtheG25sUSPanunbeatablepricepoint. modificationthatappearedonthesepagessometimeago.
Thisniftylittleadditionissupported,asofthiswriting,byiRacing,alongwiththeSteam
RefiningALegend versionsofRACE07andGTREvo:ItwillalsorunonrFactorifyouusethetrialversionthat
Getting my hands on a G27 proved to be somewhat problematic: My previous contact at comesbundledintotheG27inDVDformat,butyourcurrentversionofrFactorwillnotrunit
Logitechhadmovedontoothertasks,anditseemsAUTOSIMSPORThadgonefrombeing asofthiswriting:ISIareworkingonanew.exe,anditmayevenbereleasedbythetimeyou
one ofthe firstpublications onearth to havereviewedthe G25 to,erm,wellthatplace in readthis.

7 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
G27 continued

TALEOFTHETAPE:
G25vs.G27



FORCEFEEDBACK
G25featuresstraightcut(spur)gears
G27featuresdiagonalcut(helical)gears

PEDALS
G27featurestallerstandoffsforclutchand
brake pedals, as well as horizontal
adjustability, making customizability and
heeltoedownshiftingeasier

SHIFTER
G27 features stiffer centering spring and
more positive gear engagement, but no
sequentialoption,onlyHpattern
G25 features both sequential and H
Pattern

BUTTONS
G25has2buttonsonthewheel
G27hassixbuttonsonthewheel

G27REFINEMENTS
RPM/Shift Indicator LEDs: G27 features 10
LEDsthatcanbeusedbygamedevelopersto
indicateRPMredline

8 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
G27 continued


I have not personally experimented with adding the .exe from the DVD to the Lookingdownfromthewheelattheshifter,thefirstthingyoullnoticeisthattheknob
existing rFactor install, but I have read that some have experienced issues with this that once changed the shifter from Hpatter to sequential is gone; only the Hpattern is
install so my advice would be: Back up first, research second, and then hit the install remainsavailableontheG27,andthismakesacertainamountofsensesincemostwhen
button. employingasequentialshiftwouldoptthepaddleoption.Ifyouhappentobeahugefan
InordertofurtherhurrytheprocessofhavingtheirwheelLEDsrunwithmostsims, ofChampCar,though,youmightmissthesequentialshifterand,ifyouaredeterminedfor
Logitechhavereleasedasoftwaredeveloperkit(SDK)whichenablesanydeveloperto that level of authenticity, the more secure feel of the gear shift that we will discuss
simplyandquicklyhavetheirsimruntheLEDs,sothisniftyfeatureoughttoberunning presently will make for the mapping of your upshift/downshift to third and fourth gears a
onallyourfavouritesimsinshortorderifnot,contactyourdeveloper! usablecompromise.
A further refinement on the G27 comes with the shiftpaddles which have been, AsInoted,theshifterdoesnowfeelfarmorepositivethantheG25s,andthatisbecause
forthelackofabetterterm,toughenedup:Ratherthantheflimsypressureswitchof theinternalshavebeenreworked.Ilikethenewdesign.WiththeG25shifterinHpattern
old, the new paddles have a much more solid feel along with a better sense of mode, it was all too easy to miss a shift: Grinding down from fifth to fourth, for instance,
actuation, providing tactile feedback as you skip through the gears; the days of wasalwaysalotterywiththebestcasescenarioseeingyouthumpinsixth,andtheworse
quickfire mistaken doubleshifting are a thing of the past. What remains, though, is case thumping in second, the top of the engine rev range, and the wallusually, but not
theG25s900degreesofsteeringsoyour1970stouringcarmodsremaininsafeand always,inthatorder.Thenewinternals,however,allowformuchmorefeelwhenmoving
cumbersomehands. fromonegeartothenext,and actuallyhavea smalldetentsensationsothat youcantell

9 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
G27 continued

whenyouareinthenextgate.Acenteringspringhasalsobeenaddedtoaddtothecertaintyof backlash and slop. Helical gears, cut on an angle across the mating surface, do not
yourshifting.Reversegear,meanwhile,requiresabitmoredownwardpressuretoengage,which suffereitherfromnoiseorslopsince,ratherthananallornothingengagement,they
isagoodthingIcanttellyouhowmanyenginesIdestroyedgoingfromfifthtoreverserather gradually engage across the mating faces of the gears, yielding a much quieter, more
thansixth. precise sensation. Using helical gears also requires a much tighter tolerance than
Looking down further at the pedals, youll find what is, if youve been paying attention, a straightcut gears, which results in the necessity to use ball bearings on the wheel
familiarstorywiththeG27overtheG25:Whatlooksessentiallysimilarhasbeensubtlyaltered. shaft,that,consequently,providesuperbperformance,aswellaslongtermreliability:I
To begin with, the brake and clutch pedal standoffs have been increased in height by know this because I went off to the Logitech site once I tested the G27 since, at first,
approximatelythirteenmillimeterswhichresultsinthesetwopedalfacesbeingpushedforward the thing felt as if it had more slop to it than the G25 across the center line. I soon
furtherthanthethrottlepedal,inlinewithwhatyoudfindinmostcarsofanydescription:Heel learnedthatthiswasattributabletotheG27actuallyhavingmoreprecisionatTDCthat
andtoeingisnowafarmoregenuineprocess. theG25,astorqueandpressureshiftedfromonesidetotheotherofthewheel.Itsnot
Thenewpedalpads,inaddition,areallreconfigurable,somewhatakintothepedalmodthat a vast improvement by any means, but its certainly noticeablegiven a choice, Id
NielsHeusinkveldprovidedformetoreviewinthelastissue.Thenewconfigurationisalmostas springfortheG27sfeelanyday.
capableofdiversityasNielsskitis,butnotquite:Youcanmovethepads,butnotnearlyinas TheForceFeedbackremainsthesameastheG25(dualmotor,singlereduction).
manydirections,orasmuchdistance,aswiththemodItested.Thepedalfacesthemselvescan Logitech has also included a new Logitech Profiler (Version 5.05) that thankfully
be moved about one centimetre in each direction, and this does allow for a good range of leaves off all of the annoying sound effects when running the wheel through its test
customizablespacing. mode. No more aliens, blown tyres, or headon collisionswell not until after youve
Thechangingofthefacesofthepedalsmakingthemcloserorfurtherapartasyourneeds configureditanyway!
dictateisasimpleaffairbutmadeslightlymoredifficultbyanoddoversightonLogitechspart: If you are a fan of applets like Joy2Key, the G25 and G27 keystrokes are identical.
Theyhaveleftoutwhatcouldhavebeenincludedatalmostnocostatall,anAllenkey.Yousee, Youcanaddmoreifyouwish,inordertoutilizetheextrawheelbuttons,butifyoure
unlessyouhaveyourowntoolkit,amongthemasmallmetricAllenkey,youarentgoingtobe happywithwhatyouhave,noneedtosetupJoy2Keyalloveragain.Thesameistrue
abletochangethepedallocations.Sowhenyourecomingbackfromtheshopwithyourbox,do for the assignments within rFactor. They are all reported the same from one wheel to
planoneitherstoppingatthehardwarestore,ormakesureyourtoolboxhasthecorrectlysized thenext.
Allen key for the job. Incidentally, the pedalbase features the same carpet gripping system So, a month into my G27 experience and I suppose its time to answer the obvious
introducedwiththeG25,andinmyexperience,thissystemkeepsthepedalsprettysafeonthe question:Personally,if Iwasa G25 owner,I would not feel compelledtoupgrade to a
floor.Thefeelofthepedals,meanwhile,havenotbeenaltered,andstillfunctionaswellasthey G27. Trashing one good wheel in favor of another isnt a good decision, and theres
alwayshave:Notcomparabletothebestinclass,butcertainlymorethancapableofgivingyoua reallynotenoughheretowarrantanupgradefromwhatyoualreadyhaveintheG25.
solidresponsetoyourmovements. Ontheotherhand,ifyoureusinganoldLogitechwheel,perhapsabeltdrivenone,
Allofthecomponents,meanwhile,arefromthesamemoldsastheG25whichmeansallthe oranythingotherthanaG25,thenyouneedtoconsiderthiswheel.Seriously.Thefeel
hardmount points are in the same location, and the G27 will mount exactly as your G25 did is comparable to the older Logitech Formula Force beltdriven wheel, with similar
withoutaneedtoredrillanymountingplatforms. precisionandsmoothnessof operation.Exceptyou alsogetallthegoodiesthatmade
That covers the visible features of the G27 against the G25 which is now officially being theG25suchanenormoussuccess.
phasedoutbyLogitech.WhatremainsunsaidiswhatisinsidethenewG27,andthatisasclose TheG27ispoisedtocontinuetheGtraditionofprovidingremarkableperformance
aswecangetifwewanttomentionthewordevolution. atanamazingprice:RetailingatUS$299.99,itis$50lessthantheG25initiallysoldfor,
if memory serves, and it retains its compatibility with PC, PS2, and PS3 platforms.
ATinySliverOfEvolution Overall,itsagreatwheelandIwouldgoasfarastosayanincrediblewheelwhenyou
Helicallycutgearsversusstraightcutgears,G27versusG25:Briefly,straightcutgears,as addinwhatitcostsandwillremainthelowcosthighqualitychoiceforsimracersfor
providedintheG25,arenoisy,andtendtowhineandclatterastheycometogether,causing manyyearstocome.

10 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
G27 continued

The pedals remain largely unchanged, with steel arms and frames and brushed
stainlesssteelfaces,butdofeaturetwoimportantimprovements:
The brake and clutch pedal standoffs have been increased in height by
approximately13mm,sothattheirfacesareclosertotheuserthanthatofthe
throttlepedal
Thepedalarmshavehadfourextraholesdrilledinthemsothatthepedalfaces
canadjusttotheleftortherightwiththehelpofa2.5mmhexwrench

CourtesyLogitech.com

11 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
G27 continued

LOGITECHG27WHEEL

Maynotwarrantanupgradeif
youreaG25owner,butitwillmake
youhopeforitsimminentdemise!
If,ontheotherhand,youreyetto
jointheGrevolution,theG27will
behardtoresist WindowsbasedPC
SystemRequirements

PRICE:US$299.99 Pentiumprocessororcompatible
WindowsXPorWindowsVistaorWindows7
256MBRAM
20MBofavailableharddiskspace
CDROMdrive
USBport
GamesthatsupportLogitechforcefeedback
PLAYSTATION3computerentertainmentsystem
PlayStation2computerentertainmentsystem

12


www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection


FanatecPorsche911
FANATEC911 TurboSWheelLimited
TURBOS Edition
Forsimracers,thetimehascometoinvestinaconsole:Forza3,SuperCarChallenge,
SHIFT, the soontocome Gran Turismo 5simulation has arrived, and arrived big

time.AndasBobSimmermanwillnowexplain,thereisonlyonewheelonlyone
thatyouneedtoconsider...

BOBSIMMERMAN

13 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued

Enough complainingandconfusionfor a while,thestory changedrapidly,unexpectedly, andina


verypositiveway.
ThroughgoodfortunethatIhadnotahandin,alargebrowntruckwaskindenoughtodelivera
largebrownboxtomycurrentplaceofemployment.Alas,Ididnotdiveintothisspecialbrownbox
justthen,astherewasmuchworktobedoneintherealworld;InductivelyCoupledPlasmaMass
Spectrometry, a pleasant discussion to be had with a new friend, and a bit of snowy weather
drivingasImademywaytoanartshowthatwashostedbyanotherofmyreallifefriends.
On the way home, I stopped for a nice warm cup of French Vanilla Cappuccino, my new
favorite,dispensedasonlyafillingstationautomatedmachinecanachieverich,creamy,with
justahintofchemicallyengineeredmilk;aspothitterifyouwill,anditfilledmygreencupwith
warmthandanticipation,thepleasantodorsoonwaftingthroughmycar,replacingthenotso
pleasantodorofmycurrentbrandofcigarette,Maverick.Idrankabitfrommycupofsatisfaction,
savoringnotonlytheflavoroftheoozingwarmliquid,buttheweekendthatlayaheadofmeas
thegunmetalsnowcloudsgatheredoverhead.
Withmyeyesslitopenabitwider,Iventuredwithcautiontheeighteenmilestomyhome,
taking the short way when I got to the dirt road turnoff, hoping against hope that the tree
leaning over the road about a mile in had not come crashing down; turning around in that
particularspotwouldhavebeenchallengingturningaroundifunderthetreeeven,moreso.It
hadremainedinplace,however,ithadnotcomedown,anditdidnotblockmyway.Underneath
itIpassed.Almostthere.
Itookmytimeunloadingthecar,pickedupthestrangecardthathadbeenshovedintomy
door by some person who I do not know, and, finally, I was in for the night. I was in for the
weekendaswell;ithadbeenoneoftheroughestweeksofmylifeatwork,butthatisanother
storyforanothertime.
Thecatboxneededcleaning.IthinkIwasstillsmilingeventhen,butbreathingwas,shallwe
say,interesting.Thecatdidnothelp,butshewasgladtoseeme.
Andallthewhile,thereitsatnotthecat,thatbrownbox,twentyonepoundsofpromised
joy,bundleddesire.Idarenotrushintosuchathing,Ithought,butitwasimpossiblenottoopen
itforIneededtoassuremyselfthatitdid,infact,containwhatIhoped.Itdid.Iwaspleased,butin
nohurry.Itookmytimeopeningthebox,andtookevenmoreofmytimeopeningtheboxinside
ofthatone.Iwasnotfinished;therewereseverallayerstothisotherbox,eachwithwritingon
them,wordsthattrulyreflectedmyfeelingsonthematter.Finally,Ihadopenedthelastlayer,
anddiscoveredyetanothermaterialcommontosuchthings,athinplasticthatisoftenusedto
protectthingsfrombeingscratched,frombecomingwet,frompryingeyes.
Itookmytimegazingatwhatcouldbeseenthroughthisplastic,visiondistortedastheplastic
playeditsgamewiththephotonsintheroom,butIcouldtellwhatlaybeneath,itwaseasyto

see.Thereis,Iwouldsooncometounderstand,onlyoneanditwashere.Inmyhands.

14 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued

Idonothavethecar,butInowhavethewheel.TheFanatecPorsche911TurboS.Special
Edition. But you can ignore the Special because its like saying, the Porsche 911Fast
Edition.Yeah,redundantdoesnthackitthisisspecial.Anditisalsotheverydefinitionof
rare: There are but a few thousand of these things destined for the entire planet and, by
some miracle, one had made it all the way from Germany to my humble abode. For the
record, heres how it works: The Turbo S Limited Edition will be manufactured on the
followingbatchesonly:5,000PureEdition,2,000ClubsportEdition,and3,000withouta
titleedition,foralimitedrunof10,000wheels.DidIsayrare?DidIsayspecial?
Withthatinmind,Icarefullyremovedthemanualfromthebox,replacedthecomplex
layersofpackaging,andreflecteduponfortune.
YoudontdriveaPorsche911inthesnowinthebackwoodsofMichigan,andyoudont
mount a Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo S wheel to a wobbly desk designed for consuming
mealscoveredinaluminiumfoil.WhichmeantIhadtohookupmyHDMIcableinorderto
mount the wheel (dont ask, it just is): The last time I hooked an HDMI cable (XBOX 360
current outputconnection) to my Gateway 24 inch superglossy monitor, it rendered that
monitorimmediatelyuseless,inallmodes,coatingitwithapinkhuethatmayhavecaught
an artists eyes, but saddened this burgeoning photographers eye. That incident
necessitated a hasty trip to Best Buy in order to replace it, one of the few times I was
actuallygladtheyoungsalespersontalkedmeintobuyingtheextendedwarrantyplan.But
now,nowitwasadifferentstory;thewarrantyandreplacementplanhadlongsinceexpired,
andmyfinancialsituationwassuchthatitcouldbedescribedinoneworddismal.Idared
notriskmyunexpectedturnoffortunebysomuchasbringinganHDMIcableintothesame
room,muchlesshook itup.Inotherwords, Ifeared that I had no choice buttogetsome
snowonmyPorsche,sotospeak.
And then I rememberedI still had the component cables for my XBOX 360, and they
weremorethan capableof delivering a1080psignal tothat monitoras I had done such a
thinginthepast.Itwouldseemthat mygoodfortuneofFridayhadfollowedmethrough
theweekend.Sometimes,eventhelittlefellascatchabreak.SowhileIgofetchthecables,
youtakealookatthis:

15 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued

PPPOOR
O RSSSCCCH
R H 99111111T
HEEE9 UR
TTU
U RB
RBBO
O SSW
OS WH
W HHEEEEEELLLL MIIITTTEEED
LLIIIM
M DDEEED
D ON
DIIITTTIIIO
O N
N IlluminatedbuttonsswitchautomaticallybetweenXboxandPlayStationsymbols
ThePorsche911TurboSwheelisstrictlylimitedto10.000unitsintotal.Eachwheelcomes PowerfulMabuchiRS550MotorasusedinRCcarsdeliversextrastrongForceFeedback
withalaserengravedchassisnumberplatewhichcertifiestheauthenticityofthewheel.All effects
ownerscanregisteratthePorsche911TurboSpublicregistrywhichwillbeavailableinthe Additional2ForceFeedbackactuatorsinthewheelsimulatemotorvibrations.
911WheelClub(www.911wheel.com) Extrasmoothandsilentbeltdrivewithoutmechanicaldeadzone
Keybenefits Highresolutionwheelsensor
Multiplatform:Xbox360PCPlayStation3 TUNINGfunctionswithLEDdisplay
BackwardscompatibletoexistinggamesontheXbox360compatibletoallracing Savesupto5wheelsetups
gameswhichsupporttheMicrosoftWirelessWheel AdjustForceFeedbackstrengthduringgameplay
WirelessconnectiontoXbox360andwirelessconnectionthroughRFdongletoPCand Adjustsensitivityindependentfromthegame
PlayStation3(newandimprovedtechnology)
Compatiblewithstandardpedals(withclutch),Clubsportpedals(metal)andeventhe PPPOOR
O R HEEE9
RSSSCCCH
H UR
TTU
99111111T U RB
R BO
BO SSW
OS WH
W H UB
HEEEEEELLLCCCLLLU
U BBSSSPPPOOR
O R DIIITTTIIIO
EED
RTTTE D ON
ONN:::
pedalsoftheMicrosoftwirelessracingwheelandtheLogitechG25 Limitedto2000units
3ForceFeedbackmotorsandsmoothbeltdrivedeliversensationalrealism AllfeaturesofthePorsche911TurboSwheelbutwithClubsportpedalsinsteadofthe
Twogearsticksincluded:6+1Speedandsequential standardpedals
Availablein3differenteditions Fullyadjustablewiredpedalsfullymadeofmetal
Pressuresensitiveloadcellsensor
FFFU ATTTU
ULLLLLLFFFEEEA
U A UUR R OR
PPO
REEESSSP O RSSSCCCH
R H 99111111T
HEEE9 TTU UR
U RRB
BBO O SSW
OS WWHHEEEEEELLL:::
H Maximumbrakeforceadjustable
Limitedto3000units Contactlessmagneticsensorsforgasandclutchwithunlimitedlifetime
OriginalPorsche911TurboSsteeringwheeldesign Vibrationmotoronbrakepedaltoindicateblockingtires(onlyingameswhichsupport
LicensedbyPorscheLizenzundHandelsgesellschaftmbH thisfeature)
AuthenticmetalPorschelogoonwheel
HandstitchedleatherwheelmanufacturedaccordingtoPorschequalitystandards PPPOOR
OR HEEE9
RSSSCCCH
H UR
TTU
99111111T U RB
RBBO
O SSW
OS WH
W HEEEEEELLLPPPU
H UUR
R EED
REEEE D ON
DIIITTTIIIO
O NN:::
CompatiblewithXbox360,PCandPlayStation3(allgameswhichsupportForce Limitedto5000units
Feedbackwheels) OnlycompatibletoXbox360(RFdongletomakeitcompatiblewithPlayStation3andPC
6+1Speedgearstickwithrealisticshiftingfeel availableoptional)
Additionalexchangeablesequentialgearstickincluded AllfeaturesofthePorsche911TurboSwheelbutwithoutpedals,RFdongleandgear
IncludesClubsportpaddleshiftersmadeofstainlesssteel sticks
Wiredpedalswithrealisticclutchpedalwithdecliningresistance IncludesanadaptercabletoconnectpedalsoftheMicrosoftwirelessracingwheelfor
Diameterofsteeringwheelis300millimeters Xbox360ortheLogitechG25pedals
Gearsticksareinterchangeableandcanbemountedontheleftorrightside

Turninganglecanbeadjustedinthewheelto900,360or180orin1stepsbysoftware
Playwithtable:Strongtableclampswithquickrelease,specialnonsliprubberpads,andVelcro AV
A
A VA
V A AB
AIIILLLA
A BLLLEEEO
B O ON
OPPPTTTIIIO
O NA
NAALLL:::
stripsonthepedalskeepeverythinginplace.Integratedscrewinsertsallowsastrongfixationon Standardpedals
agamingcockpit Clubsportpedals
Playwithouttable:FullycompatiblewiththeRennSportWheelStandwhichis Shifterset(6speedandsequential)
availableoptional RFdongleforPlayStation3andPC

16 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued

OPPPEEEN
O
O N NG
NIIIN
N G TTH
GT HHEEEBBO
BOOX XFFFO
X OORRA
R A RIIIPPP
TTR
AT R
IntypicalandpreciseGermanfashion,therewereapproximatelysevenhundredandthirty
nine cubic feet of hardware perfectly fit into about a four cubic foot box space. In fact, I
nearly reviewed the packaging methods and materials separately, but this is a magazine
about racingsimulators and I doubt many care about the refractive index properties of
protectiveplastic.
The nice thing about packaging is that, in general, the package may travel the Seven
Seaswithnaryascratchuponit,andthiswasthecasewiththeFanatecwheelthathad
givenourpreviousexperienceswithboxedwheels,thiswasanimportanttestgonefrom
GermanytoIndiana,andthenIndianatomyhouse.Isavoredthesmellofgenuineleather
justa hintescaping itsenclosure, tauntingme with theprospect of muchmoreimportant
thingstocome.Finally,Ihadthewheelcarefullyremoved,carefullyplaced,andinposition
for some proper photographs. Even unassembled, the craftsmanship, attention to detail,
and pride were evident. Porsche gave Fanatec a license, and Fanatec are treating that
thoroughbredlicensewiththerespectitdeserves:Thisnumberisclass.

A
A MB
ASSSSSSEEEM
M BLLLY
B YYAAN
A ND
N DH
D HO
H OO
O OOKKU
K UPPP
U
ThisparticularversionofthewheelwillworkwiththeXBOX360,PlayStation3,andthePC.
Let me repeat that: XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, and the PC. If youre new to the console
scene,thatislikesayingyour911willtransformintoaboat,aplane,andanallwheeldrive
atthepressofabutton.YoucanhookupdirectlytothePCandPS3,whiletheXBOX360is
wireless only, which is just fine as it is one less wire for the cat to chew, and one less
complication for me to try and sort out. In addition, should you so choose, a wireless
dongleisincludedsothatyoumayalsogowithoutcoppersurroundedbyplasticforthePC
andPS3aswell.
TheversionofthewheelthatIreceiveddidnothaveadetailedinstructionmanualinthe
box: the Fanatec webpage, however, is an absolute gold mine of information and a
thoroughly detailed and well written manual is available for download describing all that
youneedtoknowonthehardwareside.Themanualthatwasincludedintheboxcovered
operations with the various platforms, describing button layouts, programming, wireless
connections,andrecalibrationforthe6+1gatedshifter.
There is really not much to say here and that is a good thinglike any welldesigned
pieceofhardware,itbecomesquicklyobviouswhatgoeswhere.Anddontworryaboutall
ofthoseextrapartslyingaround;thispackageisfulltothebrimduetothemultiplatform

support.

AndtheysayGermanshavenosenseofhumour!

17 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued

The wheel itself, meanwhile, is a work of art. As mentioned earlier, it is wrapped in


leather, genuine leather, and the thickness and diameter are such that you would swear
there is someone about to enter their Porsche, somewhere in Germany, only to discover
thatthewheelismissing,andthatcouldindeedexplainwhythereareonly10,000ofthese
babiesaround(howmanyPorschewheelscanamanstealinonelifetimethinkaboutit).
Onceyouhavethewheelpoweredup,thebuttonsarebacklitfortheappropriategaming
system:InthecaseoftheXBOX360,expecttoseethemostpleasingcolorsilluminatingthe
appropriatebuttonsleavingnoquestionastowhichistheA,andwhichistheY,orwhichis
theRightBumper,ortheLeftBumper.Thephotoshereturnedoutfairlywell,butitmustbe
seen in use and up close to truly appreciate. Again, this precise and carefully thoughtout
designmakestheentireexperienceofusingthiswheelatruepleasure.
Therearealsotwopaddleshifterleversonthewheel,andalthoughtheyaresmallerthan
what we may be used to on other wheels, they are perfectly fit for any driving duties,
providinganactionthatisbothimmediateandprecise.Toroundoutthewheeldescription,
atthetopofthemaincolumnisasmallLEDreadoutthatletstheuserknowwhichpartof
theTuningMenutheyarein,andanLEDlightsystemthatwillindicatewhichmodeyouare
eitherin,orcurrentlyadjusting.Agoodthingsince,asyoumayexpect,theadjustmentson
offerareplentiful.

AD
A
A D USSSTTTIIIN
DJJJU
U NG
N G PPEEER
GP R ON
RFFFEEECCCTTTIIIO
O N
N
Wheelandtwoshifterset:Onesequential,one6speedHipattern..Ifyoureusingtheshifter,make
ForceFeedbackstrengthhasfourlevelsofadjustmentranginginproportionfromone
suretomountthewheel:ARennSportWheelStandcanbeboughtfromFanatec
hundredpercenttooff;theSensitivitysetting(whichcontrolsthedegreesofrotation),
What you probably will care about is: One sequential shifter, one Hsixspeed gated hasfourlevelsforthePC/PS3(540,360,210,andoffinwhichcasethesimtotake
shifter,onepedalset(withclutch),andonePorsche911wheel.Andyes,goaheadandrun careoftherotationalmatters):InthecaseoftheXBOX360,therearefoursettingsas
yourhandsoverthethickleather:thisistherealthing. well (900, 540, 270, and 210), but there is no off for this console. I found the 270
I decided to take a bit of extra effort with the wheel mounting, so I got out my trusty degreesettingtobetomylikingandkeptitthere.Finally,wehavetheShockVibration
Dewaltpowerdrill,and,usingthetemplateprovidebyFanatec(note:Theydonotprovide settingthatcontrolsadditionalvibrationcomponentsthatthesimmaybesendingout
the drill bits, or screws, so plan on a trip to your toolbox or hardware store), drilled four as you are playing. In the case of the XBOX 360, these are synchronized to the gas
holesinthedesktop,insertedthetwosixmillimeterthreadscrewsthroughthebottom,as pedal to synch in a feeling of the engine through the wheel. Again, you have options
instructed,andhadanabsoluterocksolidmountforthewheel. herethatrangefromfullyofftoonehundredpercent.Iwentwithonehundredpercent,
Includedinthebox,asIsaid,areasequentialshifter,anda6+1gatedshiftershouldyou andthatseemedtoworkoutjustfine.
wishtheultimateinrealism.Alsoofnoteisthewelldesignedgas/brake/clutchpedalbase, Theshifterofchoiceshouldyouchoosetouseoneismountedbyslidingitonthetwo
with plenty of the proper material on the bottom to help prevent the thing from sliding rodsthatareattachedtothewheelbaseitself,butitisnotapermanentfixtureinorderto
aroundwhiledriving.Thegaspedalisinappearancejustwhatyoumightfindinarealcar allow quick removal of one in favor of the other. As noted, you will be provided with two
longwithplentyoffootroom.Thebrakehasanicefeeltoit,withplentyofresistance,and shifters:Asequentialone,anda6+1gatedaffair.Itriedboth,andwhilethefitisabittight,
theclutchpedal,too,hasthatrealsensationtoit.Theclutch,likearealworldclutch,will itisnecessarytoensureasecuregearchangeeventasyoubringyourtrustysteeddownat
travelaboutathirdofthewaywithalotofresistanceandthenlightensasyoudexpect.. theendofalongstraight.

18 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued



At the top of the main column is a small LED read out that lets the user know which part of the
ThiswheelwillrunwithallyourconsolesandyourPC:Italsoallowsforswappingpedalsso,ifyou
TuningMenutheyarein,andanLEDlightsystemthatwillindicatewhichmodeyouareeitherin,or
wanted,youcouldsimplymountyourG25/7pedalsandusethatalongwiththePorschewheelonthe
currentlyadjusting:Buttons,meanwhile,arebacklitforyourappropriateconsolebrilliant!
PS3,forexamplebrilliant!
FFFOOR
O RRZZZA
A OR
ASSSFFFO
O RCCCEEER
R REEEV
R V D
VIIISSSIIITTTEEED
D
One thing to note with this design method: The wheel base must be firmly attached
As with any other new controller for the XBOX 360, it must first be coupled with the
because your shifting will, obviously, influence the entire wheels stability: The leverage
console before you can use it. A single press of the guide button on the wheel base
providedbytheshifterattheendofaconnectionrodcaneasilyslidetheentirewheelfrom
powersuptheconsoleand,oncepoweredup,apressoftheconnectbuttononthe360
thedeskand,whileitmayjustbethatIlackinnatetalent,chasingthewheelacrossthedesk
followed by a press of the connect button on the wheel gets everything ready to go.
while trying to shift from sixth to second proved a hindrance. The desk I was using has a
Yes,simplicityindesign.
round edge at the front which did not lend well to the mounting of the wheel, hence the
Naturally, I chose a Porsche for my first drive. The 2007 Porsche 911 Turbo 997, to be
need for a drill and proper set screws. Once firmly attached, however, the package is as
precise.Funnilyenough,itstillhasasteeringwheel.Thecourse?Ofcourse:thelegendary
competentasanyotherintermsofstability,butIcantstressthisenough:Thisisnotastick
andforevervenerableNordschleife.Sinceitwastobemyfirstdrive,Idecidedtoapproachit
itonyourlapandplayaffair.Thisisaseriouswheel,forserioussimracers,andwhenyou
gently, using the paddle shifters, manual shifting, and automatic clutch. Hey, its an
makeyourpurchase,makesureyouspendthetimebetweenthatanddeliveryworkingout
expensivecarandyoumayremembermyfinancialsituationfromabitearlier.
how youre going to mount this baby best. Considering youll be using this on all your
AndincaseanyofyouhavewonderedwheretheoldBobhasbeen,letmeassureyou,he
consoles and probably your PC, thisif youre anything like memay take some time to
isback
planright.

Fanatecprovides detailedinstructions ontuning thewheel,andcalibrationofthe6+1
WWWO OOW W
W IIIS
SSCCCOOR
O R TTH
REEET HIIISSSW
H WWH H %!!!
HEEEEEELLL444777222%
%
shifterincaseitfailstoproperlyshiftforsomereason.Quick,easy,andpainless.
I could stop right there, but although these words are sufficient on my side, I should
Withthewheelmountedandprogrammed,IwasreadytoseewhattheForzaMotorsport
probably explain to the fair readers out there what I actually mean. Oh bugger it. Wow is
experience would be with whatappeared to be, sofar,thebestwheelthathaseverbeen
whatImean.Wow.Wow.Wow.
developedforaconsolesystem.

