THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
Looking for the most intense, high-octane strategic racing you can compete in? Look no further than Indycar and Oval Racing. For this week’s episode of the Insider’s Guide series, we’ll be diving into all things Oval.
There are two main types of IndyCar within Project CARS 2—the Road version, which has the high-downforce package designed for running on traditional circuits, and the Oval version, which is extreme low-downforce spec’ designed for racing on Oval and Super-Speedways.
Both manufacturers from the 2016 IndyCar season along with the official liveries for their respective manufacturers and models are also present, and if you choose to race in the IndyCar Championship in Career mode, you’ll also see the drivers from the 2016 season too.
With the Road version, you have the added strategic element of the Push-To-Pass (P2P) system. This is a horsepower boost that lasts around 8-10 seconds from a single button press (KERS button) that can be utilised at any point during the race. Each driver gets 10 shots of the P2P system to use across the duration of the race, to defend or overtake opponents. This is only available in the race though, and cannot be used in Practice or Qualifying sessions, nor is at available in the Oval version of the IndyCar, so it can’t be used on Ovals.
With both versions of the IndyCar you have two dry weather tyre choices:
- Black Striped Tyre (Primary): Lasts approximately the duration of one full fuel tank, and is more resistant to tyre wear.
- Red Striped Tyre (Alternative): Lasts approximately the duration of half a tank, wears twice as fast as the Primary tyre, but is roughly one second per lap faster.
Both tyres have the same tyre heating properties so you don’t need to worry about track temperatures here, and there is no ruling on how many of either tyre needs to be used. That means it’s completely down to you and your strategy for your race as to which tyre would be best to use.
Ford Fusion Stock Car
The Ford Fusion Stock Car is a lot simpler than the IndyCar, with just one version of the car and only one dry tyre type. There’s no Push-to-Pass system either, so it is just a simple case of wheelin’ the car around the track, trying to maximise the speed and momentum through the turns, and getting the most from the other cars in the pack around you.
With both the IndyCar and the Ford Fusion, you have default setups available to you to load up before a session or race, with options for traditional circuits, standard ovals, and a setup for the Daytona Speedway. For all three circuit types, you also get the option of the loose or stable versions.
Racing In Packs
This is where IndyCar and Oval racing separates itself from the traditional racing seen on road circuits. The speeds are extremely high, there is a constant and intense feeling as drivers are dealing with such small margins for error, where one small mistake can have catastrophic consequences. The major key to success is understanding the airflow coming off the cars around you, and utilising it to your advantage.
The major downside to racing in close proximity to other cars is how the airflow, or lack of clean air, affects the car in the turns. The lack of downforce coming over your car when following in the dirty air wake of another car can lead to what is known as ‘Aero Push’, which causes the front of the car to wash out and understeer towards the outside barrier. Oversteer is also an issue in this circumstance, especially in the IndyCar, and is something you want to avoid at all costs when racing at 200+mph on an Oval circuit.
To combat this effect, make sure you have a decent car setup but also try to place parts of your car out from the dirty air of the car in front. This will allow clean air to re-attach to aero and bodywork of your own car to regain some downforce and help you through the corner.
On the straights however, you want to be in the wake of the car in front to utilise their slipstream and increase your own speed. The speeds are so high that the car you’re slipstreaming will also get a boost of speed when you’re close to the rear of their car, where a cushion of air builds at the front of your car and helps to push any car in front along as well, just like a Dolphin riding the bow-wave of a boat.
Coming out of the slipstream to make a pass you will want to utilise Side Drafting. This is more prominent in the stock car where the blocky shape of the car creates a large area of disturbed air around its sides. Moving in nice and close when alongside your opponent you’re passing will see part of your car sitting inside this disturbed air, reducing drag and further aiding your acceleration. One thing to be careful of though is not to get sucked-in to the other car through Side Drafting as things will get messy if there is contact.
The final technique that you can utilise, again mainly with the Stock Car and this is not recommended with the IndyCar, is Bump Drafting. This is a technique where you use the slipstream from your opponent in front of you, but instead of pulling out to overtake, you gently bump into the rear of their car and, using your extra speed and momentum from the slipstream, push your opponent to a higher top speed.
This is a great way of helping to work your way forward in a train of cars when there is another train alongside you, as it allows the leader to pull clear of the other train and switch over to free up the next car. This should only be done on the straights though, and you definitely don’t want to be Bump Drafting going into or through corners, nor do you want the ‘bump’ to be too harsh so make sure you ease into the car in front.
Utilising the above, you want to try and stay in the lead pack or with the lead car. Don’t be afraid to let other cars past and work together with another driver or group of drivers—in Oval Racing, this is a lot more beneficial than fighting them, and allows you to pull ahead of the main pack or catch up to cars in front.
What you’re ultimately aiming for is being in that lead group of cars in the final few laps, carefully planning your moves so that you have the best run to the flag to take that win.
Now sit back and enjoy as Yorkie065 walks you through the IndyCar and Oval tactics, and provides some extra useful hints and tips in this week’s episode of The Insider’s Guide series.