The Lotus 7 was hugely popular as an every man’s racer due to its phenomenal performance and (relatively) low price. The rights to the car are now owned by niche marque Caterham and though the look of the vehicles hasn’t changed much in decades, their performance has, with ever newer selections of motors being bolted in to drive acceleration figures lower and lower. As performance has increased so too has the price, making these pocket rockets natural choices for the sim racing world. As such they can be found in one form or another in three of the most popular racing sims of the day: Live For Speed, RACE, and rFactor. Jens “McGonigle” Lindblad over at SimHQ has seen fit to compare the renditions of the cars in the three games, drawing some inevitable differences between the sims but, impressively, finding far more similarities.
One of our favorite and most challenging tracks in all of motorsport has been re-made for rFactor. Donington Park has played host to some of the most historic races in modern motorsports and deserves any amount of attention given to it. This is a new conversion of the track including higher quality textures than earlier ones and has been given the blessing of RSC. You can download it from the usual source for all things rFactor.
iDT Simulations have released their latest masterpiece, the 2006 Champ Car World Series mod for rFactor. The mod also includes the 2005 cars, a nice bonus, and should make for some close, fun, and fast-paced races. You can get a ton more info and the downloads from rFactor Central.
There’s nothing we love more when it comes to modding than representations of … different racing series that give you a new sort of challenge when compared to the average formula or touring car mod. You know, like lawnmower racing, or giant-tired off-road buggies. So, in that spirit, check out the 2.0 relesae of the Truck Series Racing mod from modders Frank55 and Wardog. It features 36 trucks from marques like Mercedes, Freightliner, and Mack, all with engines putting out upwards of 4200 NM of torque (that’s 3,100 ft/lbs for the ‘Mericans, aka “hot damn!”). This new version also adds-on brake cooling, something the real pro trucks offer, and suspensions optimized for the new FFB Plugin. You can download it, where else, at rFactor Central.
A vesion of the famous Le Mans track was released for rFactor last friday, just in time for the great race. Amazingly, in the same day it went straight to the hall of fame at rFactor Central, which is quite a testament to its quality. We first got wind of this back in January, and it’s great to finally be able to see it in action.
The track, from modders Virtua_LM and monsum, features versions ranging from 1972-1986, letting you drive the entire, unmolested Mulsanne straight. By all accounts this one is a must download. You can get the file from rFactor Central or at the official Virtua_LM page, check out some screens at the SimHQ forums, and keep reading to see some videos of the track in action.
When we reported back in March that a new version of Bob’s Track Builder would enable the creation of endless tracks for Richard Burns Rally, the potential seemed endless. So, it seems, was the wait. But, it’s over. The version has been released, and as the above video shows, it’s quite impressive. In just a few minutes a track is created and playable from within the game. This is just the thing to refresh one of the best race sims of all time.
Good force-feedback (or FFB) can make any game far more immersive than it otherwise would be. Even so, its one of the first thing serious sim racers disable so that there’s no additional tension keeping them from saving a spin coming out of turn 11 at Laguna Seca (or the like). Still, great racing games need great FFB, and while rFactor’s is very good in general, it isn’t good enough for some. Modders TechAde and kangaloosh have released a sort of unofficial patch for the game that replaces the game’s current “faked” FFB code with some procedures that actually drive the wheel based on information generated by the physics engine, theoretically greatly increasing the realism of the jolts and twists coming through the wheel.
The good news is you can download it from rFactor Central and have it installed in under a minute. The bad news is that it’s incompatible with many mods and will need to be uninstalled if you want to play them with FFB enabled. Exactly which mods? That list is still being compiled. If you want to help check out this discussion at Race Sim Central, or if you just want to gush to the modders you can post over here.