iRacing: Season 4 Preview

Posted: 04/09/2015 in iRacing
Tags: , , , , , ,

Season 4 of iRacing’s 2015 season is only ten days away and now we know everything that is coming in next Tuesday’s build.

Dynamic tracks.  This isn’t the first dynamic track video from iRacing but this is the first one to confirm it’s release date; next week.  iRacing promises that dynamic tracks will completely change the way races pan out – and if it works like they say it will – I have no doubt that this will be the case.

The Corvette C7 Daytona Prototype will be the big piece of new content in next week’s build.  It replaces the extremely old Riley Daytona Prototype and will race in the IMSA challenge series as the sole prototype car.  It may be a basterdized prototype car – being a steel tubed car vs carbon monocoque – but it looks fantastic.

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Also on the new/newish content side is the Xfinity Toyota Camry and updated Ford Mustang.  The Toyota will join the Mustang and Chevy Camaro in the Class B NASCAR series.

iRacing also let us peak at the release notes today which highlight a few other key additions that are coming to the sim.  First up is the Easy Anti Cheat software that should really clamp down on any cheating being done out there.

Another key update is the splitting of of multi-class fields.  In the past, if six prototype cars showed up for an IMSA race and there were 40 GT cars, the prototypes would be split up, three in one split, three in the next.  That’s not fun.  Now car classes are grouped together to increase competitors.  This would mean that the top split would have six prototypes and the bottom would have none.  Much better.

There are a few notable car updates.  First, a handful of cars get the newish PBR shaders.  These include the pace car and NASCAR licensed cars.  Second, all cars are now on the v6 tire model.  Lastly, the GT3 cars have received balance of performance (BOP) updates in preparation for the Season 4 Blancpain Endurance Series which will see the top teams transfer to the Blancpain GT World Championship team series next year.

The entire release notes can be seen at the bottom of this post.

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And one more thing…  iRacing’s Tony Gardner took to his rarely updated “Cat Herder” blog to give the community some updates on future content.  Of interest is the new particle effect system that should be ready by December, a preview image of the Nurburgring, a shot of the New Tree Model – the other NTM – that will be unveiled with the Nurburgring and work on a new video codec that will allow you to directly export replays from the sim (nice).

That’s a lot of stuff going on.

iRacing Season 4 2015 Release Notes
რუსული სტატია დინამიურ ტრეკზე და სხვა

Website & Simulation:

– The Race Panel now is more descriptive about where it is registering and sending users in official sessions, as well as more aware of registration status after a session has ended.

– Cars/Tracks/Tech Tracks pages have been simplified, and are now more of a storefront and informational page.

– Updated the License indicator in the global template to show more information.

– Added a Team Series Stats page to show team rankings in official team series.

– Added tooltips to describe Track Conditions in official series & results.

– Added messaging when setting up a hosted session when only one driver slot is made available.

– Added the ability to set & preview custom Track Conditions (settings for the new Dynamic Track feature) in hosted sessions, as well as test mode.

– Fixed some scenarios where the website would occasionally think that members could register for events outside of their license level.

– Modified the members site to help Windows 10 + Edge users get iRacing running.

– Expected time for a session to start should now properly be passed into a “Test on Track” session, so users get an alert when their session will begin.

– Added indicators in the race panel and series sessions pages to show race week cut overs that indicates how the sessions will change (track, race week, etc).

– Fixed the join action in some open practice sessions in the What’s Hot page.

– Added a preference that remembers it’s state in leagues->show only my leagues.

– The Schedule PDF has added displaying more of the race setup options, and also a clickable Table of Contents to find sections or series more easily.

Simulation:

Easy Anti Cheat

iRacing has always invested significant time, energy and development effort into trying to stop “cheating”. There are many different types of cheating. In the last June build for example we installed software code to prevent on-track tire heating during qualifying for oval racing. Poor sportsmanship on track could even be construed as cheating as another example. However more often than not, the main concern for members are potential software hacks that essentially attempt to change the game in some way for the cheater’s benefit. In that regard, all of the prevention and detection code we have put in iRacing in the past was done by us internally. We never included any of that work in our release notes mainly for the obvious reason that we did not want to provide cheaters with any information.

