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AUTOSIMSPORT

Volume 1 Number 4

Almost Here GPL69 PreView

100+ Page Super Edition! RBR-Online, Steve Smith’s GTR Review, GPL69, BRD Mega Interview, GTR Non-Line, Racism & Racin, GTRank, Gaboe Weber, plus News, Reviews, Rumours, Stats, UK SimRacingCentre, PLUS so MUCH more!


C REDITS : Concept, Layout & HeadASS Lx Martini Special Projects & GTR HeadASS: Smokin Bob News & FeaturesASS Jon Denton Military Affairs Editor Steve Smith F1ChampASS Paul Nortness TutorURASS/rFactor Lou Magyar Race & FeaturesASS Mike Tyler ItalianASS Alessandro Pollini AussieAss Mike Crick FILSCA Christoph Schirmer FrenchASS Christophe Galleron

C ONTENTS

Steve Smith Reviews GTR.....................................11 Turn One ....................................................................15 Jackson Loves His 69! ...........................................15 Turn Two ....................................................................25 Interview with BRD’s MD Simon Ball ......................25 Turn Three .................................................................30 GTR nonline – The Good, the Lag & the Ugly ........30 Turn Four ...................................................................36 RBR-Online............................................................36 The F1 ChampASS column ........................................43 Modding Made Easy ..............................................43 The FrontStraight .......................................................45 What Can the PPU Do for You? .............................45

Production/Advertising Bruce Saltzman

The Fifth Column........................................................57

All opinions expressed in AutoSimSport are not necessarily those of FILSCA or of its members. FILSCA and AutoSimSport are free – do what you want with the contents (with the exception of everything that does not belong to A.S.S.) but please credit the source. All pics and texts are used by permission; if you feel your rights have been violated, please contact AutoSimSport, through its website. We welcome all submissions and feedback at http://www.autosimsport.com For 1000s of stats, race results, etc., goto http://FILSCA.com

On Niles

All the Sim-News that will Fit to Print ........................3 The Military Affairs Desk.............................................11

The Aus-ASS column .................................................54

ON THE 13th OF EVERY MONTH MAKE A DATE … with… YOUR A.S.S!

th

April 12 2005

The News .....................................................................3

Design, Logo, Website Stan - Web Designer FFSCA http://www.ffsca.org

LFS HeadASS Position Available

H EAD O P E D

With Mike Crick ......................................................54

Racism & Racin .....................................................57 The T1 ShuntFest.......................................................73 SRC: Simracing Takes The UK By Storm...............73 The BackStraight........................................................81 GTRank with Uwe Schürkamp ...............................81 The Paddock ..............................................................85

We have sad, dire news to report; our resident ether-alley gossip monger Niles Anders has been abducted and is being held hostage in an undisclosed location somewhere near Boston – FILSCA has begun a “Free-Niles” petition but it appears that this petition – along with the “free the dedicated server” one sent to SimBin last month have resulted in precious little – or a whole lotta nothin. Next month, hopefully, we will have both Niles and a dedicated server.

On the Doomsday Virus Clock Thing Meanwhile the Doomsday Clock over at SimBin continues its countdown (as countdown clocks are know to do) … ASS has approached some hackers (formerly known as Modders) to see whether the Clock could be reset to coincide with this Edition but, alas, it’s not hackers or modders we needed, but crackers. Sadly, as a cracker myself (no, not that kinda cracker!), I could do nothing bout that there clock either … we’re doomed to watching that clock like post-office clerks … and then we’re twice doomed if the rumors that came out of Monza are to be believed – SimBin had a big presence there, every car carrying the GTR logo, and rumours of an impending online revolution (or catastrophe …) were further strengthened by comments that remain, at this stage, unconfirmed. If true, however, next month will see big changes …

On The Competition

Catching Up With Gabor Weber .............................85 Track Building with Lou...............................................91 All You Need is Lou and … more Beer?! ................91 Comet GTR League ...................................................96 All The News & Reviews ........................................96 FILSCA Driver Of the Month .....................................104 JAMIE KLOOTWYK .............................................104 In The Mirror.............................................................105 FILSCA Race Results & Stats for March ..............105 The BackPage..........................................................113 Mike Tyler’s Letter to PC Gamer ..........................113 The Very Last Page..................................................140

For such a small niche market, the sim-community is blessed with much talent and last month saw the first edition (not counting Edition Zero, which, I suppose, would make zero one …) of a new simracing ezine called SimRacer. We wish em all the best – after all, gamers are taking over the world – literally, if it’s turns out to be true that Dubya plays vid-games two hours a day … But before you wonder where the joke is (eh?) – I’m going on record (but I can’t tell ya why!) as saying that rFactor is gonna be the sexiest piece of gear to hit sim-dom since GPL – I have just begun looking forward to its release like a convict does… April’s juicy ASS! Lx Martini

Pics......................................................................140

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T HE N EWS All the Sim-News that will Fit to Print Virtual Online Racers Members Help Shape Road America By Bob Hall It’s not every day that sim racers get an opportunity to take part in the development of a real race track, but recently VOR members Mike Tyler and Bob Hall did just that. They collaborated to produce a rendering of a proposed bridge for Elkhart Lake’s Road America – one of North America’s premier racing circuits. The company that Bob Hall, VOR’s GPL Series Manager, works for (McMahon Associates, Inc. – Neenah, WI) has done many projects at Road America, such as the Road America Center, The Sargento Cheese Bridge and numerous other grading and paving projects. They (Road America) usually focus on improving safety on the track or bettering the experience for the race fan. The bridge project began in earnest a few years ago when Road America wanted to add two turns to the track, just before The Kink. The added combination of turns was designed to slow down the Skip Barber Racing School cars and especially the AMA Superbikes. The area immediately adjacent to these new turns provides and excellent vantage point for watching a race. The only trouble was, there was no way for the fans to get there … hence the need for the bridge. About a month ago, one of Bob Hall’s project managers contacted him about doing a revised rendering of the bridge. The owner (Road

Current "bridgeless" scene America) had made a few changes to the initial design and wanted to see what the new bridge would look like. Unfortunately, Bob was really swamped with work at the time so he contacted his friend (and fellow VOR member) Mike Tyler, a well-known graphic artist in the sim racing community, to see if he was interested in helping out. Mike was indeed available. Many of you have probably driven some of Mike’s artwork if you race the Grand Prix Legends sim. Mike’s a member of the GPLEA and has helped make the formerly ugly Papy F1 cars look simply stunning. Bob then went about making the changes to the bridge, and then did a

quick rendering of his own to give to Mike, just so he could get an idea of the basic concept, colors scheme, sponsor logo, etc. And from there, Mike Tyler did the usual sterling job that GPLers have become accustomed to. The grass-textured hills at either end of the bridge are Mike’s, as well as the shadows cast by the bridge. He also stuck some fieldstone on the concrete bridge abutments and punched up the split-rail fence. Tyler: ʺThis was a fun project. The only things I would have liked to have added were some people on the hillsides and maybe some catch fences too, but that would have taken more time.ʺ

After Bob & Mike got done

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But the deadline was met and construction is underway. The new Suzuki Bridge is located near the Briggs & Stratton Motorplex, Road America’s kart track.

Turning concept into reality The structural frame of the bridge has already been set in place. It went off without a hitch.

SpeedWerx at it Again By Smokin Bob Just when you thought it was safe to get back into that Lister, SpeedWerx is poised to further enhance our GTR gaming experience. Paul Nortness tipped me off to a new mod the team has in the works and it looks like a winner. Known for attention to detail and incredible artistic talent, SpeedWerx will soon be presenting the 2004 Porsche Supercup for GTR. Paul explains, “The car set will use the Land Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 cup car as a base to recreate the Supercup season. The set includes a custom season filter so you can run Supercup separately from the other classes.” Sounds great to me! Watch this space for more information.

And what’s next for the VOR design team of Tyler and Hall? Bob Hall assured Mike that he could take Bob’s ‘Vette around the track once or twice . . . just so he could check out his handiwork, you understand. But this offer came with a condition; – Mike absolutely must lift at The Kink! Next time youʹre in the neighborhood or there’s a Road America race on TV make sure you look for the new ʺVORʺ bridge. It should make its first public appearance June 2-5 at the AMA-Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader on SpeedChannel. For a complete schedule of Road America events go to www. roadamerica.com or give them a call at 1-800-365-RACE.

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rFactor F1 MOD by GPZocker It’s been a long time – the summer of 2003 - since the last F1 Racing sim -F1 Challenge 99-02 from ISI - was released. After that, nothing – no new ISI sims, no new F1 sims … until the middle of last year, that is, when ISI announced their new project … rFactor. In January of 2005, the WDT Team announced that they had commenced work on an F1 2005 Mod for rFactor. And all of us who have been dreaming of a new F1 sim rejoiced openly on the streets … http://www.f1gaming.de/

- all shapes and textures of 2005 - 3 helmet shapes with textures of 2005 - team-art of 2005 - all of the 2005 f1 circuits including Turkey 2005 - al driver specs - sounds - (special made for F1 leagues who are running on our mod car templates) - and many many more …

http://www.f1gaming.de/

The WDT Worldracing Design Team comprises a group of friends from Holland, as well as some guys based outside the EU. The WDT 2005 mod promises to include the following features:

According to the WDT Team, rFactor could very well be released in three months’ time. It is rumoured that ISI will offer the community editors and filters to ease the import and export of cars, and even a Maseditor. As for the WDT F1 mod, they will be using anything between 10 and 15,000 polygons. They are using 3ds and zmodeler to mod rFactor, and AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

they note that, while 3DStudio Max is faster, Z Modeller, is, for them, where the fun-factor is. As for tracks, some very good news awaits F1 Nuts desperate to floor the throttle of these 20,000 rpm’d 1,000 bhp beasts … They will convert some tracks from GTR, changing them dramatically, while others, like the new track in Turkey, will be created from scratch. Also on the agenda is the Chinese track, and the Team hopes to get some help from RMDG on this one. The WDT Team predict that, within no less than two months after the release of rFactor, F1 lovers will have their mod ready to race - but they stress that the tracks will be the biggest problem and that they will have an update after every race so that the mod will be constantly up-todate. 5


1975 MOD for F1C By Vince Moyet for CREW I was eleven; on the TV screen, a guy with a blue helmet in a gorgeous black and gold racing car was pushing like hell, and won , on the so spectacular Monaco track. Since then I was definitely addicted to F1 racing. Much later. Weʹre in early 2004, and somewhere in my hard drive lies a 3D model of a 1974 McLaren M23. It didn’t take long before me and my team mate Slayer both agreed that the cars weʹd like to drive the most would be those of the 1974 and 1975 seasons. Passion was then leading us; we decided we would bring back our heroes to life, because F1C was allowing us to at last... We spent weeks to discuss the

project, because our ambition was huge: we were likely to reproduce each car, each livery and each driver that entered a GP of each season and we wanted to be able to add any further vintage F1 season. We didnʹt even know if that would interest anybody in the sim racing community, but, by respect to the memory of all those courageous drivers, many of which had lost their

life in the ʹarenaʹ, the least we could do was simply doing our best to release such legendary machines. We had been working on setting a new higher standard for the cars, as our car part and track management system would allow us to bring the cars with dedicated aero and body configuration, as well as changes in liveries and drivers, so the mod was going to be a historic and accurate vintage F1 simulation. When we released a demo of the mod during the late winter, it seemed many people had been longing to see models of those cars and to be able to drive them... F1 1975 will be the first vintage F1 season add-on released by CREW, for F1 Challenge 99-02, soon followed by the 1974 season which is already in progress, and more vintage F1s from other seasons as well.

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Modʹs highlights: -The mod will feature all the F1 cars that entered at least a GP in 1975, including Ferrari, McLaren, Brabham, Tyrrell, Lotus, Shadow, March, Hesketh... and every single small team as well.-all cars will appear (or not) on each track with the right livery and/or driver change, according to each trackʹs entry list.the cars show up with specific wings and dedicated gear box, chassis and aero setting ranges, depending on track configuration. Players will then have to fine tune their cars according to their driving style as usually.Highly detailed accurate car models and drivers: the cars have been faithfully modelled and painted in every single detail according to blueprints, photo and video documentation, appearing in different versions depending on the car development during the season. Each driver face within the helmet is mapped with a picture of the real driver. The physics have been developed after long researches on old F1s

technical characteristics and accurately reproduce the behaviour of big slicks, steel brakes, 5 speed manual gear box...and have been tested through thousands of laps. Each car has specific physics and performances according to its particular technical and aerodynamic configuration, and the level of preparation achieved by its team; this will also affect the carʹs reliability, as closely as possible to the real ones. -The AI behaviour has been based on periodʹs actual laptimes and results, and on biographies of the drivers, so that the hierarchy is respected as well as each driverʹs style or aggression; but youʹll be able to re-write History struggling against Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, Carlos Reutemann, Ronnie Peterson, and all the others... The sounds are based on samples of the real engines, gear box and slick tyres and faithfully reproduce the roaring Cosworth or howling V12s.More realistic crashes and accidents: many car parts are detachable or accurately damageable (to reproduce aluminum chassis and plastic car bodies) to increase the realism of race incidents.-The mod allows to quickly add any F1 car from any year, with full compatibility with any other existing or addon car, thanks to a unique part name coding system. A ʹmod development kitʹ is available to teams or modders who would AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

wish to work with us on adding new vintage F1 seasons. -The mod also enables special effects like car to car contact sparks, and all dashboards have analog dials. The lapboard allows you access to your laptime, position, tyre and car state...The mod should feature the tracks in the actual 1975 layout, thanks to our partners the Standalone Mod Guys and to some teams that kindly lend us their tracks. But some of them might still be missing at the release, mainly Montjuich. Anderstorp, Mosport, Nivelles, Interlagos, Kyalami, Brands-Hatch, Silverstone, Watkins-Glen, the Nürburgring, the österreichring and Zandvoort will come in the 1975 version (that is ʹchicanelessʹ most of the times).-You will find some extra cars shipping with the mod, as an appetizer of future releases; thatʹll be a surprise! -Realistic cockpits for each car will help you find yourself back in the mid seventies -We do apologize, but we haven’t been able to include the smell of hot tyres and oil...neither to animate the driverʹs arm so he shifts gear, due to the original game. The 1975 season should be available during next summer. It is obviously dedicated to the heroes of our childhood, and we hope, will bring you back into the ambiance of F1 racing in the good old 70s when those drivers would play their life at each GP, drifting on legendary tracks. We hope youʹll enjoy. (See Paul Nortness’ ChampASS Column for more on this exciting mod-Ed). 7


14 March 2005 Factory Move Streamlines BRD Production BRD (BallRacing Developments) has acquired new factory premises to achieve greater quality control, faster production times and more efficient management systems co-ordination. Staff moved into the 5,500 sq ft site in Newchapel, near Lingfield, Surrey, formerly occupied by Activa Composites Ltd, which was set up to provide manufacturing support to motorsport teams, following negotiations that took just four weeks to conclude. As part of the deal, BRD purchased Activa Composites’ assets, which included state-of-the-art autoclave and specialist equipment for the production of parts, patterns and tools for F1, GT, touring and rally cars.

Said managing director Simon Ball: “The opportunity to acquire the premises was too good to miss. It fitted in perfectly with our plans to bring some of our manufacturing inhouse this year to give us greater quality control and faster turnaround time for specialist projects. “Everything happened with remarkable speed. We had taken some moulds to Activa in the morning only to be told a couple of hours later that the company was going into liquidation. That was on December 17. By January 17 the lease was signed and we had moved in.” The factory, which also contains spacious office accommodation, will house manufacturing and research and design development, while BRD’s premises in Leigh, near Reigate, Surrey, will house the head office and administration.

But BRD may soon be on the move again. Increasing business is causing senior management to consider a move to still bigger premises later this year. (See Jon Denton’s Interview with BRD’s MD Simon Ball-Ed). NSR Patch News By Smokin Bob Following an initial delay, EA delivered the goods on April 15th, 2005. The much anticipated patch to NASCAR SimRacing has found its way into the hands of the end-user, and no doubt is being given an extremely thorough workout. It is too early to tell, but early reports are positive. Among other things, the retail release completely left out the new Dodge Charger model and some folks were disappointed with how the differential was modeled. Both of these items, and too many others to list, have been addressed with this patch. I can’t say for sure, but we may have a ‘commitment’ on our hands—Hats Off to EA\Tiburon for keeping another promise regarding NASCAR SimRacing—after sale support, the patch kind. http://www.easports.com/games/nasc arsimracing/downloads.jsp Victor van Vlaardingen on LFS S2 Alpha Demo Van Vlaardigen was asked, why the decision not to release the beta with the ʹfasterʹ cars that will feature on the full release on S2?

John Ball, Director of Audio-Visual, wiring up a force feedback control box AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

“The primary reason for the beta release in general is ʹoverall reliability testingʹ,” explained Victor, “{and} Mass tests by the public will always 8


reveal obscure bugs that would be near impossible for us to find ourselves - hence we release a public beta. But for this,” he added, “no fast cars are required - these are meant to be driven by the S2 licensed people, so are for later, when S2 full will been released.” The damage and feel of the cars, tyre temps, suspension, etc., have been significantly altered - how close does this alpha version relate to what Victor anticipates will be the ʹfinalʹ version “Quite close,” confirmed Victor, “although there will still be some significant changes made to the S2 physics and, as such, you should keep in mind that the current S2 demo ALPHA 0.5K physics are not final.” And how has the response been so far? “Well, all our online records were broken some hours after the S2 demo was released, so you can say the response was pretty good and still is,” answered Victor with a satisfied smile.

new patches released for it) and we will let people know in good advance when S2 will be ready. When we know you will know,” he added … ASS loves this demo, but Victor, will you give us a bloody (what looks like but isn’t!) formula one car already! “Patience,” was Victor’s reply. (See Mike Crick’s AusASS Column for a short review of the demo).

FILSCA announces GTR League World Ranking Within the next two weeks, FILSCA will launch the first ever GTR World League Ranking. The FILSCA world ranking system is an exclusive system that will determine the relative competitiveness of drivers in organized league racing. Its formula has been developed by the sim racers themselves, team managers, and the mathematician Jure Kalisnik. With the installation of the World Ranking, another exciting feature is given to

Any news on release date? “Nope,” said Victor. “For the interested amongst the readers: just visit our website once a week to stay up to date on the S2 demo progress (there will be

the sim racing community and the FILSCA member leagues. Re-Birth of a Legend? Rumours Heat-Up over MoG. In Sim-Racing’s Glory Years, MoG set the standard – and the benchmark – for hardcore racing and professionalism. ASS can announce, quite categorically, that it is rumoured (eh?) that in May, the infamous MoG league will again begin assembling the greats and the wannabes for what can only be termed - the re-birth of a legend. In the infamous years between 19992003, when legends - aided only by ancient dial-ups and primitive steering devices - fought titanic 2 hour battles at Spa and Monaco, the Masters of GPL series was seen by many as the pinnacle of GPL world championship racing, featuring the greatest sim-racers in history battling for the ultimate prize – the title of unofficial GPL Champion. The latest incarnation of MoG is the GTR championship which will, in keeping with tradition, run races of between 2 and 3 hours – and, if technically possible, with driver pairings. There will also be, amongst many other features, a team-based championship. It is further rumored that the championship, for the first time, will be run for prizes or prize money. More details will be revealed soon.

From the Archive: the Ring 2002, Mercer Vs Jon Davis AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

http://www.mastersofgpl.org 9


Above: Soon to be seen at the AAL S2 Demo Series Below: What we’re working on for May – a Lotus 1960s Simulator …

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T HE M ILITARY A FFAIRS D ESK Steve Smith Reviews GTR Steve Smith has been a car guy since he was knee-high to a hubcap. He was the Editor of Car and Driver in the Sixties, Motor Trend in the Seventies, and PC Computing in the Eighties. He raced Porsches in SCCA and Trans-Am, owned one of the three Corvettes that Briggs Cunningham raced at Le Mans in 1960, and has driven everything from the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile to the Howmet turbine. He wrote "FourWheel Drift," the strategy guide that shipped with "Grand Prix Legends," and now races online under the nom de drive "Toonces." Geeks, Greasers and Gamers or Why Car Guys are Gonna Love GTR By Steve Smith Military Affairs Editor Geeks (or computer nerds) are geeks, and greasers (or car guys) are greasers, and never the twain (not the parallel-port driver) shall meet. Just before Grand Prix Legends was released in 1998, beta testers Alison Hine, Doug Arnao and I dragged a desktop, a monitor the size (and weight) of a mini-bar, and a TSW wheel and pedals to Watkins Glen for the annual Formula 1 reunion. We set up shop in the press room and unlimbered our wares (the old Glen layout as it appeared in the GPL demo), much to the astonishment of the assembled racers, including luminaries like enduro ace Hurley Haywood. ʺIs she really driving?ʺ he asked, as Alison flew around the track in a Lotus 49. He thought it was a replay or--more likely--a film clip.

all the usual proprioceptor input. Sight, sound; sure, weʹve got those. But stereoscopic vision is missing. There are no G-forces sloshing the fluid around in our inner ear. Thereʹs no ʺseat-of-the-pantsʺ to tell us what the car is doing. ʺHow do you judge your distance from the corner, so you know when to hit the brakes?ʺ theyʹd ask. ʺThe same way you do,ʺ Iʹd answer. ʺWhen you reach some roadside marker--a 100-yard board or whatever--you stomp on the binders. Nobody recalculates their distance from the turn by 3D vision every time; you do it by rote - you designate a braking point and adjust for track conditions. Next question.ʺ ʺHow do you tell when the car is breaking loose? How do you know how much to countersteer?ʺ ʺBy sight. Like someone whoʹs blind,

when youʹre deprived of one sense-in this case, a gut feel for G-forces-your other senses become more acute to make up for it. Virtual racers learn how to compensate for the lack of roll, pitch and yaw input from their inner ear by a heightened sensitivity to visual changes in the carʹs attitude...plus audio cues from the tires.ʺ The cars guys would wander away, shaking their heads. (There were always one or two, however, who would ask, ʺWhere can I get a steering wheel like that?ʺ Gotcha!) GPL never did make much of an impression with car guys; the initial learning curve was simply too steep, and the chasm between the simulation and what was being simulated too wide. For that matter, car guys donʹt cotton much to

Pic courtesy of Brooks

Real-world car guys canʹt understand how we computer guys can drive a virtual car at racing speeds without AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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computers in the first place. The whole car thing is very physical: you can smell oil (and old-time mechanics will taste it...to tell if the bearings are shedding metal), you sense rubber grabbing the pavement, you react to the heat of the exhaust and the cool of the wind in your face, you feel it in

the pit of your stomach when the car gets light going over a hump. Computers deal in invisible bits and bytes, metaphysical pixels, strings of hypothetical 1s and 0s that donʹt exist in the tangible world. Computer geeks are digital; car guys are analog.

-I was the Editor of Car and Driver and a real-world racer--as well a cyber-veteran; the founding Editor of PC Computing in 1987...and the author of three books on computer simulations since then.) Now along comes SimBinʹs genre-

“GTR Drafting”Pic: Steve Smith (Iʹm a rare hybrid, a life-long car guyAUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

busting GTR. This one, I think, will 12


break through to car guys, and hereʹs why.

sounds and the scenery whipping by make you feel as if youʹre going fast,

Gillet Vertigo Streiff: Pic: Steve Smith

The short of it is that GTR is the most visceral auto-racing sim ever. It simply feels more like driving a race car than any other computer experience; the cars behave more like real-world vehicles than in any other hard-core simulation. From what you can sense--from the sights, sounds, and force-feedback sensations through the steering-wheel rim--the cars in GTR react as if they had mass, the suspension responds to the road surface and your steering input as if through steel springs and hydraulic shocks, the tires feel as if theyʹre made out of rubber and are scrambling for traction on pockmarked pavement, the engine strains as if itʹs generating palpable measures of torque and horsepower, the cockpit POV movements make the car seem as if itʹs being jostled by the laws of physics--not Mooreʹs law--the

and when you realize youʹre approaching the limits of adhesion, GTR makes you pump real adrenaline. It doesnʹt get any more immersive than this. The yachties talk about the way a boat ʺswims.ʺ That is, the way it goes through the water. In flight sims with ʺrelaxedʺ physics, itʹs all too easy to fly the plane: it never stalls, and no matter how tight the turn, it never loses altitude. It lands as if on an invisible wire, and it responds with the same alacrity no matter what your air speed. Likewise, in every other racing simulation, including Papyrusʹ epochal NASCAR Racing series, the physics modeling feels simplified, even cartoon-ish, compared with GTR. The way the cars ʺswimʺ in GTR is far more complex, subtle, textured. Thereʹs more going on. The physics engine AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

generates a far more layered picture of what every moving part of the car is doing at any given moment. I donʹt for a minute think that GTR will be appealing on this side of the Big Pond because Americans are fascinated with FIA GT racing (news flash: weʹre not), or because U.S. car guys canʹt wait to get a chance to drive a Gillet Vertigo Streiff (most probably donʹt even know the car was named after a French F1 driver of the 1980s...or care). Few Yanks have ever heard of obscure (to us) tracks like Enna-Pergusa or Anderstorp. I doubt that many...maybe any...Stateside race fans know who Henrik Roos is (an FIA GT driver as well as the driving force behind GTR). No, what will suck car guys in--if any sim could--is the fact that GTR seems a whole lot like driving a real race car. The beautifully rendered cockpits are convincing, the engine noises are authentic, the tires sound like racing slicks (they scuff and chatter instead of the girly squeal of tires in other sims), the axle whine is familiar to anybody whoʹs ever driven a car with straight-cut gears, clag beats like rain on the undercarriage, how the car accelerates and brakes and corners is wholly believable, the force feedback seems to ʺreadʺ the granularity of the track surface, the caster return is just the way it ought to be, and the way the car responds to suspension and drivetrain tweaks is right on the money. Speaking of tweaks, the kind and degree of setup adjustments is staggering. Many (but not all) car 13


guys imagine themselves budding Colin Chapmans, and the ability to make micrometric adjustments to arcane settings like ʺpackersʺ (aka bumpers) and differential pre-loads will keep them happy for hours, if not weeks. Unlike many other sims, both the actual values (like camber) and the effect they have on the carʹs handling are realistic, so what Boy Racers have learned auto-crossing their Mazda Miatas will be wholly applicable to the cars in GTR. But of course, GTR isnʹt merely a driving game, itʹs primarily a racing game, and thatʹs where it shines the brightest. Alison Hine and I have spent countless hours circulating our favorite tracks in GTR (Falkenberg, Brands Hatch, Brno, Watkins Glen, the A1-Ring, the Nurburgring), blabbering away on Vonage (we have headsets...and unlimited minutes), trading tips and quips, checking up when the other spins, trying out each otherʹs setups, and at the end of the day, racing flat out to the checked flag. Like me, sheʹs also a car ʺguy,ʺ having built and campaigned her own Factory Five Cobra kit car (as well as constructing other risk-taker gear like an aerobatic airplane). This is the kind of online activity I would think most like-minded autoracing aficionados would hugely enjoy participating in...and I believe they will. To be sure, there are some issues that

will impact car guys as well as regular gamers. There are bugs aplenty, minor annoyances, and gameplay issues, like why canʹt you save and view a replay during a session? Why canʹt you view standings from the cockpit? Why does the ʺsafety carʺ often act like itʹs being driven by an idiot? For car guys steeped in the lore of real-world racing, the biggest problem will be with the AI. If youʹre faster than the AI, they will usually yield-gracefully--if you get a wheel inside them. But if theyʹre faster than you are, they will bunt you out of the way and rudely bull their way past. More Americans would admit that theyʹre bad in bed than would admit that theyʹre bad behind the wheel. Bad AI wonʹt fly with car guys.

GTR Cockpit Pic: Steve Smith

For most car guys, GTR will live or AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

die on the ten tracks and 20 or so cars that ship with the game. If theyʹre computer-savvy, the car guys may venture online and seek out some of the third-party tracks and cars now beginning to proliferate on the Net. Letʹs hope not. Most of the add-on tracks have been done in haste, and the lack of craftsmanship can ruin the driving experience for anybody. Strange, mysterious bumps and invisible collision planes can be explained away in geek-speak, but gearheads wonʹt be so forgiving. Some of the 3rd-party cars neither look nor drive like their real-world counterparts. So SimBinʹs aftermarket customer care will be a big factor in keeping core audiences--geeks and greasers--coming back for more. Or not. There is a plan afoot to do at the Car and Driver 50th Anniversary Reunion (scheduled for July 23-24 at Indianapolis Raceway Park) what Alison, Doug Arnao (Doug Arnao (a realworld racer who did most of the physics for GTR) and I did at Watkins Glen all those years ago: bring the sim and some LAN-party hardware to the event and show the assembled car guys what a worldclass auto-racing simulation can do. Maybe this time weʹll knock their hats in the creek. 14


T URN O NE Jackson Loves His 69! Luvin 69s with Jackson!

1969 is the year Jackie Stewart, in the Matra Ford Cosworth, dominated the championship, winning 6 of the 11 rounds … 69 was also the year that established advertising as the way forward in F1 (following the lead of Lotus and their Gold Leaf adverts in 68) - and it is the year that introduced the concept of aero with wings sprouting on most of the cars for the season opener in South Africa. Yes, for the pedantic amongst you, wings had already been introduced in 68, in Belgium, by both Ferrari and Brabham – as a direct rip-off of the legendary American Chapparal sports cars – but 69 was the year that wings – front and aft – became standard to F1 cars … in their early incarnations, these wings were actually adjustable by the drivers themselves and came, at the onset of the 69 season, as huge struts attached directly to the suspension which would have catastrophic results in Barcelona …

So GPL 69, for many, was always going to be the year for a GPL2 – just as 67 was a turning point in Grand Prix racing (the end of an era), 1969 was the start of an era – an era of commercialism and downforce which serves as the template for openwheelers to this day. GPL 69 – a year in the making - is coming … soon … and Paul Jackson was kind enough to give ASS a behind-the-scenes look at the most anticipated mod in GPL history. And that’s saying something considering what we know already to be in the works by this same team of modders that brought us GPL 65… I ask Paul when GPL69 will be released. “I think,” says Paul, “itʹs probably less than 6 months away.” And who are the people developing it? “Paul Skingley is team leader,” replies Paul, “and he built the first 69 Ferrari 3do and edits the 3D Object files – there is Richard Cook, who is

doing the work on the physics, and working closely with Paul Thurston to incorporate these physics into the ‘GEM2’ application and changing the way GPL’s physics get used by GEM. {In other words} where there were new GPL 65 physics exes in 65 mod, and all these different mods are using different GPL exes with different suffixes – 69, 72 ,66, 65, 55, 37 {yah baby!} - now it’s just GPL.exe, but it uses another form that changes the way the executable interprets the physics. Eventually,” he concludes, “when all these are done, there will be just one GPL.exe. This is the genius work of three people – genius work – Paul Thurston, Richard Cook and Gene the codehound fellow who introduced the way GPL interprets the wing downforces into the executable file of Grand Prix Legends. Then there are the other super-talented people who are building the front end and the graphics – “CJM” who is building most of the car 3Do’s, and Luc Van Gossum who is texturing them.”

BRM P126 “…it’s not that easy to drive, it is slightly down on power, but if driven properly with a good setup, you

can get completive times with it…” AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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And what does Paul Jackson do in all of this?

now we’re getting very accurate lap times at all the original tracks.”

“I give an opinion!” he laughs, before elaborating. “I don’t have the skill to do any of this development work, but I help in some small ways.”

I ask Paul about the horsepower …

Which puts him in an ideal position to evaluate the difference between 69 and 67. “There’s a huge difference in terms of era,” says Paul, before adding, “bare in mind they {the developers} have only started incorporating real air physics and adjustable aero physics in the last 120 days of the nearly a year that we’ve been running it.” And before that, what were they doing I ask, trying not to show my impatience with a mod that I’ve been anticipating since I first heard of its development. “Before that, they were playing with the tyre grip model, and the horsepower and the lateral grip and longitudinal grip of the tyres and balancing it out,” explains Paul. “It was a pretty good and accurate way to do it as far as laptimes were concerned,” he adds, “but, the feel was not right and the ability to get a good balance on the car was not there … it was for the whole car … and these cars in 69 had the ability to dial in more grip at the front or less at the back or vice versa, or just more grip all round, or dial it all down so there was basically no aero grip, and we had no way of doing that until four months ago when the ability to utilize wings that would change not only the grip levels {were introduced}. If you,” he explains, “introduce more angle to the wings, like change it from zero to 15 degrees, you lose 10-15mph in top end while driving in GPL – and

“Probably 10% -15% more {than 67},” he replies. “They’re pretty accurate to the way they really were – most cars are running modified Ford DFVs, modified just like they really were, so the torque curve profile is similar in most cars as well as bhp, which is probably about 420 - 450.” And what about the cars? “First off, one factor affecting all of these GPL mods is the research. Not one of these mods would ever remotely approach satisfactory completion without the tireless dedication to research. Most often this has been headed up by David Wright (http://fp.gplegends.plus.com/) who has assumed the role of realism police.” “As for the cars, the Ferrari 312, the Lotus 49B, the Gold Leaf one and,” Paul pauses for a moment, “the Lotus 63 is there, the 4wheel drive-” The what?! “Amazing,” says Paul laughing, “piece of junk car but historically wonderful.”

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

The Lotus 63 was a pig – a four wheel drive that made its debut at the nonchampionship 1969 International Cup at Oulton Park in the hands of soon to be World Champion Jochen Rindt … it came second that day (albeit a lap down in a wishy-washy field), but that did not disguise its inherent faults. That, however, did not stop other developers – Matra, McLaren and Cosworth - from developing their own 4WDs, none of which made any impression, although the 69 Matra in Stewart’s hands was, in fact, aheavily modified version of their own abandoned 4WD effort. Fact is, though, that Lotus was a pig, right? “I know,” he readily agrees, “some of the 69 guys refused to drive it – it’s a real dog, won’t turn …” That’s, I say, because it had four wheel drive eh! But then, what I know about mechanics – well, there it is already … and anyway, it can’t have been as bad as Cosworth’s 4 WD effort of the same era … and what other cars? “We have the Brabham BT26A, these are the low wing cars … BRM P126, McLaren M7, and the Matra MS80.”

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A cursory look at the 69 season is enough to confirm that this pretty much comprises a full field at any race that season. The first races of 69, until the debacle at Barcelona, saw the cars run the tall wings – after Barcelona, they were forced to run them low – I ask Paul whether the low and high wing cars – both of which are being developed for the 69 mod – can run together. As it turns out, it’s a yes and no answer. “No, they have to run in a high wing or low wing race on your local machine but,” he adds, “it doesn’t matter what the server runs for an online race – so you can run whatever you feel like running online, whatever gives you better frame rates.” This, as he explains, will be the lowwing cars. I ask him about whether they’ve been working on the tyre physics, which even Dave Kaemmer has identified as the most disappointing part of GPL.

front wheels facing the direction of the tail slide which is wonderful. It’s just beautiful – hey, 1.18s seconds at Mosport.” And at Monza? “1:25s only,” says Paul, “one second faster or so.” And why? “There’s a trade off in speed,” Paul explains. “In Kyalami in 69 they were getting under 180mph down the front straight, which is way slower that 67 on top end – but they’re still coming in at a lap of 1.16’s because you can corner so well.” So besides the tyres, the wings (adjustable independently), what else has changed between 67 and 69? And will the user immediately notice the differences? “Well it depends how thick skinned the user is,” says Paul. “Some people won’t notice the difference at all – to me it’s enormous – did you ever try the 65 mod?” he asks

“Yes they have,” replies Paul, “it’s quite similar in to the improvements to the 65 mod in that low-speed lateral slip angle was inaccurate and it’s much better in this – what’s really cool is that, with the right kind of setup in 69, you can powerslide just beautifully.” I can’t help but smile. “In 67,” he continues, “you struggled to powerslide and use opposite lock to pull out of a powerslide –you had to use the opposite of opposite lock and turn into the apex to get outward slip on the front wheels, otherwise the car would just spin - but with 69, you can have a proper powerslide with the tail hanging out and the AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Yes, I tell him, I liked it but it went against my macho Italian ego – they were just … too slow! “69 is the same difference,” Paul replies quickly, as if anticipating my answer, “except in the opposite direction – it is a very important mod, because it’s the kind of mod that will reduce the gap between people who can play GPL 20 hours a day – and the casual GPLers; it will reduce the gap a little bit but it will still allow the very talented to excel incredibly well.” In what way? “It won’t be like 67,” says Paul, “where, if you get into a group of aliens on VROC, you don’t have a chance in hell.” Speak for yourself Paul! What about the graphics and frame rates that have been rumoured to be a problem? “Remember, you’re bringing in wings back and front – and especially in the high-wing models that are bringing

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many more polygons in the 3DOs of the cars, so they’re experimenting with different ways to reduce the effect on frame rates – the problem is that GPL – they’re eventually going to develop GPL so much one day that a 10gig machine won’t be able to run it.” It’s still, I tell him, the best openwheel sim we have. And the best online. Sad, in a way, considering it’s been in that position for almost eight years. “It’s awesome online,” says Paul, “I run two servers 24 hours a day, been doing it or four years now, and they get used 24 a day, around the clock, and I reboot those machines once every 3 to 4 months – it’s extraordinary.”

GPL 69 Gives You Wings!

So, I ask, what about the actual graphics? “In 69, the team,” Paul explains, “we’re talking about 25 people - have rebuilt new 3DOs and are putting the new graphics on them now. The cars,” he adds, “are not all the same, they’re all different and all pretty accurate to the way they really were – the only thing that I guess is boring in the 69 game is that most of the cars are running Ford DFVs which makes them very competitive and the performance similarities are being off-set by the really weird handling characteristics which were realistic in those cars.” And the tyres? “They were grooved tyres,” he tells

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

me, “{but} much wider than 67. And they started going with lower profiles too – so you’re getting a lot of grip – really, it is truly wonderful, I feel it is better than the NASCAR sims …”– But will there be tyre wear? “That’s the only area where it hasn’t developed,” says Paul. In order to develop that, he adds, “It would take someone like Dave Kaemmer and a group of people quite a lot of time to excavate the GPL.exe and rebuild it ...” And the fuel? “Different fuel usage,” says Paul, “is being accurately built into the physics – both the engine wear characteristics, the braking characteristics, the fuel usage are all

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being programmed and dialed into the exes that represent accurately what was going on in 69 – just like the horrific behavior of the Lotus 63 – don’t expect many people to drive it online for different reasons – it handles like a scotch car and it brakes down all the time – and that’s what it is gonna do online – but,” he says, laughing, “there will be people who are going to want to drive it – but I don’t know why, maybe they like sticking needles in their eyes!” I ask whether the wings will brake off. “No, they are graphically attached – that would constitute quite a framerate hit – and it’s not possible.” I ask Paul about the FPS situation. “You need,” he estimates, “depending on the settings – a gforce based grafix card running on a machine with a CPU of at least 1.6GHz – and preferably running opengl to give you a very smooth experience. I would expect a machine running D3D – my machine can run both – I suffer a little bit running D3D and I get down to the high 20s running direct D3D in 1600 x 1200.” So compared to GPL 67, how do the FPS compare? “I could run the original – the GPLEA cars, high res – quite comfortably on a 1.3gig Athlon machine with the gforce3 card on opengl and I’d get 36 fps – if I tweaked my setting on my current machine I could get 36 fps on line with 69 – a 2.3gig AMD with gforcefx grafix card.” Will there be any weather effects?

“No weather effects,” says Paul. “Some people have done some tracks with wet grip levels but no – you see, the people believe – and quite rightly – that GPL can be modified to the point where it can probably eclipse what N2003 season had, but the problem is that in some groups people believe that GPL already offers more – seven chassis possibilities with 100s of tracks, different seasons – in fact, so far, it’s about to be three season or eras of racing – 67, 69, 65 and soon to be released after 69, will be 55.” And also, I remind him, Beckman’s 37 mod. “I’ve been driving that as well,” Paul says, and listens to me choke on my

bran flakes. “I’m on his team,” he offers as a by-the-by, “{and} I think it’s better than all of them – the problem with ‘37 is that not many people possess the dedication it will take to master it properly – you put your foot down in 4th at 180mph and the back end spins!” Of course, I am not biased but – excuse me while I jump to the important stuff – have you, I ask, driven the Ferrari in 69? “It’s not the best car,” he tells me and laughs. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Well, that is accurate then; since Ferrari’s best result was a fourth place at Zandvoort in the hands of ‘lucky’ Chris Amon. On the other hand, the Ferrari in 69 was quick – but it suffered from woeful reliability of the engine, in particular. “It’s the most beautiful car though,” says Paul, picking up on my silence, “and it revs to about 11,000 something and sounds wonderful. The Fords are in the 10,000rpm range.” That’s 4,000 more than 67, I tell him, showing my knowledge of the Fords (truth be told, in the seven years that I messed with GPL, the Ferrari I used for 99% of all races – except for that stint with the Honda …).

“67 was 9,000” he corrects me. No wonder, I tell him, I was so slow … He laughs. Politely. Before asking whether I was driving the trainer cars. I quickly change the subject to engines - can you swap them around? “Yes you can, inside GEM,” says Paul. And so the best engine would be …

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“The best engine was the DFV. The Ferrari is a beautiful engine – like the 67 Ferrari, it was really smooth and had great torque so you could lug it around much more successfully than the Eagle or BRM – but the Ferrari,

slower so automatically you have more downforce and less horizontal speed so it makes your grip more effective.”

like the 67 one, is very thirsty on fuel, so in full GP length races you’re gonna battle, you might even have to refill – we’ll have to see …” He adds after a moment; “the problem with the Ferrari is that you have to put in so much more fuel and you can feel that extra weight.”

will alter significantly from 67?

I ask him to demonstrate the difference in grip – say, at the Curva Grande at Monza. “5th gear. Not 4th,” says Paul. “You stay in 5th, just keep turning the wheel and keep the throttle down. Because you have wings and, remember, you are traveling 15mph

All of which means the driving style

“Yes,” says Paul, “Different. It’s much more using aero than sliding, but there’s still a lot of sliding. The other thing is that you can start making use of realistic suspension settings; in 67, we all went for the lowest static ride height {so bad that Papyrus’s 1.2 patch forced the user to use higher ride-heights} – in 69 you can go for realistic ones that are in some instances as high as 4 inches, and that really helps with soft springs and soft spring rates at tracks like Mosport and Zandvoort and Brands, where there’s a lot of spring AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

compressions and you want to retain grip even when the car is getting light You still want the tyres to stay in contact, so you adjust the rebound settings front and back accordingly, and give yourself a lot of height with

soft suspensions so you have much more grip all the way through, and the cars don’t fly because they have wings – it’s great fun and so much better.” So what about setups then – same as 67 except for wings? “Well the wings are adjustable in GEM – we cannot change the panel inside the setup window of GPL, which is hard coded into the exe. When you’re in GEM,” he explains, “ready to launch GPL, you look at the track you’re gonna race – let’s say it’s Montjuic Park – you set your wings accordingly, knowing that you can’t 20


use a Monza style, it’s a track that is very up and down with two very tight hairpins, so you need a lot of body roll, you need your tyres touching {the tarmac} all the time and you want as much downforce while the car is rolling as well {because} there’s dips and jumps at Montjuic Park, so you change the wing settings accordingly - that’ll stop you flying when you go over the jump and that’ll give you max grip in the turns cause there’re few straights at Montjuic Park – so you set the wings in GEM, then you click GPL and it launches GPL with those wings settings built into the .exe – and then you go and find a similar setup like Mosport, import it to the Montjuic Park track and off you go.”

all had them on there, but I am the manager of the Montjuic Park track project and it’ll be released a month or two earlier than the mod and {I can tell you} that the track is extremely demanding on frame rates, so they may not be able to run this mod on that track and get good frame rates. We’ll have to see.

snapped off his car causing his, yes, Embassy Hill (Graham Hill’s team) to fly into the crowd killing four spectators …

Speaking of Montjuic Park … that was the defining race of 69, wasn’t it? The track was built in a park overlooking Barcelona, and was extremely tricky not only due to its undulating nature, but due to the fact that it ran counter-clockwise and was viciously fast on one side, and violently slow on the other. It was also a temporary circuit … and in 69, its temporary nature would result in a huge shunt which would force the sport to re-evaluate the new wings. Graham Hill’s enormous high-wing snapped off and pitched him into the safety barriers. Before Rindt, running in second, collected Hill’s car. And that ended the experiment with the high-wings; sadly, in 1975 Montjuic Park would come to prominence again when Stommelen’s rear-wing

difficult Montjuic Park and ClermontFerrand replacing Rouen.

I ask Paul whether the other tracks from the 69 season will be included in one authentic ‘package’? They raced on the same tracks as 67 – 11 rounds with the addition of the superbly

And other setup options – 67 or the more intricate 65? “Outside GPL just the wings, but inside, it’s the 65 setup thing – it has smaller increments, for example the spring setting and camber etc., - the jump steps are much smaller so its finer tuning, same as gear box ratios.” And what about advertising? “Some of them had advertising,” he tells me, “like the Gold Leaf for Lotus, some of them had Goodyear or Firestone on the wing.” So is there ay difference between high wing and low? “Nothing in feel,” says Paul. “It just looks different – the only time people would use the high wing over the low wing is if they were interested in being historically accurate and they were in an early season race like Montjuic Park at Barcelona and they

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

“I can’t tell you, don’t know,” says Paul definitively, “but it will be historically accurate – they will have Montjuic Park! Montjuic Park is very much Jackson’s project, and I ask him to elaborate a bit on creating this track for GPL. This track, legend has it, is probably one of the most challenging that have ever been built – and also about the most beautiful. “Montjuic Park is very accurate,” Paul tells me, “the track is built on city roads and in August 2002 I took a flight to Barcelona for a day and walked around the track six or seven times and took 900 pics – I took a level and did a survey on the heights, 21


the inclines on the track, the cambers – and then I flew back and started working on it – been working on it for 2 years. It’s a beautiful track …”

GPL is a little soft and mushy and smooth where it wasn’t like that in real life.”

Thunder Cars have ‘violated’ the unspoken rule about modding GPL – that is, real cars, real seasons only …

Any way of changing it?

“I’m sad that people want to get

So is someone working to collate all the tracks from 69? “The problem,” Paul confides, “is that the track builders cannot work to the schedules of the mod builders and it’s very difficult to have a really accurate release date for the mod itself, so if we work really hard on Montjuic Park, we may be finished in three months and I think it is possible [but unlikely] that the 69 mod will be finished in 3 months from now.” So, I ask, what the hell’s the hold up already? “To make it run on machines that are still running voodoo 2s,” Paul tells me laughing. Screw em, I say - Can’t we have the high res version already? This is bloody America – screw the poor! “This is a totally free community,” Paul reminds me … So does he think this will revitalize GPL? “I hope so – but I can’t be sure. The time for a sim like GPL is going by the wayside.” Can he compare GPL69 with the current craze – GTR? “There’s such a high level of sophistication in the GTR cockpit,” says Paul, who confesses to only having played the demo so far, “and there’s a lot of refinement that exists in the way what you see on the screen gets delivered through an FF wheel it is much more refined than GPL –

“Like I said before, almost anything can be changed, but we’d have to be working in full cooperation of the gurus that created it in the first place and those people are, I think, happy for GPL to be modded as it is now.” Is 69 GPL 1.5? “I think GPL 65 was a completely new game to GPL – it should have been called GPL 2 – and GPL69 is a huge step forward – a massive step forward.” And what, I wonder, does he think about the Thunder Cars mod that have wings – but no physics to match? “It’s a fun thing, not a serious thing,” says Paul. I ask him whether he feels the sentiment – expressed by some purists - that the guys that did AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

angry about something like that,” says Paul, “it’s not appropriate, first of all, because people are losing touch that this is actually a computer game, it’s not real, and I know people build train sets and spend 100,000 dollars on very accurate train sets, and that’s fine, but other people like to push trains around with their hands – GPL is the same thing, and there must be forgiveness and love for everyone in the community and I appreciate people that take things very seriously and I tell you now the track I’m building is extremely accurate and people are going to hate driving it because it was a bitch to drive on – but it is accurate.” Speaking of tracks – does he think that maybe there’re too many for GPL, and that there’s no way of distinguishing the good from the ugly? 22


“There are about 400-450 tracks,” agrees Paul, “and I’ve driven bout 350 of them! I have driven every single one of the real tracks – and the real tracks I drive because I enjoy doing it – playing this computer game – and I’ve not lost touch with the fact that I’m playing a game – and if I’m not having fun I’ll stop doing it – but I won’t stop doing it because a tree is the wrong colour. And if you don’t think it serious enough, you’re welcome to make a change yourself and give it for free to the community – or not. It’s a strong and big community – 50,000 strong. There’re 50,000 members at RSC – there’s maybe 30,000 somewhat active, they read something every couple of days.”

