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rFactor 2 Competition System beta has been released!

The sim racing community got an early Christmas present from Studio 397 who is the developer of rFactor 2 when the long awaited competition system got released in a public beta version. In the summer of 2020, the managing director of Studio 397 Marcel Offermans sat down with us to talk about the journey rFactor 2 has been on since they took over from Image Space Incorporated in 2016, and one of the topics he spoke about was the competition system and the new user interface. The UI has been in beta for quite a while, but with the release of the competition system, it has become the default UI that we will see from now on. So what is the competition system? It’s rFactor 2’s answer to a matchmaking system where you anytime a day can race against fellow sim racers from around the world. At the moment, there’s two series’ to participate in with the Tatuus Winter Series and the GTE Winter Series. Well over 1500 have so far been registered as participants in the two series’ combined. The Competition system is still in beta, so stuff like Rating and live stewarding will be added in the near coming future. Here’s Marcel Offermans vie on the first couple of weeks of the competition system:   “So far we have been very happy. In this test phase we are literally looking at achieving certain test goals, like making sure all parts of the infrastructure work together nicely, before we end up adding more features and competitions to the system. We're continuously updating the system and getting good community feedback on what people want.” To stay up to date with the development of rFactor 2 and their competition system, go to Studio 397’s website and visit our forum to tell what you think of the competition system. 

Dramatic first Oval race of The Race IndyPRO Championship

  After the great success of The All-Star Esports Battle from THE RACE, they have teamed up with the premier open wheel racing organizer on rFactor 2 Formula SimRacing for the IndyPRO Championship. Last night, the penultimate round of the series took place and it was a very different show compared to the first four rounds because this was an oval race.  Apple Valley Speedway provided asphalt for 120 laps of Indycar oval racing with the elite on rFactor 2. Janos Brackzok took pole position just ahead of Jori Toman, with the 2020 FSR world championship runner-up Petar Brljak and then the world champion and IndyPRO Championship leader Jernej Simoncic in third and fourth place. It was a very clean start to the race, but on lap 6, a huge crash including Vojta Polesny from Varga SimRacing brought out the first full course caution. Williams Esports Martin Stefanko retired from the race shortly after, which pretty much ended his hopes to fight for the title. At the end of lap 12, they went back to green flag, but during the caution, people like Alex Siebel and Philip Kraus took an early pitstop. For Kraus, that decision could be crucial for later in the race.  Things went pretty smooth until lap 79 where Jan Woznika pitted from the lead, but on pit exit, he had a big amount of wheel spin and lost the rear of the car which sent him right into the lane of Alen Terzic who had no chance of avoiding an accident and the race ended for both of them. Both Burst Esport drivers of Jernej Simoncic and Michi Hoyer almost got taken out as well, but they managed to go around each side of Woznika and Terzic.  Race control waved the green flag on lap 99 to end the second caution period with Michi Hoyer leading ahead of his teammate and championship leader Jernej Simoncic. The slovenian double FSR world champion quickly took the lead with Hoyer dropping down to fifth.  Kasper Stolze of Jean Alesi Esports Academy tapped the back of Danny Van der Niet to bring out a third caution period which also was the last one. Going back to green, it was once again a Burst Esport car in the lead, this time it was Simoncic with Peta Brljak right behind him. Hoyer came like a rocket up to second place and shortly after, Phil Kraus and Alex Siebel joined the action. Kraus managed to overtake Simoncic and had his focus on the race leader Brljak, who he quickly overtook and with the immense pace at the very end, he crossed the finish line to take the victory on home soil ahead of Petar Brljak and Jernej Simoncic. With this, Simoncic extended his championship lead to 30 points to second place of Alex Siebel. All to race for at the series finale on the 8th of November at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which you can watch right here on