However in our next quarterly software update (early September) our current plan is to include new cheat prevention & detection in the update and release notes for several reasons. Mainly because the new cheat prevention and detection comes in the form of a partnership and integration we did with a professional gaming anti-cheat company called Easy Anti Cheat. We are excited about this partnership as we have enhanced our ability to detect and prevent cheating significantly. The EAC system prevents cheaters from using several common methods to try to gain an advantage over other players. This includes things like: running the iRacing simulation inside a “sandbox”, to prevent external programs from hacking into and modifying the simulation as it runs; or modifying the iRacing installation files (cars and tracks) to gain an advantage; or replacing system level components used by the simulation with versions that include cheat hacks.

When applying this next build on a Windows computer, the installer program for the EAC software will automatically be run. On Mac OSX and Linux, the EAC software is able to operate without this explicit installation step. In all cases, the EAC software is only active on your computer when you are running the iRacing simulation software – when the sim exits, the EAC software exits, too.

If you launch the simulation and an issue is detected before the simulation has connected to the race server, a message describing the problem will be shown to you in a dialog box, and the sim will not run. If an issue is detected after connecting to the race server, a message describing the problem will be shown in the Chat Pad, and you will be disconnected from the server.

The error messages are intended to be sufficient to identify what caused the issue. But if it’s not clear how to resolve the issue, email iRacing customer support at support@iRacing.com to help get you back to racing. We will work diligently with you to correct any issues. However, we do not expect many issues as we have done extensive testing already. The most likely error to arise will be if you are using replacement versions of system libraries (d3d9.dll, for example) that are not already flagged as being innocuous. Since such replacement libraries could potentially contain hacks to enable cheating, they are not allowed unless they have been validated. You can also check out the FAQ’s at EasyAntiCheat if you want here:http://faq.easyanticheat.net/index.html

Splitting Multi-car-class Fields

The prior algorithm for forming splits for multi-class sessions attempted to ensure that as many splits as possible would be multi-class, down to some minimum number of drivers in each class within a split. This made for some not-so-great racing for drivers in classes where their split had this minimum number of drivers.

With this season’s build, we have implemented a new split-forming algorithm for multi-class sessions that instead attempts to ensure that all car classes are packed relatively evenly into the higher-rated splits, potentially at the expense of the lower-rated splits being devoid of one or more car classes.

The algorithm for choosing the overall field size for each of the splits is unchanged – each of the higher-rated splits formed for a session will have the same overall number of teams, with the lower-rated splits potentially having one less team. Since the higher-rated splits might “consume” all the teams in one or more of the less-used car classes, and since the lower-rated splits will still have the same overall number of teams, the lower-rated splits could thus have more teams in each of their car classes than the higher-rated splits have in those same car classes.

Session Splits

We have added a new method by which sessions get split into run-groups. The earlier method typically chooses the “best” race server farm (US, Sydney, Amsterdam) based on the average ping time of all the registrants to the farms, and then splits the teams into run-groups based on iRating. The new method splits the teams into run-groups based on iRating, and then chooses the best farm for each run-group.

Additionally, the new method tries to avoid assigning the group onto a farm if any of the drivers in the group would generally prefer to avoid that farm. In practice this will mean that if anyone in the run group prefers the Sydney farm, and anyone else in the run-group prefers the Amsterdam farm, the run-group will be assigned to the US server farm.

Dynamic Track

– The track surface is now dynamic, and models the changes in track rubber, marbles, and temperature. Track rubber is built up under the tires in rough proportion to how hard they are working. Tires generate marbles, and these can accumulate on tires and be thrown off and redistributed on the track. Temperature is variable across the track and is influenced by weather, the position of the sun in the sky, the surface angle of the track, albedo (color), track rubber, shadows, and interaction with cars.

