Now for the exciting bit... after wrapping up some of the more interesting things to come out of 2016 we turn our attention towards what we think should be on the horizon during the next twelve months... We have only just said goodbye to what has been a pretty strong year for sim racing and now, as is our human nature, we are very quick to discard what happened in the past and turn our full attention towards the expected highlights from the coming year. Of course one cannot predict what the future holds with any kind of certainty, and of course we hope 2017 has a few surprises in store as well, but we thought it might be fun to have a quick look at some of the things that should be coming our way as time continues its onward march. Project CARS 2 should make an appearance Funnily enough as I write this piece a few leaked in-game images from the new PCARS title have crept out onto the internet, once again showing off an impressive visual experience that will no doubt be at least the equal of its visually stunning older brother. Studio head Ian Bell has confirmed that with a fair wind PCARS 2 should sneak out onto store shelves sometime around September, again as a cross platform title for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Of course at such an early stage of development many of the features and content within the sim are open to speculation, however with so many alleged images already in the public domain it can be safe to assume the already seen Porsche, Mercedes, Mini, Mitsubishi, Ford, Lamborghini and the rumoured Ferrari brands will be present in the title, capping off an impressive array of some of the worlds finest machines. We already know loose surface racing and Rallycross will be added to the new game, with a promise of "lots of interesting new tech", however It remains to be seen if SMS can pull one out of the bag and substantially improve upon the occasionally sublime and often infuriating original. Should be a fun ride finding out. Forza Motorsport 7 comes to PC Following the pretty embarrassing Apex release and the subsequent slightly troubled launch of Horizon 3, the expected 2017 Forza Motorsport 7 game will the first fully fledged Forza title to come out for Windows 10 PC, sitting alongside the usual Xbox One version of the game. One assumes that Turn 10 will continue their tradition of alternating Horizon / Forza releases, hopefully seeing FM7 drop during the upcoming year. No doubt excitement will be high as players sit tight and see how Turn 10 manage their most high profile PC release to date. Sadly very little information is known at this stage, other than leaks on the Fanatec forum confirming the existence of the game and various rumors doing the rounds indicating the possibility of bikes being added for the very first time in the franchise history. Personally I'd take that with a little pinch of salt as it is very much unsubstantiated and would prove a rather large departure from previous releases. If Turn 10 stick to form it would not be a surprise to see the game officially confirmed during the upcoming E3 event in June, with a potential release around Q4 2017. New Reiza title scheduled to emerge from the shadows 'Reiza 2017' could quite possibly be one of the most anticipated sim racing games of the last ten years if the various message board antics across the interweb are to be believed. We all know Reiza Studios are held in very high regard amongst the sim racing community, strengthened considerably by the studios admirable behavior during their successful crowdfunding campaign and the early development of Automobilista, so much so that a mask of anticipation seems to be hanging over the sim racing community as gamers await the first solid news from Reiza's new, as yet untitled, racing sim. Very briefly mentioned during the crowd funding promotional material as 'Reiza 2017' and featuring a new graphics engine plus dynamic weather and time of day, 'Reiza 2017' has the potential to become a very successful racing simulation indeed. From the snippets of information I can gleam from various sources on the internet it appears that 'Reiza 2017' will very likely contain the assets from AMS alongside new content and will continue to use the core physics engine in place within AMS, albeit with modern graphics bolted on top. Of course with a project so short on publically announced details and only in its very early stages of development it is a bit of a risk to say it might see light of day this year, however I feel safe to say that at the very least we will all be treated to considerably more information that we have a present by the close of 2017, and with a bit of luck beta early access could well be available. I really hope so as this is one I'm looking forward to a great deal. RaceDepartment Le Mans Series returns for Season 7 RaceDepartment are ridiculously proud to be hosting our seventh season of the RaceDepartment Le Mans Series (RDLMS) this coming February, utilising the impressive EnduRacers Endurance Series modification for the class leading rFactor 2 racing simulation. We will be running a league for up to 40 cars consisting of anywhere between two and six drivers each, utilising both the Prototype and Grand Touring classes of the Endurance Series V1.00 modification. As has become the standard with our RaceDepartment leagues we will be presenting a series produced to the highest professional standards, with seriously well organised teams and epic races across some of the finest tracks available currently in rFactor 2. This is the beginning of a return to form for rFactor 2 leagues at RaceDepartent, we can't wait to watch it all unfold out on track! Ferrari Legends coming to Assetto Corsa As we mentioned earlier, its been a pretty good year for the Assetto Corsa guys with a wealth of new DLC vehicles and some other interesting developments with regards to the actual simulation itself. Heading into 2017 on the crest of a wave, Kunos published a nice end of year blog giving fans a hit of some of the stuff coming our way during the next year of development. Of course a lot of the things planned for AC will undoubtedly remain under wraps until the studio feel it is the right time to make an announcement, however one of the more interesting pieces of information to come from the team was the fact that Assetto Corsa plans to celebrate Ferrari's 70th birthday this year by giving fans the chance to vote on the seven legendary Ferrari's they would most like to see coming to the sim, to be followed by a 'Ferrari Legends' DLC package featuring the fan choices. Firstly news of new content in AC is always well received, plus the added prestige of the Ferrari brand must never be underestimated as a very positive draw for players. However the idea of fans voting which car they want to see in the game is one of the most interesting, and impressive, things I've heard in a long time. For far too long in the gaming industry in general players haven't had a strong enough voice within the development process of a game, and this initiative by Kunos I feel should be applauded. Ferrari have very many exciting cars from their impressive range, and to be given the opportunity to vote for one to add into AC is pretty special in my opinion. Also already in the pipeline for 2017 include some new free content - A fictional racetrack, the Mazda 787B, the Miata NA, the new Maserati Quattroporte and the new Audi TT plus new DLC from Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Maserati plus of course the recently teased 'British Pack', featuring the mysterious "latest line-up from McLaren, Lotus and maybe, something more" - hopefully Aston Martin...oh yeah and Laguna Seca too... 2017 should be a good year for AC... Looking forward to it! Simbin Studios to reveal more about it's new racing game The return of the Simbin name with support from Sector3 Studios came as quite a welcome surprise last year, bringing back to sim racing one of the true greats from a golden era of our hobby. When the studio closed its doors back in 2014 and many of the staff regrouped to form Sector3 we thought that was the end of Simbin, now it appears it was only just the beginning... Headed up by the brother of Sector3 Studios CEO Chris Speed and benefitting from technical support from the team, the new UK based developers will have big plans for the years ahead. Already having announced their intention to develop a racing game for PC and console using the latest generation technology, sim racing fans will be spending much of 2017 eagerly awaiting any kind of news regarding what this new/old studio have in store. One assumes by the fact the studio has been revived and announced publically that a fairly substantial game is already past the thought process and in early development, however news as to exactly what this will be remains a closely guarded secret. Will the new Simbin pick up where the old one left off and take RaceRoom Racing Experience over to console? Will the team recapture its former glory and create the long awaited third instalment to the legendary GTR series of games? Could 'Race 17' be in the works ten years after the original? Or will they surprise us with something totally different? Only time will tell how the venture works out for this legendary name. If its half as good as their previous releases then its going to be epic... Don't forget to check out the Club Racing scene here at RaceDepartment! We have a whole bunch of interesting events across most sim racing games. Take a look at our Club and League Racing Calendar for more info. Stay tuned for the final part of our series of articles "soon"!