“The internet can provide you almost anything you need - pictures, tech specs, right down to the diameter to the coil on the springs. It’s available to just about anyone who has the tenacity to hunt it down. Many of the people in the team will have either seen or have gone to the Goodwood Festival of Speed where almost all these cars are every year – there was a celebration race last year at Monaco where the lotus 69 49Bs ran – and that twit crashed one – Japanese F1 driver … but so there’s a lot of up to date film, video and photography on

I ask him how many d/loads for 65? “Just over 30,000,” says Paul off the top of his head. And for the original GPL? “Under 100,000 – 60,000 or less actually.”

“It’s final,” he announces, “the physics, we’ll fine tune stuff, but most of the physics are close to complete already – the power, the feel, the ability to adjust the wings – now it’s characteristics like overheating characteristics of the motor and at what point can you brake a motor by overheating it. As well as this, team is also working hard on making the grafix and the wings work in a way that frame rates get increased, pushed up; every week there’s a little tweak that happens and 3DOs of these cars, which are skeletons, they get changed slightly and it just allows that little bit more free flowing and less grind on the cpu.” Do the wings, I ask, affect other cars?

So does he think 69 will be more successful? “I don’t think so,” answers Paul, “for a couple of reasons. I believe IGOR was a bit of a failure. It wasn’t very easy or friendly – however, there is hope because of VROC 2 – or 3 …You can launch IGOR or VROC from GEM 2 which is the programme that launches GPL in any mod you wanna run. I probably am going to reconfigure my two servers back to running VROC instead of IGOR because it is more stable …”

So how close is the current version to what the team anticipates will be the final mod?

“There’s a huge difference as far as drafting cars and slipstream, because the car with wings makes a much bigger hole in the air for following cars than in 67, even if the 67 car travels at a higher velocity – they make a bigger hole in the air so it’s much more effective for a following car until he pulls out for a pass and then his speed decreases much quicker because it’s like having air brakes. It’s a wonderful thing and I’m privileged to be part of it.”

Press the Green Button why doncha! anything one needs.” Drivers? “A whole new season with accurate drivers right down to Rindt …” Cockpits? “Quite close to the way they were – you won’t be able to distinguish between the photos and the real thing.”

So how close are the 69 cars to their originals?

Demo? AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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“No,” says Paul, before explaining that, “they {the developers} are not sure during development that the physics are finalised, working and correct in every respect, and if they find something now, and they gave the demo out two months ago that actually make the cars run slower, you’ll get people running that old demo online and no-one will be able to catch them cause they’re running the old demo. That was why there was such a level of security in the 65 mod and every other mod except this Thunder Cars – because Thunder Car mod is a fun thing, not a serious thing, there may be changes to that, I don’t know - but with 69, 65, 55, 37, nobody will get those exes until those mods are finished.”

“Acceleration, they’re {69} a little quicker, top-end slower, cornering noticeably quicker. The biggest change is on tight tracks, tracks that are up and down, Mosport versus Monza; at Monza, there’s not that big a difference - a second, second and a half - at Mosport, it’ll be three seconds at least – at the Ring, 15 seconds – I’ve run a 7:35 or something like that in the Lotus 49.” Best car? “Depends on the track. The McLaren M7 is lovely – and I love the smoothness and predictability of the Brabham BT26 – I also like the Ferrari, but the Brabham to me feels

“The performance of the cars are very close – the Brabham, the Ferrari, the Matra, the McLaren and the Lotus 49 are very similar – the lotus 63 was a lot heavier and just didn’t work very well and is way off – the BRM is also in a different league - it’s probably more like the Cooper or the Honda in 67 – and the Matra MS80 is lovely …” 6 months? “I think it’ll be 6 months – with luck, it’ll be less! But it’s not me that’s building it!” So we can’t start a petition for faster release then? “No …”

Not even me? Paul doesn’t comment. So what comes first? “69 will come first – then the 55.” Who is working on the 55 mod? “Same people,” says Paul, explaining that, “there are not that many people who have the mathematical insight to work on the physics as well as the demanding grafix talents to build a 37 or 55 car. Very difficult.” So can he compare the 69 to 67 in terms of performance?

very nice – but the most challenging and satisfying car is the BRM P126 it’s not that easy to drive, it is slightly down on power, but if driven properly with a good setup, you can get completive times with it.” Despite the fact the 69 saw the dominance of the Matra in Stewart’s hands, the actual cars were very competitive – the same in GPL 69?

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

So that’s that then; Paul Jackson, by the way, was raised just a few blocks from my old haunting ground in good ole Jo’burg – does that, you think, entitle me to a beta copy of GPL 69? If it did, you wouldn’t be reading this for sure … so write to Paul and tell him to send me a beta – for the common good of all!

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T URN T WO Interview with BRD’s MD Simon Ball Jon Denton talks hardware, sims and life with Simon Ball of BallRacing Developments (BRD) …

more like the real thing.

This potential was quickly spotted by our father, Roger, who, as a project manager with an international bank, had only recently been made redundant. After some preliminary market research and meetings with a designer, less than 12 months after Tim’s joystick tinkering, BRD was set up, in 1994 , with our father as the chairman, to produce the GP500 steering wheel and pedal controls Simon Ball, BRD’s Managing Director system, which, happily, received glowing praise Q. Your company designs and from PC games magazines and became builds what many regard as the something of an overnight success. finest sim-racing hardware in the world. What made you decide to Within a few years, BRD was moving setup a company to do such a thing, into the corporate world, building and what was the background to the simulators for leading motorsport companyʹs inception? companies and teams, such as McLaren, Toyota, Jaguar, Williams, Peugeot, Ford, A. BRD’s inception came about through Orange Arrows, Vauxhall and Goodyear, quite remarkable circumstances, thanks to provide them and their sponsors with to the curiosity of my younger brother, racecar simulators. The motorsports Tim, who is now Technical Director of covered Formula One, World Rally BallRacing Development Ltd. Tim, then Championship series, British Touring a 21-year-old wannabe race driver, was Car Championship, and Deutsche playing a racing game on the old Amiga, Tourenwagen Meisterschaft, the but wasnʹt too impressed with the German-based national touring car joystick/keyboard controls which at that championship. time, in 1993, was the standard system. With nothing more sophisticated than a couple of wire coat-hangers and papiérmaché to form and mould a steering wheel, and blocks of wood for roughlyshaped pedals, Tim cannibalised the electronics of the joystick to produce a prototype for a controls system that had the potential to make sim- racing far

Q. How do your feel your products fit into the world market for commercial sim-racing hardware? Do you feel you have major competition from the likes of Frex, TSW or ECCI, or do you feel your products stand on their own? A. While we are in the same industry, AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

our products and markets, I feel, are somewhat different. Frex make kits for other control systems such as the Microsoft Sidewinder wheel and pedal set, and not stand-alone units. All BRD sim-racing hardware is designed, developed and produced by BRD and are therefore stand-alone. For different reasons, we don’t see TSW or ECCI as major competitors, that is, outside of the USA. While, in the case of ECCI, their hardware appears well engineered, they lack, we believe, the finesse and functionality of the European concept. The result is a high international cost of distribution, which effectively means, in a marketing sense, they are very much land-locked. On another front, the reason BRD is in this industry is not first and foremost to make sim-racing controls but rather to make tools to enable people to access motorsport. As mentioned earlier, Tim developed the driving controls not because he loved the racing game but because he loved racing, and having steering and pedals meant he could practice driving technique whilst at the same time having fun playing a game. I do not know the motives for other manufacturers being in the market but our motive is the love of motorsport, and a real desire to make it accessible to all through the best simulation products on the market. Q. What are your thoughts concerning the more ʺaffordableʺ end of the market. In terms of hardware sets costing £100 or less, how do you feel the products of Logitech, Microsoft or ACT Labs bear up to closer scrutiny? A. They are more affordable in the sense that a customer’s headline cost is 25


reduced, paying perhaps £60-90 for a set of controls. However, while our controls, with their greater precision and performance, are certainly more expensive, they are still in use many years later. People who have bought socalled affordable controls tell us that, with more serious sim-racing regular use, they have to be replaced after five or six months. Taking, as an example, a typical purchase of our 3 pedal Speed7 unit and a Pro V2 wheel costing in total around £450 incl. VAT, most people would not have to spend anything further on their set-up for the next three years, whereas, with your more affordable unit, you might need to replace it five or six times over the same period. Clearly, the socalled more affordable items are not cheaper in the long run.

Having said that, cost is only one issue. With our controls you would expect to see greater performance as well, so investing in better quality, more expensive controls to start with should in the end work out to be good value for money, giving years of excellent performance.

A. I think the experiences of Microsoft and ACT Labs will deter all but the bravest or foolhardiest manufacturer from entering the market. Logitech is more in the middle of the market, while there is a whole stratum at the bottom end, for controls for PlayStations, starting as low as £12.

Q. Given the withdrawal of Microsoft and ACT Labs, the market for affordable sim-racing hardware has fallen into a large trough. For the sim-racer on a budget there are now very few choices. Do you think that other players will enter this market or is sim-racing to become a domain for those ʺcommittedʺ enough to pay the price for higher quality hardware, much like the flight sim market has become?

PCs are where itʹs at for simulation, but hardware developers arenʹt going to develop for it on a mass scale because they donʹt perceive a mass market for it. Logitech are in it, I believe still, because they produce steering controls for PlayStation 2, which they do extremely successfully. I imagine, off the back of that, it subsidises their continued involvement in the PC market. I canʹt see anybody serious player coming into the PC market with a cheap £100 controls system. You canʹt do it unless you are going for a mass market, which, as I say, doesnʹt exist. Q. Would you consider building a lower price unit to capture this end of the market or would the compromises in technology and build quality inherent in such design be considered unacceptable? A. No, for reasons stated. It is not a commercially feasible market. Low cost mass production requires an entirely different mindset and business model, something we do not see as being

Senior fabricator and laminator Paul Holmes checking the rear wing of an F1 car

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compatible with our central goal of making motorsport more accessible to the widest possible audience. Q. The design and build timescale for the new Speed7 Wheel has been a long road. Talk me through the problems and trials that have been involved in building BRDʹs first Force Feedback wheel. A. We initially started looking at force feedback back in 1996 and decided at the time that it wasnʹt the way to go. However, over the next couple of years the technology began to improve dramatically, as has our appreciation of it. Consequently, we have been installing a proprietary system for use in our bigger simulators since 1998, but for the past 18 months or so we have been working on the Speed7 Wheel, which is now close to production. In addition to time spent in resolving licensing issues to allow us to build this force feedback wheel, we have needed to source some specialist skills and the right components to ensure that what we produce is better in performance and reliability than what is currently available on the market.

Q. How would you respond to many in the community that regard the pricing of the Speed 7 to be too high to justify for their ʺhobbyʺ sport? A. There are few sports you can do, I would say, that cost as little as a set of our controls. With a life span of at least three years, you are talking about £150 a year for your sport, which seems to me to a very good deal. Yes, you need a PC as well but there are very few sports this cheap, even factoring in a PC. The problem we see is that, on the one hand, many in the sim community wants simracing to be treated like a sport, while, on the other, they donʹt want the level of costs that such a sport inevitably requires. Q. In your opinion will there ever be ʺstandardisationʺ in the sim-racing hardware market, in terms of hardware design and software drivers? A. Quite possibly. Basically, somebody needs to come along and say, ʹLetʹs set up a standardisation group, which says this is the way all hardware controls will be written, or the drivers for them and sets out a standard for software developers to write controller support.ʹ We would be happy to be part of a standardisation process and is something to which we are giving further thought.

Senior fabricator and laminator Paul Holmes operating the autoclave

Q. Given the competitive nature of sim-racing, can it ever truly ʺworkʺ as a sport when the hardware being used between

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racers varies to such levels as it does now? In theory, If I were to win a race with a full BRD Speed 7 setup, against a driver using a five-year-old Microsoft Sidewinder FF wheel (connected via gameport!), can that driver not argue that I owe a great deal of my performance to the equipment I am using? Or is it that Elite leagues will be setup (not unlike Formula One!) where drivers with cheaper hardware will effectively ʺcostedʺ out of the running? A. This is a Minardi vs. Ferrari situation. The quality of the hardware is obviously going to make a reasonably significant difference, more than just the skill of the driver alone. Obviously, putting a good driver in a bad car means he is not going to be able to compete as effectively as he would in a better car, but putting a bad driver in a good car does not mean he will automatically win! If your pocket can afford better hardware, it is going to give you an advantage, assuming all other things being equal. I donʹt see how that makes sim-racing any different from any other sport. Unless you go for a one-make series, with racers who have BRD controls, for example, but I donʹt see that happening yet. Above all, you have still got to be able to drive. The controls donʹt drive you, unlike the case in F1 with all the computer-aided controls! Even in a fiveyear-old controls system, you have still got to have the talent to be successful. And with a BRD Speed 7, you canʹt put any driver in and expect them to win, any more than you can put any driver into a Ferrari and expect him to win. Yes, I suppose Elite leagues could be set up, but again the leagues would be based not 27


a point I would like to get across. Many sim drivers donʹt realise that the market isn’t big enough actually to justify our level of investment, which, as in the case of the force feedback has been enormous. We stay with it because it is a market we have historically been involved in and want to continue to see develop towards our goal of making motorsport more accessible through simulation. Q. Where does the future of simracing hardware lie? Will we ever see pressure sensitive brake pedals, force feedback clutch pedals (that feel ʺrightʺ) and gearboxes? A. A gearbox is something we are developing and it should be available around June time. We should have a gearbox shift arrangement as on a car. That will ultimately be force feedback capable, so that if a driver fails to use the clutch properly, or at the wrong revs, he

A welder welding a part of a chassis for a F1 car

on the quality of your controls, but rather the quality of your driving ability first and foremost. Q. Do you expect the technology developed for the Speed 7 wheel to ever be superseded or for another manufacturer to produce a similar level of quality to a competitive product? A. Well, I certainly expect us to be superseding our own technology. We donʹt stand still. We are continually developing. We would not come out and say we have got the perfect, never-to-bebeaten solution. In respect of another manufacturer doing so, it is always possible, but whether the economics are there for someone to justify it is another matter. We subsidise the cost of development of consumer controls by the work we do on the corporate side. That’s

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won’t be able to engage the gear. This obviously requires outputs from the sim software but the design of the gearbox will allow for it. As for force feedback on the pedals, we started experimenting with them three or four years ago, but we found the cost to be so enormous. The reliability wasnʹt there, either. We experimented with some different oil-filled dampers to go on the pedals...you pass an electrical current through and it makes the oil more or less viscous, which alters how the pedals feel dynamically...but they were around £100 per damper, which made it impossible. I canʹt see us doing it as standard, unless the technology, and the demand, came along to reduce the costs. Tim Ball, Technical Director, running a diagnostic check on a new simulator Q. Where do you see the future of sim-racing going? Which of the current crop of products ʺin the the new PlayStation developments that pipelineʺ do you see as ʺthe futureʺ are coming along which also make for sim-racing? getting online simpler. There you have A. From our point of view, the longerterm future of sim-racing is very bright. BRD has certain plans to expand the sport in a way that we believe will radically improve not only its competitive structure but also its appeal. I think we should be in a position to go public with more details on this later this year. As things stand at the moment, I donʹt think it is going anywhere, unless it can attract more people. To attract more people it has got to be easier to get online. The only way currently I can see it increasing is through involving some of

got a mass market, but at the same time the software really isn’t there. The short term appears a little grim perhaps, but I believe there are some developments in the pipeline worth getting excited about but which at this stage I cannot go into. As far as other developers go, I cannot comment on what they have in the pipeline as we have been too focused on our own developments to be following theirs. BRD products can be found here: http://www.interactiveracing.com

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T URN T HREE GTR nonline – The Good, the Lag & the Ugly After the release of GTR in Germany, Smokin Bob has had a wondrous time with the sim—his love affair with the Lister has been healthily renewed from the GTR2002 days and many nights have been wasted {to the detriment of ASS readers –Ed} in a MoTeC induced euphoric state of mind. Smokin Bob’s sheen, however, was disturbed when he was forced to investigate the issues of leagues trying to use GTR as their platform. Many in the mainstream media, and on RSC and SimBin forums (supposedly "in the know"), have been waxing lyrical over the multiplayer aspect of GTR as being ‘best in the business’. That didn’t tally with what ASS was being told by the leagues themselves – and with this in mind, Smokin Bob set out to discover the truth … The November 2004 release of GTR in Germany was a hugely anticipated event. Nearly 2 years in development, GTR promised to take the aging Motor 1.0 technology created by Image Space Incorporated to new heights of accuracy and precision. Well, as they say—the rest is history. Or is it? Without question, GTR has proven to be the most detailed, accurate, and exacting simulation of Sports Cars ever done. The steepness of its learning curve is matched only by the complexities of the included MoTeC telemetry system. As of now, GTR remains, for many, the best racing sim available. But there were questions even before the product shipped, most of them surrounding an acknowledged weakness of the ISI code base—

multiplayer. Long the ‘death knell’ of simulators based on this particular code, the multiplayer was where many predicted GTR would fall short. Instabilities, lacking non-dedicated server solutions, and overall limited usefulness left many people skeptical of SimBin’s ability to solve what seemed to be an inherent and, in SimBin’s case, an inherited glitch. So how did it turn out? For the offline racer or an onliner doing some practice—pure Nirvana. Period. For the casual punter, and a few of his buddies—not too shabby, but there are some steep bandwidth requirements. We are pushing actual vertex damage data around here— you need bandwidth. You want better graphics—you need bandwidth. As the complexity and accuracy of sims have improved over the years, so have the bandwidth requirements, and it is almost ludicrous in this day and age to expect a sim of GTR’s complexity to run well on a dial up, or low upstream situation—it just isn’t going to happen and I for one am glad we are moving along technology wise. So, for the casual pickup races— again, we approach Nirvana here. And then the leagues gave it a try. To them, Nirvana is a word, and not one to be used in the description of the installation, administration, interpretation and parsing of data results of GTR. To the leagues, GTR is a Holy Mess. Where the clubbers may meet every so often for a bit of paint trading and lie telling, the leagues approach online competition with a seriousness that rivals real world AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

teams and drivers—weeks are spent on developing setups for an upcoming race, massive amounts of statistical data is tracked, studied, and distributed, and the preparation alone for such an event can consume dozens of hours. Whereas the offline player finds solace with a certain aspect of self improvement, and immersion into the simulator world, the hardcore online crowd craves the adrenaline rush that only online play can bring. It is bad enough to worry about the race itself, to have to worry about a dysfunctional arena for that race is just this side of tragic. So what is going on? Surely SimBin knew of the Motor 1.0 multiplayer problems of the past…? I mean, they certainly embraced the study sim guys, the casual online race pickup guys, but to not have even rudimentary features that would aid the leagues? I found this hard to believe, but as I dug a bit deeper, the facts, sadly, seemed to point to this very lapse. A tawdry tale of promised features, documented—yet missing—features and secret countdown timers that God only knows control what. My mission was clear—get the story on this or you’re fired! Well, since I work for free, getting fired did not bother me too much. But I wanted to find out anyway. Because from what I can see, there is a definite lack of communication, and the ‘it’s because of competition and trade secrets’ excuse just doesn’t hold water. Not for something as simple as a yes or no question.

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The Computer Games webpage published an interview with Wolfgang Duhr, of SimBin Development Team AB, on March 6th 2005: Duhr, in that interview, claimed that, “The LAN and Multiplayer features in GTR are so good that people are going to love to race against their friends online; it is just painstakingly good and addictive to race this game online. “SimBin is also working hard on the future of online racing and will present new concepts for this to all game buyers of GTR in the near future.” http://www.cgonline.com/content/view/671/2/

You can surely forgive Duhr for sounding like a Bush official talking about Iraq on this – that’s his job, after-all. Things get a bit murkier, though, when Boomtown, in their review April 8th claim that, “SimBin is well aware that multiplayer is key if the game is to sustain its longevity. GTR is most definitely the result of some hard-core beta-testing, a job the Germans found themselves involuntarily doing. When the game was released, the net-code was rather troublesome and many began to suspect that SimBin had just been blowing the marketing horns instead of actually fixing problems. …Fortunately SimBin proved that it was determined to solve the problems and work with the community, and after some patches the multiplayer component now works really well {and further} … the multiplayer-component is outstanding” …

Well, so much for that then. But things get just flat-plain bizarre when a guy like Andy Mahood, in his review of GTR in the US PC Gamer, May 2005, Issue 136, page 76, makes the astounding claim that—. “The single player game ships with so many highlights—exquisitely sampled engine and gearbox, audio; convincing car damage; exceptional force feedback effects; detailed MoTeC analysis software—that some may overlook GTR’s robust multiplayer component and that would be a monumental mistake, as the game boasts some of the smoothest net code on the market, with dedicated online support for up to 56 players”. I nearly fell out of my chair when I read that. I have a great deal of respect for Andy Mahood, as over the years he has proven time and again to be a strong supporter of the simulator market, and I look forward to his work with every issue. But this particular quote has caught me a bit off guard. Unless he has been reviewing some other simulator, or got the TOP SECRET activation code a bit early (the new concept, perhaps, that Duhr was referring to?)—that comment is simply not true. It may say so on the box (mine doesn’t—it boasts of ‘...intense multiplayer action...’), and it may be a design spec—but it just is not happening that way for the leagues. Not by a mile. I won’t speculate on the substance of this quote—I bring it up only to give a ‘bookend’ to the extremes of belief about GTR and league play. This is AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

the extreme where everything is perfect, and everyone is happy. A cursory scan of SimBin’s own forums, however, is enough to dispel these claims in very short order … Now we discuss the other extreme, or what I like to call—the way it really is. At least at the time of this writing. First things first; ‘Will there be a dedicated server for this simulator that does not require a DirectX 8.1 video card (or higher), or the CD ROM in the drive?” Now, that is a fair question. The promise of just such a server was in the documentation (and also present in the software) that shipped with the German release, and it remains in the documentation (on .PDF) I am looking at right now, (Published by Pan Vision) and I quote verbatim from page 60 of that documentation—“There is also supplied another program called GTRDedicated.exe which does not require DirectX 8.1 hardware, and will only operate in Dedicated game hosting mode.” Not true—I have searched all over the place and do not see this so called GTRDedicated.exe file on my install. It simply is not there. SimBin’s silence on the matter, as evidenced on their own forum, is also a little odd … And it is this lack of information, since the very release of the sim last November, that has been the single biggest problem with GTR so far—a seeming lack of attention to a group of end users who not only have good questions, they have good intentions as well. They simply want to use GTR for league play, and for 31


those that do dive in and make the effort, it is quickly apparent that GTR is seriously lacking in many areas, areas that other sims (GPL, for instance) have tackled and solved sometime last century. Now here’s a quick point about leagues; unless you enjoy pick-up racing against a never-ending and seemingly growing majority of lunatics and fanatics – where the chances of having a good race with pro drivers are about as slim as Paris Hilton – eventually you’re going to join a league. Whether it be a serious league, or a friendly ad-hoc league, at some stage, somewhere along the line, if you take your sim-racing seriously, you’re going to join a league. What is more, rumor – and it is pure rumor at this stage – has it that SimBin are cooking up some form of online competition of their own which will be announced when the clock ticks to zero … many believe that league racing is the soul of sim-racing, and any sim that turns its back on this is surely committing sales suicide … With this in mind then, I decided to make some phone calls, bounce a few satellite signals around and quickly discovered some very disturbing facts. I was not able to talk to every league, but I was able to talk to a few who have years of experience in the multiplayer racing scene, and their input has been invaluable. It was also quite amazing to discover just how bad things really were on multiple levels. John Sjostrand, Comet League Admin, Dave Gymer, UKGTR

founder, and Roland Ehnstrom, Swedish Sim Racers GTR League Admin, were a few of the league related individuals I contacted, and the information provided was extensive. And I discovered something interesting—a lot of things were matching up, which is a sure sign that user error is a dim possibility here. There are very real problems, and these guys and the racers in their leagues hit them head on. Just to get us started, here is a ‘partial’ list of some of the issues the leagues are experiencing when trying to use GTR in a ‘competition’ environment: •

• •

• • • • • •

Speed bug. In other words, pretty amazing times can be achieved. You get to leave the server and rejoin for that one. Or, you can enjoy your 35 second lap at Monza. Synchronization problems. A lobby system just this side of chaos, with no buddy list formation ability or even the ability to create a simple password protected room in the lobby. Workaround—Use IP to IP exclusively. Multiple cars sharing the same pit boxes. Arrrghhhh!!!!! Impossible to rejoin during warm-up or race session. Not possible to set the length of any of the pre race sessions. Not possible to set the exact race length in laps. Drivers exiting the server are removed from the race results. Buggy starts. In my talks with the leagues, a great tip was brought

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up to me by Roland: “We have indeed found a workaround for this problem in the leagues I am involved with (Comet and SSR). We set MULTI Formation Lap=0 and MULTI Full Course Yellows=0 in the *.plr file of the server. This way, the cars are left standing still on the grid at the start so there is no mayhem from AI controlled cars or the pace car going insane (see next issue, below, SB) . Then, when the clock has ticked down and the race actually starts, the pole sitter starts driving a slow lap, with the others following him around and keeping their positions. Like a normal formation lap, minus the pace car. When he reaches the start/finish line again, the pole sitter accelerates and the race is on.” That is definitely a workaround, but I can see the point—there appears to be a bit of hassle involved, if not also a smattering of FORTRAN as well. They have also discovered that if this is done, and the weather is not set to constant, the weather ‘situation’ (dry when it says ‘monsoon’ for example) can be a burden. I also imagine this technique (*.plr file manipulation at the server side) possibly could help with some other issues, but honestly—it is beyond my knowledge to even know where to start, and I am sure the leagues have already done quite a bit of this very thing. Pace cars driven by insane maniacs who have obviously taken Prozac, amphetamines, 32


• • •

• •

Viagra and no doubt a bit of vegemite—they are simply insane. Oh, there is more. An unreliable yellow flag. No checkered flag. No standard data reporting format for the results, and the report that is generated is often lacking a lot of important information about the race that just took place. An overabundance of data exports (six per event!!). While they are small text files, 6 per event can get tough to wade through after a weekend of ‘events’. No penalty ballast for dedicated servers. Workaround—handicap by car, although this is not always an easy thing to do— some guys could drive a moped around the track and have time for a smoke break before the next fastest guy shows up. People randomly disconnected from the race. The lack of an ability to ban a driver, rather than just kick him—like a Christmas fruitcake, he might come back. Weather that does not always match the conditions set by the server administrator. Mismatch bugs (even if you are not cheating.). Workaround— race with people you trust. Seriously, besides me, has anyone replaced the Lister HDV file with that of the Lotus? On purpose? Sometimes, if a driver is disconnected from the server or there are large amounts of lag,

the driver’s car may be left on the track as a ‘ghost’ image. Sometimes, you can drive through this ‘ghost’ car, and other times you cannot. • Times from qualifying session 1 are completely ignored, and those of round 2 are used instead. Official rules, if I am not mistaken, take an ‘aggregate’ of both sessions. Regardless, qualifying session 1 is a bit of a waste of time. • If SimBin’s lobby server goes down, that’s it—even if you are running IP to IP, your race is over. Ok, now I am done. That is quite a number of issues for a ‘robust multiplayer component’. An awful lot. I’ll say something got overlooked. I mean, it literally appears as if there are two copies of GTR out there—the one we’re buying, and the one the magazines are reviewing. Well, with all of those ‘glowing accolades’ being bandied about, it’s going to be very difficult to make any headway here—many are simply under the impression the multiplayer is the best that has ever been created and the rest of us are under the impression that running a league using GTR should not be so difficult. There are even reports of leagues reverting to earlier versions of GTR to increase stability and multiplayer ‘robustness’!!! To me, this says a lot about the 1.3 patch, for the German release, or the out of the box International release. A

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lot indeed at least as far as the leagues are concerned. The league guys I spoke with--these are not drunken idiots who administer and drive online races while under the influence of Weidemans finest (about 4 bucks, USD, a case…) and then wax non— eloquent on SimBin support forums (perhaps they have mistaken the use of the word ‘support’?)—these are serious folks who have been running leagues from way back when GPL was first released in 1998. Guys who have approached the developer in a respectful fashion and been met, at times, with less than respectful answers. Or just downright rudeness. So what now? The leagues are faced with an interesting problem; how to support GTR – which has brought a welcome increase in the number of sim-racers for the first time in ages – within a league framework that does not work, and with absolutely no assistance from SimBin. Not only are SimBin refusing to discuss these issues; they are not prepared even to acknowledge there is a problem to begin with … We certainly have plenty of ‘hints and allusions, and secret code activation routines, but not one single answer—will the league issues such as those described above be looked into? Will there ever be a true dedicated server, as is stated in the manual? What, if anything, does that Grade C License Counter have to do with any of this? Will that be the day everything is magically turned on, and we get full 56 player online, 33


league worthy code, as experienced by Andy Mahood? In time to coincide with SimBin’s own league-structured ‘events’? I dialed a secret number, seldom used but totally secure, and asked a hard question—the guy owed me one, and I figured this was a good reason to take that favor back. I said: In your expert opinion, do you feel that the Motor 1.0 engine by ISI will ever attain true and ʹgoodʹ multiplayer status? No doubt SimBin has taken it to fantastic levels with the basic online play, but seem to have issues with a truly dedicated server-do you think something like that is even possible? I spoke in Italics, so as not to arouse the suspicion of those who may have been surveiling me. I could tell, even with the favor owed to me that I was on thin ice here. The topic was wearing us thin, but my contact honored me with his reply: “Iʹm not so sure about the original Motor 1.0 but I see absolutely no reason for GTRʹs net code NOT to support proper dedicated servers. I also think SimBin needs to get it right; otherwise GTR will have a very short life when it comes to leagues and Iʹm not sure if that does any good to their credibility. So, the ball is in their hands and thereʹs nothing we can do except hope for the best. I really donʹt know why SimBin wouldnʹt be able to make the GTR online code as robust as Motor 2.0ʹs. I guess weʹll see when the counter gets to zero.” That damn counter again. Oh, I have my plastic card, don’t think for one second that I don’t—

and the day I can walk into Best Buy and pick up a third copy is the day I will have two of those cards—the German version I have did not have such a card. Whatever those ultimately mean, well, I suppose I have two coming. And my sincerest apologies because…I wish I could tell you more. I have asked until I am blue in the arm and it is always ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I can’t say’. In other words--it’s about as quiet as a morgue at midnight, right before the bodies start to move. I had more work to do—being a writer for free is one thing, spending free time in the morgue can drive you insane. Almost like trying to setup and administer a league using GTR as the sim of choice—bring the Lithium. It wasn’t as if the leagues (and a million other people) did not try to get some answers here—the leagues tried, the punters tried, I tried my ASS off—but no one is really saying much, and when the leagues do make an honest attempt at trying to bring some resolution to the matter, well, often they are treated as children, or with rudeness: http://www.gtrgame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2218

I am on the same page as John here, but very perplexed as to what the SimBin Rep was on about. He may have been having a bad day—who knows? While this is not a poster child for ‘CUSTOMER SERVICE’ it is a good example of ‘CLIENT ALIENATION’. And notice the AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

absolute lack of any concrete answers. SimBin has also claimed to be ‘in talks’ with several leagues regarding GTR and online play….I just wonder if they were in talks with these same leagues before or after the release of GTR. I would have to assume after, as if it was before—they need some new leagues to talk with. But in fairness to SimBin here—we are talking of an officially licensed FIA product, and if the past has told us anything, it tells us that the FIA and online play just don’t seem to go well together. But this is the SRO (Stephane Ratel Organization) and maybe this time things will be different. But we must keep the licensing aspect of all of this in mind—we must be fair here, and try to understand. It is difficult to do, in the face of such stonewalling and absolute refusal to answer simple yes or no questions but we must be fair— there may be some back alley talks going on at the 11th hour—maybe the countdown timer is the limit for the talks. When that timer is done, talks are over, move it out the door. Of course, there were those ‘hints’ back in January that as soon as the basic server was ‘bulletproof’, then work would move on to the true, dedicated server that is promised in the documentation, yet still nowhere to be found. That was two months ago, and no follow up ‘hints’….sounds like there are some problems for sure, or SimBin is turning into a very quiet place, developer wise—I tell ya—it’s quieter around there than a monastery on ‘Renew Your Vow of Silence Day’. Not a peep. 34


Desperate for information, I turned to a source whose reliability I cannot vouch for that stated that SimBin has completed the server and sent it in for copy protection. It must have been a joke because, well—I laughed. And when I asked for a link to this…evidence….well, of course I was told it came from SimBin’s own forums. I was told to do a ‘search’. Uh, yeah—okay. In all fairness to that source—it really was not their place to have an answer to this question and I was definitely more of a pest to them than anything else—I did not really want to send the email, but in the effort of thoroughness, did anyway. That person, if they are reading this, hopefully will understand my side of it here—on the one hand, I am very weary at trying to find out even a scrap of information, and on the other hand—to do any less is not fair to SimBin, the punters, or me—I gotta write this stuff!! Tomorrow, I will be asking the Mailman the same thing as he has delivered both copies to my door—he might know, because I sure in the Sam Hill don’t. What I do know is that while greatly appreciated, the upcoming King of Ovals add-on (not to mention the top-secret but everyone knows what’s coming April 22nd ‘mod’) is not helping matters much—all the free (or otherwise) add-ons in the world will not fix missing--but promised—features. Features essential to the successful implementation and running of a league using GTR as their simulator of choice.

On the other hand, add-ons of the King of Ovals type do not necessarily take away from coping with the server code problems—until the integration phase of that add-on with that server. What then? A whole new set of problems? That is not very likely, but a very real possibility given the complexities of this simulator. I can barely spell ‘20 separate physics models’ much less imagine how to get that data through a tiny copper cable—and even for experienced programmers, this must be a monumental task. Will we get the dedicated server, as promised in the documentation that ships with the game? I cannot say for sure but, I do believe that eventually we will get that server. I truly and honestly do—and I think it will be fantastic. But what I don’t understand, through this entire project, is the lack of answers to some very fair questions; perhaps the future will give us a reason for the silence. But given SimBin’s past history—one of addressing issues quickly with patches, and adding content for free—I cannot help but think some really good things are planned for GTR and that they will not only bring that dedicated server—they will depend on it. In a good way. Until the next time…Smoke em’ if ya got em.

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Alienated Alien How many bugs do you think you can find find in a piece of sofware? Well, that's nothing compared to good ol' GTR. Apparently I wasn't on the server although I thought I was. Everything seemed normal in practice, and I only did one lap. In qual I went out on my turn and got a laptime but after qual was finished people were talking like I wasn't there and nobody replied even though I wrote all kinds of crap... by then I knew that was it. I quit and tried to log back into the lobby... no go. Quit GTR, re-launched it, tried to log into the lobby - it worked. But I was in the bloody backup lobby! Tried it a few times just to humour myself and finally got in after a few tries. But by then the server was in warmup and OF COURSE you can't join the server in warmup. "Ohhh, go fuck yourself", that was my next thought. I'm out of here until and if they fix this POS. - Greger Huttu, after his aborted attempt at racing at Anderstorp. “SimBin are in, and have been in, detailed dialogue with three leagues. They have been doing it for a while now. Just because they don't post the ins and outs of everything they do and plan within their company doesn't mean they aren't doing it.” Jacque, SimBin liaison. “Note!! The fact that league admins and others demand stuff from Simbin is a bad start on any dialog, even if the demand it self is dialog.” D. Sartori, SimBin Development “Please respect the fact that we as a company are not obligated to share our business plans with the users of this or any other forum, nor do we have to ask permission from the users of this or any other forum to include or exclude stuff from a game.” D. Sartori, SimBin Development 35


T URN F OUR RBR-Online Jon Denton gets dirty with RBROnline Developers Paulo “Ghiboz” Ghibaudo (RBRO Programmer), Andrea “Sydney” Baldi (RBRO Owner) and Luca “Mulder” Giraldi (RBRO Graphic Design Chief) … It was early morning, and as I waited for the clock to tick down for the start of the first special stage the adrenaline began to build up within me. I looked at my hands, they were not shaking yet, but I knew that when the timer got to within one minute of the start I would start to become a shaking mess. The clock finally counted down to zero and I rolled my Group N Subaru Impreza up to the start line of the famous “Shepard’s Shield” stage. A run through a series of rustic gravel tracks near Gateshead, County Durham, England. I didn’t feel settled or comfortable today, for some reason I did not feel focused on the rally. It may have been the early start time and my bleary eyes, nonetheless I needed to perform and as I listened to the familiar warble of my Impreza’s boxer engine I tried my best to focus my concentration. Three, two, one, GO! I was off, the gravel roads already felt grippier than I had remembered, but the car felt low on power, I was too cautious into every corner and following each exit I cursed myself in my brain to just focus and push the car. As I began to push more my frustration got the better of me and exiting a fast left hander the rear end of the car drifted just a little too far off the road and glanced a stone wall…. “Is this it?” I thought to myself as the car swiftly began to pirouette “Am I

destined to retire from this rally less than a minute into it? I had declutched to prevent stalling and fortunately my spinning stopped after three hundred and sixty degrees and I was able to carry on. I engaged first gear and was off again. However, I had lost valuable time, I knew I had been underperforming on this stage anyway, but the six to eight seconds that had fallen away as a result of the spin were going to prove very costly. Sadly, I did not take this into account, and the spin only caused me to drive more cautiously in the remaining miles of the stage. At the end of the stage I check the timesheets, out of eight drivers in Group N I was running seventh, and the eighth driver had crashed on the stage. Okay, so I was last on that stage, but within ten seconds of fifth place which meant that if I was to put in some good stage times on the

remaining stages a decent result would not be impossible. With this in mind the timer counted down to the start of the second Special Stage, Sipirkakim. A nine kilometre jaunt through Japanese countryside near Sapporo. The initial parts of the stage running through open country and then up through lush, dense forest entering the foothills of Mount Yotei. I have always enjoyed running through Sipirkakim, or any stages on the Rally Hokkaido. Japanese stages have a focus on precision as there is often a very thin road surrounded by trees and undergrowth, with other Japanese stages such as “Tanner” or “Pirka Menoka” being very tight and technical, “Sipirkakim” and “Noiker” are much faster but still require that same precision, perhaps more so given the speeds involved. I had to run well on this stage, to make time back after the losses on the first stage. I opened well, running

Roadbook example AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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very fast and committed on the first part of the stage in open country. I kept up the same hard pace as the gravel road began to meander into the undergrowth and the road began its ascent. In hindsight perhaps I should have added a little caution as

I delved deeper into the forests of Hokkaido Island. As I approached an “Easy left into fast right” that lurched steeply uphill I threw the car into the first left a little too quickly. Not so much as to leave the road, but much too fast when bearing in mind that a

slower corner was following. I braked to shift grip to the front wheels and try as hard as possible to pivot the car in the other direction, as I entered the “fast right” I knew that I was carrying too much speed to make it out of the other side.

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I almost made it, but almost was not enough, as I allowed my two outside wheels to drift off the road and onto the greenery a timely meeting with a large thick tree was to bring to me a very abrupt stop. Traveling in fourth gear at an estimate of around two hundred kilometres per hour it was only right that my co driver and I both gave out a loud “ooof!” as we hit the tree, and as the front impact protection system of the Subaru’s survival cell compressed I knew there would be no carrying on for me in this Rally…. So, I exited out of the Richard Burns Rally simulator and joined the RBR Online chat system where I met other drivers who had finished the stage “early” mostly through similar

“meetings” as myself with trees, cliffs, rocks, you name it. This is just a short account of the excellence involved in an online event within RBR Online (RBRO.), my short article last month touched on the design and infrastructure that allows RBRO to work and the systems in place to run it. Since then I have been in continuous contact with the RBRO team. Things have not been too fantastic over the last month for RBRO. While their host (www.drivingitalia.net) have had problems with their web servers the RBRO administrators have had to watch in frustration as a number of scheduled rallies have not gone ahead, a frustration echoed by the

user base. However, at the moment RBRO is in an “Extended testing” stage where all rallies are unofficial and do not count towards anything. One thing is for sure, it is best to have these problems now, than it would be to have them when people have championships at stake. I thought that it was about time AutoSimSport blew the cover on the elusive team that put RBRO together, the guys that have worked tirelessly to provide the most authentic online rallying experience yet to grace our PC’s. I spoke to Ghiboz (Paulo Ghibaudo – RBRO Programmer), Sydney (Andrea Baldi – RBRO Owner) and Mulder (Luca Giraldi – RBRO Graphic design chief) about their work and aspirations with RBRO. So. Where did it all start? Who came up with the idea of RBR Online and how did you go about putting into practice what has since become RBR Online? Ghiboz: The idea was born in Sydney’s mind one Sunday morning about four months ago – I developed the clientserver side using racer_s’s programme RBRnet as starting point. Sydney: About four months ago I decided to work on the idea – but the actual concept has been in my mind for a long time. My passion for rallying, and for sims, created just the right mix – but the spark that gave life to the idea was meeting Ghiboz Mulder: RBR online started with one basic assumption; that there has never been a sim that can accurately simulate a rally in multiplayer. Being hard-core

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simmers, the idea of racing against “invisible” opponents didn’t really entice us that much; so the idea of having rallies with “real-life” drivers was one we’d thought about for ages … and the actual idea was born on that Sunday four months ago when we were chewing the fat with Sydney, and it was then that RBR online began to take shape. Using racer_s’s RBRNet as starting point. I must also provide thanks for his fantastic advice, which enabled us to begin the development of the server-client side. The results were immediately promising, so much so, in fact, that we began involving a select group of friends for the first betatesting. Interesting. I too must admit that driving against the “invisible AI” in RBR in its standard form gave me a truly hollow experience, and it was not long after release that I began to avoid RBR for the lack of challenge. It was just me against the clock, full stop.

verifying the progress; and the feedback was always positive. M: Well, at the start we could only dream about what RBR online could become … but as time passed, we realized that, not only had we equaled our expectations, we had actually surpassed them. The actual structure of the game, as we projected it, does not require any great bandwidth being that what is needed for the client to server data transfer is nothing more than a GPRS connection (which was tested with great success). Our biggest challenge was to confront the problems of user hardware – and the differences between all of them, and the problems these differences were causing for RBR Online. What are your plans for RBR Online, explain the concept of the WIRC? G: Our plan is quite simple; in September, we will start a world

championship using a structure that is yet to be decided – and will be decided after the Italian mini-championship which will launch very soon. S: We will see how the next few months progress, during which time we will be seeking stability in the system. The WIRC will give us a true world championship for sure; but we’ll talk about that when the time is right. M: Let me just say, first of all, that we have been very surprised at the success we’re enjoying with RBR online; but the truth of it is that we never imagined that we’d be confronted with the ‘problem’ of having to run so many championships – never mind foreign ones! So, with this in mind, we are currently evaluating all scenarios and creating hypothesis in order to create a true and proper world championship. In order to achieve this, we have decided to begin by creating a

The beta process seemed to me (as a beta tester) to be mercifully low on problems, the stability of the system (server bandwidth issues aside) is excellent, is this something you expected? G: Yes, The way it was created, so that the infrastructure between client and server does not require huge bandwidth. The biggest problem that we envisaged was that every user has their own configuration (Hardware) with their own problems that can replicate themselves on RBR online. S: Well, I’d say yes – before progressing to the stage of actual testing, a very restricted group of users were already involved in AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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‘mini’ Italian Championship that will enable us to understand all the problems that lie ahead of us, and find solutions for them. If everything progresses as we anticipate, in September we will probably begin the World Championship. The plan to establish national championships seems ambitious given the wide range of nationalities currently involved in RBR Online, how do you see this working in the long term? S: It is useful when you consider the goal of staging a World Championship; we will utilize these months to understand the actual potential and manageability of RBRO with the goal of creating further features that will add longevity to the product. At the moment we are hosting – in an experimental way – championships from both Holland and France (as well as the aforementioned Italian championship) – and they will be a good test-bed for RBRO. M: We will work very closely with the various national championships. We don’t want to say – look, today RBR Online exists and we manage everything. No – what we want to be in a position to say is this; we have created an instrument that is capable of giving birth to realistic championships that will enable drivers to bury themselves into the unique atmosphere of rallying. So, what we’d like to be saying is this; if you have a problem, we’re more than happy to help you out, otherwise everyone is free to manage and organize their championship in whatever way they feel is best. With regards those leagues that will remain close to us, we will be in a position to offer them tools that will simplify the managing and running of their leagues.

If you and your team are running the whole of RBR Onlineʹs server side in your spare time, then the potential for all the national championships could result in one rally per day, in various time slots. This will eventually take its toll, is there any way you can hand over server side admin to the league admins to take admin load away from your team? After all, the timezones in Australasia and the USA could result in you having to be around at some odd hours of the day! G: Yes, the idea is to create some “power users” with the capacity of accessing restricted areas in order to create the events independently in order to divide the work. S: The possibility of ceding some of the ‘structure’ to other admins already exists, and it will be further evaluated in the future. Moreover, RBRO has been designed in such a way that a race can be set-up hours before the start, so there is no need for the constant presence of an admin. M: In the current phase we are actively trying to organize a few rallies that will be easier, time-wise, for our friends overseas. The plan, in the future, is to select some individuals who will be able to create rallies also in those areas. If the National Championships result in nominees from all around the world for the WIRC, how will you manage the time zones? Perhaps all WIRC events could be over weekends so as people can work around the same time? G: At the moment all the national championships are, in fact, European, so they’re on the same time-zone; and in any AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

event, the league admin, who decides which Special Stages to insert into the rally, also tells us the start time. S: It’s a bit too early to talk about the particulars; what is certain is that someone will inevitably have to compromise – but, we will do our best to make everyone happy. M: Sadly, the time problem is not one that we an solve with a patch or, indeed, can we blame RBRO for it … obviously we will try and continue the way we are doing it now, which is to make sure that drivers in a similar time-zone are grouped together. At the moment, the national championships are solely European anyway, so we don’t have this problem at present. However, it should be noted that the utility has been programmed in such a way that rallies can be ‘programmed’ without the obligatory presence of a race admin so there is already a potential solution. Will the WIRC feature varied stages as the recent events have done or will they be ʺfull eventsʺ from within RBR. I.E: All stages for UK in a ʺUK Rallyʺ? M: No, absolutely not! We’ve decided to use a casual method in order to select the special stages based around the characteristics of the rally with the goal of impeding anyone from training for the stage before the rally itself. Otherwise you have a hot lap competition. Is there a plan to establish a ʺseedingʺ system so as drivers of similar abilities can race together? A performance based class system perhaps? G: Sure; in the Spring Championship and then in September for the WIRC, 40


there will be ranking classifications for every category – this is done in order to augment both the realism and the player’s immersion. S: Rally, by its very nature, allows everyone to compete and it permits anyone to race and compete against the best. A slow driver is a slow driver, but this does not preclude him from racing against the fastest. But obviously it will be the classification that determines who will, or won’t, by order of merit, be invited to race for the championship.

secure the use of a dedicated server with fatter bandwidth, it will be no problem extending the number of drivers to over 120 simultaneously. On one occasion, in a test, we managed to have 107 drivers connected at once. If this is not a record, I’m sure we must be pretty close to it! Currently there are around 700 drivers registered for RBR Online. As popularity grows then presumably so will this number, is there an upward limit here? And do you think that many more drivers will register?

M: Yes absolutely, there will be classifications and rankings for all categories; the Italian championship which is about to launch will help us decide and refine the mechanisms that we have planned.

G: Let’s hope not! We have no idea how the hell we’re going to have them all race! Actually, since we have a 3 digit limit on race-car numbers, 999 would be the maximum, but in theory we have no limit at all …

At present tests have established that 60 drivers seems the optimum number for the server performance to be practical. Do you envisage that this cap will always exist or will the future bring bandwidth upgrades that may allow larger numbers of drivers in events?

S: We were not expecting such a high demand. At the moment, this is a nice problem that we’re dealing with.

