Studio 397 have today released their first new build of rFactor 2 since taking over the development reigns from previous incumbent Image Space Incorporated back in September. Todays update has a strong focus on enhancing the behaviour of the StockCar content, a series predominantly running on Oval tracks, as well as the all important fix for NVidia driver crash errors amongst other pressing outstanding issues within the sim. Although not full of immediately noticeable changes, the new build lays much of the groundwork for future development in rFactor 2 and will come as another welcome shot in the arm for a simulation that has come in for much criticism this year. With Studio397 now in control of development, and a proposed move to both DX11 and VR coming early in 2017, the future is already looking much brighter for this simulation than just 12 months ago. The full release notes and message from Studio 397 can be read below: "It’s been a few months since the last build was released, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to give you an update on what the team has been busy working on. After taking over development, our first order of business was optimizing and automating the entire build process and setting up a new internal bug tracking system – two improvements that will help speed up public releases of fixes and features. We brought new members into our team to move the project forward in terms of graphics, user interface, infrastructure, content and overall optimizations, which you will start to see in the first quarter of 2017 and beyond. For this first release our focus was on fixing bigger issues such as video driver crashes, optimizing and fixing elements of the workshop and starting work on improving the stock car and oval experience. We have invested a considerable amount of time in developing and testing stock car, specifically stock car rules, since the last public release. With the help of a dedicated group of stock car league admins and stock car specialists on our test team, we identified some of the crucial issues that need to be addressed. We continually seek to improve our stock car and oval experience. For this first release of several upcoming changes we focused on sorting issues under caution and adding more flexible options for server admins. We’ve also taken a close look at oval behaviour optimizations of the AI in single player, especially (but not exclusively) for short ovals." Build 1108 change log: The safety car is now set to ‘non-collidable’ by default – testing has shown this can help avoid certain oval-related caution situations in which the safety car has trouble weaving its way to the front of the field. The value can be set to ‘collidable’ in the player.JSON file by editing the following values: "Safety Car Collidable": true. After this update, we recommend server admins backup and remove player.json and multiplayer.json, so that new ones are generated containing all new options and defaults. Several minor adjustments and tweaks to help optimize scoring. Further improvements to the track order of cars leaving the pits under caution. Fixed a bookkeeping error under caution with one lap until restart. Changed AI behaviour to prevent pitting on the last lap of a caution. This helps to avoid messy and disorderly restarts and it makes the AI look a bit smarter too Added an extra message to the Low Speed Information pop up: “Please pass the safety car.” This should help you be more aware of where you are with respect to the safety car under a full course caution and should improve sorting overall as drivers no longer have to guess whether to pass the safety car. Changed pit exit behaviour to allow cars to be placed in a large gap rather than behind the whole field, which might be nearly a full track length behind the car exiting on some of the smaller ovals. Fixed pit behaviour: A car entering the pit lane after a race resumes from a caution will no longer be able to continuously lap the field during the next caution. Fixed a possible scoring mix-up when a full course caution was called while the race leader was in the pits. Fixed a bug in which cars starting late from the garage area (those that did not press the Race button in time), after the field had gone ahead, were sometimes wrongly scored at race start. Cars starting late from the garage area now have to wait for the entire field to pass the pit-exit line to be able to join the race and go on track. Added a new single player feature "AI Formation by Position" that when set to “true” in the player.json attempts to line up the AI during yellow flag/formation laps according to your position behind the pace car instead of relative to surrounding cars. This seems to work better on short ovals, whereas the old (default) way might still work better for road courses. Added new options for configuring an oval server, which can be found in the CustomPluginsVariables.json: Added two types of double file which can be configured by editing the value "DoubleFileType" where “0” is off (or single file), “1” will ignore lapped and pitted distinctions, and “2” (the default) is standard double file. Wave-arounds can now be set to on or off for more flexibility by editing the following value: "WaveArounds" “0” is off, “1” is on. Added the ability to configure number of caution laps by editing the following value: "YellowLapsMinimum" Added the ability to configure random number of caution laps editing the following value: "YellowLapsRandom" Fixed AI behaviour to prevent them from taking off immediately after what should be their pit stop following their final qualifying lap, which would get them disqualified. Fixed AI behaviour to prevent AI from getting disqualified during qualifying on certain tracks where it is difficult to pit immediately after completing n-1 laps. Added a new TGM display. While driving, it was possible to pull up a graph showing the contact patch for each tyre that showed the temperature of the tyre at that point of the contact patch (ALT =). The second display now shows the tyre load. Changed TTool filename. TTool, a tool that is used to generate tyres for cars, used to output a file named “QSA” when you ran a real-time batch test. That filename has now been corrected to “realtime”. Fixed an issue where camber angles for tyres reported as zero in real-time telemetry instead of their real angle. Also, this now allows plugins to see the correct angles. Fixed occasional crash when a wheel gets reattached/repaired during a pit stop at the same time as a driver swap. Fixed the multiview gizmo that allows you to enter your triple screen configuration. It now saves and remembers asymmetrical monitor configuration parameters. Fixed sporadic nVidia driver crash on certain tracks. The fix, which is only needed if you were experiencing driver crashes and restarts, can be activated by changing the value WorkaroundFlags=1 in the Config.ini with a text editor. Please make sure to delete your shader cache manually (the files in UserData\Log\Shaders) when making this change. Removed the option to disable HDR. Changed the logic so that the dedicated server properly moves on to the next track in all cases regardless of which sessions are active. Added an Engine Mixture setting to garage so it can be saved as part of a car setup. Updated Launcher icons. Added new user interface background image and splash screen. Fixed Launcher to work correctly in Steam’s offline mode. It will no longer hang while attempting to download pending workshop items in this mode. Updated French language dictionary. We’ve made racing online free for every user of rFactor 2. Fixed results file when VehFile uses escape characters. Removed DRS enabled/disabled messages for tracks without DRS zones. Added +skipmonitor as a command line option, which lets you enter from and exit a race directly to the main menu. In case you missed it earlier this week, don't forget to check out the latest Development Roadmap from Studio 397 here. rFactor 2 is a PC only racing simulation available to purchase via the Steam network. Check out the rFactor 2 sub forum here at RaceDepartment for the latest news and discussions regarding the simulation. Have a browse through our awesome mods section and join in the fun in one of our epic League and Club Racing events! Have you tried the new build yet? What do you think of the direct Studio 397 are taking the sim? Let us know in the comments section below!