19 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued

Itwas,byfar,themostenjoyablelaparoundthistrackthatIhavetakeninanysim,inany
car, on any gaming platform. Now at AUTOSIMSPORT we rarely compare one hardware
TThheeddiiffffeerreenncceebbeettw weeeenntthheeffeeeellIIggoottffrroomm productwithanotherbecausewhatworksformemaynotbewhatworksforyoubutIve
had Forza 3 for weeks now (two weeks before general release), and Ive run it with the
tthhiissw
whheeeellvveerrssuusstthheeM MiiccrroossooffttFFoorrccee MicrosoftForceFeedback,andnowIverunitwiththeFanatecwheel,andImsorry,butI
wouldfeeluncleanasareviewerwereInottomakethispoint:Thedifferencebetweenthe
FFeeeeddbbaacckkw whheeeellw waassssiimmppllyyaassttoouunnddiinngg.. feel I got from this wheel versus the Microsoft ForceFeedback wheel was simply

WWhheerreetthheeM MSSw whheeeellhhaaddw weeaakkFFFFBB,,aanndd astounding.WheretheMSwheelhadweakFFB,andcommunicatedtheroadsurfacepoorly


and sloppily, this wheel gave feedback such that it seemed like I was playing an entirely
ccoom mm muunniiccaatteeddtthheerrooaaddssuurrffaacceeppoooorrllyyaanndd differentsim:Iliterallycouldnotbelievethedifference.
Youwillnodoubtread(orhaveread)ourinterviewwithTurn10sMr.DanGreenewalt,
ssllooppppiillyy,,tthhiissw whheeeellggaavveeffeeeeddbbaacckkssuucchhtthhaattiitt thedevelopersofForza,andhisdescriptionofthetyremodelinthissimulator.Ifeltthose
wordsonthattrack.Forthoseofyouwhomaybeshakingyourheadandpreparingtocall
sseeeem meeddlliikkeeIIw waassppllaayyiinnggaanneennttiirreellyyddiiffffeerreenntt mypsychotherapist,untilyouhaveplayedthissim,withthiswheel,yourwordswillfallon
deafears.
ssiim
m::IIlliitteerraallllyyccoouullddnnoottbbeelliieevveetthheeddiiffffeerreennccee

20 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued

beenawhilesinceIhavedrivenastick.Idecidedtoreturntothe911Turbo997forthisnext
ride,and,again,chosethe Ring. Itsoon became apparentthat this kidsgame, asit has
beendisrespectfullyreferredtobythoseinthehardcoreknow,hadnotonlyequaledmost
ofitsPCcounterparts,buteasilyhumblesthevastmajorityofthem.Itonlytooktheright
peripheraltoshowthatfact.Sure,therewasabitofclutchgrindingIhadntfoundmysea
legs just yetbut by the end of that lap, it was clear to me that the Fanatec Porsche 911
TurboSwheelprovesthepointbeyondashadowofadoubtthesimulator,ultimately,is
onlyasgoodastheinterfacethatweusetointeractwithit,andForzaMotorsport3became
anewproductentirely.
The six speed shifter is stiff, like a real damn car. Its loosened a bit since Ive been
running it, but it feels, to use that silly word, real: A short throw, sportscar style. Man, I
grinded that Porsche tranny to metal shavings. But again, I must warn you: If youre
planningtorunwiththestickandwhywouldntyou?youseriouslyneedasolidmount:
theclampsaregoodifyouusethepaddleshifts,butwiththeleverageaffordedbythemetal
rods that jam into the wheelbase holes, a loosely mounted wheel will be tossed into next
week.
Im thinking of a word. Starts with W, ends with W, and the middle letter kind of
resembleswhatyourmouthwillbedoingafterafewseconds.
Consoles are no longer just for kids: they have grown up and moved out of Moms
basement,fully,andfirmly,intotherealmofthebestandbrightestonthePC.ButImafraid
Threelapslater,itwastimetotestthesequentialshifterbefore,finally,theultimatetest
theperipheralmarketlagsbehind:Well,itdid,anyway,ontheXBOX.UntilFanateccame
ofanysimulationproductclutch,sixspeedHpatternshifter,andnotamanualaidinsight.
ontothemarketwithwhatis,withoutashadowofadoubt,theonlywheelyoueverwant
Anhourintothesequentialshifterexperience,Iwastemptedtostartfromscratchand
foryourconsolesystem,PS3orXBOX.Itssimplythatgood.
rewritetheForzareviewentirely,buttheeditorisItalianandthelastthingIneededwasthis,
along with the whispered words, Where is my review, Whimperman! Besides, I had the
review nearly written anyway, and as a fancy editor of the worlds greatest simulator

magazine,IfiguredhewouldknowwhattodowiththefeebleproseIintendedtosend.
Nextupwasthe#16DysonRacingRSSpyderEVOatRoadAmerica.Ilovethiscar,andI
love this track, and I could not wait to feel the wind in my face with the proper wheel

controllingthedirectionItook.Again,Ifeltthesame,thedrivingandcontrolwasprecise,
crisp,andtothepoint.FanatechastrulyoutdonethemselveswiththisproductandIhadto
stopandonceagainremindmyselfatmygoodfortunetobeabletonotonlylookatit,but

to actually drive with it. The sequential shifter worked perfectly, precisely, and without
error.Inaword:Positive.Onetestremained.
Iremovedthesequentialshifterfromthedoublerodmountingsystem,installedthefull

ride Hpattern 6+1 shifting mechanism, hooked up the single wire, and made the proper
selectionsinthesimtoensureIhadtousetheclutch,theshifter,andabitoftalent,asithas

21 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
FANATEC911TURBOS continued

FANATECPORSCHE911TURBOS
WHEELLIMITEDEDITION

WHATITHAS
Easilythebestconsolewheeleverbuiltperiod
Extensivetunability
ForceFeedbackisexceptional
WorkswithXBOX360,PS3,PC
Manufacturingstandardsofthehighestquality,andaestheticallyoff
thecharts

WHATITDOESNTHAVE 2009 is the year of the console. And


Limitedproductionwillkeepitoutoftoomanyhands rightnow,thebestexperienceonany
Withouttopnotchandsecuremounting,usingtheshiftersmayhavea console is Forza 3 on the xbox360
tendencytocausethewheeltoslideonthemountsurface
StrangersfromGermanymayshowupatyourdoorwantingtheirreal
along with thisthe only wheel you
carwheelsback needorwantforanyconsolesystem:
Doesntcomewithscrewsformounting The Fanatec Porsche 911 Turbo S
Wheel,limitededitionorotherwise
PRICE:US$ $349.95

www.autosimsport.net
22 Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection

23 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection

24 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection

Software REV S
COLIN MCRAE: DiRT2
u

27
TOPRACE 35
NEED FOR SPEED: SHIFT 45
SUPERLEAGUE FORMULA 2009 66
SUPERCAR CHALLENGE 75
FORZA MOTORSPORTS 3 81
25 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection

THE3RDDIMENSION
P P

SimonCroftgetsfeistyinSHIFT
Rasfighjohn(intheRastaColourcar)getslooseinDiRT2


HristoItchovsticksdownalapinSuperleagueFormula

26 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection

ColinMcRae:DiRT2

REVIEWDiRT2




RASFIGJOHN


Rasfigjohntriestoignoreadirtysenseof
shameashegrabshisjoypadand
indulgesintheperversionthatis
27
Codemasterslatest(andgreatest?)
www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWDiRT2 continued

Y o u s t a r t w i t h a n o ld C o l i n M c R a e S u b a r u I m p r e z a , a nd y o u l l h a v e
tom a k e y o u r w a y t h r o u g h a h u g e a m o u n t o f r a c e s t h r o u g h o u t t h e
worldearningmoney,unlockingnewcarsandtracks,and,well,
buildingacareertowardnoparticulargoalexceptthemassagingof
yourego.Recentgameshavetendedtoaddnewunlockable
featurestoaddspicetowhatisabitofastaleformula,andthisis
nodifferentinDiRT2:Hereyouhavetogetotherdriversrespectby
winningraces,beingacleandriver,and{del:sleepingwiththeir
w i v es . } I f t h e y l i k e y o u , th e y m a y p a r t n e r u p w i t h y o u i n th e t e a m
r a c e s . T h e d r i v e r s y o u r e o u t to i m p r e s s ? T r a v i s Pa s t r a n a , K e n B l o c k ,
andsomechapnamedMohammedBenSulayem(yes,hestheone
w h o c o mp r e h e n s i v e l y t o t a l e d a F o r m u l a O n e R e n a u l t R 2 8 i n D u b a i
inAprilaboutsevensecondsafterengagingfirstgear).

28 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWDiRT2 continued

EverytimeIbeginwritingaboutaconsolegame,IfeelasifIhavetobeatthedeadhorse specificmicroscope)thisminusculeandlargelyinsignificantnichethatwedubsimracing,
again: Yes, obviously writing a review for a Codemasters game in a magazine called andthereyouwillfindlikecertainfilmmakersproclaimingtheirproductart(asopposed
AUTOSIMSPORTrevealsakindofraremasochistschizophrenia,andyes,Icanthelpbuttry to just entertainment)people who have (self) proclaimed their racing games as sport.
toexplainmymotives... And they seem quite committed to fighting to the death to prove that their slice of the
ImsureyoudontknowthatattheAUTOSIMSPORTforums,everytimeyoutypetheSword internetisnotamereentertainmenttothedeath.
(latestNFSiterationwithoutthef),itisautomaticallyreplacedbythewordTOCAbytheinsult Tounderstandhowirrelevantsimracingis,NFS:SHIFTagainservesasavalidexample:Ofthe
filter(bemyguest,goandcheck).Thisprobablytellsyouallyouneedtoknowaboutthekindof multiplemillionunits shifted (sorry), less than three percent were bought by PC users. And of
animosityIencounterwiththeeditorialstaffwheneverIgettheclearlypsychoticinspirationto those,wecanestimateprobablyonepercentwereevenawarethatourcommunityexists:Of
talkaboutsuchgames. those,perhaps500orsolandedupracingonline.Thatsthesoberingtruthhere:theNeedFor
AUTOSIMSPORThasalwayspromotedsimracingasanewkindofsport,andIhavealways Speed franchise has sold over onehundredmillion units: iRacing, our top current simulator?
appreciatedthefactthattheydosowithopenminds,curiosityandintelligence.[Iwasforcedto Fifteenthousand...
writethisbyAlexunderthreatofcuttingthereviewoutofthemagazine.] Realism, then, is not what it would seem to be: the most realistic game out there is
Thelatestdramaonthecommunityforumsandblogs,whichfocusedonthereleaseof preciselyiRacingbecauseit isthe most expensive: Yousee,theyhave understood(orhadit
NFS: SHIFT (by the developers who gave us GTR and GTR2), provesif any further proof explainedtothembytheguyswiththecheckbooksandthespreadsheets)thattheycantgo
wereneededthatwehavenotyetresolvedtheoldontologicalproblemofsimracingvs. hardcorewithoutasubscriptionbasedeconomicmodel. This is realism:Havingtodeal with
arcade. We still have, deeply rooted in our brains, this dichotomy inherited from twenty reality,andpayingthebills.
yearsofanimosity(whatsthepointofplayingaracinggame?),envy(whydoarcadegames SimBinarerealistic,too:WhileflirtingwithMicrosoftandtheirconsole,theykeeponusing
make so much money!), and spite, and all of this poured forth when one of our own thatoldandtrustyISImotor2.0releasingaddonafteraddontothesamegamesince2006,and
developersreleasedtheirlatestgame:Yes,itcamewithacomplexdrivemodel,butitwas theirPCbaseseemcontentenoughwiththat.
packed with flashy boxart, released by a mainstream publisher and, therefore, it was ISI are realistic, too: They lease their engine to developers (including NFS: SHIFT), and use
inexorablystainedwithinyourfacearcadism. profits from that to work and release their own sims for which the community will add the
Video gaming is still a young activity in the history of humanity, and one does wonder content.Forfree.Andeveryoneishappywiththat.
whetheritwilleverstaggerintosomesortofpostpubescentmaturity(weshouldprobablynote Andsohereweare,havingcomefullcircle.ISIprovidedtheenginetoSlightlyMadStudios
thatthefirstwaveofgamersarenowintheirmidforties,soageisclearlynotatplayhere)when (whodeveloped,byanyonesjudgement,oneofthetopsimulatorsofalltimeinGTR2)tocreate
such debates will be forgotten: In the meantime, we have to deal with pages and pages of thearcadeclassicNFS:SHIFT.Meanwhile,ontheforums,simracerswanttoarguetherealism
hysterical postings about realism from guys who have never driven a sportscar, and totally ofSHIFT,builtontheverysameenginethathaspowereddozensoftheirsimsthroughthelast
unknownguysprovidingrealisticmods(threedaysafterthesimsrelease)thatpromisetofix sevenyears,claimingthatthedeveloperswhomadeGTR2withISIsenginehavenowsoldout
whatprofessionaldeveloperslikeEeroPitulainentookacoupleofyearstogetright. becausetheymadeSHIFTwiththeISIenginemakeanysense?Nottome;andthatiswhy,in
This is all to be expected, of course, since everyones a critic, and videogaming is no the battle between simracing and arcade, between entertainment and sport, I dont want to
longeramerebitplayerinanentertainmentindustrythatchurnsthroughatrilliondollarsa choose. Im bi. I take it any way I can get it, both ways, fully content, willing, with joy, and a
year: It is now the big Kahuna, having overtaken cinema as the docile classs preferred carefreeattitude:Iamcomfortablewithmyperversion.
opiate.Cinema,however,remainsagoodmodelwhenwelookintothefutureofourdigital
narcotic:Frenchpeoplewilltellyouthatcinemaisanartandnotabusiness,whereasyour NOWLETSGETDIRTY
typicalHollywoodproducerwillreplythatthisisafalsedistinction:Thereisnocontradiction TheresnoneedtohaveaPhDinappliedphysicstounderstandthatCodemastersDiRT2is
between art and business. And this is where we now find ourselves in our community: morearcadethansim:Inthepreviouscinematographical(doesthatwordexist?)metaphor,
Racinggamesareabranchofthevideogamingindustrywhich,inturn,isasegmentofthe its more like a Hollywood blockbuster than a Sundance indie movieand we know this
entertainmentindustry.Withinthatbranch(racinggames),youwillfind(ifyouuseahighly beforeevenbuyingtheticket(US$59.99)becauseindiemoviesneverhavesequels.

29 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWDiRT2 continued

fromADD,IfeelasifImingoodcompanywiththethreeof
youwhoarestillreading(hi,Dad!).
DiRT2 is the sequel to DiRT (Alex, can I have my check
now?). But what often gets lost in translation is the actual,
fulltitleofthegame:ColinMcRae:DiRT2.Thereasonforthe
ColinMcRaebitisthatthisgameisthelatestiterationinthe
longrunningCodemastersfranchiseofgamesfeaturingColin
McRaesnamewhichbeganwaybackin1998onthePCand
the PlayStation (the one that didnt come with a number):
Theseriesrapidlybecamethestudiosbiggestseller,andhas
spawned eight episodes so far (including an Apple version).
One of the strange sideeffects of having your name on a
game is that it sometimes becomes difficult to know what
camefirst:DidColinMcRaethedriverhelpthepopularityof
thegame,ortheotherwayaround?Iknowmanypeoplewho
have no interest in rallying, who have never heard of
Sebastien Loeb or Petter Solberg, and yet are still able to
spellColinMcRaeasiftheywereborninScotland.
The CMR series, meanwhile, can be best described as a
milestone in racing games: considered realistic by arcade
racers,andarcadebythehardcorecrowd,itstillmanagedto
make an impression on the elitist simracing community
mostly due to its modability. I say mostly because
sometimeslike those artyfarty types who tell you they
watch only grainy Swedish movies made in the 1950s
featuring bearded fellas playing chess with the Grim Reaper
Ifyoureahardcoresimracingbigotadept,thenthisarticleisnotforyou,andyoucan and then you overhear them babbling on their iPhone about the wonderful wisteria in
passbywithoutregret:althoughIdohavesexyNEXTGENscreenshotsofthegametosell Desperate Housewivesyou will find simracers donning their PJs and jumping on the
you along with a photo of a NAKED MEGAN FOX with a G27 {the photo has been deleted couchwithaguiltyhandholdingtighttotheirjoypads.ThemodabilityofCMRmadeita
fromthisreviewsinceweareaseriousmagazineandwouldneverdreamofattractingreaders great sandbox for our community to tinker with, while its competitor (Evolution Studios
byusingawomansbodyasbaitandalsothecopyrighttothephotowastooexpensivesince WRC series) was al created solely for the consoles, and was therefore forever glued to its
noonedonates;youonlyhaveyourselvestoblameEd}. arcadenessandquicklydiedthequickdeaththatisthedestinyofallconsolegames,even
Right!Nowthatwevelostourserioussimracingaudience,andtheonlyreaderswho thegreatones(thatscalledbusiness;andforaconsoledevelopertoimagineproducinga
remainaretheslowguyswhojustwanttohavefun,letmestartwiththeconclusion:DiRT2 gamethatisstillusedafteradecadeiswellitwouldnthappen,ever,foranyreason).
isagreatgame,andIgiveiteightyeightpercent. NaturallytheslightflirtationwithCMRendedin2004whenRichardBurnsRallyreleased
Right!NowthatwevegotridofthehardcoresimracerswhothinkGPLisJesusChrist on the XBOX, the PS2, the Gizmondo (one of whose financial backers, Bo Stefan M.
resurrected,andthearcadeboyswhocantreadandjustwantascorebecausetheysuffer Eriksson,hasbeenallegedtobetheGodfatheroftheSwedishmafia,andnodoubthelped

30 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWDiRT2 continued

inthecollapseoftheU.K.basedcompanythatfiledforbankruptcyin2006forsomewhere a career toward no particular goal except the massaging of your ego. Recent games
intheregionofUS$300million),andthePC:RBRwentontobecome(probablyforever)the have tended to add new unlockable features to add spice to what is a bit of a stale
greatestofallrallysims,itscommunitynowsomaturethatishasmovedontoavoluntary formula,andthisisnodifferentinDiRT2:Hereyouhavetogetotherdriversrespectby
andsuccessfulsubscriptionbasedservice. winningraces,beingacleandriver,andsleepingwiththeirwives.Iftheylikeyou,they
Itssad,though,torealisethatbothBritishworldrallychampionswholenttheirnames may partnerup with you in the team races. The drivers youre out to impress? Travis
toavideogametragicallydiedintheirthirties.BeforeColinsdeathin2007,andafterthe Pastrana, Ken Block, and some chap named Mohammed Ben Sulayem (yes, hes the
popular CMR 2005 was released, Codemasters had already made the decision to alter the one who comprehensively totaled a Formula One Renault R28 in Dubai in April about
spiritoftheirflagshipseries;coincidingwithWRCscrisis(whichisdeepeningbytheyear), seven seconds after engaging first gearand yes, the same one who was recently
theychosetogiveuptheEuropeanatmosphereofclassicrallying,andreplaceditwiththe elected by the FIA to run things along with Jean Todt who, allegedly, is still trying to
xtreme North American offroad racing scene. In June 2007, Codemasters released Colin find Africa in his Michelin Guide): There are other drivers, too, but mostly theyre
McRaeRally:DiRT.Sadly,thePS3Europeanrelease(September14)wasovershadowedby peoplewhoyouveprobablyneverheardofunlessyoureafanofXGames,ROC,WWF,
the tragic death of Colin McRae (September 15), forcing Sony to cancel a large part of its oranyotherexoticshow.
advertisingcampaigntohonourthegreatman. StartingwithaMcRaesImprezaisaniceclindoeil(thatslikeaninjoke,forthosewho
ItwasthefirstCMRgamefortheNextGenconsoles,andgraphically,thegamesenta dont speak Spanish): This being the first CMR game released since Colins death, its
shockwave into the system. I think thats the main reason why a part of the simracing probablytheleastCodemasterscoulddo.Actually,thisisnottheonlyoneclindoeil:after
community adopted italbeit a relative and shy adoptionbecause content wise (all this winningtheUSXGames,forinstance,yougetaspecialsouvenireventinmemoryofColin
BajathisandCORRthat)itwasallabitconfusing,andphysicswisewellletsjustsayit alongsidelegendarydriverssuchasAlisterMcRae,AriVatanen,andValentinoRossi(dont
was rubbish arcade. Personally, I spent a fairly decent amount of time on the PC version expecttoseetheminthegame,though).
oncethemoddershadsettoworktweakingthephysics(especiallytheawfulbraking)and Apartfromthat,andIhopenottoupsetanyonehere,thegamewouldmoreaptlyhave
other flaws: But still, dirt enthusiasts had RBR, and once the initial wowfactor of DiRTs been titled DiRT2: Ken Block XTREME Rally. If you havent heard about this American
graphicspassed,wewereleftwithwhatwasaprettypoorsimatitscore. driver/ businessman, then just Google Ken Block + Gymkhanaor better yet, if youre
SohowdoesDiRT2measureup?ThefirststrikingthinginDiRT2istheuserinterface:It readingthispieceonyourPC,justclickhere.
borrows heavily from Codemasters own TOCA Race Driver where everything you need is DiRT2emphasizesthefunpartofmotorsports,andhowcouldthatbewrongsincethe
insideyourtrailer(sortoflikeBobSimmerman),andyoucan pickupraces,goonline,and game is made to run on the consoles. No more gloomy muddy races in wet and brittle
basically run your entire DiRTy life from there. As youd expect from such a location (and England with lukewarm sweet tea in rusty Thermos served by chaps called Terry wearing
unlikeBobstrailer),thisisagorgeouslymodeled3Denvironment,bothneatandintuitive sweatgrimedanoraks:No,inDiRT2,youllhavemudalright,butitllbethewarmmudof
althoughyoucanalreadyfeelthedirt. tropicallandswhereprettygirlsawaityourreturnwithMaiTaisandstrawskirts.
AnotherfamiliarCodemastersdeviceisback,too:DiRT2willaskyouforyourfirstname AndwhenIsaypretty,Imeanfindsomewheretohideyourswollenjoy:Forthoseof
and, for those who have spent any time with Codemasters GRID, you know what comes youwhohavespentyourlifeplayingPCsims,thevisualexperienceinDiRT2willliterally
next: Once youve found your name in a list (unless youre a Bristol, Trig, or Barack), the shock you. It is just dazzling; going from our PC sims to this is like watching a Swedish
charactersingamewilltaketocallingyoubyyourname(mywifewasquiteimpressedby movie from 1956 before sitting down to Camerons Avatar: On an HDTV, its the most
thisImeanhavingTravisPastranacallingmebymyfirstnameisprettycool,thoughIhear beautifulthingIveseenonthePS3sofar.Ididhavetotunethecolorsdownbecauseit
oneoftheguysatasimracingTVchannellikesitwhenTraviscallshimMcLovinAwide canseemalittlebitoversaturated,butreally,thatsjustbeingpetty:DiRT2issimplyjaw
varietyofprerecordednamesthen,asyoucansee). dropping. Dirt, smoke, water, the crowd (Im sure I saw Jon Denton sitting in the
The spirit of the game, meanwhile, is simple: You start with an old Colin McRae grandstand at the London Rally Cross event wearing his anorak), all these little details
Subaru Impreza, and youll have to make your way through a huge amount of races createanopulentplatformofimmersion.Thedepthofview,too,isastonishing,andallof
throughouttheworldearningmoney,unlockingnewcarsandtracks,and,well,building thiscomeswithasolidframerate.

31 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
Ifyouspendanytimereadingthesimracingforums,youwillknowthatthereisonlyonetrueway
REVIEWDiRT2
ofdeterminingarcadevs.simulator:Windscreenwipers.Thefirsttimeyoupoundthroughamud
continued
puddleinDiRT2,youaretreatedtothebestvisualdisplayofaworkingwiperinhistory:Clearlywe
areintherealmiftheilluminationtheforumsaretobebelievedofunheraldedsimulationhere


32 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWDiRT2 continued

enginestartsgainingRPMs;thenoseheadsforthecornersexit,andyourehappybecause
itfeelslikelikedrivingacar?
Steady DiRT2 is not a simulator. It does not pretend to be one, and nowhere has
anyoneassociatedwithiteversaiditis:Indeed,everythingaboutitscreamsentertainment,
fun. Nevertheless, the driving model is rewarding: Perhaps its because I dont ask much
fromamainstreamgame,Ijustneedconsistency,andtoseethatthethrottleandbrakeare

inputsratherthan,well,buttons.Whatisarcade?Mostpeoplewillprobablyanswerthatthe
NOWLETSGETDIRTY2 hallmark of an arcade racer is unrealistic physics. I think we can be a little more
You just bought the BluRay and havent bothered jacking a steeringwheel into the PS3. discriminating,anddifferentiatebetweencraparcadeandgreatarcade.Craparcadeisa
Youre here with your pad in your hands, lying on your sofa, andsimultaneouslyin the game where you just basically press the throttle button all day long (and sometimes the
cockpitofanImpreza,openmouthcatchingfliesbecauseyoucannotimaginehowrealistic brakebuttonwhenyourfingergetstired).Agreatarcaderacer,ontheotherhand,iswhen
italllooksinthere,andoutofyourwindscreen;yousqueezeR2(thethrottle),andyoureyes you steer the car with the steering wheel, the engine power, and the suspension (weight
open wider because the sound of the engine is an aweinspiring, a deep, aggressive but transfer):AlloftheseworkwellinDiRT2.
smooth4cylindergrowl,andbynowyouveprettymuchforgottenthesofaunderyourbutt DiRT2feelsinstantlynaturalwithapadaterrificallyintuitivefeel:Loosesurfaceracing
andthepadinyourhands.Thenthecountdownbegins.Suddenlyyoureremindedofwhere seemstocomplimentpadsnicely,andCodemastershavefoundagoodbalancehere.The
you are, and a sense of apprehension comes flooding through your mind; Ive been here newanalogpadsworkgreatwiththesegames;ifyoujustjamonR2exitingthecorner,your
before,you think,[3]DiRT had crappyphysics,you think [2]Oh myGod,you think,GRID wheelswillspin,theenginewillscream,andyouwilllosetime.
reallywasawfulwasntit[1]howbadisthisGO! Of course, being an avid simracer, the thought running through the back of my mind
TheImprezagazellesfromthelineandbeginsdevouringthegravelanditfeelsgood had, eventually, to be obeyed. With the wheel jacked into the PS3, I soon realized that
naturalarcadish(howcoulditbedifferentwithapad),butthetenbitprecisionsensitivity developersfocusmostof their time onthe consoles stockinputdeviceswhen theymake
analogthrottleoftheSixaxisdoesagreatjobherewego,acorner,brakewillitbean their games. Recently, Slightly Mad Studios acknowledged this when discussing the
instantstop,orwillitbesubtle,willthecarslipawaysoftly,orwillitjuststicktothegravel creationofNFS:SHIFT(andreally,howcoulditbedifferentwhenyouseethesalesdata?),
likeaFormulaOneontarmac? andtryingtosetupaG25forDiRT2provedtheveracityofthisclaim.Thegamedoesnot
Sweetitssubtleitmakesyoufeellikeyoucanaddyourexperienceasaprofessional providemanysettingsforourexpensivewheels;usingwhatsonofferuntilyoufindadecent
simracertothedrivingpressthethrottlegentlyagain,andthecarslidesawaywhilethe balance is all you can do, and once youve found the right ones, youll be treated to a

33 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWDiRT2 continued

pleasant experience, nothingmore. ForceFeedback is not as subtle as those found in the On the other hand, if youre a simracer who sometimes enjoys the thrill of a lighter
lastestSimBingames,forinstance,butitsmorethanenough.Youhavetogetusedtothe game, then its probably better to wait for the PC version that will be released in early
sensitivityoftheinputs,butthereismuchlesspendulumphysicsatworkherethanweve December.(ThedelayisduetothefactthatitwillbeDirectX11compatible.)Iexpectthis
becomeaccustomedtowithCodemastersracinggames. will be a solid entry for gravelrace enthusiasts. Of course, RBR and the great community
DiRT2featuresaplethoraofracingmodes.Personally,Iwouldhavepreferredmore surroundingitwillremaintheundisputedking,butIthinkDiRT2deservesalittlecrown,too:
classicrallyingstagesbut,instead,weretreatedtoTrailBlazer,RallyCross,LandRush, Codemasters Ego engine is sound and clearly dependable, and they have found a
Rally, Raid, Domination (steady), Last Man Standing (huh?), and Gate Crasher. Many respectablecompromisebetweenarcadeandrealism.
tracks are available, too: in countries such as Mexico, Morocco, Croatia, Malaysia, Ifitsuffersfromanything,itsintheKenBlockstyleofgoingracing:Themixbetween
Japan, China, and Utah (seriously, Utah has been upgraded to countrystatus, who classic rallying and this xtreme games nonsense is a bit frustrating. For example, Gate
knew?),aswellascitiessuchasLosAngeles,andLondon.TheAIisquitecompetitive, Crasher:Inthisracingmode,youhavetogothroughastagewithinalimitedamountoftime
brutaleveninRallyCross(buthey,itisrallycrossafterall);theymakemistakes,andin whereyouwillencounteryellowpolystyrenegateswhich,everytimeyouhitone,willgrant
the rally stages, you can overtake the slower ones or pass them if theyve crashed. If youatwosecondbonus.Itsquitefun,dontgetmewrong,buttheproblemisthatitsona
you crash, on the other hand, you can use the flashback function to avoid the regularrallystage,andittotallymessesupthedrivingline.Itwouldhavebeenfarbetterto
consequences (the number of flashbacks available depends on the difficulty level). havegiventheplayeraplaygroundliketheportinGymkhanawhereyouhavetosmashthe
Visual damage is, while were on the subject of crashing, highquality ... doors jam gateswiththecarsrearend,justlikeKenBlock.NotetoCodemasters:wewantGymkhana
open,bumpedbumperstearloose,yougettheidea...buttheresult,attheendofthe inDiRT3!
race, is just a crackling metal versionof the originalcar.Idontget thepointofvisual All said and done, if you can cope with the guilt of a perverted and dirty arcadestyle
damage,anyway,andthephysicaldamageasitaffectsyourcarisludicrous. racer experience, youre in for a good time here: Not quite like sleeping with Carla Bruni,
I have not tried the multiplayer because my router has a save rasfigjohns mental DiRT2ismoreofakneetremblerroundbackthepubwithChristinaAguilera
healthfunction:Itcrasheseverytimetheinitiativeoftheinspirationofthethoughtof
the plan of the idea of the scheme of joining an MP session on a Codemasters server
appearsinmybrain.
Silly game styles aside, youll find your brain pumping adrenaline for five nonstop
minutesasyoupoundyourwaythroughthisgame:Thenyoucanchilloutandwatchyour
replay. Replays are cinematic and better, in my opinion, than SHIFT (and thats saying
something): You can fast forward, rewind, or simply watch them in slow motion, just like
yourpornDVDs.Which,Isuppose,leadsusto

LETSTALKDIRTY
CodemastershasgivenusanexcellentgamewithDiRT2.Itsoneofthebestracinggames
on the PS3 at the moment (along with SHIFT), and if you dont mind some couchpotato
racingwithapad,itsamusthaveforyourgamescollection.Ifyoureunsure,theresafree
demoavailablefordownloadatthePlayStationStore.
Fornow,thegameisavailableonthePS3,theXBOX360,theWii,andthePSP.Ivetried
the PSP version, and its a piece of binary trash (same for NFS: SHIFT on the PSP,
incidentallyifyouneedadecentrallygameonthePSP,ColinMcRae2005isyouranswer;
itsjustlikehavingthePS2gameinyourpocketbeautifulandfun).

34 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWDiRT2 continued

Rally:
CARLIST MitsubishiLancerEvolutionX
1995SubaruImprezaWRXSTI MitsubishiLancerEvolutionX[XGames]
BMWZ4MCoupeMotorsport Nissan350Z
ColinMcRaeR4 PontiacSolsticeGXP
FordEscortMKII SubaruImprezaSTIGroupN
MitsubishiEclipseGT SubaruImprezaWRXSTI
MitsubishiLancerEvolutionIX
MitsubishiLancerEvolutionX StockBaja:
Nissan350Z DodgePowerWagon
PontiacSolsticeGXP HondaRidgeline
SubaruImprezaSTIGroupN HummerHX
SubaruImprezaWRXSTI ToyotaFJCruiser
SubaruImprezaWRXSTI[XGames]
RaidT1:
RallyCross: BowlerNemesis
BMWZ4MCoupeMotorsport HummerH3
ColinMcRaeR4 MitsubishiPajeroDakar1993
ColinMcRaeR4[XGames] MitsubishiRacingLancer
FordRS200Evolution VWRaceTouareg2
MGMetroGR4
MitsubishiEclipseGT TrophyTrucks:
MitsubishiLancerEvolutionIX ChevroletSilveradoCK1500
MitsubishiLancerEvolutionX DodgeRamTrophyTruck
Nissan350Z KincaidFordF150TrophyTruck
PontiacSolsticeGXP ToyotaStadiumTruck
SubaruImprezaSTIGroupN WestCoastChoppersStukaTT
SubaruImprezaWRXSTI
Class1Buggies:
Trailblazer: BrianIcklerBuggy
BMWZ4MCoupeMotorsport DeJongMXR
ColinMcRaeR4 HerbstSmithbuiltBuggy
DallenbachSpecial PRC1
MitsubishiEclipseGT Buggy
MitsubishiLancerEvolutionIX

35 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWDiRT2 continued

COLINMCRAE:DIRT2
WHATITHAS
Codemastershasgivenusanexcellentgamewith
DiRT2.ItsoneofthebestracinggamesonthePS3at
themoment
Ifyoudontmindsomecouchpotatoracingwitha
pad,itsamusthaveforyourgamescollection

WHATITDOESNTHAVE
Ifyoureasimracerwhosometimesenjoysthethrillof
alightergame,thenitsprobablybettertowaitforthePC
versionwhichhasbeenreleasedaswegolive
Themixbetweenclassicrallyingandthisxtreme
gamesnonsenseisabitfrustrating
Physicsare,yes,arcade!