Excluisve Interview: Marco Massarutto from Kunos Simulazioni - Part two

Welcome to part two of our conversation with Marco Massarutto from Kunos Simulazioni. Last time we covered topics such as how Marco started working with Stefano Casillo and the thought process behind the success of Assetto Corsa. In part two, we are talking about their latest project, Assetto Corsa Competizione, the world of esport and the future of the Assetto Corsa brand. Enjoy! When developing cars, do you receive data from manufacturers and teams and if so, which sort of data do you receive and how does it affect the development of your content? Each car manufacturer has a different approach. Sometimes you negotiate the license through an external agency or even directly with the licensing team of the manufacturer, but you can't necessarily expect that the licensing manager will tell the engineers to cooperate with you to provide you with the data you need, or that the person you negotiate with has all the data and information you need.  Not to mention the motorsport team of a manufacturer, that usually behaves as a separate entity. So getting the license to reproduce a car is one thing, getting all the data you need is a different matter, and sometimes the two things are not connected, but it has improved over the last 10 years or so. I can say that through the years we gained a very good reputation so the level of cooperation we can expect from a manufacturer is quite high. We have a list of parameters, except for the CAD files, that we ask them to compile, but through the years we also built a very powerful network with drivers, engineers, workshops, owners, who help us to get access to the cars and data we are interested in when we don’t drive them personally. People were excited when you announced Assetto Corsa Competizione. How did the deal to become the official GT World Challenge videogame come to fruition? When Stefano and I started to think about what's the next AC. Our aim was to explore how deep we could go in terms of physics, features, gameplay and if we could focus on a single racing series, and the GT World Challenge seemed to be perfect. Beautiful high-performance racing cars, the best brands, the best tracks, one tyre compound. So I got in touch with SRO and when we met each other, they were looking for an official product and seeing that the creators of Assetto Corsa were interested in producing it, everybody was excited by this opportunity. The last couple of years, sim racing has increased in popularity within the world of esport. Have you felt a difference over the years and how do you see the future of the business? Unfortunately, Covid-19 forced real motorsport to stay at home, and we saw a very different approach about the way the automotive and motorsport industry looked at sim racing. Even if things had started to change 2-3 years earlier, this pandemic has been a huge accelerator that allowed a lot of people to go far more in-depth with sim racing than ever before. Having Valentino Rossi, Charles Leclerc, Francesco Bagnaia and many others racing with us while Sky Sport F1 streamed the race on TV says a lot about the potential. car manufacturers and racing teams seem to understand what sim racing is about far more, and they are already working to organize esport activities for the years to come. Is there something that has surprised you in a positive and/or negative way during the 15 years Kunos has exited? Well, when we released netKar PRO in 2006 I didn’t imagine that our debut would be so tough, and for many years we had to face a lot of professional and personal challenges. On the other side, if you ten years ago you told me that more than 3 million users would have played our simulation, I wouldn’t believe that. One thing that makes me so proud is seeing the dedication a lot of users have for AC and AC Competizione, and they continue to ask for more content and more features because they are still excited about our simulation. Also, if I think how the approach and relationships with the automotive industry have changed in the last 10 years, it’s something that makes me so proud about the good reputation we gained thanks to our dedication and hard work, and the opportunities that it brought. How does the future look like for Kunos Simulazioni and the Assetto Corsa brand? Will we see an Assetto Corsa 2 or could we see a title with other motorsport organizations like ACO? It’s a bit early to talk about it, but we miss road cars so much, and our users love them so badly, so it’s definitely something we want to consider in the future. The only thing I can guarantee you is that realism and car handling will continue to be part of our DNA forever. You can almost feel the passion for sim racing, motorsport and cars in general from what Marco said. It was a pleasure to interview him and who knows, maybe we soon will see some big events with the car manufacturers involved as Marco mentioned. This is the end of our interview with Marco Massarutto. We hope you have enjoyed it and let us know what you found most interesting of what he said. From Global SimRacing Hub, thank you to Marco Massarutto and Kunos Simulazioni for taking time for this interview. If you want to find streams and race broadcasts with Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione, don’t look further. It’s all here on

