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Future of PrestoGP

David Turnbull

PrestoGP Veteran
Hi guys,

We'll what do I say? Sign ups this season have been the worst since PrestoGP began back in 2008 :( We really need to find some way of bringing in more numbers and having them stay the course with us. Usually we've been fairly lucky in that we always had a core group of 10-15 drivers and this was supplemented with some new additions each season, sometimes the new guys hung around, sometimes they didn't and thats to be expected but it's always the core group that stuck around that made Presto worthwhile.

Now we are looking at having less of a core group, we've lost some regulars by the looks of it and they will be hard to replace so how do we go about trying to get the numbers up again so that having this league is worthwhile to all of us?.

some ideas could be......

Change of car used to something more popular.
Change the day of the week to one that suits more people.
Change of event format i.e the sprint and feature race.
Or something more drastic like change of game.

I don't have the answers to this and we need everyones thoughts on what will keep you interested in Presto, and also prospective members thoughts on what they would like to see in Presto where they to join us.

Lastly I don't want to call it a day with Presto, some of us have been here a very long time (Myself, Vale, Nicolas, Martin, Artyom) and we have some newer guys who have shown good Presto commitment (Raymond, Andrew, Francisco) I wouldn't want to throw away what we have here so lets all try and come together to see what we can come up with to keep Presto alive into the future :)
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I’ve wondered since the tail-end of last season what the problem might be, and after Brazil wondered why I’d wasted my time, and now, after Austria, I’m asking myself the same question. For me, while I really enjoy a fun and clean race, which a league like this one provides, I primarily joined to measure myself. I wanted to see how I ranked and see whether I could get back to the GPL form I had fifteen years or so ago. It’s been a bit of a slog, but I was having fun and am making some progress, which is why all this is a great shame.

The reason I’m feeling I’m wasting my time is that the last few races have been relegated from points scoring events to fun races due to the low numbers. So, for me at least, I don’t see the point in practising for a race that may be a non event, and if I don’t practice, then why turn up? Part of the problem I think is due to this, as when you approach a certain critical mass in terms of number of entrants, then the prospect of it being a non event makes people question whether it is a viable event to participate in. So, if you stop awarding points, then it sort of becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that when the numbers drop towards this point then the rest rapidly evaporate to leave only a few of the die-hards. Don't get me wrong, the last thing I want is to be ‘successful’ with little competition, as I want to measure myself (in a meaningful way), but what I would change is that the show, the full show, should go on - I think that this will ultimately help numbers to recover.

What do I like? The car’s okay, but I’m not overly fond of it. The circuits are okay, but I’m not a fan of Tilkerized tracks with car park run-off areas. The format is good (I like the sprint race and main event format, especially the latter, which is long enough to be more strategic compared to the flat-out sprint race). The simulator/game we use is good (I also have Assetto Corsa (good), Automobilista (also good) and Project Cars 2 (leaves me rather cold)). The day of the week and time is fine (though others would probably be equally fine). The people are good (really!).

What do I dislike? Not too much really (modern tracks are not my favourite, the car lacks more compounds and slow and fast damper settings, and the engine isn’t very revvy (good word that!), constant weather is a bit, excuse the pun, dull).

What would I like? I’m not mega fussy, so whatever brings in the masses will do me, but I’m a bit of an open-wheeler, formula car nut, so something like GT3 would be a complete turn off. Indeed, while the fun races proved that you can have fun in the most unlikely places (for a formula car nut), a whole season of that would be too much. Personally, I wouldn’t mind staying as we are, or having a different car for every event, or a handful of car types that we alternate through throughout the season. I would also like more historic circuits and weather. I forgot to mention, ovals are fun too!

To sum up, I would like a season where we ran a variety of cars on a variety of circuit types, in a variety of formats, with weather, all points scoring, the objective being to find the most versatile driver. Having said all that, I’m easily pleased too - I just want to race!
@Andrew Hollom Interesting concept. A series that focuses on the driver, the winner being the most versatile... Could compete with absolutely any cars on any tracks, historic, modern, single seater, prototype, gt's, some wildcard stupid cars to throw a curveball etc. Could be worth looking at, I don't think any other series has that concept.

David Turnbull

PrestoGP Veteran
Thats a good post and exactly what I'm looking for, it gives your feelings on a whole number of things which can help us moving forward, so I'll try and address some of your points....