G: I hope that “Nicolino” will broaden the bandwidth in a way that will allow us to have even over 100! S: This is strictly related to the server that hosts RBR-O. If in the future we can use a server that is dedicated to RBR-O alone, I believe we can extend this limit, even up to double what we have now. M: The issue of the server is a “problem”. Clearly saying that, as of today, we are “only” able to guarantee up to 60 drivers is a bit ridiculous, especially if we have to compare that number to the amount of connections allowed by other driving sims. Having said this, if we’re able to

M: There are no limits to the number of registrations. And in theory, neither is there a limit to the amount of drivers that can participate simultaneously. The only limit, in this regard, is the limit of the server. But in any event, to bypass ‘critical’ conditions, we will utilize, in the future, divisions according to nations or geography. What future plans exist for RBR Online? Is the product now fairly ʺsettledʺ or can we expect more features in future upgrades? G: We hope to introduce some more novelties … certainly we expect a new version of the utility once we have the first wave of races and glitches out of the way. S: We have a lot of features yet to add, but at the moment the development is AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

slow because we are very involved and committed to creating championships for the users, but we are confident that we’ll be releasing some new features come the Autumn. M: Despite the fact that the utility was released not that long ago, we have not stopped and we are working on a few things. To begin with, we’re about to release a new version of the utility that will correct many of the problems that have manifested themselves during this phase which we would categorise as “extended Beta testing”. We are also working on implementing other features which we have so far shelved in order to make this version as stable as possible. For instance, we’re now actively reworking and studying how to permit a driver to repair damage only when he is in the service park. So we can expect damage management in service parks, what about direct control of setup options through the RBRO interface? Car setup using a mouse would be a definite bonus! G: We have started testing for damage management, yes, but having realized the difficulty in implementing it, we’ve decided to leave that for development during the summer. S: The major things on which we will be working are these: •

• •

Balancing the physics of the tyres between RBR and RBR Online. Maintaining damage until the Service Park. Inclusion of converted surfaces (Australian Tarmac, US Tarmac, France snow, etc.) New cars. 41


M: Absolutely yes; as I was saying earlier, the damage is a feature on which we have already conducted some tests, but we were unable to achieve our specified goals. But we have some idea on how to progress, and we’re back to work on it and the results are already quite encouraging.

experimented with adding new cars, and new surfaces as well. The former had the result that did not sit well with RBRO, but we are actively working on this. On the latter, though, I can definitely say that, while we didn’t have the desired results, the results were very encouraging all the same …

Are there longer term plans for RBR Online to integrate with other community based mods - such as new cars or stages?

Finally, can we expect a long term for RBR Online. Will we be rallying in RBRO for years to come?

G: At the moment no; but as soon as the situation presents itself, we’ll do everything! S: Yes, as mentioned in my previous answer. M: We’re always watching what develops around RBR. From this viewpoint I can tell you that we have already

G: I’d like my nephews to be playing it … S: We certainly hope so. M: Honestly, that is our hope. We hope that those that have tried our utility are enthused by it. We’ve had a great time developing it, and the many sleepless nights that passed with us testing and modifying RBRO were not in vain. We hope that RBRO becomes, not only for

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us, but for everyone, a perfect instrument that is able to unite people that share a similar passion; that of real rally, even if they are virtual. It is certainly an interesting dream. While the online simracing community is very well established when it comes to circuit racing, online rallying in structured and coherent leagues is a relatively new thing. It all started with RBRNet, and RBR Online is the logical progression. I for one enjoy racing in online rallies as much as I ever have with online circuit racing, and though the stage itself might be a lonely place, the “service park” (Or online chat in between stages!!) is far from it, with drivers relating tales of woe or of success. The future looks bright for RBRO, coming months will see the establishment of other European leagues in readiness for their commencement in September, whilst leagues from North America, South America and the Asia – Pacific regions will surely be setup in time. At the time of writing there were 787 registered drivers on RBRO (www.rbronline.net), this shows promise for the World Championship to be one hell of a competition. 42


T HE F1 C HAMPASS

COLUMN

Modding Made Easy Paul Nortness entered the modding scene as a level designer in the Unreal community. He began modding EA F1 series as a helmet painter in late 2002 under the banner "F1 200x Helmets" before creating the first cup for GTR (Yes, even pre 360 Challenge) with the 996 Turbo and 993 Challenges … he then went on to co found Speedwerx Development with GTFREAK (now with RSR). As a team, Speedwerx has released the Porsche Michelin Supercup and BMW World Series mods, as well as 5 separate Carrera Cup add ons for Supercup. 2005 will be Speedwerx biggest year, with the upcoming Legacy of Speed mod and the BMW Unleashed project. He has also just taken over ownership and webmaster duties of F1Simlinks, to ensure that the racing sim community has a resource for news, upcoming projects, as well as tutorials and guides for newcomers. State of modding I know this is a Formula One Challenge article, but I wanted to take some time to talk about modding in our community. We in the EA F1 community have a great setup. We enjoy a good relationship with the developer, ISI. Image Space is one of the few developers of racing sims that have embraced the modding community, like the FPS community. They realize that these free user created add ons amounts to units sold. I can say that the only reason I purchased F1 2002 was for GTR 2002. It seems every year we enjoy an updated version of the ISI engine in one form, be it F1, GTR or even the new NASCAR SimRacing.

This translates to better graphics, better physics, new features, etc. However, this also hurts us. With newer and better graphics and physics, comes a new learning curve, out of date editors. These factors lead to more and more projects getting left on the design table, rather than meeting their potential. It was a little more than a year ago that my mod team, Speedwerx, was really learning all the potential the F1C engine had to offer. Now we are waiting for rFactor to come out and begin modding and learning that engine. In a way, I envy GPLEA. They have the luxury of working on a platform that has been stable since 1998. We really find ourselves in a Catch 22 in our community. Do we develop our mods for a platform that is now being considered yesterday’s news and have that consistency, or do we scrap them and wait for the new and improved model and learn to walk all over again? If you take GPLEA as an example, they are working on a platform over 7 years old. That platform, despite its age, keeps getting better and better. Because their familiarity with the GPL engine, they have made strides far beyond anyone’s expectations. Could the same be said for F1C if our community sticks with it? We may never find out the true potential of the engine just because we are all willing to jump ship as soon as a new toy shows up. When it was reported that Sony had snatched up the F1 license and would only be developing the title as a console game, I breathed a sigh of relief. When that happened, I no longer had AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

to go out and buy the new F1 200x title and begin tweaking it. When that happened, we finally had that stable platform that would not be replaced. Hopefully, that will not be a wasted breath. I recently saw a thread in the RSC forums regarding “F1C gets new life from NSR”. It seems that someone took some of the physics from NASCAR SimRacing and updated on of the mods (ETCC I believe). Is this the way we go? Taking the new physics breakthroughs from the new ISI game and applying it to the old? I do not know what is going to happen. All I can say is that it is going to be an interesting summer in our community. And I can’t wait!

Formula One – 70’s Style Courtesy CREW. Written by guest Rich Ward The team started out when Slayer and 3DVince were just painting addon cars for GTR2002, which then led to the standalone Nissan R390 and Mosler MT900 being made and the Mosler cup being released. Work then started on the Spa 24 Hour 2003 carset, which is when I came along. All of the cars in the set were models made by one mod team or another, apart from the Mosler and the Lotus. My first job for the team was importing the wheels into the game and fine-tuning the physics for it. We then moved onto F1C, as this was now the latest sim, and started work on an updated version of the Mosler Challenge, after a big demand for it. During this time, the team was joined by Samarius. After the Mosler 43


This is probably been one of the hardest parts of this mod. The fact that it was 30 years ago that these cars raced and only the top teams seem to be relatively easy to find info and pics of. Our plan is to include all the cars, from every race, in the specific way they appeared, e.g. different wings, airboxes, sponsors, drivers etc. We are also working with the SMG team, to hopefully get all the tracks from the era too. Challenge was released, work started on the Lotus Extreme mod and the first ideas about the F1 mod began to spring up. During this time, Samarius left the team and we were joined by T-Man. Towards the end of 2004, we formed a partnership with ORSPG, with hopes to create even better mods by sharing our skills between the teams. Since then the team has had a huge growth spurt and has recruited another couple of members: Patjer and Mark Austin. (There may be some others too but I loose track). We decided on these seasons after a quick discussion about doing something different from our other GT based mods. There were a few

other seasons thrown into the hat, but these were the ones we all decided on. At first, everything was going a bit slow with the development, and we only had a couple of cars ingame, with no lods and basic physics etc. But then things started to pickup and at times there were so many models being turned out, the mapping and painting was backing up. Just before Christmas we managed to release a demo of the 1975 season, containing a bit of variety with the cars. Since then, all models have been reworked and the physics have been greatly improved. This has mainly been due to new info and pictures turning up. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

The initial release should hopefully be both the 1974 and 75 seasons, with the plan of others following, starting with 1973 and 76 as most cars just need small changes from the 74/75 versions. We also have a couple of cars from the 1980 season ingame now, which you may have seen on RSC, so that may also come in the future. The Modding Corner. The Modding Corner had to take the month off with a sick aunt. Look for us next month as we explain how to create a stand alone car using a hex editor. Oh fun!

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T HE F RONT S TRAIGHT What Can the PPU Do for You? Jon Denton investigates the new phenomenon that is Ageia's Physics Processing Unit

What is it that makes a sim something that appeals to us? What is it that separates “Grand Prix Legends” from “Ridge Racer”, or any other arcade racer? The answer I am sure most of you were shouting out loud at the page is “Physics”. For years on end, simracers have contested the accuracy of the physics engines produced by the world’s top sim developers. With many putting their expert’s cap on to discuss Pacejka curves, roll centres and weight transfer on RAS and any forum that will accept their ramblings. As I am sure most of you know, physics makes the world go round (literally!!), and allows the universe to exist. Nothing occurs in the real world that does not involve physics on some level, perhaps the dictionary sets it right: The science of matter and energy and of interactions between the two, grouped in traditional fields such as acoustics, optics, mechanics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, as well as in modern extensions including atomic and nuclear physics, cryogenics, solid-state physics, particle physics, and plasma physics” Game designers have worked since the very beginning of computer gaming to create accurate representations of physical interactions of matter and energy within their gameworld. When the

little man in “Chuckie Egg” bounced off a wall there was a programmed reaction to that interaction. As we learned at school, each and every action has an equal and opposite reaction. In this sense, Physics in real life gives the universe “rules” with which to work. The fact that these rules are often comprehensively rewritten, as the scientific community makes new discoveries, is not relevant here. If we look at our fixed “rulebook” at this moment in time, there is a great deal of knowledge and learning concerning unfeasibly complex mathematics that provide the “rules” within which our understanding of the physical universe exists; - the “laws of Physics” (See: http://www.alcyone.com/max/physics/laws/

for more detail).

Manju Hegde, CEO of Ageia For any game designer, of racing sims, First Person shooters or MMOGs the challenge inherent is to portray a virtual world within your software. As such every piece of gaming software will have a set of “rules” to work to.

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

So, it’s simple, just take the real world laws of physics, replicate them in the virtual world and hey presto, everything in the virtual world works exactly as it would in a real world environment. It shouldn’t be a problem; computers are great at Mathematics…… Well, it’s not quite that simple. The concept mentioned above would be the ʺperfectʺ physics engine. Many say it will never be possible but, with todayʹs processing power, the tip of the iceberg is not even in sight for such a possibility. The result of these restrictions means that a game developer has to focus processing power on the given area of physics simulation that is required for the task in hand. In the case of first person shooters, the physics are environmental -- how one item reacts when it collides with another, or what properties a given surface may have in reaction to a bullet collision or being struck by a hammer. Driving simulators, by their nature, offer a great deal of challenges to the developer when it comes to the modeling of physics. Whilst it would be ideal to be able to model every aspect of a vehicle’s mechanical design and it’s interaction with the road or airflow, the processing power does not exist to do this. The result is that certain areas need to be “fluffed” to give the end user the impression that it “feels” right, even if the actual effect is not being modeled by the physics engine but by the programmer. A simple example of this would be the increase in grip produced by aerodynamic 45


downforce. Accurate aerodynamic behaviour is some way off in terms of processing power, so the programmer simply applies an algorithm that increases overall tyre grip and compresses springs, making the car “sit” as the speed of the car increases. It’s not a perfect solution but, from the point of view of the driving experience that is delivered to the end user, it feels right. So to the future, and in March 2005 Ageia corporation issued a press release detailing the dawning of a new era for physics in computer games:

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is an emerging science in the aerodynamic design area; during the last decade aerodynamicists found a growing interest in using computers and CFD methods to simulate wind tunnel tests or track conditions: PIC courtesy of www.dallara.it

“AGEIA to Redefine Realism with Hardware Accelerated Physics New semiconductor category unleashes the power of physics in next-generation games SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - March 8, 2005 - Silicon Valley chip maker AGEIA ™ Technologies Inc., a company dedicated to delivering pervasive interactive reality to next-generation games, today at the Game Developers Conference introduced a new category of semiconductor-the physics processing unit, or PPU. The companyʹs debut product, the AGEIA PHs™ chip, will be the first dedicated physics semiconductor chip to be used in next-generation game platforms. The current trend among game developers is to use software-based physics engines to enable objects and characters to interact in a real-world manner and provide some of the industryʹs most stunning effects. However, without dedicated physics hardware game developers are unable to fully unleash the power of physics on todayʹs platforms. ʺWhat is increasingly defining successful games is how well they emulate reality,ʺ said Rob Enderle, principal analyst of the Enderle Group. ʺPhysX has the potential to create environments that are vastly more real and compelling to both existing gamers and those that have not yet discovered the amazing worlds created by leading developers.ʺ By performing advanced physics simulations in real-time, the PPU can AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

respond to gamer actions as well as environments contributing to pervasive interactive reality. By introducing dramatic amounts of physics, games can now react uniquely to each input adding a tremendous variety of game play. Physics will offer a host of advanced features including universal collision detection, rigid body dynamics, soft body dynamics, fluid dynamics, smart particle systems, clothing simulation, soft-body deformation with tearing, and brittle fracturing for destruction of objects in gaming environments.” This news was met tentatively by many. Rumour suggested that there was a revolution on the horizon, that the effect this chip was to have on physics in the coming years was going to be equivalent to the effect that dedicated GPU’s had on game graphics in the late 1990’s. But, could it be? GPU’s were a major step forward in gaming graphics, without doubt. But a graphics card is an essential part of any PC - hence the natural progression over the years that allowed game developers to make hardware accelerated graphics a requirement for their games was achieved through the upgrade/replacement cycle that all essential PC equipment goes through. In short, people need Graphics Cards. The same, surely, cannot apply to a Physics Processing Unit (PPU.). It may well be the case that a high number of “hard core” gamers purchase a dedicated add-on card to process physics for their games, but could this product become 46


mainstream? Surely, that would be a requirement if developers were to include PPU support in their games’ design. The press release goes on: NovodeX SDK Enables PhysX Adoption To give game developers a head start in designing hardware-accelerated games, AGEIA has made available a software development kit, the NovodeX Physics SDK. NovodeX is already in wide use by game developers, many of whom expect to have hardware-accelerated titles by Christmas of 2005. NovodeX is also the only multithreaded physics SDK on the market today, which allows game developers to prepare for tomorrowʹs multiprocessor PCs and multi-processor game platforms. This would suggest that a developer would need to be using the Novodex physics engine to take advantage of the PhysX chipset -- a concept that intrigued me -- they must feel very confident in the capabilities of the Novodex engine. So, what could all this mean to the simracing world? I decided to contact some developers in the industry to get their initial feelings on the card.

custom solutions bypassing the Novodex framework, or allowing custom solutions within the framework. That is to say, will the card be programmable in the way current generations of GPUs are programmable with shaders?” commented Gregor. ”Why this is important for racing sims,” he goes on, “is because, although interactions between world objects are something that canʹt be ignored, the most important aspects are the inner workings of the car. While suspension movements and tyre rotations can be handled well in a standard physics library, the drivetrain is already a bit trickier, whereas something like (simplified) tyre deformations or aerodynamics is quite out of that scope. A programmable card would, on the other hand, allow for efficient calculations of such problems as well, as the demands in terms of mathematical operations and memory access are very similar to the more common rigid body code it is just the algorithms that differ.” A valid concern. The current, reputed function optimisation for the PhysX chip is clearly based at optimising environmental physics as mentioned in the press release --effects such as: Material Properties are physical characteristics like density, friction and bounciness.

My first stop, Gregor Veble of West Racing, co-developing “Racing Legends” with the West brothers suggested that things may not be too rosy for driving simulators in the short term:

Designers can create slippery surfaces that are difficult to walk on, wooden objects that bend slightly and then crack, rubber surfaces that bounce, metal surfaces that resist bending but become dented with extreme force, and other such examples.

“The most important question I have is whether the technology will allow for

Rigid Body Dynamics and Collision Detection are simulation technologies AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

that provide believable Newtonian motion to game objects. A player’s belief in the game environment erodes when objects pass through each other. Going beyond gross motion, good rigid body technology allows the game developer to create very natural collisions and couple them to secondary effects, like the chinking noise when coins hit the floor, or skid marks where the driver hit the brakes. Many games today deploy rigid body dynamics as a core design element, but scaling this technique on today’s platforms is very challenging due to the aggressive processing demands of the technology. Joints and Springs are tools for modeling complex mechanisms, going beyond stacks of crates and into the realm of vehicles, character movement, doors and levers, and the ability for the player to pick up and manipulate objects in the world. Fluids– beyond the simple undulating waves of surface fluids, real volumetric fluids can enhance the visual appeal of many scenes, from barrels of oil, to water towers, to fire hoses and fluid weapons. Real fluids interact naturally with dynamic bodies, pushing them around the world and flowing around them. Smart Particle Systems like fire, smoke and fog can be “aware” of other aspects of the environment and interact realistically with them, like smoke contained in a room. Real smoke rises to the ceiling and collects there, filling the room from the top down, until ultimately spilling out of the windows and drifting on the air 47


currents. Smart particles make this possible. Cloth – highfidelity clothing means flowing robes, skirts and cloaks that look good and can contribute to gameplay as well. Though the applications for driving sims is limited here!

reacts to that hit And whatever the objects do after that. Sim racing needs detailed weight distributions, many

gameplay and, unlike 3D graphics, it must run at a consistent rate of calculations per second in order to give predictable and stable results. If you therefore need to create a game that covers a broad market and therefore runs its gameplay relevant physics on either the CPU or the PPU at the same rate, you are not utilizing the PPU really, unless itʹs just for game irrelevant world-candy that can be enabled when a PPU is present.”

This is not hugely surprising, the computer gaming market A valid point, even is a multimillion the games that can dollar industry take full advantage Pacejka curves model the forces that are generated by the that makes most of the PhysX chipset will tire as a result of the tire not following the road precisely. of it’s money from games Steer the tire a little, and you get a slip angle, and this is not be able to really such as “Half Life 2” and input into the Pacejka Fy formula, giving a sideways force. extend its capabilities if “Grand Theft Auto”, these Press the throttle, and the wheel starts spinning a bit; this they are forced to games would doubtless show gives a different ratio of wheel spin speed vs. ground continue supporting the notable improvement in speed, and this gives a forward (longitudinal) force. customers that have not gameworld aesthetics from upgraded. the functionality of the PhysX chip surface characteristics, tyres with AIR in Chris West of West Racing agrees: (In the case of Grand Theft Auto on them that should be able to be pumped in “They will have to be quick as the next the next generation of console or let out…” generation of 3D cards will be just as hardware). Gregor chips in again: “I also fear that capable of doing the physics calculations Victor Van Vlaardingen of Live for it will take a huge non-racing sim hit that required by games. You can already do Speed feels that this could affect the would require such a card for it to become collision detection, fluid dynamics and a expedience of the PhysX chip to the a standard part of any gaming PC. The whole bunch of other stuff with 3D cards simracing developer: problem is no developer can afford to base and clever shaders.” He goes on “They “I donʹt see the PhysX PPU becoming their game on this technology unless itʹs could have a problem in that a PPU card available for racing sims in the short just for world-candy. The reason why isn’t something people are going to buy term,” States Victor “simply because it this is different to the situation when first in large numbers, graphics cards are contains so much specialised physics 3D accelerators appeared is that all those needed by all systems, PPU cards itʹs quite a different ballgame than cards did was enhance the appearance aren’t.” shooters where only ʹprimary physicsʹ while keeping gameplay the same. are required - object A hits object B and Physics on the other hand directly affects AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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So it seems the concerns of the developer here are that the widespread uptake on the PPU may not be as alacritous as the revolution that came about with 3D graphics cards in the late 1990’s. Perhaps the manufacturer of the PhysX chip, Ageia, could provide me with some answers to some of these questions. I decided to contact Manju Hegde, CEO and Chairman of the Board at Ageia Technologies Inc. and ask him how he feels the PhysX chip can benefit simracing titles in the coming years. My first point was to raise the big question that everyone has been asking, will the PhysX chipset only be available on a dedicated PCI Express card upgrade, or will the chipset feature on existing manufacturers’ products, such as motherboards or graphics cards, hence “bundling” it with other, more essential upgrades? “We are talking to a variety of partners to bring PhysX to next generation motherboards, luggable laptops, add-in cards and possibly on PCI-E external cards.” Interesting. So it seems that the chipset could be merged into the next gen of PCI-E motherboards in the future, but in the short term it will be a PCI-E upgrade. If the upgrade is to be a dedicated card, does this not mean that game developers would have to work around developing their game for both the PPU enabled and the nonPPU enabled, on the basis that not every user will have this technology?

As such the games developed will not take full advantage of the PPU if they must cut down the physics engine usage to make the game playable on non-PPU enabled systems. With this in mind, how long could it be before we see the first games that require a PPU to operate? “This Christmas, games that have hardware accelerated features will be in the forms of levels, special features, etc. There the game will run without the hardware accelerated features, but to unlock the full realism of the game a hardware accelerator is required. We expect 10-15 titles that matter in time for Christmas 2005.” So it seems that, in the short term, the chipset will be providing “gimmicks” into the mainstream games that support it, special features and effects that do not have any influence on gameplay, or “world candy” as Gregor Veble put it. So it could be 18 to 24 months before we see games which use the PhysX chip for real gameplay-centered functions. Another point which was of great concern to some of the developers I spoke to was the programmability of the chipset. Many sim developers have been building and developing their own physics engine for many years. Will the PhysX card be preprogrammed with the Novodex physics engine or is the PPU reprogrammable? Will the technology allow for custom solutions bypassing the Novodex framework, or allow custom solutions within the framework. That is to say, will the card be programmable in the way current AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

generations of GPUs are programmable with shaders? “Initial customers will take advantage of the PPU through the NovodeX SDK.” A terse answer. Though it seems that “Initial” customers will be forced into using the NovodeX physics engine, this could, potentially, change in the future. This will, doubtless, reduce the interest for many racing sim developers in the short term. The early signs indicate that the NovodeX engine is based more around environmental physics and, as such, adapting it to carry out instructions that a sim developer’s current software based engine may already be able to do, seems to be “reinventing the wheel”. With regard to the Fluid dynamics being modeled by the chipset, could this be implemented in a car simulation for the air pressure within a tyre, as the pressure can potentially change with ʺslow puncturesʺ or the user can change the tyre pressures of their vehicle within the setup of the car. Currently, this is ʺfluffedʺ, but could the PhysX PPU manage such calculations in real time? “Yes this could be one implementation. There are other ways of also simulating the effect of pressure, temperature, time of the tire with a slow puncture.” How accurately could the PPU manage airflow models? In terms of representing the aerodynamics of a given vehicle, would this need to be hard coded into the engine, or could dynamic changes to the vehicleʹs shape, such as adding extra aerodynamic devices or damage to 49


the bodywork, be managed by a real time aero model? “Our initial SDK will support Fluid and Rigid Body Dynamics. In the future, we will add aerodynamics that would simulate lift, drag, etc.” This seems ambitious. Many pundits would have it that current technology in CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) on supercomputers struggles with an accurate aerodynamic model. Though, without doubt, future Ageia products will contain newer technology, the ambiguous nature of the answer does not specify when in the future. The defining fluid dynamics equations involve complicated partial differential equations (Hard Core Mathematics, in other words) which are solved numerically. This can take hours or sometimes days to solve aerodynamic loads for one instance in time, or one frame if you like. So anything even vaguely approaching “real-time” simulation is probably 20 years away (at a guess) even for commercial use. Of course, you can do a rough simulation that can run in much shorter time frames, as we do now. It depends on your definition of acceptable accuracy. In reality, most simracers would not know the difference between something approaching accurate, and 100% accurate. There would be little discernible difference in the driving experience. So - the aerodynamic model of the PhysX chipset - could it also calculate the levels of downforce generated by ʺwingsʺ on a racing car. In the sense that such aerodynamic forces acting

upon the control surfaces of the ʺobjectʺ (car) would reflect an increase in weight and more pressure through the tyres, could this thus reflect an increase in tyre grip through the modeling of the tyre contact patch? Also, could the use of underfloor aerodynamics be modeled - with venturis and skirts potentially modeling the reduction in air pressure through the underbody shape of the car and could this ʺground effectʺ vacuum be modeled to also create downforce? “In future generations of our software we will be able to address these types of problems.”. He goes on “One thing that is very interesting with simulating physical effects is that you get all the other effects “for free” – i.e. the “vacuum effect” due to the high velocity air moving under a car – decreasing the air pressure and sucking down the car to increase tire traction.” Again, we see the term “future”. I am pushing the issue here. Ultimately, certain physical processes taking place in a racing simulator will not be modeled for many years. Processor technology must take some major steps forward for some of these things to be possible. But I feel like pushing the issue further, just what could this chipset be capable of, and what Ageia see coming for the future of PPU technology is the key here. So, how accurately could the PhysX chipset model the tyre contact patch and tyre sidewall deformation under cornering load? “With softbodies that will be out in matter of months, we will be able to AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

simulate or model tire interactions with the terrain very accurately. This will enable a whole new level of realism to the genre.” Promising news. This might mean that we could see a very convincing tyre model in the next generation of racing sims if they were to take advantage of this chipset. If a “variety of terrains” can also be modeled, then a developer can work with many different road surfaces ranging from the smooth bitumen of race tracks, through the harder concrete of road courses, right through to gravel or dirt roads incorporating wet or icy surfaces, with relatively little difficulty. It was time to step up the challenge: Could this technology do really anything the simracing community might want? Could the chipset be accurately programmed to generate physics for the internal workings of a car? Could it provide a solution that could simulate the spark ignition cycle of an engine, with the force generated by the ignition turning a camshaft, which in turn drives a modeled gearbox through the drivetrain, right through to that force being applied through the wheels via an accurately modeled differential? Could this, therefore, provide a solution that could model an increase in air/fuel mixture in a carburetor that correlates to the amount of pressure a driver is applying to the throttle being accurately represented by the amount of torque being delivered to the wheels? Or even accurately model the wear or thermal build up in a brake pad or 50


disc that applies to the amount of pressure being applied to the brakes by the driver?

his whole engine for the PPU and thereʹs plenty of other things to do for LFS first.”

Becoming increasingly aware of my overuse of the adjective accurate, perhaps I should just say, can the chipset model the entire workings of a motor car accurately?

Quite. The work involved in converting an existing physics engine to use the NovodeX framework could involve a great deal of time and effort. Victor continues: “For big development houses, itʹs probably a different thing, although even they will either have to hire more coders, or put the coders they have on rewriting their physics code to make use of the PPU. All in all the question will be - how much of an improvement will games gain - so in the end, itʹll come down to how much effort both Ageia and developers put into it, I think. Iʹm no analyst, but support is the key dependency for any hardware to succeed.”

“We will give the tools to enable game designers to build up complete drive trains very accurately and simulate in real time. The simulation of the chemical reactions will be out of our reach for a couple of generations, but some short cuts can be taken to simulate the engine response very accurately.” So it seems that the “complete package” is still a few generations off, but the future of racing sims could without doubt benefit from this technology, provided the developers are given the tools to do so. I decided to feedback some of what I had learned to the racing sim development community, to see what they had to say about Manju Hegde’s comments. Victor Van Vlaardingen: “It looks to me like itʹs a waiting game for now, to see how their engine and chipset will hold up in the real world. Iʹm not familiar with their Novodex engine, so I canʹt really say much about it and whether itʹs good or not, but I heard itʹs quite ok. Either way, they will need massive support from game developers, to be able to succeed. But since supporting their engine is all extra work for developers, I don’t envisage PPU succeeding and ending up in every computer and every piece of software supporting it. Live For Speed will probably never support it, since itʹd be hell for Scawen to convert

Gregor Veble echoes many of Victor’s thoughts: “I canʹt see many of the concerns I had for the Ageia PPU to have been addressed. Without exposing the hardware through something more low level than Novodex itʹs most likely rather hard to implement anything more technical as opposed to the regular FPS physics of boxes, tyres and ragdolls. Furthermore, one can never be sure about the calculations which might prove to be stable and plausible (which is fine for a FPS) but their accuracy may always be questioned. It is interesting to hear that they are planning to perhaps evolve their approach in the future and also address some of the problems of racing sims directly, but the results of that remains to be seen.” At Image Space Incorporated (ISI) Terence Groening, who is designing the physics model for upcoming title “rFactor” was more positive: “Itʹs AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

good to see some progress being made in this area. There are a lot of interesting features that this card could enable. A very accurate tire contact patch and improved aerodynamics could definitely have a noticeable effect on racing simulations. Gear lash and wear in the drivetrain may be easier to model in an efficient manner. On the other hand, modeling an engine down to its chemical reactions will, in my opinion, have little effect other than as a marketing opportunity (unless youʹre simulating getting a bad batch of gas at the station). Simulating air/fuel mixture and the like has already been done, and under more easily-controlled circumstances.” Terence continues: “Overall, I have high hopes, but also some concerns. For one I would hope that they keep the card operations and interface generic enough to be useful ... it would be nice to have some fast matrix-solving and other math routines available, assuming that they have already developed those routines to support the higher-level physics.” “Secondly they need to support doubleprecision floating-point math. Without it, itʹs very difficult to simulate a series like Formula One, where millimeters of ride height are important on tracks that are several kilometers long. Singleprecision cannot support that level of detail, unfortunately.” Double precision floating point arithmetic is a technology that is built into chipsets when higher levels of accuracy are required. Traditionally, processing platforms featuring reconfigurable logic such as FPGA’s (Field Programmable Gate Arrays) have been limited to integer or fixed point based operations, There are a 51


significant number of demanding applications that require the higher accuracy of double floating point arithmetic capabilities; Physics of vehicle simulation is one such application. Terence moves on: “I wouldnʹt get your hopes up too high for super-accurate tire modeling and aerodynamics just yet. Real-life Formula One teams are spending tons of time and money using CFD and finding that it doesnʹt match their windtunnel data. Iʹve also heard rumors of a complex thermodynamic finite element tire model being developed - not even close to being realtime on supercomputers. You canʹt expect that weʹre going to match the imperfect accuracy of these models on a $100 card anytime soon.” “Of course, the other point of supporting both the PPU and non-PPU is: Online racers are going to have serious issues if the physics results arenʹt the exact same using either pipeline. Itʹs one thing if one guy has a better video card and can see prettier colours while heʹs driving around. Itʹs quite another if heʹs not on a level playing field because he owns a physics card. I look forward to see what they have available, and certainly to what can come in the future. Sounds like a bright future for sim racing!” Jussi Laakkonen, Business Development Director of Bugbear Entertainment Ltd has already commenced an evaluation investigation into the PhysX chipset and the NovodeX engine, I spoke to him to get his thoughts. So how have Bugbear adapted to the NovodeX physics engine and the PhysX chipset?

“A clarification is in order: we are currently investigating how PhysX and NovodeX will work with our games and no actual PhysX-enabled title is yet in development.” States Jussi. Are there any ways in which the NovodeX physics engine has been found to be insufficient when it comes to vehicle simulation, based on your current investigations? Jussi: “The Novodex engine is a very versatile physics middleware tool. There are certain things specific to vehicle simulations, which youʹd build on top of that engine, but that goes with all physics middleware.” How does the engine compare to Bugbearʹs existing physics engine that was used for “Flat out” and “Rally trophy”? “Novodex is more generic and is clearly ready for next-generation consoles and the PhysX chip. Our existing physics engine is a very tight piece of software and is geared more towards racing games. There are certain vehicle simulation features in our software that don’t yet exist in Novodex, while Novodex certainly does things that we donʹt do (e.g. fluids).” As far as I am aware you are the only developer currently considering creating a racing simulator based around the chipset; will this allow you to focus on creating a more complex simulator to focus on the ʺseriousʺ simracer? “We are keen to take racing to the next level and make the games more convincing than ever.” Notes Jussi “Physics is very important for this and advancement like PhysX is very welcome. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

However, we are still in the process investigating the SDK and chipset.” This initial chipset, it seems, is very much the ʺTip of the icebergʺ when it comes to the planned future evolutions by Ageia. How do you feel that the simracing community and automobile simulation on the whole can and will benefit from the use of PPUʹs? Jussi: “There are a lot of applications for the increased physics processing power the PhysX chip is bringing to the table. It allows for creation of much more convincing and interactive environments, allows the more accurate modeling of car and environment interaction and of course of the car itself.” How long do you think it will be before the PPU becomes an ʺessentialʺ upgrade for a simracer? “Well itʹs all about that killer application or two.” Jussi comments “Once a customer knows there is a game that they want and that it runs amazingly with this chipset, they’ll get the PPU.” With this in mind, do you think you would create a title that ʺrequiresʺ a PPU within the next 18-24 months? Or, for that matter, do you think anyone could? “I donʹt think there will major titles which require a PPU in the next 24 months. There will certainly be games that will greatly benefit from the PPU and perhaps even games that use the PPU to the extent that your gameplay will be greatly affected if you donʹt have it.” “The vast majority of the games industry caters to the mass market and, before you 52


can require that the consumer has a particular component, that component has to be very popular. Just look at the number of games still shipping on multiple CD-ROMs even though DVD drives are very commonplace.” Is the PhysX chipset fully programmable either directly to utilise a custom physics engine or via the Novodex framework? “You can do both. Using the API you can go closer to the chipset or you can use the Novodex middleware to abstract the ʺbare metalʺ. As developing physics middleware is quite complex, Iʹd expect a lot of developers to opt for using the Novodex middleware.” Of course, for those developers that already have their own middleware, such as Victor Van Vlaardingen or the West Racing team, the thought of having to switch to another piece of physics middleware for use with products in development or even future products may be a consideration that causes a great deal of angst. The question raised here is whether Ageia will ever expose the hardware for direct programming so that developers can use their own middleware with the chipset. From the feedback I have seen, it is only when this is possible that the simracing development community will embrace the PhysX chipset in earnest. Gregor Veble: “The question is, what will the next generation of GPU’s bring, and will Ageia be the only people to create a PPU? With better and better programmable GPU’s it will be entirely possible to run physics calculations on

the GPU as it will be perfectly suited to that sort of arithmetic as well as graphics (doing basically the same things on each part of a data stream), so perhaps itʹll all merge with time. There is definitely huge potential for physics refinement in car sims with better suited hardware, as the fidelity of the current calculations that we do are still bound very much by the CPU power available, and a processor which would run about 10 times the speed of the current CPUs would help a fair bit.” As this lengthy discussion meanders it’s way towards a conclusion, the inevitable truth is that in the short term, the advent of Ageia PPUʹs will not bring about a notable increase in the physics being real time modeled for vehicle simulation, though there will be improvements in environmental physics. Jussi Laakkonen: “The short term impact of the PPU will most likely be in the environmental physics and effects. The SDK that comes with the PPU contains a lot of tools for building impressive environments and spicing up the gameplay with effects. Simulating the actual vehicle in more detail, will still require the developer to understand vehicle simulation and to create his own simulation system, which can then be executed by the PPU. Getting there will take somewhat longer.” To readdress the question asked in the early stages of this article: “What does this mean for the Simracing world?” The answer can only be that, in the short term, very little. Unless the chipset is opened up for developers to use their own physics middleware and the hardware is AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

adopted by the games playing and simracing public, there will be very little development in terms of significant improvement to the physics concerning vehicle dynamics, tyre simulation or aerodynamic modeling. What we can expect to see over the course of the coming 18 months, are the bigger developers making use of the chipset for enhanced environmental effects. A car could kick up leaves that move realistically, smoke from a damaged engine could spiral into the air convincingly and enhanced fluid effects could present a very impressive looking windscreen during wet weather racing. In terms of the driving experience, the core of any decent racing simulator, there will be little conceivable improvement in the short term, but we can be certain that dedicated physics hardware has opened a door to the future of what racing simulators could become, and future evolutions of Ageia’s hardware could bring the simulation junkies amongst us a serious dose of realism. Special Thanks for collaboration on this article go to: Manju Hedge – Ageia Technologies Inc. www.ageia.com Gregor Veble – West Racing and Chris West – West Racing - www.west-racing.com Victor Van Vlaardingen – Live For Speed www.liveforspeed.com Jussi Laakkonen – Bugbear Entertainment www.bugbear.fi Terence Groening – Image Space Inc.www.imagespaceinc.com Kim Stowe – Stowe Consulting. 53


T HE A US -ASS

COLUMN

With Mike Crick Mike Crick’s Interview with Matthew Scerri, CTDP 1998 modder …

MC: Approximately how many people worked on each section of the Mod?

Mike Crick: How much Research did you do for this Mod in order to get all the information on tracks and cars correct?

MS: This depends according to which section one is referring to. For modeling and painting cars for example there were about 4 to 6 people. The main problem for us was to find free time since most of us are still studying some thing or another, so there were times where not even a single person was able to work on modeling/painting the car.

Mathew Scerri: As a team we try to look for detail and end up with the best result, so one wouldnʹt be wrong saying that we are all very picky. Research of course varies according to the different tasks one has, but in general we lost count of the many hours we spent browsing and looking at books and viewing photos. For example, Daniel (aka Dahie) who had the task of painting (BAR, Williams, Jaguar and Minardi) collected about 90MB of data. As for tracks we just made use of a few maps, if possible high quality ones, and then itʹs all about viewing video from the actual race to see certain details like bankings, elevations etc...

Another big part of the mod which is very time consuming is without any doubt the track making. Bahrain took over a year to get from scratch to final (which isnʹt 100% complete yet, but not long to go). The main reason for taking this long was simply because there was just 1 person (prozac) working on the track and prozac is the kind of person that likes to get the project heʹs working on to millimeter perfection.

To summarise everything, on the 2004-Mod we had roughly 4 Modellers (Marco Büttner, Andreas Neidhardt, Menno Meeldijk and Jiang Zheng), 4 carpainters(Daniel Senff, Jiang Zheng, Joerg Strombach and Kunal Jain), 3 helmet painters(Jay Ekkel, Omar al shaikly and Andy Marson) and 2 trackmodelers who also worked on menus(Matthew Scerri and Debashish Ramachandran) and a few more who were working on additional modifications or graphics... MC: How have your other CTDP Mods helped you to achieve such a level of accuracy? MS: Previous mods always help in one way or another. We tend to always use the previous mod as a base of our next mod. Some people criticise this but the main thought behind it is that if we use our previous mod as a base, our next mod will then be better. First thing we did for 2004 mod (and even on 1998 mod to some extent) for example (which is also done for 2005 mod) was to take a look at the previous mod and see the areas where we could have done better. This helps you make your next mod even better than your previous one. MC: Do you feel this Mod has lived up to the standard showed in your other Mods? MS: Definitely. I would also say that it brought the standard show in the previous mods higher. Take a look at the 2003 and 2004 mod. 2003 was practically a mod with high quality cars and a few minor modifications. But for 2004 mod we even managed to get some new things and features

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

54


in the mod. An example of this would be the rims with motion blur. It was the first time that that was seen in an F1 mod. Some other new features were the menus and 3d helmets among others

moving very slowly, and some people even had to drop out of modding because of total lack of time. But luckily we always managed to get back up into speed and finish the mod on schedule.

MS: Well, 1998 and 2004 mods have both been released, so now our main focus shifts on the 2005 mod which we are already working hard on. However we are also working on finishing up the 1994 mod and releasing some new tracks. For constantly updated information one can look at some F1C related websites and forums where we always like to hear what the public thinks about our work, and for renders and pictures of cars, tracks and other things, one can take a look at our website http://ctdp.racingmag.de

LiveForSpeed S2 Alpha Demo Review

MC: Did you have any official help from people who have been involved in F1?

MC: How do you feel about the final product?

MS: Not really. Itʹs very hard to get people who are involved in this sport to help you.

MS: We are all satisfied about the final product. We think that our goals of providing people with something better than they previously had were reached, especially after seeing an increase in interest in our mods after release. There are a few glitches which we will make sure wonʹt be repeated in future mods, but after months of work we are really happy to see people enjoying the CTDP mods

MC: Were there any real problems along the way? MS: Of course, problems are always encountered when you experiment with getting new things in a game engine. But one way or another we always found a solution. The main problem however was time. We all have our personal lives outside the modding scene and there were some periods where the mod progress was

MC: Can you give us any information on your next project? AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

With most of our attention focused on the big brand race Sims like EA Sports NASCAR Sim Racing and ISI’s upcoming rFactor, it can be easy to miss the less publicised ‘garage games’ like Live for Speed. Still in development this game is showing great promise as a very realistic, but overly fun, racing sim. The Live for Speed crew have recently released a demo for the next part of their game, LFS S2, which will be the second of a planned 3 releases. The demo at first glance offers very little new content, however after a serious play at it the differences are very noticeable. The damage system has been thoroughly improved, not only to how the car reacts after having a close encounter with the tire wall, but also to what the car will now look like on the outside. These are both features that were lacking from the original release and definitely help the game to establish 55


Mike Crick Does Some Damage Testing for ASS in LFS S2 Alpha …

itself as a simulation. Along with this there is also noticeable tire wear which grossly effects how your car handles in the latter stages of each race (especially for this reviewer) Now that there is a damage model the cars must be able to be fixed during a race, a new and obviously needed feature for any sim is the inclusion of pit stops. The pit stop system can be a bit strange at first try, as you have to actually drive into your garage to make the pit stop, and it’s not very clear when your pit stop is actually complete. This, along with the fact that there is no dedicated pit

stall for each driver makes this feature a little bit pointless, however it will hopefully be fixed in either the final version of S2 or S3. The physics engine has also had a bit of a touch up since S1. Whilst this reviewer can spot no specific changes to the engine, the cars certainly feel better to drive. The engine however is the one thing that really doesn’t need any changing. It is purely one of the best out there and the S2 Demo so far shows just how realistic they can get these cars feeling. Driving a car in Live for Speed feels the same as driving a car of the same type on the AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

street, with the best clutch simulation of any game out there at the moment. In short Live for Speed S2 Demo shows fantastic promise for the final product, with the only real thing needing improvement being the pit stops. Being in such an early stage the demo shows us just how much potential this ‘garage game’ has to change the face of simulation driving as we know it, and after a long hard look at it, it’s hard to see where they can go wrong from here. Mike Crick

56


T HE F IFTH C OLUMN Racism & Racin Mike Tyler takes a look at racism in Sim Racin; is it prevalent, or is the anonymous nature of the sport a blueprint for an ideal society? “You’re a Nigger! And I hate Niggers!” Then she spat in my face. It was just a little before 9:00 AM on September 7, 1966. It was a pivotal point in my life for two reasons, first, I was four years old and it was my very first day of school. (I had already passed several reading and math placement tests so even though my fifth birthday wasn’t for another six weeks the school administrators had decided that I could start school with the rest of my peers.) And secondly, and frankly more lasting and hurtful, it was the first time I had ever experienced real, honest-to-God, unabashed hatred. Thanks to little, five-year-old Denise ‘X’ it would also turn out to be a day that I would remember for the rest of my life. The act was so shocking that I didn’t know what to do. I had lived in the neighborhood for about a year and a half and never experienced anything like that before. My father, Paul, having moved the family from Southern California because of a new job opportunity with Trans World Airlines (TWA), was one of the few black airline mechanics of the day. Having had a distinguished career in the Air Force during the Korean war, he had fought prejudice where he grew up in Topeka, Kansas, in the Armed services, at Northrup Engineering School and in the airline industry and unbeknownst to me at the time, he had even fought through

prejudice just to buy the house we lived in on Chilton Lane. It seems that no one wanted to sell my father a house. No matter how much money he was willing to spend, nor what sort of job he had, the very idea of selling a house in a middle-income, predominantly white residential neighbor to a black family in 1963 was unheard of. Yet despite having numerous doors slammed in his face, or the inevitable shock and back pedaling that came whenever a real estate agent met my father in person for the first time, typically because to these people my father didn’t “sound black” over the phone, my father was bound and determined to find and buy a house in a decent neighborhood for his wife, Yvonne and his then two year old son, Mike. As parents we often try to shield our children from some of the more ugly things in life, but what do you say to your four-year-old when he comes home and tells you that on his first day in school a fellow classmate called him a nigger, said that she hated him because his was a nigger and proceeded to spit in his face and then innocently asks you, “What’s a nigger?” I canʹt begin to imagine what my parents must have been feeling that afternoon, yet forty years later I have four kids of my own ranging in ages from nineteen to six and I thank God that not one of my children ever had a first day in school like the one I had. In fact when my oldest son was just starting kindergarten a playmate of his once asked him why his father AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

was black and his mother was white. My son replied, “Because they are.” It was as simple as that and when the little boy heard the answer all he said was, “Oh, okay. Wannaʹ see my new Ninja Turtle?” This, after the usual pivotal events in one’s life such as marriage, the birth of children etc., was without a doubt the second most pivotal day in my life, because I knew then, no matter what anyone said, no matter what I had experienced along my lifeʹs journey, that simple exchange, spoken by two five year olds some fourteen years ago, confirmed that somewhere along the way humanity had taken at least one small step forward. Why am I telling you this you ask? Well, because for every discussion and every chronicle you need a point of reference. You need some background and some understanding of where the writer, in this case a forty-three year old black man who happens to be a life-long racing fan, is coming from. One of the best ways to learn more about the world is to ask questions. Yeah, I know it sounds simple, but to really learn more about the world in general you have to start with learning more about people. In my early years I was under the impression that few people, white people to be brutally honest, could really ever understand or appreciate the type of savage prejudice that many black Americans have experienced over the years. Tales of lynchings, as so poignantly illustrated in the song “Strange Fruit” 57


as sung by Billy Holiday abound. These stories along with people being tarred and feathered, as was done to my maternal grandmother when she was just seven years old, people being dragged from their homes and beaten to death or even burned alive purely because of the color of their skin are the kinds of things that can make a person and even a whole group of people jaundiced to the suffering of others and in some cases, as it was with one of my Great uncles, it becomes a matter of hate, begatting hate. When Alex Martini first asked me about writing a story about racism and homophobia in sim racing, I don’t think he knew what sort of “can o’ worms” he was opening. Frankly, I don’t even really know if Alex knew that I was black. It’s not like any of my forum avatars say, “Mike Tyler – Black Man and Racing Fan.” No, in fact several of them say “Nino Barlini.” - Someone once asked me why I chose that moniker for my avatar and I told them, “Because Nino Barlini was my favorite character in the movie Grand Prix. When I first registered at RSC they said I needed a user name, so that’s what I picked.” This reply usually draws a reply of, “But your not Italian!?” As if my heritage should be the primary reason for choosing a forum user name. Besides the truth is despite my outward appearance they have no idea what the hell I really am. Just because I have dark skin, nappy hair and a big… attitude, they think they know who or what I am?

so many other Americans, a living embodiment of the “great experiment.” Within my ancestry are several tribes of Native American, mostly Sioux and Black Foot (no jokes please), Irish Catholic, my paternal great grandmother had red hair, green eyes and freckles, French, my great, great… grandfather was Alexandre Dumas, author of “The Man in the Iron Mask,” the “The Count of Monte Cristo” and of course “The Three Musketeers,” and who was himself the son of Thomas Dumas, who was a General in Napoleon’s army, and lest I forget I’m also a distant relative of the tenth President of the United States, John Tyler. Now I could go on and give you a generation-by-generation accounting of the how and why of my heritage, but we don’t have the space or the time. Besides if you want to read a story about the colorful lineage of a black American family I suggest you go out and pick up a copy of Alex Haley’s “Roots.” Nevertheless it suffices to say that the old adage of, “You can’t judge a book by its cover” is true. You simply can’t make a judgment about a person or their heritage based solely on skin color, hair color, or even the shape of their eyes. (I once had a girlfriend who had the same skin tone that I have, and whom most people would consider black, but she had the most beautiful almondshaped eyes. We never could figure where that trait came from, but it was stunning to say the least.)