Excluisve Interview: Marco Massarutto from Kunos Simulazioni - Part one

Hello and welcome to another article series here on the Global SimRacing Hub! We have another interview ready for you with one of the main persons behind the big sim racing titles. This time we have spoken to Marco Massarutto from Kunos Simulazioni, who is the developer of Assetto Corsa and Assetto Corsa Competizione. Enjoy! Hi Marco, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. Let’s go back to 2005. What made you and Stefano Casillo take the step to found Kunos Simulazioni? Two years before, I was managing which at the time was one of the most important and popular European sim racing websites, and we also collected important partnerships with F1 Racing and other motorsport magazines.  I was keen to let the automotive and motorsport industry understand that sim racing was something different and more than “video gaming”, and it wasn’t easy at all. So when Dunlop contacted me to host a sim racing event in Misano, I asked Stefano for permission to use his netKar game, because despite its “roughness”, I believed it was the ideal showcase to open that door. Stefano agreed, so I produced a customized version of the software for that event, involving other people, working on logistics, packaging, management, and so on. When Stefano decided to bring netKar PRO to the next level, he thought I was the man he was looking for. We worked together for more than 15 years, and it has been just great.  Everyone in sim racing has even heard of or played Assetto Corsa, which today still is very popular within the community. When did the idea of making Assetto Corsa come to your mind and how long was the development before release in 2014? Assetto Corsa was our third product after netKar PRO and Ferrari Virtual Academy, which barely provided the starting budget to work on something bigger.  Those products were aimed for the typical niche of hardcore sim racers. The idea behind AC was to produce a hardcore PC simulation that in terms of car choices and tracks woould look familiar to the Gran Turismo fans, but going far deeper in terms of car handling, physics, behaviour and car setups, not mentioning the modding features.  We aimed to include not only those racing cars and content you typically find in any hardcore PC simulation but also road cars that lots of car enthusiasts can drive every day. The goal was to feed a wider audience without compromising realism and I think we nailed it. One of the reasons behind the continuing success of Assetto Corsa was the accessibility to create and install mods. Was that the plan from the very start and how important do you think mods are in sim racing titles as a whole? I agree. I’ve also been surprised to see the level of complexity and dedication lots of talented users have shown, to the point throughout the years, where we hired some of them.  About the strategy, we are convinced that this is a very flexible platform for our team. First of all, when the AC project started we were 6 people in the company, and in 2015 we  were just 14, so we needed to take any possible advantage in terms of structure flexibility, in order to speed up the production flow. Also, AC was available for some dedicated B2B activities, with Ferrari, Dallara and other companies way before we released the public version, and having a moddable platform was absolutely needed to avoid any bottleneck with our partners.  Surprisingly, more than 60% of overall AC users are console players that can’t take advantage of the modding on PS4 and Xbox One. That means a lot of people also appreciate the original content we provided for AC. This concludes part one of the interview with Marco. Him and Stefano’s approach and vision of how Assetto should look like and the journey since Kunos Simulazioni have been through was truly fascinating! In part two, we are gonna talk and the current and the future of Assetto Corsa. Stay tuned!  

Close battles and controversy in round 8 of the Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup

  The Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup went to the green hell, Nürburgring Nordschleife for the series. Sebastian Job from Red Bull Esport has been the man to beat so far and around the bumpy 21 kilometres, he had the opportunity to extend his championship lead. His teammate Patrik Holzmann started from pole position in the sprint race and managed to defend his position going into turn one. Kevin Ellis Jr. was right behind him and putting on the pressure on a track which is very unforgiving. At the end of lap one, Maximillian Benecke and Joshua Rogers went side by side on the long back straight, but Benecke lost control of his car going into the final couple of corners, went over the grass and collided with Rogers and ended the race for both of them. In the last round at Spa Francorchamps, the two of them also collided which is adding a bit to the rivalry between the two.  Not much happened after that, and Patrik Holzmann held on to win the sprint race ahead of Kevin Ellis Jr. and Mitchell DeJong.  Feature race Starting grid for the feature race was as the sprint race finished so Patrik Holzmann lined up in pole position once again with Kevin Ellis Jr. and Mitchell DeJong, with championship leader Sebastian Job in 4th.  Ellis Jr. made a great start to take the lead and Job went up to third place, just behind his German teammate. On lap two of four, Holzmann and Job overtook Ellis Jr. on the back straight to make it a Red Bull Esport 1-2, with Mack Bakkum slowly but steadily catching up to the front trio. On the curvy straight before the first carousel, Sebastian Job took some bravery pills as Martin Haven in the commentary box said and overtook Patrik Holzmann around the outside to take the race lead with one and a half lap to go. That move proved to be the one that secured Sebastian Job his sixth race win of the  Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup 2020 and extended his championship lead to 45 points ahead of Joshua Rogers who struggled to recover after the collision with Benecke in the sprint race. Next round of the Porsche Tag Heuer Esports Supercup takes place on the 26th of September at Le Mans and make sure to add that race to your calendar here on, so you don’t miss a surely intense round at Circuit de la Sarthe.