Ifyoucancopewiththeguiltofapervertedanddirtyarcade
styleracerexperience,youreinforagoodtimehere:Notquite
likesleepingwithCarlaBruni,DiRT2ismoreofakneetrembler

roundbackthepubwithChristinaAguilera

36 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
TOPRACE

Argentinedevelopers2Pez,whodebutedbackin2007with
REVIEW theinspiredTurismoCarreterasim,arebackwiththeirnew
officiallylicensed effort, TOP RACE, based once more on
TOPRACE Argentinestyle saloon car racing featuring realwheel
driven, 350BHP brutes that want to kill you after
emasculatingyou.IfyoulovedTurismoCarretera,itstime
tofallinlovealloveragainthistimeintherain


MAGNUSTELLBOM

PhotoCredits:TOPRACE

37 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWTOPRACE continued

Bottomlinefirst?Immoreimpressednowacoupleofweeksintothissim
thanIwaswhenIfiredherupforthefirsttime(andIwasmightilyimpressedthen).
Whatssogoodaboutit,youask?Wellitisntthegrip,thehandling,orthegeneral
feel of the cars that gets me excited (though theyre all spoton), but, rather, the
subtle damage model that keeps surprising me. These cars are fairly easy to race
(unliketheolderTurismoCarreteracars)uptothepointwhenyougettotheedgeof
theirperformancecurve:Atthatmomenttheyslideintoallseventwistedandsnarling
personalitiesofSybil(themovie,nottheermnevermind!)andtrytokillyou

38 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWTOPRACE continued

BeforeItriedtheupdateto2PezsTurismoCarretera(andreadersofthismagazinewillrecall
thatIfellinlovewithitinstantly),IhadnoideawhatSouthAmericanracingwasallabout
orthatitevenexisted.Butyourenevertoooldtolearn,andIfoundthatIreallylikedthe
pescadostyleofgoingracing.Sure,theFIAwouldnodoubtputthelotofeminprisonfor
beingplaininsanebeforepadlockingalltheirtracksonsafetygrounds,butifyourelikeme
andlikeyourracinghard,fastandmean,thenSouthAmericamayjustbetheplaceforyou
(andforJacquesVilleneuve,asitturnsout).
2Pezsfollowuptotheirexcellentdebutsim,TurismoCarretera,againseestheArgentine
developers make full use of their officiallicense, this time the Top Race series that is to
TurismoCarreterawhatNationwideistoNASCAR.Fortheunenlightened,theseareunlike
Turismo Carretera that features cars which have longsince fallen off any manufacturers
production linemodern shaped cars running V6 engines on tubularframed bodies
silhouetted by Mercedes (Cclass), Volkswagen (Passat), Ford (Mondeo), Peugeot (406),
Chevrolet(Vectra),Renault(Laguna),andCitron(C5).
Notwithstanding the manufacturer badges, though, all the cars look surprisingly
similar to one other from a side profile point of view, and things get a little more
complicated when you realize they are all rearwheel driven cars. Now I dont know
about you, but Ive never heard of a VW Passat, Ford Mondeo, or Chevrolet Vectra
(a.k.a. Opel or Vauxhall Vectra) coming with a rearwheel drive option, so I can only
conclude this series is not made up of your normal family sedans as base, like for
example, the S2000 cars featured in BTCC and STCC. Indeed, what we have here is a TheBeginning
carefullycontrolledserieswhereallthecarshaveidenticalmechanicalspecifications:In The install is available on several mirrors which you can reach from 2Pezs official site. I
otherwords,custombuiltracecarswithV6enginesthatdeliveraround350BHP(which chosetheMEGAUPLOADmirrorsinceitofferedfewer(butbigger)partstodownload:The
puts them inbetween your normal S2000, and DTM touring cars, performancewise) sizeofthisthingis1.68GBwhenpacked.
andthatadheretostrictlymandatedcostconsciousrules. Thisreview,Ishouldaddrighthereatthetop,hasbeenthroughabitofabumpyride:
Furthermore,thesecarsareonthelowtechsideofthings,farlowerthanyoudfindon Yousee,theinitialdownloadandreviewversioncamealongwithallsortsofbellsand
theiractualproductionsistersandbrothers:NoMoTeCordigitaltachometers,abroomstick whistles, including stats, ranks and whatnots, all of which required the installation of a
as gearlever along with a plain analogue dial that delivers information about oil pressure (included) .NET 2.0 installer (which proved to be incompatible with my Windows XP
andtemp,watertemp,fuel,andhowmanyrevstheengineispullingisaboutallyoullgetin machine),andaMySQLconnectorthingy(thatfailedtoconnecttoanything).
thecar.Noantilockbrakes,notractioncontrol,noranydriveraidsatallfinishupthefrugal All this resulted in a frustrating few hours getting the sim to even run, and, once I
remit.Inshort,thisisamansenvironment(andIdontmeanmenonly,Imeanohforget managedtogetontothetrack,anenvironmentwhichwasincrediblyunstableandproneto
it!),soifyoureusedtotherefinedandsterileworldofEuropeantouringcarracing,youre crashingwithoutrhymeorreason.Ishouldrepeat,however,thatthiswasthereviewcopy:
going to find this all a little overwhelming: Kinda like if you left Manhattan and landed in Since then, 2Pez have made two updates to their sim and these bugs are, I am happy to
Kabul wearing your Italian moccasins. And yes, youre going to find that the smell of report, squashed like the grit and grime on your Top Race car windshield. (And yes, your
gasolineispungent,thetracksbumpy,brutal,andthreatening,andtheracing,well,pretty downloadwillbethenewestupdate,sononeedtopatchtorunitllgorightoutofthe.ZIP
muchthesame! inthesamewaywehavebecomeaccustomedtowithrFactorandTurismoCarretera:One
ButIgetaheadofmyselfhere:letsstartatthebeginning. download,oneTryMediaactivation,andwell,letsseewhatcomesnext!)

39 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWTOPRACE continued

WhatComesNext:GraphicsandPhysics
Thesimcomeswithfourmanufacturers,andsinceIonlyhavesomegrainyYouTubeclips(Alex
having refused to sanction a firstclass trip to Argentina) to work with, I can only claim (with
absoluteauthority)thattheyareextremelywellmodeled,and(withnotquiteabsoluteauthority)
that they are doppelgngers for their realworld counterparts. You will immediately recognize
the forty models, and I would be remiss not to mention their paintschemes here: crisp and
crackling,andreallyworthanextramention.Superb.
On the downside, the cockpitswhile gorgeously executed and finely composedare
preciselythesameregardlessofwhatcaryouchoose.Thisisnotnecessarilyaproblemsinceitsa
lovely place to be, but Id expect to see at least some differences on the inside of the cars
amongstthedifferentmanufacturers.However,Ishouldaddthatitmaybethiswayinreallife;if
youcompareYouTubevids,forinstancethistothislink,itseemsasifthecarsareprettymuch
stockontheinside.

Right,sonowthatwevetakenawalkaroundourfinelypaintedcar,andsnuckintothesnug
andwellrenderedconfinesofouroffice,itstimetoasktherealquestion:Andtodothat,we Tracks
needtofirstshiftintoaction. Those who own Turismo Carretera will recognize some of the tracks on offer hereof the
Bottomlinefirst?ImmoreimpressednowacoupleofweeksintothissimthanIwaswhen twelvetracksthatshipwithTopRace,sixmakeareturn(BuenosAires,ComodoroRivadavia,
Ifiredherupforthefirsttime(andIwasmightilyimpressedthen).Whatssogoodaboutit,you LaPlata,9deJulio,Parana,andSalta)whiletheothersixarecompletelynewtous(newin
ask? Well it isnt the grip, the handling, or the general feel of the cars that gets me excited a 2Pez sim anyway since somelike the world famous grand prix circuit at Interlagos, in
(though theyre all spoton), but, rather, the subtle damage model that keeps surprising me. Brazilwillbefamiliartomost).
Thesecarsarefairlyeasytorace(unliketheolderTurismoCarreteracars)uptothepointwhen ItisgenerallyacceptedthatTurismoCarreterasmainfailing(ifwecancallitthat)wasthe
yougettotheedgeoftheirperformancecurve:Atthatmomenttheyslideintoallseventwisted graphical reproduction of the tracksand again, the textures here are less precise than I
andsnarlingpersonalitiesofSybil(themovie,nottheermnevermind!)andtrytokillyou. would want; additionally, I dont always agree with how the tarmac looks. On the other
Thesecarsareaserioushandfulwhenyoutryandsqueezethelastfewtenthsoutofthem. hand,thetracksgraphicsandtexturesareastepupfromTC,and,letsbehonest,onlythe
Andthatswhenthedamagecomesin:Losefrontgripandgoheadfirstintoabarrier,andyou mosthardheadedtexturefetishistwouldhavetimetonoticethattheasphaltisthewrong
willattheveryleastsufferfromseveresuspensiondamage,perhapsevenlosingawheel(ortwo, shadeofgraycomparedtowhatitlookslikeonaYouTubeclip.
three,orindeedfour!).Nothingnewinthatdepartmentsincehalfassmoddercandothis,butif Having said that, there is another problem with these tracks which I find a little more
youpushandshoveinatightpackandletsfaceit,thatswhatyouremeanttodowithtouring disturbing:Iwouldnthavethoughtanythingofithadtwodifferentdevelopersreleasedtwo
cars,right?youmightjustbendasteeringarmslightly,ortearoffapieceofyourcar,andits differenttitles,butherewehaveonesingledeveloperthathasreleasedtwotitleslocated
herewhere2Pezssimshines.In,forexample,theDTM2007orV8SupercarmodsforrFactor, on the same continent featuring many of the same tracks, and yet, when I compare, for
both of which I like very much, a bent steering arm will be marked in yellow on the damage example,the(oddlynamed)9deJuliotrack,Ifindtheyarenotthesame.AndbythisImean
screen, and you might feel an extra rattle in the ForceFeedback when you turn: In Top Race, nottheexpectedtextureupdatetheresnodoubtthat2Pezhasmade9deJuliolookmore
though,thesteeringwheelwillgoslightlyoffcenterandtheentirefeelofthecarwillalter.Subtle pleasant, and they have also added corner markings, and other eyecandy, all of it a
yet very affective, and it doesnt stop there: Brake, gearbox, and engine damage along with welcomeadditionfromtheblandtracksofTCbuttheactuallayoutandfeelofthetracks
severallayersofsuspensiondamage,nottomentiontheusualflattyre,allarepresentandwillbe hasbeenaltered.9deJuliohasnowbeenshavedofitsfearsomebumpsthatgavethetrack
theresultofpushingthesecarsovertheircomfortzones:thesecars,inshort,liketobekeptout itsawesomecharacteristicinTC,andImnotsureIagreewiththis:Illtakeitonewayorthe
oftrouble. other,ofcourse,butnotlikethis.ItputsmeinapositionwhereIwanttorunthetextures

40 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWTOPRACE continued

fromTopRaceonthetrackgeographythatcamewithTurismoCarreteraandIkeepasking
myselfthesamequestion:Why?
Still, this is only a problem (by problem I mean asking yourself why) if you own both
titles,anditsalsoathoughtthatwillsoonbepushedtothebackofyourmindwhenyou
encounter2Pezsaceuptheirsleeve:Gentlemen,grabyourbrollies,weregoingracingin
therain.

MenDoItInTheRain
Every single one of the twelve tracks that ships with Top Race comes along with a wet
version.Thatmeanstwicethechallengeandhalfthegrip.Andthatsnotall...shouldyou
chosetoraceonthewetversionofatrack,youreinforabitofavisualsurprise,too:The
carsaresuddenlyequippedwithawindshieldwiper.Crude?Yes.Obviouslyananimation?
Ohyes.Butitsthere,andifyoudontstareatitlikealizard,ithasamajorimpactonthe
immersion factor going on somewhere in the back of your reptilian brain. Simple but
effective,onemightsay,andifyoureadtheforums,itisalsotheHolyGrailofsimracing
Jokes aside, though, its an enjoyable addition to this fun simulator; added to the other
animationsthatwillsmackintoyourwindshield(dirtinthedry,forinstance),andyourein
forapleasantvisualridehere.Welldone,2Pez!
How do the physics feel, in the wet? Slippery as hell itself: As I said earlier, these
cars are primitive, and that results in the 350BHP pulsating through the rear tyres on
wettarmacan edgyexperience.Leaveyouleadbootsathome!Therainisalsovisible
both on windshield and ontrack where the tarmac gets greasy and dark: The cars do
leave a spray behind them, too, but its not perfect, and it wont really affect the
amount of water on your windshield. You will need to adapt your driving technique,
though,aswellaschangingyoursetup:Brakingearlier,andgettingonthegasniceand
easyareobviouslyprerequisitestonottestingtheexcellentdamagemodelcomingout
of the pits Meanwhile, if youre aggressive in your turnin, youd best think twice
about throwing your 1,300kgs Chevy around in the rain because this is not Formula
One,andtherunoffareaisnotafootballfieldsizedstretchoftarmacrunningundera

grandstand. It is, usually, a tenfoot piece of mud that ends in a concrete wall above
whichthepescadoswillbesniggeringatyourineptitude. Grip, meanwhile, is better in GTR2 than in Top Raceand what I mean by this is, the
Naturally any rain component in a sim needs to be compared to GTR2 (since that, GTR2carshavebettergrip,andImnottoosurewhythisis:bothGTR2andTopRacehave
too,wascreatedonanISIengineandremainstheGoldStandard):Inthatcomparison, speciallydesigned raingrooved tyres (in Top Race, the change is made automatically for
Top Race comes out second best in the strictly visual department (rain and spray, and you),andyettheArgentinetouringcarsfeelfarmorenervy:dontgetmewrong,though,
the glossy, greasy look of the tracks), but Top Race does feature a working wiper thefeelofthecarsintherainisfantastic,andyouregoingtofindyourselftiptoeingabout
which, if you listen to the forums too much, youd be convinced was GTR2s major with your eyes rather wider than usual. Topnotch, here, and kudos to 2Pez for not only
FAIL(oristhatEPIC?). attemptingit,butgettingisright.

41 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
JacquesVilleneuve,1997FormulaOneworldchampion,poppedupinSouthAmericalatethissummerto

REVIEWTOPRACE
competeintworacesintheTopRaceseries,atInterlagosinJuly(runningaMercedes), andinBuenosAires(running

aVWPassatnumber{whatelse}27).TheInterlagosracesawVilleneuvestartingwell continued
downinthefield,andhis
afternoononlygotworseashisraceendedwhenhegottakenoutintheearlyrunning

(theguywhodidthehonours
earnedhimselfaDQ,andno,hisnamewasntSchumacher).
AtBuenosAires,though,theworldchampiongotachancetoshowhisinnatetalentsashebattledhiswaythrough
thefieldfromatwentysixthgridstart(inafortyfourcarfield)toastrongsixthpositionrunwithtwolapsremaining.
Theracewasrunonadamptrack,andJacquesgreatrunendedwhenhelostcontrolunderbrakesandspunoff;he
finishedsixteenthandalapdown.Itwasagreatexperienceforme,saidJacquesVilleneuveaftertherace.Therace
wasgreat,thewayfanslikeitwithplentyofincidentshappeningeverylap.TherainhelpedmealotandIwasableto
makeupalotofplaces.


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REVIEWTOPRACE continued

but I believe Sweden to Argentina is more than halfaworld apart,


IntelligentByDesign? andstill,racingonlinewasclosetoperfect.Pingtimeswereatmost
The AI is what you might expect from a title based on rFactor around.200,andIvebeenabletoracebumpertobumperatsome
technology.Wehaveseenitbeforeinmanytitlesthroughtheyears, seriouslystupidspeeds.Greatstuff,andliketheAI,ifyouvehadany
andifEinsteins(reputedbutdoubtful)dictumoninsanityisanything dealingswithrFactor,youknowwhattoexpect(bliss,especiallywith
togoby(youreinsaneifyoukeepdoingthesamethingoverandover thesecarsthataremadeforcloserunning).Fornow,though,aswith
again and expect a different result), we probably shouldnt even Turismo Carretera, youre going to feel a bit like an outsider if you
discussthis:NoonehasorwillmakeatrulyinspiringAIcomponent dontspeakSpanish(lonelyandunloved),butthecommunityaround
outofrFactor.TheAIinTopRacecangiveyouadecentraceonceyou thissimandTCareaseriouscrowdinthattheyliketodrivehard
learntheirbehaviorontrackanddialinthedifficultysettingtomatch butclean;sojustrememberyouretiquette,andallwillbefine.Andif
yourownskill,butthatisprettymuchallyoucaneverexpectfroman indoubt,hotkeythisphrase:Losentimos,serompemivolante!
rFactorbasedAI.AlloftheSimBinstitles,ARCA,everymodyouwill

everdownloadandplay,allsufferfromthisweakness,andtocriticize
anyone for not being able to get this rightwhen noone ever has StuffAtTheBottom
wouldbepetty.SoIwont,andyouknowwhattoexpect. Alltheaboveispackedintoacompletelyremodeleduserinterface,
I did, however, experience one truly bizarre episode in Top Race and before you say anything about that, let me say this: Brilliant.
thatIhadntencounteredbefore:OnatrackcalledElZonda(sounds Bright white, easy to navigate, and gorgeouslooking, it is a
fast just hearing its name!), the AI decided to completely miss the welcome addition to an rFactorbased sim. The only thing that I
hairpinandlancedofftrackintooblivion,nevertoreturnasif theyd missistheoptiontoselectracetype(i.e.,time,insteadoflaps)and
just heard the cops were coming for a drug raid! The safety car that type of start (i.e., standing, instead of rolling). I understand that
was dispatched as a result of all this lunacy, meanwhile, also missed 2Pez has taken away these options to properly mimic the race
thehairpin,wentonanofftrackexcursion,beforespearingbackon seriestheysimulate,butImissthem.Fearnotthough,thiscanbe
trackamomentslaternarrowlyavoidingadeadlycollisionwithwhat fixed by those, by now familiar, player.ini hacks that most of us
wasleftofthefield. haveusedatleastonceoverthelastISIbaseddecade.(Justbesure
A bit of research led me to understand that this is a known issue tomakeabackup,justincase.)
withrFactor,andthereisaquickfix(justrestarttherace{press'Y'}and While the user interface is quite refreshing, I have issues with
the AI will reset and suddenly behave as planned). But really, if you the HUD. The position bar we recognize from both rFactor and
wanttoplaywiththeAI,itsyourownfaultsincewhatwehavehereis TurismoCarreterahasbeenreplacedwithatrackoutline,muchlike
the fullylicensed rFactor multiplayer component which remains top the one seen in Live for Speed. I have no real problem with this
inclasstothisday.Soletsmakewhoopeewiththepescados! otherthanthatitcoverstherearviewmirrorwhileincockpit(the
onlyproperviewtodrivein).Thatmirrorisalreadyfullofyourown
HablaEspaol? rear wing, which is excellent for immersion, but not too good for
AsyoumightexpectfromanythingbasedonrFactor,theonlineplayis visibility, and the last thing you need is a track outline covering
magnificent. I have been on servers mainly set up in South America, thingsupevenmore.
and I myself sit in Sweden: Now I am not a geographer, and far too Next issue with the HUD is the timer that cant be turned off. I
lazy to check my facts (and I know Alex wont bother either since cannot,forthelifeofme,figureoutwhatpurposeitservesduringa
AUTOSIMSPORThasneverletafactstandinthewayofgoodcopy), race, and why it cant be turned off other than to annoy me to

43 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWTOPRACE continued

distraction. Its an excellent tool during qualifying, yes, but during a race? Im easily
distractedasitis,andthebloodythingishuge,andreallytakesawayfromtheimmersion
of sitting in the cockpit. Honestly, I havent got a clue what they were thinking here: Its
almostasiftheycreatedninetyninepercentofthesimwithaneyetoimmersion,andthen
atthelastminutethrewthisenormousmonstrosityintherewithoutanythoughtatall:Fact
is,asmallmistakelikethisdoessomuchdamagetotheoverallimmersion,andIdohope
someoneat2Pezreadsthis:Pleaseguys,dosomethingaboutit!
All the other parts of the HUD, meanwhile, can be turned on or off. I have also found
that,sincethereisnogearindicatororrevlightinthecockpit,Iusuallyhavethecombined
telemetry indicator turned on, and (this is a personal thing) I would appreciate a proper
gearindicatorinthecockpitsoIcouldturnitalloffandsuspendmybelief.
Bydefault,aTopRaceweekendwillprobablycauseabitofconfusionfortheuninitiated:
MostraceseriesIknowofhavesessionsintheusualorderofPractice,Qualify,Warmup,and
Race. But we learned from Turismo Carretera that they do things differently in South
America: Here, a normal race weekend starts with one practice session followed by a
qualifyingsession.Thentherereacoupleofshorterraces,featuringonlysegmentsofthe
field(sobesuretokeepaneyeoutforwhichoneofthoseshortracesyouareenteredin
your qualifying lap will determine this, the higher up you qualify, the easier your race
shouldbethinkofitasbeingseeded)whichwilldeterminethefinalgridfortheweekends
mainrace.Thisfinalraceishecticandcrowdedwithfortyorsocarsallduckinganddiving
into Turn One, so be sure to check your flanks, mirrors, and, well, everywhere else for
incoming cars. (Naturally you can hack the .ini files if you so wish, and create a more
traditionalraceweekend.)

TheEnd
Top Races surrounding package contains attractive models, challenging (and six never
before seen in any sim) tracks, exquisite physics, magnificent multiplayer, strong
immersion, weather, and a feel (physicswise) that is right up there with anything ever
createdforanISIengine.
TopRaceisaterrifictitle,wellworththedownloadandtheentryfee(U.S$38,00),and
2Pezdeservesmuchrespecthere,notonlyforputtingtogethersuchanentertainingtitle,
but also for listening to a community of testers and fixing what didnt work prior to
generalrelease.
If the mod community picks up on this title and begin releasing content and visual
updates,TopRacecanexpectlongevity.Bottomline?2Pezhavedoneitagain,anditsabout

timetheseguysgettheattentionandrespecttheydeserve.IfyoumissedTurismoCarretera,
dontmakethesamemistakeagainrememberwhatEinsteinsaid!

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REVIEWTOPRACE continued

TOPRACE:

WHATITHAS

Greatsalooncarphysics,excellenttyremodel
Excellentdamagemodel
Weatherincludingrain
12tracks
Topnotchsound

WHATITDOESNTHAVE
Visually,2Pezarenotattheirbest,andthetracks,
again,sufferfrommediocrity
AI,asyoudexpectfromanISIsim,isnotterriblygood

88
TopRacessurroundingpackagecontainsattractivemodels,
challenging(andsixneverbeforeseeninanysim)tracks,exquisite
physics,magnificentmultiplayer,strongimmersion,weather,anda

feel(physicswise)thatisrightuptherewithanythingevercreatedfor
www.autosimsport.net
45 Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
anISIengine

H4rdc0r3dOOdsSHIFT
SimonCroftexamineswhethertheFinthelatestNeedForSpeedofferingcourtesy
of Ian Bell and what was once Blimey! and the soul of SimBinis, as some

REVIEWSHIFT particularlyunwittymembersofthecommunityhavesuggested,atypowhileBob
SimmermangreaseshimselfupunderthehoodofthePS3version

SIMONCROFT

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REVIEWSHIFT continued

Thereisadefiniteandrealdistinctiontobemade:SHIFTmaydoagoodjobof
emulatingtheviolent,chaoticnatureofmotorsport,butformeitdoesnot
capturetherealityofautomobilecompetition.Inthissenseitisverymuchan
arcadeexperienceifthatreallymeansanything.However,thevehicle
behaviour,theresponse,thedynamics,theactualinteractionbetweendriver,
carandtrack,arebrilliant

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REVIEWSHIFT continued

For anyonenot living under a rockfor the last six monthsor so,SHIFTs arrivalcanthave
goneunnoticedwithEAalongwithamorethanwillingaseverIanBellpullingouttheir
usual marketing blitzes and heightening expectations of both a new dawn for EAs ailing
NeedForSpeedfranchise,andIanBellsfirstproductsinceGTR2.Theresultasfarasthe
simracing world was concerned anywaywas the potential of a new sim along with a
marketing presence unlike anything I can remember this side of consolestalwarts Gran
TurismoandForza.Ofcourse,formanyinthesimcommunity,thismarketingturnedoutto
bearealboneofcontentionmuchlikemoreorlesseverything,cometothinkofit(a
littletipforthosewhofeltEAsstreamofprereleasevideoswasalittletoomuch:exercise
yourfreedomofchoiceand,errr,dontwatchthem.Wow,thatwaseasy!)

SHIFTingPerspectives
SHIFTcameto me assomething ofanunknown. The NeedForSpeed franchisehas along
history,butonethatlargelyhasnotbeenplayedoutinsimcircles.Withthereleaseofthe
latestincarnation,therewasmuchgooeyeyedrecollectionoftheseriesinitialreleaseand
whatmany considerthe best of the NFS titlestodate,2000s Porsche Unleashed.Coming
from Slightly Mad Studios (formerly Blimey!, formerly the heart of SimBin), and with the
additionofacertainMrPiitulainentotheranks,SHIFTpromisedsomethingofatransition
for the seriesa transition into the realm of serious simulation and, for the sim
WhilstIcanlevelthisatsomeaspectsof community,clearlyashiftforthebetter.
I got my hands on it a week or so after the first opinions were being voiced in the
SHIFT(itslackofproperdamage,its community,andquitesomeviewstheyweretoo.Initialresponsesfromtheselfproclaimed
hardcore community were varied, but there was an undeniable tone that was not overly

crazyAI),getacaryoulikeoutona positive. At one extreme you had people claiming it the best sim ever; at the other I saw
someone decry it as the worst game theyd ever played (yes, you read that correctly); in
between,moreorlesseveryviewyoucanimaginewasespousedbythecommunityalways
trackyouenjoyandSHIFToffersan readyandwillingtolynchoneoftheirown.Buttheresoonemerged(perhapsfromavocal
minority)aconsensusthatSMShaddroppedtheballhere,andthatSHIFTwasnotasim,let
experienceasgoodasanyouttherefor aloneagoodone.Asisalwaysthecase,Idecidedtoreservejudgementandformmyown
opinionsandasitturnedout,ImrathergladthatIdid.
asimracer.Thatsgoodintermsof With such split opinion, sitting down with SHIFT for the first time was a somewhat
apprehensive experience: I have long been a fan of Eeros work (I still rank Richard Burns

enjoyment.Goodintermsof Rallyrightuptherewiththecreamofthecrop,andIwasluckyenoughtobeoneofthoseto
test the never completed but hugely promising Drivers Republic a few years back), and I
foundithardtoimaginethathisworkwoulddisappoint.Myfirsttastewasatestraceina
immersion.Goodintermsofphysics BMWM3,whichthegameusestoassessthedriversabilityinordertosetaidsanddifficulty
(allofwhichcanbeoverriddenbytheplayeriftheysowish).

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Myfirstimpression?Confusion:Ifeltdisconnectedfromthecar,anddidntreallyknow
whatwas going on. There were two main factors that contributed to this outofbody
experience: First of all, I hadnt yet had an opportunity to finetune the controller
settings,andwasimmediatelysubjectedtothesteeringlagIhadreadmuchcomplaint
about.ThiswasbeyondbeingsubjectiveorpersonaltasteIcouldbarelykeepthecar
pointingintherightdirectiononthestraights!Secondly,duringthis testrace,Ididnt
reallyknowwhatwasgoingonintermsofdriveraids.Iwasfranticallytryingtochange
gear and found the car doing it for me, then later in the lap I seemed to have some
controlovergearchangewhichledmetowonderwhethertheaidsgraduallychanged
during the race to progressively give control to the player, or whether my shifts were
coinciding with the auto box. Either way, I crossed the finish line, sat back, and a
projectedaquiet,Hmmm.ThegamesuggestedIrunwithnearlyalloftheaidsoffand,
IbelievedobtainingtheGT3wouldbewhen ofcoursebeingh4rdc0r3,Iimmediatelydisabledtherestbeforedelvingintothegame
proper.
IdiscoveredwhetherSHIFTwasmerely First port of call then was the options screen where I attempted to do something
about my controller issues. I created a custom wheel profile (using an aging MS
good,orgreat.Anditwas,indeed,the Sidewinder FFB wheel, it wasnt a surprise to find no default configuration, though I
dare say one of the other wheel configs would have worked), and did the obligatory
latterthatIfoundmostaccurately removalofdeadzonesthatsimracershavebecomeaccustomedtoeliminating.Afew
quickrunoutsandcontinuedtweakssoonsawamassiveimprovementinfeelthough,
summedupmyfeelings.Thecareerwent sadly, wheel lag remained (not pedal though; I use separate BRD Speed7s) and was, I
soongathered,nottobesolvedviathegamesettings.
completelyoutofthewindow:Ididntcare Right,havingnowdonethebestthatIcouldwiththelagandcontrollerissues,Iwas
readyforactiononemoretime.ProgressingtotheCareermode,thefirstchoiceIhad
howmuchmoneyIhad,howmanystarsI todecideonwaswhichcarIwishedtorace in.Atthispoint,Ithinkits appropriateto
talkalittleaboutthegamesstructureasitissomethingIsooncametoreallyenjoy.In
had,whatIcouldorcouldntraceIhadno theworldofh4rdc0r3simracing,carpurchasing,prizemoney,tuningupgradesarefar
from the norm, although I suppose you could argue iRacing, with its SR, license
desiretodriveanythingelse,hadnodesire progression, and so on has a career structure of sorts, but simmers are used to
generally picking their own career path through the available ranks in a given title;
totunethisalmightyvehicle,and perhapsthenitwaspartlythenoveltyvaluethatsawmesoenjoySHIFTstieredlevels
and progression. Choosing my first tier one car, I was instantly reminded of a rather
proceededtohappilyhotlapmanyatrack younger me sitting down on Christmas morning searching through the original Gran
Turismosnumerouscarshowrooms,carefullychoosingwhichcartopurchase.
formanyanhour,justWalterandI Looking through the available cars (and yes, I needlessly teased myself looking
through all of them), a few things instantly struck me that somehow the reams of
marketing videos had failed to convey. For one, most of the preview videos showed

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REVIEWSHIFT continued

stickeredup,seeminglyracepreppedmachinery.Itwasnicetofindmyselfchoosinga
standardroadcartotakeoutontrack.RealisingthatastockGT3RSwasthereawaiting
me to amass the required funds and experience, too, I must confess to feeling a little
wave of excitement. The other thing that dawned on me was just what a breadth of
machinery was on offer here: Now make no mistake, this is no Gran Turismo so dont
expect the same level of choice and variety; but actually, this is not a bad thing since
SMShavesettledforastellarlineupofdesirablevehiclesandhaveleftthetenflavours
ofMazdaDemiobackinthegarageinTokyo.
Notonlydidthisvarietyofmachinerygivemeajoyfulchoicetomake,italsohada
few added bonuses: The number of cars available at every level allows a significant
scopeforcustomisation,bothintermsofpermutationsofcarmodification,butalsoin
how you approach the game. Perhaps more importantly, the collection of automobilia
on show also offers progression whilst eliminating what I shall simply refer to as
SolsticeSyndrome.ImsureIdontneedtoexplain
Forme,therewasonlyoneoptionfortieronetracktool:anEscortCosworthwhomI
cametochristenCarlos.Yes,thatsright,Inamedmyvirtualcar.Imnotabigonefor
anthropomorphism, but I found over time in SHIFT that I developed a strong sense of
ownershipovermycars.Theymightbejustacollectionofpixelsandcode,identicalin
every respect to the same pixels and code on someone elses harddrive; bought with
virtual money within a virtual environment, but unlike in iRacing, rFactor, LFS, or any
other sim for that matter, I felt a sense of connection to the virtual cars sitting in my
virtual garage. Admittedly rather sad, but when you spend your free time sitting in
front of a computer pretending to drive cars around in circles, why start letting that
botheryou?
Having bought Carlos and run a few races in the career mode, steering lag sadly
persisted.Withabitofpatience,though,Ilearnttodrivearoundit(dontgetmewrong,it
was an issue, but nothing that a bit of effort couldnt alleviate) and continued testing my
mettleagainstthestockcompetitioninthelandofconsole:ArtificalIntelligence.
TheAIisclearlytunedtoprovideaclose,actionpackedracewhich,atthebeginning
levelofyourcareer,occursovertwoactionfilledlaps,andthisresultsinbothapositive
and negative experience. They demonstrate some positive qualities such as a
propensity for mistakes, grappling with one another and the player, and they even
sometimesmakeaconcertedefforttoavoidyou.Ontheother,theydriveappallingly,
takeslowerturnsatasnailspace,ramintoyoufornogoodreason,andgenerallyshow
aserious lackof regard for themechanical frailties of acar,thecostof repairs,or the
accepted codes of conduct for behaviour on a race track. And worse than that, they
seemblessedlyignorantofthefactthatyouareasimracer.

