- Sim Racing and the FSX Simulation Engine
- About Virtual Race Track Worlds
- Auto Racing in the Virtual World
- Going Multi-Player / ASSRA
- Getting Started in Sim Car Racing
- The Race Tracks
AutoSportsSimulations.com (ASS) was conceived and augmented in July, 2016 after building as the proof of vision the Freeware race track called, Lime Rock 4 FSX.
“Its a matter of our imagination in what we can actually get out of FSX”
In realizing the proof of vision, FSX was initially chosen due to its economies of scale. In other words, it has been readily available, and is installed on thousands of personal computers; where many of which its simmers might want to find more ways to get more out of their copy of FSX.
Auto Sports Simulation offers a whole new generation of purpose and use for FSX. It also opens up a whole new dimension for one’s return on investment for FSX!
Consider, how many times will a simmer use an airport to land, park, and take off from, that they purchased for $25.00. And exactly what can you do there once parked, that is besides getting in line to take off?
Consider also, how many times can a simmer use a virtual race track world for $25.00, where they can participate as a driver, observer , visitor, or to fly above to watch from one’s favorite slow aircraft or helicopter in annual multiplayer events, other events scheduled in between, practice events, FS Recorder training, and solo driving?
The racing circuits themselves are inexpensive in order to purchase a licensed copy.
And to use these circuits, also provided are what FSX simmers love the most, Freeware Vehicles. In this case , for the latter, its not aircraft but well engineered cars that are designed, built and tested for them.
There is no bloat ware involved. Instead, what the simmer gets is FSX compatible FPS friendly scenery that works well with aircraft engineering applied to the notion of virtual racing cars –
If you are only able to go with freeware, well, Lime Rock 4 FSX can be a lot of fun, but as the first track, and as a proof of vision, since vast improvements in design and build have occurred.
FSX additionally supports multi-player using Steam. It further can be used in a multi-player manner with servers using SimConnect. Noted below, Auto Sports Simulation Racing Association (ASSRA) is to virtually host and coordinate multi-player virtual events by using Simconnect with participating simmers.
Other simulators will also be reviewed for potential inclusion in the future based on their quality as a simulator, their availability with respect to consumer’s pocket, popularity of simmers, and feasibility.
But for now, based on the economy of scale, the current simulators used are
Microsoft Flight Simulator X Boxed edition (FSX), FSX Acceleration, and FSX Steam Edition.
Currently, the 3D race tracks built by ASS run in FSX. Since 2006 a lot was learned about the capabilities of FSX as a flight simulator; and in addition how FSX under the hood, can actually be used as an effective simulator for many things.
As a 2006 engine, limited in its threading capabilities, FSX can take a performance hit when handling the graphics of horizons and of clouds a few hundred miles out while in flight.
But when used as a sim car racing simulator, its actually a high performance simulation engine.
Consequently, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when needing a good simulator
In being able to support actual 3D virtual worlds, and in being an actual simulator, having the need to build a basic gaming engine was not even considered.
All that is required for FSX is whats natural for it – to have very cool and very usable scenery, and well engineered racing cars.
In fact, as a basic simulator, in scope, FSX lends itself to the means of also engineering very cool race cars besides aircraft.
Additionally, inherent in FSX as a flight simulator are aerodynamic engineering attributes that can be exploited in engineering racing cars.
In terms of Automobiles, the simple question – to engineer a car, why would one want to do it elsewhere than FSX if one can’t do it for real?
The virtual worlds that can be constructed for FSX can be robust and its domain geographically covers the world.
Building virtual worlds in FSX has been historically airports, and some cities, terrain enhancements, and then some.
In terms of the 3D virtual world for famous race tracks, dismissed was the notion of facades that are typically included as game scenery.
Instead, rendering virtual worlds that are race tracks in FSX, in design and build, you can get much more out of 3D Freedom, or the latitude to actually be able to render in 3D, so included is much more!
Although the primary focus is on the racing circuit in question, it also includes very unique scenery that also must be accounted for when assuming a simmers autonomy within its virtual world.
The 3D virtual world that can be created in FSX can allow its simmer , or participant in multiplayer mode, to take on many personas; that is, in addition to being a driver in a race car.
All the virtual race track worlds which are designed and built account for actual 3D objects in their correct scale and in their geographical setting.
Unlike immediate scenery as found at an FSX airport, the virtual race track world scenery must extend at least somewhat beyond the bounds of its circuits, and account for anything that should be included as accurately as possible as FPS friendly scenery. This can include villages, shopping centers, farms, neighborhoods, and towns.
As a result, Le Mans 4 FSX, Indy for FSX, Nurburgring 4 FSX, and Pomona 4 FSX represent, not photo-realistic, but photo surrealistic virtual worlds that a simmer can actually do many things in, in addition to racing cars.
Auto Sports Simulation in FSX is not like a PC Auto Racing Game. PC Games typically use “Exception Handlers for both establishing the bounds of where you can go, and for scheduling random events.
When establishing “bounds’, the exception handler will raise an exception where the game will handle it as an event such as in hitting a wall where in about to exceed the bounds of its 3D facade.
In the case of a Virtual Race Track World in FSX, it is a- virtual, and b- a world; so there cannot be any facades if it is to be 3D!
In Sim racing with FSX its hands on just like when using it for aviation. There are no game boundaries. Where and how you drive your car is where and how it goes.
In Sim racing with FSX , crash detection must be turned off, as otherwise the invisible crash boxes of the ground scenery could be like walking through a mine field.
In FSX, with crash detection off, your virtual race car can pass right through ( pass thru) any other 3D object, regardless if it is a guard rail, building, tree, or another car in multiplayer, etc.
