THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
Project CARS 2 has a huge roster of cars available to drive and race with—over 200 if you’re a Season Pass holder or you’ve purchased the standalone DLCs—and while the majority are cars that were developed for a single purpose only—racing—there is also a broad and sizeable selection of road cars waiting to be raced.
Road cars can sometimes be overlooked when drivers are confronted with the staggering choice of race-ready weapons in-game: understandably so, particularly when they decide to grab one of their all-time favorite road cars and get it onto track only to realise that these cars lack the speed, the handling, and the grip of cars designed specifically for the track. Soon surrendering after their seventh spin and complaining of lack of grip or brakes, a lot of drivers will steer well clear of road cars. That’s a loss, though, because road cars can give drivers a phenomenal experience, as long as they approach these cars in the right way.
This week, we’re going to look at addressing that by taking an in-depth look at what it takes to get the best out of road cars out on the race track.
The best place to start, of course, is where the rubber meets the road: the tyres on your road car.
Classic Road Cars Come With Classic Tyres
Your classic road car in-game come from various eras and are all absolute classics, many of which can cost in the millions today to buy. These classics are well-worth driving because of their purity; with no aids to speak of, you will be in total control of cars that give beautiful feedback and a gorgeous driving experience. Tyres available are as follows:
- Track: As it says on the tin, a tyre suited for track driving. It’s a more modern performance driving tyre that has high-grip levels in both dry and wet conditions, although it tends to perform poorly when hitting standing water where your chances of aquaplaning are high.
- Summer: Again, this a modern performance tyre, suited for both track and road driving. Has lower-grip levels than the Track tyre in both dry and wet conditions, but it handles standing water better than the Track tyre with less chances of aquaplaning
- Club or Street: The more ‘standard’ tyre available is roughly equivalent to the kind of performance from the factory-fitted tyres. These are generally poor in terms of grip in both dry and wet conditions but will be a lot safer in standing water. For those who want to experience a more “pure” experience of what these cars felt like “out of the box” in the era in which they were made, these tyres offer an immersive and realistic experience of older tyre technologies
- Ice: Used for driving in icy conditions
- All Terrain: Suitable for driving off-road on rallycross circuits
In general, the older the car, the worse the tyres tend to be when it comes to the Club or Street specs. Tyre technology has come a long way in recent years, giving modern tyres much higher grip levels in all aspects. You need to factor this into your driving techniques if you want to get the best out of these cars.
Modern Road Cars Come With Modern Tyres
The car world has come on leaps-and-bounds over the last couple of decades, and tyre technology is one of the areas where you can find the biggest differences in terms of performance. Your modern road car comes with a lot of choices in terms of tyres:
- Trofeo R: The highest-performance modern tyre available in-game, this heavily track-focused tyre is not ideal for general day-to-day road use: while it provides really high-grip levels in both dry and wet conditions, it also suffers heavily from aquaplaning on standing water
- P-Zero Corsa: A high-performance road tyre which is suitable for moderate track use, this is typically the kind of tyre you will find used with the available OEM Default Setups and are comparable to a premium performance road tyre. Good grip-levels in both dry and wet conditions (not as good as the Trofeo R, however) and suited to tracks where conditions are beginning to result in standing water build-up
- P-Zero: A good performing road tyre, this is typically what you’d expect from a factory-fitted tyre. While it enjoys less grip than the P-Zero Corsa and the Trofeo R, these tyres are the right choice when it comes to extremely wet tracks with large amounts of standing water
- Ice: Studded tyre suitable for driving in icy conditions or on ice
- Winter Carving Edge: Very soft tyre suitable for driving in extremely cold, winter and snow conditions
- All Terrain: Suitable for driving off-road on rallycross circuits.
How to Race Your Road Car
When it comes to actual driving these cars, there are certain techniques that apply to get the most out of your road car: smooth, steady and calculated is the best way to go about things.
It is always best to start off slow and build-up to speed, especially when coming from a heavily track- or race-car-focused background. It’s plenty easy to misjudge speed and grip levels if you’re used to the staggering performance of race-ready cars and overshooting or running wide all the time will really not do much for your confidence or enjoyment.
So, start nice and slow slow and work your way to getting to the limit; you’ll soon find that, despite speeds feeling and sounding pedestrian, you’ll be fully engaged in pushing your road-car to the edge.
On the approach to a corner, make sure to brake earlier than you would in a race car, by a good 50-150 metres depending on the speed you’re taking on the approach to the corner.
Two things you want to take note of here: brake hard but never get to the point where the ABS is kicking in, and, most importantly, brake in a straight line. Get all your braking done and ensure you’re in the right gear before turning in, as shifting down will likely lock the driven axle and induce unwanted under-or oversteer.
When it comes to your turn-in, make sure you’re off the brakes and your turn-in is smooth. Braking and turning simultaneously will see large amounts of turn-in oversteer, as will coming off the brake and then yanking hard on the wheel to turn into the corner. Smooth steering will float the car in towards the apex, at which point you want to gently balance your foot on the throttle which will result in the car feeling nice and neutral in its flow through the corner.
As you come through the apex, apply a little more throttle so the rear of the car starts to squat slightly whilst maintaining the rotation. Too much throttle will see the car start to understeer out with a wider radius, before potentially leading to oversteer depending on the amount of HP the car has. As the car flows out through the exit of the corner, unwind the steering and start applying more throttle. Once the car is straight, apply full throttle to accelerate down the straight to the next corner.
Higher performance tyres will allow you to be a bit more aggressive, as will lower HP cars which will allow you to get harder on the throttle out of the corners. Lower performance tyres will require a lot more finesse, patience, and accuracy to get the car through a corner without any or much drama. It may look and sound slow, but your cornering speeds could be surprisingly higher than you initially thought.
Now sit back and watch as Yorkie065 takes you into the wonderful world of road cars in Project CARS 2.