How to get started with sim racing - Part 3: Simulators

Welcome to the third and final part of our how to get started guide to sim racing. So far we have covered arcade and sim-cade with suiting equipment. This one is gonna be simulators and more high-end equipment. Let’s get to it! If you want to have the most realistic virtual racing experience, then there’s two titles that clearly stand out from the rest. iRacing and rFactor 2. For you who want to pursue a career in esport, this is where you probably will end up at some point. Both games are only available on PC, but doesn’t need expensive high-end PC’s to run at decent performance. Neither of them is the shiny graphic experience like the games we covered on part one, but you don’t race on iRacing and rFactor 2 for the graphics. You play them for the physics and realism in terms of car behaviour.  What's iRacing? iRacing is subscription based where you buy a 1, 3, 12 or 24 months at a time. As a base you start out with a limited number of cars and tracks, the rest have to be purchased as DLC. The cars cost $12 and the tracks $15 each. However, there is a quantity discount if you buy several items at once, and if you buy everything at the same time, you get a 30 percent discount. It can be an expensive journey, but every car and track is laser scanned, which ensures high quality content. iRacing offers a wide range of series in all types of racing. All from the traditional road and oval racing to rallycross and dirt ovals. There’s a licensing system that determines which series you have access to run, so you have to work your way up in each discipline of racing.  Everyone starts in Rookie class.    The way to upgrade your license is to race clean and fair in a certain number of races of a series in your current license level. If you to that, you will receive points for your safety rating which promotes yo directly to the next license class when it reaches 4.0 or above. You can also move up by having a safety rating of 3.0 or above when the season ends. A season runs over 12 weeks, with the track changing every week in each series. TO find more information regarding license classes and much more, visit the links to iRacing’s YouTube channel at the end of this article, where you can find several how-to videos.  What's rFactor 2? A couple of months ago, we interviewed the managing director of Studio 397, Marcel Offermans, that develops rFactor 2. There you got a great insight into the progress the simulator have had in recent years and what’s still to come. rFactor 2 can be purchased through Steam for €30. As with iRacing, you start out with a limited number of cars and lanes, but in return, there are plenty of mods you can download through the steam workshop for free. First and foremost, look for cars and tracks made by Image Space Incorporation or Studio 397. These are made by the developers of rFactor 2, which guarantees you high quality content while it being free.  It is also possible to buy cars and tracks, which will probably become the norm for rFactor 2 in the future. There are car packs with prototypes and GT cars, as well as laser scanned track such as Le Mans, Nürnburgring(both GP and the Nordschleife) and Sebring.  rFactor 2 is currently limited to organized league racing when it comes to multiplayer. As Marcel Offermans mentioned in the interview with us, a matchmaking system is coming to rFactor 2 with the new UI that seems to be a game changer. But until then, there’s plenty of great leagues to participate in. If you’re a fan of long distance racing, then the Virtual Endurance Championship, also called VEC is a logic choice. VEC is basically a virtual edition of the popular WEC series from real-life motorsports. The organizers of VEC collaborate with the developers of rFactor 2, Studio 397 and are therefore ensured that the series is well-run and professional.  In addition, rFactor 2 is also the game that was used for the 24 hours of Le Mans virtual in June this year, that was a huge success both on and off track. For open-wheel racing, Formula SimRacing and GPVWC is the two top leagues on rFactor 2. Both have a ladder system that gives you the ability to go through a learning curve before taking on the elite of sim racing.  Equipment In terms of equipment, the belt-driven wheels mentioned in part two is used by many top drivers in these games. But if you wanna take a step up, a direct drive wheel from SimuCube or Fanatec with a set of pedals from Heusinkveld being the way to go. A direct drive wheel is basically a servo motor, which gives you a huge amount of detail about the behaviour of your car. These bit of kit are quite expensive, but it also gives you a whole new experience and gets you closer to the feeling of a real race car. For rigs, an aluminium cockpit is necessary to cope with the forces of the direct drive wheel and pedals with loadcell brake from Heusinkveld. Like mentioned in part two, SimPlexity is a great choice with their multiple options of rigs and customization.   That concludes the end of part three. I hope this has made you wiser on which game and platform to choose to get started on sim racing. Put a comment below this article if you have any questions, create a thread in our forum section or message us on the GSRH Facebook page. Link to every game, league and equipment mentioned can be found at the bottom of this article.    iRacing iRacing How-to videos: rFactor 2 Buy rFactor 2 on steam Virtual Endurance Championship Formula SimRacing GPVWC Equipment

