THE INSIDER’S GUIDE
The most difficult weather conditions you can possibly face are driving in snow and ice. Project CARS 2 allows you to race in these conditions, battling against these unique challenges and allowing you to perfect your car control in treacherous conditions. In this week’s episode of the Insider’s Guide series, we’ll cover what you need to do for the best chance of success.
The most important aspect of driving in snow and icy conditions is being on the correct tyres. Available to every car in the game is the ice tyre, which is a winter tyre with small metal studs designed to dig into the surface of the ice to provide grip in slippery conditions. This will be the primary tyre that will be used whenever there is snow or ice on the surface of the track.
For road cars, there is the option of a snow or winter carving-edge tyre. This is a winter tyre designed for driving in snowy conditions where there isn’t any ice, and whilst it provides less grip when there is snow or ice on the surface of the track, it is best used when a clear line has formed around the circuit.
When conditions are cold, and snow is falling but it’s not sticking on the surface of the circuit, you’ll want to be on the wet tyre. LiveTrack 3.0 simulates the falling snow melting with the track temperature above zero, so it will therefore form water and dampen the track surface. The wet tyre will clear that water and provide you the grip you need.
Driving in snow and ice is a true test of driver skill and patience. Everything has to be slowed down, done much earlier than in more normal conditions, and with greater balance and precision.
When it comes to braking, smooth and steady application is going to be needed here. It is best to have ABS switched Off as it allows the studs of the ice tyre to dig into the surface of the ice if the tyres do lock, still providing stopping power. Having ABS On still will see the system fighting the tyre, trying to prevent it from locking, which it will do easily due to the massively reduced grip, and that will impact braking distances.
For the turn in, it’s best to delay until the car has slowed sufficiently before applying steering lock to the wheel. Too soon, and the rear will either swap ends on you, or you’ll just understeer straight on. Be prepared to catch any slides, and try to keep any slides in an as shallow slip angle as you possibly can. Any time spend going sideways is grip and time lost, so try to keep the tyres biting to help drive through and out of the corners.
The most important aspect, though, to being quick in these conditions is how you get on the throttle. Coming through a corner, you will want to balance the throttle with just a tiny amount, roughly 20 percent application. This will help to claw your way around the corner and keep up some driven momentum. As you start to straighten up through the exit, you can start to apply more throttle, but don’t get heavy-footed or accelerate with a heavy amount of steering lock.
In general, you need to be as smooth as you possibly can, avoiding any sharp or sudden inputs. Changing gear through a corner will cause the driven wheels to break traction, and in some cases, upset the car and put it into a spin, so make sure to be in the correct gear before turning in.
There are 3 main types of snow related weather settings:
- Snow: Just a very light sprinkling of snow and visibility is still very good
- Heavy Snow: A heavier amount of snowfall with reduced visibility, which is good to around 300-500 metres
- Blizzard: Extreme snowfall, heavy gusts of wind, and extremely poor visibility allowing you to only see roughly 100 metres up the road.
On top of the weather settings, you have the date settings which will determine if there is snow on the ground at the beginning of the race. For some of the tracks, there will be the ‘Snow’ option available in the ‘Season’ setting which will automatically set a fixed date where there will be snow on the surface of the track and track environment. Alternatively, you can set a custom date setting, and picking the right dates within a window will see the same result.
For tracks in the northern hemisphere, setting dates anywhere between 25th December through to the end of January will see snow on the ground. For the tracks in the southern hemisphere over in Australia and New Zealand, dates in the month of July will see snow on the ground. There is some variation to the end dates as well depending on the track’s location in relation to the equator, with tracks further away seeing snow potentially go through into Feb, or tracks being closer seeing snow only last till the middle of January.
For the warmer climates such as Dubai Autodrome, the circuits in and around the Mediterranean or in the south of the USA, snow will not set on the ground. Just like real life, track locations closer to the equator are generally too warm and won’t allow snow to set on the surface of the track.
Snow and ice are all built into the LiveTrack 3.0 system. Just like driving in wet weather, driving over snow will clear it from the surface of the track, be that over tarmac or ice. In the case of tarmac on traditional circuits, the snow will clear to expose the tarmac underneath, providing more grip. When it comes to driving on ice, the snow will clear to reveal the ice underneath.
When the lines clear on tarmac, don’t consider swapping tyres until you have a large margin of error beyond the newly formed line, and the large majority of the track is clear. So much as dipping a standard slick or wet tyre onto some snow or ice is just going to kill any grip you have, and will see you squabbling around all over the place.
When it comes to track temperature, anything above zero degrees Celsius will see the snow melt to form water on the circuit. Below zero, but above minus 10 will see snow forming on the surface of the track, and below minus 10 will cause ice to start forming.
Over and above, the usual LiveTrack simulation with dirt and dust being pulled onto the circuit from anyone going off track, the rubbering-in once the tarmac gets exposed, the track temperatures based off ambient temperature, and the amount of sunlight, are all still in play.
Driving in snow and ice is a huge challenge. For more hints and tips and examples of how to drive in these extremely tricky conditions, check out Yorkie065’s newest episode covering driving in snow and ice for this weeks Insider’s Guide episode.