Our opponents are cheating bastards, but are they really that?

If you participate in the NCS, you probably have noticed there are a lot of drivers and teams that have been disqualified in the first 2 rounds. To prevent any new waves of disqualifications, I have written this article. The purpose is to get you up to speed with what is going on in this competition and to improve your e-sports experience.

You have probably noticed some ghosts are exceptionally difficult to follow. This is not because they are just fast. Instead, they are using lines that take all 4 wheels off the track. Something that you would be unwise to do because that would invalidate your laptime. Not only that, in search for the fastest time, some players seem to follow a very unrealistic line around start/finish.

You are following the ghost of someone who is trying to effectively cheat. Even though their effectiveness is questionable, you quickly notice that this is digressing the feel of competition. As I am talking about a game with most illegal settings locked down, the ways players can cheat are quite limited. The only ways to cheat are either to cut corners or to use a very controversial line to start the lap with extra speed.

The thing is, even though those actions feel like they’re destroying competition, they are not. Your lap time is useless when cutting the track and any weird line you find onto the start/finish straight is often without any speed advantage. When considering the fact if those people are cheating, it is necessary to go back to the rules in its purest form. And those rules say nothing about approaching the S/F straight in an unrealistic way at all.

What the rules do fully state is the demand to turn in a ghost with a constant 2 wheels on the track  to be eligible for points. If you can’t do this, it is your own loss. Even from my own perspective, I can easily see how people end up with invalid laptimes. If you are on the perfect lap and you are not sure if you put 2 wheels on the track it is very understandable you want to continue your fastest lap. But, this comes with a consequence. If this is the best you can do, and 2 wheels went off the track, your round is done. You are not able to get points any longer.

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Even though there are still 2 wheels above the track, technically this lap is invalid.

Even though the rules state nothing about taking a longer run at the start line. The rules do state the organizers have the right to change this in a way they seem necessary. And they are also allowed to punish unsportsmanlike behavior. This is expressed in the fact that a whole e-sports team is disqualified from the rest of the competition for actively trying to cheat around the run up to the start line. This is a good response to the community from the organizers side as this unsportsmanlike behavior was much frowned upon.

To conclude this, I would like to ask you, the reader, for a favor directly. You know we all want to race as realistic as possible. As that is why we are playing project CARS. But, to have as much of a realistic experience as possible you have to act like you are racing real people as well. So, please, when you think you invalidated your laptime halfway through, just go off the gas and try again. There’s a much bigger chance you get into the points that way.

 

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Posted in Geen categorie

Our Little Red Corvette

It’s Friday evening, the second round of the NCS already started.

A lot of drivers got out from under their shells early this round to make the leaderboard a lot more competitive from the start. This results in a lot of fast times that have already been posted. Where some things went slightly wrong with ghosts and track limits last week. The competition is tighter than ever. And many more competitors are finding it difficult to believe that the times set by the top drivers are actually achievable this time.

This may partly be because of the track. Where 2 wheels on the grass were legal in Monza, it didn’t slow the car down as much as the Californian sand of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca can do. The track edges have a reputation for gulping up cars of drivers that are going about too leisurely with the sand on the outside.

sbjs__corvette__laguna-seca__2

This is not the only trick this course has to offer, it is world famous for its corkscrew turn. A point on the track where cars and drivers literally go from the highest point, which lies in the braking area, way down to the sandpit that is the exit. Brake a little too late for this corner and the bump throws you upward. Voiding much of the needed grip the tires need to slow you down in time. Brake too early, and you lose seconds. A balance needs to be found where the brakes are feathered as late as possible, making for a quick turn in. Helping to throw the car down the blind crest as quickly as possible.

Besides the corkscrew, this track consists of many more challenging corners. Turn 1 has a bend in the start of the braking area and a, difficult to master, double apex. Turn 2 and 3 just require a lot of patience. Turn 4 is the start of the most challenging part of this track. The bend is heavily banked and tight. Braking too late results in poor use of the banking and a trip in the sand. If you get this turn right you’re in for another nasty assignment, a blind 4th gear kink that is very easy to overshoot and miss, ending you up in yet another part of the desert. After this is the corkscrew, but don’t think it’s over after that. When accelerating out of the corkscrew you have to be very patient to get the front of the car to turn to the apex at the end of a long left hander. Missing this patience can land you in the expected place once again. After this the real difficult part is over, the track ends with a tight banked right hander that is fairly easy to approach and a hairpin to test your car control at low speeds. A point you need to get exactly right for a new lap.