– These variable aspects of the track affect the level and characteristics of tire grip available, and the wear rate. Generally, a rubbered-in but cool track free of marbles will offer the most grip.

– Initial track conditions can be specified for testing and private hosting sessions. The amount of running activity on the track prior to the session can be specified as a percentage, or left to be determined automatically based on the session type. The percent usage amount determines the level of track rubber and marbles at session start. In a multi-session event, each session can be specified individually to simulate changes to the track between sessions due to additional running or from an overnight rain, or a session may be designated to follow immediately and inherit the track state from the previous session. Marbles can be cleaned off the racing surface prior to the session, and also during yellow flags on ovals, or they can be left undisturbed.

Borderless Window Support

– The sim can now be run in windowed mode without a border or title bar. There is a new option on the auto-config dialog and a new graphics option to disable the border. Like the full screen toggle in options, the border configuration does not take effect until the sim is restarted.

Replay

– Add an app.ini setting [Replay] maxFramesToSearchPerUpdate=2048 setting to control how much tape is searched per update during a long search.

Telemetry

– Add support for fast repair to telemetry pit script commands.

– Log pending pit service request to telemetry as “PitSvXXX”. PitSvFlags is a bitfield defines in irsdk_defines.h as irsdk_PitSvFlags and covers all the check boxes.

– Log live weather to telemetry.

– Log the driver’s fuel tank size to session string as “DriverCarFuelMaxLtr”. Log the fuel restriction percent (if any) to session string as “DriverCarMaxFuelPct”. Multiplying both together will give you the true fuel limit for this session.

– Renamed “CarClassMaxFuel” to “CarClassMaxFuelPct” to better reflect the fact that it is a percent of the tank that you are allowed to use.

– Dump information about the current setup to the session string
DriverInfo:
DriverSetupName: path
DriverSetupIsModified: bool
DriverSetupLoadTypeName: [invalid|user|iracing|baseline|current|default|fixed|shared]
DriverSetupPassedTech: bool

– Fix a bug where not all cars had a properly set carClassColor in a mixed class race.

Keyboard Macros

– Added a #fr fast repair macro, to check the fast repair box.

– Add ‘invert’ flag to pit chat macros so prepending – to front of command will unset it, i.e. -lf will uncheck the left front tire, also -clear will check all options.

Audio

– Turn off ducking of audio when Windows detects a phone call. Windows often confuses our voice chat as a call and kills the engine sounds.

Controls

– When we detect a joystick was added or removed, attempt to identify what controller was changed and only reinitialize that device. Previously we reinitialized all devices and this could lead to a momentary loss of steering control if your button box loss connection to the sim. You can revert to the old behavior where all devices are reinitialized every time a device is plugged in by setting app.ini [Force Feedback] initOnlyNewDevices=0.

– Added new keyboard backlight support for Logitech G910 keyboards. Now we dynamically highlight keys that have some function assigned to them, and color them by function. In addition the F keys act as a shift indicator/pit speed indicator if you are in your car.

– Removed code that would set the backlight on older Logitech keyboards and mice to try and replicate a shift indicator.

– Added support for LED lights in the new Logitech G29 wheel.

– The minimum threshold to detect motion when calibrating can be adjusted by the app.ini switch initialMoveThreshold. This can be used to get devices with very small ranges of travel to be detected by iRacing.

New Tire Model

– v6 tires now include a term in the lateral stiffness calculations that was missing in the NTM previously (including the v1-5 tires). All prior cars with v6 tires from last season have been revised to suit, and many more cars have been upgrade to v6 tires.

Black Boxes

– In the F1 black box, don’t show the same car ahead and behind you, if only one other car on track, or only one other car in your class.

– In the F3 black box, sort cars into position based on class, if no position is currently known for the car.

– Allow the virtual mirror field of view to be adjusted from the F9 black box.

Driver Aids

– The auto-blip shift aid now uses the new drivetrain physics model, instead of falling back to our ancient old drivetrain model. This significantly improves how smoothly the cars shift when using the auto-blip aid.

