Only Jetta in race
I didn't have my usual crash
FACT: Every win in deko's online racing life has been in the middle of the night when no one else is faster than me in the session. (I did nearly win a rookie Mazda Cup race when I first started iRacing, but I failed it and threw that away, it could have been a legit win if I hadn't binned it)
So it's not a REAL win. But I didn't crash, but I did try!
The car is not wholly different to the previous build, we're still continuing with most of the techniques we used on the early build. Thankfully though there is no more irritating "floaty" feeling - the car felt hopeless previously without sufficient downforce pushing the car into the road. On NTMv5 we have slightly more mechanical grip so now by default the car is much more predictable in low speed corners, and we're able to tweaks things in the setup which weren't possible before (for example: anything other than softest rear suspension was unworkable / undriveable, even at layouts like Silverstone and Spa).
But there is an overriding problem. In a simulator you can push the boundaries to the extreme, and what we're seeing again are slight drifts into corners and on the absolute limit of traction again exiting the corner - as the tyres don't degrade, there is no punishment for doing this. So whilst we were fighting to find stability last season, we're now pushing the setups back to "neutral-oversteer" feeling as that's the fastest way to drive this car. Despite a narrower front and rear slip angle, it still allows us to slide in and out of the corner in perhaps unrealistic ways, and even though 2009 Bridgestone tyres were notoriously hard compound (though still a bit softer than 2010 spec), there needs to be more punishment for ill-treatment of tyres. But everyone knows iRacing are light years behind everyone else in the tyre department, despite their serious two year focus and typical PR boom about it.
Nevertheless, it's definitely an improvement. Hopefully there is more to come - tyre temperatures and pressures need to be fixed, as well as the 'garage bug' which doesn't even give an accurate reading of ride heights, spring deflection, ARB preloads etc. As for adapting to the new car, I did a laptime 0.7 seconds off the eventual pole after just ~15 laps on an Interlagos setup, so it's easy enough to get near the limit. Getting closer and closer to that limit is the next challenge, but with some careful preparation and planning on the setup, it was achievable.. lots of front runners didn't even practice much and still had competitive times. Now that the car is easier to drive, I expect the gaps will close very slightly, but Redline hooked up an incredible setup this week which overshadowed the gaps behind, hence they had no opposition and could cruise the entire race. Hugo did an amazing job to stay within ten seconds of Greger despite a visibly slower car actually, not many people observed this.
ActualGrip=(1-wear)*MaxGrip + some kind of linear parametrization of grip with temperature
Like it is done in most other sims?
I'm sure that their ultimate goal is make the core features of the tire so solid, that they could concentrate on things like vulcanization, blistering, flat spots, etc.