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Inshort,theydontdemonstraterealisticbehaviour,andIquicklyrealisedthatifthereis
simulationinSHIFT,itsnotinthesimulateddrivers.Damagewhichissomethingyouwill
soon learn to relish when you come up against your computer foesis visually satisfying,
but has little impact upon the cars performance. Indeed, after a number of races and AI
induced smashes, I wasnt sure damage had any effect other than visual. Eventually I
experienced a little steering pull, but certainly no raceending consequences to having
endured a bit of midrace argybargy. The AI experience left me somewhat cold, and I
quicklyrealisedthatmyenjoymentofSHIFT(fromasimperspective)wasnotgoingtostem
from the career races themselves. Having now run a handful of career events, I could tell
SHIFThadsomereasonablysimlikebehaviourgoingonunderthesurface,butIwasntable
toexplorethesubtletiesandsoitwastimetochangetrack.
At this point, I grabbed my notebook and penned out what I had so far learned from
SMSs firstand Ian Bells first since GTR2offering: The game, in my opinion, looks
gorgeous (no issues on my ATI card). Occasionally the bloom effects can be slightly
overdone(carscansometimesdemonstrateahaloeffectthatlooksabitodd)and,yes,
someofthe tracksidefurnitureis a bitmuch.At thesametime though, the trackshavea
living, breathing feel and atmosphere to them: On the whole, I think SMS have done a
crackingjobonthevisuals.Thecoloursandlightinghaveafine,naturallooktothem.Half
Life2sprangtomindactually.
Modelling, too, is of a high standard. The interiors are easily up there with anything I
ItwasalsoonlinethatIrealisedhowgood haveseen,andallofthecarsarerecreatedwithalovingtouch.Odometerstickoverasyou
accumulate the miles, light pours in though the windows and bathes the dashboard,

SHIFTsparticleeffectsare.Itmayseema following every contour as it creeps its way across the interior. Texturing of vehicles and
tracks is, again, of a uniquely high standard, with certain subtle elements such as the 3D

minordetail,butwhenyourenosetotail grassmakingthelikesofiRacingstrackslookflatandalmostabstractbycomparison.
Imnotfamiliarenoughwiththerealworldtrackstocommentontheabsoluteaccuracy

withacompetitorinaclosefought of SHIFTs renditions, though there are some obvious deviations from reality in the
numerous fairground rides and advertising hoardings and banners that frequent the

battle,thecloudsofsmoke,dirtandgrass surroundingareas:Intermsoflayout,however,theyseemperfectlyacceptable.Ionlyknow
iRacings tracks are so accurate because of the information I have about their fabrication;

thatgetkickedupasdriversoverstepthe driving SHIFTs tracks, meanwhilesince I have no direct knowledge of the actual tracks
themselveswell,theycouldeasilybespotonorsomewayoff,Iwouldhavenoideaeither
way. Driving tracks like Laguna Secawhich I have experienced in iRacingseems to
limitsofthecarandtheboundariesofthe indicate nothing glaringly out of place. The tracks do seem to perhaps lack a little of
iRacingssubtlebumpsandundulations,thoughthiscouldwellbeexplainedbythefactthat
trackaresuperblyrealised themajorityofmytimeiniRacinghasbeenspentintaught,purposebuiltracemachines,
not the softer, suppler road cars that SHIFT has filled my time with. The tracks do have

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significantbumpsandripples,andsometothepointwhere,onceyoulearntheirlocations, toactuallyexperiencewhatSHIFTfeltlike.Iwantedtodriveitwithouthavingjusttwolaps
youbegintoslowdownand/oralteryourline.Onthewhole,IfeelSHIFTstracksaremore toprogressfromthebackofakamikazegrid.IstumbledacrossWillowSpringsHorseThief
thanampleinnumber,varietyandexecution. Milelayout.FromthemapIcoulddeduceitwasashortandtwistytrackandso,armedwith
Iimmediatelyturnedoffthemotionblur,thoughspeeddependentcockpitblurremains a,bythispoint,somewhatpotentCarlos,Isetupatwentylapquickraceonmyown(the
and cant be disabled through ingame options. At first I found this something of an best way in SHIFT of setting up a timetrial in the traditional sense). The next twenty
annoyance,thoughitsoonchangedtobeingsomethingIgenuinelylikedandappreciated. minutesorsowereanabsoluteblast.IquicklyrealisedthatnotonlywasIenjoyingmyself
Forsomeitisnodoubtapieceofeyecandythatdoeslittletorecreatereality,butIactually immensely, but underneath SHIFTs flashy exterior lay an accomplished, pure sim
found it a well done effect. As my speed increased, my gaze would naturally be drawn experience.Throwingthecararoundthetracksseries ofhairpins interspersedwith short,
further up the track looking for the next braking marker or clipping point. As such, the sharp straights with significant elevation changes, I could feel the carwell yes, shift
cockpitblurringwouldoftenofferarealisticdepthofvision,andaidedmyabilitytofocuson underneathme.Thewayitwentlightoverbrows;thefeelingofthetyressquirmingunder
thehorizon.Occasionallyitgratesthough,forexamplewhenhammeringitdowntheback brakingatthebottomofthesteepdescentintotoatighthairpin;featheringthebrakesat
straightoftheRinginsomeoftheslowercarsthedriverisofferedplentyoftimetolook thetopofthehillasthecars momentum wanted to carry it upwards as wellasonwards.
aroundthecockpit,andatmomentslikethis,theeffectsitsalittleatoddswithrealworld The upgrades had removed some of Carloss natural tendency to understeer, but he still
experience.Soitsnotaflawlesslyimplementedeffect,butasanattempttoaccountforthe possessed more grip than poise. The difference now was that a good stamp on the loud
fact we view our virtual world through a flat screen, its a commendable effort and one I pedalwouldallowthebackendtomovearoundmore,andwithagoodsharpthrowtheof
welcome. thewheelIwashustlinghimaroundwithscreechesoftyresmokeandthehissandwhistle
The sounds are certainly up to scratch too. Im no audio expert, so all I can say is that oftheturbobeingworkedtowithinaninchofitslife.Forthosetwentyminutesorso,Iwas
theyworkforme.Afewcarsseemtolackabitoftheirrealworldcharacter(forexample, MartinShanche.
theImprezaseemstobedevoidofsomeofitstrademarkburbly,flatfourenginenote),but Suddenly it all made sense. SHIFT comes dressed in a snazzy gloss of marketing and
on the whole the sounds are convincing and communicative. Probably my only real gripe polish. The defaultgameplayisarcade oriented,tuned forshort, sharp visceral attackson
with the audio is that the transmissions often deploy a loud, straightcut sound, even on the senses. And at this it does a brilliant job. But if, like me, thats not quite what youre
stock, synchromeshboxed cars. Also, the tyre scrub noise seems to have been given a lookingforif,likeme,youwantthespeed and excitement, butwiththerefinement ofa
volumeboost,perhapstakingastepawayfrompure(simulated)reality,butinturngoing more realistic experiencethen all I can say is, be patient. Strip back the layers, find the
some way to compensating for the lack of seat of pants feel you miss when sitting at a right settings, take yourself away from the smashandcrash drama of the racing, and
computer. SHIFTssimulatedblisswillunmaskitself.
So on first impressions, I felt it looked and sounded fine. The car line up had whet my WithanewleaseofenthusiasmforwhatIhadbeforeme,Iputthecareertooneside,
appetite,andIfeltasenseofownershipandpersonalconnectiontomycarthatothersims and began concentrating on doing what was within my powers to make SHIFT the
canonlydreamof.ButuptothispointIhadnothadawowmoment.TheAImaderacinga experienceIwantedittobeinstead.Imnottalkingaboutmodifyingfilesorhackingthisor
lessthantemptingprospect,andconsequentlyIwasntfeelingahugedesiretopushonwith that;Imsimplytalkingaboutlookingattherangeofcarsandplaygroundsavailabletome,
progressingthroughthecareermode.Butthiswassettochange,andinabigway. andgoingoutandhavingfun.WithCarlos,Ilivedoutdreamsoftrackdays,timeattacksand
rallycrossstylecompetitionashemutatedfromagrippybutundersteery,reluctantlump,to
InSearchOfWow afirebreathing,laggy,tractionbreaking,boostfuelledmonster.
Tomentionrallycrossbriefly(theAUTOSIMSPORTstaffwilltellyouIoftendo),Iwouldlike Following Carlos was an AE86 Toyota Corolla (Henri). After my moment of revelation
totakeamomenttoexplainwhenIhadmyepiphanywithSHIFT;whenIreallygotit.After with Carlos, Henri was purchased with the intention of providing me the means of
spending my race winnings on some timely upgrades for Carlos (brakes, suspension and developingmyownincarnationofanold70sstylerallycar.Withsomecarefultuning,Ihad
weightsavinginitially;transmissionandenginetuningonceIfeltthechassiscouldhandle thepowerandweightinroughlytherightplaces,andaquicktriptooneofSHIFTstighter
it),IwentlookingthroughSHIFTsavailabletrackstogooutforaspinonmyown.Iwanted andtwistierofferingshadmegrinninglikeabuffoon.Thiswasgettinggood.

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it has taken on the connotations of a dirty word: If something is fun then it cant be hard
enough,itcantbechallengingenough,itmustbedevianceofdeviationsarcade.
WhilstIcanlevelthisatsomeaspectsofSHIFT(itslackofproperdamage,itscrazyAI),
getacaryoulikeoutonatrackyouenjoyandSHIFToffersanexperienceasgoodasanyout
thereforasimracer.Thatsgoodintermsofenjoyment.Goodintermsofimmersion.Good
intermsofphysics.
With Walter I no longer merely liked SHIFT: I began to love it. I said to a certain Mr.
Denton that I believed obtaining the GT3 would be when I discovered whether SHIFT was
merelygood,orgreat.Anditwas,indeed,thelatterthatIfoundmostaccuratelysummed
up my feelings. The career went completely out of the window: I didnt care how much
moneyIhad,howmanystarsIhad,whatIcouldorcouldntraceIhadnodesiretodrive
anythingelse,hadnodesiretotunethisalmightyvehicle,andproceededtohappilyhotlap
manyatrackformanyanhour,justWalterandI.
Indeed,thissettheprecedentforhowthelastmonthorsoofSHIFThasplayedoutfor
me:Ididntcarefortheracing,Icaredforthedriving.AndhereIthinkIhituponthecruxof
howIwoulddescribeSHIFT:Asaracingsimulator,itisquitepoor.Theracesaretooshort,
and the AI mentally deficient. You must decide to try and drive realistically (which

effectivelymeansresigningyourselftofinishinginthelowernumbersonhigherAIsettings
anddrivingaroundgivingacresofspacetoyourcompetitors),orsayfuckitandplaydirty.
ClickabovetoseeSHIFTandSimoninaction
Eitherway,whilsttheracingcanprovidefun and ablast ofadrenaline,it doesnotfor me
Mymotivationtorisethroughthecareerranksandexperiencesomeofthehigherlevel providearealisticexperience.
machinerystartedtogrow.Ipartookinafewraceshereandthere,andsoonenoughthetier But,andthisisaverybigbut,takeacaroutonyourown,andyouexperienceasimof
two cars were available and I had a healthy balance of virtual cash to go and spend. I sublimequality.Thetyremodelisamasterpiece.Theweighttransferandvehicledynamics
plumped for a Cayman S (Milly). The advance to tier two racing brought with it some feelspoton.Andthereisenoughvarietyamongthecarsandtracksthatyoucanrecreate
quicker,moreopencourses,andquicker,moreaggressivecompetitors.WithMilly,Ifought many a driving experience. So whilst for me SHIFT is a poor racing simulator, it is most
andconqueredmanyasuicidalAIdriver,andthenbeforeIknewit,ithappenedIreached definitelyadrivingsimulatorofgreatquality.
tierthree,formethehollowedground,theValhallaofSHIFT.HereIexperiencedsomething I dont want people to think Im getting caught up in semantics here. There is a
special.HeretheGT3RSbecameavailable definite and real distinction to be made: SHIFT may do a good job of emulating the
Despite what simracers have in common in terms of their desire for an ever more violent, chaotic nature of motor sport, but for me it does not capture the reality of
realisticexperience,betterphysics,bettergraphics,sounds,tracks,whateveritisthatbonds automobile competition. In this sense it is very much an arcade experienceif that
us together, it is likely that different cars make us tick. From the moment I first scrolled reallymeansanything.However,thevehiclebehaviour,theresponse,thedynamics,
thoughSHIFTsmyriadofautoerotica,theGT3RSwastheonethatgrabbedmyattention the actual interaction between driver, car and track, are brilliant. When Im out on
andsaid:Youhavetobuyme.AndthatIdid.MyGT3RS(appropriatelybaptisedWalter) theNordschleifeinWalter,andIpushthatlittletoohardandfeelthebackendstart
wasgivenamakeoverofblackwheelsanddecalsonwhitepaint,andhewasmine. to step out, Im experiencing something on a par with any title past or present. To
Whatensuedcanonlybedescribedashourafterpoundinghourofpureenjoyment.Nay, answerDougArnaosperhapsrhetoricalquestion(seeinterviewinthesepages):No,I
fun.Fun,somethingthatseemssoalienaconceptattimesamongthesimcommunitythat dontneedtoask.

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To be fair though, this is neglecting one component of SHIFT that I have not seen much
mentionofyet,thoughonethatcouldbeessentialforalonglastinglifespan:online.Ihaveruna
numberofracesinSHIFTonline,andtherearesomepositives,andsomenegatives.Thebiggest
flyintheointmenthasbeenatwominutelimitonsettingupprivategames.Thewayitworksis
thataminimumnumberofcompetitorsmustbestipulatedforaneventtotakeplace.However,
assoonasoneinvitedfriendjoinstheevent,theremainingplacesarefilledwithAIcarsandthere
are then two minutes in whichto agree oncars, track, and to get everyone in the lobby. This
causedafewheadachesandafewfalsestarts,butwithalittleplanningandsomequick,decisive
decisionmaking,itbecomesaninconvenienceratherthanashowstopper.
Outontrack,thenetcodeappearssuitablyrobust.I(locatedinnorthernEngland)haveraced
withpeoplesituatedinLondon,andasfarafieldasMichiganandGuadeloupe,withlittleorno
problems.Theoccasionalbitoflagistobeexpected,butwhatEAsservershaveprovidedthus
farhasbeenasstableandreliableasanythingelseIhaveused,iRacing,rF,andLFSincluded.The
nigglesexperiencedinsettinguptheraceswouldprobablybemoreofanissuewereitnotso
thoroughlyworthit.IcanhappilysaythattheonlineracingIhaveexperiencedinSHIFThasbeen
asgoodasanythingIhavetried.ThisispartlyduetothefellowracersIwassharingthetrackwith,
andpartlydowntoSHIFTsmorethanadequatenetcode,and,ultimately,whatliesatSHIFTs
corea wonderful driving model. It was also online that I realised how good SHIFTs particle
effectsare.Itmayseemaminordetail,butwhenyourenosetotailwithacompetitorinaclose
SHIFT,asaoneplayerracinggame, foughtbattle,thecloudsofsmoke,dirtandgrassthatgetkickedupasdriversoverstepthelimits
ofthecarandtheboundariesofthetrackaresuperblyrealised.Youreallygetasenseofdriving
succeeds,butasaoneplayerracingsim, throughtheplumesand,whenonthelimit,theycanreallycauseaheartinmouthmoment.
WiththeADDracelengthanddeathwishAIremoved,SHIFThasalltheelementsrequiredto
itfails.Incontrastthough,asaoneplayer providefortopnotchracing.Thelackofrealdamageshouldnotmatteratallifyoudontcrash
(an obvious statement, but one worth making), and if youre racing among friends, you can
drivingsim,andasanonlineracing decidewhatrulestoplayby.Ifyouregoingforproperracing,thenyouknowwhenyoullhave
screwedyourcarupandcanrespondaccordingly.Ifyouaresimplydrivingforfun(andthatisnot
game/sim,itsucceedsandsucceedswith toimplynotdrivinginarealisticmanner,ratheryouremphasisisonenjoyingtheexperienceof
sharingthetrackwithoutthecompetitiveelement),thenitshouldntreallymatter.
seriousconviction. IvehadadoortodoorImprezavs.EvogrudgematchatDonningtonwithMr.Denton,E36
M3 vs. RX7 duels with Mr. Offranc, and a joyous 2000 GTR blitz of the Ring along side Mr.
ButIcanthelpthink:whatcouldhave Simmerman.Iveracedhardtotheline,orjustjostledforpositionwaitingforsomeonetocatch
meandseenthemwaitformetocatchthem.Muchliketheoneplayerside,togetthemostout
been?Whichisnotthesameassaying ofSHIFTIthinkyouneedtodecidewhatyouwantfromit.IdontseeSHIFTofferingonlineracing
inthesamewayiRacingdoes,forexample,butthatsnottosaythatwhatitcanprovideisany
SHIFTisacaseofnearlybutnotquite lessenjoyable,worthwhileorrewarding.Forsimmersandcasualplayersalike.

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ForceFeedback,SteeringLagAndWindows7?! manner) busy and happily occupied for a long, long time. Some small tweaks and extra
IIffyyoouuvveerreeaaddm myyrreevviieew w,,yyoouulllkknnoow wIIeexxppeerriieenncceeddsstteeeerriinnggllaaggooffssoom mee optionsfortheonlineplaycouldmakeitmucheasiertosetupraces,too.
sseevveerriittyy..W ButthatisnottosayIthinkSHIFTisacaseofnearlybutnotquite.Itdoestoomuchtoo
Whhiillsstttthhiissw waassaanniissssuueetthhaattppeerrssiisstteedd,,aannddIIffoouunnddnnoossoolluuttiioonn wellformenottoconsideritasuccess.Asatoolforhotlapping,itprovidesadrivingmodel,
ttoo,,IIddiiddnnttlleettiittppuuttm meeooffffaannddppeerrsseevveerreedd..TThheeiinnppuuttllaaggnnoottoonnllyym maaddee carandtrackselection,andoverallenvironmentworthyofhighpraise.Fromtheimmersive
SSHHIIFFTThhaarrddeerrttooddrriivvee,,bbuuttaallssooddiim miinniisshheeddtthheeeexxppeerriieennccee;;ffeeeeddbbaacckkw waass properties of the visual and audio effects, the sublime handling model, and the cars and
hhaam mppeerreedd,, aanndd II w waassnntt ssoo m muucchh ddrriivviinngg bbaasseedd oonn ppuurree ffeeeelliinngg aanndd tracksthatenablemetoliveoutanynumberofpersonaldrivingfantasies,SHIFTprovides
rreeaaccttiioonn ttoo w something that no other title currently does. Throw in the fact that online you have the
what was happeenniinngg,, bbuutt rraatthheerr oonn aannttiicciippaattiioonn aanndd
h a t w a s h a p p
potential for some immensely enjoyable experiences, and you have a product that has its
eexxppeerriieennccee..
shareofflawsandperhapsmissesafewopportunities,butonbalanceofferssomuchmore
HHoow weevveerr,, aa ssoolluuttiioonn ddiidd ccoom mee m myy w waayy iinn aa rraatthheerr ssuurrpprriissiinngg ffoorrm m:: thanitfailstodeliver.
uuppddaattiinnggttooW i n d o w s 7 . I v e n o id e a w h y ,
Windows 7. Ive no idea why, but in making this transitionn b u t in m a k in g t his t r a n s i tio Throw the cars around with reckless abandon, and SHIFT can feel overly forgiving at
nneeaarrllyy aalll sstteeeerriinngg llaagg w waass eelliim miinnaatteedd.. N Noott oonnllyy w waass tthhee ccaarr nnoow w times,andmakesthedriverseemsomewhatinvincible.However,whatitalwaysdoesinmy
rreessppoonnddiinnggttoom experienceisrewardgooddriving.PerhapsthisisevidenceofSHIFTsuccessfullyappealing
myyiinnppuuttssw wiitthhiinnccrreeaasseeddiim mm meeddiiaaccyy,,bbuuttaallssootthheeffeeeeddbbaacckk andbeingapproachabletopeopleofallabilitiesandbackgrounds:Youmaybeabletoget
IIw a s r e c e iv i n g w a s n o t i c e a b ly
wasreceivingwasnoticeablyimproved.Drriivviinnggttooaaccccoom im p r o v e d . D mm mooddaatteetthheellaagg awaywith thingsthatinrealityyoucouldnt,but it neverrewardsyouforsuchbehaviour.
ssttiillleennaabblleeddm meettooeennjjooyySSHHIIFFTTaannddaapppprreecciiaatteeiittssssttrreennggtthhss,,bbuuttw wiitthhtthhee DriveacarinSHIFTasyouwouldinreallife,though,anditbehavesinarealisticmanner;get
pprroobblleem mssoollvveeddtthheeeexxppeerriieenncceebbeeccaam meessoom muucchhm moorreeeennjjooyyaabbllee.. overthelimitandyoullseespeedscrubbedoffandtimelost.IfImdrivingattententhsand
FFoorrtthhoosseeooffyyoouueexxppeerriieenncciinnggiinnppuutt//FFFFBBllaagg,,oorrtthhoosseew makeamistake,itcostsme.Thequickestwayaroundthetrackisalwaystherealisticone,
whhooggaavveeiittaattrryy
andsoonceagain,ifyouapproachSHIFTasasimulationanddriveitaccordingly,youwill
aannddw weerreeqquuiicckkllyyppuuttooffffaassaarreessuulltt,,IIw wiilllssiim mppllyyssaayyssttiicckkw wiitthhiitt;;tthheerreeiiss receiveahighlygratifyingexperience.
ssttiilllmmuucchheennjjooyym meennttttoobbeehhaaddffrroom mSSHHIIFFTT..W WhhiillssttIIccaannttrreeaalllyyaaddvvooccaattee
cchhaannggiinnggO OS as a solution or offer any guaranntteeeessiittw
S a s a s o lu t i o n o r o f f e r a n y g u a r a wiilllw
woorrkk,,iiffnnootthhiinngg AboutThatFThing
eellssee,,m myyeexxppeerriieenncceesshhoow wsstthhaatttthheellaaggpprroobblleem miissnnttaannuunnssoollvvaabblleeiissssuuee What I feel remains to be discussed is how myopinions (and I dont want to put words in
w otherpeoplesmouths,butthoseofothersatAUTOSIMSPORT)varysowildlyfromthoseof
wiitthhSSHHIIFFTT..KKeeeeppeexxppeerriim meennttiinnggaannddhhooppeeffuulllyyootthheerrppeeoopplleeccaannrreessoollvveeiitt
many in the community. I dont think a single sim out there universally appeals. GPL
oonneew a y o r a
wayoranother. n o t h e r . perhaps comes closest in getting an across the board nod of approval, and is generally
accepted for its merits, though I think a lot of this puts it in the context of a ten year old
productwithhistoricsignificancetothecommunity.iRacingisperhapsthebestmodernday
ASHIFTInTheTightDirection equivalent, but ignoring the pricing and organisedracing structure, even that divides
Andsothereyouhaveit:SHIFT,asaoneplayerracinggame,succeeds,butasaoneplayer opinion. Some think it looks superb, others feel it looks five yearsplus out ofdate. Some
racing sim, it fails. In contrast though, as a one player driving sim, and as an online racing thinktheaudioaccuratelycapturesthesubjectmatter,whilstothersfinditagreatletdown.
game/sim,itsucceedsandsucceedswithseriousconviction. And what for some is the most accurate physical simulation available to the masses, for
ButIcanthelpthink:whatcouldhavebeen?WeretheAIsomewhatmorereasonable, othersitslittlemorethanamilddevelopmentofNR2003,wartsandall.
theprizemoneyloweredtomoreplausibleamounts,andtheracelengthincreased,SHIFT Similarly, nKPro, with its nononsense, no compromise approach when run in its full
wouldhaveprovidedasuperboneplayercareermodeandracingsim.Itwouldhavefilleda simulation mode remains, for some, the height of simulation. For others, the strict
gapingnichewithinanicheandcouldhavekeptplayers(whowishedtoapproachitinthat adherencetorealityisachore.Itdoesntmatterhowmuchpeoplesupposedlyclamourfor

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ultimate realism, the factis itisntreallywhatpeople arelookingfor.Mr.Dentonsarticle abilitiesofagroupwhohavebeenlargelyappealingtoanichemarket.Commentssuchas,


aboutthedifferenttypesofsimracerstoucheduponalotofthis,anddidsoinmoredetail EA know nothing about the community amuse and anger me in equal measure; if they
andwithmoreaplombthanisnecessaryhere. know anything about us now, its that were a whiney, lazy bunch who probably dont
Thebottomlineis:nothingisperfect,andnothingwillappealtoall.Butasidefrom deservemuchattentionoreffortinthefirstplaceorthefuture.Asacommunity,thesales
differencesinpreferenceandopinion,theresponsetoSHIFThasbeenmorevariedthan ofSHIFTformasmallportionofPCsales,whichinturnformasmallportionofoverallsales:
foranysimIcanrecollect.AndIfindmyselftakingastancefurtherfromthemajorityof Or,toquantifythat:ThreepercentofsalesofSHIFTwereonthePC,andofthat,perhaps
thenoisethanIcaneverremember.Imcertainlynotgoingtoattempttosecondguess lessthanhalfapercentwouldregardthemselvesasapartorhaveprobablyeverheard
thethoughtprocessesandmotivationsbehindallofthesecontrastingviews,butIthink ofthesimracingcommunity.
alotofthemorecriticalviewsairedcanbeoften,sadly,putdowntotwokeyfactors: That we have a title that offers so much should be cause for celebration: That Ian
prejudiceandlaziness. Bell and SMS bothered to release a simulator with a hardcore element, for us, the
For example,the number of peoplewho clearly couldntbebotheredtotryandsetup community,wheninpointoffactsuchanomissionwouldhavegonelargelyunnoticed
theircontrollersisdisappointinglyobvious.Yes,thelikesofiRacingmightstandalongway by ninetynine percent of the gaming industry (consumers and press alike) should be
aheadofSHIFTintermsofeaseofcontrollersetup,butthatSHIFTmighttakehalfanhour welcomed. I saw a thread on a forum which posed a question along the lines of: Can
andafewtripsbackandforthbetweenfrontendoptionmenusandtrackreallyshouldntbe SMS recover from SHIFT? Ignoring the fact I dont really know what the question is
toomuchtomanage. meant to mean (considering this is SMSs firstever sim, and considering that it has
Inmyexperience,differentsimstakedifferentapproachesandrequiredifferentamounts gone on to sell in the hundredsofthousands), I saw a reply noting, Yes, but Im not
ofeffort.Asmentionedabove,atthetopofthetreeinthisrespectisiRacing,anditwould surethecommunitywill.Formethishitsthenailonthehead.IfSHIFTisntyourcupof
be nice if other sims could offer a controller configuration as quick, easy and intuitive as tea, then fine. Im not saying those who dont like it are somehow wrongor rather,
offeredthere.ButletsnotforgettheeffortrequiredinthepastbyvariousISIbasedefforts. they are as far as I am concerned, but that is just my opinion: But for those thinking
Hell, rFactor required a community mod in order to offer what many regard as good FFB. SMS have dropped a giant clanger in the shape of SHIFT, Id say the community have
FactorinthatSHIFThasaneedorperhaps,moretothepoint,anabsoluteremittocater dropped anevenbigger one by revealinghowprecious littlethey knoworunderstand
fortheconsolecrowdandtheircontrolpadsthatmostPCbasedsimsdonthavetoworry about simulation. If anyone at EA who supposedly knows nothing about the
about,andsurelypeoplecanforgivesucharelativelyminorquibble? community were to take a look into some of our forums and blog sites, I think the
The reaction to the keyboardonly menu navigation (which was remedied with a community has done itself no favours in terms of securing itself any more focus and
patch almost immediately after release) is quite representative of some peoples attentioninthefuture.Andbeforeyouaskthesowhat?question,thesowhatisthat
attitudes.Ifyouactuallyjustusethekeyboard,withinafewminutesofnavigatingthe without financial backing, developers dont make simulators, and simracing, without
menus you quickly realise that they are simple and easy to move around in. Lest we competition,andwithoutnewproducts,dies.
forget that RBR does not offer mouse support in menus; should one of the greatest Toconclude,IapproachedSHIFTasasimandinsomedepartmentsitfallsshort,butin
simsevermade(stillheavilysupportedandplayedtothisday)bederidedandshunned others,itexcels.Havingreadcountlessthoughtsandopinionsfromthecommunity,Icant
forthisminoromission? helpbutgetthefeelingalothaveapproacheditasanarcaderacer,andthenjudgeditasa
Some clearly cant stand the fact that SHIFT is published by EA, either. This, to me, is sim.Thissimplyisntfair,norisitgoingtogarneranaccuratereflectionoftheproductasit
really quite pathetic. To try and quickly address a few points: EA have not stolen money stands.TakeacaroutinsingleplayerandsmasharoundwiththeAIanditwouldbepretty
fromthedevelopersinordertofundtheiradvertisingcampaign.Themoneypumpedinto hard to experience a realistic, simlike experience. However, acknowledge where SHIFT
the advertising campaign is what guarantees the sales, which secures the financial return, leans towards entertainment, and look for a sim experience where such elements dont
whichinturniswhatfacilitatesthedevelopmentoftitlesinthefirstplace.ThelikesofEA interfere, and youllfind what for me is a golden slice ofsimracing cake. I for one will be
turningtoadevteamwiththequalityandtrackrecordofSMSshouldbegreetedasanet returningtothekitchentofinishofftherestofitoverthecomingmonths,andeagerlyawait
winforthiscommunity.Herewehaveapublishingsuperpoweracknowledgingtheskillsand thenexttreatstobedeliveredfromtheSMSkitchen.

