thanks for providing your Easy Race pack.
I really like your idea of having easier to drive basic setups for each car as I am (like many others) not very happy with the standard setups.
"Easy Race" sounded just too promissing to me, so I downloaded your Easy Race Sets rev2 (S2P2).zip yesterday evening.
Beeing previously focused onto the Formula XR and a few tracks only, I thought your Easy Race Sets would be at least a good starting point to learn other Cars/Tracks.
So far I tested the following Easy Race setups and would like to give some feedback you may be interested in.
- XF GTI_Easy Race.set
- FXO TURBO_Easy Race.set
Aston Grand Prix (reversed)
Westhill International (standard)
Fern Bay Gold (standard) - (XF GTI only)
Well... to be honest... I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed for I found the two tested Easy Race setups even more difficult to drive than the default ones, really sorry to say.
First I picked up the XF GTI and went to Aston Grand Prix reversed. I decided to choose this track for it seems to have a bit of everything, also I haven't been there before and wanted to learn the track with that car.
After a few laps I discovered the following major problems with the XF GTI_Easy Race.set:
1. Car is very difficult to control when braking into a corner or chicane (at the end of the start/finish straight and just before the second split) while downshifting the gears at the same time.
2. Heavy oversteer at corner entry
When the trouble already starts at corner entry, the problems will continue and you will walk through a repeating cycle of steering, counter-steering, counter-counter-steering... When fighting with the car like that it is almost impossible to focus on the driving line.
3. Suspension too soft / less car responsiveness
At the first glance the idea of soft suspension doesn't seem to be bad. The transition between grip/no grip is less sharp for the car movement is more like in slow motion in comparison to stiff suspension, which should give you more time to react and correct unwanted car behaviour. The downside with softer suspension is that the car is also less responsive to steering input. Responsiveness, however, is one of the keys to better car control/drivability. Besides this there are some other well known reasons why racing setups aren't soft like a family car.
Also with this setup the car bottoms out in various places, the suspension is just too soft.
4. Tyre Settings (Camber)
Camber settings are to low
The same problems with the FXO TURBO_Easy Race.set.
So how to solve the above problems?
First I changed to LOCKED DIFF for I am not really happy with the Clutch Pack Diff at all, as this diff type generates uneven forces to unequally loaded front wheels when the clutch is released after downshifting the gears. This adds another level of unwantanted car movement which is also really difficult to handle. After switching to Locked Diff braking into a corner or chicane was no longer a issue.
Then I started to dial out the oversteer at corner entry by increasing camber and rear anti roll, but wasn't really satisfied with the setup. I realized that I have to make some basic changes to the suspension in order to get happy, so I went into the garage.
Bearing in mind Bobs intention to create generic setups which could be used perhaps on different tracks I choosed a medium stiff suspension setup with a bit lower but equal front and rear ride height (0.070m), set the springs according to the car weight distribution (rear: 55.0kN/m, front: 80.0kN/m) and adjusted the damping to match the springs (rear: 5.0kNs/m, front: 8.0kNs/m), so when pushing the "Drop" button everything looked quite natural. In addition I removed the toe in and set the parallel steer to 0. For the anti roll bar I remembered my Ex-WR-FOX/Westhill setup (my WR 1:34.33 lap was superseeded by csimpok's 1:34.06 recently, what a lap !!!), where I used rather high anti roll bar settings). So I set the front and rear ARBs equally to 85.0 kN/m.
Finally I adjusted the camber (front: -0.3, rear: -2.5) using the F9-tyre info, and also increased the tyre pressure a bit (front: 241kPa, rear: 206kPa) to get more responsiveness.
With all these modifications now the XF GTI was surprisingly easy to handle.
To have some fun while learning a new track I like to setup 5-lap races with some AIs (with different setups). I think the AIs can help a lot when working on setups. Their lap time is not what counts, just watch and see how the AI is dealing with the different setups, are they fighting with the car or is only little steering correction necessary during cornering. And if they are fighting you will most certainly have to fight as well.
Watching the replays from Aston Grand Prix (reversed), where I did most of my driving yesterday evening, and from Westhill Int (standard), you can verify how AI 1, AI 3 and AI 4 are fighting with their car using either the 2 standard setups or Bob's unmodified Easy Race setup. Only AI 2 seems to be quite happy with my modified Easy Race setup and allways finished 2nd far ahead of the rest.
The replays can be downloaded here:
http://rapidshare.de/files/404 ... S5R_XFG_easyrace.zip.html
http://rapidshare.de/files/404 ... WE1_XFG_easyrace.zip.html
Starting grid and setup info for both:
1. AI 1: Easy Race (Bob Smith)
2. AI 2: modified Easy Race (Schofei)
3. AI 3: Default (LFS)
4. AI 4: race_1 (LFS)
5. Schofei: modified Easy Race (Schofei)
(50% fuel, all AI equally trained)
I also tested the setup with the XF GTI at Fern Bay Gold (standard). After only 3 laps of easy driving I was just about 2s slower than the WR. But at that time of testing and learning I was more interested in lapping consistantly than of beeing very fast.
Also I wanted to know, if the modified XF GTI_Easy Race.set could be transposed to the FXO TURBO (also FWD, same weight distribution, just a bit more power).
The answer is Yes, with some restriction. The adapted modified FXO TURBO_Easy Race.set is still rather easy to drive, not as easy as the modified XF GTI_Easy Race.set, but still controllable, but far easier to handle than the default setup or the unmodified FXO TURBO_Easy Race.set. However I tested this setup only at Aston Grand Prix (reversed). Before going to other tracks I should try to improve the drivabilty of this setup even more first.
Well all nice, but are these 2 modified Easy Race setups fast?
The answer can be found at lfsworld, S2 Hotlaps, Track Aston Grand Prix (reversed):
XF GTI WR ...: 3:50.04 -> schofei
FXO TURBO WR : 3:29.63 -> schofei
FXO TURBO WR : 3:27.06 -> schofei
(changed the ride height to 0.090m and adjusted the camber at the front accordingly to -0.3, but I believe the improvement was more likely caused just by practice)
I believe that any setup with good drivability has the potential of beeing fast, for only then you can focus on your driving line.
But... to be honest, these WRs are subject to be superseeded very soon by seconds, as both laps are far from beeing perfect, for I still need much more practice at Aston Grand Prix (reversed), did just 30-40 laps with the XF GTI and 15-20 laps with the FXO TURBO.
Also my modified Easy Race Setups aren't certainly masterpieces, this would require much more tuning, analysing and testing. Maybe this type of setup (very high front ARB) will never be really superfast at all, but due to their good drivability, especially the XF GTI setup, you always can consistanly lap at decent times.
Attached are my modified easy race setups:
- XF GTI_schofei-easyR.set
- FXO TURBO_schofei-easyR.set