How to get started with sim racing - Part 2: Sim-cade

Welcome to part two of our article series on how to get started with sim racing. Today’s topic is the so called sim-cade category, a combination of simulation. Let's get started! What is sim-cade? It’s a step closer to real world racing but still isn’t a simulator. These types of games will provide a great starting point for many who later wants to get into the hardcore simulators, but also the casual gamer who we covered in part one can have many great hours of racing. F1 2020 and Assetto Corsa.  Those games are great examples of what isn’t directly what would be called a simulator, but they have some elements going in that direction. The behaviour of the cars in these are not as realistic as 2 other titles we will come to in part three, but they are a great starting point. All three are available on PC, PS4 and Xbox. For the F1 games, there are excellent opportunities to join online leagues.  F1 2020 has a dozen of private leagues which have been running for years. ApexOnlineRacing is known as the most prominent leagues besides the F1 Esport Series. Here you can get racing against fellow racing fans in the incredibly fast Formula one machinery. Assetto Corsa was released back in 2014, but it’s still very popular within the sim racing community, which is helped by thousands of cars, tracks and much more made by the community for the PC version. In 2016 Kunoz Simulation released Assetto Corsa on the PS4 and Xbox one, but here you don’t have the luxury of the third party content like on the PC version. The “sequel”, Assetto Corsa Competizione which is the official Blancpain GT series racing game offers everything in the world of GT3 and GT4 racing. Every car brands from the real world series are to be found in the game and you can quickly drop in an open lobby and race against people from all around the globe. Now that we know a couple of games which could be an option as a starting point for you who wants to climb the sim racing ladder or wants a game which isn’t limited to console only let’s go a step further in terms of equipment. Fanatec has for years produced great products which suit every level of sim racing. However, they are a bit more expensive than Logitech G29 and Thrustmaster T150 and T300. The Fanatec CSL Elite is great value for money and can be bought as a bundle with an F1 steering wheel and a set of pedals for 700 Euros. With the pedals, you have an option to buy a loadcell brake kit which will give a more realistic and consistent feeling under braking. From Fanatec too, the V2,5 wheelbase which goes for 550 Euros, gives you a lot of detail in the force feedback and just like the CSL Elite, you can use multiple wheel rims, so you can use a circular one for rally and a formula style rim for open wheelers, GT’s and prototypes.  Thrustmaster has an option is a similar price range to the CSL Elite with the TS-PC racer which comes with a formula style rim.  At this point, you can still mount the wheelbase to a desk or a playseat challenge. But with the increased forces through the steering wheel and especially if you got a loadcell brake you might start looking at getting an aluminium rig. Here SimPlexity can be a great option. They also have plenty of customization options which enables you to make your rig more personal. At SimPlexity, you can also buy complete sim racing setups with wheel, pedals, rig, monitor, monitor stand and PC/console. They have a range of 3 alu-rigs, so If you’re on a budget, don’t worry. That’s the end of part two. Next time we are going into the big simulator titles and more. Stay tuned. You can find links to all equipment mentioned here down below. Fanatec CSL Elite F1 bundle Fanatec ClubSport V2,5 wheelbase Thrustmaster TS-PC Racer SimPlexity