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LOOKINGAHEAD
WhilstSHIFTmightbarelybeoutofthedoor,itdoesraisethequestion:WhatnextforSMS?NothinghasbeensaidpublicallyregardingtheFerrariProject,but
chancesarewhateverrights/dealwereinplaceweretiedinwiththenowdefunct10tacleStudios.ThosewhohaverootedthroughthefilestructureofSHIFTwill
haveseenthatsomefragmentsofevidenceofthatprojectremain,butwhatbecame/willbecomeofthatprojectremainstobeseen.
IfIunderstandcorrectly,theNFSseriesissplittingwithalternatereleasesofdifferentversionsoftheseries;thenextreleaseseeminglylikelytobemoreinthe
traditionalspiritoftheseries,andthenatruesuccessortoSHIFTfollowingthat.WhetherornotSMSwillbebehindthatrelease,andjustwhatformitwilltake,
willlikelyremainamysteryforsometimeyet.
Aswillwhatelse(ifanything),SMSwillbepushingoutthedoor.OnepatchhasalreadybeenreleasedforSHIFT,andanotherisontheway.Ontopofthat,the
first DLC has been confirmed that sees a new multiplayer mode and five new cars joining SHIFTs ranks. Fingers crossed this is the first of a number of DLC
packagestocomeourwaybut,again,timewilltell.
WhateverSMSdoturntheirhandtonext,though,Ianticipateeagerly.WiththesigningofPiitulainen,myhopesandexpectationsforwhatBlimey!wouldgive
usquicklygrew.Withthecollapseof10tacleandtherebrandingofBlimey!asSMS,Iwasjusthopingtoseesomething,letaloneworryaboutexpectations.But
withtheirfirstproperproductoutofthedoor,SMShaveshowntheirhandandshownagoodone.
IftheirnextreleaseisNFS:SHIFT2TurboAlpha,thensobeit.IfitistheeventualemergenceoftheFerrariProject,thensobeit.Ifitisthemuchtalked(but
littleknown)aboutProjectFalcon,thensobeit.Whateveritis,myhopesandexpectationsaresethigh.Forthat,SMSonlyhavethemselvestoblame.

57 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection

BOBSIMMERMANSEARCHES
FORSHIFT SPLACEONTHECONSOLE

RACERGRID
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REVIEWSHIFT continued

NFSHistory:19942009,15,100,000,000 Tofurthercomplicatematters,thewheelsdegreeofrotationsettingisalsoinfluenced
Recentlypassingtheonehundredmillionunitssoldmarkeryes,youreadthatrightthe duringdrivingbytheturnlock,whichisfoundinthecarsetupportionofthegame,andcan
Need For Speed franchise is quite the feather in the EA Sports cap. Nevertheless, in the bechangedonceunlockedafterappropriategameprogression,and,further,isadjustable
beginning of this odd venture I call writing, I never imagined that a title from this series foreachandeverycarinthegame.Areyoufollowing?Yes,preciselywhyconsolegamers
wouldgetareviewinAUTOSIMSPORTmagazine.Somuchformypowersofprophecy;not dontwanttobotherwiththiscrap.
onlyarewereviewing(self)proclaimedsimulationsdevelopedfortheconsoles,butweare Havingsaidthat,Iwasusingawheeland,asweallknow,consoleButtonsusebuttons
nowintounchartedterritoryyes,werehavingfun! becausetheyracelyingontheircouchstrokingtheirjoypads.Aftersometrial anderror, I
WiththeexceptionofPorscheUnleashed,myplaytimewithanygameinthisserieshasbeen didfindanoptimalsettingandsettothetaskofdigginginandgrabbingaheapingportion
limited,thoughIdidmessaboutwithafewversionsoverthenearlytwentyyearhistoryofthe ofwhatIhopedwouldbeonehellofagoodtime.
franchise:Theseprovedamostlydispiritingdiversionwhichfeaturedwellusedroutinesofdoing
thisandthatbetweenthedriving,andfeaturingbackstoriesascaptivatingasJensonButtons ATIHD4870Issues
life:yes,formanythiswasmannafromtheracinggods,butfortherestofusblessedwithanIQ Giant triangles of colors were what met me when I installed the game and the patch.
hovering somewhere above single digitsthe NFS series had inexorably lost its way over the There was sound, I could steer the car, and for all intents and purposes, everything
years. Yes, one hundred million copies had been sold, but its latest efforts were not precisely seemednormal.ExceptallIcouldseeweretriangles.TheofficialFAQacknowledgesa
addingtothetotalwithmuchsuccess.Longtimefanspinedforanewdirection,andawhole fewgraphicalissuesthatmayarise,notablywithATIcards.MycardisanATIHD4870
newgenerationofgamerswasleftspeechlessbythesheerawfulnessof07sProStreetand08s and I had a bit of a mare getting SHIFT to run. Nothing I did would alleviate the
Undercover.EAwereforcedtotakethedecisiontochangetrackandshift(heyho!)towardthe graphical issues thatit should be notedare shared by far too many people for a
newexpectationsoftheracegamingmarket:Moresimulation,andmorefun.Meantime,backin releaseofthisimportancethatis,ifthe80,000views(atthetimeofthiswriting)ofthe
London, one of simracings greatest development teams had just gone bellyup and so thread regarding ATI issues with SHIFT at the official forum can be used to gauge the
synergysawthemakersofGTR2hiredtogiveNFSamakeover:AsLudwigmighthaveput it, extentoftheproblems.
Welldone,Belly! EvenmoreperplexingisthefactthattheXBOX360usesanATIasthegraphicsunit,
and it seemed to be working perfectly. Then again, it was probably a bit more critical
InterfaceAndMenuOptions that the console versions of this game shipped as bugfree as humanly possible.
As with any game, you have to start somewhere, and what better place than the main Whatever the case, Iwas onlyable to solve my particular problem by yanking out the
menu? Gameplay, audio, video, online, save/load, redeem codes and credits, all make an ATIandreplacingitwithanNVIDIAGTX260.OncetheNVIDIAcardwasinstalled,the
appearancehere,anditsrelativelystandardconsolefare,andisntsomethingyoullneedan gameranperfectly.
engineeringdegreetonavigate.However,itishighlyrecommendedthatyouspendsome Tofurthermuddythewaters,severalmembersofthestaffhereatAUTOSIMSPORT,
time in thecontrol settings menu(foundunderthe gameplaybutton)in order to get the allwithATIcards,hadnotasingleissuewithit.Gofigure
mostoutofthedrivingexperience.Personally,Ifoundthedefaultsettingsnearlyundrivable
withtheDrivingForceGT,butabitoftweakingenabledmetofindthesweetspot.
In this regard, I was a bit disappointed with SHIFT: GranTurismo 5: Prologue and the BasicGameplay
recently released Forza Motorsports 3 (reviewed elsewhere in this issue) feature wheel SHIFTtossestheplayerstraightintotheactionafterthecreationofanewdriverprofile,at
settingsthatworkpreciselyrightoutofthebox:WithSHIFT,mywheelstandardwas which time youll be introduced to your eyes and ears for the game, a voice that will
nighonunusable. ThePC suffersfrom thisaswell,butnot nearlytotheextentthePS3 periodically break in and inform you of one important item or another. Just the thing to
does, andI imagine Ian Bellsboys havejust learned animportantlesson: Inthe land of drive some folks insane, I found it infrequent enough as to not be too much of a bother.
console, the small stuff matters because people dont want to mess aboutif they did, Anyway,backtotheintroductiontothegameplayyoufindyourselfinawellpreparedcar
theydhaveaPC! withyourbuddy/chief/PA/orwhateverthehellisinformingyouofwhatisgoingonasyou


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wake from a profound bout of amnesia: The last thing you remember was piling your Dallara giving youanindicationthat youarewellonyourwayto becoming JensonButton, withouta
aroundWatkinsGlenandthenyouwokeuphere,inarcadeworld.ThePrisonerneverhaditthis doubtthegreatestracingdrivereva.
bad IjustrereadthelasttwoparagraphsandnowImconfused.No,notaboutJenson,butabout
Withhardlyenoughtime to think,Wow, the atmosphereinarcadeworld isratherpretty, pointsandbadgesandmasteringcornersandXPandwow,thatsoundslikealotofwork!Butnot
three clingsgo ding and apparentlyyouve just begunyour career: The result of this, you first toworry,rememberwereinconsolelandhere,soyoucanassumeitsallbasicallydoneforyou,
race,willbethebasisonwhichthegamewillsetyouraids.Nottoworryifthisendsindisaster, andindeedallthisinfoisstoredintheDriverProfilesectionofthemenuthatis,afewbutton
youcanalwayschangetheelectronicassistsoff,butitsanicetouch,andaniceintroduction to taps away. The game is also fully compliant with the PS3 trophy system, so you will see you
theworldofSHIFT. achievementsinthegametrackedthereaswell.
Withtheintroductiontoyourcareeroutoftheway,youmustnowgetonwiththebusinessof Butwearenotdoneyet.No,becauseinthelandofconsoles,wealwaysneedanemesis,and
risingthroughtherankstobecomingthegreatestdriverevalikeJensonButton.Getreadyfora SHIFT will periodicallyoffer yousomeelectronicfoolwhoneedstobespanked.Yourrival will
hugeamountofgameplayasyoufightyourwaythroughlevelsorasitscalledinSHIFTland, raisehisugly headshouldyoukeep doingwellin thegameandwilllikethat tallfellain that
Tierswhere the racing is varied, the cars evermore powerful, and the tests of their driving BruceLeemoviechallengeyouataparticulartrack.Youcanacceptthechallengeimmediately,
abilitiesevershifting.Fromtraditionalformatracingeventstodriverversusdriverduelevents, oryoucanlethimknowyourguyswillcallhisguysandyoullgetitonwhenyouhaveaSunday
SHIFT will not disappoint those wholike alittlemore beefin their burger: For traditionalsim offfromchurch.Youcanalsoignorehimcompletely,asJensonwouldanyotherworldchampion
racers,thisisallprobablytoomuch(youknow,actuallyhavingareasonforracingasopposedto inhistorysince,asweallknownowthankstoAutosport,hesthegreatesteva.
justgettingbehindthewheelofyourDallaraforfourhourspursuingthatillusive2/10thsthatwill TofurtherenhancetheworldofSHIFT,youcanmonitoryourfriends(realones,thatis)and
seeyourisefrom245thintherankingsto242nd),butthisishowitworksinconsolelandthey theirperformanceattrackswhichyouandtheyhaverun:Inorderforthisfunctiontowork,all
needtobegivenconstantchallengesandSHIFTdoesanepicjobofdoingpreciselythat. playersmustbesignedintothePlaystationNetwork,and,further,haveanEANationaccount
Simracers meanwhile would describe it asget a car, clear events, make money, collect (free,andyoudontevenhavetovote).Itcangiveyousomeincentiveasitisusuallyeasiertobest
stars,moveuptier,getanewcar,pimpyourride,andkeepdoinguntiltheend.Forthosewho theAIthanyourbuddies!
care, and as youd find in a classic RPG, you have driving levelsfifty in totalto obtain, From time to time during your career progression, you may also unlock certain invitational
independentofthetiers,andyoufurtheryourdrivingleveladvancementbyandImsurethis events:Theseeventsarespecialinthatmanyofthemwillputyouintoacarwellaboveyourcurrent
willshockyoubeingadrivinggamedriving!Duringeachrace,youaremonitored,forlackofa tierlevel,anditisagreatwaytoseewhatthehigherlevelswillbringonceyougettothem.
better term, and given XP (experience points, sort of like a Safety Rating except killing your
opponentswontseeanemailfromNiminyourinbox):Drivingaggressivelymeanwhile,willgive
youaggressionpoints,whiledrivingwithprecisionwillgiveyou,yes,precisionpoints,something
theeditorofthismagazineneverevenknewwasanoptionafter100hoursofplayinggofigure.
Youarealsojudgedbythelineyoutakethroughthebends,andyougainbonusesandawards
fordrivingaperfectlapthatis,formasteringeverycorner.Right,wereinarcadeland,soopen
up deepand swallow itdown, itdoesnttastequiteso bad after asixpack, asMadonna once
explained.
Yourealsogoingtoneedtoassemblestarsbeforeyoucanadvancetothenexttier,andalong
the way, in addition to XP and driving points, you will also awarded badges, either Minor or
Major.Thesemayindicateimportantmilestonesinyourcareersuchashittingacertainnumber
of miles (not opponents, Martini!) in the same car, winning a certain number of races, or
masteringcorners.AsyouobtainmoreandmoreMinorbadges,theybegintoturnintoMajor
badgesofbronze,silver,gold,and,yes,epic,furtherindicatingyourabilitiesonthetrack,and

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THEMENU
Fromthisscreen,allofthegamesetupistakencareof,fromcontrolstosound.
Eliminator
continued

Araceofmultiplelapswhere,attheendofeachlap,thedriverinlastplaceisremovedfromthe
DriverProfile event,repeatinguntilonlyonedriver,thewinner,isleft.
A career wouldnt be much of a career if you werent able to track your statistics. As you level up and obtain Drift
achievementsintheformofmajorandminorbadges,theDriverProfileistheplacetohavealookatitall. Justwhatitsays,youdriftyourwaytosidewaysgloryonatimedandmarkedcourse.Notallcars
DriverLevel are considered drift cars in the game, so make sure you have a driftcapable car ready in the
Similar in concept to the level system found in RPGs (although much more simplified), the Driver Level is your garage,andplentyoftime,asdriftingrequiresadelicatetouchtosucceed,andeventhenitcanbe
maptoyourultimategamegoal.Variousawardsaregivenasyoulevelup,cash,decals,andrims,etc.Withfifty elusive.
levelsinall,SHIFTprovidesforalargeamountofplaytime. DriverDuel
Cash Abestofthreebattle,itsjustyouandatopdriverinashowdownofwhoisbest:Button!
Topeightfinishersgetsomecash,andcashisimportantasitallowsyoutoupgradeyourcurrentcarorpurchasea Series
newone. Aseriesofracesspreadacrossmultipletracks,orinthecaseoftheRing,multiplesectionsofthe
QuickRace fulllayout.Pointsareawardedtothetopeightineachevent,andwinningtheseriesgivesanice
Select the number of opponents, track, and car, and off you go. A great place to test out a new upgrade or to cashbonusinadditiontotheracewinmoney.
learnatrackbeforeyoutackleitinthecareermode.YouwillearnProfilepointsandDriverProfileadvancements Endurance
inQuickRaceaswell. Only the hardcore need applyhourlong events designed to give you a thorough exercise in
Career maintainingfocusandconcentration,aswellasdealingwithseveralcompetitors.
ThemeatandpotatoesofSHIFT,youmustraceyourwaytothetopoftheheaparoundtheglobebymastering Manufacturer
notonlydifficulttracks,butvariedracingseriesaswell. Inthesebattles,everyonegetsthesamecar,apurebattleofskillanddrivingability,yourNOStank
CareerMap wonthelpyouhere!
Thisscreendisplaysyourcurrenttierandwhateventsareavailable.Alsodisplayedisthenumberofstarsrequired TimeAttack
tounlockthenexttier. Whilethefieldispopulatedwithotherdrivers,thisisntaracetobefirst,buttobefastest.Putin
Stars thefastestlaptowin.Oncethetimerisdone,theraceisover.
Inordertoadvanceyourcareer,youwillneedacertainnumberofstarstoreachthenexttier. HotLap
Badges Youaregivenatargetlaptimeandafewlapsinordertobeatit.Themultiplayercomponentallows
ArrivinginMinorandMajorform,badgesindicatesignificantmilestonesinyourcareer. for Race, Time Attack, and Drift events. All drivers will need a PlayStation Network account.
Rivals Multiplayer testing was limited as we could never seem to get enough guys together for a large
Dowellenoughforlongenoughandyouareboundtoupsetsomeone.Theyjustmightthrowachallengeyourway,and session.Forwhatitsworth,itwasasnaptosetup,andtheontrackactionwasgoodaslongasall
ifyoubeatthem,expectmoregoodthingstocomeintheformofbadgesandstars. theconnectionsweregood.OnlythePCversionwastestedonline.Settingupacustomsessionwas
SpecialInvitationalEvents relativelysimpleandseveralplayingtypesareoffered:
Givenoutatcertaintimesduringyourcareer,theseeventswillallowyoutodrivecarsbeyondyourcurrenttier Ranked
and/orcareerlevel. Theseracesgodowninyourpermanentrecord,sowatchitoutthere!
NFSLiveWorldTour Unranked
Theultimategoalfortheplayer,theWorldTourisatwoserieseventthatwilltakethedriverallovertheworldashe Finishingstatsarenotrecordedandthecashpayoutsareless.
orshetacklethequestofbestdriverontheplanetbehindJensonButton,ofcourse. QuickMatch
Events Browsetheelectronicether,pickaraceandhopinwiththedOOds.
Obviously youre going to need some sort of context if any of this is to mean anything, and when it comes to CreateMatch
drivinggames,eventsaregoodforthatsortofthing.SHIFToffersseveralracetypes. Fromhereyoucansetupyourownraceforothertojoin,RankedorUnranked,publicorprivate.
Race CustomMatch
YourbasicplainJanecircuitrace.Standingandrollingstarts. Findtheexacttypeofonlinematchyouwishtoparticipatein.

61 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSHIFT continued

Cars&Tracks
Sporting a stable of seventytwo cars, SHIFT offers plenty to choose from in the car
department.Eachcarhasbeenindividuallymodeledintermsofphysics,andcockpits,and
all are upgradable through the purchase of various addons. Each car can be individually
setup to the users preferences with a dazzling array of setup options, from steering to
aerodynamics. However, at the onset of your career, many setup changes are locked and
not adjustable until you have advanced far enough in your career: For some this will be a
turnoff,andIamsortofonthefenceIcandealwithhavingstockcarsatthebeginning,
butnotbeingabletoadjustanythingissomewhatunexpected.Thenagain,Idontgoout
and change the camber on my Pontiac G6 when it rains, but I do sometimes change the
radiostation.
Inaddition,somecarscanbeevenfurtherupgradedbypurchasingaWorkspackage.If
you have a Works capable car, you need to purchase every possible upgrade through
conventionalmeans(dontask)atwhichpointanewpurchaseoptionappearsallowingyou
to take that final step to fullblown racemachine glory. Extremely expensive, the Works
package puts in your hands a firebreathing, rubbershredding beast of metal that will
demandtheutmostcareandrespectonthetrack.
Speakingoftracks,thegameshipswithnineteenofferingvaryinglayoutsforatotaloffifty
possiblevenues.Severalofthetracksarefictional,butnotablerealworldofferingsincludeSpa
Franker Champs, Nordschleife, Road America, Silverstone, and Donnington (or is it
Donington?).NotableeffortsinthefictionaldepartmentareAlpental,andAmbushCanyon.
Graphically, as youd expect from simracings coolest developers, SHIFT is just sexy.
Colorfulandbrightwithdynamiclightingandshadows,thegameenvironmentsarefullof
objectsandhaveafullfeeltothem.Theyarenottheintricatejewelsthatarefoundatthe
endofalasergun,buttheyaremuchmorethansimplyadequate:Ievensawahelicopterin
theresomewhere,definitelythesortofgraphicaldiversionIcanappreciate.Skidmarks,tyre
smoke, windshield grime, flying parts, and a visual damage system round out the usual
suspects,butSMShavegivenSHIFTsomeuniqueimmersivedeviceswhichseesitrisehigh
abovetheusualfare.
This being a simracing developer, naturally cockpitview is de rigueur. You can ride on
therooflikeDenton,ofcourse,shouldyouprefer,oryoucanrideinthecockpit,likeaman.
Toenhancethefreneticconditionsinsidethecockpitofacartravellingathighspeed,not
only are the motions your body might go through simulated in a visual sense, but at very
highspeed,thereisalsoanallnewblurringeffectthatcanbestbedescribedassimulated
tunnelvision.Thecockpitdialsbecomeunreadableandyoufindyourselffocusing,intently,
onwhatisdirectlyinfrontofyou,asyoushouldwhendrivingquickly.Naturallythisneeds
tobesimulatedsinceyouraverageconsoledriverwilltreatspeedthesamewayhetreats

62 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSHIFT continued

wardOOd!Outsideoftheareadirectlyinthefieldoffrontalviewisablurring,franticmess, superfastAudiR8anditwasthecoolestthingintheworldbeingabletohearthevarious
bouncingallovertheplaceasthecarreactstothephysicalforcesoftheworldsince,as we scrubbingsoundsthatfourwheeldrivenvehiclemakes:Theindividualauditoryappearance
allknow,thefasteryougo,themoretheworldwillphysicallytryandslowyoudownjust ofeachtyrenotonlysoundedgreat,butmadeperfectsenseastheymatchedexactlywhatI
askJensonButtonwhospentadecadeinF1withouteverhavingtheabilitytoprovethathe wasdoingwiththethrottle.Thelouderthebetter!
wasthebesteva.Itsagreateffect,butsomemayfinditabittoomuchontheeyecandy
side:IanBellofcoursehaslongbeenanactiveproponentoffindingimmersivehooks,and
hespulleditoffherebigtime. BaselinesettingsfortheLogitechDrivingForceGTwheel,PS3
Also of note is the realistic physical behavior of the other cars you may see ontrack, SteeringDeadZone 0%
complete with suspension motion, body roll, tyre smoke, and skid marksindeed, you can AcceleratorDeadzone 0%
learnalotfromwhatishappeninginyouropponentscockpitjustbywatchingthecarandhow BrakeDeadZone 0%
itisreacting.Totopitalloff,thetracksaremodeledwithbumps,awelcomeenhancementin SteeringSensitivity 70%
consolelandwheremostracinggameshavebilliardtablesmoothracingsurfaces. AccelerationSensitivity 49%
Mentionedearlier,thedamagevisualsareanothervisualgem,butthedamageitself BrakingSensitivity 35%
well, it would appear that actual car stopping damage has not been activated as you can SpeedSteeringSensitivity 0%
driveheadonintobarriersathighspeedandkeepongoing.Nodoubtthiswillplease the ForceFeedback 10%
dOOds. What I couldnt do was make up the twentyone seconds I lost getting out of a TurningLock 270
convincinggraveltrapafterwhichIfoughtforvisualcuesthroughahalfrippedoffhood.In InverseShifting Off
addition,atthepointofimpact,Icouldhearanaudiblegruntfromthedriver,andtheworld CameraYAxis Normal
wententirelyblackandwhiteandblurry,nodoubttosimulateamassiveimpactwithsome Physics,TyreModelsAndMassiveObjectControl
immovableobject:Amnesiaagain,butwhenIawokeIwasstilldrivingmySkyline.Iwould WhentheannouncementwasmadethatSHIFTwasgoingtofeaturemoreofasimulation
havelikedtohaveseensomefunctioningdamage,butthisisfarfromashowstopper:There likedrivingexperience,thegeneralconsensus(thatis,outoftheonethousandninehundred
is,incaseyourewondering,notogglefordamage. andseventytwopeoplewhoareactivemembersofthesimracingcommunity,threewere
The PS3 version has two output resolutions: 480p (720x480 progressive) and 720p incompleteagreement)wasthatthiswasjustalotoftalk,andtherewasnowayEAwere
(1280x720 progressive), but I am not sure of the native resolution of the game. The PC goingtoallowfortheirflagshipracertoturnallsim.
versioncouldbesettoprettymuchanyresolutionIranitat1980x1200,and,asonemight Asitturnedout,SMSwereindeedgivenagreen(ish)lighttodevelops0methingalittle
expect,thegraphicslookednoticeablybetteronthePCversion,butkeepinmindthat the morecomplexthanpivotpointphysics:WhattheydeliveredtoEA,afewmonthslater,is
consoleoutputwasbeingspreadoutoverafortytwoinch1080ptelevision,soitisboundto oneconvincingpieceofsimulationthatincludesatyremodelthatputsmuchofwhatwe,in
lookabitundertheweatherwhencomparedtothePCversion. PCland,liketocallsimulators,toshame.Youwontmistake it for iRacing, butyoucant
IdontmeantosaythegraphicsweredownonthePS3,quitetheoppositeSHIFT isa help but notice how far from what we like to call arcade it really is. The keyto
greatlookinggameonthePS3and,whileitwouldhavebeennicetohavea1080poption,it summariseisthephysicsenginerippedoutofISI(andanengineIanBellandco.massage
didntaffectgameplayintheslightest.Moreover,theactiononthetrackturnedouttobeso betterthananydeveloperontheplanet,evenISIthemselves!),andatyremodeldeveloped
goodthatafewjaggiesherearetherewentessentiallyunnoticed. byEeroPiitulainen.
However,beforewe gotoo farinourplaudits,we do haveafew issues. Thereis no
Sounds tyrewear.Whichisoddbecausethereistyreheating,anoddchoiceofpriority,then,and
Pumpingout5.1surround,SHIFThassomeofthemostgutpoundingcarsoundstoeverbe one that is particularly noticeable in the early parts of the game when the race are short,
featuredonagame:Nomattertheride,theyallsoundfantastic,andasyouupgradeyour intenselyruggedtwolapaffairswhichofferhardlyenoughtimeforatyretowarmup,much
favorite ride, the sounds will change to reflect your new tricks. I was blasting around in a less wear out. With longer events, and in time attacks, the lack of tyre wear is clearly a

63 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSHIFT continued

concessiontogameplayasopposedtorealworldassetmanagement.Havingsaidthat, the byyou,notintoyou,orthroughyou,orrandomlyrunningintoatreeat200km/h.No,the


way the tyres feel through the wheel is damn fine. This feel will most definitely feel daysofthesuperadvancedcomputingdevicesarelongbehindus,andSHIFTaddsnothing
convincing enough to make you forget any inaccuracies in the overall physics and tyre but more shame on our computercontrolled friends abilities. But fair is fairthe AI in
system. If SHIFT does one thing inordinately well, it convinces you that you are, in fact, SHIFT,canbedrivenwithandaround.IthinkweoughttocallthemGoldmanfromnow
drivingaheavyobjectquickly:SHIFTobeysthelawsofphysicsinarealisticandbelievable on:Youknow,thetypeofbankerwhoyoutrustwithyourmoneyknowingfullwelltheyre
way,andthetyremodelwillconveythistoyouthroughhyperresponsivefeedback.Ifyou gonna screw you at the first chance they get because, well, thats just their nature.
like to be heavy on the gas, plan on a lot of time offtrack, crawling back on through Sometimestheyllmakeyoumoney,buteventually,inevitably,theywillscrewyou.Onthe
annoyingsandandgraveltraps.Driveitsmoothandinarealisticmanner,andyouwillbe goodside,theAIinSHIFTisnotthecarwreckthattheGranTurismoserieshasprovidedus
amplyrewardedwithadrivingexperiencethatmayevencauseyoutohavefun. withovertheyears,andSHIFTwillnotofferyouthatlevelofnonstopbumpercarsofdoom
Alsonoteworthyisabitmorecontrolatthelimitthanwemaybeusedtofromdedicated shitness.Truthis,yourbeststrategyistogetinfrontandsweetJesuswhateveryoudodont
simulators, but it never gets to the point where it feels canned, or scripted. With the lookbehindyou!
outstandingfeedbackofwhatthetyresaredoingthroughthewheel,youllfindthatwhat Andthat,really,sumsupSHIFT,SMS,andthecurrentstateoftheNFSseries:Theyve
worksinthemosthardcoreofsimswillalsoworkinSHIFT;theoldadageistrue,sometimes juststuckthemselvesonthefrontrowwithsomeseriousupgradesandnowsharethegrid
youhavetoslowdowntospeedup,andthisholdstrueinSHIFTsphysicalworld.IanBell withForza3.Inthepits,meanwhile,GranTurismowaitswithitstyrewarmersonandsome
whogaveustheiceskatingescapadesofGTRwenttheoppositewaywithGTR2,andhere somelastminutepreparations.
inSHIFTheseemstohavefoundahappymediumtohisoftstatedbeliefthatcarsare,in Whateverhappens,SMShavejustdrivenNeedForSpeedfromitsusualmidpackberth
essence, simple to control. After all, if Jeremy Clarkson can powerslide a 500BHP Ferrari straight to the front of the grid from where its going to take some major work from the
without killing himself, there is no reason why the rest of us cant do similar things in competition to dislodge them anytime soon. Kinda like Jenson Button last year, come to
bespokesportscars.Yes,overthelimitandatthelimitthingsdogetabitscary,andyes, thinkofit
weassimracerswillgettothelimitofthesecarsperformancewhileJeremyClarksonand
everyotherdentistrunningaboutintheirFordGT40swont,butthatisnottosaythata
carshouldbeintrinsicallyimpossibletocontrolontheedge.Theevolutionofoursimulators
oflatehasindeedbeentoofferuscarsthatarefarmorecatchableandinSHIFT,IanBell
andco.demonstratethattheyreonthesamepagehereastheothermajordevelopers.
If you like tinkering with the car, meanwhile, the setup optionsonce unlockedput a
lot of power at your fingertips, whether it is an aerodynamic adjustment to get a fully
upgrade Porsche Cayman to behave, or a steering lock change on a Viper to put the final
touchofcontrollingthatbeastbeforeitkillsyou.Infact,ifyouareasimengineer,you will
almost certainly need to become familiar with setup changes: That Porsche Cayman, for
instance,fullyupgraded,isanundrivablemonstrosity.
Forthosewhoaremoreinterestedinthegameplayasopposedtothefinerpointsofa
physicsmodel,thereareplentyofdrivingaidsthatcanbeactivatedsonooneisleftbehind.

