The current settings on the next pit stop would be to add fuel, change all the tires and set the pressures. You have the option of not adding fuel, not changing any tires, and so on and so forth. In the heat of racing, it can be a little hard to alter this on the fly, even if you have a lot of buttons on your steering wheel. It’s not as trivial as calling in something over the radio. But maybe someone will write some voice control plugins…
So now that you’ve got your pit strategy figured out, you know what your car is doing, and you’ve gone around the track a bit, what’s left to do? Well, watch your replay of course.
Sometimes it really is fun just to watch what you did. You can also use watching your replays as a training tool. Find your fast lap replay and look at your line. You can also observe the inputs, gear, RPM, speed, and so on and so forth. You have a number of views that can all be configured. I personally like to watch from a rear chase cam a few feet off the car. This helps me understand my car placement on the track better than just re-watching the same in-car footage.
In addition to watching your own replays, you can actually record telemetry data just like having a real datalogger in a real car. There is a CSV telemetry plugin that will record all of the gory details about your sessions, and this can then be imported into a variety of data analysis suites.
There are also some plugins and instructions to end up with specific vendor data files, like for MoTeC’s data analysis software.
So now that I’ve gotten my drive on, I’ve beat up on the AI cars a little bit, I’ve learned from my replays and data, I want to challenge some real people. rFactor 2 has you covered there, too.
When first running rFactor 2 from Steam, you come to the launcher. When you click the multiplayer button (represented by the two helmets) you are then shown the server list. Studio 397 is currently not running their own servers, but there are a large number of servers dedicated to not only hosting servers, but hosting complete racing series.
As a new sim racer, and really as being new to road racing in general, I decided to look for a “beginner” league. I stumbled across http://simracing-gp.net/ which happens to have something called “The Rookie League”. This racing series used the Renault Megane Trophy car – a full-on race car with a sequential gearbox, tubular chassis, V6 mid-engine and rear-wheel drive. This was a twitchy, difficult car to drive, especially for a beginner. It didn’t help that the event I was attending happened to be at what is referred to as “Matsusaka” in-game for licensing reasons (Suzuka in real life). This course is challenging enough as it is, but to have to drive it in this finicky mid-engined race car was just maddening.
Registering for the series was free, and I signed up for the “slower” / beginner class. The server was always available and I was able to practice, sometimes alone and sometimes with other drivers.
On race day, though, it got real. The server quickly filled up and I was practicing with drivers all having a wide range of skill and speed. It got pretty dicey.