04: AT THE TRACK
Welcome to the race track. This section describes all the things you’ll encounter when you’ve loaded a new event and arrived at the track, from the tuning and race set-up options through to what’s available to you during a race.
Once you’ve selected your car and track and pressed Start, the environment will load in, and most event types will begin the session in the garage—though a race will deliver you straight to the grid.
Across the top of the window you will see event details, with a box showing the time remaining if you’re in a session such as Practice or Qualifying. This is replaced by a countdown timer in the multiplayer pre-race screen, showing how much time is left for you to make your final adjustments and get to the grid.
In the top bar there is also environmental information for the session: temperatures, wind speed, and direction. You will also see a rough weather forecast, so that you know what is in store for you when you leave the pits: it may be different to what you can currently see from the cockpit.
This data can be useful if you want to create your own setup to match potential future conditions. In the top right you have the current fuel and tyre status for your car.
The main portion of the screen is taken up with the leaderboard, which can be toggled between showing position information or a track map.
Immediately after you’ve loaded an event, the leaderboard will show a static list of competitors.
Note: If you have started a timed session, such as Practice or Qualifying, the timer will start counting down whether or not you have pressed Start to enter the session.
When you first arrive in your garage, you will presented with a number of menu options.
This will put you in the driving seat, and you can join the current session. If you are in the preparation phase for a race, pressing Start will signal that you are ready for the start of the race. Alternatively, you will leave the garage and be able to join the current session that’s in progress.
Remember that, if you’ve chosen manual pit control, you’ll need to keep your speed down in the pit lane, either manually or using the limiter. The crew member outside your garage will clearly indicate the direction to the pit-exit. There’s nothing more embarrassing than to be disqualified for heading the wrong way down the pit-lane, so pay attention!
• TUNING STRATEGY
Click on this button to enter the Tuning Setup options. You can either manually edit any aspect of your car’s set-up using Edit Setup (from aerodynamics and gearing to suspension and tyre choices), or interact with your Race Engineer to step through four main aspects of changing setups.
The best way to get a sense of where to go with your setup is to put some laps in initially, noting issues in any of the four main areas that your Race Engineer can help you with: braking, downforce, suspension or gearing.
Once you are back in the garage, select the Race Engineer from the Tuning Strategy option, and then select the area that you need to change. The Race Engineer will ask you a series of questions, and then suggest changes to the car that could help.
For instance, if the car is locking up under braking, they will ask if the locking is more front or rear biased, and then they may suggest changing either the brake pressure or bias.
It’s a great way to make logical changes to your car without delving into the very complex interactions of manually evolving a car’s setup.
Here you can change video, audio, and controller options. Some changes, such as video and controller sensitivities, will require a session to be restarted to come into effect: there will be a clear warning if that is the case.
There is an extra menu option available here to the Race Central version, Edit HUD Layout, which enables you to customise the on-screen information that you’re shown in the various HUD modes. See the main section on Editing the HUD for details.
• VIRTUAL REALITY
If you have a VR headset connected to your system, this button will appear. It allows you to adjust the angle and tilt of your wing and rear-view mirrors, to move your seat up, down, backwards and forwards. It also allows you to adjust World Scaling. Many people think World Scaling is okay at its default value, but VR is very personal. Increase this value up to make everything appear bigger, or down to make everything appear smaller. What you’re looking for is for the hands of the virtual driver to ‘feel’ like your hands. Aim for the Goldilocks Zone—not too big and not too small
Click Exit to leave the current event and return to the event set-up screen.
PAUSING WHILE DRIVING
Once you have a joined a session, pressing the Pause button while driving in a single-player event will pause the session and bring up contextual menu options in addition to the core options you can also see in the Garage.
You can also see a snapshot of current times and positions.
Note: If you pause during a multiplayer session, the session will continue around you. Be careful when using the Pause menu when you’re on track: consider pausing on a long straight, so that when you return to the driving mode, you can easily resume. Here are the additional menu options that are available when you pause during a single-player event
• RESUME SESSION
This will close the Pause menu and you will regain control of your car where you left off.
• RESTART SESSION
In the single-player modes, this is where you can choose to restart the session if things really haven’t gone your way and you have enabled the Allow Restarts option. Only the currently active session is affected, so you won’t have to work through a whole race weekend again.
• RETURN TO PIT BOX
Clicking this will return your car to the pits, where you’ll be presented with the Garage menu.
• VIEW RULES & REGULATIONS
During a Career event only, you can go here to remind yourself of the specific rules in the championship in which you’re competing.
• VIEW REPLAY
You can replay the last couple of minutes of on-track action while pausing the game. Once you’ve clicked View Replay, you can choose to follow any car in a session by selecting it in the leaderboard panel, and then view it from multiple camera angles using the on-screen toolset.
You can move through the current replay at different speeds and toggle the various parts of the UI On or Off. There’s also a leaderboard display and position overview of the currently selected car, showing its driver, class and position, plus the distance to any cars ahead or behind it.