How to get started with sim racing - Part 1: Entry level and casual gamers

Welcome to an article series on how to get started with sim racing. We cover everything from equipment and gaming platform to what suits your specific needs, based on what you are looking for. In part one we are gonna focus on the casual gamers, the wider audience. Let's get started! First of all, it is important to do know what you’re looking for and what your expectations are before you start with sim racing. Is your aim to go all the way and drive against the best in the world and try to make a living in the long run, or will you use sim racing to relax for a few hours after a busy day at work.  The reason for this question is that there’s a lot of games to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. But the most important thing in this context is the realism of them. There are 3 categories you can put them into. Arcade, sim-cade(mix of simulator and arcade), and last but not least simulator. In addition to the game, equipment is an important part of sim racing and there are also various options to choose from. Many have played with a controller on Playstation or Xbox, but if you want to invest in a wheel and pedal set, I would highly recommend buying a steering wheel with force feedback.  This means that when you turn, you notice resistance or vibration in the steering wheel that tells you what the car is doing. For example, if you drive over a curb, you will probably notice a quick jerk and when you oversteer or understeer you may notice that the steering wheel becomes easier to turn because the car is sliding and has no grip.  There are 3 types of force feedback. Gear driven, belt driven and direct drive. What the difference is and much more I will discuss later in this series. If you wanna go racing on console, I would suggest getting a Logitech G29, Thrustmaster T150 or T300 for Playstation and get Gran Turismo Sport and if you prefer Xbox, go for a Logitech G920 or Thrustmaster TMX and Forza Motorsport as the game. All wheels can either be mounted on a desk or you can go for a rig like the Playseat challenge. Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are the ones I want to put in the arcade category. They fit very well with the wider audience of casual gamers, where it's plug n' play without having to set up hundreds of things to get it run. They are not very realistic in terms of the behaviour of cars versus reality. The steering wheels mentioned above are all compatible for PC. Forza Motorsport can also be found on this platform, but also titles such as Project CARS 2 offers a great variety of racing categories. That concludes the first part of our how to get started guide to sim racing. If there should be any questions, visit our forum and make a thread. In part 2 we will go a step up the sim racing ladder and take a look at the sim-cade category, which also can give many great hours of racing for the casual gamer. 

FSR 2020 round 8 - Championship fight intensifies

Jernej Simončič could seal his second world championship title in round 8 of the 2020 season in Formula SimRacing at Zandvoort. The dutch circuit delivered plenty of action.  Championship leader Jernej Simončič qualified 2nd behind Dennis Jordan from Evolution Motorsport. The Slovenian world champion took the lead into turn one while championship rival Petar Brljak was further down the field in P5. Michi Hoyer started all the way down in 16th due to technical issues which meant he wasn’t able to set a competitive lap time in qualifying, so he was a man on a mission. The german Burst Esport driver made a brilliant start and gained three positions during the first lap. Back to the battle at the front, Simončič was controlling the race from the front, but a disaster happened at lap 17 when an internet disconnection saw him having his second DNF in 6 years of racing in FSR. This opened up the championship fight completely since Petar Brljak now had the opportunity to close the gap in the standings significantly. The Croatian Edge Esport driver pitted a couple of laps before people such as Dennis Jordan, Muhammed Patel and Alex Siebel, which saw him jump up into second place after the first round of pit stops. 54 laps to go and Brljak only had the pole sitter Dennis Jordan ahead. A very intense and close battle unfolded for the rest of the race, but despite several attempts from Brljak, Dennis Jordan held on and secured his first ever race win in the Formula SimRacing World Championship. Muhammed Patel come home in 3rd with Jordan’s teammate Alex Siebel just behind in P4 Michi Hoyer recovered to P7 after starting way down the field. He drops to fourth in the standings behind Dennis Jordan. Jernej Simončič is still leading, but the gap is down to just 11 points with two rounds to go. In the team championship, Evolution Motorsport jumps to the top with Burst Esport SimPlexity just 3 points behind. The championship fights intensify and nothing is decided! The penultimate round takes place at the 26th of July where the legendary Suzuka Circuit sets the scene in what could be a championship decider. 

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