Just for the record, I am an American of African decent; however I am, like AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

My father, or Pop as we called him, use to love to tell people that there were three particular holidays that our family celebrated each year, Martin Luther King’s birthday, Saint Patrick’s Day and July 25th, Custer’s Last Stand. The last one was his particular favorite, because of the more direct correlation to the Indian side of our family. – Pop’s mother’s maiden name was, Birdwhistle. So how does this all relate? It relates because when a person decides that they don’t like someone because of their physical traits they wind up being far more ignorant than they could ever possibly imagine. Over the past fifty years the world has witnessed some dramatic changes and become more tightly connected than ever before and when you live in a “global village” as we do in this period of history, it’s never a good idea to assume anything about the person(s) your speaking to or chatting with in a forum or chat room. I think this is where the whole question of racism within the sim racing community first sprang to life. For it has been noted that there have been people within the various chat rooms, especially the NASCAR rooms, that for whatever reason, have in their full ignorance assumed that everyone else in the room shared their beliefs, or perhaps even that the rest of the occupants are all of the same race, religion and/or sexual orientation as they were. In this day and age, when the world has become so much smaller that ever before because of air travel, the 58


Internet and all of the other modern avenues of communication its still mid-boggling just how ignorant people can be when they join a chat room or type rude comments in a forum. Yet despite the relative anonymous nature of the Internet there occasionally comes a time, especially since our little slice of the Internet revolves around the sport of auto racing, when you will meet one of those faceless names or forum monikers in person. Let’s say you’re sitting there and we’ve exchanged emails or had a forum conversation about one thing or another and now we’re standing toe-to-toe having a conversation after having just met in person for the first time at the US Grand Prix. You see me and say to yourself, “funny he didn’t sound black.” Followed shortly by the ever predictable, “Man, is he big!” - Hey, I’m 6’6” and 300 lbs and as my good buddy Larry said a few years ago when we first met in person, “Man you’re a Hoss!” Although Larry’s from Texas, and with his thick Texas accent he might have said “horse,” so who knows. The point is we’re standing there and all sort of things start going through your mind and like most people you probably start with the superficial stuff, but eventually you come to realize that I’m not exactly what you expected. For example almost twenty years ago my mother was doing some genealogical research and tracked down some of her distant family relatives who were still living in Alabama. For weeks and weeks they exchanged mail and talked on the

phone until one day when my mother happened to mention that although she was fair skinned, she was a black woman. Our “cousin” who was on the other end of the phone stuttered and stammered for a bit, and finally said, “We ain’t no niggers and we don’t have niggers in our family!” and proceeded to hang up. Talk about denial. I’m sure they eventually convinced themselves that they had been the victim of some elaborate hoax, nevertheless the fact was one of our common ancestors many years ago had “passed” into white society; “Passed” being a rather antiquated term that was frequently used in the South to describe light or fair-skinned black folks, or to use an even more antediluvian term, mulattos, who were often mistaken for being “pure” white. And though it isn’t now and never was a concern back when I first met and married my wife Rosa, who happens to be half Puerto Rican and half Italian, I imagine that our kids and their decedents will eventually branch off into different ethnic directions. In fact, as it is now people will look at my oldest son, AJ and try to figure out his ethnicity. Hispanic comes up frequently, but then so does Middle Eastern, Italian, Eastern Indian, and occasionally black. Nevertheless I think AJ’s best friend, Pete, summoned it up best when he said, “AJ is from the future, when all races have become one and no one cares about such things anymore.” And therein resides yet another small step forward. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

The point is it doesn’t matter if you’ve met and gotten to know someone via the Internet or whether you’ve actually met them in person, you still won’t have a good idea who the person truly is until you speak with them at length and perhaps ask them a few questions. We all have preconceived notions and expectations and we have our prejudices, in one form or the other, but thankfully I think God or Allah or whatever deity your believe in, got it right when he decided that old people should die and be replaced by babies, because within each new generation lies the promise and seed of hope for a better world. Yet despite several thousand years of civilization many of us still find ourselves mired in and sadly in some cases still guided by the prehistoric quagmire of our baser instincts. We still make value judgments about a person’s character and quality based on wholly insignificant and superficial characteristics. Fortunately though it would seem that we’ve also grown enough as a species and as members of an ever shrinking global village to at least be able to ask the question, why does prejudice still persist? What is it that makes some people stop what they’re doing and switch into hate mode whenever they see someone with ethnic characteristics that differ from their own? Why are some people still so reluctant to embrace and rejoice in our differences, or for that matter what is it that bothers so many people about a person’s sexual preference? 59


A little more than fifteen years ago I was traveling on business and after staying in New York City for a week, my business partner and I traveled to our next stop in Atlanta, Georgia. On the day we arrived we met quite a few people and most of them were very nice and very polite. But as we’re were gathering in a conference room one guy came into the room saw me sitting there and stopped dead in his tracks. As they say, “If looks could kill.” He stared at me with a look that can only be described as pure evil of biblical-like intensity. This guy did not like me and made absolutely every effort, short of shouting it out in front of everyone, to make sure that I knew it. By this point in my life I had of course experienced this sort of raw, unabashed hatred before, but never in a business setting and to be honest never quite so intensely. In fact, he spent nearly the entire meeting glaring at me and I’m certain that if he had had the opportunity he would have made sure some harm came to me. Later on a subsequent trip to Atlanta a group a group of us, who had traveled together from California to attend the National Association of Broadcasters convention, were invited out to dinner by a vendor. The dinner, at supposedly one of the finer restaurants in Atlanta, was delicious and the evening very pleasant. But the next day I found out that the Maitre dʹ had nearly refused to seat us and had even been so bold as tosuggest that we eat elsewhere because I was a member of the dinner party.

The sad truth is that there are still a lot of people in this world who view such hateful behavior as perfectly logical, however logic is not something that drives hate. Hate, regardless of whether or not its directed at people of a different race, a different religion or even a different sexual orientation, is an emotional response, pure and simple. And emotions and logic, with some rather obvious exceptions such as standing in the doorway of an airplane at tenthousand feet and getting ready to jump out with the hope that your chute opens, are often in conflict with one another. After a mere forty years of life experience I have come to believe that for the most part hate goes handin-hand with fear and insecurity and whether we like it or not, prejudice is at many levels as natural and human a trait as love, sex, anger, sadness and every other emotion you can think of. The roots of prejudice come from a time when the world we lived in was far more dangerous than anything most of us know today. A time when someone you didn’t know or recognize, could and would very likely kill you in an attempt to take everything you had in what could basically be described as a hostile take over of all of the resources you had gathered for your survival. Prejudice is essentially a survival instinct that harkens back to the day when we all lived in caves and lived off the land, a time when all we had was our instincts and our distrust of everything and anything different or out of the ordinary to keep us alive for another day. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Still despite this evolutionary justification of prejudice, it doesn’t explain why 10,000 years later so many people still harbor such a deeprooted distrust of those who look and think differently than they do, nor does it explain, hate. Hate is perhaps prejudice taken to an extreme end. Although we often treat the two concepts as being synonymous, the fact it a person can be prejudiced, but not be hateful. Hate, like the experiences I described earlier is something altogether different and is usually the bastard child of evil intent. Hate is what drive people who are prejudice by nature, or by influence and social exposure to commit some of the most heinous human atrocities ever propagated by one person or group of people on another. Sadly our collective history is sated with plenty of mind-numbingly horrific examples of this worst part of our human nature. However within this darkened shadow or spectre of who we are as species, prejudice exists as the preliminary step to that darker abyss of our collective psyche. In order to more thoroughly examine the topic of prejudice I decided to seek out the opinions and experiences of others and ask them some difficult questions and to share their experiences and thoughts about racism and prejudice. I wanted to provoke a discussion with these folks and have them consider this topic from many angles and points of view. The questions I planned to ask had the potential risk of exposing not only the ugly side of my own personality, 60


but also the uglier side of people I knew. However, as it had for me when I first started writing this article, I also suspected that the questions I asked might risk exposing some deep-rooted scars of people I cared about and greatly respected. Most of the folks who participated are people whom I’ve come to know and respect despite the vast distances between us, or the differences in our ages and backgrounds and several of them are generally regarded as some the sim-racing community’s most respected individuals. Like the simracing community itself these folks come from a variety of backgrounds and from all corners of the globe and in a many cases these folks are also very good and cherished friends and I have to say that I have an even deeper respect for every one of these people because of their willingness to share their experiences and opinions. The list of participants include: (Bo) Bruce Boembeke; Tom DiLibero; Larry Ford; Bob Hall; Paul Jackson; Lou Magyar; Jeff Phillips; Christoph Schirmer; John Sheehan; Bob Simpson; Nils Ruswich and Michel Vigneres Although the names of the participating panelists are listed in alphabetical order, I wanted to retain on their behalf a reasonable degree of anonymity. Therefore I’ve included the responses of the participants without attaching their actual names to their answers. The panelists numbering is a purely random order that is in no way directly associated with the order of the names as they appear above.

Here then are some of the thoughts and experiences of our panel as shared through a series of emailed interviews. MT: Why do you think people are prejudice? Panelist #3: Prejudice comes from fear of the unknown, I feel. People assume that certain behaviours can be attributed to other people of race, colour, religion or nationality and that these behaviours threaten them. To protect themselves, the prejudiced people build a wall around themselves or else actively force the offending group out of their sphere. Panelist #6: People are prejudice because they are insecure about their own place in the world or society. Their weaknesses are all too known to them and they feel threatened and hence need to lash out at others. Being ʺprejudicedʺ is simply finding a common denominating reason that gives them an inner reasoning that they can separate a sector of the population from their playing field. Panelist #8: A combination of ignorance, education and exposure...or lack thereof. Panelist #5: There are probably many answers to this question. It could have been a bad experience one has had with another, leading to a ʺgeneralʺ distrust of all. It could be oneʹs environment when growing up - either family or friends. It could also be a lack of knowledge . . . a ʺfearʺ of the unknown. Panelist #2: Ignornace and the way they are raised. if my parents say ʹall republicans are badʹ, unless I look AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

into the matter, I will most likely take their opinion as truth. Panelist #11: I think that most people are born with or develop early on, a few fears. Fear of falling, being left alone, of ʺeyesʺ.etc. The ʺFear of eyesʺ is a fear of being seen and therefore able to be slain. This can show up as shyness or similar in small children or even adults. As we develop we notice a tribal/village structure of ʺusʺ and ʺthem.ʺ If the ʺthemʺ includes any noticeable visually differently characteristics, these easily manifest into distrust, often without just cause. MT: What sort of attitudes about race, gender and sexual orientation were you exposed to when you were growing up? Panelist #9: I saw very little of it, It was something that simply was not spoke of out in the country where I grew up. I do recall a time or two where my grandparents spoke poorly of one race or another. I believe it was due to my Grandfather fighting Japanese in World War II. Panelist #5: My grandparents on my fatherʹs side had some racial prejudice in them but my parents did not. That was a factor in me turning out the way I did. I would ask my parents why grandpa and grandma would say one thing or another and my parents would tell me. But probably the biggest factor that steered me on my present course was my grandmother on my motherʹs side. One day while doing chores in the barn with her and my sister I casually called my sister the ʺNʺ word. My mild-mannered old granny promptly 61


grabbed me by upper arm, spun me around and, face-to-face, told me ʺNever say that word again!ʺ I never did. Panelist #10: My parents were liberal in education in these points. There was no black & white painting. They wanted to let my sister and me find our own way and tried to influence us not too much here. They attached importance to respect the other gender or other religions, opinions. Other races and sexual orientation were not a big theme, either at home or at school. Panelist #7: I grew up in a conservative Roman-Catholic country-side background, so there were (and still are) all kinds of prejudices against non-heterosexuals, non-married, non-Catholics, nonWhites, migrants, socialism, peace movements; and of course women are not entities of their own, but exist to the support of the man. Panelist #6: I was exposed to very differing and extreme attitudes while growing up and the society in which I grew up was not only very prejudiced, but it was part of the common law of the land. Panelist #3: I grew up in an area where my school mates were all white, however there was a range of religions represented. Protestant (me), Catholic and Jewish. My father had a business in an area that was predominately Black. My parents definitely had negative opinions about Blacks - I suppose largely because it was a poorer population. Both of my parents

always worked and girls at school were very active acedemically and politically. The girls that I admired were the more active and outgoing ones rather than the stereotype of the time (1960s) whose world was centered around her man. Despite all that, my brother, who is 6 years older, is fairly racist, intolerant and sexist and I picture myself as being pretty much the opposite. In terms of sexual orientation, it always used to bother me that Gays acted in the shaddows and werenʹt strong enough in my mind to accept what they were. Of course, I didnʹt realize at that time that being open could cost them dearly decades ago. As well, I used to feel that Gays or Lesbians must dislike the opposite sex by definition which I couldnʹt understand. Finally I got to know an openly Lesbian woman and seeing her kiss someone suddenly caused me to realize that these were people who were defined by who they loved and not by who they disliked. In fact, it seems that misogeny is mostly a heterosexual thing. MT: Have you ever witnessed or experienced prejudice or discrimination directly either as a participant or recipient of the act? Panelists #2, 9, 11: Yes. Panelist #10: Yes (recipient) Panelist #12: Yes, in public manifestations in the street, where the simplest slogans where shouted, where banners could clearly offend others groups not thinking the same. It kept me from participating in any kind of political lobbies or groups. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

But never as a participant sustaining this kind of attitude Panelist #7: No. But isnʹt the question already ʺdiscriminatingʺ in as far as it questions for ʺauthenticityʺ/ʺfirsthand-experienceʺ? Doesnʹt even the average not-too-much prejudice white male heterosexual experience as a third party, or by simply going out with others - experience discrimination? And there I surely have seen and heard a lot Panelist #8: We were a white family in the center of a very big Hispanic neighborhood. I canʹt remember days in school that didnʹt have fistfights. You donʹt know that itʹs supposed to be different if thatʹs all you know. I didnʹt even care or resent being called ʺweroʺ or being jumped by multiple gang members. Itʹs just the way it was. Panelist #1: If you put being ʹthe last kid picked for the teamʹ as discrimination, then yes. MT: Would some of you mind describing your experiences? Panelist #2: While playing in an organized league softball game, in a fenced in playing field, 3 or 4 black youths took a shortcut thru the outfield, from left to right. the game had to be held up. at the time, I thought, “Youʹd never see a group of white kids do that.” Panelist #10: We moved from one part of Germany to another when I was 6 years old. I had another dialect than the other children and did not know anybody in the new town. It was the year when I came into school. Sometimes other pupils treated me as 62


a maverick and also was a victim of bantering. I was also bantered because of my red hair colour as a youth.

basically lose respect for them, but I should take more time to get them to explain their rationalization and pick that apart.

Panelist #1: Being overweight and a bit on the odd side, I was teased a lot and was always picked last in school. It was difficult to be sure, and left long-lasting hurts.

MT: How did the experience make you feel at the time?

Panelist #6: When I was conscripted into the South African military in 1979, I was singled out as a target because I grew up in the upper middle class area of my hometown. This place was generally known for its moderacy and opposition to the ruling apartheid-endorsing National Party of the day. It was during bootcamp in the early hours of the morning that I was attacked while asleep, and beaten with rifle butts for several minutes by a small group of 6 rightwing Afrikaners. Strangely enough I was saved by 2 lebanese and a greek soldiers who were also targeted by this group and who came to my aid and who happened to have grown up in the same community as I. Panelist #3: My brother works as a security guard and recently told me that he knew of someone who trained guard dogs. Part of the training was “to get dogs used to the scent of Blacks and Hispanics so that they could be more effective.” Iʹve heard many negative comments about Gays here in Ottawa. Iʹm afraid that itʹs not easy to confront these comments. If itʹs someone that I know, Iʹll shake my head and say ʺdonʹt think those thoughtsʺ and

Panelist #6: I was really angry for more than one reason. We were supposed to be being built up into a military unit. The concept of such great divisions within was completely at odds with this. It just seemed so pointless. The second and more important source of anger was based deep within where I started to really understand the inner hurt that comes from being the target of prejudice. Particularly when one knew that the proponents of violent prejudice are so often ignorant, mostly brainwashed, and usually completely weak AND insecure. Panelist #10: I was made insecure because it is difficult to anticipate what will happen next. To be treated that way was not encouraging for my self-confidence. Today I would know how to deal with such a behaviour, but as a child it was not easy for me. Panelist #3: I felt sad to be a white non-minority to be honest. My brotherʹs reaction was that it was justified by the neighbourhood that the guard dogs were operating in. Whenever I hear negative Gay comments, my comment is that they arenʹt hurting anyone and simply love people of the same sex, but this becomes a religious argument where the Bible is used to rationalize the hatred. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

MT: As someone mentioned earlier, it’s often said that bigotry comes from ignorance, typically meaning a lack of education or a lack of information regarding the facts. It’s the year 2005 and today people have more access to information than has ever existed before in our history. Yet for all of the technology, the physical, business and in some cases emotional interconnections that we’ve establish during the information age there are some things, such as prejudice and the practice of discrimination, that are still so prevalent within various societies around the globe. As a follow-up to my first question of why people are prejudice, why do you think prejudice and bigotry are so difficult for some people to overcome, especially when there is so much information and opportunity available to learn otherwise? Panelist #5: Itʹs probably because it is something that they believe, so why question it? If thatʹs the way they were raised, surely it must be okay, right? Wrong! It would probably take a ʺGuess Whoʹs Coming to Dinnerʺ experience to change somebodyʹs mind. Something to make them rethink their opinions. Most people wouldnʹt think there was anything wrong with themselves unless someone could prove an obvious point that made them say ʺYou know, youʹre right!ʺ Panelist #1: Peer pressure and lack of parental involvement. If as parents we correct the errors in judgment our children use when they enter a potentially volatile situation, then perhaps a shift can begin. Core values 63


are at issue here. Godliness. We are all one people. If our parents were more open, we would learn their core values of godliness and tolerance as well. Panelist #6: Ignorance may typically be taken to mean a lack of education, but this isnʹt true. In my opinion, ignorance is not a great a contributor to prejudice/bigotry as insecurity is, and insecurity is not dependant upon oneʹs access to good education (in the traditional sense) information and the Internet for example. Panelist #3: In many ways, humans seek to be above others in terms of prestige, status and economics. Particularly if the ones that they want to be beneath them are visibly identifiable. I think that while we can find more information about the positive aspects of different cultures, the web also allows people to find more rationalizations to keep those minorities subdued. Panelist #4: Education is a small part of the picture it gives a person a suggested path to follow only. We know what is right and wrong but we donʹt always do what is right. People are always shocked when a highly educated person commits a crime, or a priest molests a child. Why is that? Is it only educated people that know right from wrong? Anyhow I think changing peoples way of thinking or acting toward others as a whole is a very slow process that will take generations to make small gains. Panelist #12: Because racism, bigotry, doesn’t seem to be influenced by the amount and the quality of information, but more by what

individually, each of us experiences in his everyday life. Finally, its by observing others, living in groups, that progressively we put assertion, judgment on the way they act, and at the end we are building our “schemes” of thinking. So I think it will be very difficult, if not impossible to eradicate and overcome this, cause it exists within the hidden part of our brain, by that I mean its in what we feel at our core even though we don’t always express it publicly. Panelist #11: It will never be overcome. It will remain in our history and cultures and is passed on to future generations until a significant event occurs and makes us reassess and possibly change our mind. However it does not take much to revert back to the previous position. It may vary to a lesser or greater degrees depending on a whole range of factors, such as our perceived view of economic conditions and causes, the work ethic of individuals, which may or not be attributed to an ID group. Prejudices are both personal and irrational and can be absorbed conscientiously and subconsciously. For all the information that can be applied to learn differently there is still enough evidence to reinforce the stereotypical images of prejudices. There has been so many that is why they are called stereotypes. There are also many Historical stories of friendship proffered in order to order to gain an advantage against the other group by surprise. I myself have reservations about people whom I have had no previous AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

contact with and I am on my guard constantly until my respect is earned. My life experiences have reinforced my view that I am happier with my ʺtribalʺ group with some notable and conflicting exceptions. A single individual does not have the smarts, time, experience, education, confidence, etc, to learn everything from scratch and therefore has to accept the prevailing general attitude from his tribal group. That many tribal groups have overlapping and frequently changing attitudes make this a complex area. MT: There are many people who have made statements like, “I don’t consider myself to be prejudice, but I wouldn’t want my daughter or son to marry ‘one’ because of what they might have to face from society.” Do you consider this attitude to be a form a prejudice or simply a cautious approach to a harsh reality and do you think that statements and ideas like this help to improve the situation or contribute to the problem by perpetuating the status quo? Panelist #2: Prejudice.. ʹmarry ʺONEʺ.. implies difference, not an awareness of societies attitude. It does nothing to improve the situation. It shouldnʹt even be a concious thought. When it isn’t a concious thought you have harmony. If there are problems, you work them out, like any other problems. Panelist #8: I would consider that a disservice to your childʹs ability to defend themselves and their beliefs. People face a whole lot of challenges over the course of their lives, personally, professionally and spiritually. Others always question 64


everything from your beliefs and ideals to your morals, and without being able to stand up for what’s truly important to yourself, you leave yourself open for a lot of compromise. Having that attitude as a parent might also place a strain on your childʹs relationship for no better reason than the parent being uncomfortable with something. Panelist #10: By calling it a problem aren’t you influencing the person that answeres the question? ;-) People are probably convinced about preventing their daughter or son from “damage”. These are individual decisions that do not have much influence on the problem in general I think. I think the son or daughter should decide himself / herself who he / she wants to marry. This might be a form of prejudice. It depends on the individual case. It probably is more a prejudice of the society than of a person Panelist #5: Itʹs probably both. Itʹs inherently prejudicial, just by itʹs wording, but there is some truth to it because of a parental concern about their childrenʹs future struggles and the rocky road theyʹd unfortunately most likely be facing down road from some people who just donʹt get it. You know, as I am writing this it occurs to me that I AM prejudice . . . against stupid people. - It may actually help in a twisted sort of way. If I was about to get married and my parents told me that, I would probably be more determined than ever to make it work, just to prove them wrong.

Panelist #3: This was something that my mother used to rationalize her hostility. Another thing sheʹd say is that the reason that the Blacks werenʹt good workers was because they were thinking too much about integration issues (in the 60s). She also tried to discourage me from having too many Jewish friends at school. She was very closed to discussing the rationale behind that, but I suspect that she thought that their culture was just too different from my experience. In fact I came to see that while different cultures might have their annoying traits, people who truely understand religion as a compassionate and fair set of rules to live by (Golden Rule etc.) are great role models no matter what religion it is. However, I feel that those in a minority have a different prospective which sometimes makes them richer morally and spiritually. Panelist #1: That attitude is deferred prejudice. It is a denial of ones own prejudice in that you care what someone else would think. If you are truly not prejudice, then the opinions of others toward your attitude should not matter. It not only perpetuates the problem, but also encourages prejudice for generations to come. What matters is what they might face from God if they do not love others as they would love themselves... not what ʹsocietyʹ thinks. MT: Do you believe that human beings have the capacity to learn from different situations, different cultures, different opinions and even different religions and AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

because of these experiences recognize the faults within themselves? Panelist #2: Yes. The capacity is there, but not always a willingness to be open minded. Panelist #8: Absolutely. I think Iʹve learned from different experiences, and hopefully am still learning. Since Iʹm a human, and Iʹm not that different from everyone else.... Panelist #6: Most people do have this capacity. I ultimately believe in the good within mankind, and I have to. If I didnʹt, I would have little faith in the future of our civilization. Panelist #12: Yes they have. Traveling a lot is one of the best way to experience finally that people are always welcoming each other, no matter what the color of their skins, theirs clothes, and have many times the same needs, targets and would like all to have at least a decent way of life. Panelist #1: Yes. It’s all about opening your eyes and mind. Everyone is different. Every religion is different; we are a culturally diverse planet. While it may be easy to recognize ones faults, overcoming them is a different question altogether. Panelist #11: Yes, but because I have tried to understand such things as Book of Mormon/ The Bible/ Evolution of the Species etc and, I realised that better brains than mine had not been able to make it work seamlessly, and I would always be well away from the cutting edge of this problem. 65


MT: In your life experience what have you learned about people of different races, cultures, religions and sexual orientation? Panelist #9: There are differences between people and different beliefs but also there are good and bad among every group. Looking past the differences long enough to be able to see the good in people seems to be difficult for a lot of folks however. Panelist #2: People are people.. except - the people I cannot relate to are those that preform violent acts on others. I have known people of color, religious culture and sexual prefʹs.. and good people are good, regardlesss of social labels. Panelist #5: That theyʹre basically the same as you and me . . . only different. That didnʹt sound quite right did it? :-) Everyoneʹs basically the same when we start out. Through our upbringing, through our environment, we develop opinions. As we get older our opinions get shaped by our experiences. In my experience EVERYBODYʹs different from EVERYONE ELSE in one way or another. The sooner you accept everyoneʹs differences the sooner you can enjoy being yourself. Panelist #3: Largely that weʹre all the same with different perspectives. One can say about each of the categories of race, culture, religion and sexual orientation that there are good and bad people. When it comes down to it, weʹre all mothers, fathers, sons and daughters with family ties that are possibly supremely important to us. Security, love, belonging, freedom

and the pursuit of happiness are universal human goals. Panelist #4: As a whole I have seen good and bad in every group mentioned, so singling out a race or culture saying one is better or worse doesnʹt make any sense. On a personal level, I had a friend who is Greek Orthodox when growing up and later when in my mid 20 an African American. Both are considered close friends, over my lifetime there have only been a few I could put in that catagory. I learned about their cultures mostly when meeting and talking over dinner with their families. Common interests bind regardless of race, cultures etc. Panelist #11: That most homosexuals can pub brawl fight quite well! I know there were several closet Homosexuals in the ARMY, but in 28 years I never saw anything that caused me any concerns. I have been both the commander and the junior of other races personnel and in the main they were the same as my WASC group. I have seen some racial tensions between black and whites in SVN and some between Malay Chinese and Malayans and some between the Aust and NZ Maoris. Basically, that there is good and bad in every group and not all characteristics are leeched out of groups until 2 to 3 generations have passed. A person must balance the requirement to be on guard against unsocialable characteristics and to be ready to proffer friendship or at the least, tolerance, to others in our society. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

MT: It’s not something that is discussed very often and perhaps this is due to the fact that it isn’t necessarily an attribute that is as easily identifiable as race, but do you think that there exists a discriminatory attitude against homosexuals, or if you will, a degree of homophobia within the racing community? Panelist #9: Yes, and everywhere else. Panelist #2: The real racing community? or sim racing? my gut tells me yes, in NASCAR, .. but in Sim Racing? No. How would anyone know? Panelist #11: I do not believe there are active discriminations against Homosexuals but with the majority of racing sponsors looking at a demographic footprint that reinforces sporting stereotypes, the mere suggestion of homosexual tendencies will react against the sponsors’ aims. We had a case where A Woman’s Magazine sponsored a low-level car team for a few seasons but it was not considered a success. When the local Elle Bache (Woman’s cosmetics) company sponsored a woman skipper and crew and the boat of a 16feet Sailing Skiff there was a novelty value for a couple of seasons, but when the on board camera /microphone captured an obscene exchange between a male crew and the female crew and the result was on air National TV live, then replayed later again, sailing lost that sponsor. Panelist #5: It wouldnʹt me. Racing is such a ʺmachoʺ sport. When you 66


think back to the days of GPL - the late 60ʹs . . . when men were men so to speak - all the drivers had the reputation of being, “real ladies men.” A common picture was Graham Hill in the pits with wife Betty charting laptimes for him. It was always the good-looking, dashing race car driver with a beautiful woman. If any real homophobia exists one could easily look at NASCAR for a possible example but I donʹt really see it there either. I tend to see it in their fan base though. Panelist #6: Can you imagine a gay NASCAR driver? What do you think the squeaky clean NASCAR governing body would think if a gay driver raced around sporting KY gel on his car and winning races in Talledega Alabama would think? There would be a massive outcry from the public as well as a huge drop in ratings and spectators attendance. Panelist #12: Not really. But it seems racers have rather sympathy for Playboy calendars women, pin ups and all this kind of ʺimagineʺ the ideal woman. I belong to those who love the Pirelli calendar! Panelist #1: Within the racing community? Are we talking virtual or ‘real life’? Do you know of any homosexuals in racing? Are you sure there aren’t any? In the sim racing community, it is virtually (grin) impossible to tell unless you meet face to face, and even then its not always obvious. Again, I think nonparticipation should not be deemed as discrimination. Rather it is more of

a cultural desire. You can’t force someone who has other interests to like motorsports, even in the name of diversity. MT: Why would anyone consider a person’s sexual orientation an undesirable trait to have in the garage or on the racetrack, what difference does it make at 200 mph or when you’re building and working on a car? Panelist #4: Well it doesnʹt make any difference, but this attitude seem to pop up in many sports. Auto racing has been considered a macho, manʹs sport. They donʹt want to be associated with someone who might seem less macho. Panelist #1: I have not heard of that. Speculatively speaking, perhaps its because motor racing is a rough sport. There is no crying in motor racing. However, if a team member is top notch and has skills needed to improve the team... an asset, why would it matter his or her orientation? Panelist #7: Itʹs more the attitude, ʺOh, I couldnʹt imagine that a homo could do that job as well.ʺ But I have also to say that all of my homosexual friends find motor sports a bluecollar hetero macho thing (and definitely not blue-collar macho in the YMCA style :-) ). And if there were a gay race driver who did not out himself, that would be even worse. Panelist #3: Before I found myself more accepting of Gays, I worried that theyʹd approach me in the same way that a woman might not want to be approached romantically by a AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

strange man. When I was young, I hitchhiked and had a couple of aggressive proposals, one of which meant pushing a guys hand off my thigh in a car. Luckily nothing more than that. Now, I have several Gay friends and since they know that Iʹm not Gay, itʹs not an issue, but it seems more natural to me now to think that if someone of either gender were to find me attaractive, thatʹd be a compliment rather than an insult. It probably comes down to whether people have confidence in their own sexuality; that they donʹt worry that theyʹre thought of as Gay because they wear pink, or hang out with other Gay people in the garage or at the track. Of course some people go back to the Bible to rationalize that anything Gay as a sin. Panelist #5: I donʹt think it should make any difference at all. If you are good at something thatʹs all that a team should care about. However, thatʹs not to say two people of equal talent vying for the same job, might have the decision on hiring them come down to intangibles - like who is going to get along with ʺthe guysʺ best. When I think of pit crew or racing team members I think of a tightly-knit group of guys working together for a common goal. Iʹd like to think that their common goal would be a higher priority than their phobias. Panelist #8: The same attitudes could be applied to a woman as well I would think; ʺRacing cars is for the manly menʺ

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MT: Speaking of women, would it be fair to say that an undercurrent of gender discrimination is something that is still commonplace in 2005, and in either case, why? Panelist #5: Not really. It has taken awhile since Janet Guthrie & Lynn St. James drove at Indy but today drivers like Sarah Fisher and Danika Patrick have shown that it CAN be done. I think itʹs more of a desire thing. Just not many woman WANT to be a race car driver, much less a mechanic. Panelist #3: Much less than just a short time ago. I think that there are a growing number of people encouraging women and a shrinking number actively trying to stop them. But there are people whose egos are so fragile that to be beaten by a woman is a bad thing. Way back in 1965, a bike racer confided to us that in a race he had knocked down a woman cyclist (National Champion) so that she wouldnʹt beat him. Itʹs easy to do because cycling has lots of spills. I bet that it happens in sim racing too. I wonder if Sandra Knight has found that? The one time I was in a pick-up VROC race with her, I sensed that she was getting lots of encouragement from the few others there, however. Again, if you are consumed by the thought that someone is going to knock you off the track, then every little mistake will be taken as an assault and winning will become harder. This is the way that bullies get their way - just the hint of a threat will undermine someoneʹs confidence. Actually looking at the

list of people that you contacted about this survey, I donʹt see any females. Iʹd have to think that their prospective would be invalualbe. Panelist #9: Women are generally considered physically inferior to men and anyone in racing knows racing can be extremely physical. Panelist #12: Yes sure, men against women and vice versa. But in my eyes this theme is more exaggerated than it is real. Panelist #1: Generally, I think it is ebbing. There are more and more female executives these days. One hindrance to complete cessation is simply the differences between the sexes. I think women tend more to “feel” than use logical determination. Men are the opposite; feeling is something that the male has been taught to repress. If you feel too much it becomes more difficult to make hard business decisions. Panelist #11: Overall yes - for many reasons (e.g. religious and political fundamentalism getting stronger every day in the Western civilizations), and as long as there are people who are listened to when they try to defend something as normal, and something else as deviant. MT: Do you think that there are some people who might try to justify their belief in gender discrimination by thinking of women in racing not simply as women who enjoy racing, but as “lesbians” who enjoyed racing? Panelist #5: No. Iʹd guess that something like that would be beyond most peopleʹs thinking. They couldnʹt AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

extrapolate beyond the ʺwomen in racingʺ thing. Panelist #3: Thatʹs definitely a feeling. Someone made that sort of comment to me about a tennis player, but in typically bully fashion made it seem like an innocent comment. I rejected his comment, but I regret not taking him more to task. When the discriminator senses some resistance to an idea, these counter arguements are usually diffused by saying that “it was just something that I heard.” Panelist #8: Sure. These are probably the kind of guys that are better bench racers than they are out on the track. The same type of guy that uses anything to soften the blow to his ego. In this case, a homophobic notalent hack that can feel better about being beaten by someone he can insult, rather than accepting the fact he just got beat. Panelist #4: Definitely, it seems anytime a women gets interested in a so called, “manʹs sport” they get tagged with the lesbian label. Women are as much at fault as men for this type of attitude in my opinion. Panelist #2: Nah. I canʹt speak for those that have a negative view, but the racing people I know find it exciting for the sport and enriching. Maybe boy racers feel there are only so many seats available and girl racers would take some away? Panelist #11: Not at all. I have raced against several women in Karts and all , except the Juniors, were all married and kept their feminity. They probably swore as well as the men

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but that is becoming commonplace now. Panelist #1: Phbthbpt!!! Tell me that Danica Patrick is a lesbian... motor racing needs more women like Danica and Sarah Fischer. Young women who appreciate motor racing and are more than just a token on the track. Women with racing skills. MT: For many years there were people who believed that auto racing was a sport that was restricted to non-minorities, or at least non-minorities as typically defined within Western civilization. Do you think this concept is true and in either case why? Panelist #3: Iʹm sure that itʹs a factor still. If weʹre talking about professionals, sponsors want to be represented by the people that theyʹre targeting. In the ameteur scene, Iʹd have to think that financial aspects of the sport decide whoʹll rise up. But in any sport, there are so many very good performers just below the highest level that factors other than ability come into play. Another factor is that a top performer must believe in him or herself and thatʹs where cultural history can work against them - as in a Black, Jew, Gay has never made it to the top, so there can be an emotional or psychological self-imposed barrier. Panelist #2: I do not think the concept is true. I would sooner believe it had to do with interest or income. Panelist #9: Not really. Please forgive me I am not using the politically correct terms. To be honest I have not put much thought into these type of

questions, but looking back at it now that you have asked I don’t know of many blacks that are well known racing drivers or many who are involved in any racing series. I am sure there are but I have not noticed. That may be due to the fact that I could care less where the driver came from or what color he is, it just comes down to weather or not he is able to drive. Panelist #5: I think it was probably more of a reason or lack of opportunity or perhaps desire than anything else. There are many women who are not interested in sports at all, much less racing. However, some HAVE had an interest and have taken their dreams to track. Good for them! Panelist #8: Iʹve never heard that any form of motor sports was restricted in any way... The only requirement seems to be having the discretionary income to be able to go racing. Heck, you donʹt even really need any sort of talent to race, really. Just the cash to field a car and repair it. Now, if that follows some sort of socio-economic trend...who knows? Panelist #7: If you mean WASPs (NASCAR), and mostly people with a solid financial background - which were rarely immigrants (European Formula series), then that is surely true. Panelist #10: Surely not. In former days auto racing was a sport, today it is still a sport, but commercial aspects like sponsoring are very important. In the early days of auto racing, auto racing was only one example amongst other sports that were a AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

mirror of the society (auto racing as a hobby). When I compare it with other sports I think that many minorities are enthusiastic for other sports. There are many Turkish people living in Germany. A lot of them are playing soccer, some in Turkish only teams, but also many in mixed teams. So you should take this into account as well. In the USA there are many sports like Baseball, American Football that almost nobody is playing here in Europe. So many people that we call “minorities” in our country have different interests. Today it has become much better I think, but we must not forget the roll of sponsoring and marketing in professional auto racing that has become an important aspect. Panelist #6: Yes, I think its is mostly true. Why? Simply because most of motor sport is (and always was) an ʺold boyʺ network, right from its beginnings to todayʹs multinational juggernauts. It was created by people who had loads of financial resources 100 years ago, and kept within their circles, for the most part. MT: Narrow-mindedness isn’t something that is the limited to a single race or group of people. For example in my personal experience within the African American community auto racing, is frequently regarded by some as a, “rich, white man’s sport” and these same people often regard African Americans who enjoy motor sports as “sell outs.” Yet historically there have always been people of color who were motor sports enthusiasts and have attempted to be participants at various levels. 69


Even though on a global scale, the number of motor sports enthusiasts who are non-Anglo descendents out-paces the number Anglo-descended enthusiasts, why is the notion of motor sports being a “rich, white man’s sport” is still so prevalent? Panelist #5: Derʹs a lot ʹo rich white guys. (sorry) ;-) But I think thatʹs probably true. Iʹd bet if you broke down a list of millionaires by race and/or sex, youʹd see a number that closely resembles the mix of minorities in racing. There is quite a bit of up-front cash required to get started in racing yet alone get anywhere in it. Panelist #9: Well I guess I may not have been too far off on the previous question. All I can tell you is your asking the wrong person. However if racing was not so expensive, I think I would have and still would try to find my way in racing myself. Panelist #12: Perhaps because on TV, magazines, every time that a racing car event is covered, it s mainly white people that are on the screen, unlike in many others sports where we can see faces from all the parts of the world. Panelist #2: The media Panelist #3: Ah, now Iʹm gong to go back on what I said about sponsors seeking people who are the same as their target audience. I suppose that thereʹs a feeling that if Whites want to buy more Fords because a White guy is winning NASCAR races, then the minority groups will fall in line. Sponsors possibly think that a Black

wonʹt be held up as a role model by whites.

of meʺ stigma because of the relative anonymity it affords.

Tiger Woods and the Williams sisters are groundbreakers and true pioneers in this way. I canʹt imagine how Willie Mays and Ella Fitzgerald, to think of just two, didnʹt make this kind of breakthrough.

For the most part, everyone is very passionate about motor sports in general, and that commonality alone is enough to transcend most bigotry most of the time. That being said, are people more themselves because they are more free to be themselves, or are they even less like themselves because they can be? Probably a little of both I imagine.

I see the same thing in bicycling, which is mainly a European sport. If Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemon were French or Belgian, theyʹd be God-like and their assent to the top would have been much easier. Panelist #4: Other sports such as golf and tennis I think were looked at in the same way in the past but attitudes changed about those sports when someone of color made and impact on that sport. I think the same could happen in auto racing. Panelist #11: Probably for the same reasons that make one assume that Basketball or boxing is a black ghetto kidʹs sport. MT: Considering everything that we’ve discussed so far, do you think sim-racing has a tendency to incorporate the various regional attitudes of discrimination, or do you think that sim racing has taken a different track, so to speak, from the rest of the world and if so, why? Panelist #8: From my own experience, sim racing in a way is the same and different all at once. We all bring forward whatever popular ideals exist in our real lives to our online lives; of course we do, itʹs who we are. I think the Internet as a whole though has a way of removing some of the ʺIʹm worried what people think AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Panelist #2: I have never experienced any form of discrimination in any Sim league I was part of. I was never asked any personal questions regarding race-creed-or sexual preference, so iʹd say sim racing is leading the world in tackling the issue head on by not making it an issue! There by eliminating the discussion of it. Panelist #11: Same - after all, also the sim racers are human beings, as my grandma said. :-) But as sim racing has its home in virtuality, such attitudes surface only in critical situations. E.g. as one personal example, remember how many North Americans (and Brits :-)) complained about FILSCA being a European name! Panelist #12: Yes, Sim Racing, from the beginning, has been a very openminded community. But its not forcibly so because of those who’s involvement have made Sim racing what it is today, it is simply because of the Internet. No one sees others faces, their way of living, voice, habits, its evidently a rather nonsegregationist kind way of meeting each other, and that is great! And 70


finally, on Internet, no one thinks much of the others, with regards to their physical aspects, but only by the posts in the forums and by chatting with each other. Panelist #6: I think sim racing has taken a different tack in NOT being noticeably discriminatory for many reasons. Primarily it is such a minute percentage of the human population, and a segment which is unusually highly educated intelligent, inquiring, and open-minded. (relative to the general population) Sim racers want to have fun with other sim racers. Wherever they may be, whatever they may speak, and however they may look. MT: Prejudice and discrimination come in all forms, shapes, sizes and colors; do you think that there are other forms of discrimination that we haven’t covered in this interview, if so would you describe them? Panelist #2: I find the whole subject distasteful. off hand I cant think of other forms, because I prefer to look for the good side of people. that this behavior exists, and probably always will, sickens me. Panelist #5: Hmmm. Our league ranks itʹs drivers and assigns them a chassis depending on their talent level, all in the name of “creating a more enjoyable and exciting event.” Are we descriminating against these more talented drivers by not allowing them to use any of the faster cars? In sim racing it doesnʹt matter what the color of your car skin is . . . but itʹs whatʹs “under the bonnet” that counts.

Panelist #3: I think that the discrimination can be coming from both sides. Sometimes the victims are as intolerant as the perpetrators but clearly the biggest problem is with those in the majority. Panelist #6: Discrimination on the basis of Nationality and also political opinion is something I have observed, and tried to discourage in our community. Panelist #12: Perhaps the discrimination simply based on difference in countries history that leads to nationalist’s attitude, but in my racing experience, I must say nationalities are long-time forgotten things... Panelist #4: My list would be very long depending on how deep you look into the subject. People are discriminated against for all sorts of things like being overweight, the clothes they wear, how long or short their hair is, age, deformities to name a few. Panelist #1: Perhaps there are. For instance, I mentioned the prejudice of my behavior and size. I do not often think or behave in the “normal” fashion. I have never been physically optimal by certain standards. Yet, I am who I am, and I am comfortable in the fact that I am who I am. If someone is unwilling to accept these simple truths, it’s not my problem it’s theirs. MT: What can we, as human beings, do to help reduce and eventually eliminate discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation or religion?

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Panelist #7: Bring ‘em all together at some real place. Panelist #11: Start the whole process again, and this time I want to be an alien! Panelist #3: To fight discrimination, we have to speak up against those who even hint at it. I feel that if people who discriminate find that most of their peers disapprove, they’ll rethink their actions. Panelist #6: Focus on our sphere of influence. Almost anything else doesnʹt change the world, but the sum of the fractions may… Iʹm just a realist motivated by idealism. Panelist #1: We share the planet, we also need to share core values and beliefs. More wars have been fought in the name of religion than anything else. Core belief values are at the center of these differences. Panelist #5: Just get over it! Accept everyone for what they are. Everybodyʹs different in one way or another. Big deal, so what. I actually use the nightly news as a racial/sexual barometer of how we as a society are doing in a our battle for equality across the board. Everytime I hear someone say “So-and-so was the first African-American to do suchand-such” I know weʹre not there yet as a society. Itʹs not important what race or sexual orientation anyone is, itʹs the fact that something got done that which was worth noting. I recently heard on the news that a possible cure for cervicle cancer was discovered. It shouldnʹt matter that the person discovering it was a woman but the headline read 71


“Woman researcher discovers possible cure for cancer.” Weʹre not there yet. Panelist #8: Personally, I just donʹt recognize that thereʹs any difference really. Iʹve got people from all over the planet that I consider the very best of friends. From Australia, to New York, to France to Japan...all have people that Iʹve never met faceto-face, but consider close friends. Are any of them gay? Are any of them communist? Are any of them Jewish? Catholic? Republican? Like peanut butter on their waffles? Hell if I know.... I’ve never asked or been asked. Weʹre all pretty like-minded, we all get along, we all talk the same amount trash about each otherʹs driving skills (or lack thereof sometimes), and from my point of view they could’ve all gone to my high school or grew up with me for as close as we all seem really. Panelist #12: By being very acutely aware of it in our everyday life, by staying clever and immediately react to any discrimination speech, act or attitude. Associations do have a great rule to play, but how we can penetrate another human being’s consciousness and deepest feelings? I don t know. I think that’s the main problem, the main barrier to any kind of progress on that matter. Panelist #4: I think the process of change will be very slow taking generations to see any real difference. Celebrities have the opportunity to effect large groups of people. Their actions more than their words could certainly make a difference. Trying to teach are children to respect others,

regardless of race, gender etc., can also help. Panelist #2: We are all small pebbles and itʹs a large pond. But any pebble thrown into the pond can make the ripple reach all the way to the edges. So in world reform, a rather daunting task. Initially Iʹd say we can never end it. But in your day to day life, small steps can be a start. donʹt laugh at discrimitory jokes, bring it to the attention of the person that whispers negative comments, that you find that talk repulsive. Maybe in your neighborhood, you can make a change.. and in time that neighborhood can grow. I want to thank all of the panelists for their participation and for the candor and thoroughness of their answers. As a final thought I’d like to share an experience I had back in 1989. My project partners and I were in Taipei, traveling on business, when we ran into some fellow colleagues and co-workers in the lobby of the hotel we were staying in. During our typical exchange of greetings and questions about what brought each of us to Taipei, we made an impromptu decision to get together for dinner and drinks later that evening. As we walked into the restaurant a few more business associates heard about the gathering and had decided or been invited to join us. Some of them of from our local distributors office and other’s were from our European and Canadian offices. As we sat there chatting about our day and our travels we came to realize what an unusual collection of people we were, for among our group were a AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

couple of Taiwanese locals, a person from Japan, a Norwegian, a German, a Hispanic Canadian, a ChineseAmerican, two Jews and of course one Black American. (No, this isn’t a setup to a joke.) With the revelation of who we were and how diverse our little group was the topic of the conversation quite naturally turned to a discussion of the world, our global village and the wants, needs and desires of the separate communities to which we belonged. We sat there talking and laughing and “fellowshipping” as it were, and simply enjoying each other’s company as well as rejoicing in our differences well into the wee hours of the morning. And when the time came for us to part we lifted our glasses and made a toast to us and our differences and the realization that our differences really weren’t so different after all. It was a completely spontaneous event that I’m sure is still remembered quite fondly by those of us who were there, but for me personally it was one of the biggest steps forward I had ever experienced. My only wish is that everyone could experience an event like this and understand or at least glimpse the true potential that we have within ourselves, not necessarily to set aside our differences, but to embrace them and cherish them for the truly marvelous gifts they are. Cya on the track!

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T HE T1 S HUNT F EST SRC: Simracing Takes The UK By Storm http://www.schuerkamp.de/zope/gtrank

Here is the link to the GPL Rank site: http://gplrank.schuerkamp.de/phppub/gplrank.php

And for the NASCAR fans, look no further than this:http://nrank.gplrank.info/

Jon Denton visits the UK's first simracing centre and … drives too slow …

says to go down the road that is marked ‘not suitable for motor vehicles’, so we must be on the right track….”

Things were looking ominous as I inched my Mercedes down the thin lane, Golf course one side and scrubland the other. “This is definitely on the directions?” I asked my co pilot and designated GPL “newbie” Tom. “Yes, that’s right, it

And so it was that we came to a pair of large metal gates, heading upwards we spotted the green barn that was our destination, with nothing but countryside (And mobile telecoms masts!) surrounding us. The AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

whole thing began to have a very quiet, “Deliverance” like feel to it. Upon arrival our host Adrian Thomson promptly arrived in his yellow Lotus Elise, and a moment of happiness came over me as I realised that we were in the right place and no shotgun bolts were going to be soaring my way!

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We had arrived at the United Kingdom’s first official “Simracing Centre”. Adrian had already been in earlier to setup the equipment and we could hear the roar of engines from the promo video that was cycling round inside. Upon entering the barn it became apparent to me that this was the sort of place where I could spend a lot of time. Three custom built cockpits were splayed out in front of 2.5 metre projector screens, with BRD Speed 7 pedals bolted into them and a Logitech Momo racing wheel for each. Behind this sat the race control area, with the PC’s that were running what was on the projector and the race control PC running GPL.tv. Adrian Thomson used to work for IBM in a technical IT role that paid well and offered good benefits and job security, he set up the simracing centre in April 2004 as a proof of concept idea while he continued work at IBM. The success enjoyed by the centre since has inspired Adrian to leave IBM and take on the simracing centre full time. But what was it that made him decide to give up on a good and secure career to set up a simracing centre? “My brother and I were regularly attending tracks days which we thoroughly enjoyed.” States Adrian “However, they do get expensive and donʹt involve any actual racing. It would be great to get in to real world racing but it is simply far too expensive and time consuming. We wanted something that would give us a way to

enjoy the joys of motorsport participation without the huge bills and time required. PlayStation and Xbox are fun but not enough. I was aware that PC simulations offered better experiences but had never invested the time to get into them. I was all too aware how much time messing with PCs can take up! We soon realised that we might not be alone in wanting PC sim experiences without the aggravation and expense of PC ownership.”

