Virtual races to watch this weekend (e-race)

The COVID-19 restrictions may have stopped races all over the world but pro and amateur drivers are still virtually racing with different video games!

Here is a list of some e-races you can watch this weekend:

Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9:

eNASCAR

This week the eNascar is going to Matinsville Speedway for the Friday Night Thunder and North Wilkesboro Speedway for the Pro Invitational. The game used is also iracing and the pro-invitational got a nice line-up, such as, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmie Johnson etc.

For the pro-invitational Gordon, Wood and Truex Jr. are also confirmed!

Live stream will be on the eNASCAR.com/live and NASCAR’s YouTube channel.

United Kingdom  01:00 and 16:00  | European 02:00 and 17:00
United States 8 PM ET / 3 PM PT and 1 PM ET / 8 AM PT

Saturday, May 9:

All-star cup and Legend Trophy

This is usually a long program (3h) with multiple races. They use the game rfactor2.

The Legend Trophy has real professional drivers such as Button, Montoya, Fittipaldi, Pirro, Magnussen, Brabham etc.
Added to that there are 3 rounds with 20 drivers. Two of them are for real-world drivers from F3, Formule-E, F1 tests drivers and the last one is for Simracers. The best 5 of each race meet in the final (plus 5 drivers in a Last Chance Qualifier race, for a total of 20 drivers).

You can actually see the previous races here. and all the other races here.

And the next one can be seen on:  http://the-race.com/youtube  or http://facebook.com/eurosport and on ESPN2

United Kingdom 17:00 | European 18:00
United States 12PM ET / 9 AM PT 

Sunday, May 10:

DTM eSports

The DTM eSports got a mix between real-world DTM drivers and Simracers. Last time Biela, Rast, Paffet, Rockenfeller and 7 other DTM drivers were present!

It is honestly very fun to watch and the game which is called RaceRoom is probably one of the best!

There are 2 races and it goes for roughly 1 hour in total.

The previous race can be seen here.

And the next race will happen here.

United Kingdom  13:00 | European 14:00
United States 8AM ET / 5AM PT 

Sunday, May 10:

F2 and F1 Virtual Grand Prix

Another impressive line-up with both F1 and F2 drivers. Charles Leclerc, George Russell, Antonio Giovinazzi, Lando Norris, Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi will be part of it!  The game used is either Formula 2019 or 2020.

The best place to watch it is probably on the Youtube or facebook page! But it will also be broadcast live with international broadcast partners in over 100 countries including in the UK on Sky Sports and in the US on ESPN.

United Kingdom  16:00 and 18:00 | European 15:00 and 17:00 
United States 11AM ET and 1PM ET / 8AM PT and 10AM PT

Virtual races to watch this weekend (e-race)

The COVID-19 restrictions may have stopped races all over the world but pro and amateur drivers are still virtually racing with different video games!

Here is a list of some e-races you can watch this weekend:

Saturday, May 2:

All-star cup and Legend Trophy

This is usually a long program (3h) with multiple races. They use the game rfactor2.

The Legend Trophy has real professional drivers such as Button, Montoya, Fittipaldi, Pirro, Magnussen, Brabham etc.
Added to that there are 3 rounds with 20 drivers. Two of them are for real-world drivers from F3, Formule-E, F1 tests drivers and the last one is for Simracers. The best 5 of each race meet in the final (plus 5 drivers in a Last Chance Qualifier race, for a total of 20 drivers).

You can actually see the previous races here. and all the other races here.

And the next one can be seen on:  http://the-race.com/youtube  or http://facebook.com/eurosport and on ESPN2

United Kingdom 17:00 | European 18:00
United States 12PM ET / 9 AM PT 

Saturday, May 2:

IndyCar Indianapolis

The e-IndyCar is stopping at Indianapolis this weekend! The game used is iracing and for the line-up, Simon Pageneaud (the previous real winner) will be there, but also Bourdais, Newgarden, Speed, Sato, McLaughlin etc and even .. Lando Norris! Of the 33 races, 24 of them have raced in real Indianapolis and 8 of them won it!

The race will be 70 laps/175 miles (281.6 km) (approximately 75 minutes).

Where to watch the race is more complicated as NBC requires an account. But you can check on Newgarden youtube channel or the official IndyCar one.

