THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
One of the true joys of motorsport is multi-class racing, and in Project CARS 2, your gateway into some of the most challenging and fun you can have on four wheels is but a few clicks away.
Multi-class racing is where two or more car-classes race on track at the same time. The classes usually feature decent performance differences between one another, somewhere in the region of one to five seconds per lap, and potentially more in order to spread the cars out and bring a more intense and strategic dynamic to the racing.
Some of the higher profile race series in the real-world feature multi-class action, such as the WEC (World Endurance Championship), IMSA over in the United States, and the ever-popular VLN at the Nürburgring.
The racing action in these multi-class events is always fantastic with hair-raising moments guaranteed as cars of differing performance are all on track at the same time and although drivers are only competing against those in the same class as themselves, they still have to manage the traffic on-track with plenty of nerve-racking overtaking.
Timing, awareness, and strategy are all key aspects if you want to win in multi-class racing.
For this weeks Insider’s Guide, we’ll be unearthing some of the ‘unwritten rules’ to what is, without doubt, the most action-filled racing in the world of motorsport, and a core part of your Project CARS 2 experience.
Accept That You’re Going to Lose Time
This is probably the biggest and most difficult factor for drivers to accept. Sometimes, if you’re lucky—or have timed it right—a pass can be executed on the straight where you, and the car you’re passing, won’t lose any time at all. But with the difference in performance from the cars across the classes, you will frequently run into situations where a faster class car is going to come across a slower class car in and around a corner, or sequence of corners, and it’s going to cost both drivers time. The amount of time can vary from very little—if drivers interact with each other correctly—or a lot if the slower car isn’t paying attention to their mirrors, or if the section just won’t allow for a quick overtake.
At the end of the day, both parties need to keep calm and remain level-headed: don’t get frustrated! Interact with each other in the most efficient way possible; sometimes bad luck will mean you have to give up some time to let the faster car through; sometimes it could work in your favour, sometimes against. That’s multi-class racing.
The Slower Class Car Must Hold Their Line
This is a big difference from the usual racing you may be used to, and drivers who are new to multi-class racing will need to pick this nuance up quickly: the slowest class of car always gets priority to the racing line.
However, in saying that, there will be situations where the slower class car in the interaction will need to give up the racing line, as turning into the apex of a corner when the faster class car that is lapping you is already alongside you at the turn in point is going to result in disaster. But note that this does not mean that faster class cars should dive bomb slower class cars into corners. Remember, if you’re in the faster class car, it doesn’t mean you have the “right” to be ahead; you’re simply in a faster car. The driver in front in the slower car is, like you, on the limit; chances are he’s also racing for a class win or a good finish, and if you’re dive-bombing, he’s probably neither going to see you or expect you to do that.
If you’re in a slower class car, meanwhile, you are expected to hold the racing line through corners: this is so that there is no misunderstanding with the faster car. Be prepared to hold your line in a situation where a faster class car is making a pass on you. Do not try to race cars from the other faster classes, either, but also do not try to move out of their way as this can lead to confusion and create a dangerous situation.
If you’re in a faster class car, it is down to you to go around the other car, off the racing line, and do so safely. Don’t try and steal the racing line with some audacious heroic move down the inside; if the car in front isn’t expecting this, it’s going to end badly for everyone.
Show Your Intentions Clearly
For faster class cars, showing your intent boils down to how you place your car: positioning your car in such a way that it indicates to the other class car that you’re planning/looking to make a pass. Pulling out of the slip stream early, and positioning yourself on the inside for the approaching corner, or setting yourself up for the exit, for example, are good ways of showing your intent. Avoid flashing where possible as well. Although it can be used to communicate a planned pass for the next corner, it can easily startle or distract the driver ahead, potentially leading to them making a mistake and creating a hazardous situation.
For the slower class cars; you can again communicate to the faster class car with your own car positioning. If you do not want the faster class car to pass you into the next corner because you do not feel it is safe for them to do so, position your car in a slightly defensive manner—early enough—to show them that you don’t want them to pass you into the next turn.
However, do not do this through multiple corners into multiple braking zones, or do this late or even in the braking zone. It will only cost yourself time and serve to frustrate the other driver. You should only really be doing this if it is not safe to pass into the next turn: for instance, if you’ve recognized that a car has spun on track up ahead and going side-by-side is likely going to result in a bigger crash, or if you’re on the limit and feel that you can’t safely take the turn while being passed.
Understand Where and When it is Safe
This is something that will come more with experience, but thinking about where and when is best to pass is important. There will be scenarios on some tracks where a sequence of turns will not facilitate the room for a safe pass. The beginning of the esses section at COTA, for example, where it quickly flicks left-right-left before the long right is just a no-go for passing, even with the car performance difference across the classes.
In these scenarios, it is best for the driver of the faster class car to tuck-in behind and/or hang back, let the slower class car run their line through the sequence of turns, and pass afterwards on the next straight or long sweeping corner which has a line wide enough for two cars.
You will also find the same where cars of the same class are bunched together. In these situations, you should be even more cautious, and the faster class car probably shouldn’t go for the move they typically would perform if it were just a single car. There might be a bit of space between cars, but it’s not always the best to take that space. Be prepared to lose time, and if you’re ever in doubt, wait for the next straight!
Be Aware and Be Dynamic
Multi-class racing throws many different situations at you, which is what makes it more unique and intense over standard-class racing. You need to be aware and be prepared to be dynamic. No two situations in a race are going to be the same. Be prepared to think on your feet a little, react and adapt to each situation.
There are plenty of features in Project CARS 2 that allow you to increase your awareness of cars around you if you wish to use them (see Episode 21).
Having things like the relative board enabled (probably most useful as you see the three cars in front and behind, irrespective of their lap or class making this a very powerful tool for multi-class racing and interacting in traffic), the spotter, track map, proximity arrows along with your mirrors are going to greatly improve your awareness of the cars around you.
Singleplayer Multi-Class Racing
When it comes to single-player and racing in multi-class against AI, the above still applies but with a slight difference: The AI of the slower classes will move from the racing line slightly, and try to facilitate a pass for you, so be aware of this when approaching in a faster class car.
When racing in a slower class car with a faster class car approaching, stick to the racing line but be prepared to give it up if and when the AI try to pass. Just like in multiplayer, you need eyes looking both in front at the track but also in your mirrors to keep an eye out for cars coming up behind.
Now that we’ve talked you through the key points it’s time to watch Yorkie explain it all in more detail as he showcases multi-class racing in Project CARS 2 in this week’s Insider’s Guide episode.