There’s been a lot of media attention on a little simulation racer out for the PC in the past few weeks and I figured now might be a great time for me to throw my feedback and thoughts into the ring. simraceway has been around a lot longer than most people think, and it’s their short experiment with running an rFactor mod management site that made them what they are today. That short term experience with rFactor gave them the insight and made them familiar with the Image Space Incorporated engine used in rFactor. This engine has been widely known as a physics first, graphics second engine. It’s about the gameplay, not the visuals. simraceway has taken that engine and upgraded it slightly, but the visuals are still lacking. However, the physics engine has really been upgraded since rFactor.
What’s been bringing a lot of attention to the site as of late is the announcement of a fully functional IndyCar Series game through simraceway. Currently the site offers free tracks and purchasable cars. A Dallara DW12 (IndyCar Chassis) runs around $8, while higher tech cars such as a McLaren F1 car is over $30. There’s a few other cars that run that much, but most you can purchase for less than $5. All of these cars are purchasable via in-game credits that you earn throughout time, however the amount of credits one needs for any F1 car will require a good 100 hours of online racing.
Warmup Lap at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during “simraceway’s” Indy 500 Qualification Event.
The IndyCar title announcement in May brought me back to simraceway, and through a special booth setup at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the Indianapolis 500, simraceway gave me a free Dallara chassis. This was my first dive into driving the new IndyCar Chassis, and trust me, it’s the best car I’ve driven on a sim-racing game in several years. Compared to the handling of the Dallara IR-7 that iRacing currently offers, the Dallara DW-12 brings a smooth handling vehicle with slight understeer. Which is kind of nice as it requires you to really steer the car if you want it to be on the white line.
After my first few laps with the simraceway Steering Wheel and putting up laps near the 226 mark, I moved over to the full setup as pictured above. I stepped it up here and put up numbers near the 230 mark and was in the top 100 for the day. The car was a blast to drive, as was driving with their custom wheel that is available for purchase.
I hope you enjoy my confused look with the specially made “simraceway” F1 Style Wheel
The wheel is a very solid racing wheel, however it offers no form of Force Feedback or rumble and wears your arms out very quickly as you’re required to hold it up in the air on your own. It is very lightweight though, so if you’re strong enough to hold on then it may be a good fit for you. If you’re in the area of Sonoma California check out the simraceway Performance Driving Center and possible try the wheel on your own, and take driving lessons from professional drivers in the area. And if you’re there, enjoy wine country for me, because we all know that with my limited budget I’ve yet to visit the beautiful area.
If I’ve caught your attention any on simraceway or you feel like with all of the recent attention from the likes of NBCSports Network or G4tv, head over to simraceway.com and download the free client. Hope on the client and download the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Infineon Raceway (Sonoma), Mid-Ohio, and several other famous tracks. Enjoy the free cars that are there, most are entry-level street cars. Work your way up, and a few thousand in-game credits can grab you any of the various high performance vehicles on the site. Also enjoy the few events offered, free practice laps, and the large community.
Stay tuned for my review of a few other titles offered on the web including iRacing, rFactor, rFactor 2, and Project C.A.R.S.