– Allow H-pattern gearboxes to be downshifted into neutral at speed when using sequential shifting controls.

Towing

– When someone is disconnected from the server via a connection failure, we now compute the tow from when we last saw them on track, instead of when the connection finally timed out.

Cars:

Paint Kit

– Justin Wilson Memorial sponsor added.

– Go Gold for Kids with Cancer (American Childhood Cancer Organization) sponsor added.

Mustang FR500S Pace Car

– Repainted with American Childhood Cancer Organization sponsorship.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

Aston Martin DBR9 GT1

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

– For this season’s GT1 class balancing, we have made the following changes: 7.1 kg less weight.

BMW Z4 GT3

– Updated the v6 tires.

– For this season’s GT3 class balancing, we have made the following changes: 20 kg less weight, and diff locking increased from 2 plates to 4.

Cadillac CTS-V Racecar

– Updated the v6 tires.

Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

– The number plates have been moved from the mandatory_decal to the car_decal so that they can be edited by the end user with custom schemes.

Chevrolet Corvette C7 Daytona Prototype

– The Chevrolet Corvette C7 Daytona Prototype is now available.

Chevrolet Impala Old Class B

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

Chevrolet Impala-COT

– Updated to v6 tires.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Add more rear end ratio options.

– Fixed bug in chassis ballast adjustment.

Chevrolet Silverado – circa 2013

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

– Aerodynamic revisions.

Ford Falcon FG V8

– Changed window logo to the 2015 version of the V8 Supercars logo.

Ford GT

– Updated the v6 tires.

Ford GT GT3

– Updated the v6 tires.

– For this season’s GT3 class balancing, we have made the following changes: 23 kg more weight, 1.25% less downforce, and a small reduction in torque over 6750 RPM.

Ford Mustang FR500S

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Opened up the tire pressure range.

Holden Commodore VF V8

– Changed window logo to the 2015 version of the V8 Supercars logo.

HPD ARX-01c

– Updated the v6 tires.

Kia Optima

– Updated to v6 tires.

Legends Ford ’34 Coupe

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

Lotus 49

– Updated to v6 tires.

Lotus 79

– Updated to v6 tires.

Mazda MX-5 Cup

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Opened up the tire pressure range.

Mazda MX-5 Roadster

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Opened up the tire pressure range.

McLaren MP4-12C GT3

– Updated the v6 tires.

– For this season’s GT3 class balancing, we have made the following changes: 10 kg more weight, and greater yaw stability via aero adjustments.

Modified – SK

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Added an 8:1 steering ratio option.

– Slightly raised center of gravity.

– Adjusted engine efficiency.

– Removed minimum stagger limit.

– Fixed bug in chassis ballast adjustment.

NASCAR Camping World Chevrolet Silverado

– Updated to v6 tires.

– There is now more variance in which warwagon is loaded for each driver, to give some variety on the pit road.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

– Aero revisions.

NASCAR Camping World Toyota Tundra

– Updated to v6 tires.

– There is now more variance in which warwagon is loaded for each driver, to give some variety on the pit road.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

– Aero revisions.

NASCAR K&N Pro Chevrolet Impala

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

– Aero revisions.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevrolet SS

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

– There is now more variance in which warwagon is loaded for each driver, to give some variety on the pit road.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Ford Fusion

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

– There is now more variance in which warwagon is loaded for each driver, to give some variety on the pit road.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Toyota Camry

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

– There is now more variance in which warwagon is loaded for each driver, to give some variety on the pit road.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

NASCAR Whelen Tour Modified

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Added an 8:1 steering ratio option.

– Adjusted engine efficiency.

– Slightly raised center of gravity.

– Removed minimum stagger limit.

– Fixed bug in chassis ballast adjustment.

NASCAR XFINITY Chevrolet Camaro

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Updated to match the 2015 rules and contingency decals.

