Archive for the ‘New Build’ Category

Racing Rivals v1.2.2 released

Friday, August 5th, 2011

An updated version of Racing Rivals was released today featuring support for the latest version of the iRacing membersite (2011 Season 3 build).

The update is required in order to support the latest implementation of the iRacing friend/studied lists feature. Download the latest version 1.2.2 of Racing Rivals here.

I am also working on the feature list for the next major version of Racing Rivals which will include a wider variety of graphs and statistics reporting, along with bugfixes and sought after improvements. Look for that release later this year.

Finally, Racing Rivals is the product of hundreds of hours of development and maintenance, and is provided completely free of charge to the iRacing community. If you have found Racing Rivals useful, please consider donating to assist continued development – thanks!

Early details on the season 2 build

Friday, April 15th, 2011

It’s that time of year again when information starts to trickle out from iRacing about the upcoming features in the next build. Deploying some time before the end of April, the season 2 2011 build of iRacing is slated to mark the dawn of the highly anticipated new tyre model!

No doubt a highly complex piece of engineering to integrate into the existing simulation, the new tyre model looks to be included in the next car in the iRacing fleet – the Nationwide COT. The NTM will also be merged into one of the road cars (exact car TBA).

In other news the build will likely include :

  • Membersite awards – iRacing’s reward system which will have similarities to Xbox achievements. Set to be 74 in number, these should provide an interesting way of marking key moments in an iRacing career and hopefully they’ll be carefully designed so as to not be a detriment to the racing (e.g. an award for ‘over 100 incidents in a race’ would cause HAVOC in official races!)
  • Okayama – Set to be a free track to all members this Japanese track marks the first of a number of Japanese tracks coming to the service in the coming months (can’t wait for Suzuka!)
  • Pit repair is in for all the cars (I don’t really care about this feature personally, I’m happy for wrecked cars to stay wrecked)
  • No word on the FMod sound improvements – it’s all eerily quiet on that front (pun not intended). The initial implementation was pretty lacklustre (it provided crackling output for me, and sim crashes for others) but it is still an anticipated feature and could really improve the immersion in the sim.
  • Graphical improvements – Shawn Nash has hinted at further improvements to the graphics engine in the next build, including optimisation for members who currently suffer from momentary stutters, even during high FPS situations. They’ll also be reworking/improving the Skip Barber car model.
  • Animation improvements – I’ve been hoping for this for some time now, and staff have finally revealed that they are working on improving the animations in the sim. Instead of having completely static drivers in the race replays, we’ll start to see visual effects such as driver arms moving in relation to the steering wheel (and hopefully, but not yet mentioned, buffeting helmets due to g-forces). Watching replays with lifeless drivers is immersion sapping, so I’m eager to see this sooner rather than later
  • Telemetry – not much has been mentioned other than we’ll be getting telemetry exported in a industry-recognised format, along with a third party tool to read it. Useful to those that are looking for it.
  • Hosted racing – more controls for hosted racing, including the ability to schedule smaller sessions (e.g. a one hour session, which will work out cheaper than a four hour session) plus the ability to schedule events up to one year in advance.

iRacing staff also dangled some pretty significant carrots for the next build (season 3, in July). Those improvements include the new tyre model for the rest (or at least a significant number) of the cars in the iRacing fleet. Work on an animated pit crew was also mentioned (I suspect this is a bigger project than the July build).

We’ll also get headlights (in the cars that have lights) in July. Useful not only in night racing, it’ll be valuable in mixed class racing to indicate when faster cars are coming through. There’ll also be new content coming, including Iowa, Suzuka, Ford GT and the LMP.

All that and plenty more to come as iRacing continually add to the service.

Learning the new FW31 setup parameters

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

The latest iRacing build is arriving today, with the FW31 arriving a few hours following the build deployment itself. Following the footsteps of recent builds iRacing have kindly provided the release notes ahead of time.

Reading through the release notes provides a small preview of what we have instore for building FW31 setups :

- Introducing the 2009 AT&T Williams FW31.

- This is the first car for which we have written a setup guide, located within the Instruction area of the website.

- 3 downforce trims are available.

- Front flap angle and rear wing wicker can be altered for aero balance adjustments.

- Front suspension has corner springs, anti-roll bar, and heave spring.

- Rear suspension has heave spring and anti-roll bar only.

- Vehicle has 6 dampers: 4 corner dampers, and 2 heave dampers.

- Brake pressure and dynamic brake bias are available to adjust.

- While in pit-box and in neutral dynamic brake balance is shown on display.

- Ballast is moveable.

- Front and rear inerter masses are adjustable.

- Spec out diff locking with ‘diff build.’

- In-car adjustments are brake bias, three diff settings, engine braking, engine power and throttle pedal response.

- Pit stop adjustments include front flap angle.

A lot of the items are straightforward and have been used in other iRacing cars previously. There are a few setup parameters that are new to iRacing and are sure to cause some head scratching initially.

One of the parameters involves the inerter adjustment. The inerter first appeared in F1 in 2005 but it has taken a few years for their secrets to really become known (it seems until 2008 no reliable knowledge was in the public domain).

As we prepare to get truly confused with building FW31 setups here’s a useful guide to how inerters (originally called ‘j-dampers’ by McLaren) can be used in an F1 setup. If someone wants to really get into the task of building and tuning iRacing F1 setups, then they’ll need to have a solid understanding of how these work.

racecar-engineering – how j dampers really work

F1 Technical article on J-dampers

Another major new setup option is the 3rd spring (or ‘heave’ spring). When I find a similar resource for the heave springs I’ll update this post.

2009 Brawn F1 heave spring

2009 Brawn F1 heave spring (top)