United Kingdom 19.45 PM | European  20:00
United States 2.45 PM ET / 11.45 AM PT 

Saturday and Sunday, May 2 and 3:

eNASCAR

This week the eNascar is going to Dover International Speedway’s virtual Monster Mile. The game used is also iracing and the line-up got, for example, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Jimmie Johnson etc.

The race of 125 laps will be live stream on the eNASCAR.com/live and NASCAR’s YouTube channel.

United Kingdom  01:00 and 18:00  | European 02:00 and 19:00
United States 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT and 1 PM ET / 10AM PT

Sunday, May 3:

Moto GP

The Red Bull Virtual Grand Prix of Spain has a real nice line-up of real-world drivers from MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 and is usually very fun to watch! The game used is either MotoGP19 or the newest MotoGP20.

The previous race can be seen here.

The next race can be seen on a lot of different places:  “motogp.com and esport.motogp.com, on selected TV broadcasters, and across social media platforms including YouTube (via the MotoGP and MotoGP eSport channels), MotoGP eSport Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook (via both the MotoGP and MotoGP eSport pages).

Broadcast partners showing coverage of the event will include Sky Italy, Canal+ in France, DAZN (in Spain, Italy and DACHS), BT Sport in the UK, ServusTV in Austria and Germany, Viasat in Sweden, NBC in the USA, Fox Brazil and ESPN in Latin America, Motorsport TV Russia, Eurosport India, Fox Asia, Fox Australia, TEN, and SuperSport across Africa.”

United Kingdom  14:00 | European 15:00
United States 9AM ET / 6AM PT 

Sunday, May 3:

F2 and F1 Virtual Grand Prix

Another impressive line-up with both F1 and F2 drivers. Juan Manuel Correa is racing for Alfa Romeo with Giovinazzi. Almost every team got at least one official driver! The game used is either Formula 2019 or 2020.

The bst place to watch it is probably on the Youtube or facebook page! But it will also be broadcast live with international broadcast partners in over 100 countries including in the UK on Sky Sports and in the US on ESPN.

United Kingdom  16:00 and 18:00 | European 15:00 and 17:00 
United States 11AM ET and 1PM ET / 8AM PT and 10AM PT

Assetto Corsa Competizione: a lot of good news!

505 Games and Kunos Simulazioni gave some very good news about Assetto Corsa Competizione.

First, the update 1.1 is available on Steam and it got the 2019 Blancpain GT Series season’s vehicles, teams, and the Zandvoort Circuit to all present and future ACC players, for free. The update includes 6 new car models such as the Audi R8 LMS EVO, Lamborghini Huracán GT3 EVO, AMR V8 Vantage GT3, Honda NSX GT3 EVO, Porsche 991 II GT3 R, McLaren 720S GT3. 

We also learn that Spa Francorchamps, Barcelona, and Silverstone will get a tarmac rework to match the one that was done on the real racetracks recently.

The update 1.1 also got
1) Triple Monitor Dedicated Support KUNOS Simulazioni has developed a custom modification to Unreal Engine 4, allowing for a dedicated triple monitor setup support that allows independent settings on the 3 screens as in ACC’s predecessor.
2) Pit Stop Animations Furthermore, Pit Stop Animations have been implemented and show full scene pit crew operations on the car such as refueling and tire replacement.
3) New Showroom A new showroom is available on the vehicle selection page, allowing for zoom and rotation of the car models.
Finally, the update also brings a large amount of UI upgrades and performance optimizations, together with a long list of physics updates.

The last news is a collaboration with McLaren Racing that will bring the McLaren Shadow esports project also to Assetto Corsa Competizione’s players all around the globe. That means that players can compete to access the  McLaren Technology Center. This competition will open on Oct. 27th and close on Nov. 7th. More info about it, here! 

GRID 2019 test and review

The new GRID 2019 is finally out! I have been waiting for that one for a very long time, and the more screenshots/videos started to appear and the more worried I started to be. And in the end, well … the game is definitely a huge disappointment. Let’s start by what is good and then what is wrong with the game.

The good bit

The game is called GRID., which in the past meant an excellent race car video game. The legacy of the TOCA Touring Car Championship games which were some kind of pioneer in the industry.
That’s about it …. you may think that I am joking or being mean but really I can’t see a lot of good things in the game.