If you have found a particularly great angle, you can also jump straight into the Photo Mode by clicking the camera icon.
• PHOTO MODE
If you want to take a glorious screenshot, this puts you in control of a set of virtual cameras with powerful abilities. You can select from Cockpit, Drone or Trackside cameras, and then change the distance and angle using your mouse and keyboard or gamepad (there’s on-screen help to show you the controls).
Just like a real camera, you can change settings such as aperture, focal length, and distance to optimise your shot: you can also apply one of a stunning range of filters by using the toggle button in the top-right of the camera control panel.
You can hide the UI (although it will never appear in any photos you take anyway)—just press the Escape key to bring the UI back.
Photos are saved to your My Profile area.
GARAGE MENU: SESSION IN PROGRESS
If you return to the garage, either by clicking Return To Pit Box from the Pause menu or by pitting, you will see some extra menu options become available. The leaderboard will now show all the cars in the current session, along with dynamic timing and position information.
Rejoin the active session by clicking Drive.
• RESTART SESSION
Restart the current session by clicking Restart Session.
The Monitor is a dynamic way of seeing the action around you: you can click on any car in the leaderboard panel, change camera viewing angles, and check any additional status information about that car.
• SKIP TO END
If you think you’ve delivered all you can, or you simply just want to fast-forward to the end of a session, click this button. This doesn’t end a session there, however: the remainder of the session will be simulated and the performances of other cars during the remaining virtual time will be calculated, so results may change in a session that’s been skipped.
MULTIPLAYER MENU OPTIONS
In multiplayer modes, you will need to confirm that you can take part in the race within a two-minute window. The timer for that can be found in the information bar. You will be kept on the screen but won’t be able to make any more changes, which means that you have to wait until the timer has gone to zero, or everyone else is ready as well.
Note: If you don’t hit the button inside the two minutes, you won’t be allowed to participate in the race, although you can still spectate.
In the multiplayer pre-race screen, you can see a small chat window you can use to talk with the other drivers.
Choosing this will take you to the spectator mode where you can watch the other drivers.
PIT STRATEGIES AND PITTING
To make it through a longer endurance race, compete in a series where pit-stops are mandatory or, more importantly, to pre-empt changing weather conditions, you can create preset strategies that will control the work your crew carry out when you stop in the pits.
You can make on-the-fly changes to strategy while in the cockpit using the In-Car Management system, but the most convenient place for setting out a pit strategy is when you’re in the garage.
From there you can enter a dedicated screen where you can create your own pit stop strategies and modify existing ones.
On top, you can create multiple strategies in order to have different options at your disposal: for instance, a fuel-only stop, or a change to wet weather tyres.
Custom strategies you’ve created will be listed here: click the pencil icon to edit them, or the red trash icon to delete. The currently active strategy will have a yellow tick against it
CREATE NEW PIT STRATEGY
On the pit strategies screen, choose Create New Pit Strategy, and name the new profile in the screen that follows: click Create to continue. Name your strategies clearly, so they are easy to identify in the heat of a race.
At the top of the list is the estimated time the current strategy will take if carried out in full, in seconds, with list of options below:
• PIT STRATEGY NAME
You can change the name of a strategy by clicking on Pit Strategy Name.
• FUEL & TYRE SETUP
Here you can select how much fuel to add during your pit-stop: the more fuel you add, the longer the stop will potentially take. Fuel intake is limited by the size of your tank, so refuelling will stop once the tank is full. You can then select tyre compounds and pressures.
• DAMAGE REPAIR
You can choose which types of damage to repair by toggling each option to Yes or No. Repairing mechanical damage can take considerable time to complete.
• SAVE PIT STRATEGY
Click this to save your new strategy, then Continue to return to the Pit Strategy screen.
• RESET PIT STRATEGY TO DEFAULTS
Click this to return the current strategy to the game defaults.
MAKING A STRATEGY ACTIVE
While several strategies can exist at the same time, only one will be the active strategy.
The active strategy is the one that will be the default option once you enter the pit-lane. In order to assign this status to another strategy, navigate to the line of the new strategy and make it active by clicking on it: a yellow tick will appear to the right.
If a strategy you have just created is the only one in the list, it will automatically become the active strategy. You can also select from saved pit strategies while in the cockpit via the In-Car Management system.
THE DRIVING HUD
The driving HUD presents a range of on-screen information to help you in a session, and can include comprehensive information about lap-times and the state of your car. There are three main modes available to choose from—Light, Full and Telemetry—which include key information by default, but you can fully personalise the Light and Full HUDs by repositioning and toggling all the various elements and in-game messages those HUD modes can display.
Click on Options during an event and choose Edit HUD Layout.
In the centre of the screen you can scroll between Full HUD options for the various driving camera modes—Cockpit, Bumper and Chase—and also set the Light HUD mode options. Tick the Use Grid box if you want all elements to snap to a preset grid, which makes them easier to line up.