The lack of point scoring when we have less than 10 drivers, I would agree with, maybe the best thing here is for us to just go ahead and run the event as like you say, the guys who do turn up have put time into being ready and its not fair on them to suddenly be forced to do a race with nothing in return. So from now on we will continue with the event for full points.

The car, I'm not a fan of your idea of varied cars throughout the championship, it takes long enough to get used to one car and would add alot more time to everyones lives having to learn a track with a new car every other week. Whatever we do here as in the car we choose to go with will be the only car used in that years championship.

The tracks, Presto was founded as an F1 league, since its beginnings we have tended to try stick to the closest to F1 we can which means the tracks need to match up with whats occuring in real life, I think this suits us well in that most of us will be F1 fans to some degree and will know nearly all of the tracks which in turn makes practising slightly easier and less time consuming.

The time/day, I think I agree with you here in that if we were to change it then it might affect others who prefer the Wednesdays but me personally I could deal with a change of day without too much fuss but not everyone is the same obviously.

I think coming to the main point of your post is that turning up after practising and getting nothing in return (points) is deffo something we will change, so from now on any event that goes ahead will be run till its conclusion.

Valerio Vinassa

PrestoGP Veteran
Wednesdays it's the most comfortable day for me,no daughters, taxi driver etc...:D
Right question about lack point Andrew im agree, just to respect those on the track
Tracks i prefer use something that match with cars used like in real life
About cars open wheelers, any,
there is also another thing how many people have time to spent for training and you have to do, have this commitment for a bit of months,drive an F1cars, they are not easy to drive, so its hard for someone find fun.
Its not easy to answer, maybe another cars, is the first thing you do when looking for:)
Hi guys,

Sorry for the late reply, hadn't really had the time to react yet. I will give my view om some aspects of which I feel could attract and keep more drivers.

I think this one should be top priority. I don't really dislike the car, but I'm not too fond of it either. Besides, I think for new players this car is really hard to master. One thing I do dislike about this car is the setup process though. I feel like the setup doesn't really correlate with the theory of setups, and there are a few "tricks" that make the car faster when it really shouldn't. For example the ride height at the lowest setting and driving on the packers, always softest springs etc. Recently we used the mclaren, and I absolutely loved setting this car up for racing. Everything I changed seemed to correlate with what I've learned about setting up a car. Next to that, the car was a blast to drive and felt so alive compared to the FR 3.5.

In my opinion we have 2 options for the car. Option 1 is a high powered open wheeler, which should be an absolute beast and thrill to drive to enjoy the drivers. The second option is to pick a car which is somewhat easier to handle to make the skill gap smaller and the racing closer. Either one is fine by me, as long as the setup process "seems right".

Day of the week:
Maybe there are other days of the week which attracts more drivers. For me personally, I picked Presto GP for the wednesday races, because they suit my schedule the best. It's my only real "free" evening mid-week, and I like to keep my weekends free to do other stuff besides gaming.

Sim racing is a small market, and maybe we're just not reaching enough people. I think I made a fairly good trailer, and got only around 50 views. I don't have the answer to this problem though. Maybe we could reach more people by inviting a (sub)famous youtube simracer? As for going premium, what are the impacts on rules etc? I think our core group is already premium, so I'm not against it. I don't exactly know how much people we could attract by doing this though, so I'm kinda neutral on this one.

In my opinion nothing wrong with the tracks. Love gettting to know them and studying what lines F1 drivers take differently the weekend after. I wouldn't change anything about this.

Race day format:
I like the format as it is right now. It sometimes bites with my schedule when I have early shifts, but I'm more then happy to sleep a little less if it means I can race against you guys with a filled up grid.

Weather/time of the day:
I would like to vote for some more varied weather. I don't really mind how it is right now, but I would like to run some wet races for example. Mixed weather would be nice too, but a bit difficult on the server-side to manage. Regarding time of the day in-game, I'm fine with how it is right now.

Game platform:
rFactor 2 for me really feels like the best sim around. I know the visuals aren't the best, but at this moment there is no other sim that feels like rFactor 2. I don't have RL experience in racing, but I feel like rFactor feels how it should feel when comparing to RL.

Big story, but just my opinion on the matter:D
Here are my actual inputs to this topic :)

I think there will be a wake up call for some on 17th March at F1 start in Australia :)
Maybe it is better to start the season in first quarter of the year, also when F1 starts.

