iRacing – Williams FW31 & Mazda MX-5 Available
iRacing has released a new build of their popular online racing simulation, adding new features and content to their ever-expanding service.
Aside from various small improvements and changes, the new build most importantly introduces the new Mazda MX-5 and the Williams FW31 Formula One car.
While the MX-5 is a free treat for all iRacing subscribers, the much-anticipated virtual version of Williams’ 2009 season F1 challenger sells for $11.95. Below is a beautiful video put together by community video artist Stabiz, showing off the two new cars.
You can find the full release notes of the new build below, you might have to click “Read More” too see it though.
- - No longer reloads the entire page when changing car/track/config.
- - Added links to car forum.
- - Fixed night mode handling so it will load a night track when it should.
- - Added car forum links.
- - Added series schedule links.
- - The session selection box will be hidden if the service isn’t running.
- Modified these throughout the site to separate road from oval and eligible from ineligible and active from inactive. This should make the pulldowns more usable as we’re always adding more series to the list.
- - Added sporting code link.
- - The number of drivers in a session should be correct now. It used to always show ‘0’.
- - You will now be asked to select a car when spectating a multi-class session. This allows you drive that car on track in spectator mode.
- - Additional filters have been added to the spectator page.
- - Changed various popups to include session information. An example is if your service isn’t running you wouldn’t see the details of what your friend is doing. This should be implemented better now.
- - Changed the driving school certificate button to redirect you to the awards page rather than launching the pdf.
- - Added sporting code link.
- - Added a link from your name to your career stats page.
- - IE8 fixes to host a race functionality.
- - Resized fixed setup dialog to make it more usable.
- - Fixed progress handling so we will reload the page automatically after installing updates.
- - A new “Driver Profile” section has been added to the Community widget on the Dashboard. With this widget members will be able to share info about themselves with other members. Members can upload a photo, input personal information, or write a bio about themselves.
Member Stats Overhaul
- - The STATS -> Personal/Friend/Studied sections have been redesigned. The top of the page works similarly to the Driver Profile widget and displays driver profile information. The area below has been split into two tabs: Career and Awards. Career displays the standard career summary. The new Awards tab will serve as a location to collect/display certificates which drivers have earned for winning season racing competitions/completing the driving school/etc. It will also be the future home of a now-in-development iRacing Awards system where drivers will be able to work towards a variety of goals and track their progress towards achieving them. NOTE: Certificates will display retroactively if you have earned any in the past, but not immediately with the rollout of the build. We need to run a process later in the week to make this happen.
- - iRacingWorld will soon be closed. Along with this build direct access to iRacingWorld through members.iracing.com has been disabled. In one month’s time the site will be turned off altogether. If you have files you would like to save off of iRacingWorld before its closure, it will remain accessible at the following link www.iracingworld.com.
- - Fixed hack that let people change the driving camera while hitting the drive button.
- - Patched bug that let a driver change his screen name.
- - Added in hotkey to adjust driving view (VanishY) up and down to help make dash more visible. The default keypresses are shift-[ and shift-].
- - Scenic camera focuses on center line instead of race line. May help keep the cameras out of the wall.
- - Can test drive a car on track while spectating a race, without being visible to the other drivers.
- - Tweaked volume of sound sources to properly account for delay from sound travel time when stuff is moving. For example, incoming cars are quieter and outgoing cars are louder, and in a fast pack cars ahead will be louder and cars behind will be quieter.
- - On-car cameras can now use a set of on-car engine sounds that are different from the in-car and out-of-car sounds. Only the Williams FW31 does this at this time.
- - Tire and Gauge data is now output in the telemetry SDK.
- - The telemetry SDK was wrapped into a proper DLL and a demo application was written in C# to support it.
- - Increased number of chat messages visible to 1024.
- - If you are a driver, spectator chats can now be seen when exiting your car and you can chat with spectators via a new toggle button in the chat box.
- - Improved coloring of chat messages to make spectator chats more obvious.
- - Spectators can chat even when chat is disabled with the !nchat command.
- - Removed spchat/nspchat commands.
Black Boxes / Pitting
- - Cleaned up black box and pitting bugs that gave cars a full tank and fresh tires during a tow. And improved refueling controls.
- - Enable black boxes during time trials and in qualifying.
- - Fixed a bug that allowed cars to get pit service even when parked into the pit travel lanes.
- - F4-F8 black boxes now remember which control you were adjusting. The HOME key will reset the currently selected control on one of these pages back to the top which is useful if you were using scripts to adjust these items.
- - F2 Standings black box now shows other cars’ results when in oval qualifying.
- - All cars: F7 black box title should now be “In-pit Adjustments” and F8 title should be “In-car Adjustments”
- - The illumination model is greatly improved producing brighter brights and better contrast.
- - Many of the track and car textures have been adjusted to more correct levels of relative brightness and color.
- - Trees, walls, fences, and many trackside objects may now cast shadows very cheaply via the new advanced graphics option, “shadow maps”. There are several related options to enable it (note that the settings are on both the graphics and replay options tabs, so you can set each mode differently):
- 1) First select either “shadows maps on everything”, or “shadow maps on tracks/cars”. The main difference is that “everything” adds a lot of the terrain to receiving shadows. If you have a fast system, pick “everything”, if you have a slower system, pick only “track/cars” at first. Expect a 5% to 10% FPS drop, depending on your selection here (compared to no shadows).
- 2) For sure, try enabling the related “trackside objects” option. If you later have any new loading problems at larger tracks (and you have an AGP or older GPU), it may help to turn this off, as it requires a little more video memory. Most systems will be able to enable this, and it is worth it!
