03: CAREER MODE
Project CARS 2’s Career mode can be accessed from Race Central. Here you have the options to start your ultimate driver journey, or to continue the progression and management of previously created driver career profiles.
Your career begins with clicking on the New Driver tab. Enter your first and last name, then a three-letter initial —this will be used to identify you in position boards when you’re racing.
Enter a nationality/region, hit Create to complete the initial set-up process, and you’re ready to enter the authentic world of a real motorsport driver.
MY CAREER PATH
There are few restrictions in Project CARS 2 regarding series selection for your career. On the My Career Path screen, the various motorsport class options are organised into Tiers, with each Tier comprising combinations of different disciplines, including touring cars, single-seaters, and GTs.
In general, the cars become more powerful as you move up from the sixth Tier. Each one has a logo associated with it which is used throughout the game to define that class.
You can start right at the beginning in karts and work your way up, or jump straight into a powerful LMP3 or single-seater.
Only the top two Tiers are locked, each of which can be accessed by completing a season in the Tier below: complete a season in Tier 3, and all the Tier 2 championships will unlock; complete a Tier 2 championship, and the full range of Tier 1 series will become available.
This means you have a number of options when it comes to deciding your career path. As in a real career, you could progress all the way from the bottom of the hierarchy of series to the top by succeeding and progressing to the next available championship.
Alternatively, you could switch between different styles of motorsport across successive seasons as most motorsport drivers do, or you could go straight for one particular type of motorsport and spend one or more seasons there.
As you progress through your career, you will re-visit the My Career Path screen after each completed season, so you can track both your progress and also choose new paths.
The seasons you have completed will have a position number or trophy beside them, to indicate how well you did in that championship.
There’s a logical path laid out in Project CARS 2: for instance, from Ginetta Juniors through Ginetta GT5, GT4 to GT3 (if you wanted to follow a career in GTs).
Once you’ve clicked on your chosen motorsport, you’ll be shown a short introductory video that will demonstrate the cars you’ll be driving in, and also against.
CHOOSE A SERIES
You now have the opportunity of customising your season. The right side of the screen shows you the calendar of race events that awaits you along with the tracks you will race on.
You can choose a full season or a shorter version with fewer races (if time is an issue).
There will normally be multiple championship Tiers, sometimes with different starting points. For instance, if you have selected Kart One, you can start with either the UK Kart Championship, or the SMS Kart Championship, which races across international tracks.
Completing either then opens up an entry into the World Championship.
Click on Rules & Regulations to get an outline of the championship set-up: for instance, how many sessions per race event, grid placement, pit regulations, class rules, and the championship points system.
Click on Continue once you’ve made your selection and thoroughly understood the championship’s regulations.
CHOOSE A VEHICLE
The next stage is to choose your car for the season ahead. For certain championships, you’ll only be able to select a livery, but in single- or multi-class series, you will also be permitted to choose your car.
You can see a preview of the car on the right of the screen, along with its full range of statistics, including class, drive, top speed, acceleration, power, and more, along with a rough outline of how difficult the car is to control, and how relatively fast it is through corners.
Click on the Showroom button to take you into the 360-degree viewing mode, where you can see your car in all its glorious detail.
You can use Photo Mode to set up stunning images of your car, which are then saved to your profile. You can also change the camera type and use realistic camera controls to set up your shot, and then apply any of a range of filters to complete your image.
CHOOSE A TEAM
With your car now selected, you’ll be presented with the Choose A Team screen, where you can change the livery of your selected vehicle.
Most cars have a wide range of team liveries to choose from, taken from both the real world, and bespoke fictional creations. You can scroll through the list and then click on a car to see a preview of the team livery.
Once you’re done, click Select.
You’ll now be presented with your Career Dashboard, which is the main hub for your current career. This is also the screen you’ll see when you continue an existing championship. You can launch all the various driving events available to you, and manage all the aspects of your racing career here, so take a moment to look around.
Clicking on the Start panel launches the next event in your current career. It will display the championship name, which round, a track map, and your selected car.
The Round Start screen will present you with a comprehensive view of the upcoming event: the track (along with a track map), the round number, your selected car, which sessions are available, and the times they will start.
Don’t forget that the time of day has a fundamental effect on the environment in Project CARS 2: it’s not just an aesthetic backdrop to your racing.
For championship rounds, you can change the Career Settings to control opponent skill and aggression on track, turn Practice and Qualifying sessions on or off independently, and even change the length of the race itself.
In invitational events, sometimes you also have the choice to change your car.
Once you’re satisfied with the race set-up, press Start to launch into the action on-track.
The Calendar highlights three events in your schedule: initially the next three rounds, but subsequently the previous, current, and next rounds.
Click on the panel to open an extended Career Calendar screen, which will show the entire championship calendar.
The currently running event will be highlighted, with completed events greyed-out, and upcoming events visible but without the highlight.
The Standings panel displays an overview of the current championship points table, showing the current position of you and your team, plus the results of the three best other drivers and teams.