Because of this ‘Pass Thru’ , and the fact that it is in a virtual world, becomes a little more hands on,. That is when requiring to operate a virtual vehicle in a skilled way.
FSX can offer challenges to the simmer which include different ways in landing an aircraft, as well as how to drive on a race track. Staying on a track itself is a skill that needs to be developed.
In Sim Racing in FSX, hands on skills are very much required, as there is no auto-pilot, nor a game reset if in multi-player. Staying on the race track calls for the same kinds of skills required in fly by wire when centering on runway approach.
In PC Gaming, event handlers also are used to schedule random events, such as when a line of AI cars near a corner. One might , or might not spin out.
In FSX racing in multiplayer, or in just using FS Recorder tracks of cars you previously drove, that you are now competing against, each is being driven to win, and from another perspective is less predictable.
In the snap above, at 217 MPH in one second, you have already crossed the length of a foot ball field. Tactics and strategies change by the moment. How to race with other cars, how to stay within a safe stopping distance from them, how and when to over take them, and how to just drive in formation with them requires the same practice in developing skill sets as in good flight simulation.
But when you are ready for multi-player, reach out and please let us know ! In the meantime, FS Recorder tracks will eventually also be published too !
By Summer, 2018, we expect to have ASSRA well under way. Its charter is to provide online virtual multiplayer major and minor automotive racing events at famous racetracks worldwide, that have been rendered for simulation that you can get here.
The main purpose of ASSRA is to coordinate and manage these events.
ASSRA scheduled racing events are considered virtual events that are coordinated. For simulation these include both major events based on those that occur, such as annually, at the actual race tracks, and minor ones that they may have. The scope of minor ones, further includes, those which are scheduled based otherwise for the same rendered virtual worlds. Additionally scheduled are qualifying and practice events.
Membership in ASSRA requires nothing more than a licensed copy of the virtual world for simulation, and the genuine interest to participate in its events and the actual underlying simulator for that virtual world which you run on your PC.
Indy 4 FSX is considered, in having a 2.5 mile or 4 kilometer oval track, a good circuit to start in Sim Car Racing.
Learning the track is no picnic, but once learning in solo how to optimize the four turns, the two straights, and north and south embankments, the next step can be with FS Recorder tracks where competing against yourself, or tracks shared from other sim car racers.
As all the cars on the regular Indy track are of the same class range in terms of performance, relative speeds and braking distances can be practice readily when driving in formation, following, or when over taking another car.
Indy Vintage racing can also be practiced. The high End Indy cars have a top speed from 250-270 MPH. The vintage series is about 100 MPH slower and also can be a heckof a lot of fun and, also quite challenging –
At Indy 4 FSX you will learn what it takes and where, when and how to pass competing cars on the straights, in the four turns and even on the embankments.
Also vitally important is knowing your car’s use of fuel per lap which can vary depending on how much you use the turbo boost. Through experience, you can average this to know how many laps you can make before having to Pitt to refuel.
From then, multiplayer practice can be more readily realized in preparation of having the a 500 in Indy 4 FSX with about 30 other drivers that you might want to qualify to race with.
Le Mans 4 FSX is a great next step in Sim Car racing. Its racing circuits and virtual world are radically different than that of Indy 4 FSX.
Like Indy, lap times, fuel, speed, and situational awareness are important, but as the circuits are entirely different, driving strategies are too.
The Le Mans 24 is more known as an endurance race. It also includes different car classes to participate that range from hybrids to down deep in what can be included into the GT class.
The top speeds of the vehicles down the Mulsanne Straight vary from 180 to 280 MPH at Le Mans 4 FSX.
Areas of the circuit can be blind and bottleneck’d when entering. Many cars at various speeds must merge at a chicane, and meantime ultra fast hybrids can be rushing into grab a gap of space between two other cars when going through the Porsche curves.
Mastering the circuits at Le Mans 4 FSX in different classes of cars will take some time as there are two others included, not counting the go-cart track which is not shown in this video.
But it is advised to master Le Mans 4 FSX before attempting Nurburging / Nordschleife 4 FSX.
Nurburgring / Nordschleife 4 FSX is under construction. Combined there is about 20 miles of racing circuits in mountainous terrain.
Nurburgring and its NordSchleife track of 14.5 miles is located in the mountains and valleys of the Eifel Forest in Germany. In the 1920’s it took about two years for Germany to carve the Nordschleife into these mountains and valleys.
To do this in FSX, there are over 1600 manually set altitude points that went for rendering the Nordschleife, another share for Nurburgring itself, and then others too for various roads, villages, and little towns that fill in the valleys. But this was only the beginning of the Earth Forming as, it seemed endlessly, that these points needed to be periodically adjusted when testing different classes of vehicles.
It seems that thousands of laps were actually done during development. First it had to start with the slowest of cars, and just getting things drive-able. Now cars like the Le Mans 4 FSX Porsche 962 can clock a 5:30 min lap on the Nordschleife.
Driving these circuits are radically different from Indy and Le Mans 4 FSX. But in mastering those, Nurburgring and its Nordschleife 4 FSX will come natural.
The GPTrack has 16 turns, and the Nordschleife, its 154. Acceleration and braking for each is unique and different. Each turn can be easily over-driven into until they are learned well for the particular class of car. You can come into a turn also wide or narrow depending on the conditions of your approach in being in high speed traffic as an example.
The bottom line – if you like Jet Fighters then this is for you !
Pomona Drag Strip 4 FSX is based on one located in Pomona , California.
In simulation, its a great way for two friends to share a multi-layer session, that can be somewhat easy driving, but yet totally unpredictable where the odds are 50:50 on who wins per drag race –