A season is maybe too long, for me it looks we lost the more the longer the season last.
Now we have 10 races in around 18 weeks, we could try to decrease the races and/or split into two seasons e.g. 2x4 races.
We also could try to split into to equal leagues with every 2 weeks a race from the other league (so 1. race league#1 -> 2. race league#2 -> 3. race league#1 -> ...), so there`s more gab between the races.

Maybe this will make it easier for people to decide to join or not.

I like this format because it creates thrill and stress, but often it is also a challange for me.
Often I have really long working day`s where I have to concentrate the whole day (and I`m not the yougest anymore).
So after 20-30min Q warump, 10min Q, 5min R1 warmup, 20min R1, 5min R2 warmup often my focus drops fast in the 50min R2.
I had races where I had microsleep on the long straights :D
Don`t know how others are doing, but maybe it is also a challange for others.

The actual car is ok for me, but I also had years with this car while I was slow and didn`t know why, others may not be so patient.
Like also Raymond wrote, changing the setup reacts often not like expected.

The car is a key point for sure, in our case we should choose a car wich is popular.
I would also go with a non formular car.

I think the tracks, in conntection with the F1 events is very good.
But the car also have to fit to the tracks.

Unfortunately, I have no new idea how to acquire new members.
The idea of Raymond to invite a famous and/or popular driver is super, but I'm afraid such guys don`t do it for free.
We could also advertise or place small prizes in prospect, but how to fund.

I like to have a direct battle over the whole race.
Lonley driving around is what I hate.
Simples share the griphax.exe and more will feel like it’s worth participating
If I knew about setup changes that were backwards to reality, I’d have made a post about it and got s396 to do something about it, well if enough people would confirm it
But I guess, being the fastest is all that matters
I'm really sorry to add to the problem, but I'm going to have to sign out of this season of Presto. I've realized I just have too much going on, real life work, school, racing, then in-sim I'm doing VEC, VLMS and now GPVWC. I'll be active in the forum, I'll try and help out with opinions on the future, and I'll try and hop into any races I can. But I don't think I can race regularly. Sorry again.
I think the car is a big part of the problem. I personally have a love/hate relationship with it. I think an F3 car is the right fit, but the FR3.5 doesn't seem to respond to setup changes correctly, and it feels like everything is rushed, or in fast forward when you're driving, which doesn't make it approachable for new people. F3 feels right though, sticking with the F1 format. Maybe another single seater would work though. Worth testing any and all options.
Simples share the griphax.exe and more will feel like it’s worth participating
If I knew about setup changes that were backwards to reality, I’d have made a post about it and got s396 to do something about it, well if enough people would confirm it
But I guess, being the fastest is all that matters

There's been a setup given for every race, most of the time by the person who took most pole positions (Martin). Next to that, there's been a discussion on these exploits which is still available on the forum. Therefore I think it's unfair to point out a lack on transparency. Any more transparency and you might as well run a fixed setup format.

@MOOOOOOOOOSCHT I pointed out the lenght of the season out earlier too. I dont think it's a problem for the core group, but I feel like it could be too big of a commitment for new drivers to sign up for such a large season
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I'm not so sure. I recently signed for a Spanish league that are doing all 19 rounds of the 2005 F1 season, and it was a nice full season that attracted me. This was the case with Presto GP when I joined last year, and I don't think I'd be so attracted to a league that was, how do I put it, treading water.

We are all different though, and it wouldn't be the first time that I was the odd-ball!
Hello my dolly, hello my darling...

I'm on r3e and GT cars at the moment and having fun; open wheelers are just too fast for me. I have gone a bit of a journey in the last year or two. My gaming was on halt not just on simracing but on any kind of game or even a movie that provided excitement. Long story short, now i'm on beta blockers and i should've been on them for years, maybe over a decade.. The good news is that i'm calmer behind the wheel than i've been in years, maybe never... Bad news is that i went fully casual on all fronts, stopped trying too much and am just about having fun..