First, change the HUD content: click and drag any box to move it around; when you click on a box it will also display the name of that element and allow you to choose between Off, which makes the element inactive, Minimal (which displays cut-down info), or Full, to indicate all the information available for that panel.
The standings panel gives you information about where you are in the pack and what the time differentials are from driver to driver. On top, there is information about time progression or the lap count of the race you’re in. The drivers are shown with their initials. You will get information about the classes the drivers belong to and additional symbols about their status, for example whether they’re in the pits or taking a joker lap in rallycross events. The list will be centred on you and will extend up and down.
• LAP TIMING
This element comes in two forms. One is a specialised version for the Time-Trial modes, the second is the standard version for the other game modes.
The race version shows your laps including time differences, which are in this order:
• The timing of the current lap
• The fastest lap you’ve posted (the reference for all deltas)
• The three previous laps
The deltas themselves will be red if you lost time compared to your fastest lap or green if you gained an advantage.
When in Time-Trial mode there is also additional information displayed:
• Your current lap and your lap-time potential: the lap time that is assembled from all your best sector records
• The world record for the track
• Your personal best
• Your previous laps
• The lap times of the ghosts you have selected, if applicable.
• RELATIVE TIMES
This panel displays your times in relation to the cars in front and behind you. The names of your opposition will be shown in different colours depending on their lap count:
• Red: drivers that have completed more laps, meaning that they might lap you
• White: drivers that are on the same lap as you
• Blue: drivers being a lap or more down compared to you
The rear view mirror’s standard position is close to the upper edge of the screen. It can be used in place of the mirror visible in the cockpit of a car, and becomes vital if you drive from an external view. The mirror can be On or Off.
• VISUAL SPLIT
This provides a dynamic colour-coded bar that tracks your current lap against the previous lap-time. It can be turned On or Off.
• DRIVING INFO
The Driving Info panel shows you position, speed and lap information out on track. It can be turned On or Off.
The track map is a zoomed-in overhead map where you will see the track as a wide line, you as an arrow driving along the map, and other drivers as dots either following you, or trying to get away. As in the Relative Times panel, red dots represent faster drivers who are a lap ahead, while blue dots show that this driver is a lap down. T
he map can be turned On or Off.
The speedo in Project CARS 2 is a multi-purpose indicator uniting several functions, which in Full mode will display your current speed, the selected gear, RPM, throttle- and brake-input bars, DRS activation, boost levels, current active assists, fuel level, and oil temperature.
In Minimal mode, you can see the tyre status, speed, gear, fuel level and throttle/brake inputs
• CAR INFO
The Car Info panel provides information about the general status of the car. It will help you to get the car to the finish by warning you of imminent problems, and can be a useful tool to keep your car in a state where it can be quick.
Full mode shows suspension, brake, tyre and damage information.
Light mode shows just tyres and damage. Temperature-dependent data such as brakes or tyres will dynamically progress from blue (cold) through green (optimum operating temperature) through to red (worn or damaged).
Tyre wear is shown by a degrading bar for each individual tyre. In Full mode, tyre conditions are shown across three areas: the centre and both shoulders of the tyre. Tyre pressures are indicated next to each tyre.
Damage to the front or rear aero’ or the engine is shown both as a percentage and also colour-coded. Green is in working condition, which will progress through to red as damage increases.
THE TELEMETRY HUD
This HUD mode provides sophisticated data on all aspects of your car, which can be used both to monitor performance and to inform set-up choices. Along with position and lap-time information in the upper left corner of the screen, there’s a G-force meter in the upper right. A force feedback meter displays the output from your wheel, if available, which can highlight clipping issues, and you can see your steering, throttle and brake inputs in the lower left. In the lower right you can check RPM, gear, clutch, throttle and brake inputs, horsepower and torque levels. The Telemetry HUD displays extensive data about each corner of the car: all aspects of tyre, suspension and brake data, again colour-coded for easy reference.
Project CARS 2 features a comprehensive In-Car Management system (ICM) which allows you to make dynamic adjustments to your car set-up (if available on your car), on-the-fly changes to pit strategy and toggle driver aids.
It uses an easy-to-navigate, hierarchal menu system that can be accessed with a single button click defined in your controller options and navigated using assignable D-Pad style controls.
Just press to the left to close the ICM menu.
• Brake Bias
Press to the left or right to decrease or increase brake bias levels.
• Fuel Map
Choose between different fuel maps if available.
• Request Pit Stop
Press to the right to request a pit-stop. Once active, you can use the ICM to cancel a pit-stop.
• Car Management
This sub-menu allows you to change the Stability Control, Traction Control and Anti-Lock Braking driver aid levels, plus the front and rear anti-roll bar settings (if available).
• Race Strategy
You can select between strategies if you have created custom pit strategies, or adjust a strategy on the fly: change tyre compound, refuelling levels or damage repair. You can also choose to swap to an AI driver at your next pit-stop.