True indeed, simracing would very probably be a much bigger community if it were as simple as console “Switch on a play” architecture but are the majority of Adrian’s regular customers “simracers”? Adrian: “Most of our customers are not simracers, most have never even heard of GPL!” As simracing is undoubtedly an activity that most “off the street” people have never heard of, how did you go about marketing such an unknown to the public? “A good question. With no existing concept of sim race venues we had an uphill battle. So far we have grown our customer base entirely by word of mouth. Where we have described the concepts on our web site we have sought to focus on the driving experience and not mention the technology too much. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Outside of communities like RSC the mass market is still living on console arcade racers. Any mention of a ʹgameʹ has too many associations with the likes of Ridge Racer. Also, too many ʹgamesʹ claim to be ʹThe Real Simulatorʹ. Any other suggestions to overcome these conception hurdles are most welcome ...” I look at Adrian blankly; this is a very real problem. To even suggest to many of “Joe Public” that they are to go to a barn and “play computer games”, as their perception would have it, would bring a paucity of interest from most. After all, if you wanted to go to the bowling alley and pile golden nuggets into the “Sega Rally” machine you would do so, and maybe have a game of Air Hockey while you are at it. As many simracers will know, trying to explain the difference between an arcade racer and a decent sim can be a very difficult thing to achieve, without being able to put people in front of it when quite often the landing lights suddenly come on to guide them into the truth. Does this mean that the simracing centre has struggled for custom? Especially in the early days. Did things ever look ʺbleakʺ? “Not really,” Adrian replies calmly as he takes a sip from his tea “financially we are still far from covering the costs of all the initial equipment and the ongoing expenses and cost of replacements parts. However, in terms of a delighted customer base we have simply been blown away with the take up. Most 74


customers are introduced by a friend and arrive somewhat sceptical, but after their first twenty minutes on track they come off grinning. They then spend the next couple of hours talking about braking points and racing lines. Itʹs a joy to watch and gives us the motivation to keep going.” The feature sim of the simracing centre was Grand Prix Legends, both in standard 1967 form and the 1965 mod. Car choice had been limited to a ’67 Ferrari 312 and a ’65 Lotus 33, with both running a “forgiving” setup for the purpose of beginners. These setups are fixed so that all drivers run from a level playing field and there can be no claims of any “competitive advantage” being in effect. “There are a number of issues here” Adrian explains. “Firstly itʹs about promoting a level playing field, by promoting single make races we keep the focus as much as we can on driver skill. Secondly it takes time to configure the graphics and accessible handling for each car model. Lastly with mixed car hot lapping sessions there are technical challenges in having various combinations of 67 and 65 cars out on track together. However, as we move forward and the customer base grows we will introduce further variety.” “As far as a fixed setup goes, the vast majority of our customers are coming from a non-sim background. Whilst they are making the adjustment to a zero Gforce environment we aim to provide maximum assistance whilst retaining the purity of the physics. Common, docile setups are one way to do this.” These are fair points. Not many

customers would rush back if they had spent their whole time on track spinning and crashing, indeed this was doubtless the major cause of low sales of GPL upon initial release. Having completed my introductory cup of tea I suggest to Adrian that perhaps we have a break from questions, commenting that perhaps it might be prudent for me to “go for a spin”, purely for research purposes of course!

Climbing into the custom made cockpit (Made, I am assured by Adrian, from “Gold with a sprinkle of magic dust”!) is pleasantly akin to lowering into a single seater race car, with the adjustable seat sliding forward to account for my absurd shortness I settled my feet into place on the BRD Speed 7 pedals and looked forward to see my Lotus 33 sitting in the pit lane at Watkins Glen, March’s “Circuit of the month”. Now, I had already made this clear to Adrian so I feel I should make it clear to all readers. Despite GPL being a big part of my life over the years I have recently made a conscious effort to “move on” and as such I have not driven GPL for over a year. This made me a little worried that I might AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

make a complete and utter buffoon of myself when “under the spotlight”. Hence I was quite pleased that Watkins Glen was the circuit of the month, with the sheer amount of laps I had done here it was surely imprinted in my brain forever. On top of this, I decided that for my first 20 minute run I would run the 1965 Lotus 33. This would either prove a more forgiving drive, or my ultimate undoing. My GPL absence also meant that I had never driven the ’65 mod at all. I can hear you all tut-tutting at me as you read this, and see you shaking your head. Still, it turns out driving in GPL is like riding a bike, and you never quite forget. And I merrily lapped for 20 minutes without incident (Something which in the past would never have come as a surprise to me!). The sheer size of the projector fills your view and provides a wonderful feeling that you are “in car”. The feeling of immersion was second to none…. Force Dynamics motion platforms aside. Further thoughts concerning the driving experience (despite complaints that after about 4 laps I found the ’65 cars distinctly lacking in grunt, a wholly different article!) was that the fixed setup of the car was very forgiving indeed, a necessity no doubt for the inexperienced. However, I felt I was losing time everywhere as a result of 75


this. With the entry understeer having to be countered by some heroic trail braking and the differential setting allowing for some very heavy right foot on the exit of most corners. It is true that any experienced GPL’r would probably have the same issues, but for those not accustomed to building their own setups and customising the car around their driving style the fixed setup works well. A necessary evil, plus of course it is the same for everyone. My best lap on the first run, a 1.13.37, put me fairly high up the order for the hotlap challenge, a further surprise for me as I felt I was driving fairly cautiously. I climbed out of the cockpit and Adrian began the chastisement “Oh, so you’re a bit rusty there eh Jon?” It turns out my time had put me third in the Lotus 33 hotlap standings at the time (The final result put me in sixth place in the Lotus 33, visible here http://www.driverschallenge.co.uk/h otlapresults.php?id=February%20200 5 ). Okay, so I hadn’t quite forgotten how to drive GPL after all. After so much time away GPL felt very comfortable, like coming home….. Maybe. Adrian put the kettle on again and as Tom and Alexis (A regular customer who turned up on the day) carried on lapping. Tom was slowly coming to terms with the Lotus 33, his laptimes dropping with every lap. Tom, a close friend of mine, had driven GPL before, probably around two to three years ago. Then his

experience ran to a handful of laps around Monza and Kyalami. He had never seen Watkins Glen, and had really never had the chance to get any decent practice in on GPL to get himself to a level where he felt he could be competitive. His early laps in the Lotus 33 had seen him off the track a few times, mainly braking into “The Loop” or “Big Bend”, with a few off track excursions at “The 90”, all to be expected, his pace when on track was getting quicker and quicker, as was consistency. The tea arrived so Adrian and I sat back down with some custard creams. The perception must be from most that the pursuit of virtual race driving is a mainly male oriented activity. There are not many women in simracing on the whole, despite Alison Hine’s position as one of those who “started it all” with GPL and VROC, it cannot be denied that most of the posters on RSC or BHM are male. Does the simracing centre attract a broad range of customer, in terms of gender, or for that matter, age? Adrian: “There is no doubt that the audience is primarily male, mostly between twenty and fifty. But not exclusively, we have a growing number of younger female racers - one recent female visitor is now using our facilities to practice for an upcoming real world racing competition.” No surprises really, in terms of indoor karting you would have to assume that most of their “Arrive and drive” custom is from men. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Conversely, one would have to assume that most horse riding schools make most of their money from the fairer sex. So, when all is said and done, has the simracing centre been a success? “In terms of satisfied customers, absolutely!” Adrian chirps “Our first goal was to provide an enjoyable customer experience. We are now focused on the systems automation that will enable us to continue providing our visitors with great experiences on an accessible budget.” Budget wise, the simracing centre comes in much cheaper than indoor karting in terms of time “on track” for every pound spent, and notably cheaper than track days, especially when you consider that you would have to buy a car in the first place for such a thing. Adrian continues “There are a whole set of issues ranging from the ease of use of the race management software to the serviceability of the equipment. The reality is that there are far more issues than we envisaged in making a venue like this run smoothly. The bottom line is that if we can find a way to cover our costs then we will be happy.” A fair statement, assuredly it seems that Adrian never set up this centre as a quick route to being a millionaire. This is a labour of love, and in the process can only bring more and more people into the “fold” of simracing on the whole. But, the question is, does visiting the centre convince people to go out and buy a wheel for their PC, maybe a new PC for that matter. In short, does the simracing centre attract people to 76


“hobby” simracing from home, or does their enthusiasm just tempt them to return to the simracing centre time and time again? “We are seeing both. Visitors who are used to playing games on their PC are going out to buy GPL or dusting off an old copy to practice at home. Race enthusiasts who donʹt even own a PC just come back to us when the need another blast.ʺ It was now time for another twenty minute run, and this time I would step back into “old faithful” and drive the Ferrari 312. Albeit a custom skin gave it a yellow paint job, it made my brain hurt a little to drive a Ferrari that was not red, but after a few minutes I got over this! Alexis and Tom had been lapping almost non stop during this time, and while it appeared that the diversion of my questioning was getting them both some excellent value for money, I was a little concerned about their improving laptimes. Tom was still in the Lotus 33 and was getting closer and closer to the fastest time on the hotlap sheet. Alexis was running the Ferrari in the 1.07 range, which I regarded as my “target” for the session. Having in my GPL past got very used to Alison Hine’s excellent “high” setups for the Ferrari (with a few modifications of my own) the initial laps struck me as quite strange. I did not remember the Ferrari feeling this way. I remember enormous four wheel drifts and oversteer on demand from the howling V12 behind me. Sadly, I felt a little disappointed by the fixed setup.

I expected as much in many ways after my time with the Lotus 33. It only makes sense that with a trickier car to drive more work had gone into making it driveable and therefore enjoyable for the “newbie”. Sadly, for me this detracted a little, but only a little, from the driving experience. Gearing was the main one, whilst the chassis setup was not dissimilar to the Lotus 33 in that there was a bias towards controllable understeer on the limit, the gearing has been modified on the Ferrari to present the driver with less torque upon mid to late corner areas, hence it was not always easy to “kick out the tail”. Of course, this is to prevent the uninitiated from spinning all the time. Were there any plans in the future to allow more practiced drivers to build there own, or even bring their own (on a floppy disc) setup? Adrian: “It could be the case that in future if we were to run serious leagues from the centre that longer practice or testing sessions in which setup customisation could be involved, it really depends on what the drivers want. Many like the level playing field that a fixed setup presents.” “We are just finalising our membership plans. Part of the membership concept will be the introduction of greater car choices and personal settings. Obviously there are technical challenges here but we are on top of them and are working hard to bring greater variety very soon.” During the session things got very close between me and Alexis, with both of us running regular 1.07’s, keeping an eye on my pitboard I AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

noted that I only had to make up 0.10s on my current best of a 1.07.6. On my last, low fuel lap I managed a 1.07.31 a quick glance over to the pitboard made me aware that on his very same final lap Alexis had found over a second and had put in a 1.06.16. Quite where he found this was seemingly as much of a revelation to him as it was me. Regardless I went from competitive to nowhere in the course of one lap. I once again climbed out my cockpit, feeling a little frustrated at my setup issues. The Ferrari was always “My Girl” and I always had a very oversteery setup which suited my style. My Personal Best at home was a 1.05.4, I felt I had underperformed and felt a little annoyed. Then, of course I realised I was not at a real race track, and this was all for fun. The dazzling levels of immersion had got me so into “character” that my flustered responses to try and do everything I could with the setup I had been given had resulted in me probably going slower than I should have done. Socially, the immersion works superbly. Whilst a GPL race in WinVROC can be an awful lot of fun, returning to the “chat” or even a “Teamspeak” conversation cannot compare to jumping out of the cockpit and being in immediate, face to face, conversation with the guys you were just racing with on track. Of course, this level of immersion can lead to heightened emotions, and potentially drivers scuffling following on track contact. Especially

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if leagues are setup and something is at stake. So what is next for the UK’s first Simracing centre, what does the future hold? Well, April brings the dawn of a new layout, with improved customer care facilities (This means better coffee!) and an increase to six pods. So what is Adrian’s vision for the future of his Centre? “Not exactly sure, we have just increased the number of pods from 3 to 6 and when we can afford it we would like to grow it further. A twenty pod venue would be great.” Adrian fizzes with excitement as he talks about his ideas “There are lots of other technologies we are interested in trying out - Motion tracking, 3D glasses, VR head-sets and Motion Platforms. But our criteria for selection remains the same. Anything we add needs to be robust and enhance the realistic racing experience. We donʹt like gimmicks”. It is clear from Adrian’s enthusiasm that he lives, breathes, eats and sleeps this project, when talking about his future ideas his eyes are alight. “We are talking with a number of players in the industry about the requirements for future venues.” He goes on. “We are absolutely committed to moving this forward If we can meet our costs and keep things that way as we expand then you will see some race venues with mindblowing facilities over the next five years!ʺ And what of the sims in use here. Obviously the centre is very focused around GPL and the software in use is very GPL centric, have other sims

been looked into, perhaps NASCAR 2003 and mods (Hmm, maybe I should not mention this one!), GTR or perhaps Live for Speed or rFactor?

following or regular customers would be able to point their friends to them and bring more custom through word of mouth.

“GPL is a proven and stable product with a great physics model. Those are important qualities to us and we see it remaining key to our line up for some time.” Adrian states in a certain tone “Also, thanks to the amazing GPL community it looks great and continues to compete well in 2005. The RSC and GPL communities continue to be of great assistance in allowing us to use GPL in this way. That said we will continue to experiment with the newer contenders on the block. If a sim meets our realism requirements and our customers want it then absolutely we shall consider adding it. There are a couple of new sims in particular that we are experimenting with right now. I canʹt say which will make it into our line-up but it wonʹt be Need for Speed Underground!”

In the future could it be possible that simracing centres could attract the same allure that indoor karting events seem to?

There are some quite strict criteria at work here, the software in use at the centre is custom made to work specifically for what is required. Adrian makes it clear that changing the sim that is being used here is not the work of a moment. Does Adrian have any plans to bring the centre ʺon lineʺ and potentially broadcast races from the website? Adrian: “Race results and best lap times already go on the web site for every visitor. Race broadcasting we are certainly talking about and real time data uploads are in the pipeline too.” It is surely an aspect that could put more “bums in seats” if races were broadcast live or even full races available for download. Any local AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Adrian: “When I had a proper job I established and ran a karting club with several hundred active members which is still running over twelve years later. As mentioned earlier Iʹve also done a lot of track days over the last seven years. Karting and track days are great fun.. We see our race facilities as being complimentary to both of these by combining the best aspects of each. Certainly we share a number of customers with karting and track days, and we also have corporate clients who book larger group events. So, the future is looking bright, with a new venue coming up and the hopes and dreams to open Simracing centres as franchises throughout the UK. Could this build a backbone for more in depth competition, regional championships leading to national finals, with prize money and those awesome plastic trophies that are given out at karting events? “Absolutely, with all our cars being identical we are uniquely positioned to offer a level playing field for racers wishing to compete in a whole range of competitive scenarios.” Adrian continues, seemingly unaware of my hints towards another cup of tea “Our current line-up already offers events with trophies, cash prizes and champagne for the winners”.

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“As for leagues, we have a number of plans from simply adding up points from existing championships through to running more dedicated competitions with specific qualification criteria. We are planning some very serious prizes! How would a league with a track day and supplied Caterham for the eventual winner affect your driving concentration!?!” Well, that will do nicely Adrian, I will see you when you start such a league!! I decide to have a final drive in my Ferrari, this time driving slower for some reason, too much on my mind, or selected other excuses for being slow. Meanwhile my erstwhile “newbie” friend (who has been lapping non stop during the interview!) has got within 7 hundredths of a second of the fastest recorded lap in the Lotus 33. His 1.12.87, which eventually became fourth fastest at the end of the month, was his penultimate lap. His final lap, which was undoubtedly going to be faster (Adrian monitored the split times) was fouled on the final corner.

got the better of him and he slowed and went off line allowing me to go through. Newbies eh, who’d ‘ave ‘em?? Of course, how many people wish that the biggest problem they had with newbies was them being too hung up on etiquette to finish what was likely to be the fastest lap of the month? We jumped out of the cockpits, me completely unaware of the fact that this was his fastest lap, and the groans and moans were heard. Once again there we were, three people who had just been on track together, albeit in a practice session, standing around chatting about their exploits, their techniques and their laptimes. It gave me a warm glow inside. Before we left Adrian invited us to “Stay for as long as we want.” (though however he failed to add the words “for free!”), and had I not had other things to do it seemed quite possible to me that I could have stayed there for the rest of the day,

Going into “the 90” Tom saw a yellow Ferrari in his mirrors, none other than me. You would think that as he knew he was on a fast lap, and knowing that a ’65 car carries about as much speed through “the 90” as a ’67 car, he would have carried on. But chivalry and etiquette AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

and night! Indeed, if the centre was within ten minutes of my home I can foresee that I would be something of a regular visitor, as would some of my friends. The last word came from Tom as we were driving out of the narrow lane: “I have never had so much fun in GPL or any other driving sim” Tom’s View Having been a motoring enthusiast since my teens and occasional simdriver, it was with some enthusiasm that I agreed to visit the centre with Jon. The problem I have always had with sims (and the thing that has kept me from more dedicated application) was the effort required to truly master such a game. Being a bit of a car snob, I am drawn to the sims which feature the best cars (not necessarily the fastest, simply those that excite me the most) which, as this generally means older, more interesting cars, leaves me with a bit of a ‘Catch 22’. The better the cars, the harder they are to drive. GPL has always been the perfect example of this for me. As a fan of Formula 1 who has become disillusioned with the [comparative] blandness of today’s machines, 1967 cars offer a veritable garage full of character and 79


time and having excellent fun, I decided to spend my whole hour in the Lotus. Jumping into the cockpit I started to feel some trepidation. Being a proud soul, I didn’t want to make a fool of myself and I am still haunted by painful memories of stuffing my ’67 Ferrari into barriers and flipping it over on mischievously placed kerbs. I need not have worried though as the ’65 car was a joy and just the thing to instil a bit of confidence in a newbie. Within 10 laps, I had the track down and could concentrate on getting faster. Before I knew it, my first session was over and I climbed from the car, itching for more. The second session saw me able to consider the intricacies of the set up more closely and I started to realise that I wasn’t a ‘natural’. Instead, it was clear that my car was doing a lot of the work for me, keeping me on the road when I got a little over-enthusiastic. Considerable understeer ensured I just engaged a lurid slide when I outbraked myself, rather than flying off the road backwards into the barrier and turning-turtle on the grass. It didn’t feel edgy and balanced on a knifeedge but very forgiving. Dare I say it even a little ‘soft’. From my rudimentary knowledge of racing set-up, I know that it could have been set up … the work behind the scenes in the better for ultimate pace but last seven days … when you are a beginner what

atmosphere to enjoy. However, my few abortive attempts to drive them over the years have caused me to retreat to the pit-lane, licking my wounds and jumping back to my PC gaming ‘home’ of the Strategy genre. Anyway, enough of my motivation. Prior to our visit, I was expecting to spend much of the morning off the track or in the pit lane with broken suspension. So, on arrival it was a surprising pleasure to be informed that damage was disabled and there were slower 1965 cars for me to drive! I planned to have a couple of sessions familiarising myself with the track in the ’65 Lotus and getting used to driving an antiquated car before moving onto the ’67 Ferrari for my last session. However, as I was knocking on the door of a fastest lap

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

is the point of doing one lap that you can never replicate because you keep binning the car? For me, the fixed setup may be the greatest success of the whole experience. They really had given me a car that I could drive with confidence and, by the final session, I was able to really push it. At the time of posting my quickest lap I was 0.07 behind the best lap and getting quicker all the time. Indeed, I remain convinced that I would have set the fastest time had I not had a ‘mishap’ on my final flying lap (see main article for further details). Setting up a car how you like it may be part of the magic for the serious sim-racer but for a newbie, it is more satisfying to know you have a level playing field to test yourself on. Ultimately, I was 4th for the month and a second off the fastest time but I am satisfied with my performance and am looking forward to our next visit. Maybe I’ll even get in the ’67 car next time….

Further details of the Driver’s Challenge UK SimRacing centre can be found at: http://www.driverschallenge.co.uk

Contact for bookings by phone or email, Monday through Sunday, 10:00am-10:00pm

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T HE B ACK S TRAIGHT GTRank with Uwe Schürkamp

Smokin Bob catches up with the legend that is by Uwe Schürkamp, the man behind GTRank … So, you just got that shiny new copy of GTR and are wondering what to do with all of those world record laps you are setting—you need look no further than the excellent GT Rank site, created by Uwe Schürkamp, this amazing site lets you upload your laps from GTR and then do quite a few things with that data after that. Compare your times to the entire registered driver database, on a per car basis is just one of the features of this site. With over 2000 users, it is quite popular and it was my great pleasure to be able to speak with Uwe directly about this fantastic site. But being the great guy that he is, nearly the first words out of his mouth were spoken of friends of his who run some of the other ranking sites that no doubt many of us use on a regular basis—The GPLRankv2, run by Brian Wong and Ed Hut and the NASCAR ranking site, run by Christoph Frick. We plan to examine those sites in greater detail in future issues of ASS, but at least now you know the names behind the magic. What prompted you to create this database for the storage and comparison of GTR lap times? The database wasnʹt created because of GT Rank, but has been in existence since the late nineties. I tried to Google for the announcement post made on RAS (if there ever was one), but the basic idea behind GPLRank was to create a system so that my

league buddies (the screamers racing league) and I could compare our performances in GPL before and after a league event. As my job involved hacking Perl and MySQL back then, the first iteration of GPLRank was rather easily created. A friend of mine ʺhostedʺ the site for us on a smallish university Linux Pentium 100, and the screamers racing league was rather happy to use it. Then, the word somehow slipped on VROC #gplʹs chat, and before I knew it we had about 100 users the next morning! I was rather surprised to put it mildly that public interest by the racing community was as high as it was, and we quickly had to find a new home because the little box was strained to its limits both cpu and bandwidth wise. I then hosted GPLRank on a company machine for while until it became clear that this was not a viable solution in order to allow others access to the box (ssh, passwords and so on), so I asked around on RAS for a new home for GPLRank, and many people quickly and kindly stepped up, offering hosting facilities. We then went for Brian Wongʹs servers located in Virginia as he was also very interested in helping with the development of GPLRank. Other ranks were created as time went by (n2002rank for NASCAR racing, now surpassed by NRank covering n2003 and its mods erhm (I mean) extensions by the community, RTRank for Rally Trophy, RacerRank which never really took of in a big way, and of course now GT Rank). AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

When idly browsing the player files created by GTR, I found that it records best laptimes in a human readable format in the ʺcareer.bltʺ file. ʺOh noʺ, I thought when seeing this, ʺnow thereʹs a lot of work ahead of you.ʺ From that moment I was sold on the idea of creating GT Rank, and the rest is history as they say. The key point to GPLRankʹs success though was and still is the ʺhandicapʺ concept, in that you have to drive at and master every track in order to ʺgo negativeʺ. This has become an idiom in the GPL community, and all credit for this concept must go to Don Scurlock from Canada who apparently is a sort of golf nut and a long time Screamers Racing League friend of mine, who came up with the idea of adding up all the replay times provided by GPLʹs installation in order to create one giant track instead of ten separate ones, which you have to master in order to go negative. I and many others have sent you email during the course of GT Rank existence--asking for tips, or features found in other rank sites and you always seem to do what you can to make these things happen, such as the Buddy List, the new Banner, and the various queries available to a user. How difficult (or easy) is it to implement these new features? Have there been some features you want to add but have not at this time? Are there new features planned for the future such as the distinction between the various play modes in GTR?

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Well, with most of the ʺinfrastructureʺ in place at NRank which is also a Zope-based, MySQLbacked application hacked by Christoph ʺridcullyʺ Frick, Caarl Ribbegard and myself, itʹs rather easy to convert features over from NRank or implement new stuff. It can also be rather tedious as you tend to know youʹve done this before but are unable to locate the place where that was, the database tables being slightly different and so on. Each rank lives in its own MySQL database, only some basic things like the user accounts, country list is stored in the original GPLRank database instance and shared among applications. I asked for support when starting GT Rank by the other rank developers, but understandably they were hesitant to join in if it only meant ʺcranking out yet another rankʺ. Regularly on the mailing list, the ʺholy grail of ranking sitesʺ will creep up in discussion again, and weʹll pine for a product or solution that is easily customizable towards a new racing sim with a couple of browser clicks and so on, but so far something like this has not come into existence. In this ʺranking businessʺ, time to market is extremely critical, and the ranking site that has the most users first is likely to dominate the ranking world for that sim, so I am one to, well, grit my teeth and “crank out a new rankʺ every once in a while to get something going, rather than to idly sit there and meditate on OO design, code reusability, 3rd form normal database scheme and so on.

I am not a developer by trade, my job is in systems integration and operations, and I mostly hack Zope and Python for fun, and not for a living. I like to sit at my Linux machine at night enjoying a beer or two, watching the apache access log scroll by as users visit and enjoy the things weʹve created, finding them useful and so thatʹs that; the quicker it happens, the better. Whatʹs down in the line for GT Rank? I have a handicap history graph on my to-do list, a better ʺback to backʺ comparison, a detailed driver information view, an easier to use admin interface (for adding tracks, reference times and so on), so thereʹs always something to fiddle with. A Mega Monster rank would be cool as well, but seemingly the add-on cars (no longer add-on cars with the 1.3 patch / release) arenʹt enjoyed or driven by many drivers, so that might not be a priority. Itʹs good to see the monster handicap thingy take off slowly and growing in popularity, though. I find the ʹremove lapʹ feature extremely useful--and have had to remove a couple myself due to an improper chicane cut for example. Do you feel that the ʹhonor systemʹ works here? Do you ever ask for a replay to verify a record time? Yes, we ask people to send replays every once in a while, and this is perhaps the most frequently asked question about any rank we create and maintain. If cheating is as easy as hacking a text file, whatʹs it all worth? That question doesnʹt really pose itself for me as Iʹll never have the skill AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

to hold or fight for a world record level time in GTR or any other sim, so the first feature I usually implement is the buddy list. It allows you to build a ʺcommunityʺ of fellow racers that you trust that they donʹt cheat. If cheating is that easy, thereʹs not enough reward in it as everybody can do it; and in the past, weʹve often been surprised by the number of people asking us to remove their times as they think theyʹve warped or left out a chicane. Now with GTR, the audience obviously is a much ʺyoungerʺ one than say with GPL, and you know teenagers on hormone overdose tend to do the wildest things (just take any pickup GTR race for example, Iʹve never seen so much swearing in one place and I spent two weeks in the British army when I was younger ;-), but until now I havenʹt seen a larger ʺcheating problemʺ on GT Rank than say on GPLRank or NRank. All folks mostly play along nicely if you let them. Another thing often brought up is that GT racing is in essence endurance racing, so hot lapping doesnʹt really make sense or do it justice. Well, the guys in the real FIA GT fight it out every time for pole position, so apparently they like hot lapping quite a bit, too, so it must be part of the sport! I think GT Rank gives you a good assessment of a racers overall speed, esp. by the car and class handicap concepts. The endurance part of GT racing is covered nicely by attaining your monster, and maybe soon to be 82


mega-monster handicap, and who knows, you might even come to like some of the cars that you would otherwise never would have climbed into voluntarily. Many folks busy completing their monster handicap come back and say how nice a car the Morgan Aero is, for instance. Donʹt just drive Ferrari all the time, itʹs boring and not good for your ears! Try the other cars, too, they are there for a reason, and you paid for them, after all. In your opinion, do you feel that any sims in the future will have a built in ranking system like EA used to provide with earlier versions of F1200x simulators? There is talk of EA providing a ranking system for the NASCAR SimRacing game; even if they go ahead and do that, could we still benefit from another rank site like the kind you could provide?

It depends on a number of factors really. A: will I buy the title? B: How good is the online ranking system? Is it just eye candy or is it a really useful tool? Many people have noted how er, ugly GT Rank is, but what the heck; Iʹd rather spend my time adding new features than trying to make it look nice. I am also not a web designer by trade (do we see a pattern here? So anyone who wants to improve the looks is welcome to do so. The community will always be able to provide some useful additions to any simracing product, but I think personally I would draw the line if sims started encrypting lap records like the folks over at bugbear

unsuccessfully tried a while back with ʺRally Trophyʺ. If you crypt something, people will feel even more challenged to break your cleverly devised encryption and cheat just because they can, so I think itʹs kind of silly. Also I do all my development on Linux, so I donʹt like to mess around with windows only tools that break encryption of career details or read runtime memory areas or whatever, itʹs just not possible for me to work productively in such a silly environment; Iʹd pass on developing a rank for such a product in most, if not all cases. The banner you have recently added to the site is a great feature that is similar to the one found at Find The Limit site --- how much information, realistically, can be displayed with that banner? Are there any plans to make what is displayed in the banner user adjustable? For example, our overall rank will have the best laps of any car for the final tally could we rearrange it so that the rank was based on the car we chose for example, even if one of the track laps has been done faster in another car? That may sound a bit confusing J What I mean is this if I have 9 fast Lister laps, and the final laps for my Rank were done in the Corvette, could I make a rank table of just the Lister laps, and the resulting score ? Even with the faster corvette lap at a track, the slower Lister lap would compute the custom user rank . Uh, well, yes everything is possible, and youʹre happy to help. I was AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

rather happy being able to create the banner as it is, as installing the needed stuff like ImageMagick, Freetype or PIL (the python image library) can be quite a bit of hassle on Solaris which is what weʹre currently running on, so for now I havenʹt looked into making banner information customizable. Also, I wasnʹt sure how much of additional strain it would put on the web server once forums worldwide would start requesting these images with each page load, but until now, things have held up nicely. GT Rank is still pretty much a oneman show on the development front (lots of nice people spend their time doing tedious admin work like deleting warp laps, resetting passwords and so on, thanks guys, youʹre the best;-), so unless I can get more developers on board, every new feature and its implementation will be dependent on the amount of free time and interest I have on my hands at the moment. I see there are, literally, nearly two thousand registered drivers!! Are there ever times when the site is hampered by too many people hitting the servers at once? To me, the site seems very fast considering the volume of data that is being handled here, how is that done? Thereʹs a funny little story in that: For a while, GPLRank was hosted on an oldish Sun SparcStation 10 over at Brianʹs place while we were waiting for the new machine to arrive, and some old GPLRank veterans will remember that the index page once said that ʺyour wristwatch in all 83


likeliness has more cpu power than what GPLRank is running on at the moment, so please be patient until we move to the new box.ʺ Well, a guy called David McCulloch seemingly saw that message and the next day, he put a nice dual-Celeron main board (Abit bp6) in the mail for me, complete with 2x500mhz cpuʹs and a bit of RAM. It cost him $50 alone in postage, but he still did it; even though I am about 6,000km away from the actual hosting facilities! My home 24x7 Linux development machine ran on that hardware for three years or so, and it was only recently decommissioned into well-deserved retirement. Thanks again David So yes, weʹve had performance problems in the past, but the community has always been quick to the rescue when things were getting tight. All in all, weʹll be hitting 20,000 user accounts soon, all the ranks combined, but with the racers being spread out all over the planet there arenʹt really any ʺpeak timesʺ as you would expect on other sites. Itʹs more a ʺround the clockʺ data trickle than all-out data bursts separated by long times of idleness. The last machine we were on, provided by Brian Wong, was a 10 CPU monster with 10 gigabytes of RAM! Until then, this was the largest machine I have ever sshʹed into. The machine had been replaced at some bank because it wasʺgetting long in the teethʺ. Well, it was still good enough for us! Also, because I donʹt tend to waste time or bandwidth filling up the site with flashy designs or large images,

actual transfer volume per page is still rather low. Again, itʹs not a pretty sight / site, but it does the job and people are obviously finding it useful. What other ranking systems are you involved with? Answered mostly above, with a bit of GPLRank history thrown in. For a long time, I was the ʺranking guyʺ in the simracing community at least as far as GPL was concerned; others have taken over in the meantime, and itʹs good to see development go on even if Iʹve lost interest or am working on other projects. Thatʹs the ʺpowerʺ of open source development for you. I still drive GPL weekly, but GPLRankV2 has turned into such a complex application that I can only sit there in awe of the code, but Iʹd probably break more than I could add if I even touched it. Other than ranking sites, I wear the ʺwebmasters hatʺ for the Scottish folk band ʺNorth Sea Gasʺ from Edinburgh, so if you like Scottish Irish folk music check out their site at http://www.northseagas.co.uk/(one of my few attempts on ʺweb designʺ Are there any plans to be able to use the MoTeC data for the GT Rank laps? I have to admit I havenʹt even looked at the MoTeC data format yet; and in the light of using Linux as my platform of choice, those files would have to be usable and readable on a Linux machine without the need of booting my windows game machine.

For now, there arenʹt any immediate plans to make use of MoTeC data, however. Any ʺclaims to fameʺ you have because of your ranking work? Well, I donʹt know if she was real, but we had a ʺSarah Fisherʺ on GPLRank once for a while. Also, I got email from Alison Hine a couple of times (and who doesnʹt enjoy that! ;^), and was invited to a moderated online chat with the likes of Kaemmer, Randy Cassidy and other simracing deities a couple of years ago (but sadly unable to attend due to other obligations). We were mentioned in a Finnish newspaper that featured Greger Huttu, and apparently some gaming magazines doing features on simracing also had heard of us, too. Somehow, I get a kick out of the idea of real life racing drivers using the Ranks; if thatʹs to remain my only connection to the real racing world apart from the annual karting session, so be it. Iʹd like to take the time though so say a big THANK YOU for all the guys whoʹve helped with the ranks in the past, most of all Brian Wong who provides the hosting and hardware free of charge, and of course all the admins who help make the ranks such a friendly place. http://www.schuerkamp.de/zope/gtrank

Here is the link to the GPL Rank site: http://gplrank.schuerkamp.de/phppub/gplrank.php

And for the NASCAR fans, look no further than this:http://nrank.gplrank.info/

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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T HE PADDOCK Catching Up With Gábor Wéber Christoph Schirmer had a chance to catch up with Sim-Racing Legend, Racing Star, Hungarian F1 Commentator and proud father Gábor Wéber The lives of Gábor Wéber Greger Huttu, Chris Moses, Andi Wilke, Roland Ehnström - many of the so-called ʺaliensʺ of the GPL era are still active race drivers, and have been very successful in NASCAR leagues, or in F1 Challenge, or both, and have moved on to GTR. Others have not been seen for a long time. Gábor Wéber from Budapest, Hungary, came into the Champs League in 2000 at Zandvoort, and he won the SimRacingMag Championship in 2001. He also raced in Masters in of GPL 2000-2002 where in his first season he was a member of the legendary first Dadʹs Army Racing line-up, entertained and motivated by Richey Manic. Driving the Cooper he won Monaco. In the MoG season 2002 he switched to the Ferraris of Delta Red Herring and fought for the championship against his team-mate Jon Davies. Apart from his speed, Gábor showed often a stunning tactical intelligence with regards to fuel consumption, and more than once he won a race by minutely calculating the required fuel and taking the checkered flag with the last drop. Then, Gábor exited sim racing as fast as he showed up - and got real. He became the father of a daughter, he started a career in his profession, and he became a very successful race driver. For the sake of the old times,

“…pic with Alonso and Trulli was the day before Alonso won the Hungarian GP, at a big party of Renault. The other guy is the promoter of the Clio Cup here, and also my team boss …” Gábor

we met in the VroC room of Masters of GPL, a nostalgic venue for both of us, for an interview about his current life, about what had happened since his retirement from online competition, and of course we could not resist to share some memories. AutoSimSport — Gábor, you have been one of the worldʹs best online racers, and in 2002 you retired. How are you and what are you doing today? GW — I started racing for real in 2002, and in the same year I became part of the Hungarian F1 coverage team as a studio expert (I am a motoring journalist since ʹ94). Those activities left no time for sims at all, so I slowly moved out of the scene, but still following the topic online and offline as well. In the winter I AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

drive a bit of GTR or ETCC just to keep me sharp. In the spring of 2003 my daughter was born, so my already tight schedule really turned upside down, but she is so lovely, that I canʹt think of doing anything in my scarce free time than to be with her. AutoSimSport — Are you the main commentator or are you the expert? Murray Walker or James Hunt? GW — I became co-commentator a year later, so I am James Hunt if you like. Itʹs a great thing to do. AutoSimSport — Are there any encounters with drivers that you would like to share with us? GW — Well, Iʹm not doing interviews, I am into the commentating stuff only, we have the pit lane guy doing the interviews for 85


us - and he is very good on that. Usually every driver is changing a lot after retirement, so the best stories always come from the non-active drivers. I also had a chance to see a few of them work in testing, and from that point of view Marc Gene is really phenomenal in the technical point of view. No surprise that Ferrari wanted him this year.

of the magazine since it was started in ʹ96, so itʹs really a nice opportunity to work with something that Iʹm still enjoying to read.

AutoSimSport — I understand that you are not ʺonlyʺ a journalist but that you have also

AutoSimSport — And there you were testing the Renault Mégane?

become a publisher? GW — From March 2005 we are publishing F1 Racing in Hungary, and I am the editor-in-chief of the Hungarian edition. I have been a fan

AutoSimSport — And if our sources are correct, thatʹs not all. You are also a race driver, and you were in Barcelona recently? GW — I came back yesterday.

GW — I went to try out the Mégane Trophy car yes, but there was no chance to have a proper test there, cause it was a media event as well, so in the end Iʹve driven ʺonlyʺ the Mégane Trophy road car. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

AutoSimSport — Do you have a contract for the Trophy? GW — I tried to get a contract for the Trophy, but because it is a brand new series and the cars have just now been finalized at the Renault Sport factory it was hard to get my hands on a car early. The schedule was changing a lot also, and as originally the Hungaroring seemed to be part of the race calendar, it looked at first a realistic option to try. In the end the Hungaroring fell away, and it became harder to create the media interest for sponsors here, so I cancelled my plans for 2005, but I do not give up planning for a 2006 drive. The problem is that only 25 cars were built, and to have one of them for 86


Hungary you have to be financially wealthy.

back2back titles in 2003 and 2004, winning 17 races out of 26.

AutoSimSport — Yes, I can imagine that in a country as small as Hungary it is pretty tough to raise enough local sponsor interest. Actually, what is going on motorsports-wise in Hungary? We know the Hungaroring of course, and Zsolt Baumgartner, but what about motorsport in general. Are there touring car or other national series, rallies... ?

AutoSimSport — I bow my head in awe! Congratulations! So you are quite a star in Hungary? GW — I am well known by now, but not a star - though sometimes it feels like, especially when theyʹre taking pictures with you and asking for a signature, or congratulating me on the street. AutoSimSport — If I remember right, you actually were a race driver before you became a sim racer? Didnʹt you participate in some race through Europe - in your very early years? GW — Nope. I was a snooker player for 8 years, playing in Euro Champs and Opens in Austria for example, my only experience was karting before.

“… listening to the anthem – goosebumps all over…” Gábor GW — Hungarians are in love with motorsport, compared to the size of the country we are interested in racing well over average. Rally is the big thing here, although touring cars are on the rise, but rally creates more interest - sponsor- and spectator-wise too. We have the national touring car & formula series running together: Opel Astra Cup, Renault Clio Cup, Group N, Group A and Formula categories. AutoSimSport — Are you competing in one of them? GW — I was running in the Astra Cup in my rookie year, finished 5th overall, then went for Clio, and won

Oh! [long pause] --- What you do remember is the Beaujolais Nouveau race! AutoSimSport — -- Yes! The night when you told me that I was the one drinking alcohol, and you stayed sober! Until 6 in the morning! -GW — -- It is a street legal run from Lyon to Budapest, but has nothing to do with professional racing although the speeds are high. AutoSimSport — Now please tell us a bit more about that one. GW — Well, each November they race from France to several countries, to promote the new Beaujolais wine, and the aim is to get home 1st with the new wine, starting midnight on the 3rd Wednesday of November. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Originally the English started this cannonball race. You can imagine the kind of speeds we were doing in the night only stopping for the checkpoints and fuel. 1,500 km in one mad run - and there wasnʹt any serious accident. We had an average speed of well over 100 km/h - with stops and everything. And in those days youʹve had the borders still active in Europe. AutoSimSport — Did you give the guys at border a bottle of the Beaujolais nouveau for a speedier passage? GW — No, the bottle was stamped, we had to bring it home in one piece. Was great fun, but with a few risky situation involved. I finished 2nd, but lost a lot of time nearly running out of fuel. AutoSimSport — Is this Beaujolais nouveau race kind of official, is it organized by some one? GW — Wine producers, yes, and Hotel Kempinski here in Hungary. Officially, it was not about speed, but that was all that mattered. AutoSimSport — If you look at your many career steps, what role does sim racing play here? Did it help you in the Astra and Clio Cups? GW — For sure, it helped a lot. Not in technique or natural ability - those are born with you, but you can develop them a bit. But in concentration and the mental preparation for racing it was more than a good school - it was worth gold. Knowing how to handle the pressure, how to keep up concentration after 30 minutes, how 87


to attack a timed run, how to come back from mistakes, and of course how to set up my car and what my car does in every single moment of that lap. It was like a game to me compared to other newcomers - I was very well trained for the races. AutoSimSport — If you say that technique or natural ability are given skills, does that mean that in your opinion each of the worldʹs best sim drivers would be a good race drivers in a real car? GW — Most of them, Iʹm sure, but you have to take into account the fear factor - that is very big in real life racing, much more than youʹd ever thought sitting behind your computer. There is no Shift-R in real life.

without the odd mistake - believe me, sometimes itʹs not enough to have big balls, you have to have a big brain as well. AutoSimSport — In GPL you were well known, esp. form the Champs League and MoG - where you won 5 races, and had most lead laps and most poles in the MoG 2002 season. But I think you were also racing the Hungarian GPL Championship. Are these all memoríes for you, or are you still engaged in sim racing? GW — I quit racing GPL when my real life campaign turned serious there was no time left doing both. For training I did GTR2002 in the winter back then, and GTR now, but I am out of practice and even though I am at 95% of my ability, these vital 5% need a lot of training, and my life has changed since then - especially since my daughter was born. But the memories are strong and good, I can still remember a lot of great battles and races - lost and won too.

“… trophy in hand (with this victory, I have also won the championship with 4 races to go)” Gábor

AutoSimSport — Yes, but isnʹt it typical for the best drivers to be able to stay on track at the limit? I also think only few drivers in the better leagues would think of Shift-R GW — You are right, but knowing that if you give 100% and you go over the limit you canʹt hurt yourself, actually helps you staying at 100%

AutoSimSport — Which race do you remember most?

GW — Monaco MoG 2001 - pole, win and fastest lap, lapping the whole field in a Cooper. 2h 23 minutes without a single mistake - that was something I am really proud of. AutoSimSport — Indeed! And I still remember the enraged driver who asked: who had the smart idea to let AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

the Coopers start with half the fuel? It was me and I think it was indeed a smart idea. GW — I think that even with full tanks I should have won that day. And of course winning the SimRacingMag Championship in 2001 against the likes of Greger [Huttu] and Andy [Wilke]. What I regret is not winning the MoG 2002, because of 3 discos from the lead shame I didnʹt have ADSL back then. AutoSimSport — The stats are still quite impressive: http://www.filsca.com/drivers,races, 50,,0 GW — There were a few great tactical victories as well with Ferrari, when I managed to reach the flag with extremely low fuel consumption - winning Rouen with a stuttering engine. AutoSimSport — Oh yes, I remember that one too! In that year, others were not so lucky in the Ferrari with the fuel. GW — Geez, that Monaco race was in 2000 in the Cooper. Although I won in Ferrari the next year too. I did the same in the RoC race at Le Mans remember? AutoSimSport — Yes, the RoC. You fooled every one with the fuel. Do you still do this in the Clio Cup? Gábor Wéber = Hungaryʹs Ross Brawn? GW — Hehe, I try my best. I like to outsmart people, tactics is a great aspect of racing AutoSimSport — You said you raced GTR - what do you think of it? 88


GW — Great game with some surprising flaws - low speed inertia and grip is way off, although the 1.3 patch made it better. But all in all itʹs gorgeous. Great tool to keep my reflexes alive. Itʹs not easy to get the feel for GTR, although it has a lot in common with real life racing - but it is hard to get used to. The feedback through the wheel is not as good as it should have been, but the sounds are perfect.

GW — I think yes, but I havenʹt driven a proper GT car so far, but what I know from tin tops and the Porsche Cup car it is very similar to how it works on PC.

AutoSimSport — So overall you do not find it completely realistic, but too hard (grip-wise, and low speed inertia). I also find the cars much snappier in the lower gears than the GPL cars. Do you mean that?

AutoSimSport — That may give you a much better view. So from that perspective, what are your thoughts?

GW — Yes, that is true, strangely out of shape in slow corners sometimes, but the fast stuff is close to reality. My main problem is the poor feeling of front end grip - in real life you are aware of those things happening in your hand.

AutoSimSport — I think we are approaching the last corner of this talk now. Did you watch the development of sim racing in the last years? GW — With one eye only.

GW — I thought there would be a faster development on the gaming market, but in reality very few games seem to hit the standards hardcore sim racers want to have. Making more profit is against the hardcore games. But there has to be a new king in town sooner or later. Especially when we talk about F1 sims. AutoSimSport — That new king is as much in sight as the crown for Prince Charles. GW — Yep, thatʹs what I feel too. GPL is still around, but that shouldnʹt be the case - right? AutoSimSport — Well I wouldnʹt deny GPL the right to be around, but it is amazing that there is still

“… the best part” – Gábor AutoSimSport — What about the setups? With all the limitations that you pointed out, do the cars behave similar with comparable setups in real life racing?

so much activity. I think I didnʹt start GPL once in the last year or so. GW — That shows the need for a game taking the crown away from it whatever it was in its debut year ʹ98 AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

an awesome product, and it is still a legend. AutoSimSport — What do you think about the federations - all the national federations that have grown in Europe, and FILSCA - do you see a chance for attracting a broader public and in the end sponsors to sim racing? GW — I donʹt have a clue about the federations, to be honest, but I want to see sim racing grow bigger and better, and FILSCA is a tool for that. Attracting sponsors is another question, that really depends on the possibility to have a game that reaches out to a great number of people and is a general success all over the world. AutoSimSport — Donʹt you think that the races themselves can be very attractive, and could well be broadcast on TV? GW — Thatʹs for sure - watching those MoG or SMRSC races once in a while still gives me goosepimples. The question is, will there be a game, that attracts people so much, that they are committed to sit and watch others racing on the highest possible level? AutoSimSport — For example, take the 24 hours of LeMans. No one wants to see all 24 hours of the real race. There could be a sim race at the same time, and the TV stations could switch between these two races. This would be a win-win situation for all. What do you think is necessary to find entry in the media?

89


GW — Thatʹs a tough one: First there has to be a general opening towards sim racing, and when it happens you can write about things like that, otherwise you wonʹt sell your paper. Cause today you still canʹt sell sim racing as a product.

could come from companies like HP. You have to attract the general public, and the gaming community is different from average people. Only time will tell.

AutoSimSport — Well, one must start. What about one rich sim-fan who sponsors a bigger event?

AutoSimSport — Do you have any idea what the time will tell you for the next future? Or what do you want the time to tell you? Mégane Trophy next year?

Thatʹs an idea. Or a factory that sponsors a game. I think the solution

GW — I want to do the next step, no matter which series - Mégane

Trophy, Porsche Supercup or even rallying. For sure, I wonʹt give up racing, cause itʹs something I canʹt live without and Iʹm seeking the challenge. It doesnʹt matter where and when, I try to succeed with the tools Iʹm given and I hope I have a long career in touring cars. AutoSimSport — I thank you very much for your time, Gábor, it was great talking to you and I hope that your wishes come true.

Gábor’s daughter Wanda thumbs her nose at an interviewer … a star is born!

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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T RACK B UILDING WITH L OU All You Need is Lou and … more Beer?! http://home.online.no/~biknu/editing/apps/apps.htm

GTK Tutorial – Part 3: Ok, so here we are, part 3 of the track making tutorial and we’re still stuck on the GTK… get used to it. The GTK is the backbone of a good Grand Prix Legends track. GPL tracks can fairly easily be converted to Nascar Racing 2003 tracks, assuming you don’t violate any 3rd party copyright laws or cause First Racing to attack you for your volunteer efforts to make the sim racing community a better place. Oh.. sorry.. this isn’t an op-ed column, I’ll get back to the task at hand, assuming that GPL tracks are not illegal now too… dang, there I go again.

It appears that all the files are there behind the links. Where were we!? If you recall from last time, we had a decent GTK made to match the track layout. Here’s a picture to refresh your memory (Fig 1). Notice how I have split up the last section of straight track into two pieces like we talked about last time. The new track length is 47836801 decimal units. This equates to 47836801 units / 6000 units per foot / 5280 feet per mile = 1.51 miles. If you remember from the information we gathered last time, this is what the advertised length of the infield road course is supposed to be.