Goldman
TheAIaresomethingofananomalyinSHIFT.Forsomereason,badAIseemstobeastaple
of many console and PC racing games, and long gone are the heady days of 1998 when
GrandPrixLegendsdisplayedAIsorealisticyouwouldcurseoutloudatthemastheydrove

64 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSHIFT continued

NFS:SHIFT

WHATITHAS


Stunning physics and tyre model provide convincing

ontrackcarbehavior
Detailedcareermodeprovidesformanydifferingrace

92
typesandsubstantialgameplay

Cockpit environment effects add to immersion and

senseofurgency

Convincinggraphicswithdynamiclightingandshadows

Wellexecturedupgradepathforeachcar

One of the most outstanding ForceFeedback effects


everseenontheconsole
Replaymoduleandtheabilitytotakephotosthatcan
beuploadedtoEANation

WHATITDOESNTHAVE

Damageeffectsarevisualonly

Notyrewear

Earlycareerracesareabittoobrief

PCgraphicaldisplayissuesforsomeusersofATIcards

SHIFT,asaoneplayerracinggame,succeeds,butasaoneplayerracingsim,it
fails. In contrast though, as a one player driving sim, and as an online racing
game/sim,itsucceedsandsucceedswithseriousconviction
65 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection


ISIsSuperleague
REVIEW Formula

Superleague
HRISTOITCHOV

LikeA1GP,SuperleagueFormulaisyetanotheropenwheeledseriesthatcomeswithamuchneeded
hookinaworldthatisdominatedbyFormulaOnethistime,insteadofracingforyournation,youll
be racing for a football team in 750BHP cars constructed by lan Motorsport Technologies, the
umbrella company that hosts the race car manufacturing companies owned by the Panoz Motor
SportsGroup.TheofficialsimcomesfromISIonitsrFactorplatform,andisdesignedbytheCTDP
mod group who have made the worlds best F1 sims since Crammond left the scene. It is also,
therefore,amodofanISIengineaseverysinglesimmadebySimBin,SlightlyMadStudios,anda
handfulofotherdevelopersthiscentury,whichmeansitsirrelevant,andifyourecomingintothis
reviewexpectingtohear,Oh,itsanrFactormod,youreinthewrongplace.Sowiththatoutofthe
way,itstimetoaskthequestionthatactuallymatters:Isitanygood?Tofindout,wesentacopyto
www.autosimsport.net
66 Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
Bulgariasresidentalien,HristoItchov
REVIEWSuperleague continued

I wasnt entirely surewhether or not to commit todoingthis reviewasitssomethingIve FRANCHISETEAMS


neverdonebefore.ItsnotthatIdidntwanttotakeiton,butmyapproachtosimracing, A.C.Milan,A.S.Roma,AtlticoMadrid,CRFlamengo,FCBasel,FCMidtjylland,
andsimsinparticular,hasalwaysbeenblackandwhite:Youwillrarelyhearmepraiseasim, F.C.Porto,GalatasarayS.K.,LiverpoolF.C.,OlympiacosCFP,OlympiqueLyonnais,
and more often than not I seem to focus on a sims limitations, particularly in its physics PSVEindhoven,RangersF.C.,R.S.C.Anderlecht,SCCorinthians,SevillaFC,
(whichmatterthemosttome). SportingCP,TottenhamHotspurF.C.
Inanycase,runningthesamesimsandmodstheselastfewmonthshasbeenabitofa MOTORSPORTTEAMS
chore, and that, come to think of it, was the dealclincher: Something fresh and different AlanDockingRacing,AzertiMotorsport,BaraziEpsilon,GURacingInternational,
was precisely what Dr. Sim had ordered. The process was somewhat odd, I should add: HitechRacing,ReidMotorsport,Zakspeed
Oliver Day contacted me on behalf of Alex, and asked whether Id be interested in the

review, then Alex followed that up with an email that containedwell, nothing, a blank
Once thesim loads up and youve created your profile, youregreeted by a simple but
email!Thesecondone,though,camethroughwithaspecialsecretcodealongwithataut
functional main menu behind which a catchy song hums away: I actually quite like it, it
list of instructions about what I should say and thinknaturally, this was all ignored on
doesntgettiresometooquickly,andcomplementsthebackgroundneatlywhileyouclick
OliverDaysadvice.
around. And you will be clicking around: For those of you who have played any ISI sim
Sonowthatmyegocentricintroductionisoutoftheway,Ipresentyou
before, youll find your way around the menus quickly enough as they follow the usual

structurefor anyone else, there are textual messages explaining each buttons and links
SSSUU RLLLEEEA
UPPPEEER
R AG
A GU
G U OR
UEEEFFFO
O RM
RMMU
U A
ULLLA
A
functionwhenyouhoverthemousecursoroverthem.Whileitspleasanttotheeye,Ifind
Letme,asreviewersseldomare,behonestrightoffthegrid:Icameintothissimwithtwo
that having icons as menulinks instead of simple text can be confusing at times as you
prejudicesforemostinmymind.First,Ididntlikethesmellofcommercialismsurrounding
struggletomemorizewhich image means whatasI said,youll be listening tothe music
thisproduct,andsecond,IhavenevergottenalongwithISIsims.Ihave,however,enjoyeda
quiteabitwhileyougetaccustomedtowhateachicondoes.
couple of wellmade rFactor mods in my time, and with the Superleague sim using an
Asforthechoiceofteamsandvehicles,thesimdoeswhatitsmeanttodosimulateall
updatedrFactorengine,mybiaswassetasideascuriousitywontheday.
theavailablefootball(thatssoccerforourAmericanreaderswecallitfootballbecausewe
Thedownload,meanwhile,wassurprisinglysmall:Amere400Mb(dontyoujusthatemods
kick the ball with our feet whereas what you call football involves three thousand dope
that packup gigabytes of skins?). All was going well then, exceptit was hosted on
addicts throwing a ball at each other) club cars, with excellent paint jobs and car models.
Megaupload.Youwouldexpectacompanytohaveitsownhostorsomething,oratleastuse
You can tell the attention to detail thats beenput in making the 3D model of thecars as
something faster than Megaupload! But there it is: Youll be downloading ISIs new sim over
everylittlepartisbeautifullymade,andtheproportionsseemtohavebeenmetperfectly.If
Megaupload,andthingswontgoasquickasthese750BHPsingleseaters,thatsforsure!
CTDParentourmosttalentedmodteam,thenIdontknowwhois
Two hourslater, I had the siminstalled,andwasstaring at aprompt thataskedmeto
Imnotafootballfan,Ishouldadd,soImnotknowledgeableaboutteamsandplayers:
decidewhetherIwantedthesixtyminutefreetrial,orwhetherIwantedtobuythething:
Mychoiceofcarcamedownmostlytoitsskin,butfromcomparisonsbetweenthesimcars
After entering the coupon code, I was up and running with the (bynow) wellknown ISI
andtherealworldcars,Idsaythesimhasgottheshape,colourschemes,andgenerallook
graphics setup utility. You can set up to use either DX7, DX8 or DX9 graphics features,
spoton.
beside the resolution, refresh rate, and antialiasing levels. (I do hope one day we will be
Once you choose your car, you then need to select two types of upgrades: One for
abletosetthosefromwithinthesim.)
physics, and another for season development. The two options available for physics
ConsideringmyratheroldPC,thegameloadedratherquickly,andImustsayIlikedthe
influencethewaythecarhandles,andaremeanttosatisfybothcasualplayers,aswellas
shortbutintense,actionpackedintro:Themusicwasabitontheheavysideformyliking,
hardcoresimracers.Asspecifiedinthedescriptionofthetwooptions,youcansafelyusea
butitseemedtofitwiththespeedandhighpowerofthecars,thecamerasswitchingabout
keyboard or a gamepad with the Easy setting, while the Pro setting is meant for
tomatchthepaceandrhythm.Illprobablywatchitagainoneofthesedays!
wheel/pedalsusers.

67 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSuperleague continued

Theseasonupgradesreflectthechangesdonetothecarsforeachdifferentraceduring
theseason,andsincetherearesixracesperseason,youllgetsixupgrades(thatsforAlex).I
didntnoticeanyvisualorhandlingdifferencesfromusingtheupgrades,butthenIassumeit
would take a little longer than the week Ive had with this sim to correctly gauge a
performanceenhancement.Thosechanges,Idimagine,willberathersubtle,butstill,kudos
toISIforusingthisfeature.
Thethirdoptiononthecarselectionmenuisashowroomwhereyoucanviewyourcar
onfullscreenandrotateitabout:Itsaniceoptionforvideoandscreenshotmakers,aswell
aspeopledevelopingtheircarskins,orjustwantingtoenjoythelookofthewholecar.AndI
imagineitalsocharmedtheSuperleagueFormulaownersandfranchisees.

G
G NG
GEEETTTTTTIIIN
N G FFA
GF A R
ASSSTTTEEER
R
Ifyourerunningatestsessionorasinglerace,youregiventhechoiceofatrackonwhichto
conduct that session. There are six tracks availableonly sixMagny Cours, Estoril,
Donington,Zolder,Monza,andJarama.Inthissingleracemode,yourepermittedtosetup
thelengthofpracticeandqualifyingsessions,aswellaswhetheryouwanttobotherwitha
warm up session or not. There are also two weather conditions availablesunny or
overcastandyoullbepleasedtolearnthattheyactuallydoinfluencethetemperatureson
thetrack,bothsurfaceandambient.Icanonlyhopethisisatipofthehatforwhatwecan
expectinrFactor2:Iknowthatwhenmostthinkofweather,theythinkofrain,butreally,
ambienttemperaturehasanoticeableeffectoncarandtyreperformance.

Therearealsomoredetailedsettingsforracesessions,butthoserequireyoutodothem

TheForceFeedback,sound,anddriver through the Gameplay Options menu where you can set either timebased or lapbased
length of races, number of laps/minutes, time of the day when the race is held, the

positioncombinebrilliantlyand maximumnumberofopponents,flagrules,damage,wearscale,andsoforth.
Onceyouvesetupyourpreferencesandthetrackhasloaded,yourepresentedwitha

convincingly;youwillbelieveyouredriving list of drivers participating in the session along with a few buttons leading to the game
optionsandcarsetupmenus,aswellasachatwindow.Youcanalsominimizetheinterface

aquickformulacar.Indeed,Idgoasfaras ifyoudliketowatchtheontrackaction,too.
Asasimracer,Ilikedwellingintosetups,sobeforeIwentontrackItookalookatthe
Garage menu. Its structure, I found, led to some confusion as it appears somewhat
tosaythattherearenotmanyothersimsor reversedtowhatImusedto,andwhatsimracerswillbeaccustomedtoseeing:Themost
advancedsettings,forinstance,areaccessedfromthetopmenubuttons,whilethebasics
modsthatdeliversuchanoverallsensation lie at the bottom left. Another element that adds to the confusion is that, any time you
enterthecarsetupmenu, youre offered thesimplifiedversionofsettingupthecar,with
ofreallybeingthere justfoursliderscontrollingtheaerodynamics,suspension,gearratios,andfuel,forcingyou
toconstantlyclicktotheothersetupsectionsifyouwanttousethem.

68 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSuperleague continued

Thesetupoptionsavailable,however,areconsiderableasonewould
expect from such a car and simulator as this. Gear ratios, wing angles,
differential lock, brake bias, engine RPM, radiator, weight distribution,
springs and shocks, ride height, camber, caster, toeyou get the
picture.Yourealsogiveninformationonthelastmeasuredtemperature
of the tyres (inner, middle, and outer edges). Additionally, you can set
up the amount of fuel for your next outing, as well as plan your race
strategynamely,thenumberoftimesyouintendtostop,andthefuel
loadyoureplanningtorunwitheachstop.

FFFAA R SSTTTIIILLLLLL
RS
ASSSTTTEEER
Aftermakingsuretolowerthedefaultsteeringratio(alwayshavetofor
my wheel), I was finally ready to get ontrack. And I was in for a big
surprise. The cockpit, I can report, is a wondrous place to be, both
realisticandfinelyrendered,andnotjustthat,butthedriverspositionis
lowanddeep,andgivesyouarealsenseofwhatitsliketobeinoneof
these streamlined machines. For me this is one immediate telltale of
whetherasimormodistakingitselfseriously:Thepositionofthedriver.
If its way too high and not realistic, you can usually turn the thing off
righttherebecauseitllprobablyjustgetworsefromthere.
Thesteeringwheel,meanwhile,hasvariouslevelsofdataavailableon
Afinalpointandbynomeansasanafterthought its LCDs, and some of it, I noticed, is rather useful: Personally, though, I always find it a bit
distractingandawkwardtodriveacarwhenImseeingitssteeringwheelrotateroundonits
istheintroductionofflatspotsinanISIsim. own,soIturnitoffwheneverIminaseriousrace.Whenyoudothat,youwillbepresented
with the name of the football club on the dashboard, which I suppose could be motivation
rFactor2?Ifyoulockthetyresunderbraking,youwill while driving if youre a fan of the team. Naturally, if youre a Man Utd supporter, but like
eventuallyflatspotthetyresand,oncethat drivinginred,youllhaveLiverpoolFCinyourface,andthatmayprovokeyoutocommitting
suicide:BeingaManUtdsupporter,Iwouldnaturallyencourageyoutodojustthat!
happens,youllquicklynoticethevibration, To be more objective, though, I left the steering wheel visible during my first laps at
Donington(atrackIknowwell).Thedeepseatpositioncombinedwiththesteeringwheel
especiallyathighspeeds,andfromthenon,asitisin takesupalotofyourview,andIfounditdifficulttobeprecise,ortogaugehowfaroutmy
reallife,youwilllanduplockingthetyresevenmore. carextended.Ireallylikedthatbecauseyouhavetorelyonknowingthetrackalotmore,
andentermostcornersonmemoryalone,especiallyfastcorners,orcornersgoingdownhill.
Allofthatmakesthedrivingdemandingbut Itstoughdrivingamodernsingleseaterwhenyourenotsittingongrandmaspillow!
enjoyableandrealistic Thesensationofbeingstrappedinsideapowerfulsingleseaterisdeliveredwell,itreally
is. I came into this sim in complete ignorance as Id never even heard of the Superleague
series (nor read the Davide Rigon interview in AUTOSIMSPORTRigon being the series

69 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSuperleague continued

inauguralseasonchampionseethislinktoreadabouttherealthing),andImustconfessto
having been a bit surprised at the power available under my right foot! Being a bit of an
onboardvideojunkie,Idsaythesecarsarecomparabletoearlyandmid90sFormulaOne
inthewaythecarbehaves.Indeed,sincebothF1andSuperleaguerunatMonza,adirect
comparisonispossible:ThefastestlapinF1in2009wasa1:22.955,whilethefastestlapin
Superleague,twentysevendayslater,wasa1:36.444:Thatis,almostfourteensecondsper
lapslower.Thisgap,Iassureyou,isnotasaresultofthetwelvecylinder4.2litrelumpatthe
back: That thing will boot you on your way with 750BHP at 10,500RPM, which compares
favourablywiththenewrestrictedF1enginesthatreputedlykickoutabout780BHP.
Theacceleration,therefore,ismassive,andyoucaneasilyspinyourreartyresasthegrip
comes and goes (a bit too suddenly for comfort!). The car reacts well to setup changes,
though, and youll need to gettothatquicklybecause thedefault setupsaresloppy,soft,
loose, and feature a differential with practically no lock, which will make it extremely
difficulttocontrolyourdirectionincorners.
Iquicklywentbacktothegarageanddidtheusualsetupmagic,andaminutelaterIwasout
again, but this time able to attack each corner with confidence. The feedback, I quickly
discovered, is excellent; you feel each little undulation and irregularity on the track, aswell as
eachtendencyofthecartogetloose.AnothertipofthehattorFactor2perhaps?Iespeciallyliked
theinitialresistanceonturnin,itremindedmeofhowitfeltdrivingagokart,andtheresistance
offersyouplenty offeel when youregoing throughthehighspeedbits.TheForceFeedback,
sound(moreonthatinabit),anddriverpositioncombinebrilliantlyandconvincinglyandyouwill

believeyouredrivingaquickformulacar.Indeed,Idgoasfarastosaythattherearenotmany
othersimsormodsthatdeliversuchanoverallsensationofreallybeingthere.
Thereare,however,afewproblems.Tobeginwith,thewaythetyresbehavepastthe
peakofadhesionis,tomywayofthinking,odd,andIsuspectthisisnotwhatwellbeseeing Thegearboxmodel,too,issomethingthatsomeof
in rFactor2. The tyres feel authentic all the way through their grip until you push past the
limitthen things get insufferable. The car seems to begin to float and slide for a bit too
youmightneedsometimegettingusedto,sinceyou
long, as if its suddenly stepped onto a different surface. And its not that youre spinning cantshiftgearsquicklyunderbraking:Ifyoudo,
around,youcanstillcontrolthecar,butyouloseallfeelforit.Ithoversandmovesaround
until you either snap completely into a spin, or regain the comfortable zone. Sadly, to be
youllenduplockingthereartyres.Again,thisisa
abletogoreallyfast,youneedtostepintothatawkwardconditionasoftenasyoucan,asit muchneededfeatureinsims,andcomplimentsto
allowsyoutocarrymorespeedintotheturns.Slowbendsinparticulararetroublesomeas
youcancompletelyslidearoundwiththeuseofthrottleandbrake,andifyouchoosenot ISI.Youllneedtodropyourrevsbeforecarefully
to, you simply cannot go as fast. I refuse to believe a slick tyre behaves this way. Higher
speedhandling,however,ismuchbetter;astheaerodynamicskickin,thecarispushedto
shiftingdown,andthatfeltsatisfyingandrealistic
theground,whichresultsinacarthatbehavesalotmorenaturally.Theabovementioned tome
problemisstillpresent,though,ifyouhappentolosetherearend.

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REVIEWSuperleague continued

bigthumbsuphere:Teamsdonthaveahundredcogwheelsinreality,anditsabouttime
simssimulatereality.Thegearboxmodel,too,issomethingthatsomeofyoumightneed
sometimegettingusedto,sinceyoucantshiftgearsquicklyunderbraking:Ifyoudo,youll
enduplockingthereartyres.Again,thisisamuchneededfeatureinsims,andcompliments
toISI.Youllneedtodropyourrevsbeforecarefullyshiftingdown,andthatfeltsatisfying
andrealistictome,althoughImnotusedtodoingit.Anotheradditiontotherealismisthe
lackofenginebraking,evenatmaximumsettinginthecarsetupmenu.Itmakesyoufocusa
lotmoreonthemomentyouletoffthebrakeandstepontothethrottle,becauseitstoo
simpletocarryjustabittoomuchspeedandmissyourline.
Thesuspensionreactstoeachlittlebump,camber,crowning,orkerbwithfirmbelief,andit
also reacts noticeably to setup changes. Combined with feedback and audio effects, you can
instantlynoticewhensomethingsnotrightwithyoursuspension,beitsettingsordamage.The
shockabsorbers and undertray bottoming out is easy to recognize as well, and that makes
improvementstothesetupaloteasiertoaccomplish.Imnotentirelysure,butIalsothinkthe
simmodelsbrakefadingandbrakesfailure:WhiledrivingaroundinaracewiththeAI,Ihadmy
leftfrontbrakecompletelygiveupatonepoint.Youalsohavetostephardonthebrakesifyoure
comingfromhigherspeeds,andthenmodulateitasthespeeddecreases.Excellentstuff.
Thedamagemodel,apartfromthethingsImentioned,isdetailedbutalsotoneddown,
so you need to hit a lot of stuff to actually rip off a wheel. The body itself never gets
damaged,whichIdventuretoguesswaspartofISIscontractualobligationswiththeseries

owners, but wings and smaller body parts will detach easily in a collision. The suspension
The Panozdesigned Superleague car is no slouch, and along with stateoftheart technology, the armscanalsobend,asyoudexpect.
cars also feature underbody aero to bring the action closer: For a buttonbybutton account of the
wheel, please see Vol4 Num4 which features an interview with Davide Rigon, the series debut OW
SSSLLLO
O W NG
WIIIN
N GD
G DO
DO WN
OW
W N
N
seasonchampion TheAI,aswehavecometoexpectfromISI,isrubbish.SinceIhavenotbeenabletofind
anyonerunningthissimonline(seriously,notone!),IvebeenracingtheAIforaweek,andI

cantellyouthattheyareaggressive,ruthless,and,ermutterlyinsane.Well,tobehonest,I
Afinalpointandbynomeansasanafterthoughtistheintroductionofflatspotsinan didnt expect anything else from the sim, but its still irritating whenever you race the AI.
ISIsim.rFactor2?Ifyoulockthetyresunderbraking,youwilleventuallyflatspotthetyres Themomentyouletthemhaveabitofroad,theyllgototheextremetotryandoccupyit.
and, once that happens, youll quickly notice the vibration, especially at high speeds, and Theyllcutoffyourfrontend,spinyouaround,hityouontheside,atanyspeedandunder
from then on, as it is in real life, you will land up locking the tyres even more. All of that any circumstances. And thats at fifty percent aggression setting ... I really hope more
makesthedrivingdemandingbutenjoyableandrealistic. peoplebuythissimbecauseoffline,withtheAI,itsatragedy.
Tyresaside,Ireallyenjoyedthewaytheengine,drivetrain,suspension,andbrakesare Another weird thing I noticed is that the AI is about two seconds quicker in qualifying
modelled.Thetorqueisdeliveredathighrevs,whichcanbetricky,butIsupposethatsjust thanintherace.WhileIcanchallengethemandkeepupintherace,Ialwaysendupatthe
its characteristic. It makes it unpredictable to throttle out of slow corners, and its also back of the grid in qualifying. And as I just said, its not much fun trying to compete with
difficulttosetupthegearratiosas,unlikeothersimsandmods,youdonthaveaninfinite themafterwards,though,tobefair,Ididhaveafewgoodbattleshereandthere,butthatis
numberofgearratiosavailablehere.That,ofcourse,makessense,andIhavetogiveISIa farfromthenorm.

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As for the other four tracks, though, Ill be polite and call them disappointing.
MagnyCoursisntbad,asfarasitgoes,butithassomenoticeableflawsinthelayout,
while Zolder, Jarama, and Estoril are simply mediocrewere down to what youd get
fromsosomodmakers.Youcantelltheyvebeendoneinarush,andmanually.Even
thestraightsarentalwaysstraight,trackwidthsarewayoffinplaces,cornerradiuses
vary way too much compared to the real thing, nonexistent cambers exist, and that
just scratching the surface (pun perhaps intended). Im sorry to say, but I dont
understandwhy,aftersome ten yearsin thebusiness, ISI arestillso inconsistent with
theirtracks.
Dont get me wrong, though, visually the tracks are quite handsome and, given a
few updates on how shaders are used, they would be rather pleasant to the eye. The
surface reflection and textures blends nicely, offering a solid sense of speed, and the
offsidegrassandgravelareasarewellpresented.IstillgetthefeelingasIalwaysdo
withISI(butthatsjustme)thatitsallabitcartoonish,withsomecolourscontrasting
waytoomuch and drawing away from theimmersion.But sincethesim doesntusea
completelynewgraphicsengine,onecannotexpectalotmore.
One thing that I instantly did notice, though, is a massive improvement in FPS:
DespiterunningDX9graphicsonmaximum,and afullfield ofcars,Ihad a reasonable
amount of FPS, something that is way beyond my current machines capability with
eitherrFactororiRacingrFactor2?
Finally, as promised, I want to touch briefly on the sound. The sim excels in this

department, it really does: The engine sound is as loud as youd expect, and the low
Thetyresfeelauthenticallthewaythroughtheir frequencygruntgivesyouthefeelingofastrongpowerplantworkingonthelimitright
behind you. The TV camera view becomes a lot more believable with the combined
gripuntilyoupushpastthelimitthenthingsget sounds of ambient track objects and the roaring field of cars, making for enjoyable
spectatingorreplaywatching.
insufferable.Thecarseemstobegintofloatand Overall,IwaspleasantlysurprisedbySuperleagueFormula,anditsdefinitelyasim
slideforabittoolong,asifitssuddenlystepped thats going to get its fair share of followers, Im sure of that. The potential for close
and serious racing is in thereas it is in reallife, since the cars come with a lot of
ontoadifferentsurface underbodyaerotoallowthemtoruncloseandonecancertainlyhavefunracingwith
Asfarasthetracksareconcerned,itsabitdisappointingtohavejustsix,butIguess,beinga other fellow simracers. Theres also a lot in there that makes me think rFactor2 cant
simulationoftheSuperleagueFormula,itcouldnthavebeenotherwise.Havingsaidthat,Iwas come soon enough. All in, ISIs first sim since rFactorand first commercial sim since
expectingtosay,Itmaybejustsixtracks,buttheyaremodelledextremelywell.Yeah,well,so NASCAR Thunder in 2003is a solid sim with superb ForceFeedback, sound, and car
muchforwishfulthinking.IwilladmitDoningtonandMonzaaremodelledinintimatedetail,and graphics,exceptionaltyre model(upuntil the limit),andisletdown,onlypartially, by
youllbehardpressedtofindanybetterversionsofthesetwovenuesonanysim.Apartfroma limited content, a couple of tired tracks, and the usual AI faults. Definitely worth its
fewcornerradiuses,camberandaltitudeproblems,bothtracksseemtobespotontome. newpriceofUS$19.99.

73 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSuperleague continued

All in, ISIs first sim since rFactorand first


SUPERLEAGUE commercial sim since NASCAR Thunder in
2003is a solid sim with superb Force

FORMULA2009 Feedback, sound, and car graphics,


exceptional tyre model (up until the limit),
WHATITHAS and is let down, only partially, by limited
Solid physics and tyre model provide convincing on content, a couple of tired tracks, and the
trackcarbehavior usual AI faults. A steal at its new price of
Seasonupgrades,flatspottingtyres,brakefailure US$19.99
Cockpitenvironmentistopnotch
ForceFeedbackeffectsareexcellent
Astonishingmodels
Ambientweather
Mulitplayer, as youd expect from an rFactorbased
sim,issuperb


WHATITDOESNTHAVE
Tyremodelisbrilliantuptothelimit:Afterthatitgets
sloppyandodd
AIispoor
Only6tracks,twoofwhicharefantasic,theother4
instantlyforgettable
88

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REVIEW
SUPERCAR
CHALLENGE SUPERCAR
CHALLENGE

JONDENTON

BOBSIMMERMAN

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REVIEWSUPERCARCHALLENGE continued

UnderstandingwhereSupercarChallengefitsintothebusymarketplaceofracinggamesisa controllerasyoucoaxtheseratherbig,fastcarsaroundtheworldscircuits.Itsdifficultto
tough proposition to wrestle with. Its forebear, Ferrari Challenge, aimed itself at the judge understeer, as there is no real feedback from a control stick, but once you learn to
simulation crowd, and this caused it to be unfairly lambasted for inaccessibility by the work within the tyres envelope, the driving experience becomes immensely satisfying.
consolejournalswhoare,inthemain,madenervousbyanythingthatwouldrequiremore Oversteer can bite hard, though, until youve really got a feel for the car, and the snappy
thantenminutestomasterwithajoypad.WithSC,System3haveoptedtoofferaracing natureofthesepowerfulmidenginecarsseemstoalltooeasilyoverweighthetyremodel.
experienceinthesamemould,butwithconcessionstothemorecasualgamer. Whilsttheslipismanageablewithgoodthrottlework,ittendstofeellikeitbreaksawaya
TheFerrarismakeareturn,butalongwiththethoroughbredsfromMaranello,youcan bittooeasilyforacarontarmacwithrubbertyres.
add to the list McLaren, Nonetheless, the cars feel
Aston Martin, Corvette, nice to drive once youve
Bugatti, Maserati, Pagani, adaptedtothesensitivityofthe
MercedesBenz, and controls, and sometimes you
Koenigsegg, and youll canfindyourselfheadingoutfor
agree that things look a few open laps in a time trial
promising for some high justtoenjoythefeelofthecars
speed Supercar action. Its at tracks like Spa, Silverstone,
pleasing, in this day and andtheRing.
age, to see a consoleracer To help drivers, there are a
that doesnt force you into number of configurable driver
hours of racing a Toyota aidswhichcanmaketheuseofa
Prius before offering cars joypad more enjoyable, though
that are worth your drivers are encouraged to learn
phenomenal talent. It does their way without them
give an edge of, in at the eventually. When running a car
deep end, though, and with full traction control, ABS,
some of the first cars you andstabilitycontrol,Iranslower
will be driving have over laptimes than with all of the
600BHP! Whilst the vehicle above on their minimum
roster of fortyfour cars settings: It was trickier, but it
seems lowcompared to the was faster, and its the way
boundless showrooms of thingsshouldbe.
some consoleracers, there is an argument to say that less cars of higher quality is Whileenjoyingthedelicacyofthedrivingexperienceisanengagingtask,theprogress
preferabletofifteendifferenttypesofFiesta. throughthegameislessso,andtheseriesofracesoneisforcedtotakepartinmaintaina
ThissoonseesyouheadingtothetutorialsectionswhereFifthGearsTiffNeedelldoles feelingofgrind,primarilyonthebasisthattheAIaresopoor.
outadviceortellsyouwhatanarseyouaredependingonwhatyoureupto.Itgivesagood AIhasbeendiscussedbeforeonthesepages,andalltoooftentheconclusionismetthat
chancetoplayaroundwiththephysicsmodelabit,andlearnhowtocontrolthecars. itisadyingart.Thecontinualupwardriseofonlineracingleftthistechnologybehindyears
The vehicle dynamics feel tight; you are dealing with very stiff cars, and the weight ago,butcoupledwiththefactthatsomanypeoplenowraceonlineisthefactthatracers
transferfeelsveryfastbuteffective.Thiscausesonetohavetotakeadelicatetouchtothe havegrownsousedtoracingwithrealpeople,thatAIcannothopetocompete.

76 www.autosimsport.net Volume5Number3SpecialReviewSection
REVIEWSUPERCARCHALLENGE continued

However,inthiscasesomeworkisneeded;theAIracelineastern,andifoneisbehind If by now youre not thinking of the AI as your best friends, youll subsequently be
you,thenyoucanjustaboutrestassuredtheywonttryandovertakeyou,evenifyougeta greeted with the shock that they are obscenely fast, making progress through the
blackflagpenalty. game element tough. I could use the term frustration to best explain how one feels
Ofcourse,onceyourelulledintothinkingyouaresafefromattack,thenthechancesare when youve just retried a race for the sixth time and still failed. Its a good job these
youreabouttogetrearended! controllersaresturdy.

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REVIEWSUPERCARCHALLENGE continued

What this naturally leads to is for the experienced simracer to use the single player
component simply asatoolto unlockcarsandtracks, thenexclusivelyraceonline.Whilst
theonlinecomponentofSC,muchlikeitspredecessor,issolidandwellpopulated,itwould
stillbenicetofeelmorepartofthesingleplayergame.
Whats also important to remember is the initial point about accessibility. As an
experienced simracer, I tend tofind no realtroublewith pickingup aracing gameorsim
and finding my way with it reasonably quickly. Whilst it took only a few laps to feel
comfortablewithSCsedgydrivingmodelforme,thelearningcurveseemsverysteepfora
potentialfirsttimer.
ThisremindsmeofthereviewFabricegavetoFerrariChallengelastyear,wherehespoke
aboutasimracersneedfortimeoff.
Nottimeoffracing,youunderstand,buttimeawayfromthehardcoresims,timeonthe
sofa,timerelaxing,drivingsomethingthatdoesntnecessarilytakeonehundredpercentof
yourconcentration.
SC will have you focussed, dont think otherwise, you need to pay attention, and the
speedoftheAImeansittakesthatfocustoberunningupatthefront.Findingthepaceyou
needisnottheworkofamoment,andmoreandmoretimeinthecarrewardsasyougather
afullerfeelforitsfoibles.
In this respect, this makes it not the ideal game for the totally casual gamer since it
requires skill and patience to get up to speed, and whilst it doesnt reflect the almost full
timejobnatureofsomehardcorePCsims,itsalsosomewayawayfrompickupandplay.
Butthisdoesntmeanitisalostbottlelappingattheazurebeachoftheracinggenre.
The level of simulation is such that the real person this is aimed at is the casual simmer.
Someonewhowantsafullandchallengingdrivingexperiencethatdoesntpatronisethem,
butalsodoesntrequireamechanicalengineeringdegree.
SCisawellroundedproductthatoffersasolidonlineracingexperienceandaverytricky
offlinecomponent;ittakesawhiletofeelthenuancesofthephysicsengine,butwhenyou
do,dancingthesequickcarsonthelimitofadhesionbecomesajoy.
Thegraphicsaregorgeous,withrich,detailedtracksandstunning,shinysupercars.The
sounds are gloriously delightful (woe are your poor neighbours), and the presentation is
divine.Sadly,SCisletdownbypoorAIandasteeplearningcurve.Butwhatdoesitallcome
downto,forthesimracerandAUTOSIMSORTmagazinereader?
TenlapsaroundSpawithaMaseratiMC12isworththepriceontheboxalone.Andthats
beforeyoumountyourG25tothePS3.
Yes,theresrain,andyes,itstough

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REVIEWSUPERCARCHALLENGE continued

CCA
ARRLLIISSTT CCA
ARRLLIISSTT
BugattiVeyron16.4 FerrariF50
ChevroletCorvetteC6.R FerrariGTO
FerrariEnzo FerrariF365GTS/4
Ferrari330P4 FerrariF430Scuderia
KoenigseggCCX FerrariF430Spider
MaseratiMC12 FerrariF512M94
McLarenF1 Ferrari599GTBFiorano
MercedesBenzSLRMcLaren Ferrari612Scaglietti
MercedesBenzSLRMcLarenStirlingMoss Ferrari612System3
PaganiZondaF
FerrariF430Challenge
FerrariFXX
TTRRA
ACCK
KLLIISSTT
FerrariCalifornia MugelloCircuit
FerrariF50GT PaulRicardCircuit
Ferrari250GTO AutoClubSpeedwayandInfieldasCaliforniaSpeedway
Ferrari575GTC MisanoWorldCircuit
Ferrari575MMaranello CircuitMontTremblant
Ferrari333SP NrburgringGPtrack
FerrariF365GTB/4Comp SilverstoneCircuitandSouthernandNational
Ferrari248TB HomesteadMiamiSpeedway
Ferrari250TestaRossa CircuitdeSpaFrancorchamps
Ferrari250LM AutodromoNazionaleMonza
FerrariF550GTMaranello CircuitGillesVilleneuveasRedwoodPark
FerrariF550Maranello InfineonRaceway
FerrariF360GT Riviera
FerrariF360Moderna HockenheimCircuit
FerrariF355Berlinetta ACIVallelungaCircuit
Ferrari512S VirginiaInternationalRaceway
FerrariF512M SilverstoneNational
FerrariF355Challenge HomesteadMiamiSpeedwayOvalandInfield
FerrariF430GT2 SportsMugello
FerrariF348Challenge InfineonSprint
FerrariF40 SouthernSilverstone.

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REVIEWSUPERCARCHALLENGE continued


SUPERCAR

CHALLENGE

87

WHATITHAS
Tremendousphysicsandtyremodel
Weather
Greatgraphics

Mulitplayerisbrilliant;16online,wellpopulated

serversmakesforarguablythebestonlineconsolesim
Greatcars,andnotaPriusinsight!



