iRacing 24H of Spa Showcases Strange Exploit

iRacing Spa 24H Tire Exploit.jpg
Viewers of iRacing’s 24 Hours of Spa event saw a strange approach to racing lines over this weekend’s event.

Many of the top level sim racers participating in this weekend’s 24 Hours of Spa event in iRacing utilized a not-so-subtle approach to managing tire temperatures.

The exploit was known before the event, but had not been showcased to this extent before. Drivers utilized a tactic that involved deliberately driving with the outside tires on the grass.

The method was on full display as the cars made their way up the Kemmel straight at Spa Francorchamps. Long trains of cars could be seen driving with two tires on track and two on the grass.

The method seemed to work very well, with some estimating that it saved a much as a half second per lap.

Because it was known beforehand and every car in select splits seems to be using this technique, it seemed unlikely to have affected the finishing order. But, it does seem to highlight a gap in realism for a sim that works hard to mitigate differences versus real racing.

What are your thoughts on this tactic? Is it an immersion-breaking exploit, a clever workaround, or something in between? Let us know in the comments below.
About author
Mike Smith
I have been obsessed with sim racing and racing games since the 1980's. My first taste of live auto racing was in 1988, and I couldn't get enough ever since. Lead writer for RaceDepartment, and owner of SimRacing604 and its YouTube channel. Favourite sims include Assetto Corsa Competizione, Assetto Corsa, rFactor 2, Automobilista 2, DiRT Rally 2 - On Twitter as @simracing604

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Our team was fighting for P10 on split 5, and the guy ahead was doing it all the time. We did not know about it (it seems to work better on GTs, we usually drive prototypes) and didn't want to do it. Our driver did such a great job he managed to push them into getting a drive through for excessive off tracks.

One of the strategies was to drive as close as to them as possible, so they would be a bit intimidated as any speed loss in the grass could end up bad. It was fun despite the odditie of the situation. But I hope they fix this soon now that it became so exposed, as it does not make any sense at all.
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My how things have changed.

Once upon a time, to suggest iRacing had issues was treated as blasphemy. I will never forget the first waves of iRacing disciples and how they operated across a variety of sim forums. You were NOT allowed to talk about these things and if you did, you "had an agenda," were "crazy", trying to "discredit the finest sim available."

Now it is (rightfully) the subject of widespread ridicule.

I am extremely thankful to have gotten a full refund from these guys. It's unfortunate that most people are stuck with their purchase subscription rental.

For $60, this kind of thing would be irritating, but eventually fixed in a patch and people forget about it. There are builds of normal games that are borked, people are irritated for a bit, maybe it holds you off buying the devs next game until a sale, but everything generally goes back to normal within a few days.

For what they charge and how they posture themselves, it's slightly more worrying that things like this exist. These guys are claiming that every professional driver uses their sim to practice, but routinely there are these weird gremlins indicating the software is actually quite dated and simple under the hood.
 
My how things have changed.

Once upon a time, to suggest iRacing had issues was treated as blasphemy. I will never forget the first waves of iRacing disciples and how they operated across a variety of sim forums. You were NOT allowed to talk about these things and if you did, you "had an agenda," were "crazy", trying to "discredit the finest sim available."

Now it is (rightfully) the subject of widespread ridicule.

I am extremely thankful to have gotten a full refund from these guys. It's unfortunate that most people are stuck with their purchase subscription rental.

For $60, this kind of thing would be irritating, but eventually fixed in a patch and people forget about it. There are builds of normal games that are borked, people are irritated for a bit, maybe it holds you off buying the devs next game until a sale, but everything generally goes back to normal within a few days.

For what they charge and how they posture themselves, it's slightly more worrying that things like this exist. These guys are claiming that every professional driver uses their sim to practice, but routinely there are these weird gremlins indicating the software is actually quite dated and simple under the hood.
Serious question Austin - is there any sim title that you actually enjoy or have anything positive to say about? I didn’t mind reading your stuff on your old website and your YouTube channel, but I do wonder why you feel the need to commentate on a hobby where all you do is criticise it.
 
I have been an user since 2009. Progress has been steady most of time, but in the last years (I would say 5) iRacing's physics advancements have slowed down to a crawl. Many cool features, but the whole NTM thing is a proven failure (it has explicitely failed to deliver the premises spelled out by the devs). Still, the matchmaking and netcode is the best in business, which means that these "scandals" won't make a proper dent in the big scheme anyway.

Some people will get fed up with some aspects and leave, but AFAIK the title is still going strong as a whole and concurrent racers online have not dropped below pre-pandemic levels.
 
I week ago I asked whether there was an option to sign up on iracing without entering my real name / credit card details on reddit.
I was told this was not possible. After all, iracing was more than a video game, and serious, where using real names forced you to behave in a proper manner.
Well, I'm having fun in ACC...
 
This is partly why aliens are so fast. They search for any little software failure, whatever is the sim, to get an advantage. As a competitor, you must use it, as a 'real" simracer, you just... lose. In real racing, teams and pilots take any advantage they can find, I'm sure, in spirit, they would use this exploit.

So, imo, it is normal to see that in a competition, even if it breaks the immersion. What is not normal is that a competition uses a track with such an issue, as it has been known by the developpers. It should have been fixed, especially a track as popular.
 

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