I need a beer! Can I get you one? What?! Ok.. I’ll buy, but you need to come by the USGP LAN at my place this June. I’ll tap the keg and you can have as much as you think you can handle.

Look closely at the picture and you will see that the GTK doesn’t always overlay perfectly with the actual track surface. We will be fixing this and finalizing the basic GTK in this

If you’ve been looking high and low for tools look here:

Fig 1

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

lesson. There are two ways to get this part done. You can incorporate the overlay method we learned in the last lesson to get the widths right, or use a bit of artistic impression and make the layout reasonably close. I prefer the later, but do use the overlay periodically. When you start to change track widths and add more horizontal walls (i.e. curbs, grass, sandtraps, etc) it becomes difficult to tell if you have things in the correct place, and you wind up guessing anyhow because you can’t see the photo. The first thing we want to do is resize the widths of the asphalt sections. Look closely at the overlay photo (make your own if you are comfortable with it – remember you may need to rescale the photo to make it match the GTK screen capture) and figure out where things don’t quite line-up. On my GTK (you can get my ready to edit GTK at http://home.bluemarble.net/~ljmagya r/gtk_tutorial) I notice that the front straight isn’t wide enough. This happens to be true for the entire portion of the track that uses the oval. The GTK is essentially right justified. I justified the oval part to the outside, knowing that I would need to make it wider. I ignored the racing line in favor of the track surface. Most of the infield section looks to be about the correct width. According to our basic GTK as it stands now, that’s about 33 feet. Fairly close by approximation. The FIA standard for track width is 36 feet. However, I do not know if this 91


track was built with the FIA standards in mind and can not find any information that supports actual track width. Let’s make all the sections that use the oval a bit wider. By guessing, it looks like the oval portion is essentially one-third to one-half again as wide as our GTK (roughly 45 to 50 feet). Starting with section 0, we are going to change the width of the left side of the track, since it is already right-justified. Firstly, we need to set up our GTK so it is a bit more user friendly. As it stands now, every section has two walls and two traces. For now we are going to ignore the traces and work on the walls. I am assuming that you read and practiced the first tutorial, and by now are familiar with the nomenclature I will use for the remainder of the lessons. If you are suddenly lost, please re-read lesson 1. In GPLTrk, double click on the Section 0 track piece. The tree should open on S0 showing the traces and walls. • • •

RC on S0W0>Add Before RC on S0W1>Add After (was W0). Single click on W0, change: FROM= -100,000; TO= -

100,000; SURFACE= 2050; HEIGHT= 18000 • Single Click W1, change: FROM= -99000; TO= -99000 • Single Click W3, change: FROM= 100000; TO= 100000 • Single Click W2, change: FROM= 99000; TO= 99000; SURFACE= 2050; HEIGHT= 18000 You now have a very basic first section of track. If you copy this section’s data to the remaining sections, you will have the bare minimum needed to successfully compile the track for GPL. What you will get is a 33 foot wide piece of asphalt with 3 foot high rails on each side. A true concrete canyon! Copy the S0 data to the rest of the sections: •

RC S0 header>Copy Walls To All Now would be a good time to save your work. File>Save As>phenixir_b02.gtk (note: incremented track save). Let’s begin by moving the leftmost wall of S0 to the actual oval infield wall, and beyond to the inner pit wall. To do this we need to move two walls, the leftmost (type 10) wall, and the actual barrier wall (type 2050), and add two more walls – one for the pit lane asphalt and one for the pit wall. The pit lane appears to be nice and wide. I used a quick overlay to check the

Fig 2 AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

approximate width here. •

Click S0W3, change: FROM= 481000; TO= 481000 • RC S0W3>Add Before • Click S0W3, change: FROM= 480000; TO= 480000; SURFACE= 2050; HEIGHT= 18000 • (Note: Surface 2050 is Armco – hard rebound.) • RC S0W3>Add Before • Click S0W3, change: FROM= 186000; TO= 186000 • Click S0W2, change: FROM= 180000; TO= 180000 (surface, and height should already be 2050 and 18000 respectively) TIP: Making walls with height have thickness is required for the track to compile. The pit lane –to- track wall will be 1 foot thick using the numbers given. The outside walls are 2 inches. One thousand units (2 inches) is a good thickness to use for things like fences, rows of people, and armco. Let’s carry the pit lane for the rest of the effected sections. Doing another quick overlay, I see that a slight modification to the base GTK will help with pit lane design. Look at S64. You’ll notice that the pit wall ends about 2/5ths of that section. Let’s split S64 into two smaller sections so we can end the pit wall where it should be. •

RC S64>Split Section. In the dialog, select METERS, and enter a value of 30 for the “Length of First Part:” field. The result should look like this now. (Fig 2) Next, copy the pit lane ‘walls’ to all the pit lane sections. This is very 92


simple now that we have the sections where we want them, and the basic starting section. We are going to ignore the paddock entrances. If we added them, then we’d need to make a drivable paddock. Rather, later on we will make a 3do to be the ‘paddock’ and perhaps make a texture map to make it look like there’s a break in the pit wall. •

RC S65>Copy Walls FROM> enter ‘0’ • RC S66>Copy Walls FROM> 65 (default) • Repeat for S1 and S2. • Click S65W2, change: UNK4= 32 • Click S2W2, change: UNK4= 64 Note: the UNK4 values of 32 and 64 will add a texture to the front and back of the 1 foot thick pit wall. To fix up the pit-in end of the wall so it angled properly do the following: •

DC S65 in Graphics window to open tree • Click S65W3, change: FROM= 306000 • Click S65W2, change: FROM= 300000 • Click S65W5, change: FROM= 561000 • Click S65W4, change: FROM= 560000 Save your work! No need to increment, just save. Looking at the track photo, there is a white line that crosses the pit exit diagonally. I am not sure what it is, or if it is there in Road Racing configuration. It definitely is too narrow next to the inner wall for a car to pass. Perhaps it is simply a blend

line. We’re going to assume that it is just that and end the pit wall at S2. We’ll work on T1 and T2 next, then I’ll let you go off and finish the rest on your own. The kink that is T1 is basically just a spot where the pit lane wall ends and the track makes a left jog to enter the infield section. To make the walls for this area, we’re going to do two things. First, we’ll push the outside wall out to approximate the oval wall. Second, we’ll add the inside pit wall and pit blend area. • •

DC S3 to open the Tree Click S3W0, change: TO= 190000 • Click S3W1, change: TO= 189000 Note: The curved section of track causes a bow effect in the pit wall. We’ll fix this later in another technique. For now, we’re trying to make a straight section from curved and we have to live with it how it is. •

Click S3W3, change: FROM= 481000; TO= 484000 Note: You should notice that the value 481000 causes the wall to cross over itself. This is because the radius of this section is less than the distance. It is good practice to keep walls within the bounds of radii. In this case, if we don’t cross over, we will have a hard wall at the end of pit road. We’ll clean this up later too. Also, we added a bit extra to the ‘FROM’ so that the wall is approximately straight. • • •

Click S3W2, change: FROM= 480000; TO= 483000 RC S3W2>Add Before Click S3W2 (new), change: FROM= 180000; TO= 140000

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

• •

DC S4 to open the Tree Click S4W0, change: FROM= 190000; TO= -855000 • Click S4W1, change: FROM= 189000; TO= -854000 • RC S4W1>Add After • Click S4W2, change: FROM= 99000; TO= -99000 Looks like there is another opportunity to make the GTK work a bit better. The inner pit wall will merge with S4 at about half of its current length. Also, the oval peels away at about the same place and leaves a grass strip between the road course and oval. Lets split this section in two equal pieces. •

RC S4>Split Section>METERS: enter a value of 33.5 Notice how the outside wall we just made stays put! A nice feature. We also have the ability to put a little curvature in the oval outside wall when we do this. Later, I will show you a seamless technique to make the oval look like it is a drivable part of the track. •

Click S4W4, change: FROM= 484000 • Click S4W3, change: FROM= 480000 • RC S4W3>Add Before • Click S4W3, change: FROM= 140000; TO= 99000 What’d we just do? We extended the inside pit wall to meet the edge of the track and set up for the illusion of an oval banked turn. We also added bits of asphalt to the edges of the track. The reason for splitting the asphalt up into lateral sections will become obvious later. Again, we are going to ignore breaks in the pit wall here. 93


Let’s assume that for the inside wall from here on, we will have an armco barrier. I am not sure if it’s concrete wall or armco, but lets go with armco. We are also going to assume that there is a narrow (perhaps 2 to 3 feet) wide strip of grass/dirt between the Armco and the asphalt. We’ll need to set this up with the section before (S4) as well. • • • •

Click S4W5, change: TO= 185000 Click S4W4, change: TO= 184000 RC S4W4>Add Before Click S4W4, change: FROM= 483000; TO= 99000; SURFACE=5

Click S5W4, change: FROM= 185000; TO= 115000 • Click S5W3, change: FROM= 184000; TO= 114000 • Click S5W3, change: HEIGHT= 15000; UNK3= 1 Tip: The UNK3 value sets the sub-type of the wall. 2050 walls are Armco. We are using sub-type UNK3=0 for concrete wall, and UNK3=1 for Armco. Both will provide a hard rebound, but we can

texture them differently. • •

RC S5W3>Add Before Click S5S3, (new) change: FROM= 99000; TO= 99000; SURFACE= 5 • Click S5W1, change: TO= 654000 • Click S5W0, change: TO= 655000 You should have something that looks like this: (Fig3)

Ok… last section, then I’ll send you off on your own to see how you fare. This next section is curved. It apparently does double duty as Turn2 of the road course and the pit exit road for the oval. The same Armco is along the left side and a grass area begins between the road course and the oval section. Lets start at the left, adding the grass, then move across and add still more grass. • •

Click S6W3, change: FROM= 115000; TO= 115000 Click S6W2, change: FROM= 114000; TO= 114000; HEIGHT= 15000; UNK3= 1 RC S6W3> Add Before

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Fig3 Click S6W2, change: FROM= 99000; TO= 99000; SURFACE= 5 Notice how the asphalt ‘opens’ the farther along T2 you go? It looks to me as if it doesn’t start at this section, but certainly the next. Make sure you add that to your GTK. Lets add the grass and other right side features. •

Click S6W0, change: FROM= 655000; TO= -301000; HEIGHT=10 (yes… 10. ½ a millimeter…) Why? We do not want a 3 foot high wall to appear where there isn’t really a wall, but we don’t want someone to be able to drive off into the ether either. A ‘10’ unit tall wall will provide a physical boundary that can not be crossed, give us enough height so the track will compile, and essentially be invisible. •

RC S6W0> Add After (this will be the asphalt oval wall) • Click S6W1, change: FROM= 654000; TO= - 300000 • RC S6W1> Add After (this will be the grass wall) • Click S6W2, change: FROM= 99000; TO= -300000; SURFACE= 5 It should be noted that unless you add many more sections to the track, certain compromises need to be made regarding track accuracy. More sections means harder on the CPU and GPU (frame rates). With the configuration of an infield oval, the draw distances are going to be a challenge. You should realistically be able to see other parts of the track as you traverse the infield. This means that draw 94


distances must be long. Long draw distances mean more processing power, so conservation of polygons (track complexity) is required to get the best frame rate.

Lou

This tutorial should give you a good start getting the rest of the GTK walls in place. Add curbing, a bit of run-off and whatever else you think would help around the track. I’ll finish mine and post it to my web page when I get it completed. There is an interim version of the *_b2 there now for you to use. Here’s what I have so far …

Again, please feel free to contact me on the FILSCA-A.S.S. forum if you have questions. There is a special forum set aside for these tutorials at: http://forums.filsca.com/index.php?act=SF&s= &f=56

See you next time! AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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C OMET GTR L EAGUE All The News & Reviews Races 1 – 3 By Michael Ennes COMET GTR - ANDERSTORP RACE REVIEW – April 11th Silventoinen Dominates Anderstorp. ʺMy first win in GTR and I’m looking forward to Oschersleben; my favourite track.ʺ Those were the confident words coming from young Sami’s mouth after wiping away all opposition at Anderstorp...

Holkedahl could say after his clutch failed at a critical stage in the race. Despite starting on the second row and setting the fastest lap, ʺHolkenʺ failed to make it to the end when he encountered clutch problems at his first pit stop.

Sami Silventoinen was bulletproof at Anderstorp, the closest rival was Johan Meissner who — as the only other unlapped driver — crossed the line more than a minute behind. He said: ʺIt almost ended in tears. At the start of the race I noticed that I was equal with Sami on pace, but that my teammate Holken was quicker than both of us. I made a small mistake after the long straight and I thought that I let my team mate past so he can chase after Sami. ʺBut Holken didnʹt seem to get that Instead he crashed in to me and pushed me off the track. I lost a couple of positions, but fortunately I was able to fight back. The distance to Sami at the finish was too far, I wouldnʹt have beaten him even if Holken didnʹt push me off. Congrats Sami, again.ʺ

Third Triple for Comet! For the third consecutive race Comet drivers have taken the top 3 all time fastest race laps on the FILSCA database. In a display of speed, race winner Sami Silventoinen and podium finisher Johan Meissner followed Mattias Holkedahl to the top 3 places of the table. With laps almost a second faster than anyone else, Meissner has added his name to the list of hot lappers currently racing in Comet. This technically makes Comet the fastest of the GTR leagues in the FILSCA organisation— and it sets some high bars for future events, and with a dry forecast for Germany next week we could be seeing more records broken soon. Huttu: “Iʹm out of hereʺ

He was right in the fray and fighting for the win and he thought he could have gone all the way ʺI don’t know if I would have been able to stretch the lead enough to make an extra pit stop compared to Sami, but it would have been close. No tires in the last stop were the planʺ

ʺSo, at 280 km/h I put it in first gearʺ That was all a disappointed Mattias AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

With yet more server troubles, Comet fast-man Greger Huttu said he would stand down from racing until SimBin fixed the bugs in the GTR ʹnet codeʹ. 3 drivers found themselves unable to start: Michael Enness, Greger Huttu and Estoril winner Peter Oleksy. Redline Racing has made no official announcement on the Huttu incident, but it is expected that Huttu will eventually change his mind unless a replacement driver is found soon. Comet refused to say anything on their procedure for race restarts, but said that they were ʺSad to hear about those problemsʺ.. 96


Above: Lambo. Ferrari, Lister, Corvette & Saleen – Comet’s Unique Format Promotes The Use of All Chassis … Early Laps In Sweden …

Joao Vaz Loses Control After Martini’s Desperate Lunge Up The Inside; No Contact, Except For Joao’s Visit Into The Stands

Below: Martini Grabs 6th On The Last Lap FromTrond Lilleberg’s Lister

All Anderstorp Pics Courtesy Roland Ehnstrom. Joao Vaz :A

good race until a bad crash. There was a Lamb, there was dirt on the outside, there was contact? There was sky, clouds and then a landing...it was a back flip out off the banking...that's all I can remember. I'm still in the infield care center. Doctor says I have to stay the night. Big wreck … Trond Lilleberg’s I knew Martini was right behind J.Meissner (lapping us) and my strategy was to let him overtakewith me at the end of the long straight, but Martini’s "kamikaze move behind lapping Saleen" meant he passed me.

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Lx Martini (Lamborghini), Ravee Ramcharan (Ferrari) and Christian Waltgård (Corvette) Trade Early Blows …

Mattias Holkedahl passes Sami Silventoinen

Sami Silventoinen Takes the Win

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COMET GTR - SPA FRANCORCHAMPS RACE REVIEW March 28th.

team’s as it is mine. Fact is we did our homework and the others didnʹt. It paid off bigtime!ʺ

Ehnstrom Takes Win in Belgium

Martini Impresses Team Boss

Comet Racing’s second event finally went ahead after long delays, but it was Roland Ehnstrom in the Corvette who took victory. The fighting Lister of Kjetil Moe followed him across the line as they pulled away from ace hot lapper Greger Huttu.

Alex Martini achieved his second top 10 result — 9th place, combined with the 7th place from Estoril, has given him an overall 4th position in the championship table.

Kjetil Moe Just Seconds Out! Moe hounded Ehnstrom right to the line as the final timing showed a gap of only 1.194 seconds. He fought hard to close a gap of 8 seconds in the final leg of the race. Greger Huttu looked to be in with a chance of a win but it turned out he needed to pit for more fuel in the latter stages of the race. All 3 of the drivers on the podium led the race—Huttu for the longest, but it was Roland’s consistency, with an average speed of 166.88kph which gave him victory. ʺThe gap was getting smaller and smaller for each lap, and after I got stuck behind a Seat in Eau Rouge on one lap and lost a lot of momentum, Kjetil was only three seconds behind! But now there was only one lap to go in the race, so I still had a slim advantage, and in the end it was enough: As we took the checkered, Kjetil has closed up to just 50 meters behind me, but he never got close enough for an attack ʺThis was a superb win for me. Our strategy was executed in mathematical perfection. Iʹm really proud of what I achieved out there tonight. But the win is as much my

great start to the season, it may well be that the rumours never materialise. In related news, rumour flying around the Paddock after Spa was that AutoSimSport was in negotiation with Victor Racing to incorporate themselves into one team. Stay tuned

ʺMy race was horrid; my team-mate got lost on the way to the track and my qual lap was on full tanks and hard tyres—the race was sad and I pitted three times—couldʹve done two had I known how it would pan out—was running the rpm at 6400 for endurance. Tyre problems as usual, and then Peter in the Ferrari decided to use me as a punching bag—I was roundly abused, twice, by the Ferrari. ʺHe tried to get past on the outside one more time but I got a little Italian on him and sorta nudged him off the track (politely!)—Dom Duhan kept passing me and then going into pits and sitting there for 20 seconds longer than me and then passing me again—quite tiresome really ʺI couldnʹt compete with the guys up front and the guys behind were too slow so kept it all together and hoped for some shunts/attrition. As it turns out, I am now fourth in the championship and I have more points than Roland [Ehnstrom], Greger [Huttu] and Dom [Duhan] and rumour has it that Iʹm without a drive for Sweden! Endurance racing—doncha just luv’ it!ʺ Victor Racing boss and first driver Michael Enness had suggested that Jon Gregory raced but since Alex’s AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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COMET GTR - ESTORIL RACE REVIEW March 21st COMET GTR—Peter Oleksy wins at Estoril! The Ferrari of Peter Oleksy came through to win the Comet GTR Season opener at Estoril. Having followed João Vaz for over 20 laps, he was promoted into the lead when João pitted for fuel in the final minutes... He qualified 5th after encountering traffic, but managed to move through and drive consistently to win. ʺI had a smooth [qualifying] lap although not super fast, but at the end right before the chicane I ran into slower traffic which set me back to 5th place which was still nice after all. ʺI had a decent start and first corner I saw 2 people hit the sand [Greger Huttu and Sami Silventoinen] so I was up into 3rd place. The 2 corvettes in front of me were going fast but I was able to keep up with a 3 second gap until around lap 10 when Duhan spun and I took 2nd spot. From then on João was able to get away few tenths lap by lap and I moved further ahead of the person running 3rd. ʺTo my surprise Joao had to pit again which gave me first. Positions stayed that way until the end and I took victory in front of Kjetil and Joao. I want to add to this that I am very happy to finish my first Comet race in first place, and I am looking forward to next weeks race in my home country on the splendid circuit of Spa. I hope I can take a bit more advantage there of the 550’s powerʺ Well-done Peter!

Sjostrand on top of the Seatʹs John Sjostrand came home in 9th position – the best result for a Seat Toledo – despite being driven off the road on the warm up lap. ʺ It didnʹt start well. In qualifying I got stuck behind a slow Seat and lost a couple of seconds so my starting position wasnʹt too good. ʺOn the pace lap I was hit from behind on back straight and the car spun. I got back on track with no visible cars behind, I think. My car had some aero damage so it didnʹt behave perfectly. Seeing all blown engines made me drive carefully a lot of the race, shifting early and driving a bit slower than I could have. Not changing tyres paid off and towards the end I was 9th with a Lambo chasing me. He overtook me but spun several times, so I managed to stay head up to the chequered flag: a great result for the team and me to finish in the top 10 with one of the slowest carsʺ Splash and Dash for the Corvette Several drivers had problems with the Chevrolet’s fuel consumption, and were to resort to last minute ’splash and dashʹ pit stops. João Vaz lost the lead, and with it the win when his Corvette needed filling up near the end. ʺAt the end of the stints I had some fuel left but never enough to complete a lap, or at least it would be risky so I decided to always pit one lap short. Guess in the end it cost me the race cause I had to fuel up for 2 lapsʺ he said. João qualified 2nd and took a convincing 3rd place.

position when he found himself low on fuel with only 3 minutes to go. ʺI was really nursing the car – trying to keep the revs down, saving a few extra litres, but I had to stop again.ʺ Michael finished 6th ahead of his team mate Alex Martini, making Victor Racing’s total championship points add up to 77, putting the team in 3rd position. João is the 3rd driver for Ve Ge Me Linden and after such an excellent debut with the team, he hopes to be spotted for a regular race drive ʺI wish I had a permanent seat in this league and not a place as a replacement driver.ʺ Watch this space… Engines Struggle in the Sun The Sun shined through every session at Estoril, with a track temperature at 30ºC at times. This combined with engines being overrevved led to 9 engine related retirements. Comet Champion Sami Silventoinen was one of them ʺI was already in P4 when my engine just broke down!ʺ he said after the race. Jens Nordstrom was another to suffer from similar problems ʺ I passed the start/finish line and Bang! Race over. Blew the engine. No warnings what so ever. All temps were around 80C so I guess it’s time to make that engine rev a little lower for next race.ʺ

Michael Enness of Victor Racing had the same problem and gave up 5th AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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Team

Position

Notes

st

BEMO have the most impressive results so far in Comet GTR: 2nd and 5 at both th th Spa and Estoril and 10 and 13 at Anderstorp in SEAT's. Despite missing out on a win at the season openers, they have pulled themselves safely out of reach …but for how long?

nd

Despite 2 DNF's at Anderstorp and average finishes the team have held their position after Peter Oleksy won at Estoril.

rd

With a strong performance from Roland Ehnstrom at Anderstorp (in a SEAT) and a win at Spa, Virtual-Games has made its championship winning intentions clear. Joao Vaz has aided their cause by finishing on the podium at Estoril, but failed to finish in the following 2 races.

th

Dom Duhan has driven some strong races this season, but has failed to keep up with the pace of his teammate Greger Huttu. Dom has however shown better consistency and is therefore 3 places ahead of Greger in the Drivers Championship. They lead Victor Racing by a hairs breadth but will be pushed to stay ahead since Greger decided he wouldn't race until all GTR's multiplayer bugs were fixed.

th

Alex Martini is one of just 3 drivers who have taken a top 10 in every race so far, th and this has pushed both himself and the Victor Racing team into 5 spot. Michael th Enness finished solidly in 6 position at Estoril but failed to start at both Spa and Anderstorp.

th

BEMO Racing

1 , 196 points.

New Wave Racing

2 , 147 points.

Virtual-Games

3 , 128 points.

Team Redline

4 , 112 points.

Victor Racing

5 ,111 points.

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FILSCA D RIVER O F THE M ONTH JAMIE KLOOTWYK In this section, each month one sim racer is introduced who participates in one of the FILSCA member leagues. The members propose the drivers, and if there are more candidates, vote on the Driver of the Month. To be nominated, wins or ʺalien-nessʺ is not necessarily a decisive criterion. The Driver of the Month may be any driver who has performed or behaved for the good of the sim racing community in the last month.

This month, Driver of the Month is Jamie Klootwyk who competes in the NASCAR series of the KISS Racing Club. Among Jamieʹs March accomplishments are: Winner of the 2005 KRC Pole Clash at Daytona and of the KRC Daytona 250 Race which is the leagueʹs biggest race of the year. Making matters more impressive, Jamie is only a sophomore in the racing club. In 2004 Jamie finished 23rd in points, as a rookie with only two top 10 finishes. This year he already has a win, a top 5, and two top 10s and heʹs in 9th in points standings. According to the league owner, David Anderson, he

also continues be a positive influence on the club as a whole and his teammates from S.U.K.K. Racing. ʺI live in West Palm Beach, Florida. I am 26 and a Sales Engineer selling Air Conditioning Equipment and Service for Trane. I graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering. I grew up a huge fan of sprint cars, NASCAR, and open wheel racing. My hometown of Knoxville, Iowa is known for the Knoxville Nationals, the largest sprint car race in the world. “I have been racing the NASCAR sim since the mid 90ʹs. I began racing in KRC last year after my older brother, Jason, discovered the club a year earlier and recruited me. Since then Iʹve been getting better, and loving the preparation and race nights. After running a partial year in ‘04 to get my feet wet I began this year winning both the KRC Shootout and the KRC Daytona 250. Having a great speed week really boosted my confidence. Thatʹs definitely my best achievement to date. My car sports a paint scheme dedicated to my favorite team of all time, The University of Iowa Hawkeyes. I also honor The Knoxville Raceway on my machine. “After joining KRC I joined forces with my older brother, Ron Schuermann, and David Upchurch, to form what has evolved to S.U.K.K. Racing. As a team we all try to just have fun, support each other, and race controlled. My personal race style is dictated by the track. I enjoy most racing on fast ovals. Atlanta is my favorite. I love Michigan and AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

other tracks of that mold, which are fast but where racing lines, tire management, and smoothness of the driver also make a difference. I hate short tracks and road courses! “Outside of racing Iʹm a huge sports guy. I love football and follow all sports. I enjoy comedy and all kinds of music; country, rock and roll, rap, you name it. My last meal would be a nice filet mignon and baked potato. Miller Lite is my beer of choice and sometimes Iʹll go harder with GinʹNʹTonics. I travel a lot to watch NASCAR events and sprint car races with my family. My biggest interest is just being able to get together with my brothers and go racing. My younger brother Joe just returned home from serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq, and having him home and being able to get together with both him and Jason is the best gift Iʹve ever received. If I had a motto it would be ʹLife is short so play hard and enjoy it, cause there are no do-overs and you canʹt take it with you!ʹʺ Jamie Klootwyk career stats: http://www.filsca.com/drivers,career,0,0,10 0013,0,Jamie%20E.%20%20Klootwyk KISS Racing Club and S.U.K.K. Racing Team: http://www.780bradford.com KISS Racing Club @ FILSCA: http://www.filsca.com/1000253/583 Iowa State University: http://www.iastate.edu University of Iowa Hawkeyes: http://uiowa.edu Knoxville Raceway: http://www.knoxvilleraceway.com 104


I N T HE M IRROR FILSCA Race Results & Stats for March

N2003 — California

Team Shark UKGTR S0D1) — Most laps led: Simon Gymer (UK) 12 laps — Fastest lap: Simon Gymer (UK) 2:14.861

March 1, 2005

LFNSC — Open 2005

1. Dominique Hoarau (FRA); 2. Gilles Boulanger (FRA); 3. Alexandre Fornieles (FRA); 4. Thomas Dutrieux (FRA); 5. Gilles Navarro (FRA); 6. Laurent Jolliet (FRA) — Most laps led: Ludovic Lecoq (FRA) 38 laps — Fastest lap: Ludovic Lecoq (FRA) 37.806

N2003 BGN — California

LFNSC — Busch 2005

March 2, 2005

GTR — Motopark Oschersleben

1. Anthony Michel (FRA); 2. Yannick Hilaire (FRA); 3. JeanChristophe Garcia (FRA); 4. Jonathan Reydet (FRA); 5. Philippe Daulouede (FRA); 6. Thierry Miont (FRA) — Most laps led: Anthony Michel (FRA) 74 laps — Fastest lap: Anthony Michel (FRA) 37.835

March 1, 2005

KRC — 2005-Regular

1. Kenneth Emanuelsson (SWE) (BMW Z3 M); 2. Roger Jonsson (SWE) (BMW Z3 M); 3. Kennet Ageby (SWE) (BMW Z3 M); 4. Mikko Konttaniemi (SWE) (BMW Z3 M); 5. Christer Montelius (SWE) (BMW Z3 M); 6. Roger Thellbro (SWE) (BMW Z3 M) — Most laps led: Kenneth Emanuelsson (SWE) 19 laps — Fastest lap: Kennet Ageby (SWE) 1:32.807

N2003 — California

SSR — Season 1, div 1

UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1 GTR — Circuit de SpaFrancorchamps March 1, 2005 1. Simon Gymer (UK) (Saleen S7-R, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 2. Blaz Potokar (SVN) (Lister Storm); 3. Marcel Meessen (NLD) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT); 4. Paul Harrington (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 5. Michael Bennett (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 6. Vedran Sinclair (UK) (Saleen S7-R,

March 2, 2005 1. William Price (USA); 2. Tim Collier (USA); 3. Jeffrey H. Chandler (USA); 4. Tim Henson (USA); 5. David Anderson (USA); 6. Emil Golen (USA) — Most laps led: William Price (USA) 83 laps — Fastest lap: Daniel Lewis (USA) 38.100 VOR — GPL Sched -TS9— Class D1 GPL — Brands67 March 3, 2005 1. Urban G. Alsenmyr (SWE) (Honda, Sumo Knights Racing (Coo-Hon)); 2. Brent Knoll (USA) (Lotus, Lady Luck Racing (Eag-Lot)); 3. Richard Yalland (UK) (Honda, Sumo Knights Racing (Coo-Hon)); 4. Dale Ballweg (USA) (Honda); 5. Robert Harrison (USA) (Lotus, Lady Luck Racing (Eag-Lot)); 6. Steve Causley (USA) (BRM, Project 573 (Fer-BRM)) — Most lead laps: AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Urban G. Alsenmyr (SWE) 40 laps. — Fastest lap: Richard Yalland (UK) 1:37.011 VOR — GPL Sched -TS9— Class D2 GPL — Brands67 March 3, 2005 1. Bob Simpson (CAN) (Ferrari, B.O.A.R. (Lot-Fer)); 2. Brian Hart (USA) (Honda, Sumo Knights Racing (Coo-Hon)); 3. Stephen King (CAN) (BRM, Project 573 (Fer-BRM)); 4. Kevin Williams (USA) (Brabham, Fabulous BBs (Bra-Bra)); 5. Michel Vignères (FRA) (Lotus, Lady Luck Racing (Eag-Lot)); 6. John Bodin (USA) (Honda, Sumo Knights Racing (Coo-Hon)) — Most lead laps: Bob Simpson (CAN) 26 laps. — Fastest lap: Kevin Williams (USA) 1:38.222 BeRacing — 2005 GTR — Monza March 6, 2005 1. Anthony Wouters (BEL) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 2. Joeri Blootacker (BEL) (Lister Storm); 3. Jeremy D. Boever (BEL) (Ferrari 550 Maranello) — Most laps led: Anthony Wouters (BEL) 15 laps — Fastest lap: Anthony Wouters (BEL) 1:46.336 UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1 GTR — Motopark Oschersleben March 6, 2005 1. Vedran Sinclair (UK) (Porsche 996 GT3-RS, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 2. Wim Sjøholm (NOR) (Porsche 996 GT3-RS); 3. Peter Allnutt (UK) (Porsche 996 GT3-RS, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 4. Luis Branco (PRT) 105


(Ferrari 360 Modena); 5. Glen Van winkle (USA) (Ferrari 360 Modena); 6. Peter Stenning (UK) (Porsche 996 GT3-RS) — Most laps led: Luis Branco (PRT) 23 laps — Fastest lap: Wim Sjøholm (NOR) 1:29.373 AFSCN-PEI — Nextel 2004 N2003 — Indianapolis March 6, 2005 1. Eric Malleval (FRA); 2. Jean philippe Campmajo (FRA); 3. Eric Thomassin (FRA); 4. Alain Todaro (FRA); 5. Ludovic Urban (GUF); 6. Michel Faven (FRA) — Most laps led: Eric Thomassin (FRA) 57 laps — Fastest lap: Eric Malleval (FRA) 48.040 VOR — T/A Schedule S3 N2003 TransAM — Karjala Raceway March 7, 2005 1. Dan Ferguson (CAN) (Ford Mustang GTS); 2. John Graf (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette GTS); 3. Jevin Davis (USA) (Ford Mustang GTS); 4. Tom Cinnamon (CAN) (Ford Mustang GTS); 5. Michael Tyler (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette GTS); 6. Dwayne Jans (USA) (Ford Mustang GTS) — Most laps led: Dan Ferguson (CAN) 28 laps — Fastest lap: Dan Ferguson (CAN) 1:41.764 LFNSC — Busch 2005 N2003 — Las Vegas March 8, 2005 1. Frank Lenozer (FRA); 2. Matthieu Burlion (FRA); 3. Laurent Jolliet (FRA); 4. Marc Kerninon (FRA); 5. Pascal Laroche (FRA); 6.

Gilles Boulanger (FRA) — Most laps led: Jerôme Dubedout (FRA) 83 laps — Fastest lap: Frank Lenozer (FRA) 31.332 SSR — Season 1, div 1 GTR — Autodromo Do Estoril March 8, 2005 1. Tommy Wernberg (SWE) (Saleen S7-R); 2. Peter Axelsson (SWE) (Saleen S7-R); 3. Christian Waltgård (SWE) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 4. Mats Karlsson (SWE) (Lister Storm); 5. Roland Ehnström (SWE) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R); 6. Kenneth Emanuelsson (SWE) (Ferrari 360 Modena) — Most laps led: Tommy Wernberg (SWE) 22 laps — Fastest lap: Roland Ehnström (SWE) 1:44.984 UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1 GTR — Donington Park March 8, 2005 1. Simon Gymer (UK) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 2. Marcel Meessen (NLD) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT); 3. Blaz Potokar (SVN) (Lister Storm); 4. Michael Wrightson (UK) (Saleen S7R); 5. Peter Stenning (UK) (Porsche 996 GT3-RS); 6. Vedran Sinclair (UK) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1) — Most laps led: Simon Gymer (UK) 25 laps — Fastest lap: Simon Gymer (UK) 1:28.758

Thierry Miont (FRA); 5. Christian Doré (CAN); 6. Patrick Armspach (FRA) — Most laps led: Jean-Christophe Garcia (FRA) 31 laps — Fastest lap: JeanChristophe Garcia (FRA) 31.556 LFNSC — Cevert2 2005 N2003 TransAM — Norisring March 10, 2005 1. Yves Plaçais (FRA); 2. Benjamin Lacaze (FRA); 3. Hervé Sabathé (FRA); 4. Ludovic Barrière (FRA); 5. Cyriaque Riotte (FRA); 6. Alexandre Ledoux (FRA) — Most laps led: Yves Plaçais (FRA) 26 laps — Fastest lap: Alexandre Ledoux (FRA) 51.226 LFNSC — Cevert2 2005 N2003 TransAM — Norisring March 11, 2005 1. Alexandre Ledoux (FRA); 2. Guillaume Tissier (FRA); 3. Yves Plaçais (FRA); 4. Cyriaque Riotte (FRA); 5. Frédéric Hell (FRA); 6. Ludovic Barrière (FRA) — Most laps led: Alexandre Ledoux (FRA) 30 laps — Fastest lap: Alexandre Ledoux (FRA) 51.516 BeRacing — 2005 GTR — Circuit de Nevers Magny Cours

LFNSC — Open 2005

March 13, 2005

N2003 BGN — Las Vegas

1. Bob Bakker (NLD) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Team Viper); 2. Joeri Blootacker (BEL) (Lister Storm, Team Lister); 3. Mathieu Souphy (BEL) (Saleen S7-R, Team Saleen); 4. Anthony Wouters (BEL) (Ferrari 550

March 9, 2005 1. Jonathan Reydet (FRA); 2. JeanChristophe Garcia (FRA); 3. Sebastian Garcia (FRA); 4. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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Maranello, Team Maranello); 5. Kevin Neirinck (BEL) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Team Viper) — Most laps led: Joeri Blootacker (BEL) 15 laps — Fastest lap: Mathieu Souphy (BEL) 1:36.819 UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1 GTR — Monza March 13, 2005 1. Paul Harrington (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 2. David P. Gymer (UK) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 3. Wim Sjøholm (NOR) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 4. Blaz Potokar (SVN) (Lister Storm); 5. Peter Allnutt (UK) (Porsche 996 GT3RS, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 6. Don Wright (UK) (Saleen S7-R) — Most laps led: Paul Harrington (UK) 12 laps — Fastest lap: Paul Harrington (UK) 1:54.393 UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1

GTR — Monza

Comet — Season Q

March 13, 2005

GTR — Autodromo Brno

1. Simon Gymer (UK) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 2. Paul Metson (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 3. Mike Soedito (NLD) (Lister Storm) — Most laps led: Simon Gymer (UK) 15 laps — Fastest lap: Simon Gymer (UK) 1:53.678

March 14, 2005

LFNSC — Nextel 2005 N2003 — Atlanta March 13, 2005 1. Ludovic Lecoq (FRA); 2. Jerôme Dubedout (FRA); 3. Gilles Navarro (FRA); 4. Thomas Cazorla (FRA); 5. Eric Rawson (FRA); 6. Florian Chauve (FRA) — Most laps led: Cyriaque Riotte (FRA) 101 laps — Fastest lap: Matthieu Burlion (FRA) 28.616 CCCRL — CUP 2005 Season N2003 — Las Vegas March 13, 2005 1. James Hammermeister (CAN) (Dodge); 2. Brian Hatch (USA) (Chevrolet); 3. Ryan J. Steele (USA) (Chevrolet); 4. Steve Johnson (USA) (Ford); 5. Scott Lyneis (USA)

Woodee spins Neil Wood misses a gear shift and spins on the front straight whilst being lapped. Shark takes to the grass to avoid him.© FILSCA

(Chevrolet); 6. Patrick Rodgers (USA) (Ford) — Most laps led: James Hammermeister (CAN) 112 laps — Fastest lap: Ryan J. Steele (USA) 31.284

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

1. Roland Ehnström (SWE) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 2. Christian Waltgård (SWE) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 3. Kjetil Moe (NOR) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R); 4. Sami Silventoinen (FIN) (Lister Storm); 5. Michael V. Enness (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 6. Kjetil Sæter (NOR) (Lister Storm) — Most laps led: Roland Ehnström (SWE) 16 laps — Fastest lap: Christian Waltgård (SWE) 2:00.484 VOR — T/A Schedule S3 N2003 TransAM — Cleveland March 14, 2005 1. Larry Ford Jr. (USA) (Ford GTS); 2. Dan Ferguson (CAN) (Ford Mustang GTS); 3. John Graf (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette GTS); 4. Michael Tyler (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette GTS); 5. Dwayne Jans (USA) (Ford Mustang GTS); 6. John Prince (USA) (Ford GTS) — Most laps led: John Graf (USA) 34 laps — Fastest lap: John Graf (USA) 1:15.327 LFNSC — Busch 2005 N2003 — Atlanta March 15, 2005 1. Pascal Laroche (FRA); 2. Julien Alavoine (FRA); 3. Marc Kerninon (FRA); 4. Laurent Michat (BEL); 5. Martin Mouze (FRA); 6. Hervé Camier (FRA) — Most laps led: Lionel Fesselier (FRA) 73 laps — Fastest lap: Christophe Ferra (FRA) 28.657

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KRC — 2005-Regular

1. Bob Ostrom (USA); 2. Jason Klootwyk (USA); 3. Philip Brown (USA); 4. Ricky Proffer (USA); 5. Tim Henson (USA); 6. Jeffrey H. Chandler (USA) — Most laps led: Brian Cowart (USA) 65 laps — Fastest lap: Tim Henson (USA) 31.680

1. Kjetil Moe (NOR) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 2. Ruben Fredriksson (SWE) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 3. Niclas Norenheim (SWE) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 4. Brede Solberg (NOR) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 5. Martin L. Lindahl (SWE) (Saleen S7R); 6. Thomas Granbacka (SWE) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT) — Most laps led: Kjetil Moe (NOR) 19 laps — Fastest lap: Patrik H. Gårdewall (SWE) 1:44.416

S.NL — NL.GTP.1

VOR — GPL Sched -TS9— Class D1

N2003 GTP — Watkins Glen International

GPL — Beal Valley - Oldham Grand Prix

March 17, 2005

March 17, 2005

1. Marcel Wiegers (NLD); 2. Robert Fleurke (NLD); 3. Dion Vergers (NLD); 4. Andras Kiraly (NLD); 5. Robin Verdegaal (NLD); 6. Durbin Jonker (NLD) — Most laps led: Robert Fleurke (NLD) 32 laps — Fastest lap: Marcel Wiegers (NLD) 59.220

1. Michael Tyler (USA) (Brabham); 2. Rick Nauman (USA) (Lotus, B.O.A.R. (Lot-Fer)); 3. Bart Horn (USA) (Cooper, Sumo Knights Racing (CooHon)); 4. Brent Knoll (USA) (Eagle, Lady Luck Racing (Eag-Lot)); 5. Robert Harrison (USA) (Eagle, Lady Luck Racing (Eag-Lot)); 6. Karl Kocher (USA) (Cooper) — Most lead laps: Bart Horn (USA) 10 laps. — Fastest lap: Bart Horn (USA) 3:34.622

N2003 — Las Vegas March 16, 2005

LFNSC — Cevert 2005 N2003 GTP — Österreichring March 17, 2005 1. Alexandre Ledoux (FRA); 2. Cyriaque Riotte (FRA); 3. Christophe Héront (FRA); 4. Yves Plaçais (FRA); 5. Ludovic Barrière (FRA); 6. Guillaume Tissier (FRA) — Most laps led: Alexandre Ledoux (FRA) 30 laps — Fastest lap: Alexandre Ledoux (FRA) 1:21.801 SSR — Season 1, div 1 GTR — Monza March 17, 2005

VOR — GPL Sched -TS9— Class D2 GPL — Beal Valley - Oldham Grand Prix March 17, 2005 1. Michel Vignères (FRA) (Eagle, Lady Luck Racing (Eag-Lot)); 2. Brian Hart (USA) (Cooper, Sumo Knights Racing (Coo-Hon)); 3. Bob Simpson (CAN) (Lotus, B.O.A.R. (Lot-Fer)); 4. Stephen King (CAN) (Ferrari, Project 573 (Fer-BRM)); 5. Michael B. Grisinger (USA) (Lotus, B.O.A.R. (Lot-Fer)) — Most lead laps: Michel Vignères (FRA) 13 laps. — AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Fastest lap: Stephen King (CAN) 3:39.385 BeRacing — 2005 GTR — Donington Park March 20, 2005 1. Bob Bakker (NLD) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Team Viper); 2. Duncan Walker (UK) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Team Corvette); 3. Joeri Blootacker (BEL) (Lister Storm, Team Lister); 4. Stephen Heath (UK) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT, Team Lamborghini); 5. Joris Thielen (BEL) (Saleen S7-R, Team Ferarri 575); 6. Kevin Neirinck (BEL) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Team Viper) — Most laps led: Bob Bakker (NLD) 27 laps — Fastest lap: Anthony Wouters (BEL) 1:29.618 UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1 GTR — Autodromo Do Estoril March 20, 2005 1. Michael Bennett (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 2. Mike Soedito (NLD) (Saleen S7-R); 3. Brian Needham (UK) (Porsche 996 GT3-RS); 4. Luis Branco (PRT) (Saleen S7-R); 5. Vedran Sinclair (UK) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1) — Most laps led: Luis Branco (PRT) 14 laps — Fastest lap: Michael Bennett (UK) 1:38.891 UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1 GTR — Autodromo Do Estoril March 20, 2005 1. Paul Harrington (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 2. Simon Gymer (UK) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 3. Blaz Potokar (SVN) (Lister Storm); 4. Glen Van winkle (USA) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 108


5. David P. Gymer (UK) (Gillet Vertigo Streiff, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 6. Neil Wood (UK) (Saleen S7R) — Most laps led: Paul Harrington (UK) 20 laps — Fastest lap: Simon Gymer (UK) 1:37.053 AFSCN-PEI — Nextel 2004 N2003 — Michigan March 20, 2005 1. Eric Malleval (FRA); 2. Jean philippe Campmajo (FRA); 3. Alain Todaro (FRA); 4. Ludovic Urban (GUF); 5. Michel Faven (FRA); 6. Ray Capel (FRA) — Most laps led: Eric Malleval (FRA) 87 laps — Fastest lap: Eric Malleval (FRA) 36.913 LFNSC — Nextel 2005 N2003 — Bristol-Night March 20, 2005 1. Yannick Cousot (FRA); 2. Mathieu Bouysset (FRA); 3. Eric Rawson (FRA); 4. Nicolas Andonov (FRA); 5. Nicolas Faure (FRA); 6. Stephane Dirand (FRA) — Most laps led: Ludovic Lecoq (FRA) 85 laps — Fastest lap: Patrick Martin (FRA) 15.928

CCCRL — CUP 2005 Season

KRC — KRCRoad05

N2003 — Atlanta

N2003 GTP — Watkins Glen International

March 20, 2005 1. Bill Charron (USA) (Chevrolet); 2. Steve Johnson (USA) (Ford); 3. Chad Pagel (USA) (Chevrolet); 4. Ryan J. Steele (USA) (Chevrolet); 5. Ralph Hoff (USA) (Chevrolet); 6. Jerry Wilson (USA) (Chevrolet) — Most laps led: Bill Charron (USA) 81 laps — Fastest lap: Jerry Wilson (USA) 28.651

1. Jeffrey H. Chandler (USA); 2. Jeff Winter (USA); 3. Tim Collier (USA); 4. Randy Drumhiller (USA); 5. Ricky Proffer (USA); 6. Rob Lowe (CAN) — Most laps led: Jeffrey H. Chandler (USA) 37 laps — Fastest lap: Jeffrey H. Chandler (USA) 1:33.133

KRC — KRCGTR05

BeRacing — 2005 - 2006

GTR — Autodromo Brno

GTR — Anderstorp

March 20, 2005

March 21, 2005

1. Jeffrey H. Chandler (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R); 2. David Anderson (USA) (Ferrari 360 Modena); 3. Tim Collier (USA) (Porsche 911 GT3-RS); 4. Philip Brown (USA) (Saleen S7-R); 5. Ricky Proffer (USA) (Ferrari 360 Modena) — Fastest lap: Jeffrey H. Chandler (USA) 2:03.725

1. Duncan Walker (UK) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R); 2. Johan Leroy (BEL) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 3. Maarten Klein (BEL) (Porsche 993 GT2); 4. Joeri Blootacker (BEL) (Lister Storm); 5. Bob Bakker (NLD) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R) — Most laps led: Duncan Walker (UK) 11 laps — Fastest lap: Duncan Walker (UK) 1:29.632 Comet — Season Q GTR — Autodromo Do Estoril March 21, 2005

AFSCN-PEI — AP Truck 2004 N2003 CTS — Michigan March 20, 2005 1. Eric Thomassin (FRA); 2. Michel Faven (FRA); 3. Alain Todaro (FRA); 4. Stéphane Wartel (FRA); 5. Francois Mahieux (FRA); 6. Ludovic Urban (GUF) — Most laps led: Eric Thomassin (FRA) 52 laps — Fastest lap: Michel Faven (FRA) 40.593

March 20, 2005

Jeff Chandler gets another awesome GTP Road Warrior Win; this time at Night via Sebring!