Thegraphicsaregorgeous,withrich,detailed
WHATITDOESNTHAVE tracksandstunning,shinysupercars.Thesounds
AI:Wellithasit,butitsterrible aregloriouslydelightful(woeareyourpoor
Offlinegameelementcanfeellikeabitofachore
Forsomeonelookingforabitofasofttime,thisbaby
neighbours),andthepresentationisdivine.The
willstingyouitrequiresfocuswithnotaFordinsight! physicsaretopnotch,andthecarsas
advertisedsuper.Sadly,SCisletdownbypoor
AIandasteeplearningcurve

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REVIEWFORZA
MOTORSPORTS3

BOBSIMMERMAN

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REVIEWFORZAMOTORSPORTS3 continued

Ravenous for the follow up to the excellent Forza 2, the past two years have been a long wait indeed for fans of this XBOX 360 exclusive, a
technologicalmarvelthatfeaturesaround400carsandenoughtracksandlayoutstoprovideforsomethingaround100differentracingtracks.
Featuringanallnewphysicsengine,interface,and,forthefirsttime,incarenvironments,Forza3appearstobetheleapoverForza2asForza2
wasoverForzaand,well,youunderstand...asdo,nodoubt,thosechapsinJapan,youknowtheones
MicrosoftsXBOX360,despitesomeearlyteethingproblems(nowonderthetoothfairyisbroke!),hasemergedasthedominantconsolewhen
comparedtotheothernativelyHighDefinitionNextGenerationConsoleGamingSystemPS3(theWiiwasstillsellingamillionunitspersecond,
lasttimeIlooked,butitisconsideredaslastgen),atleastintermsofthesheernumberofgameofferings,aswellassalesnumberstothis
point.Granted,thePS3wasreleasedayearlater,butatapricepointmanyfoundunmentionable,muchlesspalatable.
Thesetwosystemsare,insomeways,liketheoldmoviestudiosoflore:BothhavetheirownstarsknowntousasfranchiseplayerstheHalo
Series,andtheGearsofWarseriesarebothexamplesoftruegamingmegahits,starsthatdomorethanjustsellgames,theyshiftfortunes.Easily
slottingintothecategoryofsuperstar,theForzaMotorsportserieshasbeenanXBOXstaplesincethefirstonelaunchedontheoriginalXBOX
systemin2005asMicrosoftsreplytothePS3shit,GranTurismo.
The original Forza featured telemetry, damage, and, according toPopular Science in a 2005 article, Race against Reality by (then) assistant
editorJoeBrown,Dependingonthetypeofcaranditsnumberofparts,anywherefrom3,750to9,375variablesinfluencethewaythecardrives
{} every piece of the engine that spins carries its own inertia and resists forward acceleration in proportion to its size, weight, and rotational
speed.Impressive.Ihavenoideahowmanyvariablesarebeingtakenintoaccountevery360cycles/secondofthephysicsengine,butthepolygon
countaloneisnowtentimesthatofForza2,soIllgooutonalimbandguessthatthephysicshaveundergoneamajoroverhaulaswell.
Witharoundsixtyhoursofgameplayifyoufollowthecareerpathalone,Forza3presentsalevelofdepthseldomseenonanygamingplatform:
Tossinthefactthatvirtuallyeverycarisunlockedfromtheonsetfordrivinginracesorsoloduringhotlapsessions,andyouimmediatelygetthe
sensethatTurn10arenotonlyonacreativeplateaurightnow,theyrealsoprettyconfidentabouttheirnewsim.Turn10hasmanagedtogive
thismegasimthelook,sound,andfeelofapurposefulbuiltstudysimulator:TheyvedoneaCharlizeTheron,butwithouttheuglymakeup.
Thisconfidenceisimpressivewhenyouconsiderwhatliesinwait:PolyphonyDigital,whoareabouttounleashanewdemoofwhathasbeen
thesimontheconsoleforadecadenow,hasacquiredNASCARlicensinginadditiontowhatlooksanawfullotlikedamageforGranTurismo
5. Well north of fortyfive million units sold, the Gran Turismo series is to the PlayStation what Forza 3 is to the XBOX: These sims dont just
competeagainstthemselvesthesearesimsthatsellsystems,notthickandjuicythirdpartygamecompanionstrategyguides.Ontheirshoulders
standtheexpectationsoftheiremployees,thefortunesofmegacorporationsMicrosoft,andSony,thehopesandaspirationsoftensofmillionsof
investors,andanindustryworthabilliondollarsayear.Warshavebeenfoughtforsignificantlyless
TheopeningsalvooftheBattleofNextGensawthegeneralsinRedmondemployafamiliartactic:Strikeearlyandmercilessly.Theyreleased
theirplatformafullyearbeforethePlayStation3despitewhatmanybelievetohavebeenasystemnotquitereadyforprimetime:Thetactic
despite the negative press and broken unitsworked. Now theyre throwing in Forza 3 before GT5 in the hope that Turn 10 have created
somethingsospecialthatpunterswillnotbotherwaitingtocomparewithGT5:SomethingsojuicythatthetemptationtogetanXBOX360and
Forza3willproveirresistible.Sohavetheysucceeded?Letsfindout

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Butletsnotgetaheadofourselves:yourfirstcarpickwillbefromoneofthefollowing:

2009FordFiestaZetecS
2008ToyotaYarisS
2009NissanVersaSL
2009HondaFitSport
2009ScionxD
2009CitroenC4VTS

All fine cars, but certainly not the exotic supercars we hardcore types love to start
off with. Not to worry, though, as this version of Forza is meant to please us as it
FirstImpressions provides, from the very beginning, a freeplay mode that has virtually every car
Forza Motorsports 3 comes on two disks: Additionally, there is a code for additional available in the game unlocked and ready to drive. In fact, for the purposes of this
downloadable content (DLC) that can be had at a cost of free. Purchasers of the Limited review, I spent most of my time in this mode, simply because it would have taken a
Edition, meanwhile, are treated to several speciallytuned and painted cars from slow guy like me months to save up the money to buy a Porsche LMP type car for a
manufacturers such as Nissan (Forza Motorsport NSX), Audi (Forza Motorsport R8 5.2FSI Sebring outing. I think this was a brilliant decision on the part of Turn 10, and I thank
Quattro),andFerrari(430Scuderia),tonamethreeofthesevencarsintotal.Somecarsare themfordoingthis.Anytimeyouwish,youcanjumprightbackintothecareermode
onlytobefoundintheAuctionHouse(moreonthatlater),aMazdaRX7SpiritRTypeA, andracetotheend.
andaSubaruImprezaS204. IthasbeensolongnowthatIhaveforgottenwhichcarIpicked,butIwillneverforget
Onceyouveinstalled(Idsticktheseconddiskontheharddriveifyouhavespace),youre thefirstraceinit.WiththeAIsettoEasy,Iwashopingforsomeratherquickandsimple
giveninstructionandguidancethroughaseriesofcutscenesandspokeninformationwhich game play. There I was, floundering in third place or so, when all of a sudden the leader
will lead you to your first race. Similar to SHIFTs game companion, and comparable in came to a corner and kept going straight, crashing head first and hard into a barrier.
qualitynonintrusive,accentisdifferent,buttheintentisthesametheideaismakeyoufeel Further,hiscarrolledcompletelyover!
moreapartofthegameworld,andlessapartoftherealone.However,therewasonetimeI IhadknownthatForza3wouldprovideforthatelusiverollovermoment,butnever
sortoffreakedoutasyouinstalltheseconddisk,thecalm,accentedvoiceinformsyouthatit expectedittoactuallylookasrealasitdid.Incredible!Now,Ihavenoideawhytheguy
will, be a few moments , and I heard it incorrectly, thinking he said it will be a few just drove off the track, we werent going that fast, but he did, and I got an eyeful of
monthsOtherthanthatmisunderstanding,Ihadnoproblemswiththeguy. one of many of Forza 3s offerings not to be found in other games of the series
Yourcareerwillbegininthe2010AudiR85.2FSIQuattro,onthetrack,readytomixit through a fully detailed cockpit! For the first time, the user is presented the choice of
up.Followingthisfirstraceamainlyscriptedaffairtogetyourfeetwetyouwillbeableto racing from a fullyfunctional car interior that features some thirty plus layers of
pickyourfirstcarandbeginyourForzaMotorsport3career.Youwillhaveseveralchoicesfor animation working together to provide a lively and immersive cockpit environment.
your first car: Dont expect to have the option of choosing a 550 Maranello, though. That Insideyouwillfindaworkingsteeringwheelcompletewithdriverhands,speedometer,
said, theres no need to panic, either, because you will find that your career will progress tachometer, odometer, gas gauge, and more. Shortly after release, a patch was
quickly,andthatsagoodthingwithoversixtyhoursofgameplayinthismodealone,at included to animate the gear change, so dont be surprised when your virtual drivers
nearly 220 events, therereallyis aseriousamount ofracingand upgrading.Further,once hands leave the wheel; hes not changing the radio or taking a photo, but putting the
you do finish the game, you can restart in the sure knowledge that you can expect a carintothepropergearinsynchronizationwithwhatyouaredoinginreality.Icouldnt
completelydifferentpathwaythroughthecareeranicedeviationfromthefindandgrind behappierwiththisnewaddition,andnodoubtthislevelofdetailledtothenecessity
consoleracinggamesalltoooftenprovide. formorethanonediskaseachcarscockpitismodeledaccuratelyandprecisely.

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Forza 3 is a simulator, designed as a simulator, and, as such, if you were to be directly


connected to the full on simulator magic behind the mirror, odds are the gamepad
experiencewouldbeabadone,or,attheveryleast,extremelydifficult.Turn10sintuitive
based design sees the gamepad offering sharp, precise, crisp controlan amazing job of
integratinganincrediblydetailedsimulationmodeltoarathersimpleinputdevice.Infact,I
amfairlycertainthatitwouldbelittletroubleplayinganentirecareermodewithjustthe
gamepad.However,someoftheraceslaterinthecareercanbequitelengthy,sotherewill
beatradeoffeventually,apointwhereitwouldmakesensefortheseriousplayertograb
ontosomesortofroundcontroldevice.

MSWheelPlay
Wheel control is ultra sharp out of the box. In comparison to SHIFT, Forza requires no wheel
adjustmentofanykindandfeltdamnnearperfectintermsofpuresteeringcontrol.Nodrift,no
slop,smoothandsharponthewheelworksjustaswellonForzaasitdoesonanyconsoleorPC
simulator; the quality integration of a wheel controller with the game is reminiscent of the
brilliantlyimplementedLogitechDrivingForceGTwithGranTurismo5:Prologue.
Thetyremodelisexcellent,properlyconveyingtheforcesexertedonthecontactpatch,
Soon,rawtalenttookoverandIwontherace.Again,IwasplayingonEasymode.There
and featuring a fullymodeled cold/warm/lets get it on temperature cycle, as well as
aretwoothermodes,Medium andHard,but they might aswellbecalled HardandDont
properlyattendedtyredeformation.Forzaisclearlyintendedtosimulatewithahighlevelof
Even Bother because, as you may have already read, or heard elsewhere, the AI difficulty
accuracy.NotasforgivingasthebrilliantSHIFTmodel,withalloftheaidsturnedoff,Forza
settingsgofromsupereasytoalientoughwithnotmuchgranularityinbetween.Insteadof
canbeahandful,andTurn10arenotgoingtogiveyouanyartificialslipanglesatthelimit:
ahardcodedthreelevelAIsetting,itwouldhavebeennicetohaveseenasliderofsome
Whenyougooverthatlimitwithyouraidsoff,youaregoingoffandwillbeinneedoffirst
sort,toreallytuneinthecompetitionlevels.Onthegoodnewsside,theydidnotseemtoo
aid. Turn 10 worked closely with Michelin during development of the tyre model, and it
blunder prone, but with an eight car cap, it is easy to get away from the boneheads out
provestobeasintricate,detailed,andcomplexasanytobefoundonthePC.Scoffifyou
there. The AI is not greatJon Denton makes the point elsewhere in this magazine that
must,hardcoreJohnny,scoffallyouwant,butthatsjustthewayofthebeast.
perhapswehavebecomesoaccustomedtoracinghumansthatAIasaconceptisnolonger
Thetrackshavebumpsmodeledontheirsurfaces,buttheFFBwiththeMicrosoftForce
viablebuttheydoprovideforachallenge,makenomistakeaboutthat.
Feedbackwheelseemedonthewrongsideofweak.Thetracksdidntfeelbilliardtablelike

asinForza2,butclearlytheyarenotuptothemodelinglevelsfoundinGT5Prologue,orthe
DrivingtheGame,GamePad,MSWheel,FanatecReference
recentlyreleasedNFSSHIFT.Well,notontheMSWheelanyway.
Naturallysinceyourereadingthismagazineyoucareaboutonethingaboveallothers:Bob,
Strangely enough, if you hold onto the wheel while using the rewind functiona
Ihearyousay,howdoesthethingdrive?Intheinterestsofbeingthoroughitwasnecessary
backwardstravelintimethatworksinfivesecondintervalswitheachpressofthebutton
toplayfirstwiththegamepad,since,asweknow,ninetypercentofalluserswillbetaking
(dontask,itsforthegamepadwarriors)theforceonthewheelfeelsapproximatelytwo
thisoption.Itis,afterall,aconsolegame.Butthereisonethingtokeepinmindwhenyou
tothreetimesgreaterthanthatwhichisfoundwhiledrivingintheproperdirection.Inother
areusingthegamepad;youarenotactuallyusingallofthegame,sotospeak.Moreonthis
words,itactuallyfeelslikethesortofForceFeedbackwemightfindonaPCsimulatorbut
concept can be found in the excellent interview with Turn 10s Dan Greenwalt in these
only in reverse! Remember when you used to play your records in reverse and hear the
pages,whichyououghttogoreadnowbeforecontinuinghere,sincehegivesafascinating
devilsvoice?Well,herewehavesomethingsimilar:Whenyougointoreversetime,yousee
explanationonhowthegamepadhasbeencustomized.
thepureeviloftheMSWheel.

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CarsandParts
Asatest,Igotinto,started,andbackedupmy2008PontiacG6downtheslopeofmy ItwouldntbeaForzagamewithouttheabilitytoupgradeand/orcustomizeyourcar,andForza3
driveway to get the mail, and then back up again, and felt more forces in that wheel reallyshineshere.Youwillneedtobeabletoproperlyadjustthetuningandperformanceofyour
drivingattwomilesperhourinastraightlinethanIdidinaLMPatSebringinForza3using car in order to rise to the top of you class. There are eleven classes in total, each with an
the Microsoft wheel. Same thing with the beginning of the video segment for this issues associatedPerformanceIndex.TheseclassescanrangefromyourrathersedateClassF,witha
videopreview,filmedataboutthirtyfivemilesperhouronarecentlygradeddirtroad. PIof100200(anexamplebeingtheAlfaRomeoMiTo),allthewaytothefirebreathingClassX,
I dont want to get into why the XBOX has such a paltry array of steering devices withaPIof1000plusrarifiedairindeedthatinvolvestweakinganR1car(PIof901999)justa
availabletoit.Illjustsaythis:IfMicrosoftissodeterminedtoproduceitsownhardwarefor bitbeyonditsalreadymanicperformance.Inaddition,youcandomorethanjustupgradecars;
the XBOX, would it really be asking too much for them not to make their one and only youcanliterallybuildsomeextremelyradicalcreations.Verycoolindeed.
steering input device the biggest heap of junk known to man? Please? Really, it makes Ifyouarentthesortwholikestofiddlewiththissortofthing(whichmakesonewonderwhy
nosense. youre even playing the sim!), before each and every race you enter, you are provided with an
I say this because I then ran this baby on the Fanatec 911 wheel and, to summarise automaticupgradeoptionthatwilltakeyouravailablecashandautomaticallytweakyourcartothe
becausethisreviewisfartoolongasitis,thereisnocomparisonatall.ItwasasifIdjust optimumvaluewithoutputtingyououtofthatclass.Ihavetriedthisseveraltimesanditworksquite
boughtanewgameformoredetails,goreadmyreviewontheFanatecwheelinthisissue. well;thegamewilluseyourmoneywisely,efficiently,andthoroughlysortoflikeaWallStreet
SufficetosayForceFeedbackinForza3ismagnificent,thetracksfeelgreat(whilenoton investmentbank,exceptopposite.And,sofar,IhaveyettoseeaglitchofthesortwhereyourClass
iRacinglevel,theyarestillbrilliant),andthesensationofthecarsinyourhandsthrilling.(I CHondaNSX4,forexample,isbumpedoutoftheraceyouareabouttostart.However,itiseasy
should also add, dear reader, that burning the MS Wheel is to give it a death it does not foryoutodosuchathing,sobecarefulwhenperformingtheupgradesthatyoudonotupgradeyou
deserve:Dismantlingitandbeatingeverysingleoneofitslittlecomponentswithahammer caroutofthecurrentseriesofeventsyouareparticipatingin.Thisbuildtuneaspectisthemeatand
beforeburningeachandeveryoneindividually,wellthatsprobablystilltoogoodadeath bonesoftheseries,andithastakensomebigleapssinceForza2withallmannerofimprovements
forthisplasticwheelofmisery.) nowpossible:gearheadsaregoingtolovetheaccessibilityandsheerrangeofoptionshere.

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GA
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O DEEESSS
D GA
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A MEEEM
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D
MULTIPLAYER SINGLEPLAYER
In addition to a basic singleplayer career, Forza allows you to go online and test your mettle against eight Yoursingleplayercareerpathswilldevelopalongwiththefollowingoptions.
opponents.Yes,eightisabitsad,especiallysincestatisticallysixwillberacingontheirsimroof,sevenwillbe Testing: These races require the least in terms of prerequisites, and usually take
kidsunderfourteen,andeightwillbeinanIsraelitunednarcoticfuelledrageinMomsbasementbutthereitis, placeontheeasiertracksand/orlayoutsofferedinthegame.Justrightforgetting
thatswhattheworldofconsoleisabout.Additionally,otherthansimpleracing,thekidsneedallsortsofbizarre yourfeetwet,butnottoowet.
things to do online, and, for the purposes of my own amusement (and I hope yours), heres what you can do Amateur:AbitmoreofachallengethantheTestingraces,atthistypeofeventyou
online. canexpectsomestiffercompetitionandsomemorechallengingvenues,but,again,
Custom:Fromhere,youcansetuparaceofyourchoosing. asanAmateurevent,dontexpecttobechallengedtoohard.
SingleRace:Standardfare,standardrace,specificnumberoflaps. Manufacturer:Asthenameimplies,youwillbejoinedontrackbycarsofthesame
TimedRace:Ratherthanaspecificnumberoflaps,youwillraceuntilthetimerrunsout.Twentyfourhoursis manufacturer.Youwillneedaspecificcarataspecificleveltobeeligibleforthese
alwaysfunletsseethatjoystickwieldingpottymouthedyoufkeepitupforanentiredayandnight! events.
PointtoPoint:Asthenameimplies,asopposedtoacircuitevent,youwillberacingfromonepointtothenext. SemiPro: Events that are horsepowerlimited, with class and year restrictions in
Whatthepointis,however,isanothermatter. place.Difficulty,asyoumayimagine,getsabumpaswell.
Drag:Forthosefansofdragracing,startheretosetupyourraceattheSedonaRacewayvenue.Quartermileor Professional: Predominantly races where everyone is in the same car, putting an
oneeighthofamileeventsareavailable.Afirstfortheseries,itsactuallygreatfuntocompareyoursoupedup emphasisonskillasopposedtothebaddesthorseontheblock.ClassrangefromF
hotrodwithothersthink1950sbadboymoviesanddontforgettheferretsmile,greasyhair,wifebeaterTand toR1.
blackleatherjacket. Speedway:Foryouovalguys,thisistheplacetobe!
Drift:Bestdrifterwins!Prettymuchselfexplanatory,andwillrequiresometime,effort,andpatiencetogetjust Drag Race: No, you dont need strange outfits from the other, fairer gender, but
right.Asyoumasterthisstyleofdriftimg,aquickleftpressoftheDpadbringsuptheDriftmeter,anindicator you do need a quickreaction timeand a car glued to the track to get the jump on
astohowmanydriftingpointsyouhavegainedonacornerbycorner,lap,andoverallbasis.Notmycupoftea, youropponent.Quartermileoreighthmiledistancesonly.
personally,butforthosewhoareintothissortofthing,youwillnotbedisappointedasthetyremodelinForza3 Closed Course: Including several difficult events, you will find point to point and
allowsonetobecomequiteproficientatsuchathing.Butbewareunlikeothergamesmoretunedtothearcade rallyraceshere.
side,ifyouhavetyrewearenabled,well,thetyreswilleventuallywearoutasweallknowdriftingcanberather Endurance: Multiple laps and on the longish side, make sure your seat is
hardonthoserubberthings(Imlookingatyou,Alex)oh,IjusthadathoughtisntdriftingbiginJapan? comfortablebecauseyouaregoingtobehereforawhile.
MultiClass: Great for those who wish to replicate Le Mans; this type of race will have two classes racing Championship: The ultimate in driver glory, top class AI, top class tracks, and top
independentlyofoneanother. classcompetitionarethenorm.
Tagandvariants:Asthenameimplies,inthesimplestversion,PasstheIt(stopgigglingattheback!),youhave
totaganyotherplayer,andaftertagging,youhaveafewsecondstogetawaysothatyouarenotimmediately
taggedback.Theserioushardcoresimracermaybeshakingtheirheadaboutnow,butforthosewhoareinto
fungameplaywilllovethismode,andIsuspectitwillbeanAlexfavorite.Thereareseveralvariationstothebasic
tag, including Virus, my personal favorite, where, once you get tagged, you join those who have been tagged
beforeyouasabunchofitsandtrytochasedowntheremainingnoninfecteddrivers.Lastonetaggedwins!
CatandMouse:Separatedintoteamsofoneslowcar/onefastcar,thegoalisforthefastercardriverstogetthe
slowercardriversthinkpushinganddefendingacrossthefinishlinefirst.Hugelyentertainingafterabongin
Momsbasement.
Elimination: In addition to the various online racing types, the customization of those online sessions is as
extensivelydetailedasanythingyouwillfindonthePC.Ofcourse,allofyouronlineexploitswillbetrackedby
that massive database known as Leader boards. Competition occurs in several different categories including

Tuner,GraphicArtist,Designer,Photographer,aswellastheexpectedracingcategories.
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REVIEWFORZAMOTORSPORTS3 continued

driving for instantaneous


feedback and is presented in
suchawaysoastonotinterfere
with the task at hand (namely,
notkillingyourself).
Featuring an extensive re
design in terms of appearance,
the system provides a vast
amount of information, from a
basic display that includes
throttle,brakepedal,andwheel
positionin addition to RPMand
instantaneous readouts of
power and torque levels, to a
realtime display of body
acceleration. An absolute must
for perfecting your setup, or a
pleasant diversion for those
interested in what the
suspension may be doing while
driving through a gravel trap.
Nottomentionanindispensible
guide to deciding how next to
tuneyourcar.

Tracks, Sound, And
SetupScreens Environment
Letsfaceit,withoutsetupoptions,itishardtocallasimasim.Forza3hassetupoptions Therearearound100courselayoutstoraceonwithnotablessuchasLagunaSeca,Sebring,
galore;caster,camber,rideheight,gearing,toe,reboundstiffness,springs,antirollbars andthefulllengthNordschleife,andwhenyoufigureinthealterationstotheselayouts,as
thelistgoeson,exactlywhatyouwouldexpectfromagametoutingitselfasasimulator. wellasthebeautifullydonefictionaltracks,youwillfindplentyofplacestofallinlovewith.
Further,likeanysimulatorworthitssalt,yoursetupchangeswillmakeadifference,anditis Populated by lush scenery and cheering crowds, the trackside environment is far from
here that the detailed telemetry and analysis system comes into play. If you are worried sparse.Youwillalsonote,whiledriving,theexcellentsoundsaffordedbyeachcar.Iwasnot
aboutyourlatestcamberchange,getinyourcar,hitthetrackinquestion,driveafewlaps able to test on a full blown Dolby 5.1 sound system, but the neighbors called the police
with the telemetry (selected by an upward tapon the D pad)and watch it display live severaltimesasmystereoandsubwoofersystemprovidedplentyofauditoryinformation.
yikes,welcometothenewcentury! About the only change I made in the newlydesigned interface regarding sounds was to
Likeitspredecessor,Forza3offersadetailedtelemetrysystemandoverlayscreenthatis make sure there was no ontrack musicyeah, Im getting old, I guess, and Im finding it
available in realtime, or while watching a replay. Unobtrusive, it can be turned on while difficulttonavigatetheRingina998BHPBugattilisteningtoIWillSurvive.

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SSSTTTR
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N through the Storefront is protected in such a way that the buyer cannot alter, or resell, the
Sadly,thedaysofthethickandjuicygamemanualarelonggone,especiallyforconsole originalcreatorswork.Nicetouch.
offerings since not even an ondisk .PDF can be of use. Enter the strategy guide. Forza3isalsouniqueinthatyoucanaccessyouringameactivitiesonlinethroughtheForza3
Personally,Iamabigfanofthesethings,thehardcoverFallout3strategyguidequickly websitewhereyoucancheckachievements,purchasecontent,monitorhowmuchcontentyou
comestomindasamusthaveitemforthosewhowanttoknoweverynookandcranny havealreadypurchased, andsoforth,ahandyfeatureforthosewhoabsolutelyhave toknow
thatthegamehastooffer.WrittenbyJamesMazurekandpublishedbyPrimaGames, howtheyarecomingalonginForza.Regardlesshowyouuseit,itisyetanotherfeaturetossed
theForza3guidecoversthesimfromstarttofinish.Detailedandextremelypleasingon ontothepileofanalreadyfeaturerichgame.AfinalnotableisthereturnoftheAuctionHouse,
the eye, the book is the ideal complement to the game. Some of the driving tips and albeitwithafacelift.
setupdiscussionwillbeoldhatforveteransofthesimracinggenre,butforthosenew As you wait for the next event to load, you will notice randomly presented facts
guysandgals,abitofcarefulstudywillmakeanoticeabledifferenceonthetrack. concerning all things automobile. For example, I learned that, at one time, Ford
Further, considering the paltry manual that ships with the game, the companion manufacturedfiftyfivepercentofallcarspresentontheplanetatthetime,arecordthat
guidedescribesingreatdetailallofthenewandenhancedfeaturesofthesim,aswellas hasneverbeenbested.Whatitdidntsayisthatitmusthavebeenasadtimeindeedforcar
a description of each track, each layout, and many of the cars as wellsome owners!Theseblurbsarenothingyouneedtoplaythegame,buttheydomakethelongish
manufacturerschosenottoparticipateintheguide,soacompletelistisnotprovided, loadtimesabiteasiertodealwith.
butwhatthereisisplentytochewon.
Thestrategyguidealsoprovidesachecklistofcareerevents,ahandyitemtohaveas ComingToAHead
youprogressyourwaythroughthesixtyoddhoursofsingleplayercareermode.Fora Inallhonesty,thisreviewcouldhaveeasilybeentwiceaslong,butwearelate,broke,andangry
guy like me who lives on books, it is the perfect addition, but it does tack on another ateachotherduetothepressureofthedeadlinefallingaroundtwoholidays;mymedsstopped
twentydollarsinadditiontothesixtyforthegame. workingaweekago(ImonIsraelimanufacturedgenerics),andweallknowwhatthatcanbe
Oneofmyfavoritefeaturesoftheguideisthesectionthatliststheweightsavingsof like,andIthinkwearealljustflatwipedoutandreadytotryagainnextyear,butithasbeenan
thevariouswheelsyoucaninstall.Thisusedtodrivemeinsane,pagingthroughendless absolutepleasuretoreviewthisgame.
wheeloptionsforeachmanufactureruntilIfoundtheonethatgavethegreatestweight Soletscallitawrap.Turn10haspulledoutallthestops,andgiventheconsolecrowd
savings. With all of them listed, you can narrow your search rather quickly. If you are thebestracingcargameeva.Moveonkids.Fortherestforthesimracers,thingsarea
planningonpurchasingtheForzaMotorsports3LimitedEdition,AppendixGgivesabrief bitmorecomplicated.
overviewoftheLimited,VIP,andUnicorn(foundonlyintheAuctionHouse)cars. Whatwe haveisthemost elaborate tyre modelever conceived and createdonthe
console, and one that far outweighs the majority of PCbased sims right now. The
Convincingtracksurfacetexturesandappearanceroundoutthewelldonetracks,andyouwill physics,meanwhile,areastounding,thefeedbackthatis,whatyoufeelthroughyour
findthemmuchbumpierthanthetoosmoothtarmacsofForza2.SebringinanLMPcarwiththe Fanatecwheelsublime.Therangeofcarsisincredible,andwhilewecanargueonthe
Fanateccomestomindhere.AsgoodasiRacing?No.Butplentygoodenough. authenticityof400cars(asopposedtooneiRacingcardevelopedoverthecourseofa
The Storefront is fresh face in the series, and offers a virtual place to buy and sell tuning year), you wont be sitting there thinking, this car is just plain wrong: Automagic
setups,designs,vinylgroups,photos,andreplays.Ifyouwish,youcanratetheworkofothers,a works. The new tuneup, upgrade options for this iteration is also a fabulous addition
statistical markerthatwillappear ontheLeaderboards.In thecaseoftuningsetups,youcan (or is that addiction) to Forza 3, and gearheads will no doubt be spending their
employanextensivefilteringsystemthatwillallowyoutoquicklyseekoutaparticularsetupfora Christmas holidays dreaming up what can be done to their stock rides with
particularcarataparticulartrack.Iamcertainlynopainter,sothishassomeappealtome,and transmissions,tyres,engines,andsoforth.
thoughIamhappywiththedefaultsetupsandafewofmyownstrangeadjustments,Ireally Atitscore,Forza3isafullblownofflinesimulator,andanabsoluteclassicofthegenre:And
enjoytryingthesetupsofothers.Ofcourse,thiswillcostyougamecredits,butifyouareasetup thehardcoresimracerwillbynomeansfeeloutofplacespendingmanymonthsinitsvice(asin
guru,youcouldbecomequitewealthy!Well,ingametermsthatis.Contentthatistransferred addiction)likegrip.

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REVIEWFORZAMOTORSPORTS3 continued

FORZA
94

MOTORSORTS3

WHATITHAS

Topnotchtyremodel,detailedphysicsmodel,each

carmodeleddifferently,fullyfunctionaldamagemodel

Cockpitsaredetailed,andprovidetheultimateinimmersion

Graphicallypleasing,witha1280x720pnative

resolution,theupscaleto1080pisatreat
Whatwehaveisthemostelaboratetyremodelever
100plustracksandlayouts,sharpgraphics,400cars
Vastcareermodecoveringsixtyplushours
conceivedontheconsole,andonethatfaroutweighsthe
Upgradesandtuningoptionsgalore majorityofPCbasedsimsrightnow.Thephysics,
Virtually every car offered in the game is playable in meanwhile,areastounding,thefeedbackthatis,what
freeplaymode youfeelthroughyourFanatecwheelsublime.The
rangeofcarsis:Automagicworks.Theastoundingnew
WHATITDOESNTHAVE tuneup,upgradeoptionsforthisiterationisalsoa
Stilllimitedtoeightcarsontrackofflineandon fabulousaddition(oristhataddiction)toForza3,and
WhenplayedwiththeofficialMicrosoftFFB,toomuch gearheadswillnodoubtbespendingtheirChristmas
ofForzasbrillianceisleftonthetable holidaysdreamingupwhatcanbedonetotheirstock

rideswithtransmissions,tyres,engines,andsoforth

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EnduRacers
MODsquad TheaptlynamedEnduRacersmodteamhaveenduredandfinallyreleased,rightat
thetailendofrFactorsnaturallife,whatMagnusTellbombelievesiseasilythemod
oftheyearifnotthemostperfectmodevercreatedhereswhy

MAGNUSTELLBOM

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MODsquad continued

created for rFactor? Mod of the year? Better than this and
thatMagnusyourecrazy,Magnus...
Yes, yes, too much nagging, especially since some of
them (Alex) wouldnt know an LMP from an ADD. Which
meansthat,ondirectinstructionsfromourlittledictator,I
must now not only explain why this mod is so special, but
also delve, for a moment, into what makes up an
endurancecargrid.