I know this is a bit off topic, specially to the people who don't know me. But i read "more variance" and that could tickle my tailbone enough to commit to a season, i still have AC and rF2.. At least my cockpit is now super comfy and optimized since i bought 3D printer and now i want to print new pedals. I got two momo's now, one is unmodded and was almost mint few months ago, my old one is in pretty bad shape until i can get proper bearings on them... i'm gonna mod that to house metal bearings on both ends.. it'll be the best Momo on the planet ;)

As for topic, now that i've read the thread: why do you have setups at all if that cause problems with time commitment and other issues? Lock the setup to default, that will take care of that dilemma. It is absolutely then the same for all and default setups are usually such that anyone can drive them.

Race length is another issue and 2 x 20min or 2 x 25min sprints are long enough to have some chance of a recovery but not too long to require long race practice, which is another huge time sink. 2x tire wear and pitstops can also be forgotten: everything as simple and convenient as possible. We humans choose convenience over pretty much anything else..

Closeness of racing: take off downforce and torque. Give lots of mechanical grip and just enough wings that it keeps up with the curve of "more than enough grip at first part of S in Sepang but not enough for the second part". Or just enough to stay on full power in Barcelona turn 3, can just, just about survive modern Eau Rouge - Raidilon transfer without lifting.. It eventually goes then towards lower classes than even 3.5.. which won't necessary attract any talents..
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David Turnbull

PrestoGP Veteran
I got put on Beta-Blockers when I had my heart attack in 2017, was on them up until 2 months ago when it was found they were partly to blame for me developing Coronary Vasospasm so now on Calcium Channel Blockers amongst the other tablets I take.

Onto your point though, the race lengths are fine, I dont think we will be changing them as it caters to those who like fast quick races and those who like a bit or strategy to be involved. The car we are going to choose will be a step up in speed from the R3.5, I think more people actually like to be tested and have a challenge, not only with other drivers but also by the car, it makes it much more interesting if your battleing the car and other drivers oppossed to just plodding around in some underpowered bath with wings and wheels.

Presto needs to be a challenge with both man and machinery other wise (as I've said in another post) we'd be as well using one of the Codemasters F1 games. If some people think they can just turn up and go gung ho and theres no penalty then this isnt the league for them. We dont want to get to the stage that weeks of practise is needed to even be able to drive round a lap, but we dont want to make it too easy.
For me, it has to be F1 or as you say, at least faster than the FR3.5.

Tracks I don't really care as I like the challenge of learning new tracks, although having a few F1 classic tracks in there (Spa, Suzuka, Silverstone etc.) never hurt, as it helps to keep the connection to real F1.


I'll add my two cents as well.

I took part in PrestoGP a couple of seasons. I really liked the philosophy of it. People seemed approachable and generally nice. I enjoyed almost every race in PrestoGP, except for a certain Singapore round :)

rF2 is the best sim for me, and I love it. The FR3.5 is quite a difficult car to master, and you just can't jump in it and lap fast. I liked the challenge of a good open wheeler, but I was also one to encourage a little change. I thought the new McLaren cars would break the FR3.5 monopoly and be perfect for PrestoGP since they're top-notch mods, they're fast but quite driveable and respond nicely to setup changes.

So ... why did I not sign up?

Even though I still like PrestoGP, I am currently busy in the VEC championship. I recognized a few PrestoGP names in VEC, so a few here may understand. It's a demanding championship and sometimes my simracing time budget is limited by other factors, such as work and family.

Personally, I would hate to jump into a PrestoGP race without having had the time to practice adequately, thus being "disrespectful" towards the others that took the time to prepare.
If in addition to that, I have to learn a new track from scratch (again, see Singapore, but that's equally valid for all new F1 tracks such as Baku, etc...) then whole ordeal becomes a show-stopper for me.

That is why I decided not to sign up, but I do occasionally take part in RD club races for tracks or cars I have driven before.

Kudos to David for pushing PrestoGP forward.

As I said, I have very fond memories of my experience in PrestoGP.
Hopefully I'll join again (soon?)
There's been a setup given for every race, most of the time by the person who took most pole positions (Martin). Next to that, there's been a discussion on these exploits which is still available on the forum. Therefore I think it's unfair to point out a lack on transparency. Any more transparency and you might as well run a fixed setup format.

@MOOOOOOOOOSCHT I pointed out the lenght of the season out earlier too. I dont think it's a problem for the core group, but I feel like it could be too big of a commitment for new drivers to sign up for such a large season

Raymond, I was in a bad mood when I posted that, sorry for that, could you link that discussion about said exploits, because apart from softest springs and lowest ride heights, which isn’t an exploit, I can’t find anything