– Optimizations to improve framerate, especially at night tracks.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

– The rear windshields now have the driver name stamped on them.

– There is now more variance in which warwagon is loaded for each driver, to give some variety on the pit road.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

– Aero revisions.

NASCAR XFINITY Ford Mustang

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Updated to match the 2015 rules and contingency decals.

– Updated to the 2015 identity package (headlights, taillights, etc).

– Optimizations to improve framerate, especially at night tracks.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

– The rear windshields now have the driver name stamped on them.

– There is now more variance in which warwagon is loaded for each driver, to give some variety on the pit road.

– Left rear wedge is now adjustable during pit stops.

– Aero revisions.

NASCAR XFINITY Toyota Camry

– The Nascar Xfinity Toyota Camry is now available.

– It has the same physics as the NASCAR XFINITY Chevrolet Camaro, NASCAR XFINITY Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Impala Old Class B, and each car can load and share setups with the others.

Pontiac Solstice

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Opened up the tire pressure range.

Radical SR8

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Updated to use the new PBR shaders.

– Headlights and various other details added to car.

– Optimizations to improve framerate.

Riley MkXX Daytona Prototype

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Rear toe should be measured from 18″ wheels, not 13″.

– Added estimated maximum speeds in each gear to the Drivetrain tab in the Garage.

Ruf RT 12R AWD

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Increased power steering.

Ruf RT 12R C-Spec

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Increased power steering.

– The rpm gauge has been edited so that redline is at 8500 rpm.

Ruf RT 12R RWD

– Updated the v6 tires.

– Increased power steering.

Ruf RT 12R Track

– Updated the v6 tires.

– For this season’s GT3 class balancing, we have made the following changes: 2.5% more downforce.

– Increased power steering.

SCCA Spec Racer Ford

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Slightly increased aerodynamic stability.

Silver Crown

– Updated to v6 tires.

Skip Barber Formula 2000

– Updated the v6 tires.

Sprint Car

– Updated to v6 tires.

Star Mazda

– Updated to v6 tires.

Street Stock

– Updated to v6 tires.

Super Late Model

– Updated to v6 tires.

– Add more rear end ratio options.

– Double the bumpstop length and stiffness.

VW Jetta TDI Cup

– Updated to v6 tires.

Williams-Toyota FW31

– Updated to v6 tires.

Tracks:

Autodromo Nazionale Monza

– Fixed a camera sound bug.

– Removed bump on inside of turn entry of T1 of Junior config.

– Added a bump map for the oval.

Circuit Zolder

– Fixed issues relating to the pit lane exit being too close to other side of track: cars on other side of course showing on F3 black box, unexpected yellow flags, etc.

Daytona International Speedway

– We have improved race control’s knowledge of which parts of the track should map to which part of the racing line for the Road configuration. In particular, the run-off area in Turn 1 now does a much better job of belonging to Turn 1, avoiding throwing bogus yellow flags and F3 pop-ups for cars coming out of the infield, bogus camera switches, etc.

– Fixed hole in grass on entrance of Turn 3.

Five Flags Speedway

– Fixed floating issues on pit road.

– Moved the inside green pit exit cone.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway

– Added curbing to replace cones.

– Fixed the gained time checkpoints in Turns 1-3 of Road and Moto courses.

Oran Park Raceway

– We have improved race control’s knowledge of which parts of the track should map to which part of the racing line for the GP and Moto configurations. This also improves some possible issues with the crossover.

Phillip Island Circuit

– We have improved race control’s knowledge of which parts of the track should map to which part of the racing line. In particular, the run-off area in Turn 3 now does a much better job of belonging to Turn 3, avoiding throwing bogus yellow flags and F3 pop-ups for cars coming out of the hairpin, bogus camera switches, etc.

Sonoma Raceway

– Fix track description from NC to CA.

Suzuka International Racing Course

– We have improved race control’s knowledge of which parts of the track should map to which part of the racing line for the Grand Prix, Moto, West, and West Chicane configurations. This also improves some possible issues with the crossover.

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