Tuesday, 29 September 2015

[rFactor 2] Meet the A.I. at Lime Rock in the Skip Barber

I have a confession to make.

The Skip Barber has been a car I've put a vast amount of time into on iRacing. I've tried some of the other open wheel cars, and I've tried the tintops. But none of them had the feel of the Skippy.

The Radical came close. It felt like the Skip Barber, but with much more power, having much the same traits. But about five people drove the car whenever I looked at it, and I had no intention of turning up to donate rating to people that specialised in the car.

You may be thinking what does that have to do with rFactor 2?

Well, along with a bunch of other vehicles, it has the Skip Barber. And not just one, it has distinct Regional and National variations.

I wanted a single player experience. But I wanted to drive something familiar. And it had to be relatively slow. There's a tendency with driving titles to include the fastest cars around. That is fine for most, but there's something about that 120mph Skip Barber that appeals.

The first thing I needed to do was familiarise myself with the car in rFactor 2. There were always going to be differences between it and the iRacing version. In this video I discuss my early thoughts as I drive around a more up to date version of Lime Rock Park.

In the second video I touch on thoughts after a week with the title after the recent announcement on Steam, and after a new build which included stock car support. The video also includes exposure to the A.I. and you'll see me being passed by them.

I have yet to pass a single A.I. driver. I've qualified third at 95% A.I. strength, but so far a valid pass has been elusive - and I don't class passing a spinner as a proper pass.

That third place qualification lead into a 12th place finish in a 25 lap race. I was sure I'd left it in first after the formation lap but for the race I was apparently placed in neutral. That lead inevitably to being passed by most of the field at the start.

At that A.I. strength the race felt like an iRacing top split. I will need to drive right on the limit for every lap to be competitive. And that in itself is good practise. I need to work on my situational awareness but also on pushing that hard all race.

Expect at least one race video at Lime Rock before I move on to Montreal at the weekend.

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