Click on the panel to open the expanded Career Standings screen, which will then display the complete standings for drivers and teams in the current championship.
To the left is the current championship points table, showing the cumulative points awarded so far. Next is the teams’ points table, and then on the right is a scrollable round-by-round results table, where you can click through the events to see the results at each race.
In a multi-class championship, there will be a filter option available that allows you to toggle between cars by overall positions, group by class positions, or focus on a specific class. The classes will be grouped together in order of priority, so that the leader of a GT class will always be behind the last driver of a competing prototype team.
Throughout your career you’ll be receiving emails, which will contain things like updates from the team, new offers for drives in special events, and information from your race engineer on performance.
If you have new, unread emails, the panel will show a badge with the number of unread messages awaiting your attention. Click on the panel to open the Career Emails view, where you can read new emails (shown by a yellow envelope icon), and go through older messages (a white open envelope icon).
You can view emails by clicking on them: the body text will be shown on the right of the screen. You can delete messages by clicking the red trash icon to the left of a highlighted email.
• NEWS TICKER
Here you will see various scrolling headlines, such as race results or media reaction to your performances.
As you progress through your career and race cars from a specific manufacturer, you can build up an affinity with that company, which can then lead to invitations to drive in qualification and other special events.
Clicking on the Manufacturer Drives button opens up a screen that shows you all the available factory drives, and your progress with each individual manufacturer.
The more you drive a particular make of car, the further you will progress to unlocking that manufacturer, which is indicated by a bar below the logo.
Once you’ve built up enough affinity to unlock a manufacturer, you’ll be invited to drive in a single race event. Completing the event successfully will make you a brand advocate, affording you the opportunity to drive in three consecutive events for that brand.
At first, just the first race will be unlocked: you have to perform adequately to progress to the next event.
You can see the events available from unlocked manufacturers by clicking on their respective icons: the three races will be listed, along with session information about any event that is currently in progress.
If you do not perform well enough on your first try, you are free to try again to unlock the next race.
Invitational events are awarded throughout your Career, and include a wide range of different motorsports. You can replay these at any time, and as many times as you want.
You can participate in Invitational Events at any time without interrupting your main career flow. On the Invitational Events screen, you will see these events sorted into motorsport categories. On each category tile, you will see how many of the events you already have unlocked, if any.
If you recently have unlocked a new event, on the Invitational Events screen you will see some information on that tile that there’s something new to check out.
When selecting one of the motorsports tiles, you will be shown another overview. In a scrollable list, you will see posters of all events for this motorsport. A padlock means this event is still to be unlocked—the text in the yellow box below the posters will show you the criteria required to access it.
If you’ve completed an event, it will show you your best finishing position.
• LIFETIME GOALS
The ultimate goal in any racer’s career is to win the famous Triple Crown—the Le Mans 24 Hours, Indianapolis 500, and Azure Grand Prix—and in Project CARS 2, you can have that same aspiration.
Click on the Lifetime Goals panel to bring up a list of targets for your career, which includes a range of challenges that would stud the crown of any motorsport great. Just like the real world, earning even one is a massive achievement.
You can track your progress towards achieving any of the goals here, and you can become part of the Hall Of Fame if you manage to earn four Lifetime Goals.
The Trophies screen is your personal trophy cabinet. In this screen you can see a grid of all the possible trophies you can earn across the plethora of championships in Project CARS 2. Every time you win a trophy for a podium finish it will appear here; click on the trophy to see the success video you would have seen right after winning the series.
• MY CAREER
The My Career screen tracks your career trajectory, mapping it in a similar way to the Career Path layout where you chose your first championship option.
You will be able to trace your chosen career path, and track the positions you have achieved along the way.
The currently active series will be highlighted.
• CAREER SETTINGS
Selecting the Career Settings option allows you to fine-tune your racing environment. You can change the Opponent Skill Level, on a sliding scale from Level 0 (raw beginner) to 100 (the ultimate professional opposition).
A setting of 80 or higher will allow the opposition AI drivers to dynamically adjust their driving style away from the default to cope with changing conditions or specific tracks.
Opponent Aggression dictates how hard the other cars will race, again on a sliding scale from Level 0 (competitors will be very cautious) to 100 (they will show no quarter in their efforts to get past).
Allow Restarts is turned On by default: this allows you to restart any session that hasn’t gone to plan. Setting this to Off will make things much more realistic, but of course it also means that the smallest mistake can spell disaster.
You can revisit this screen between races to fine-tune the settings, in case you think the opposition are either too slow or too hard and fast out on track.
If you want to return to the standard settings, just press Reset To Defaults.
You can have up to five driver profiles active at any one time. Clicking on the Manage Drivers panel will take you to a screen where you can manage your saved driver profiles. You can load a different driver profile by clicking on it and pressing Yes in the Load Career option. You can also delete unwanted profiles by clicking on the red Delete button below a profile.