The bad bit

Gameplay

It is definitely arcade, very arcade. At the start of the game, you will have to test a couple of cars and when I saw the NASCAR drifting on the race track, I had to double-check that I was not playing a new skin of Mario Kart of some sort. From category to category the cars will feel different, basically slower or faster and drifting more easily or not. But in the same category, the car feels more or less similar. The strategy is also still similar, brake at the very last moment, kind of drifty in the corners. if you are even remotely interested in simulation, then this game is not really for you.

The fact that you are owning experience points by drifting or other similar actions is also a strong sign that it was developed more for an arcade-style than simulation.

Story

Basically there is no story in GRID 2019. The whole career mode is a bit strange, you are facing a table of a bit more than 80 challenges and you need to win enough of them to unlock the final ones. Each challenge is between 1 and 4 races, of 2 to 5 laps. You will just jump from challenges to challenges, taking from 5 to 15 minutes. It is not like if you were doing a championship, winning it and be hired into another one. You also do have a teammate, that you can choose, but that is only a name in a box. Except for helping you to gain more money, it has no real interest. And money, yes, because you will need to buy your own cars for the challenges. Luckily, a few of them are only needed to do a big part of the game.

It is also important to say that the final challenge can be unlocked and over in … roughly a day.

Like no other

GRID 2019 got all the problems I have found out in other racing games. The other drivers will definitely try to destroy your car. Some races will turn more like a Destruction Derby than a real race. The game got a Rewind option, which allows you to go back in time a bit (in case you made an error and you do not want to restart the race), and it is sometimes funny to rewind after an accident and see the other car crashing into the wall because … they never intended to race, they just wanted to kill you.

The “normal” mode is in my opinion way too easy and the “hard” mode is affected by the previous point and the fact that the game is too arcade. In hard mode, the competition may just try to get rid of you or the arcade mode kicks in, removing all logic (and physic) and having someone passing you by drifting in a straight line.

The number of tracks is limited (despite trying to use the same tracks with some variation). To the best of my knowledge, there seems to be only 4 real race track: Silverstone, Brands Hatch, Indianapolis, and Sepang. Concerning the variation, it is also a bit hard to do Brands Hatch in reverse for example. As for the fictional race track, some of them are actually not that bad, but all the street circuits are not really great.

Bugs

I had a couple of them, but it was not that bad. The game froze a couple of times, forcing me to close and restart it. The menu also has a weird glitch, if you are looking at a car, the visible one on the screen may be the previous one, or any one. The experience also stopped working for roughly 2 hours and probably 20 races. At the end of each race, I had 0xp so I should probably have 10 or 15 more lvls, but that’s ok.

Conclusion

Well, honestly I do not know what to add about that GRID 2019. As mentioned, the game has no real story or interesting career mode and the highest challenge can be finished in less than a day. The gameplay and difficulty are really Arcade. I am really doing my best to find some positive points but it is not easy. It feels a bit like a Need For Speed but with all the fun being removed. It also feels a bit like what was Gran Turismo … but the very first one. In 2019 we would expect something a bit better or original.

I think that this will be the biggest disappointment of the year in my opinion and something to pass in my opinion…

GRID Career Mode details

Despite being delayed to October 21st, Codemasters shared GRID Career Mode details today.

It announces 104 events at launch, spread across six disciplines: Touring, Stock, Tuner, GT, FA Racing, and Invitational. The first five disciplines offer 13 different events to complete, while the last one got 26. All of those disciplines will end with a Showdown event. Mmmh .. ok. Why not doing simple championships?

I am a bit afraid with the next statement which is: “Each event includes an objective you must complete to unlock more events in that discipline, and the objective won’t always be to win the race”. I do hope that the objective will still be a specific position and not something strange to do during the race.

“Each Showdown is a two-on-two race, pitting you and your teammate against the top team from each discipline, so use your racing prowess and tactical skill to win these challenging events.” Not sure I understand if that is a relay meaning that you do half of the race and your teammate do the other half?

You’ll need to win four of the six Showdown events to progress to the final chapter of Career mode. That means you don’t have to complete every discipline if you don’t want to.

I am honestly more scared than thrilled by that first of the news. The second part is however more interesting.

First, you learn that you can create your own Team, with name and livery. You will also need to purchase cars with what you earn during your races. And you can also hire and fire a teammate. This means that the game will put you as a team manager, which is definitely cool.

They also announced the addition of events which will almost double at some point. However no mention on if that will be for free or through paid DLC.

So, in the end, I am half happy and half afraid by that GRID Career Mode…