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

1. Peter Oleksy (BEL) (Ferrari 550 Maranello, New Wave Racing); 2. Kjetil Moe (NOR) (Lister Storm, BEMO Racing); 3. João Vaz (PRT) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, VirtualGames); 4. Johan Meissner (SWE) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, TouringCarTimes.com); 5. Brede Solberg (NOR) (Lister Storm, BEMO Racing); 6. Michael V. Enness (UK) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Victor Racing) — Most laps led: João Vaz 109


(PRT) 24 laps — Fastest lap: Greger Huttu (FIN) 1:36.139 VOR — T/A Schedule S3 N2003 TransAM — Mosport PWF March 21, 2005 1. John Graf (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette GTS); 2. Dan Ferguson (CAN) (Ford Mustang GTS); 3. Michael Tyler (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette GTS); 4. Gary Johnson (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette GTS); 5. Dwayne Jans (USA) (Ford Mustang GTS); 6. Bart Horn (USA) (Dodge Viper GTS) — Most laps led: John Graf (USA) 31 laps — Fastest lap: Dan Ferguson (CAN) 1:13.468 BeRacing — 2005 - 2006 GTR — Anderstorp March 21, 2005 1. Duncan Walker (UK) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R); 2. Johan Leroy (BEL) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 3. Maarten Klein (BEL) (Porsche 993 GT2); 4. Stephen Heath (UK) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT) — Most laps led: Duncan Walker (UK) 15 laps — Fastest lap: Stephen Heath (UK) 1:29.068 LFNSC — Busch 2005 N2003 — Bristol-Night March 22, 2005 1. Matthieu Burlion (FRA); 2. Laurent Bertho (FRA); 3. Pascal Laroche (FRA); 4. Martin Mouze (FRA); 5. Hervé Camier (FRA); 6. Lionel Fesselier (FRA) — Most laps led: Mathieu Bouysset (FRA) 126 laps — Fastest lap: Mathieu Bouysset (FRA) 15.810

UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1 GTR — Ente Autodromo Pergusa March 22, 2005 1. Muorali Selvarajah (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 2. Duncan Walker (UK) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R); 3. Jason Crellin (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 4. Rick Briant (UK) (Lister Storm); 5. Mike Soedito (NLD) (Saleen S7-R); 6. Colin Porter (UK) (Saleen S7-R) — Most laps led: Muorali Selvarajah (UK) 18 laps — Fastest lap: Muorali Selvarajah (UK) 1:31.916 SSR — Season 1, div 1

(UK) 18 laps — Fastest lap: Paul Harrington (UK) 1:32.613 LFNSC — Open 2005 N2003 BGN — Bristol-Night March 23, 2005 1. Jérémy Huet (FRA); 2. Florian Chauve (FRA); 3. Jonathan Reydet (FRA); 4. Laurent Dilard (FRA); 5. Thierry Miont (FRA); 6. JeanChristophe Garcia (FRA) — Most laps led: Jérémy Huet (FRA) 183 laps — Fastest lap: Jérémy Huet (FRA) 15.822 KRC — 2005-Regular

GTR — Circuit De Catalunya

N2003 — Atlanta

March 22, 2005

March 23, 2005

1. Roland Ehnström (SWE) (Ferrari 575 GTC); 2. Johan Meissner (SWE) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 3. Mattias Holkedahl (SWE) (Lister Storm); 4. Christian Waltgård (SWE) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 5. Kjetil Moe (NOR) (Ferrari 575 GTC); 6. Niclas Norenheim (SWE) (Ferrari 550 Maranello) — Most laps led: Roland Ehnström (SWE) 27 laps — Fastest lap: Roland Ehnström (SWE) 1:40.368

1. Tim Henson (USA); 2. Brian Cowart (USA); 3. Daniel Lewis (USA); 4. Randy Drumhiller (USA); 5. Ken Kalina (USA); 6. Bob Ostrom (USA) — Most laps led: Brian Cowart (USA) 114 laps — Fastest lap: Bob Ostrom (USA) 29.045

UKGTR — UKGTR S0D1 GTR — Ente Autodromo Pergusa March 22, 2005 1. Paul Harrington (UK) (Ferrari 550 Maranello); 2. Simon Gymer (UK) (Lister Storm, Team Shark UKGTR S0D1); 3. Blaz Potokar (SVN) (Lister Storm); 4. Luis Branco (PRT) (Saleen S7-R); 5. Don Wright (UK) (Saleen S7R) — Most laps led: Paul Harrington

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Tim Henson becomes the 4th winner in as many races in the 2005 KRC Cup Series! © timc

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SSR — Season 1, div 2 GTR — Circuit De Catalunya March 24, 2005 1. Jan Bergwall (SWE) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT); 2. Staffan Slörner (SWE) (Lamborghini Murcielago RGT); 3. Joakim Janas (SWE) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 4. Thomas Granbacka (SWE) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 5. Peter Horvath (SWE) (Saleen S7-R); 6. Tobias Härnvi (SWE) (Lister Storm) — Most laps led: Jan Bergwall (SWE) 13 laps — Fastest lap: Patrik H. Gårdewall (SWE) 1:41.273 VOR — GPL Sched -TS9— Class D1 GPL — Laguna Seca \ʹ95 March 24, 2005 1. Brent Knoll (USA) (Lotus, Lady Luck Racing (Eag-Lot)); 2. Bill Mccomber (CAN) (Honda); 3. Robert Harrison (USA) (Lotus, Lady Luck Racing (Eag-Lot)); 4. Michael Tyler (USA) (Brabham); 5. Dale Ballweg (USA) (Honda); 6. Jim Schweigertf1 (USA) (Brabham, Fabulous BBs (Bra-Bra)) — Most lead laps: Brent Knoll (USA) 29 laps. — Fastest lap: Urban G. Alsenmyr (SWE) 1:31.144 VOR — GPL Sched -TS9— Class D2 GPL — Laguna Seca \ʹ95 March 24, 2005 1. Brian Hart (USA) (Honda, Sumo Knights Racing (Coo-Hon)); 2. Stephen King (CAN) (BRM, Project 573 (Fer-BRM)); 3. Michel Vignères (FRA) (Lotus, Lady Luck Racing (EagLot)); 4. John Bodin (USA) (Honda, Sumo Knights Racing (Coo-Hon)); 5. Bob Simpson (CAN) (Ferrari,

B.O.A.R. (Lot-Fer)); 6. John N. Sheehan (AUS) (BRM, Project 573 (Fer-BRM)) — Most lead laps: Brian Hart (USA) 30 laps. — Fastest lap: Brian Hart (USA) 1:33.329 KRC — KRCGTR05 GTR — Donington Park March 24, 2005 1. John Rowland (USA) (Porsche 911 GT3-RS); 2. David Anderson (USA) (Ferrari 360 Modena); 3. Jeffrey H. Chandler (USA) (Porsche 911 GT3-RS); 4. Philip Brown (USA) (Porsche 911 GT3-RS); 5. Ricky Proffer (USA) (Porsche 911 GT3-RS) — Fastest lap: John Rowland (USA) 1:36.515 BeRacing — 2005 GTR — Autodromo Do Estoril March 27, 2005

Kevin Neirinck (BEL) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 4. Duncan Walker (UK) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R) — Most laps led: Bob Bakker (NLD) 10 laps — Fastest lap: Duncan Walker (UK) 1:35.044 LFNSC — Busch 2005 N2003 — Martinsville March 27, 2005 1. Laurent Bertho (FRA); 2. Nicolas Faure (FRA); 3. Yannick Hilaire (FRA); 4. Frank Fauvel (FRA); 5. Thierry Marchand (FRA); 6. Gilles Boulanger (FRA) — Most laps led: Laurent Bertho (FRA) 174 laps — Fastest lap: Laurent Bertho (FRA) 20.834 LFNSC — Nextel 2005 N2003 — Martinsville March 27, 2005

1. Mathieu Souphy (BEL) (Saleen S7R, Team Saleen); 2. Joeri Blootacker (BEL) (Lister Storm, Team Lister); 3. Joris Thielen (BEL) (Ferrari 575 GTC, Team Ferarri 575); 4. Anthony Wouters (BEL) (Ferrari 550 Maranello, Team Maranello); 5. Kevin Lauwers (BEL) (Ferrari 550 Maranello, Team Maranello); 6. Johan Leroy (BEL) (Ferrari 550 Maranello, Team Maranello) — Most laps led: Mathieu Souphy (BEL) 24 laps — Fastest lap: Mathieu Souphy (BEL) 1:36.678

GTR — Circuit de SpaFrancorchamps

BeRacing — 2005 - 2006

March 28, 2005

GTR — Ente Autodromo Pergusa

1. Roland Ehnström (SWE) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, VirtualGames); 2. Kjetil Moe (NOR) (Lister Storm, BEMO Racing); 3. Greger Huttu (FIN) (Chevrolet Corvette C5-R, Team Redline); 4.

March 27, 2005 1. Bob Bakker (NLD) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 2. Stephen Heath (UK) (Lamborghini Murcielago R-GT); 3. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

1. Laurent Bertho (FRA); 2. Stephane Dirand (FRA); 3. Patrick Martin (FRA); 4. Yannick Cousot (FRA); 5. Thomas Cazorla (FRA); 6. Jerôme Dubedout (FRA) — Most laps led: Patrick Martin (FRA) 222 laps — Fastest lap: Laurent Bertho (FRA) 20.610 Comet — Season Q

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Christian Waltgård (SWE) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R, RossoCorsa); 5. Robin Bergh (SWE) (Lister Storm, BEMO Racing); 6. Sami Silventoinen (FIN) (Lamborghini Murcielago RGT, Celestial Comets) — Most laps led: Greger Huttu (FIN) 12 laps — Fastest lap: Greger Huttu (FIN) 2:13.105 Greger Huttu has again set astonishingly fast laps during his race. A 2:13.105 gave him yet another Filsca record, closely followed by Dom Duhan and Roland Ehnstrom. These three records make this the second ʹtripleʹ that Comet drivers have achieved on the Filsca lap records. At Estoril, Huttu set the record with Vaz and Duhan taking 2nd and 3rd. This technically makes Comet the fastest of the GTR leagues in the Filsca organisation—and it sets some high bars for future events! VOR — T/A Schedule S3 N2003 TransAM — Road America March 28, 2005 1. Dan Ferguson (CAN) (Ford Mustang GTS); 2. Gary Johnson (USA) (Chevrolet Corvette GTS); 3. Larry Ford Jr. (USA) (Ford Mustang GTS); 4. Dwayne Jans (USA) (Ford Mustang GTS); 5. John Prince (USA) (Ford GTS); 6. Tom Cinnamon (CAN) (Ford Mustang GTS) — Most laps led: Dan Ferguson (CAN) 16 laps — Fastest lap: Dan Ferguson (CAN) 2:00.462

1. Roland Ehnström (SWE) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 2. Kjetil Moe (NOR) (Lister Storm); 3. Christian Waltgård (SWE) (Ferrari 575 GTC); 4. Tommy Wernberg (SWE) (Saleen S7R); 5. Robin Bergh (SWE) (Lister Storm); 6. Roger Jonsson (SWE) (Ferrari 575 GTC) — Most laps led: Roland Ehnström (SWE) 53 laps — Fastest lap: Roland Ehnström (SWE) 1:36.152

S.NL — NL.GTP.1 N2003 GTP — Infineon Raceway March 30, 2005 1. Dion Vergers (NLD); 2. Andras Kiraly (NLD); 3. Toon V. Hoof (NLD); 4. Robert Fleurke (NLD); 5. Robin Verdegaal (NLD); 6. Marcel Thomassen (NLD) — Most laps led: Dion Vergers (NLD) 26 laps — Fastest lap: Marcel Wiegers (NLD) 1:01.596

1. Alexandre Ledoux (FRA); 2. Cyriaque Riotte (FRA); 3. Olivier Chavaneau (FRA); 4. Guillaume Tissier (FRA); 5. Ludovic Barrière (FRA); 6. Sébastien Kindt (FRA) — Most laps led: Cyriaque Riotte (FRA) 20 laps — Fastest lap: Cyriaque Riotte (FRA) 1:49.382 SSR — Season 1, div 2 GTR — Circuit de Nevers Magny Cours March 31, 2005 1. Fredric Morenius (SWE) (Ferrari 575 GTC); 2. Thomas Granbacka (SWE) (Lister Storm); 3. Joakim Janas (SWE) (Ferrari 575 GTC); 4. Jan Bergwall (SWE) (Saleen S7-R); 5. Mats Karlsson (SWE) (Chrysler Viper GTS-R); 6. Lars Peterson (SWE) (Lister Storm) — Most laps led: Fredric Morenius (SWE) 39 laps — Fastest lap: Joakim Janas (SWE) 1:37.940

LFNSC — Open 2005 N2003 BGN — Martinsville March 30, 2005 1. Alexandra Baron (FRA); 2. Jonathan Reydet (FRA); 3. Laurent Dilard (FRA); 4. Franck Gimenez (FRA); 5. Thierry Miont (FRA); 6. Rachida Serghini (FRA) — Most laps led: Alexandra Baron (FRA) 206 laps — Fastest lap: Alexandra Baron (FRA) 21.351

SSR — Season 1, div 1

LFNSC — Cevert 2005

GTR — Circuit de Nevers Magny Cours

N2003 TransAM — Suzuka GTP

Jamie Klootwyk Taking Checkered at KRC’s Biggest Event of the Year!

March 31, 2005

March 29, 2005 AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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T HE B ACK PAGE Mike Tyler’s Letter to PC Gamer Attention: Dan Morris Dear Mr. Morris, I don’t usually send email or letter to magazines unless Iʹm submitting a change of address, but in this instance I’m going to make an exception because of the blatant misrepresentation of the facts contained in Andy Mahood’s recent review of GTR in the May 2005 issue. As you are well aware, whenever you review a simulation is usually a good idea to check your facts before going to print with your professional opinions, especially when those opinions are further supported with an Editors Choice, rating. Nevertheless I would venture to say that I am probably far more familiar with GTR that Mr. Mahood because I was part of the team at Trinity Racing Concepts that produced the first public demonstration of GTR in the United States at the 2004 CEDIA trade show. While GTR is a very realistic racing simulation that is far more true-to-life than any other racing simulation on the market today, it is still and without a doubt rift with problems when it comes to the multiplayer component of the game. Yet in Mr. Mahood ‘s review of GTR he stated, ʺ...PC racers might actually overlook GTRʹs robust multiplayer component. Thatʹd be a monumental mistake, as the game boast some of the smoothest net code on the market, with dedicated online support for up to 56 players.ʺ Now, I donʹt know who it was on your staff that gave you or Mr. Mahood this impression, but this is

far from the case. This statement, in light of obvious readily available evidence to the contrary, has done PC Gamer and Mr. Mahood a great disservice and will only serve to erode PC Gamer’s credibility with their audience, especially those of us who are active participants and proponents within the global simracing community.

and deliver stable 25 client fields and only experience will tell if it will hold more.

The ongoing and continuing faults with the multiplayer aspect of GTR has hastened GTR’s acceptance with various online racing leagues around the globe and has in fact become a singular hot bed of controversy with SimBin’s GTR forums. Most leagues that have tried to host GTR races have met with limited success if not complete and utter failure. Additionally these tests have been with far fewer participants than the purported, “56 players.” In fact, under real world conditions the possibility of hosting 56 players in an online race is a highly unlikely proposition. This is due specifically to the unrealistic and dare I say nearly impossible bandwidth and CPU requirements for every participant as well as for the server itself. – As an aside, your review also gives me pause to believe that your magazine does not understand the true nature of online simulation racing or the significant challenges of managing an online racing league. – I even signed onto the GTR forum and specifically asked SimBin what it would take to host a race for 30-40 drivers and this was the response that I received from their moderator,

There are quite a few criterias for them to meet to insure a smooth session:

“On a dedicated server (1.3 version) the hardware can be pretty low end AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

The lag will not come from the server per say, as far as its a properly configured PC and it has bandwidth. The lag and all assorted problems with synching is induced by the clients.

1- PCI bus must be operating at 33 Mhz if your network interface card is on a PCI slot. In clear this means NO OVERCLOCKERS unless they have the ability to lock the AGP/PCI frequency to 66/33 MHz default independently of the FSB. (Overclocking might lead to other problems though. the least of which is stutter... read on) 2- Their game running smoothely FPS wise the better the FPS the less chance there will be problems in the session, try to aim for 40 FPS, of course on a large grid the race start might be problematic here. Stuttering? It could be worse than a low FPS system for the session. 3- A stable connection (ISP related) not necessarily broadband but with low ( preferably no) packet loss to the server. Pings? As always the lower the better but I have seen smooth sessions with pretty high pings (in the 200-300). 4- Not too much happening in the background, thinking MSN messenger for example, anything that can interrupt CPU cycles, GTR needs all its attention. 113


5- Software Firewalls and Anti-Virii auto-protection can be a problem, even for clients ports for GTR should be forwarded, never run without a firewall. Virus Auto protection can be turned off for playing and back on for other activities.

variety of similar statements posted in SimBin’s GTR forums.

stability and more importantly, reliability that is missing from GTR.

http://www.gtr-

Simulation league racing is far more in depth than most people realize. This growing sport, if you will, is not a bunch of kids getting together online to bash one another into the wall or blast some fictional character into oblivion. Besides the unprecedented levels of administration and organization, serious online racers spend many hours each week developing setups and practicing for races and the last thing they want is to be disconnected in the middle of a race or experience stuttering problems while trying to race two or three wide into a 180 degree hairpin.

game.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2218&hl= http://www.gtrgame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2282&hl= http://www.gtr-

You get the general picture, if all clients have perfectly tuned PCs (I havenʹt touched memory frequency settings) GTR on-line should be as good an experience any game out there can offer. Unfortunately there are no tools (that I know of) to analyse a system configuration remotely, that could come in handy to league administrators. You should probably ask (make it a rule) an Everest report from league members and make sure their configuration meets the above criterias. Overclockers could fool you in underclocking for report and throttle back up afterwards though, thus the need for the tool I mentioned.” Nevertheless if you are hesitant to accept my word for the poor performance of GTR’s multiplayer capability perhaps you will accept the word of one of the most well respected online racing organizations, FILSCA (Federation Internationale des Ligues des Simulateirs de Courses Automobiles) and their recent petition to GTR asking them to improve the multiplayer component. (A copy of this petition has been attached to this message.) And should you find the FILSCA petition to be insufficient for your acceptance of the failings of the GTR multiplayer component, perhaps you’ll be persuaded by the

game.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=747&hl= http://www.gtrgame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1820&hl= http://www.gtrgame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1951&hl= http://www.gtrgame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1599&hl= http://www.gtr-game.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2383 http://www.gtr-game.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1625 http://www.gtrgame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2421&hl= http://www.gtrgame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=2368&hl= http://www.gtrgame.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1910&hl=

Obviously you have your own resources for examining the issue, but I would suggest that you start with a search of the forum using the key words; multiplayer, online and server. I’m one of seven administrators for a relatively large online racing league named, “Virtual Online Racers” and we have recently decided to forego creating a GTR series in favor of the N2K3 mod, GTP by Redline Developments. This mod is based on the Papyrus racing simulation, “NASCAR Racing 2003” and while it doesn’t have the depth of features that GTR has, such as real-time weather and changing track conditions, it does have very stable online code and its this level of AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Furthermore as one of the primary contributors in the Grand Prix Legends mod team known as GPLEA (Grand Prix Legends Editors Association) I’ve been deeply involved with online racing for the past four years now and I know from where I speak when I say that Andy Mahood’s review can only be perceived by serious sim racers as overly simplified white-washing of the GTR problems. The next time that you need a serious, well-experienced and wellresearched review of a simulation racing game, please feel free to contact me directly. I doubt that Mr. Mahood’s online racing experience compares to mine, nor do I believe that he has the contacts that I have to be able to provide you with an accurate portrayal of the real-world capabilities of a serious, racing simulation.. 114


A UTO S IM S PORT-I TALIA Brought To You By: www.m4driving.it

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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Notizie Il Progetto R-Concept X LʹAdrenalinStorm sta lavorando al progetto per un nuovo concetto di simulazione di corsa. Tenendo in considerazione il fatto che le corse online sono una competizione seria che coinvolge piloti dalle grandi abilità di ogni angolo del mondo, AdrenalinStorm sta creando Rconcept X. R-Concept X vuol dire correre contro piloti IA oppure in campionati online, in diverse categorie di automobili, ricreando corse reali oppure introducendo serie fittizie. X vuol dire estremo: sfide originalissime, macchine interamente personalizzabili, anche la possibilità di creare e sviluppare le proprie autovetture... sfruttando la più recente tecnologia di simulazione per consentire la migliore immersione nel gioco possibile e tante nuove caratteristiche che incrementano moltissimo il realismo della simulazione. Ovviamente le caratteristiche più avanzate richiederanno piloti con esperienza e abilità, ma tante serie o sfide attireranno ogni genere di giocatori per un grandioso divertimento e tanti tipi di macchine a disposizione, da quelle facili da guidare fino a macchine di alta tecnologia o macchine speciali personalizzate. Gli sviluppatori di AdrenalinStorm si aspettano di raccogliere le migliori caratteristiche in R-concept X al fine di produrre un gioco originale con le più elevate caratteristiche qualitative.

Expansion pack gratuito per GTR Sarà presto pronta da downloadare lʹespansione per GTR su cui lo sviluppatore svedese SimBin sta attualmente lavorando. Si chiamerà ʺKing of Ovalsʺ e conterrà tre nuove piste disegnate in uno stile che ricorda i circuiti ovali americani. Secondo la SimBin ʺle corse sugli ovali con le GT sono una sfida unica che garantisce al giocatore unʹinteressante variazione rispetto ai circuiti stagionali FIA-GTʺ. Ognuna delle nuove piste è stata disegnata in modo da mostrare i diversi aspetti di questo tipo di corse. Lʹintelligenza artificiale è stata rielaborata in modo da tenere conto dei cambiamenti in queste nuove condizioni.

stati tutti registrati sulle macchine riprodotte nel gioco. rFactor F1 WDT 2005 Nell’estate del 2003 venne rilasciato l’ultimo gioco di corse F1 della ISI, F1 Challenge 99-02. Da allora non abbiamo più visto un nuovo gioco della ISI. Poi, a metà dell’anno scorso, la ISI ha annunciato un nuovo gioco di corse per PC: rFactor. A gennaio 2005 il team WDT ha annunciato di essere al lavoro su un mod F1 2005 per rFactor: “Siamo il team di design di WDT Worldracing. Qualche mese fa avevamo delle idee per realizzare il nostro mod, così nacque la WDT. Siamo un gruppo di amici di Neigboorland (Olanda) e altri ragazzi al di fuori dell’Europa. Stiamo lavorando a un sito internet e quando sarà pronto riceverete nostre notizie! Sul sito troverete ulteriori informazioni su di noi. WDT 2005 mod: - forme e texture del 2005

GTR viene considerato uno dei più accurati simulatori di corse mai realizzato e comprende oltre 70 macchine originali del campionato FIA GT nonché dieci famosi circuiti. Questi sono stati ricreati meticolosamente, sfruttando anche i dati GPS per ottenere la maggiore precisione possibile. I motori sono stati realizzati grazie ai dati telemetrici reali forniti dai singoli team FIA GT mentre i suoni sono AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

- 3 modelli di elmi con texture del 2005 - teamart del 2005 - tutti I circuiti f1 del 2005 -> Turchia 2005 - tutte le caratteristiche dei piloti - suoni - (realizzato in particolare per leghe f1 che corrono sul nostro mod -> template delle vetture) 116


- e altro ancora, vedrete i nostri screenshot”.

Quante persone lavorano nel gruppo?

Circa 15.000, senza le ruote ecc si scende a meno di 10.000.

Ho realizzato un’intervista in esclusiva con questi ragazzi:

Circa 8

Quanto tempo lavorate su una fisionomia?

Nelle ultime settimane abbiamo visto delle splendide immagini del vostro Mod 2005 per rFactor. A chi è venuta l’dea di fare questo Mod? Avevo delle idee per un buon mod e c’era in corso rfactor, quindi ho detto “Erik, perché non avviamo un mod?” Avevamo delle idee e quindi siamo arrivati alla conclusione che era tempo per f1 2005 e, perché no?, che avremmo potuto realizzare un mod come rh ed emac. Ebbene, non ho avuto parte nell’idea iniziale, sono divenuto disegnatore di questo mod un giorno in cui stavo realizzando una macchina con “danm” (un ragazzo del forum gpg). Disse che insieme avremmo potuto realizzare un’intera macchina, la mp4-20, e quindi ho iniziato a disegnarla, senza sapere a cosa stavo lavorando… quindi contattai Erik e Speedracer a cui i disegni sono piaciuti molto e, fino ad ora, lui è il designer.

Qualcuno di voi ha lavorato in altri gruppi? Ebbene, io non faccio parte di altri gruppi, mi piace fare qualche piccolo cosa per gp4 per fatti miei. Per quanto ne so anche Eugenio Fara sta lavorando al suo materiale per gp4… per la comunità (come dahie di ctdp) ha anche progetti propri per gp4, così anche lle fin. Poi c’è crashkid che ci aiuterà per le piste, ma che sta anche realizzando il suo progetto di Hockenheim 00-05 per f1c. Realizzate il mod nel vostro tempo libero o vacanze? Entrambe le cose. Passiamo molto del nostro tempo libero, incluse le ultime vacanze, a lavorare al mod, a volte anche fino alle 2 di notte. Avete contatti presso la ISI? Sì, io parlo molto con Pete che si trova presso l’ufficio ISI e siamo in corrispondenza. Come può aiutare la ISI? Avete avuto maggiori informazioni su rFactor? RF sarà pronto in tre mesi; hanno detto che faranno il loro meglio per finire in questo tempo. C’è ancora da completare delle codifiche e altre cose importanti poi: la ISI darà alla comunità degli editor e dei filtri per importare ed esportare facilmente le macchine, ecc. e anche un proprio Maseditor. Quanti poligoni usano i vostri modelli? AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Qualche giorno, 3 o 4; due volte 5 giorni. Dopo di ciò il tutto viene mappato in una o due ore. Eight poi dipinge e ha passato una settimana sulla mclaren e cinque giorni sulla red bull. Che programmi 3D usate per fare i modelli? Usiamo 3ds e zmodeler. 3DStudio Max è più veloce ma con Z Modeller ci divertiamo di più. E per quanto riguarda le piste, è possibile convertirle? Qui devo spiegare qualcosa. Convertiremo alcune piste di GTR e le modificheremo radicalmente. Altre ancora invece sono basate sulla Turchia. Per quanto riguarda la Cina non è sicuro nulla e forse chiederemo aiuto alla RMDG. Ho avvertito Sifusebi e Raikmon. Ho prima chiesto a Raikmon e ha detto che forse voi ragazzi ci aiuterete. Poi ho chiesto a Sifusebi che gliene parlerà. Pensate che potremo giocare il mod direttamente dopo la release di rFactor? No, non immediatamente dopo. Spero entro 2m esi dalla release, ma le piste saranno il problema maggiore e faremo un aggiornamento dopo ogni corsa, quindi il nostro gioco sarà aggiornato. GPZocker per www.m4driving.it e www.f1gaming.de

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Il riassunto di http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=7671

Un titolo che potrebbe rivaleggiare con WRC e Toca Una nuova franchise rallyistica si avvia sulle console di prossima generazione. Secondo voci di corridoio tre grandi produttori (tra cui la SCEE) si stanno contendendo i diritti per World Touring Car Championship. Si tratta di un nuovo campionato che comprende produttori di ogni parte del mondo, tra cui Alfa Romeo, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Seat, Honda, Peugeot e Brilliance. La SCEE, in quanto editore di World Rally Championship, non è estranea al genere e si ritiene che sia la favorita per aggiudicarsi il titolo che - come ulteriore elemento di attrazione porta con se lʹofferta di molte aziende (tra cui la Eurosport) che supporteranno pubblicitariamente il gioco. WTCC dovrebbe avere il potenziale sufficiente a diventare una serie di successo, soprattutto grazie alle avanzate caratteristiche di gioco che saranno possibili sui nuovi sistemi.

La traduzione: GT Legends: Un gioco ʺtentacolareʺ Lʹinconfondibile silhouette di una Porsche 906, il suono inconfondibile dei cavalli di una Ford e le elevate richieste - in termini di abilità di guida - di una Corvette Stingray, ecco il paradiso dei motori degli anni ʹ60 e ʹ70. Unʹera che include tante delle più eleganti macchine da corsa di tutti I

tempi e di uomini come Bob Wollek, Tom Walkinshaw o Yokes Maas su una pista da corsa in cui dominava il design. Con la licenza ufficiale della FIA GTC ʹ65, FIA TC ʹ65 e FIA GTC ʹ76 la 10TACLE STUDIOS fa rivivere il periodo dellʹavventura nelle corse grazie a ʺGT Legendsʺ. Dietro i volanti di una Austin mini Cooper S, di una Ford Capri o una Mercedes 300SL, le sfide FIA richiedono abilità genuine per la caccia ai punti. GT Legends, il paradiso della simulazione, si unisce a FIA GT Racing Games ʺper il maggiore successo attualmente in programma per i giochi automobilisticiʺ (GTR) e si ripresenta con nuovi motori e nuove modalità di gioco per una coinvolgente corsa sulle piste europee. Vi assicuriamo una prima occhiata a ʺGT Legendsʺ il 22 aprile durante la gara presso il ʺJim Clark Festivallsʺ presso il circuito di Hockenheim.

News su: http://www.liveforspeed.net/?page=s2demo

(vedi i link per i download sul sito, non so come li vuoi inserire) Download per Live for Speed S2 Demo ALPHA Questa versione dimostrativa ALPHA di S2 è una introduzione di ciò che si vedrà nella prossima release. Se volete avere una prima impressione di S2 scaricate e scompattate S2 Demo ALPHA cliccando sui link che seguono. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Ricordate che in questa versione mancano ancora molte caratteristiche che saranno incluse nel prodotto finale. Inoltre questa demo è limitata ad una sola pista e tre macchine. La versione completa, invece, avrà molti più contenuti (per esempio 18 macchine e nove piste). Ovviamente, essendo una versione dimostrativa, è probabile che contenga dei bug e potrebbe occasionalmente non funzionare come ci si aspetta. Scaricare, installare e giocare la Demo S2 ALPHA è a vostro rischio.

MOD PREVIEW by Michele Sprovieri Circa un anno fà usciʹ il primo mod per il mitico simulatore targato Papyrus ʺGrand Prix Legendsʺ .Si trattava del Mod65, tuttora molto apprezzato dallʹintera Sim-Racing community, che tra lʹaltro lo ha premiato come Miglior Mod del 2004 agli Blackhole Motorsports Awards. Il Mod-Team ha fatto un ottimo lavoro col 65ʹ, ma non si è fermato li. Questo gruppo di veri appassionati di gare online e più in particolare amanti di Grand Prix Legends stanno infatti lavorando da piu di un anno su più fronti, e sono previste nei i prossimi mesi alcune interessanti novità per gli ancora numerosi fans di questo fantastico ed immortale simulatore. Pultroppo rimane difficile avere delle date precise, ma si prevede che il prossimo lavoro del ModTeam a raggiungere i nostri hard disk sarà il Mod69, basato sul campionato del mondo di Formula1 del 1969. Si è parlato molto di questo add-on, 118


interessante è che sia vetture ad ʺalettoni altiʺ che quelle ad ʺalettoni bassiʺ avranno rispettivamente 2 fisiche differenti. Su entrambe sarà comunque possibile variare lʹincidenza degli alettoni per trovare il compromesso che ci soddisfa maggiormente. Dal punto di vista performances, le vetture pare che siano anche molto vicine. Di base le vetture con alettoni alti avranno meno velocità e piu aderenza nelle curve(adatte per piste tortuose come Monaco), mentre le vetture ad alettoni bassi saranno velocissime in rettifilo, ma avranno un grio peggiore(ideali per Monza). McLaren, Matra, Brabham e Lotus avranno praticamente lo stesso propulsore Ford V8, in quanto rappresenta il primo tentativo di emulare lʹeffetto aerodinamico generato dagli alettoni sulle vetture Gpl. La fisica di gpl, come molti sanno, non prevede gli effetti generati dalla deportanza degli alettoni, e non è stato facile per il Modteam apportare questa modifica al codice. Tuttora si sta lavorando proprio su questo aspetto che renderà possibile modificare lʹincidenza degli alettoni tramite una nuova versione di Gem+ che verrà rilasciata insieme col mod69. Le vetture sono quasi tutte terminate, manca solamente la Lotus63 e comunque saranno disponibili 2 versioni per ogni macchina: versione ad alettoni alti e versione ad alettoni bassi. La cosa AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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mentre Ferrari e Brm saranno un pelino svantaggiate dal punto di vista motorizzazione. Poco dopo il mod69 dovrebbe essere la volta di un mod dedicato agli amatori delle categorie minori. Eʹ

noto che ci sia ancora un buon numero di appassionati di gare con formule 2 o Formula 3, che probabilmente apprezzeranno questo prodotto. Il Mod Caterhams consisterà in una

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simulazione dove vedremo 7 vetture Lotus7 dotate di motorizzazioni e pneumatici simili ma non uguali. Dovrebbero permettere gare molto tirate e nascono per circuiti Club, o comunque molto tortuosi. Altro mod molto atteso, ma per il quale bisognerà aspettare un pò di pù è lo Sportscar67ʹ. Sono quasi terminate solo 3 vetture su 5 (Ford GT40 MkII, Chaparral 2F e Ferrari 330P4) mentre mancano ancora la Lola T70 e la Ford Mirage. La fisica invece pare essere già a buon punto. Chi le ha provate giura che sono vetture molto divertenti, con molta coppia e con un ottima accelerazione ma spazzi di frenata chiaramente più lunghi se comparati ad una vettura a ruote scoperte. Il Mod66 è un altro progetto interessante sul quale stanno lavorando i ragazzoni del Mod Team. Pare che sia già in fase avanzata, e potrebbe essere disponibile non troppo tempo dopo il mod69. Le vetture, come la logica vuole, sono una via di mezzo tra le vetture 67ʹ e le 65ʹ. Probabilmente potrebbe essere considerato da alcuni una semplice evoluzione del 65ʹ dal punto di vista potenza, ma in realtà anche su questo mod è stato fatto un gran lavoro di testing per migliorare la fisica delle vetture. Le auto sono quasi tutte terminate ma chiaramente con la prossima uscita del mod69 gli sforzi si stanno concentrando maggiormente su questʹ ultimo prodotto. Questo mod66 potrebbe davvero rappresentare quel giusto compromesso tra velocità e grip...staremo a vedere. 120


E per chi non fosse ancora soddisfatto sono in lavorazione il Mod55 ed il Tasman68. Il piu vicino alla release è il Tasman, ma sicuramente intorno al mod55 cʹè più aspettativa. Su entrambi non si anno ancora molte notizie, ma sulla prossima uscita di AutosimsportItalia vi sapremo dare informazioni più dettagliate in merito. Un ringraziamento particolare va ad Arturo Pereira, storico membro del ModTeam e volto noto nella Simracing community, per le informazioni e le immagini contenute in questa Preview. F1scWC By Giuliano Hernandez Affinatosi con il passare degli anni, il Sim-Challenge può ormai essere considerato uno dei punti di riferimento mondiale per gli amanti delle gare di F1 virtuale on-line di tutto il mondo. Piloti di ogni nazione tra le quali Portogallo, Colombia, Germania, Francia, Inghilterra, solo per citarne alcune, si sono dati appuntamento per un campionato di F1 all’altezza di quello reale. Infatti non solo tutti i partecipanti hanno potuto scegliere tra le vetture realmente presenti nel campionato di F1 dell’anno 2004, ma hanno scatenato la loro fantasia nel realizzare le colorazioni delle loro vetture in modo da creare veri e propri team spesso organizzati con presidenti e staff tecnici. Il responsabile di tutta l’organizzazione è Giuliano Hernandez che grazie alla sua passione e al suo impegno è riuscito ad organizzare questa competizione. L’impegno di tanti altri

ragazzi appassionati ha contornato il sim challenge di tutta una serie di “optional” grazie ai quali questo mondiale sembra davvero vivere l’atmosfera dei paddock reali: interviste ai protagonisti, replay delle gare, commenti a tutti i gp saranno sempre disponibile per offrire a tutti un piacevole resoconto della stagione in corso. La competizione si basa sul gioco F1 Challenge 99-02 della Electronic Arts, aggiornato alla stagione 2004. I requisiti per poter partecipare al mondiale, esclusi quelli tecnici di un collegamento veloce tipo ADSL, sono davvero pochi: tanta passione per le monoposto e tanta correttezza nel rispetto di tutti gli altri partecipanti. Il campionato seguirà per quanto possibile tutte le 19 tappe del mondiale FIA, disputando ogni gara immediatamente dopo quella reale in modo da poterne rispecchiare anche la situazione meteo, fattore indispensabile per una completa simulazione. Inoltre anche i regolamenti sono stati riprodotti al meglio soprattutto nelle qualifiche, impossibile invece impedire il rifornimento benzina nei pit-stop. Al via della prima gara, disputatasi il 28 marzo sul tracciato della Malesia erano presenti 17 piloti che si sono dati battaglia fino all’ultimo giro per conquistare i primi punti di una lunga stagione. Dopo un’avvincente duello con diversi scambi di posizione, verificatisi anche grazie ai pit-stop, la gara è stata vinta da Dennis Hirrle che ha concluso i 56 giri davanti a Christian Neumann; sul terzo gradino del podio è salito Joakim Bengtsson che ha condotta AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

una gara molto regolare, mantenendo per quasi tutto il tempo la terza posizione. Il prossimo appuntamento sarà per il Bahrain, mentre per la gara dell’Australia si recupererà a fine campionato. LAMBORGHINI GALLARDO ALLA TARGA TASMANIA IN AUSTRALIA Una Lamborghini Gallardo, perfettamente di serie, parteciperà, quasi a sorpresa, alla Targa Tasmania: la famosa corsa di durata su strada australiana, in programma dal 26 aprile al 1° maggio. A pilotare la ʺpiccolaʺ V10 di 5 litri a motore posteriore centrale della Casa di SantʹAgata Bolognese, il fuoriclasse australiano del golf Stuart Appleby e lʹesperto pilota di Lamborghini, sempre australiano, Paul Stokell. Ovviamente in Australia, la notizia della partecipazione della supercar italiana alla più famosa corsa locale (dopo il GP di F.1), ha fatto grande sensazione tra la gente, ma soprattutto per gli sponsors della gara. Gli stessi piloti sono molto eccitati e lʹesperto Stokell, che già aveva condotto alla vittoria una Lamborghini Diablo GTR nel 2003 e 2004, ritiene dʹavere ottime chances anche questʹanno, alla guida della Gallardo. Infatti, la Gallardo in Australia, oltre a godere della reputazione dʹauto molto ben costruita ed affidabile, è anche considerata una supercar relativamente facile da pilotare; ed il suo potenziale (motore posteriore centrale V10 da 500CV, per un peso 121


GT Quattro MC12 nei primi cinque e leadership tra i costruttori Gara No. 9 M. Bartels/T. Scheider (Vitaphone Racing Team) 2° a 0.921 telaio n. 02/15439 No. 10 F. Babini/T. Biagi (Vitaphone Racing Team) 3° a 1.456 telaio n. 07/15443 No. 16 P. Peter/C. Buncombe/R. Rusinov (JMB Racing) 4° a 1 giro telaio n. 04/15441 No. 15 A. Bertolini/K. Wendlinger (JMB Racing) 5° a 3 giri telaio n. 08/15444 Meteo: coperto; pista asciutta

complessivo di circa 1430 Kg), si rivela soprattutto nella guida su strada, specie se condotta da piloti non proprio professionisti!

Lunghezza circuito: 5.793 km Con quattro vetture nei primi cinque posti la Maserati si porta al comando della classifica costruttori del Campionato FIA GT, che si preannuncia molto combattuto e

Insomma, un grande evento locale, che si arricchisce di un elemento di curiosità in più, ma soprattutto che si trasforma in unʹimportante vetrina per la Lamborghini. Così come ormai vuole la tradizione, sin dai tempi del mitico Sandro Munari (il ʺDragoʺ dei rallyes anni ʹ70, con lʹaltrettanto mitica Lancia Stratos) quando, ancora impegnato in Lamborghini come pilota-collaudatore ufficiale (oltre che P.R.), vinceva per la prima volta la stessa gara con una delle primissime Lamborghini Diablo di serie, ancora allʹinizio degli anni ʹ90.

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avvincente. Entrambi i team, Vitaphone e JMB, hanno portato al traguardo le due vetture e hanno lottato per la vittoria finale in fasi diverse delle corsa. Si tratta di un inizio promettente, che ha confermato il grande potenziale della MC12 e dei piloti. La MC12 di Philippe Peter ha condotto la prima parte della competizione, mentre le due MC12 verdi e nere del Vitaphone Racing Team ci hanno provato fino all’ultimo metro, ma a causa di alcuni inconvenienti verificatisi durante la corsa, hanno dovuto accontentarsi del secondo e del terzo gradino del podio. La gara è stata vinta dalla Ferrari 550 Maranello del team Larbre, affidata a Lamy e Gardel. Al via Philippe Peter, partito dalla pole-position, si è portato subito al comando e ha condotto in maniera autorevole e senza problemi la prima parte della competizione, completando due stint senza sostituire gli pneumatici. Alle sue spalle si sono portate ben presto le due vetture gemelle di Michael Bartels e Fabio Babini, poi passato al secondo posto, tallonati da Andrea Bertolini, che ha lottato a lungo con le 550 di Lamy e di Bouchut. Le posizioni sono rimaste cristallizzate per buona parte della corsa fino al secondo cambio piloti. In questo frangente la vettura di Bertolini/Wendlinger ha avuto un problema con il funzionamento dei martinetti pneumatici che di fatto ha estromesso la coppia dalla lotta per il podio. Successivamente Bertolini, a causa di un contatto con Melo, ha perso la

portiera sinistra e per questo ha ricevuto un drive-through in pit-lane. La sostituzione della porta ha richiesto altre due soste ai box. Peter ha invece ceduto il volante all’inglese Chris Buncombe, a sua volta sostituito dal russo Roman Rusinov nell’ultima frazione di gara. Una volta effettuati i cambi, la MC12 numero 16 ha potuto posizionarsi al quarto posto. Le chances di vittoria della coppia Babini/Biagi si sono ridotte nel corso del rientro ai box di Thomas Biagi, arrivato troppo lungo. La perdita di una ventina di secondi non è stato colmata da una magnifica rimonta di Babini. Alla fine il duo italiano si è dovuto accontentare del terzo posto, ma ha stabilito il giro più veloce della corsa. Michael Bartels, tornato al volante dopo il turno del regolare Timo Scheider, è rimasto al comando fino a pochi giri dal termine, quando ha dovuto cedere il passo a Lamy. La vettura non aveva più l’assetto ottimale dopo un contatto subito nella fase iniziale, che ha modificato la geometria dello sterzo, e quindi il pilota tedesco non ha potuto opporre resistenza. Ad ogni modo il bilancio per il team è molto buono: entrambe le coppie sono salite sul podio e il Vitaphone Racing Team si è portato al comando della classifica a squadre.

che ha diminuito la lunghezza dell’ala posteriore della vettura. A fronte del risultato di oggi, che ha visto la ormai vecchia 550 imporsi, e la Corvette C5 dell’anno passato lottare per la vittoria, è chiaro che la MC12 con le attuali penalizzazioni non è la vettura di nuova generazione più veloce in assoluto. Claudio Berro: “Siamo soddisfatti del risultato ottenuto dai team in gara e delle prestazioni dei piloti, che ci hanno permesso di essere al vertice della classifica costruttori; le MC12 hanno dimostrato di essere affidabili e di avere un ottimo potenziale, tenendo conto delle penalizzazioni di peso e nell’aerodinamica. Senza alcuni errori di gioventù e altri piccoli inconvenienti, avremmo potuto raggiungere il gradino più alto del podio. Il campionato è lungo e ci sono tutte le premesse per fare bene. Un ringraziamento particolare alla Pirelli che ci ha consentito di essere competitivi con tutte e quattro le vetture.”

Trofeo Vodafone Maserati Europa Buncombe vince al debutto Monza, 10 aprile 2005 - Alex Buncombe ha conquistato il successo in occasione della gara di apertura del Trofeo Vodafone Maserati Europa. Il pilota inglese, al debutto nella categoria, ha preceduto sul traguardo Alberto Cerrai e Maurizio Fabris, staccati rispettivamente di 26”7 e 29”1.

Nella conferenza stampa dopo la corsa, Bartels ha rimarcato come il team abbia dovuto lavorare molto per modificare la vettura dopo la penalizzazione imposta dalla FIA, AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

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e Pizzicannella/Gallo al ventiduesimo, nonostante un’uscita di pista. “E’ stata la prima gara per me nel Trofeo Maserati e sono molto soddisfatto di questo risultato. Un’esperienza grandiosa!” ha dichiarato il vincitore. Il prossimo appuntamento del Trofeo Vodafone Maserati Europa si svolgerà a Barcellona, in concomitanza con la Formula 1, dal 6 all’8 maggio.

Campionato Major League 2005 by MaverickOne Nella prima parte di gara Diego Alessi aveva cercato di allungare sugli avversari inanellando una lunga serie di giri veloci. L’unico in grado di reggere il ritmo era proprio il rookie Buncombe mentre dalle retrovie Alberto Cerrai iniziava una rimonta che alla fine lo porterà a salire sul podio. I duelli in pista non sono mancati e particolarmente emozionante è stato quello che ha opposto, per molti giri, Maurizio Fabris e Joe Macari. I due, che nella scorsa stagione avevano anche diviso il sedile in alcuni appuntamenti, hanno dato vita ad una bagarre molto corretta e spettacolare che ha premiato Fabris ma agevolato l’avvicinamento di Cerrai. Il pilota romano, approfittando della loro lotta e di un duplice “lungo” alla prima variante, infatti, riusciva a scavalcare entrambi. Dopo le soste ed i cambi pilota per gli equipaggi che si avvalgono di questa possibilità, la classifica cambiava

volto e proponeva in testa Alex Buncombe. Francesco Ravasio, subentrato ad Diego Alessi che ha condotto la prima parte della gara, non riusciva a mantenere il ritmo dei più veloci e perdeva man mano posizioni. Max Cattori, dopo aver preso il posto di Hans Notter, risaliva velocemente posizioni in classifica e si proponeva immediatamente alle spalle di Maurizio Fabris. Le graduatoria rimaneva tale fino alla bandiera a scacchi che salutava il successo di Buncombe davanti a Cerrai e Fabris. Completano i primi sei il duo elvetico Notter/Cattori, Rob Wilson e Joe Macari. Positivo il rientro del primo campione del Trofeo, Emanuele Smurra, giunto ottavo al traguardo, in coppia con il fratello Stanislao. Buona anche la prova dei vari ospiti della manifestazione: Bobbiese/Panacci hanno concluso al nono posto, Kidd/Needell al sedicesimo, Grassetto/Dj Ringo al diciassettesimo AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

E’ cominciato finalmente, dopo un inverno in galleria del vento e sui tavoli da disegno è ora di correre e si parte, come di consueto, in Australia, terra di canguri. Vi stiamo scrivendo dal paddock dove in questo momento si sono concluse le prove libere le quali hanno confermato o smentito quanto era successo nei vari test invernali, come sappiamo il confronto diretto in pista e’ quello che conta; tenteremo ora di strappare delle domande agli attori principali di questo fantastico mondo, aspirazione di molti appassionati nel mondo. Non si può certo dire che il paddock della F1 oltre che all’espressione più alta della tecnologia moderna ai massimi livelli, non mostri anche il lato umano, e se mi permettete quello migliore, che ci confonde e distoglie l’attenzione dal nostro lavoro di report e cioè, le numerose e fantastiche bellezze locali, le quali 124


offrono un contorno coreografico di assoluto valore alla kermesse mondiale. Ci stiamo dirigendo verso il Box Ferrari una scuderia sicuramente protagonista dove scorgiamo dietro i pannelli, in un fitto colloquio con i tecnici i due piloti titolari il Capitano Fireblade e Maxc; vediamo se possiamo disturbarli. Salve ragazzi ci concedete un’intervista? Si certo molto volentieri; allora presentatevi al numeroso pubblico Fireblade- il mio Nick è Fireblade, come la mia moto, Honda cbr 900rr, fino allʹetà di 18 anni il mio sport preferito era il calcio, poi ad un tratto nasce lʹamore x la F1 che diventa lo sport più importante. Circa 6 o 7 anni fa mi affaccio nel mondo di interent conoscendo persone che hanno la mia stessa passione, la sera ci si diverte insieme e nasce una grande amicizia................veramente persone speciali. MAXC- Ciao a tutti sono MaxC, questo e’ il terzo anno che corro in FullSim nella major league,l’anno scorso ho finito al 5° il campionato guidando una BAR, quest’anno mi ritrovo seconda guida sulla Ferrari grazie al mio amico Vittorio che mi ha offerto il sedile .Nonostante la posizione in classifica mi desse la possibilita’ di avere ottimi contatti che sicuramente sarebbero andati in porto come prima guida presso Team di sicuro valore quali Bar o Renault,

non ho potuto fare a meno di sentire il richiamo della rossa nazionale. QUALI SONO LE VOSTRE ASPETTATIVE PER QUESTA NUOVA STAGIONE? Fireblade- Le stesse dell’esordio. dei primi campionati, divertirmi e semmai se ci riesco fare bene, la conseguenza sono i risultati, con tanta passione e senza troppe ambizioni, la pressione a volte quando è esagerata ti porta a commettere errori, lʹimportante è cercare di rilassarmi dopo una giornata di lavoro e guidando ci riesco. MAXC- Spero di fare bene, e di onorare la scelta che la scuderia ha effettuato scegliendo la mia collaborazione CHI TRA I PILOTI MAJOR INTRAVEDI COME PROBABILE PRETENDENTE AL TITOLO DI CAMPIONE E PERCHE’, E QUAL’E’ SECONDO IL TUO PUNTO DI VISTA IL LIVELLO DEGLI AVVERSARI? Fireblade- E’ ancora presto x stabilire chi vincerà questʹanno, vincerà chi riuscirà ad essere più costante.........e comunque penso che The Belv sia quello da battere, il livello?..........stesso discorso del vincitore sulla carta è ottimo bisogna vedere nel tempo nelle situazioni critiche come si comporteranno gli altri piloti, è lì che si vede il campione dal gentleman driver. MAXC- Devo dire che con la nuova regolamentazione tecnica AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

di quest’anno vanno tutti forte, ce’ stato un appiattimento delle prestazioni, basta vedere le qualifichedi questa mattina, quindi non saprei dire…. di sicuro avrei preferito correre con le caratteristiche delle vetture dello scorso anno, vetture più divertenti e difficili da guidare. CONSIDERATE LE NUMEROSE NOVITA’ TECNICHE ED ORGANIZZATIVE DEL CAMPIONATO IN CORSO DAI UN GIUDIZIO AGLI ORGANIZZATORI DEL CIRCUS VALUTANDONE TUTTI GLI ASPETTI FINO AD ORA MOSTRATI? Fireblade- Stanno facendo unʹottimo lavoro, si vede che la passione è comune MAXC- Che dire non posso fare altro che fare i complimenti a tutti i componenti dello staff per la competenza e la dedizione dimostrata Continuiamo la nostra passeggiata e ci dirigiamo verso il Box Mclaren e il campione, il mitico the Belv se ne sta’ bello pacifico sdraiato sul muretto box cercando relax e meditando sulle prime prove non corrispondenti alle sue aspettative, vediamo cosa ci risponde. Ciao the belv te la spassi? Possiamo rubarti una piccola intervista? Si certo ragazzi non ci sono problemi.

