Formula Drift world champion, Ford Factory Driver, and professional “Fun Haver” Vaughn Gittin Jr. brought three of his rides to the Project CARS 2 Fun Pack DLC that was released December 19th. Vaughn worked alongside the crew at Slightly Mad Studios throughout development of the game, and personally tested his cars to bring both the authenticity of their handling and the sheer fun of throwing them around to Project CARS 2.
Slightly Mad Studios’ Casey Ringley spent much time alongside Vaughn during the development of the game, and here he shares his insights into the three Gittin Jr. cars that came with the Fun Pack.
Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s Ford Bronco RTR ‘Brocky’
The drivetrain for this guy is a classic off-road racer setup. Engine is a Ford Performance Z427 cranking out 600hp@6500rpm with 560lb-ft@5000rpm. Power goes through a stock TH400 three-speed automatic- and transfer-box to give either RWD or 4WD―you can use the center ‘diff’ spool to toggle this in setup. Spool equals ‘yes’ for 4WD and ‘no’ for RWD.
The final drive ratio has a setting for the transfer-box low range gear, but really, this is only useful for rock crawling. There are also some optional TH400 gear ratio sets you can run, but the real thing is stock, as are the default setups with the 2.48, 1.48, 1.00 gear ratios. Typical differential setup Vaughn Gittin Jr. uses is a spool at the rear, and ratcheting locker in the front.
We had the real ‘Brocky’ scanned for art production, and this proved ideal for drawing up the long-travel suspension geometry―even the four-link solid rear axle works great over its 18-inch range of travel. The complete truck weighs in around 4500lb (2051KGs) with about a 50:50 weight distribution.
Motion ratios of the suspension mean it balances well with a 650lb/in front main spring and 200lb/in at the rear. Dampers are matched to some similar King units, but there is a big adjustment range in these things depending on the type of terrain being driven. We’ve gone fairly stiff and digressive for the rallycross tracks present in game, and that seems to work pretty well.
‘Brocky’ is maximum fun at the RX tracks. It’s about 4-5s slower than the RX cars, but being so big, and changing direction so much more, makes it all feel like a real event as you slide around. It becomes a beast in RWD mode; not fast at all, but great at doing donuts, and it drifts like a champ. It’s neat how responsive it is to setup changes. You get something completely different with AWD, max ride height of 40cm and balanced anti-roll bars versus lowering it, changing to RWD, and setting up the ARBs like a circuit racer. Very big toy truck.
Vaughn Gittin’s Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-FD
If we had to pick out one ‘star’ from the Fun Pack, this is the one most people will choose. Fundamentally, this thing is pretty simple and works almost like a dirt track racer. Take a basic Mustang shell, strip it down to basics, add a Roush-Yates V8 making stupid power levels, drive it through a 4-speed Andrews dog box to a ratcheting locker rear end, and change up the suspension geometry/setup to make those rear tyres dominate the handling.
Neat aspect of the Formula Drift rules is that the chassis-side suspension pickup points must remain stock, but wheel-side is free. Up front that means a custom control arm for the strut to push the wheels out for wider track, and a significant increase in caster angle. The rear gets more interesting. Standard Mustang rear end uses a funky multi-link suspension which is surely great for road car use, but probably a little finicky to deal with when tuning a race car. To get around this, they’ve used the stock pick up points mixed-and-matched with a custom upright and control arms to make a pure double wishbone configuration with the right kind of anti-squat and roll center properties to help with drifting. There are some good pictures on the interwebs showing what they did.
The trick to drifting it is really mostly about finding a setup that suits your style. We’ve included a few baseline options to get you started. The competition setup runs super low tyre pressures and softer rear end to lift the inside front tyre―you’ll see Vaughn’s car do this at Formula Drift events. It’s a good way to get huge drift angle at high speed, but takes massive commitment to hold that edge without over-rotating or straightening and spearing off in the other direction. The ‘drift’ setup takes more of a Demo Day approach with higher pressures and more rear end stiffness to balance with the front. It is easier to get into a drift, but generally slower through turns as a result, which is fine because we’re doing this for fun and not to impress the judges during a tandem run.
I’d recommend playing with both setups to see which feels better as a starting point for your personal style before tweaking tyre pressures and anti-roll bars from there. Small changes to handbrake strength can have a good effect in tuning the car, as well, for those of us without full analog handbrake hardware.
Being late in getting these notes written up, I’ve already seen some of your videos drifting the car and it’s great to see. Love the tandem runs and seeing others get on with such a different driving style. Try it in VR if you have a chance!
Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s Ford Mustang RTR 1966
There’s a lot in common between this one and its main competition, the in-game 1969 Trans-Am Camaro: 5L V8, front control arm with Hotchkiss rear axle, around 2800lb (1270KGs) total weight, and decent aero for that era.
For the engine, we took the GT350 302ci V8 as a reference point. There were claims of race-prepped engines cranking out 480hp@8000rpm for Trans-Am, but this is a fairly big number considering the homologation street car (not all that different) was generally agreed to produce 350hp and the Camaros it raced against were dyno-tested to show something in the low-400 range… and those won most of the races.
Our model uses dyno data from similar cars and balances it in the 415hp range at 7800rpm to fit well with the rest of the class. FIA’s historic database came through again with lots of good information, including a wide range of the gearbox options used in 302ci Mustangs from that era, and all are present here.
This car benefits from an improved model of the Hotchkiss rear suspension design. Many thanks to you guys for isolating the issues our old version of this geometry had on the Camaro. The investigation into why that one would fall apart resulted in a much more accurate model within the chassis solver limitations (no flexible links), with a roll center that moves more correctly with chassis motion. The Ford Escort models have been revised for this new approach as well.
Feel the adrenaline of going sideways with these fun-filled machines in Project CARS 2 with the Fun Pack.