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Luckily the organisers of the NCS have been merciful in giving you the tools to conquer this raceway. They have provided us with the Corvette C7.R a car built by the racing division of General Motors that races in European and American GTE and Le Mans series. This is to reflect the IMSA touching down in the real Laguna Seca as well. It’s cross plane v8 makes an amazing noise, and I’m talking about both the real car and in-game replica here. The noise is not its main parade piece. The setup of the car is developed in direct cooperation with Tommy Milner. One of the drivers that raced this car to a class victory in Le Mans last year. Sadly, this form of feedback is relatively expensive and is still not seen really much because of this.

And the setup is a masterpiece, during my personal in-game testing and racing of the car on the Watkins Glen track I found the back end to be very easy to play with and very predictable. Combine this with the near perfect weight distribution and you get a car that’s very fast in the right hands. I repeat in the right hands, because of its balance the C7.R is very tempting to slide around and play with over the course of your lap. But this is not what you want in a fast lap, that’s why this car is the perfect machine to sort out the best drivers. The racers who just achieve perfect control during a lap without losing the incredibly playful back end.

sbjs__corvette__laguna-seca__6

 

 

The main picture and title of this post are an homage to the late Prince Rogers Nelson. May his soul rest in peace, and his music be played all over the world.

The Corvette is wearing a livery of white and red designed by our team member Emil Glockner on the request of Sean, one of our other team members.

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Posted in Geen categorie, race previews

Bentley Continental GT3, Monza, 1:46.587

Bentley at Monza, edited 3

So, after a long racing weekend, where, regrettably, only two of us had a lot of time to race, I can happily let you know that we made the top 50!

A small recount of the last day from my perspective:

Although I was aiming for a top 10% finish, I didn’t quite believe I’d still manage that when I started up Project CARS again on Monday, 10pm. After all I had slipped down the leaderboard to 103rd during the day.

With a nice beer in hand I set out lapping again with a few tweaks to my wheel, ABS and my shifting and my line here and there.
I quickly managed to get my time down from a 1:47.6xx to a 1:47.3xx by short shifting slightly to counter the torque falloff the Bentley Continental GT3 exhibits above 6000rpm.
That time per se would just about have been enough to fulfill my personal target of being in the top 10%, however for some reason my ghost got bugged and the game uploaded one showing be spinning out and posting a 1:52.xxx.
In other words: I HAD to improve more to set a valid time!

Then finally, after another hour or two, 20mins before the end of the event, it suddenly went “click” whilst following Clucks ghost.
I managed to improve my time by more than half a second in one go! I’m still not entirely sure how I managed it but boy did I feel elated!

In the end I finished on spot 48.

I have attached recording of my lap, featuring Clucks ghost, below. 🙂

The Team finished on:
RacingTopsy 48th, Shin 111th, MisteriouslyMasked 176th, Emil 363th, Bazil 408th

However I expect we’ll move upwards a bit as some times will be invalidated due to crossing the tracks boundaries.
I’m looking forward to the next event!

~Topsy

 

 

 

Posted in Geen categorie

Introduction to the Nvidia Challenger Series

In the beginning it happened pretty quickly. Among all pCARS sub-communities was a huge tremor, because a new kind of contest was announced. People were talking about an e-sports trophy happening in project cars. And instead of a normal league with races, this trophy consisted of time trials. Not only that, tinkering with setups was not allowed either. This means the threshold to be competitive would be much lower than all other e-sports events up till now. And this was great news for us, the frequent occupants of the project CARS official steam chat.

The Nvidia Challenger Series is the trophy we are participating in. Compared with previous trophies the band of competition is much narrower. Everyone drives the same lap with the same car, so drivers need to learn to get the max out of the car without making a single adjustment. This means the lap times are much closer to each other because no one can win time with the perfect setup. This promises a pure close battle of driving and that’s why I’m really looking forward to competing. As I am writing this on the train home waiting to start the first round.

Posted in Geen categorie
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