PRESENTATI AL NUMEROSO PUBBLICO: The Belv- Ciao a tutti sono The Belv, ho 27 anni e sono studente 125


(ancora per pochissimo spero ;-) ) di ingegneria elettronica a Catania, città dove sono nato e dove vivo, non sono attirato per il momento dalle luminescenze della citta’ dei piloti: Montecarlo. Corro in questo campionato dal 2002 e ho avuto la possibilità di divertirmi e di conoscere tante persone davvero simpatiche e disponibili. QUALI SONO LE VOSTRE ASPETTATIVE PER QUESTA NUOVA STAGIONE? The Belv- Ovviamente vincere, anche se mi rendo conto che le condizioni non sono favorevoli in quanto è davvero poco il tempo a disposizione, nonché davvero difficile guidare quest’anno. Le nuove vetture non le digerisco proprio e i primi risultati ottenuti dimostrano chiaramente i miei limiti di quest’anno. Ovviamente, come sempre, farò il possibile per migliorare e cercare di vincere il campionato! CHI TRA I PILOTI MAJOR INTRAVEDI COME PROBABILE PRETENDENTE AL TITOLO DI CAMPIONE E PERCHE’, E QUAL’E’ SECONDO IL TUO PUNTO DI VISTA IL LIVELLO DEGLI AVVERSARI? The Belv- Al momento vedo molto bene Grigo. Non so quale fosse il suo potenziale, durante le prove di questa mattina del Gp di Australia è uscito di pista ma credo che la continuità delle sue prestazioni sia una cosa da non sottovalutare, specialmente perché quest’anno si è portato

nuovamente ai suoi livelli. Lo vedo davvero in forma e immagino che sarà difficile batterlo anche perché in tutti i casi superarlo in pista non è facile. CONSIDERATE LE NUMEROSE NOVITA’ TECNICHE ED ORGANIZZATIVE DEL CAMPIONATO IN CORSO DAI UN GIUDIZIO AGLI ORGANIZZATORI DEL CIRCUS VALUTANDONE TUTTI GLI ASPETTI FINO AD ORA MOSTRATI? The Belv- Beh, io forse non sono la persona più adatta a rispondere a questa domanda perché conosco personalmente molta della gente che lavora dietro le quinte. In realtà dovrei essere anche io impegnato nell’organizzazione ma per problemi di impegni e di tempo non sto contribuendo molto, anzi direi quasi nulla. So bene quanto sia difficile, a dispetto di quanto si possa pensare, organizzare un campionato come il nostro e a coloro i quali si sono assunti questo impegno va tutto il mio rispetto e la mia ammirazione, perché so che hanno già dovuto affrontare parecchie difficoltà e altre ancora ne affronteranno nel corso dell’anno. Complimenti a tutti quindi! CONTI DI RIUSCIRE A MANTENERE IL TITOLO DI CAMPIONE ITALIANO DELLA MAJOR LEAGUE E SPIEGACI IL PERCHE’ DELLA SCELTA MCLAREN NONOSTANTE LE AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

SIRENE FERRARI E WILLIAM, VETTURE PROBABILMENTE PIU’ PERFORMANTI? The Belv- McLaren è la mia passione, sin da quando ero piccolo. Al tempo non sapevo neanche perché ma tutte le volte che mi trovavo davanti a tante macchinine la mia scelta ricadeva su quella bianca e rossa senza nemmeno pensarci. Questa passione poi si è evoluta negli anni, complice anche l’ammirazione per il pilota secondo me più forte di sempre che correva per la McLaren diventando quasi il suo simbolo, Ayrton Senna. Oggi che, seppur virtualmente, ho la possibilità di scegliere scelgo la McLaren, e sono contento di avere vinto un titolo lo scorso anno con questa vettura e cercherò di ripetermi quest’anno. Certo, la situazione tecnica non è la migliore in assoluto però confido negli sviluppi futuri e in ogni caso cercherò di fare il possibile per vincere ugualmente! Ciao a tutti! Grazie campione per l’intervista e speriamo di esserci guadagnati per la simpatia una preferenziale da utilizzare durante il campionato per scoprire alcune delle novita’ tecniche o notizie di prima mano. E a proposito di novita’ eccoci di fianco al box della neo scuderia Redbull nata dalle ceneri della Jaguar team sciolto al termine dello scorso campionati in seguito agli scarsi risultati che non hanno corrisposto l’immane budget investito in tutti questi anni: siamo qui con MaverickOne primo pilota della

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squadra e al debuttante Lucared ai quali chiediamo: PRESENTATI AL NUMEROSO PUBBLICO: MaverickOne- Ciao a tutti sono MaverickOne, ho 40 anni mi sono assunto anche la responsabilità di dirigere questa squadra nata come avete detto voi dalle ceneri della Jaguar. Ho cominciato con molte gare nei campionati minori quando poi sono riuscito a mettere insieme un budget decente ho tentato la carta F1 prima nel campionato Open della Full Sim dove mi sono classificato quinto, poi l’anno scorso a bordo della Minardi, Team che ringrazio ancora moltissimo per l’opportunità datami e che ha permesso a loro e a me di toglierci delle piccole ma importanti soddisfazioni. Certo l’esperienza ha giocato parecchi scherzi ma come non ricordare i primi giri in Malesia condotti in quarta e quinta posizione per una frazione di gara, oppure il quarto posto di San Marino, o il fantastico tempo a Montecarlo considerate le scarse risorse a nostra disposizione? Comunque quest’anno vita nuova, nuovo Team con delle discrete potenzialita’ e nuova seconda guida che poi avra’ tutto il materiale tecnico per ben figurare cioè Lucared. Lucared- Sono un ragazzo a cui piacciono le simulazioni di formula1 nel loro aspetto, cioè la simulazione più fedele possibile. Ho corso con molti giochi di

guida on line e per ora mi diverto con f1ch. QUALI SONO LE VOSTRE ASPETTATIVE PER QUESTA NUOVA STAGIONE? MaverickOne- Quello sicuro è portate più punti possibili alla causa del team che ci permettera’ l’anno prossimo di portare ad un livello superiore il team io e Lucared ci proveremo con tutte le nostre forze. Lucared- Essendo la mia prima stagione in Major il mio obiettivo è fare più punti possibili e come sempre divertendomi fare al meglio il lavoro per il team. CHI TRA I PILOTI MAJOR INTRAVEDI COME PROBABILE PRETENDENTE AL TITOLO DI CAMPIONE E PERCHE’, E QUAL’E’ SECONDO IL TUO PUNTO DI VISTA IL LIVELLO DEGLI AVVERSARI? MaverickOne- Al momento è difficile dirlo, comunque i nomi sono sempre quelli The Belv, Fireblade, Maxc, DB, Jamaica ma comunque penso che le sorprese saranno molte a cominciare dalla toyota e poi speriamo di inserirci noi quando i circuiti ce lo permetteranno, comunque le potenze dei motori faranno la differenza oltre che l’affidabilita’ Team e pilota. Lucared- I piloti Major non li conosco bene, tranne quelli che l’anno scorso hanno fatto la Open League con me e per ciò che riguarda loro sono dei piloti

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

velocissimi; gli altri, anche se non li conoscono, non sono da meno. CONSIDERATE LE NUMEROSE NOVITA’ TECNICHE ED ORGANIZZATIVE DEL CAMPIONATO IN CORSO DAI UN GIUDIZIO AGLI ORGANIZZATORI DEL CIRCUS VALUTANDONE TUTTI GLI ASPETTI FINO AD ORA MOSTRATI? MaverickOne- Ma che dire, la finanza mondiale è in recessione, le nuove politiche contro la pubblicità del tabacco stanno allontanando tanti sponsor e quindi questo inverno i team oltre che sui tavoli da disegno dove hanno cercato la vettura migliore hanno dovuto cercare il partner migliore per questa avventura, poi ci aggiungiamo il nuovo regolamento tecnico che aggiorna le vetture al 2004e la situazione non si annunciava rosea. Ma devo dire che fino ad ora tutta l’organizzazione procede in modo fantastico, certo i problemini ci sono e ci saranno, ma vista l’indiscussa passione offerta dallo Staff il risultato sarà ottimo. Lucared- Per gli organizzatori c’è poco da dire perché sono molto professionali e sempre disponibili nei confronti di noi piloti per qualsiasi problema; stanno facendo un lavoro fantastico. Non posso far altro che dir loro grazie di cuore. Grazie Mav e grazie Lucared, scusateci ma non dobbiamo lasciarci sfuggire il collaudatore 127


del team BAR unico rappresentante della squadra tutta in riunione tecnica a causa dei vari problemi al motore Honda evidenziati in queste prime prove, allora Blast70 presentati: PRESENTATI AL NUMEROSO PUBBLICO: Blast70- Ciao, mi chiamo Blast70 ho 34 anni, faccio parte del Raptor Racing Team che corre nella categoria Driver e sono il collaudatore del Team Bar in Major. Ho iniziato a correre online nel 2003 partecipando alla fase finale della Open, per poi proseguire fino a questa stagione. La mia prima vittoria eʹ arrivata a Imola 2004 nel primo GP della Winter Cup, pensavo non arrivasse mai il primo gradino del podio, ma dopo tanto sudore ci sono riuscito. Mi attraggono molto le corse reali in tutte le varianti possibili, senza distinzione di mezzi e motori. Se un giorni mi dovessero domandare ʺCosa ti piace di più delle corse onlineʺ la mia risposta sarebbe, ʺHai presente quel formicolio allo stomaco quando sei sullʹorlo di un precipizio ʺ ecco durante le nostre corse io lo provo sempre, a volte eʹ difficile da governare ma eʹ una sensazione incredibile.Adrenalina a 1000 , batticuore al semaforo , sono le gioie che non credevo un simulatore potesse darmi. Il sogno sarebbe quello di andare in pista a provare ma al momento

ho qualche impedimento domestico. QUALI SONO LE VOSTRE ASPETTATIVE PER QUESTA NUOVA STAGIONE? Blast70- Vincere il campionato Driver e riuscire a terminare qualche gara nel campionato Major . Purtroppo ci sono piloti fortissimi e non saranno molto dʹaccordo con me anzi se guardiamo la mia prima gara ...behh.... non credo di arrivare nemmeno fra i primi tre peroʹ ci proviamo e vediamo quel che butta . Saraʹ molto importante essere regolari senza battute dʹarresto e magari tirare fuori qualche giro buono per partire davanti. Le ultime gara a cui ho partecipato hanno dimostrato che il livello dei miei colleghi eʹ aumentato esponenzialmente, ormai lʹerrore non si recupera piuʹ e si battaglia sul filo dei decimi. CHI TRA I PILOTI MAJOR INTRAVEDI COME PROBABILE PRETENDENTE AL TITOLO DI CAMPIONE E PERCHE’, E QUAL’E’ SECONDO IL TUO PUNTO DI VISTA IL LIVELLO DEGLI AVVERSARI? Blast70- Non li conosco tutti ,peroʹ ci sono dei bei piedoni. Io penso che possa essere lʹanno di chi a voglia di emergere ed ha tanta esperienza sia ludica che reale per me Tyler potrebbe arrivare molto avanti. il mio pronostito eʹ: Grigo – Jamaica Tyler AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

CONSIDERATE LE NUMEROSE NOVITA’ TECNICHE ED ORGANIZZATIVE DEL CAMPIONATO IN CORSO DAI UN GIUDIZIO AGLI ORGANIZZATORI DEL CIRCUS VALUTANDONE TUTTI GLI ASPETTI FINO AD ORA MOSTRATI? Blast70- Conosco le persone e il lavoraccio che stanno facendo, non riesco a trovare un aggettivo che possa spiegare quanta gratitudine e rispetto vorrei esprimere, vi faccio solo un invito, continuate cosi e spero per voi che domani qualcuno vi potraʹ gratificare meglio di quello che possano essere le mie parole. Le novitaʹ tecniche sono state molte e coraggiose, però cʹera bisogno di una sventagliata di aria fresca. Le tre categorie gli aiuti permessi nella Open, sono tutte cose che mi piacciono moltissimo e penso che i frutti di tutto questo ,anche se ci sono già, arriveranno più avanti. Un grazie anche a Blast70 augurandogli un ottimo campionato speriamo che le cose migliorino in BAR in modo che i piloti titolare abbiamo tempo da dedicare anche ai media, ma eccoci in Renault ed ad accoglierci troviamo DB seconda guida del team, seconda guida per modo di dire considerata l’enorme esperienza maturata negli anni de questo pilota. PRESENTATI AL NUMEROSO PUBBLICO: DB- Ciao ragazzi, anche quest’anno al lavoro, sono ʺDBʺ 128


conosciuto anche come ʺIl Professoreʺ titolo consegnato in mano direttamente dal mitico Madmax e confermato in pratica dal non meno mitico Eternum, passione esarcebata per i simulatori a ruote scoperte, amante del lavoro ben fatto e la serietá in pista. Studioso delle strategie di gara fino allʹ ultimo dettaglio. Attualmente é secondo pilota del team Renault F1. QUALI SONO LE VOSTRE ASPETTATIVE PER QUESTA NUOVA STAGIONE? DB- Per il Campionato? Troppo presto ancora, purtroppo ci manca motore, gradirei più potenza in alto e i tecnici ci stanno lavorando speriamo. Punti, tanti punti e chissá se in qualche GP la spuntiamo. CHI TRA I PILOTI MAJOR INTRAVEDI COME PROBABILE PRETENDENTE AL TITOLO DI CAMPIONE E PERCHE’, E QUAL’E’ SECONDO IL TUO PUNTO DI VISTA IL LIVELLO DEGLI AVVERSARI? DB- The_Belv per primis, é il campione in carica e solo quello va valutato oltre a le sua abilitá in pista. JediKnight come rivale e probabilmente anche Fireblade. In seconda linea vedo a pari armi Grigo, Petros e MaxC, veloci assai, se si dimostrano costanti in pista saranno da temere. Come terza linea di outsiders vedo Juha Lanzonen, Stefano e Jamaica sound, un incognita a gare al 100% ma il potenziale umano c’è.

CONSIDERATE LE NUMEROSE NOVITA’ TECNICHE ED ORGANIZZATIVE DEL CAMPIONATO IN CORSO DAI UN GIUDIZIO AGLI ORGANIZZATORI DEL CIRCUS VALUTANDONE TUTTI GLI ASPETTI FINO AD ORA MOSTRATI? DB- Ottimo lavoro, sapendo perfettamente ció che significa essere Staff (tante ore di dedicazione, mille problemi da risolvere) e considerando che questa stagione cʹé un altra lega nel nostro Campionato si deve per forza valutare positivamente. Benissimo allora grazie professore per quanto concesso e speriamo di raccontare delle ottime performance del team Renault ed eccoci in toyota dove troviamo un sorridente Juha lanzonen che ha di che sorridere, infatti a bordo della sua Toyota ha strabiliato tutti con una prestazione a dir poco eccezionale, sentiamolo. PRESENTATI AL NUMEROSO PUBBLICO: Juha- Beh in molti credo mi conosceranno, iniziai a correre nel campionato nel 2002, prima in Open League e poi in Major League per qualche gara, quellʹanno feci 2 pole e un terzo posto in spagna, ero veloce ma non molto affidabile; ora le cose sono cambiate nettamente. Lʹanno scorso in Open league ho ricominciato a capire i meccanismi, successivamente il mio fantastico passaggio alla Toyota purtroppo sfrozando molto la meccanica ho avuto due AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

cedimenti ai freni in Canada e a Monza che hanno compromesso molto la mia classifica, per il resto ho ottenuto un magro 5 posto a Indianapolis. Questʹanno spero di riscattarmi, ho scoperto nuove regolazioni, che finalmente mi danno la possibilità di esprimermi al meglio, credo che il miglior tempo di questa mattina, in Australia, la prima gara del 2005, abbia chiarito che finalmente ho capito tutti i meccanismi, spero in una bella partenza, e di non essere coinvolto in un incidente. QUALI SONO LE VOSTRE ASPETTATIVE PER QUESTA NUOVA STAGIONE? Juha- Ho grandi aspettative per il 2005, oltre alla velocità che ho dimostrato a bordo della mia Toyota, voglio anche dimostrare la mia costanza, voglio dimostrare di essere un martello in gara. Il campionato invernale, che ho corso senza mai usare il controllo trazione, a dispetto degli altri, mi ha forgiato molto come stile di guida e regolazioni tecniche. non vedo lʹora di arrivare allʹ A1 ring e poi ancora a Imola, per dimostrare a tutti e prima ancora a me stesso, le mie doti CHI TRA I PILOTI MAJOR INTRAVEDI COME PROBABILE PRETENDENTE AL TITOLO DI CAMPIONE E PERCHE’, E QUAL’E’ SECONDO IL TUO PUNTO DI VISTA IL LIVELLO DEGLI AVVERSARI? 129


Juha- Bhe se si guardasse alla stagione scorsa, non si potrebbe che dire The Belv! Eʹ assolutamente veloce e costante, e anche se in Australia è sembrato appannato, credo proprio che il 75% di possibilità di vittoria contro il resto di noi piloti, le ha lui. Poi come non mettere JediKnight e Grigo? forse gli manca un pò di costanza per diventare campioni, ma sono assolutamente veloci, come Petros e il duo Ferrari. Ma vi assicuro che le soprese più grandi, se avremo costanza, ve le daremo io e Jamaica Sound! Non so molto sul livello di presenza di Jamaica, ma come ha gia dimostrato in poco tempo fa tempi ottimi anche con una macchina non velocissima. Poi ci sono io.... anche se sono un Outsider con la Toyota, credo finalmente di aver capito, anche se forse in cuor mio lʹho sempre saputo, cosa fare per fare andare rapida la macchina senza perdere in deportanza. a livello di guida non credo di dover sentirmi secondo a nessuno. Comunque sia preferisco che siano i fatti a parlare, più che la mia linguaccia. CONSIDERATE LE NUMEROSE NOVITA’ TECNICHE ED ORGANIZZATIVE DEL CAMPIONATO IN CORSO DAI UN GIUDIZIO AGLI ORGANIZZATORI DEL CIRCUS VALUTANDONE TUTTI GLI ASPETTI FINO AD ORA MOSTRATI?

Juha- Gli organizzatori, si sono dimostrati instancabili e insostituibili. I nuovi arrivi poi hanno migliorato ancora di più la situazione. Il campionato in se, gli aggiornamenti continui e il regolamento studiato su ogni suo punto meticolosamente, rappresentano prerogative di un campionato Leader. A mio parare, anche se non mi riguarda, vieterei abs alla open e tc alla, ma per il resto è tutto fantastico. Grazie tante Juha e guarda con il tuo ottimismo hai convinto anche noi, sono certo che in giappone sono molto contenti della carica che stai trasmettendo a tutti i componenti del team; la positività ha sempre ripagato. Ed eccoci presso il box mitico della Williams, dove prima di entrare dobbiamo esser certi che il buon Patrik Head non sia nei paraggi, odia che durante le fasi tecniche di una conclusione prove qualcuno disturbi, non lo vediamo e quindi ci avviciniamo a Grigo pilota che fà coppia con Petros. PRESENTATI AL NUMEROSO PUBBLICO: Petros- Mi chiamo Petros e sono nato a Preveza Grecia il 21-7-75. Al momento studio archittetura a Napoli. Corro online da sette anni e in Fullsim da quattro. Sogno della vita? guidare una F1 reale.:) QUALI SONO LE VOSTRE ASPETTATIVE PER QUESTA NUOVA STAGIONE?

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Petros- Come sempre vincere il campionato!!! CHI TRA I PILOTI MAJOR INTRAVEDI COME PROBABILE PRETENDENTE AL TITOLO DI CAMPIONE E PERCHE’, E QUAL’E’ SECONDO IL TUO PUNTO DI VISTA IL LIVELLO DEGLI AVVERSARI? Petros- Non posso parlare ancora per i nuovi arrivati perchè abbiamo corso insieme solo in test invernali. Per quanto riguarda gli ʺanzianiʺ hanno buone probabilità l’eterno campione Vittorio ʺFirebladeʺ, Fausto ʺTheBelvʺ ed Omar ʺ CONSIDERATE LE NUMEROSE NOVITA’ TECNICHE ED ORGANIZZATIVE DEL CAMPIONATO IN CORSO DAI UN GIUDIZIO AGLI ORGANIZZATORI DEL CIRCUS VALUTANDONE TUTTI GLI ASPETTI FINO AD ORA MOSTRATI? Petros- A me mi interessa vedere buona volontà ed impegno serio e questo fino adesso lo vedo.Ma siamo ancora allʹinizio e non voglio giudicare male. Aspetterò ancora un pò per vedere i risultati e lʹefficienza delle novità applicate al campionato.

GP AUSTRIA OPEN Ragazzi il sole dell’Austria ci regala un’altra gara ricca di emozioni, tra sorpassi rimonte ed episodi sotto investigazione.

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Il cortissimo circuito dell’A1Ring permette le grandi rimonte, soprattutto quando quelli davanti sbagliano un po’ troppo, e infatti così è stato. Konch e Veon, veri protagonisti del GP, costretti a partire dal fondo riescono a entusiasmare il pubblico con due grandi rimonte. Voto 10 per Konch, questa volta è lui che approfitta di qualche errore davanti per chiudere al comando il GP proprio agli ultimi giri.

alla prima curva imposta il pilota automatico e arriva a destinazione podio! Terzo finale e voto 8 per lui……robot!!!! Questo GP verrà anche ricordato per il balletto innescato da un folto gruppo di piloti a pochi giri dalla partenza…roba da cineteca, ma speriamo in futuro di non vedere episodi del genere. Complimenti a tutti ragazzi…..arrivederci ad Imola! CONFERENZA STAMPA FINE GARA. INTERVISTA DOPOGARA AL PRIMO CLASSIFICATO KONCH. 1) Ti sei trovato nelle ultime posizioni in griglia in qualifica per problemi di connessione, come ci si sente in quei momenti?

Da Veon a Konch che ora si merita lui il soprannome di……avvoltoio!!! Nei GP non si è sicuri di aver vinto fino alla bandiera a scacchi……comunque voto 10 anche per il grandissimo Veon che rimane bloccato da un doppiato e lascia il primo posto al carnivoro sopra citato……………iellato!!! Chi fermerà lo “svizzero” Fabracher??? Ormai lo conosciamo così, questa volta ha dovuto pure rimontare dal fondo, dopo essersi ritrovato ultimo

Purtroppo non è la prima volta che mi capita, lʹarrabbiatura non ʺsaleʺ subito, hai 4-5 secondi di sorpresa mista a quiete, poi ti incavoli abbastanza, cʹè una latenza fra la disconnessione e lʹarrabbiatura, un poʹ come quando di notte ti alzi dal letto e sbatti un piede contro un mobile cʹè un intervallo prima di sentire il dolore che ti da tutto il tempo di renderti conto che farà male. Fa rabbia perchè pensi di aver buttato una gara e tutto il lavoro fatto fino a quel momento per trovare un assetto. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Fa ancora più rabbia perchè non dipende da te. Non parti ultimo perchè hai sbagliato assetto o fatto errori in qualifica, parti ultimo perchè è saltata la connessione, una cosa su cui purtroppo non hai nessun controllo, a meno che tu non sia il figlio di Tronchetti Provera... Poi però insieme alla rabbia ti senti completamente scarico da ogni pressione perchè sai che non hai più nulla da perdere, parti ultimo, peggio di così non può andare, in gara puoi solo guadagnare qualcosa! 2)ti aspettavi una rimonta così facile o prevedevi un altro tipo di gara? Mi aspettavo di finire a centro gruppo, speravo al massimo di portare a casa qualche punto. Di solito quando parti molto indietro il rischio di restare bloccato nel traffico o, peggio, in qualche incidente è molto alto. Comunque è stata una gara tuttʹaltro che facile. Alla partenza avevo recuperato qualche posizione, poi alla prima curva ho deciso di essere molto cauto, e infatti mi sono ritrovato davanti 2 macchine in testacoda e ho riperso un paio di posizioni, alla 3a curva invece pensavo che fosse veramente finita perchè sono stato toccato da una toyota arrivata leggermente lunga e ho riperso altre posizioni. Di li ho iniziato a recuperare senza pormi degli obiettivi, solo cercando di essere il più veloce possibile. Sono stato aiutato da un incidente qualche giro dopo che mi ha fatto guadagnare qualche posizione, poi ho ingaggiato due duelli bellissimi e divertentissimi con Dfp-Client e Rayon92 a cui devo fare i 131


complimenti per la correttezza nel duello nonostante non abbiano mollato la presa neanche per unʹistante. Dopodichè, allʹingresso per il pit stop occupavo la terza posizione a circa 9 secondi da Veon. Per me era già un risultato oltre le più rosee previsioni, alla fine del balletto dei pit-stop però mi sono trovato in seconda posizione a circa 5 secondi da Veon. Qualche giro dopo un contatto con una Toyota doppiata mi aveva fatto abbandonare tutte le piccole speranze di riprenderlo, nonostante fosse molto veloce. Alla fine invece....si sa le corse, anche quelle virtuali, finiscono solo sotto la bandiera a scacchi. 3) negli ultimi giri veon commetteva qualche errorino di troppo, cosa ti passava in testa in quei momenti? Niente di particolare, a circa 4 giri dalla fine lʹho visto perdere circa 4 secondi, ho cercato di non pensare che senza i 2 intoppi con le Toyota forse avrei potuto tentare un attacco, diciamo che viste le condizioni di partenza e il ritmo veloce e costante di Veon il secondo posto era oro per me. 4)e allʹultimo giro? Quando ho visto che mi avvicinavo a Veon molto rapidamente e che in alto a sinistra sul mio monitor era comparsa la bandierina gialla non riuscivo a crederci. Ho rivisto il replay e sono veramente passato nellʹunico spazio libero fra la McLaren di Veon ferma e una toyota che rientrava in pista dalla via di fuga. Una volta in testa ho ʺbloccatoʺ il cervello, ho cercato di non pensare a nulla e sgombrare la mente da

preoccupazioni e precoci euforie. Ho guidato in maniera normale come se stessi girando in pista da solo (beh diciamo che ho tentato di pensare come ʺseʺ fossi da solo), non ho rallentato per controllare la posizione senza fare errori, se inizi a girare col terrore di sbagliare o con la testa piena di pensieri sulla vittoria che si avvicina cala la concentrazione e aumenta la possibilità di fare un erroraccio. Pensavo anche come poteva sentirsi Veon e che in fondo vincere una gara così non è la stessa cosa che vincerla dopo un bel duello o dopo aver dimostrato di essere veramente il più veloce in pista. Però mi veniva in mente anche una frase riportata sul manuale di indycar racing 2 (o GPL? non ricordo bene) che più o meno diceva ʺper vincere una gara non importa quanti giri sei in testa, ma qualeʺ 5) chi sono i piloti piuʹ veloci secondo te e cosa ti aspetti dal proseguo del campionato? Posso dirti quello che si ʺvedeʺ dai tempi ottenuti in pista, per capire chi è veramente più bravo e più veloce bisognerebbe analizzarne lo stile di guida. Finʹora Veon è stato veramente molto veloce, oggi per velocità sul giro doveva essere lui il vincitore. Fabracher è molto continuo, molto razionale, raccoglie punti ed è sempre li pronto a giocarsela. Anche Dfp è veloce, se in malesia non fosse stato così sfortunato adesso sarebbe fra le prime posizioni in classifica, sono sicuro che più in la dirà sicuramente la sua. Anche Therapy, Rayon92, Salo hanno fatto registrare tempi interessanti AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

nelle qualifiche di questi primi GP, sono stati un poʹ sfortunati in gara, vedremo. La lotta per il campionato finʹora mi sembra molto aperta, inoltre il campionato è lunghissimo. A inizio stagione mi ero prefissato solo di raggiungere qualche podio e magari vincere qualche gara. In tutta sincerità non mi aspettavo un inizio di campionato così buono, i miei obiettivi per ora restano quelli che mi ero prefissato, al campionato non ci penso è anche un modo per avere meno pressione. Certo se questʹestate mi trovassi ancora in posizioni di vertice comincerei a fare qualche pensierino in chiave campionato. 6)prossima gara imola, cosa ti aspetti? Imola è un circuito che mi piace, specialmente le violente frenate che lo caratterizzano e le curve delle acque minerali. Venerdì prossimo al ritorno dallʹuniversità inizierò a lavorare sullʹassetto. Come ho detto sopra non mi aspetto nulla. Spero in un podio, ma non me lo aspetto, se ti aspetti qualcosa e poi non arriva è una delusione in più, così invece... INTERVISTA DOPOGARA AL SECONDO CLASSIFICATO VEON. 1)Dopo il problema della qualificaa cosa ti aspettavi dalla gara? Ero molto dispiaciuto, però sono cose che capitano con internet. Partire dal fondo non è il massimo, soprattutto quando saresti riuscito a girare 3 decimi più veloce della Pole. Poi si rischiano incidenti alla prima curva e bisogna spingere tantissimo per 132


recuperare. Però ero convinto di avere un buon passo in gara e questo mi ha dato la forza e la motivazione per gareggiare al massimo delle mie capacità. 2)Eri velocissimo al primo stint, come hai affrontato i primi giri?

Certamente non mi aspettavo di avere la stessa strategia di Salo. Dopo il Pit stop ho aspettato il momento buono per superare. Salo ha sbagliato una curva e io a quel punto lo passato senza problemi. Avevo carburante per arrivare in fondo e ho guidato

6)Chi sono secondo te i pretendenti al titolo? Dopo tre gare è difficile dire chi siano i più forti, però da quello che si è visto saranno: Therapy e Fabracher. 7)Prossimo GP Imola, cosa ti aspetti? Imola è il mio circuito preferito quindi mi aspetto una gara emozionante e non molto combattuta. I miei tempi sono ottimi e molto costanti quindi, se non ci saranno problemi tecnici ho molte probabilità di vincere. Veon. INTERVISTA DOPOGARA AL TERZO CLASSIFICATO FABRACHER. 1)Come è andata la qualifica non stante l’assenza di alcuni BIG?

Partendo dal fondo ho dovuto cambiare la mia strategia, sono partito abbastanza leggero per poter spingere al massimo e recuperare posizioni. Mi ha sicuramente aiutato il Set up della macchina, preparato apposta per avere velocità di punta molto elevate e quindi riuscire a superare. Sono passato indenne alla prima curva e dopo ho sorpassato alcune vetture. Avendo pista abbastanza libera ho potuto spingere al massimo, e ci sono riuscito. 3)Dopo aver recuperato su SALO come hai impostato la gara da li alla fine?

senza esagerare. 4)Cosa è andato storto agli ultimi giri?nervosismo o cosa? Negli ultimi giri non c’erano particolari problemi, però alla prima curva ho sentito il posteriore che andava via, quindi ho controsterzato però sono andato in testacoda. Ero ancora primo e al penultimo giro una Toyota è andata in testacoda davanti a me e per evitarla sono andato fuori pista. 5)Come ci si sente a perdere la gara allʹultimo giro? Male, molto male, arrabbiati ma ancora più motivati per le gare dopo. AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Eʹ andata più o meno come mi aspettavo,sapevo di non essere il più veloce,certo che se fossero stati tutti presenti probabilmente sarei partito dalla quarta o quinta posizione ma non è un problema per me perchè non faccio della estrema velocità la mia peculiarità ma piuttosto cerco di essere regolare,anche se non sempre ci riesco

2)Cosa è successo alla prima curva? Ho cercato di mantenermi vicino a Salo per riuscire a fare la prima curva senza perdere posizioni ma ero troppo vicino e alla frenata ho rischiato di tamponarlo e per evitarlo sono andato un poʹ fuori e probabilmete frenare con due ruote fuori dalla pista.....non è molto saggio...mi sono girato ma per fortuna non ho toccato nulla e 133


nessuno; poi ho aspettato che sfilassero tutti e con qualche problema ho messo la retro e sono ripartito.....manovra tra lʹaltro lentissima... 3)Come hai affrontato la gara da li in poi? Ho cominciato con il mettermi il cuore in pace e pensando che ormai i giochi per me erano fatti,al massimo pensavo di poter arrivare tra i primi 10,poi giro dopo giro ho trovato vari incidenti che mi hanno aperto la strada e ridato fiducia, ho cominciato a crederci e al 17/18 giro ero primo....dovevo però ancora fare la sosta ai box. Quando esco dal pit stop mi ritrovo quinto ma vedo che chi è davanti a me,a circa 6 secondi,non ha un passo irresistibile ed infatti dopo pochissimi giri raggiungo il 3 e 4; uno dei due si gira da solo,mi pare,e allora rimango dietro a Salo che in quel momento era terzo e a 6 giri dalla fine commette un errore pure lui e si gira nel mezzo di una curva, lo sfioro...e sono terzo...guardo chi è secondo e la distanza....sono circa 6 secondi...ma mancano solo 5 o 6 giri.....provo a tirare un paio di giri ma poi preferisco non rischiare...tanto non lʹavrei mai preso....troppo poco tempo mi rimaneva 4)Hai puntato come al solito sulla regolarità. Credi che premierà questa tattica anche nelle prossime gare? Purtroppo la mia non è una tattica...eheheh...io guido così...non sono velocissimo ma (credo) abbastanza regolare.....a volte mi stupisco veramente di come facciano certi piloti ad ottenere tempi

così.....tipo 1.05 bassissimo in Austria...io vi garantisco che ho girato per circa 16 ore per settare i miei setup ma il mio record (che non sono mai più riuscito ed eguagliare) era 1.05.560 ed ero veramente al limite delle mie capacità... 5)Chi sono secondo te i pretendenti al titolo? Direi che Konch per quello che ha fatto vedere finʹora mi sembra il favorito in assoluto poi metterei pari DFP - VEON e,se trova un poʹ di regolarità,direi che anche SALO è uno piuttosto forte.....io non mi metto tra i pretendenti....a me basta correre...eheheheheh 6)Prossimo GP Imola, cosa ti aspetti? Nulla di particolare,ogni gara in questo campionato fa storia a sè,tantʹè che devo ancora farci un giro e non ho ovviamente fatto nessun setup....mi metterò al ʺlavoroʺ probabilmente solo la prossima settimana.

Fabracher.

La Malesia ha un nuovo padrone: “BlasTo70!” Nella seconda gara stagionale BlasTo70 strappa un Pole position veramente notevole, precedendo il compagno di squadra Hamtak che si trova di soli 46 millesimi davanti a SuperCek e Max3D (vincitore in Australia). La gara parte regolarmente senza incidenti rilevanti se non il testacoda di Max3D alla prima curva che crea un pò di scompiglio a metà gruppo, AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

con Blasto che prende il largo davanti a Juice e Hamtak. Ma i primi 5 giri vedono una serie di contatti che vedono cambiare continuamente le posizioni dietro il leader della corsa che se ne va indisturbato, posizioni che si stabilizzano dopo 5 o 6 giri con Max3D e Juice che rimontano fino al 2 e 3 posto e con alle spalle Hamtak, che pressa per tutta la gara Juice a 1-2 secondi di distanza, che a sua volta mantiene lo steso distacco da Max3d. Posizioni immutate fino a 5 giri dalla fine, dove Juice regala il 3 posto ad Hamtak con un piccolo lungo…… Vediamo ora i commenti in conferenza stampa dei primi 3 classificati. Basto : In qualifica mi sentivo in forma, le condizioni sembrano ideali e come spesso mi succede faccio subito il giro buono senza poi migliorarmi, ma sono ovviamente molto soddisfatto. In gara parto bene davanti al mio compagno di squadra Hamtak, ci comportiamo bene e non ci ostacoliamo, poi inizio a martellare sui miei tempi riservandomi qualche cosa per sicurezza in qualche punto della pista, e anche con qualche errorino di troppo, completo bene il primo stint restando sempre al comando e da li in poi cerco di stare tranquillo gestendo il vantaggio fino alla fine. Max3D: Prove travagliate, dove non riesco ad avvicinarmi al mio best ma ottengo lo stesso la quarta piazza. La gara parte tutta in rimonta a causa di un testacoda alla prima curva e per colpa di troppa Lag alcuni contatti danneggiano qualcosa sulla mia 134


macchina (una sospensione o l’ala anteriore) che mi impediscono di tenere il mio ritmo. Con il passare di giri, la situazione migliora perchè imparo a capire le reazioni della macchina che mi dava un sacco di problemi, e fortunatamente Juice dietro di me non riesce ad approfittarne. Tutto sommato mi sono divertito molto anche se il GP è stato massacrante. Hamtak: In qualifica ho fatto un buon giro, anche se lontano dal mio personal best, che mi ha portato alle spalle del poleman Basto. In partenza sono rimasto 2° come da griglia, ma nei primissimi giri ho pizzicato un

cordolo e mi sono girato, passando in 5 posizione. Recuperato il quarto posto ho dovuto lottare tutta la gara con un certo Juice, che mi pappava 3 secondi ad ogni pit stop. Andavamo praticamente uguali, quindi potevo solo mettergli pressione ma non ero in grado di attaccarti. poi verso la fine il suo piccolo errore mi ha consegnato il terzo posto che mi lascia soddisfatto, visto che il campionato è lungo. CTDP Intervista By Mike Crick 1) Quanta ricerca avete fatto per questo Mod in modo che tutte le informazioni sulle piste e sulle macchine siano esatte? AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

Come team cerchiamo il dettaglio e terminiamo con il miglior risultato possibile, quindi non si può sbagliare affermando che siamo tutti molto selettivi. Ovviamente la ricerca varia secondo i vari compiti di ognuno, ma generalmente abbiamo perso il conto delle tante ore che abbiamo speso navigando e sfogliando libri e guardando foto. Per esempio Daniel (cioè Dahie) che aveva il compito di disegnare (BAR, Williams, Jaguar e Minerdi) ha raccolto dati per circa 90BM. Per quanto riguarda le piste abbiamo semplicemente usato qualche mappa, quando possibile di alta qualità, e poi doveva solo guardare qualche video delle corse reali per vedere alcuni

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dettagli come i margini, le elevazioni ecc…

hanno lavorato a modifiche e grafiche aggiuntive…

2) Più o meno quante persone hanno lavorato su ogni sezione del mod?

3) Come avete potuto fare in modo che altri mod CTDP vi fossero di aiuto nel raggiungere un tale livello di accuratezza?

Dipende dalla sezione a cui ci riferiamo. Per i modelli e per la verniciatura della macchine, per esempio, c’erano dalle 4 alle 6 persone. Il problema principale per noi è stato trovare tempo libero poiché la maggior parte di noi studia ancora e quindi ci sono stati periodi in cui neanche una persona riusciva a trovare il tempo necessario per lavorare al modello/verniciatura di una macchina.

Un’altra parte del mod che ha portato via molto tempo è stata, senza dubbio, la realizzazione delle piste. Bahrain, dalla bozza alla versione finale, ci ha portato via oltre un anno (e ancora non è completa al 100% ma quasi). Il motivo principale per tutto questo tempo di lavorazione è che avevamo solo una persona (prozac) che ci lavorava e prozac è il tipo di persona a cui piace portare alla perfezione millimetrica i progetti a cui lavora. Riassumento il tutto, sul Mod-2004 avevamo 4 addetti ai modelli (Marco Büttner, Andreas Neidhardt, Menno Meeldijk e Jiang Zheng), 4 addetti a disegnare le macchine (Daniel Senff, Jiang Zheng, Joerg Strombach e Kunal Jain), 3 designer per i caschi (Jay Ekkel, Omar al Shaikly e Andy Marson) e 2 disegnatori delle piste che hanno lavorato anche sui menu (Matthew Scerri e Debashish Ramachandran) e altre persone che

I mod precedenti aiutano sempre in un modo o nell’altro. Tendiamo a usare sempre i mod precedenti come base per i nostri mod successivi. Qualcuno lo critica ma il pensiero principale dietro questo modo di procedere è che se usiamo il mod precedente come base, il nostro prossimo mod sarà migliore. La prima cosa che abbiamo fatto per il mod 2004 (e anche per il mod 1998 per certi versi) per esempio (cosa fatta anche per il mod 2005) è stata di dare un’occhiata al mod precedente alla ricerca di quelle aree che si potevano fare meglio. Questo aiuta a migliorare il mod successivo e renderlo migliore del precedente. 4) Pensate che questo mod mantenga gli standard degli altri vostri mod? Sicuramente. Direi anche che ha elevato gli standard dei mod precedenti. Date un’occhiata ai mod 2003 e 2004. 2003 praticamente era un mod con macchine di elevata qualità e poche modifiche minori. Ma per il mod 2004 siamo riusciti anche a inserire oggetti e caratteristiche nuove. Una di queste I margini con l’effetto movimento. Fu la prima volta che una cosa del genere è stata usata in un mod di F1. Altre nuove caratteristiche erano i menu e i caschi in 3D. 5) Avete avuto aiuto ufficiale da parte di persone coinvolte nel mondo della F1? AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

No. E’ molto difficile fare in modo che persone coinvolte in questo sport vi aiutino. 6) Ci sono stati problemi seri durante la realizzazione? Naturalmente. Ci sono sempre problemi quando si sperimenta e si inseriscono cose nuove in un motore di gioco. Ma in un modo o nell’altro abbiamo sempre trovato la soluzione. Il problema principale è stato il tempo. Abbiamo tutti la nostra vita personale al di fuori della scena del modding e ci sono stati periodi in cui il progresso del mod era molto lento e alcune persone hanno dovuto lasciare il progetto per assoluta mancanza di tempo. Fortunatamente siamo sempre riusciti a rientrare nei tempi e terminare il mod nelle date previste. 7) Cosa ve ne pare del prodotto finale? Siamo tutti soddisfatti del risultato finale. Riteniamo che il nostro obiettivo sia di fornire alle persone qualcosa di migliore di ciò che hanno avuto in passato da parte nostra, in particolare dopo avere visto un incremento di interesse verso I nostri mod dopo la loro release. Ci sono alcune disfunzioni che faremo in modo non si ripetano in futuro ma, dopo mesi e mesi di lavoro siamo davvero felici di vedere che le persone si divertono con i mod CTDP. 8) Puoi darci qualche informazione sui vostri prossimi progetti? Ebbene, i mod 1998 e 2004 sono entrambi stati rilasciati, quindi ora la nostra attenzione principale si sposta sul mod 2005 su cui stiamo già 136


lavorando alacremente. Stiamo anche lavorando per terminare il mod 1994 e per rilasciare qualche nuova pista. Per informazioni aggiornate potete controllare alcuni siti che riguardano F1C e i forum in cui siamo sempre lieti di apprendere ciò che la gente pensa del nostro lavoro, e per render e immagini delle macchine, piste e altre cose potete dare un’occhiata al nostro sito http://ctdp.racingmag.de

1976 MOD By Vince Moyet for CREW I was eleven; on the TV screen, a guy with a blue helmet in a gorgeous black and gold racing car was pushing like hell, and won , on the so spectacular Monaco track. Since then I was definitely addicted to F1 racing. Much later. Weʹre in early 2004, and somewhere in my hard drive lies a 3D model of a 1974 McLaren M23. It didnt take long before me and my team mate Slayer both agreed that the cars weʹd like to drive the most would be those of the 1974 and 1975 seasons. Passion was then leading us; we decided we would bring back our heroes to life, because F1C was allowing us to at last... We spent weeks to discuss the project, because our ambition was huge: we were likely to reproduce each car, each livery and each driver that entered a GP of each season and we wanted to be able to add any further vintage F1 season. We didnʹt even know if that would interest anybody in the sim racing community, but, by respect to the

memory of all those courageous drivers, many of which had lost their life in the ʹarenaʹ, the least we could do was simply doing our best to release such legendary machines. We had been working on setting a new higher standard for the cars, as our car part and track management system would allow us to bring the cars with dedicated aero and body configuration, as well as changes in liveries and drivers, so the mod was going to be a historic and accurate vintage F1 simulation. When we released a demo of the mod during the late winter, it seemed many people had been longing to see models of those cars and to be able to drive them...

AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

F1 1975 will be the first vintage F1 season addon released by CREW, for F1 Challenge 99-02, soon followed by the 1974 season which is already in progress, and more vintage F1s from other seasons as well. Modʹs highlights: -The mod will feature all the F1 cars that entered at least a GP in 1975, including Ferrari, McLaren, Brabham, Tyrrell, Lotus, Shadow, March, Hesketh... and every single small team as well.-all cars will appear (or not) on each track with the right livery and/or driver change, according to each trackʹs entry list.the cars show up with specific wings and dedicated gear box, chassis and aero setting ranges, depending on track configuration. Players will then 137


but youʹll be able to re-write History struggling against Niki Lauda, Emerson Fittipaldi, carlos Reutemann, Ronnie Peterson, and all the others...

have to fine tune their cars according to their driving style as usually.Highly detailed accurate car models and drivers: the cars have been faithfully modeled and painted in every single detail according to blueprints, photo and video documentation, appearing in different versions depending on the car development during the season. Each driver face within the helmet is mapped with a picture of the real driver. -The physics have been developed after long researches on old F1s technical characteristics and

accurately reproduce the behaviour of big slicks, steel brakes, 5 speed manual gear box...and have been tested through thousands of laps. Each car has specific physics and performances according to its particular technical and aerodynamic configuration, and the level of preparation achieved by its team; this will also affect the carʹs reliability, as closely as possible to the real ones. -The AI behaviour has been based on periodʹs actual laptimes and results, and on biographies of the drivers, so that the hierarchy is respected as well as each driverʹs style or aggressivity; AUTOSIMSPORT – Volume 1 – Number 4

The sounds are based on samples of the real engines, gear box and slick tyres and faithfully reproduce the roaring Cosworth or howling V12s.More realistic crashes and accidents: many car parts are detachable or accurately damageable (to reproduce aluminum chassis and plastic car bodies) to increase the realism of race incidents.-The mod allows to quickly add any F1 car from any year, with full compatibility with any other existing or addon car, thanks to a unique part name coding system. A ʹmod development kitʹ is available to teams or modders who would wish to work with us on adding new vintage F1 seasons. -The mod also enables special effects like car to car contact sparks, and all dashboards have analog dials. The 138


lapboard allows you access to your laptime, position, tyre and car state...The mod should feature the tracks in the actual 1975 layout, thanks to our partners the Standalone Mod Guys and to some teams that kindly lend us their tracks. But some of them might still be missing at the release, mainly Montjuich. Anderstorp, Mosport, Nivelles, Interlagos, Kyalami, Brands-Hatch, Silverstone, Watkins-Glen, the Nürburgring, the österreichring and Zandvoort will

come in the 1975 version (that is ʹchicanelessʹ most of the times).-You will find some extra cars shipping with the mod, as an appetizer of future releases; thatʹll be a surprise! -Realistic cockpits for each car will help you find yourself back in the mid seventies -We do apologize, but we havent been able to include the smell of hot tyres and oil...neither to animate the driverʹs arm so he shifts gear, due to

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the original game. The 1975 season should be available during next summer. It is obviously dedicated to the heroes of our childhood, and we hope, will bring you back into the ambiance of F1 racing in the good old 70s when those drivers would play their life at each GP, drifting on legendary tracks. We hope youʹll enjoy. Pic per nessuna ragione – Jerez!

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AutoSimSport Magazine - Volume 1, Issue 4