rFactor 2 – Grand Prix

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Grand Prix racing in the 1960’s was a mixture of bravery that bordered on recklessness and, contrary to what many may say, innovative design and technology, far from primitive, which led Formula One to where it is today.

It was an era when the human eye, instead of a computer and a wind tunnel, designed a beautiful car. It was an era where spectators and drivers were only protected by bales of hay, which were often more likely to attribute to a fire than to save you in an impact.

Risks were taken and lives were lost, but the romance of the era still remains been the target of software developers, TV documentaries, and Hollywood movies. Many, including those of us at ISI, consider this space in time to be a golden age in the history of motorsport.

The racing game/sim community (console, or PC), mention certain content in their forums, twitters and blogs, they get excited about particular turns like Eau Rouge, the Corkscrew, etc. This often means they receive a cookie-cutter set of tracks from every racing game because – that’s what they ‘asked’ for.

Even when a developer does take a big risk and do something different, there are sometimes decisions made to incorporate those important turns. For example, an inclusion of the modern and recognizable Eau Rouge, incorrect for the period, into the 1998 PC title, Grand Prix Legends.

While we understand that our open modding nature allows it to negate some of that risk, it is important to realize that racing games often give difference in content, and often there is little to no risk for the developer in terms of content appreciation from the customer. Until, that is, they get bored of the same tracks all the time…

The first in-game/sim screenshot of rFactor 2 released to the public was of a road lined with trees, a house on the right and a truck parked in its driveway. This, barely recognizable to us as the same track now, was the first indication that ISI were trying to do something different.

We have licensed content from the modern era of motorsport for multiple types of racing, but also have licensing deals for real content from the first four decades of Formula One (some in the initial release, some to come later). We’ve done this because this is what we love and this is what we want to bring to the racing game/sim community. We want you to be challenged by our software, to be challenged rain or shine, day or night, old or new, and what better track to challenge you than the one we announced today via our friends at Inside Sim Racing?

We hope those of you who will want to participate in the open modders beta testing period are almost ready…

11 thoughts on “rFactor 2 – Grand Prix

  1. Absolutely can’t wait! You guys know exactly what the hardcore sim-racing community wants.

  2. Actually, Ferrari did have a wind tunnel in the 1960s. It was a scale model tunnel, but they did use it for body designs. The reference for this is “Go Like Hell: Ford, Ferrari, and their Battle for Speed and Glory at Le Mans” By Baime.
    According to Jackie Stewart in recent Motor Sport Magazine article, cars were air borne 17 times a lap at the Nurburgring.
    While the 60s was dangerous, a lot of that danger was tied to cars breaking, not necessarily tracks and speed.
    The 70s had a fantastic number of different engines and designs before ground effects in 1977. It was still a dangerous era.

  3. Been looking forward to this title for such a long time now.

  4. Looking forward to the open beta. What would the hardware requirements needed for all graphics set to maximum for Nvidia Surround Vision be? I would like to run 1920×1200 X3 with all graphics details maxed out…

  5. Hey Tim need any more beta testers for Rfactor2? Probably not, but it never hurts to ask.
    When I mentioned that the Spa video without sound had me hooked, you mentioned,If you like that one you’ll really like whats coming up, di you mean the Monaco circuit by any chance?
    BTW very sorry to hear and see the crash involving Dan Wheldon. He was a great racer and and in general a great sportsman. He will be very sorely missed.

  6. Thanks for the info on Ferrari’s wind tunnel Ray, that’s cool. Although I believe Enzo also thought all a cars problems could be fixed by a bigger engine. :)

    I know why the accidents happened, I didn’t mention the danger being only the circuits. Infact, the majority of the first three paragraphs are written about the cars. With the exception of mentioning hay bales, this is exactly what I meant when I typed “risks were taken” as racing is inherently risky. Cars were made lighter and weaker.

    I also didn’t say the 1970’s weren’t dangerous. As we saw yesterday, motor racing is dangerous in 2011.

  7. A. Ott. I can’t answer that. If you can afford the best system you can get, get one. The minimum becomes irrelevant if you want the maximum.

  8. Bruce, we’re slowing down the introduction of new testers into the closed beta. The testers in there now will probably continue as testers of updates and patches though so it still might be worth asking. You should just inquire into the emails on the contact page at rfactor.net.

    Yes, Monaco was the track. But… here’s a teaser… We’re not done yet. ;)

    Yeah I am waiting to hear back from some friends at IMS to find out what the family want done in the way of flowers or donations. It’s hard to think of his wife and those kids alone. My little girls’s name is Suzie, the same as Dan’s wife.

  9. HEy, I have been covnerting many tracks between the Simbin and ISI format… and I am currently working on a few scratch made tracks myself. I would love to contributer to rFactor 2 in any way, if possible.

  10. Can’t wait. But how wrong is Eau Rouge in GPL? It looks similar to the pictures from that era.

  11. Well the hill is still the same height, etc, but the GPL Eau Rouge is the modern turn, while the historic one used what is now the runoff on the left side of the entry to the modern one. It was a much tighter turn and in rFactor 2 I drop a gear before I turn in, then another two on the entry.

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I grew up in a household where waking up at 2am to watch races in Australia or Japan were the norm. We were huge fans of motor racing, so playing racing games seems like a natural extension of that.

My first racing game addiction was with Geoff Crammond's 'Formula 1 Grand Prix' released in 1992 on the Commodore Amiga. This game kept me going for a long time thanks to various editing tools which were available, and I continued to play it until I owned a PC. After that, I played through most of the Papyrus and Image Space Inc. titles, but have most fond memories of Grand Prix Legends.

I founded a major sim racing site that led to my employment at iRacing, Image Space Inc. and later on, Studio 397. The difficulty in working in the industry is how little time you often have to play your own games. Quite often I escape with space games instead!

Left: GP cars at Silverstone in rFactor 2.


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Tim is British and lives in the United States with his wife and kids.

He works for software developers Image Space Inc. and Studio 397 on their racing simulations, and is a fan of Gaming, Motorsports, and photography.