- 3) Enable the “Prefer shadow maps” option. This indicates that if you have both shadow maps and shadow volumes enabled, you would prefer that objects cast shadows using shadow maps. This is usually faster (and better in many cases). When checked, walls, and opaque portions of trackside objects will cast shadows via shadow maps rather than shadow volumes when both are enabled.
- 4) (optional) If you have a really (very) high end system and want shadows from cockpits and cars (or you want them in replays) then go ahead and enable shadow volumes in addition to the above. Currently the cockpits and cars can only cast shadows via shadow volumes. Enabling 2-pass will still be very expensive to enable, so you might want to reserve that for replay mode only. 1-pass shadow volumes are actually about 20% faster now, if you also have shadow maps enabled and preferred.
- - A crowd detail option has been added to the advanced graphics options. Selecting “high” detail crowds adds a backside to the spectators at many tracks – useful for replays, but not so important when driving. “Low” is the same setting as in previous builds, the old front side only crowds. “None” is new option to turn off (or greatly reduce) crowds at many tracks during on-line events – useful if you suspect crowds cause a large drop in FPS for your system. Suggested setting is high detail for replays, and low detail (on none on lower end systems) for racing.
- - The advanced graphics options for improving car texture appearance have been renamed, but work the same as before.
- - Night lighting is now properly adjusted for sRGB gamma. Cars on track shouldn’t get so dark in the dimmer spots – the illumination now appears more even.
- - Enabled IZ3D to operate without causing a loading error 68. If anyone is currently using the IZ3D driver with a custom workaround (d3d9.dll) that we made for you please try it without the special d3d9.dll (rename it or copy it somewhere safe) and see if now works OK without the workaround.
- - Mosport and Indianapolis/Road now have gained time checkpoints to prevent cutting pit entrance to gain laptime.
- - First couple of pit stalls at Brands Hatch tweaked so they don’t aim right at that annoying solid rail.
- - Martinsville checkpoints tweaked so not be able to sneakily get a fast lap time by driving the infield just so.
- - In-car adjustable increment and decrement controls are able to be mapped to controller buttons in a new Options page In-Car tab. To make it easy to see which controls are available on a car, the controls that are on the currently loaded car are highlighted, while the unavailable controls are greyed out but still assignable.
- - For cars that have it, a pit lane speed limiter is now available. The control is assignable, default is the key A, which toggles the pit lane speed limiter on or off. When getting into your car it is off by default.
- - A tweak was made to the current tire model that improves tire damping characteristics. This is most noticable on cars that run very low tire pressures.
- - All-aids shifting should be a little bit less of a time loss versus the lower/no shifting aids in all cars.
- - Updated how the auto-parking-brake releases so the Jetta TDI doesn’t sometimes get bound up trying to pull away from a standstill.
- - The Riley DP updated with 2011 contingency decals.
- - The Latemodel has slightly improved engine cooling.
- - The Dallara now uses the Indy tires and aero package at Pocono, and now uses the road course aero package at Centripetal Circuit.
- - The Pontiac Solstice has updated tires to the latest version of our tire model, similar to the Mustang and MX-5 tires.
ATT Williams FW31
- - 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.
Mazda MX-5 Cup and Roadster
- - Introducing the Mazda MX-5 Cup and Roadster. These cars are our new Rookie cars and can race together in the same series.
- The cars are more than just mirror images of each other. The Cup car is left hand drive, and uses the 6-speed transmission available in the production car. The Roadster is based more closely on the Japanese-spec NR-A version, with it’s 5-speed transmission and slightly smaller tires.
- This may seem like a mis-match, but it’s closer than you may think. With the different gearing, the Roadster loses a little bit in straight line acceleration, due to the bigger RPM drops between shifts, but partly makes up for it with a better top (5th) gear ratio compared to 6th in the Cup car. That’s not even mentioning the right hand weight bias that can prove beneficial on the predominantly clockwise-run road racing tracks. However, the Cup car does have a potentially higher top speed (in the draft) on the longer tracks.
- - Gearing and setups are the big difference between the two. Gearsets are below:
- Cup Roadster
- 1st: 3.82 3.136
- 2nd: 2.26 1.888
- 3rd: 1.64 1.330
- 4th: 1.18 1.000
- 5th: 1.00 0.814
- 6th: 0.79
- Final Drive: 4.10
- - Both cars are going to be fixed setup for Novice level races, so that takes a lot of the “tinkering” out of the equation. Advanced level events in both cars will allow standard adjustment of alignments (Caster, Camber and Toe) along with tire pressures. The Cup car will allow shock damping adjustments as well as limited ride height variation.
- - Roadster has Bilstein (non-adjustable) dampers and stiffer springs than standard production, but not too stiff for daily use. (A good number of the racers that run the car at Tsukuba Raceway drive the cars to and from the track, and even commute in them.)
- - Cup car has Sachs 2-way adjustable dampers (Bump and Rebound) and are quite similar to the Mustang shocks in their damping adjustment method. Bump is adjusted in “clicks” while rebound is modified by 45° “sweeps.”
- - Tires are BFGoodrich G-Force R-1s on the Cup car. The Roadster is going to run the same tires on it, for consistency of performance between the two cars. The mandated tires for the NR-A car are a Bridgestone RE-11 tire, but they aren’t a DOT-R compound, so to minimize any competitive disadvantage it was decided to be consistent, even if not 100% correct in this particular case.