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Dirt Update

Here are some updates about #dirtconfirmed coming to iRacing #soon!

Steve Myers sent a quick update about dirt:

I know that we have been a bit quiet on updates on the dirt project so here I am to offer you some good news!

As of last night Dave K has put in one of the last big items that we needed at least a first pass at before we start officially testing dirt. This project was having the physics actually moving the dirt on the track. We still have a ton of things to tweak and potentially implement now that all of the systems are talking to each other but now we actually can do that!

I am making no promises on when dirt will be released but we have cleared some major hurdles and it looks like we will officially put dirt into alpha testing next week!

He also added:

I should add that anyone that drives a 410 unwinged dirt sprint car in real life needs their head examined. I crashed 5 out of 5 times before turn 1 trying to turn a lap yesterday before my surgically repaired shoulder called it quits. All of the sprint cars are mental but that one is just insane….

One iRacing member brought up how this could be an SR (Safety Rating) killer in iRacing’s official Series. Steve responded:

I honestly don’t think we will make an official 410 unwinged series. It might be just reserved for league and hosted racing. It’s fun as hell to drive but I would be terrified trying to race people in it with SR on!

Steve offered up this information about NTM as well:

Dave has never stopped working on the tire model, dirt, pavement, it all goes back to the same tire model. In fact when the Porsche is finally released it will be in a much better place and probably our best pavement car yet because of the dirt project.

Tyler Hudson, new iRacing employee, offered up this information about his initial thoughts about dirt.

First, let me start by saying most of my real world racing experience is on dirt tracks, from karts, mini stock and street stocks to late models. Not an extraordinary amount, but more than any other form of racing. So I can honestly say that climbing into iRacing’s version of a dirt late model took me by a huge surprise. From the start I had the sensation I was back in my race car; not from the adrenaline rush as much as the fact that the driving sensation and feedback were like no other car I’ve ever driven in the sim.

There is so much to say about the many different cars iRacing is developing, but I’ll make this as short as possible. These guys have nailed it. Sure, there are some minor issues as with anything in development, but they blew this one out of the park. Maybe it’s because we dirt fans/racers have been left out for so long, we haven’t had anything worth playing since the PS2 game World of Outlaw Sprint Cars or Dirt to Daytona, but believe me, this is the real deal.

The track changes…. A LOT, visually and grip wise. That is a huge part of what makes dirt racing what it is, so you’ll be happy to hear that. You legitimately have to search for moisture in the track for grip. After 10 laps around the bottom at Eldora, the grip had fallen off by half a second and – visually – you could SEE the track change color from wet to dry dirt.

I followed the moisture every lap until I was up by the wall. Then I went back to the bottom and was 3 tenths slower than up top where it was still a little damp. Eventually, I had gotten all the initial moisture out of the track from the bottom to the top, and virtually from the inside wall to the outside wall ran almost identical lap times. This will be great for searching for grip and racing.

Oh, but that’s not all. I backed out, set the track state to 100% and went back out. THERE’S A CUSHION!! I couldn’t really see the cushion, as I understand that’s still in development, but boy you sure can feel it! And the grip it provides will make dirt racing on iRacing genuine, authentic and as real as it gets.

I’ve seen a lot of forum posts by people worried by some of the pictures that the late model won’t “get up on the bars.” Well let me tell you, it took some messing around in the garage, but it does. I haven’t found a way to make the car as far up on the bars as I’d like, but maybe that’s another item in development — or for a crew chief way better than me!

I was able to twist the rear end and float the left front – everything you see in pictures of real race cars. I’m telling you guys, I am amazed at what iRacing has done. I am thrilled to be a part of it, to help develop it and I can’ wait to see how much further we can push the envelope in motor sports simulations. This is ground breaking stuff: No other game on the market has even scratched the surface at what these guys have already done with dirt – and it’s getting better every day.

As I understand it there is still quite a bit of work to do but all the hype will be worth it. I can’t wait to turn laps with other cars on the track. Oh, and did I even mention the Ford Fiesta?!?!? No? Well we’ll save that for another day.

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