P1
There are two major series, and one special event, that
featurefourclassesofcarsontrackatthesametime,and
which, collectively, make up what we know as endurance
racing: These are the Le Mans Series (LMS), the American
LeMansSeries(ALMS),and,naturally,thespecial24Hours
ofLeMans.Intheseseries,andevent,thecarsaredivided
into four categories, and they are in order of (theoretical)
performance,LMP1,LMP2,GT1,andGT2.
LMP is short for Le Mans Prototype and is often just
shortened down to a single P. LMP1 or P1 is the fastest
class with purposebuilt cars that push about 700BHP. In
this class you will find cars like the legendary Audi R10,
Peugeot908,Pescarolo,andLola.IntheLMP2orP2class,
you will find, again, prototypes with slightly less
horsepower than the P1s, about 500BHPthink Porsche
RSSpyder, Zytec, and Courage. Both these classes are
designatedP forprototypes, andthat means the carsare
oneoff models which, in years past, would sport some
incredibledesignsbuthave,oflate,becomerathersimilar
lookingat least to the untrained eye: Those who know
theirenduranceracingcanspotthedifferencebetweentwo
And finally it was released. The first bunch of cars in the among the many who believe the physics to be nigh on carsakilometerawayontheMulsanneStraight.
EnduranceSeriesmodbyEnduRacerscametousasagift perfect, what you have is the purest and most technically The GT1 class, meanwhile, features cars like the
from heaven and landed on our hard drives like a 662 giftedofanymodevercreatedforrFactor. CorvetteC6,AstonMartinDBR9,Lamborghini,andSaleen.
megabytegoldenbrick.Threeyearsinthemaking,itboasts And with that, this review should have ended. Except AfewyearsbackyouwouldfindclassicsliketheFerrari550,
breathtakingmodels,blazingpaintschemes,andsoundsas thatsomeonAUTOSIMSPORTwerentconvinced;Magnus, theDodgeViper,andtheListerStorminthisclass,butthe
crisp as a morning breeze in the fall. And then, if youre they said, how can you say this is the greatest mod ever world recession has seen the GT1 grid lose many of its

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major manufacturers, which, while bad news for GT1, has series just like it where you will find only the GT1 and attention of race fans whose attention spans are
been of enormous benefit for GT2 where you will find the GT2 class cars doing battle. In the FiAGT series, the forever shortening: The 24 hours of Spa
everpresentPorsche997doingbattlewiththeFerrari430, raceswereoncethreehoursor500kmaffairs,buthave Francorchamps, however, run once each year, is the
and,addedtothespice,theoddSpyker,BMW,Panoz,and been shortened of late to try and recapture the FiAGTscrownjewel.
AstonMartinVantage.Allinall,theGT2classusuallyoffers
the best and closest racing for the spectator, with large
fieldssportingcloselymatchedperformance.
These four classes race in what we call endurance
racingwhich is precisely not sprint racing (for Alex). The
idea is to cover as long a distance as possible over a set
time, ranging between one hour forty minutes (ALMS at
LongBeach,2009),anduptothefulltwentyfourhoursof
LeMans.
Admittedlysincetheglorydaysabouthalfacenturyago
that saw full works Ferraris and Porsches do battle with
Steve McQueen at the wheel, or, a little earlier, when
Ferrari were forced to do battle against the tiny upstart
ShelbyandhiscolossalCobras,enduranceracingsstarhas
waned.Butthatlackofpopularity(LeMansaside)doesnot
mean the racing has become any less spectacular
although spectacular heremeanshaving anunderstanding
ofwhatittakestowintheseepicraces.Halfthethrillisto
see if the cars and driverscan cope with the distance:Can
the team mend the damage that came as a result of the
driver losing concentration in the wee hours of the
morning? Whose strategy in the everpresent battle
betweenfueleconomyandspeedwillprovetobethebest,
and who will indeed win the race when the math is done?
Enduranceracingisaspecialkindofracingand,admittedly,
its not for everyone: But it remains, for many, the purest
form of racing since it pits man and machine into an
ultimatetestofstamina,performance,and,yes,endurance.
Right,ourhistorylessonisalmostdone:Ineedonly
mention that there are also a few series that offer
endurance racing without the LMP class cars: The FiA
GTisonesuchexample,andprobablythemostpopular
(especially for us simracers), but there are other local

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TheEnduRacersMod shape, as opposed to its propensity for smacking you in feel this car shouldnt be described at all, it should be
EnduRacers have released Version 1.0 of their epic mod, theface. tested firsthand. Im pretty sure you will love or hate it,
and I assume this means there will be more versions to Driving it remains an unsettling feeling: Its like andnothinginbetween.
come.Itcontainselevendifferentcarsdividedintothefour sitting down on a comfortable chair with wheels, and With the lower class taken care ofand my appetite
classes, and they are replicas of actual cars that raced kickingbackwardsonyourdeskuntilyousmashintothe whetteditwastimetostepuptotheGT1s.Letsbegin
betweentheyears2006and2008ineitheroftheseriesor wallbehindyou.Butitisalsoaremarkablemachinewith with the Corvette C6.R. Now you must remember that
events I mentioned above (yes, history sometimes does a racing pedigree that goes back to the dawn of post theCorvetteisanAmericancar,andforaEuropean,that
proveuseful!) Warenduranceracing,andyoujustcantgowronginit. means it should go like a bat out of hell on straights,
In the LMP1 class we find the Zytec, the Creation, and This is the ultimate beginners car, and the choice soundlikeatoxicoiltanker,andhandlethebendslikea
thepreviouslyseeninrFactorEpsilonEuskadi.TheLMP2 between the 996 and 997 is a choice of weight and deepseadiver(aftercomingupfrom4,000feetwithout
classfeaturesthePorscheRSSpyder,andtheCouragewith horsepower.The996islighter,withlesshorsepower,so a break). Not the case with this car though: Seems
no less than four different engine alternatives (AER, Judd, it might be an easier car to drive, but it doesnt feel all someoneintheUSfiguredoutcarshavetotakecorners
Ford, and Mazda). Further, the GT1 class gives us the thatdifferentfromthe997thathasmoreweightaswell eventually, even on a continent as seemingly endless as
CorvetteC6R,andtheAstonMartinDBR9,whiletheGT2 asmorehorsepower. America, and the Corvette is seriously quick and
classoffersusthePorsche996and997RSRtogetherwith The little more powerful Panoz is another story industrious. But that doesnt mean theyve skimped on
the Panoz Esperante, and the Spyker C8. Thats fourteen altogether.WhenISIreleasedthePanozaddonsomeyears thepower:Hellno,youcanfeeleverybitofmusclewhen
carsandelevenneverbeforeseenmodelstochoosefrom,if ago,Ididntknowwhattodowithit.ThisGT2carfeltheavy you step on the accelerator and modulate the pedal
yourecounting. tooperate,anditcouldsnaponyouwithalmostnowarning exactly right so you got that feeling of on the edge all
Choices, choices. This is no easy task I tell you: One atall.Ialsodidntliketherearviewcamthatsubstituteda through a corner. Its no walk in the park to drive, even
might be tempted to go directly for the big muscle and mirrorand,overall,thePanozwasahandful.Inthiscrowd thoughitis wellbalanced andpowerful. The torque can
select one of the LMP1s, but on the other hand, one though, with physics from EnduRacers, it has truly come snap you into a spin faster than you can do a Jeremy
should learn to crawl before trying to run, and thus a home.Itstheoldfrontenginerearwheeldrivesagaatits Clarkson impression and yell Power loud enough to be
GT2 class car may be the best way to go. In my case, simplest. Point it, punch it, pray. Be careful not to lock up heardoverthegruntofthatpowerfulV8engine.
whilewritingthisreview,Istartedfromthebottomwith the rears when you downshift, be careful not to spin out TocompetewiththeCorvette,wehavetheAstonMartin
what has to be the most well known Grand Touring car whenyouhittheacceleratorcomingoutofaturn:Practice DBR9.ItwasoriginallybuilttowipethefloorwiththeFerrari
ofthemall:thePorsche911. these two maneuvers over and over again, and you will 550(oratleastthatswhattheblokesonTopGearreckon),
ThePorsche911hasbeenaroundsinceJesustriedto soon fall in love with thePanoz cause its an excellent car and it did hold its own against the beast from Maranello
tell people how good life would be if everyone treated withtonsofpotential. just.Afterthefirstyearsoftuningandtesting,ithassettled
each other with love and respect. The 996 and 997 are Sitting down in the Spyker, meanwhile, is like sitting downintoafullblownracemachinethatishardtokeepoff
just the latest installments of that car, and everyone down with a raw representation of oldstyle machinery fromthepodium.ThisisBritishconstructionworkatitsbest
including the original Josephwill immediately packaged in tubular framework and thin bodywork. The (yes,itisactuallybuiltinBritainamazinglyenough!),andthe
recognize that classic silhouette. Yes, its watercooled sound this car makes is that of an old locomotive on car is nothing less than awesome, front to rear, top to
rather than aircooled these days, which means half the steroids,anditsabeautifulthing.Itfeelslowtechandit bottom.AbiteasiertohandlethantheCorvette,butnotas
fun (watching them implode) is gone, and it has a fair sounds low tech, and the driving is fairly straight fastonthestraightsatleast,notundermyrightfootthis
few more horses pushing it along nowadays, but the forward: It isnt terribly responsive to the smooth carisindeedsomethingspecialand,giventhechoice,Idsit
engineisstillstuckinthebackandisofthetypewehave operator, but it does respond well for anyone who likes down on the floor and weep because I really cant decide
learned to call a boxerwhich describes the engines to throw it about: This baby likes to have fun. In fact, I betweenthesetwocars.

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trulyuniqueitis:Ifyouopenedanencyclopediaandlooked
up the word balanced, there would probably be a picture
of this car as a description. The Spyder has it all: A
wonderful engine that you need to balance (you, not the
car)usingthethrottle,wonderfulhandlingcapabilitiesthat
you need to learn how to get the most of, excellent
feedbackfromeverycornerofthecar:Inonephrase,The
mostfunyoucanhaveinaprototypesumsitup.Mindyou,
itsnowalkinthepark.Ultimatelythiscarwillbeasquickas
thedriver,andasslowas,well,me
The Courage is, similarly to the Porsche, a great
handlingmachinewithanaddedtwist:Youhavetodecide
onyourengine.PersonallyIliketheMazdaenginebest,but
thenagain,Imightreadtoomuchintothedifferentsounds
theenginemakes.ItmaywellbethecasethattheCourage
handlessimilarlywithallfourengines,butIreactdifferently
becauseoftheaudiofeedbackIget.Ifso,Icanonlyapplaud
EnduRacers, cause this means they have done wonders
withthesounds.
But ... I suspect that the engines actually do give the
Courage different characteristics, and that the sounds
only enhance this experience. In any case, I believe the
Mazda engine is your best bet here. The AER engine,
meanwhile, is certainly unique, while the Ford feels
similar to the Mazda. Oh and try this: Use the AER
engine and sneak up behind one of the others and just
listentothatsymphony.Staggering!
Havingcomethisfar,wehaveonlytheLMP1classleft.
Butitsnotquiteonlysince,well,thisistheverypinnacle
ofendurance racing,and, intheopinionof many,thevery
pinnacleofinternationalmotorsports.Fewrememberfirst
hand who won the GT2 class at LeMans a few years back,
but almost anyone can name at least one overall Le Mans
Leaving the GTs behind, its time upgrade to what, for simplesinceforthePorschemoppeduptheserieslastyear winnersurely! And those guys, the overall winners, they
many,istheheartandsoulofenduranceracing:TheLMPs. withsomeease.ItevengavetheLMP1carsarunfortheir drive LMP1s. To put things in perspective, one can almost
LetsstartwiththeLMP2s.Asmentionedabove,thereare moneyonsometracks,andthatisunique.Anditwilltake (but not quite) say that an LMP1 car is more or less a
two cars to choose from here, and the choice for me is youtwosecondsofsittinginthiscarbeforeyourealizehow Formula 1 car with fenders and wheel covers: And those

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aerodynamicbitsandpiecesimprovethegripofthesecars supposedtolivein,butasofyet,notintheEpsilon.Reason host of cars to choose from, and, to add to their comfort
enormously. Still, I dont think its necessary to compare for this is simple: Its a beast of insane proportions, and I level, the default setups are drivable, and (and I really like
these cars to anything at all because they stand, in my feelinstantlyclaustrophobicinit.Thepowerisinsane,the thispart)everycarinthemodreactandrespondwelltothe
opinion, as the last word in racing car design: They are as controls razor sharp, and its just too fast for this middle fastsetupslidersinthegarage.Thatmakesiteasyforthe
quick as anything, and theyre built to endure for twenty agedSwedetocopewith. newbietoselectmoreorlessdownforce,balance,gearing,
fourhoursoffullthrottleracing.TryrunaFormula1carfor Even with traction control to max, it gives me trouble andstiffnessofthecar.Then,ifyoufeellikeit,youjustgo
twentyfourhours:Goon,Idareyou. out of the slow corners. Perhaps its a visibility thing, tothegarageandfinetuneyoursetup.
FirstoutformewastheZytecandI,whoreallyhavethe perhapsithassomethingtodowithhowthesoundofthe
reflexes of a drunken Swedish sailor, instantly felt as if I engineaffectsme,butIhaveyettoachieveanythinglikea
could trust this car to take me around the track with no cleanlapwiththismonster,evenatrelativelysimplepoint Modoftheyearand
drama whatsoever. It responded to everything I did to it,
andwithit.Turnthewheel,itrespondedbygoingthewayI
andsquirttrackslikeMonza,SilverstoneandMontreal.But
ithastobesaid:Inthehandsofadriver,itsanimpressive
probablythebestmodfor
pointed: brake, and the thing slowed down without trying
to tankslap me into submission. Put the pedal down, it
machine.
Wellthereyouhaveit.Butwerenotdoneyet.Iwantto
rFactorsofar:Iknowpeople
responded by leaving my head fifty yards behind my seat finishoffwiththatdefinesthismod,whatmakesittheof willargueaboutthis,butit
rest.Forme,thisistheultimatesteppingstoneintothetop all other mods: EnduRacers have swamped this mod with
level of cars available in the Endurance Series mod: But a sound, velvety, morphinelike sounds so far beyond hasmyvoteandIcando
wordofcautionitwillhurtyouthemomentyoutakeher anythingIveeverheardinanrFactormodastoreallymake
forgranted. a lasting impression on meand, I hope, on the modding nothingbutlookforwardto
The Creation is a wonderfullynamed car because it is, sceneingeneral.
ultimately,themostcivilizedracecar Ive everdriven.The Letmeexplain...Thesoundasequentialpaddlegearbox
thenextinstallmentofcars
sounditmakesisalmostsoothing,andifyousetitupright
it, it is both forgiving and gentle. Its also alarmingly quick
makesduringadownshiftisntsexyatall.Infact,itsanugly
sound, a distressing noise almost as if the engines metal
forthisone.Forthefirst
despiteitseasygoodlooksandstablehandling.Thisisthe
onlyoneoftheLMP1carsIcantakealaparoundBathurst
bits are being kicked about inside a trashcan. EnduRacers
has captured this perfectly. Same goes for the whining
timesinceIbeganwriting
withoutcrashing.IliketheCreationalot,andifIevershow transmission with straight cut gears and ignition cut. The forthismagazinefouryears
uponlineinaP1car,chancesareIllbeinthisone. whineissometimestoomuchtobear,andaftertwostints
Finally, it was time for the Epsilon. Thats one of offortyfiveminutes,itreallygetstoyou.Butitisthere,in ago,Imgivingthismoda10
these,bytheway:.ThatsaGreekletter,anditmeans your face, because thats the way a car sound. This mods
Iwillkillyou. sounddoessomuchtoconveythatimmersivefeelingthat outof10,causeaftera
I never did download the standalone Epsilon Euskadi issooftenmissingfromothermods:Justsimplysuperb.
modcauseevenbackthenitkindofscaredme,andIknew As impressive is the work done to entice any simracer
monthofrunningit,Ihave
I was going to make an ass out of myself showing up on
track in that car. But now, writing this review, I had little
intothismod,veteranornewbie.Indeed,thismightprove
to be one of those mods that actually inspirepeople of all
yettofindanythingaboutit
choicebuttoclimbinanddomybest.Mindyou,Ihaveyet
togoonlineinthiscar.Ivebeenonlineonpublicserversfor
skill levels back online cause it has something to offer
everyone. The seasoned simracer can mess with insanely
thatcanevenbecalleda
several days, testing cars in the environment they are powerfulandfastcars,whilethenewbie, too,hasawhole legitimatecriticism
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continued

AUTOSIMSPORTAwards2009


ThisyearwevedoneourfifthyearlyawardsabitdifferentlyaswenameonlythewinnerofBestSim(anddoingawaywith
secondandthirdspotsinthiscategory)since,well,beingthesecondbestsiminayearthatsawthereleaseoflessthanahandfulis
abitmeaningless.Onthemoddingfront,too,thingshaveslowedoflateasmoddersperhapssititoutandwaitforrFactor2and
simracersdefectovertoiRacingwhiletheywaittoseewhatwindsblowoutofMichiganandSweden:Still,wehadafewmods
releasedwhichwouldfeatureonanyonesbestoflistnomattertheyear.ThisyearwealsofeatureanewcategoryBest
SimulatedCarandwehadgreatfundecidingwhichcarseverysimracerowesittoherselftodriveatleastonce

Right,withoutfurtherbah!humbugthen,LadiesandGentleman,theAUTOSIMSPORTAwards2009 !


TheNomineesAre(drumrollandrollouttheClistcelebrityplease!):

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BESTF09 THENOMINEES continued

B
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BESTF09
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BESTF09 3 continued

BESTSIMULATEDCAR2009
CAR:NISSANSKYLINE2000GTR
SIM:NFS:SHIFT
TheC10sfirsthittheproductionlinesin1969,andwhile
enjoyingsomesuccessforthenewlyformedNissanGroup,it
wasthethedebutofthe2000GTRmodelinthefallof1969

thatwouldseethiscarenterthelexiconofautomotiveculture.
TheHakosukaGTR(literallyboxskyline)wassoupedupwith
theR380racecarenginewhichsawitsdynonumbersreadin

the150BHPrange.
In1971,Nissanfollowedthisupwiththecaryouwillbe
drivinginSHIFT:TheKPGC10,whichwasnothingmore
thanatwodoorversionoftheGTR.Thecarswheelbase
wasshortened,theweightwasreduced,thebodywas
widened,andrearwingswereanoptionalextra,aswerethe
widertyres.Thesemodificationssawthecarpushouta
magnificent160BHP(comparetotheDinoFerrariof1968,
pushingoutjustshortof180BHP)and,simultaneously,cure
(toanextent)theinsaneamountofundersteerthathad
forceddriverstobrakeaslateastheydaredintotheturnsin
ordertoinducesomemuchneededoversteer:Watching
themdothishadendearedthecartoagenerationofrace
fans,andtheSkylinewentontotocapturefiftyracewinsin
thenexttwoyears.TheGTRwasthefirstJapanese
performancecartoregularlyhumbletheEuropeansports
carsoftheday,andseestheHakosukaGTRenjoyaniconic
placeinmotorracinghistory:Thiswasthecarthat
announcedtotheworldthatJapanesecarshadarrivedon
theinternationalracingscene,anditopenedthedoorto
Japansprimacyincarproduction.
STATS
Weight:1,600KGs
Engine:1989ccDOHC24valveinline
Gearbox:5speedmanual
PowerOutput:160BHP@7,000RPM
UnitsSold:(19681972):310,447
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BESTF09 2 continued

BESTSIMULATEDCAR2009 CAR:LOTUS79

SIM:IRACING
ColinChapman,GeoffAldridge,MartinOgilvie,TonyRudd,
andPeterWrightdesignedtheLotus79amidstgreat
secrecyduringthefallandwinterof1977.Ifyoudontknow
itshistorybynow,thenyourejustnotaracingfan.Atheart
theidealwastocreateacarthatwasnothinglessthanone
enormouswing:Todothat,Chapmanandhisdesigners
createdventuritunnelsonthefloorofthecarthatservedto
suckthecardownontothetrack.Whatthismeanttothe
driverwas:thefasterhetooktheturn,thequickertheair
couldbesuckedunderthecar,theharderthecarwouldbe
suckeddown,andthefasterthecancouldtheoreticallyturn.
Arecipeforbrilliantsuccessandsadlydisaster.Bythe
endofitsdebutseason,whenitpoweredMarioAndrettito
the1978WoirldChampionship,Chapmansgroundeffects
revolutionhadalreadygathereditsfirstvictim,Andrettis
teammateRonniePeterson:Bythetimethesecarewere
bannedfiveyearslater,FormulaOnehadlostmanyofits
greatesttelents,GillesVilleneuveamongstthem.
Butthecarremainsthemostsignificantdesigninhistory:
AndiniRacing,youwillbeflooredbythesheertractionthis
cargeneratesatspeed.Itwas,ofcourse,thefirstcar
designedinawindtunnel,andthefirstcartobeanalyzed
bycomputeronraceweekends.
STATS
Construction:Aluminiummonocoque
Weight:610KGs
Engine:FordCosworthDFV2993ccV8
Gearbox:HewlandFG400,5speedmanual
PowerOutput:480BHP@10600rpm

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BESTF09

WINNER continued

BESTSIMULATEDCAR2009

CAR:DALLARAAUTOMOBILI
SIM:IRACING
AnIndyCarSeriesDallara,builtbyPanozoutofitBraselton,
Gasite,ispoweredbya3.5liter32valveHondaRacingHI7R
IndyV8pushingoutroughly650BHPusingethanol,abio
degradable,renewableandU.Sgrowngrainbasedfuel.Itis
also,iniRacing,asuperbhandlingcarwithoodlesofpower
andanamazingamountofmechanicalgripthatallowsfor
intenseandcloseracing.
AwardingtheDallarathebestsimcaroftheyearwasnot
atoughchoice:Whatwehavehereistheresultofaclose
partnershipbetweensimdeveloperandcardeveloper,andit
showsifthisistheclosestallianceinsimracinghistory,we
wouldnotbesurpisedthoighthiscardoeskeepsurprisingin
itsauthenticity.
Sure,somecomplainithasthecharacterofaLondon
bus,andothersnotethat,ifyouhaventspenttimesettingit
up,onceitgetsawayfromyou,itreallywantstohurtyou,
butspendsomequalitytimewiththisbeast,learnhowto
driveit(itdoesnotlikebeingthrownabout,andrespondsto
delicateandsmoothinputs),andyouwillberewardedwith
thebestexperienceeverproducedinsimracing:Oh,andit
hasgroundeffects,too.
STATS
Construction:Carbonfibreandcomposites
Weight:691.7KGsonovals;725.7KGsonroadcourses
includingalllubricantsandcoolants,butnotdriverorfuel
Engine:HondaHI7R3.5LDOHCV8
Gearbox:6speedpaddleshift
PowerOutput:650BHP@10,300RPM
Cost:$309,000(maximum)

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BESTF09 3 continued

BESTMOD2009
MOD:ENDURANCESERIES
TYPE:MODFORRFACTOR
ModoftheyearandprobablythebestmodforrFactorso
far:Iknowpeoplewillargueaboutthis,butithasmy
voteandIcandonothingbutlookforwardtothenext
installmentofcarsforthisone.ForthefirsttimesinceI
beganwritingforthismagazinefouryearsago,Imgiving
thismoda10outof10,causeafteramonthofrunningit,
Ihaveyettofindanythingaboutitthatcanevenbe
calledalegitimatecriticism.SosaysMagnusTellbomin
thesepages,andwereallInagreement:Thismodis
endlesslychallenging,andofferseverytypeofsimracer
analternative.
Andthenthererethesounds:Thesoundasequential
paddlegearboxmakesduringadownshiftisntsexyatall.
Infact,itsanuglysound,adistressingnoisealmostasif
theenginesmetalbitsarebeingkickedaboutinsidea
trashcan.EnduRacershascapturedthisperfectly.Same
goesforthewhiningtransmissionwithstraightcutgears
andignitioncut.Thewhineissometimestoomuchto
bear,andaftertwostintsoffortyfiveminutes,itreally
getstoyou.Butitisthere,inyourface,becausethats
thewayacarsound.Thismodssounddoessomuchto
conveythatimmersivefeelingthatissooftenmissing
fromothermods:Justsimplysuperb.
AddtothemixfordifferentclassesincludingLMP1,
andwhatyouhaveisthecremaonyourespressoif
youveyettotrythismod,yourepunishingyourselffor
nogoodreason!

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BESTF09 2 continued

BESTMOD2009

MOD:ARC_TEAMG25EMOD
TYPE:MODFORG25WHEEL
TheARC_Teamguyshaveawealthofexperienceincreating
simracingperipheralsfortheircustomers,manyofwhom
arerealworldracedriversandteams.Itisnotanuncommon
sighttofindaGP2driver,orevenF1driver(alongwithhis
manager),atARCTeamsPaviashoprunningthe
ARC_TeamsF1Drivingcockpitwiththeirultrarealistic(see
AUTOSIMSPORTsreviewbackin2006)pedalsetand
heavilymodifiedwheels:ThisG25EMODcomesasaresult
ofthatrealworldexperience,anditdoespreciselyas
advertiseditwillmakeyourG25intoaprofessionalgrade
simracingtool.Fortheprice,thereisnowheelonthe
marketthatevencomesclosetowhattheG25EModoffers
youintermsofprecisionandfeel.Simplythebest,
performancewise,andpricewise.
Nothinggoesunreportedtothewheel.Iwagerthatif
youplacedaonequarterinchtallrock(justasmall,
isolatedelevation)onthetracksurface,thiswheelwould
feelandreportthetyrehittingitintheformofanudge.You
willfeelthosenudges,aswellastheshoves,wasLou
Magyarsverdictwhenwerevieweditinthesepages(Vol5
Num2).Fromtheoutside,theobviouschangesaretwo
smallmuffinfans,afuseholder,andapowerswitch.The
fansareimpressiveandspeakofvastlygreatercooling
requirements,whichinturntellmethattheForceFeedback
willindeedbemuchmorepowerfulthanbefore.
Thisisamodificationthatgivesmorepoweranda
bettercleaningoftheForceFeedbackeffectsonthe
G25.Simplyput,thereisanoverallpowerincreaseofthe
force,butthatissecondarytothefeelofthoseforcesat
workinyourhands.

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BESTF09

WINNER continued

BESTMOD2009
MOD:TARGAFLORIO
SIM:GRANDPRIXLEGENDS
TheTargaFlorio,alongwiththeMilleMiglia,isthegreatest
roadracetheworldhaseverknown:Itranfrom1906and
throughto1973,andinthattimeitbecametheracethat
definedaracingdriverspedigree.Thegreatsallwonhere:
Nuvolari,Vazri,Moss,vonTrips,and,naturally,theman
whomadetheracehisown,NinoVaccarella.
ElevenyearsafterthereleaseofGPL,theTargaFlorio
modhasfinallyarrivedafterforthesimracingcommunity,
andalongwithit,thelastwordintrackdesign,
commitment,andartistry.
Noonequiteknowshowmanycornersthis70plus
kilometertrackhasbutanydriverwhohasraceditagree
thattheendlessturnsgivesthesensationofbeingseasick:
Indeed,legendarydriverslikePietroBordinoandWerner
bothhadtoquittheracewhileleadingduetobecoming
physicallyill.Thistrackisthetestofaracedriverscraft,
endurance,stamina,andtechnique:AndthisbeingSicily,
foreignmakeshadtomakedowithbeingpeltedby
tomatoesupinthemountainsitgotsobadforCaracciola
inhisMercedesthathelandeduppaintingitItalianracing
red!Allthesame,teamsreturnedhereyearafteryear
becausewinninghere,attheTarga,wasamanufacturers
dream:Porsche,Alfa,Ferrari,Lancia,Bugatti,Mercedes,all
havecomeherewiththeirworksteamandtriumphed.And
nowyoucan,too,thankstoMauroAlcamisi,John
Bradley,JayBeckwith,ShaunCollins,RichardCooke,Bill
Cooper,PhilFlack,Ginetto,MauroLicciardello,Greg
Liebzeit,SergioLoro,CarstenMeurer,RichardNeville,Nigel
Pattinson,JimPearson,RemyRoesz,SvendSeegert,Paul
Skingley,FerdinandSommederer,PaulThurston,Stefano
Zampredi,RobertZeugin
Followthislinkforallthedetails

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BESTF09 continued

BESTSIMULATOR2009
SIM:NFS:SHIFT
DEV:SLIGHTLYMADSTUDIOS
Thesimthatpolarizedthecommunity.No,justjoking,thefact
thattheskyisblueonsunnydayswouldbecauseforamassive
communityuproar.Havingsaidthat,theBestSimoftheyear
(thatis,asimthatwasreleasedbetweenJan1Dec12009)led
toafairfewargumentsamongstthosewhoproducethis
magazine.WasSHIFTevenasim,oneasked?Certainlyitdoes
itsbesttohideitssimnesslikeatrolloponaSaturdaymorning
atBloomingdales.Wasnt,anotherdemanded,Forza3afar
bettersim?
Indeed,themorewediscussed,themoretheBestSim
becameatwohorserace:Forza3vs.SHIFT.Thefactthatwe
werediscussingwhetheraconsoletitlecouldpossiblewinthis
magazinesBestSimaward,someonepointedout,wasan
insulttoourverycredoaconsoletitle?
ButwhySHIFT?Atitscore,thisisGTR2alloveragain,isnt
it?Thesameconversationsthattookplacewiththereleaseof
GTR2aretakingplacenow:Toomuchgrip,tooeasytocontrol,
tooarcade.Fouryearson,though,GTR2isgenerallyregarded
asoneofsimracingsclassicofferings,andsomeofitsmods
havebeen,intheirturn,classicsofthegenre(Power&Glory).
ThefactthatitisbuiltovertheISIengineandsportsatyre
modelbythemanwhobuiltRichardBurnsRallyaddsfurther
weighttoitsclaims,andthefutureofSHIFTinthehandsof
thecommunityiscertain.But,thequestionstillremained,isit
betterthanForzaMotorsports3onaFanatecwheel?Andthe
answertothatissubjective.Depends.Maybe.Thetwo,
honestly,couldnotbeseparatedbydecidingthatSHIFTwas
betterthanForza3physicswise.Sointheend,wechoseSHIFT
foronereason:Becausethesimracingcommunitywillmodit.
Andthatcanonlymeanwhatwehavenowisonlyaglimpseof
whatthissimwillbelikeinsixmonthsfromnow

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KeepTheDream
GPLEGACY enters its fourth year with their A1GP Mexico License and sim still in
developmentandtheMexicanroundofA1GPindisarray
GPLEGACY

SERGIOBUSTAMANTE

SERGIOISAWAY

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TheDent continued

VodkaDiaries
TheDent JonDentononfeelinggood

JONDENTON

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TheDent continued

Nineoclock,onaMondaymorning.Itsneveraniceplacetobe,itsrarelyaplaceanyone Doestheraincomeinsidethebus?
wantstobe,butitsalwaysaplaceeveryonefindsthemselvesin. No,butitscoldoutsideandwarmerinsidethebus,sothewindowsgetsteamonthem.
Thickdropsofrainfellonthebusshelterliketinyhammerstappingonthetenderstrings Oh.Wherearewegoing?
ofthesoul.Asthebuspulledupnotasinglefaceinsightlookedhappy,cyclistspasswith ...andmorealongthetheme.Assoonasthebabyisfreesheplaceshimonherlap
grimdeterminationontheirfaces,agirlrunspastcoveringherhairwithaplasticfolder,her and gives him a little bounce, he screams briefly in delight then glances around at his
eyes a picture of desperation. A grey, forlorn scene of Hackney in the morning, when mystifying new surroundings. The baby is no more than six weeks old, and lolled his
GarfieldsaidhehatedMondays,thiswaswhathemeant. headaroundlikeadrunkard,hismouthagapeatthecrazinessofthenewenvironment
AsIpacetothepavementsedgethenumber48comestoastatelysto