iRacing | NASCAR AI Now Available

The next content batch to receive the AI treatment in iRacing has been released - NASCAR!

Ok, not all the tracks are currently capable of hosting races against the AI, for now only Talladega Super Speedway and Daytona International Speedway have been AI-enabled, but today marks an important milestone for the simulation as they bring computer controlled opponents to oval racing for the first time within the history of the sim.

Many oval racing fans have been left with something of a lack of quality single player experience for NASCAR or IndyCar style racing in recent years, so I can easily imagine this new AI-enabled content within iRacing to become very popular, very quickly once the studio manage to iron out the inevitable bugs from such a new piece of functionality.

As has been the case throughout the whole AI deployment, this new update is to been seen as something of a 'soft launch', with further enhancements and a wider roll out expected over the coming months.

Talladega and Daytona NASCAR joins the previous released Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, Skip Barber and Mazda MX5 Cup AI options on selected circuits within the simulation.

iRacing Update.jpg


Full update notes can be found below:

iRacing BETA Interface - (03.02.14-beta)

- The iRacing BETA Interface splash screen has been updated with a "Reconnect" button when iRacing is unable to connect to servers. The splash screen will also now automatically advance to the iRacing BETA Interface once maintenance is complete if a user has arrived at it during maintenance.

- The default Restart type for AI Races has been changed to Double File Back.
- - Please note, if you select to create a Single AI Race using your Last Settings, the previous default Restart type was Double File Inside.

AI Races
- Asphalt Oval AI Races are now available!

- New challengers approach! The following cars have been enabled for AI Races:
- - NASCAR Cup Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- - NASCAR Cup Ford Mustang
- - NASCAR Cup Toyota Camry

- The following track configurations have been enabled for AI races:
- - Daytona International Speedway - Oval
- - Okayama International Circuit - Full Course
- - Sebring International Raceway - International
- - Talladega Superspeedway

- AI Driver behavior for a variety of activities has been upgraded, including:
- - Throttle and brake application
- - Pace lap driving and spacing
- - Low speed driving
- - Deceleration actions
- - Drafting tactics
- - Two-wide racing
- - Learning individual track corners
- - Racing in traffic
- - Opponent car location prediction
- - Caution flag flying
- - Passing while pitting

- Fixed a variety of issues with AI Driver behavior, including:
- - AI Drivers could repeatedly miss their pit stall and then panic, behaving erratically.
- - AI Drivers could rear-end other vehicles when the Caution flag was thrown.
- - AI Drivers could sometimes needlessly wait behind other vehicles when preparing to enter the pits.

- Fixed an issue during post-race where the AI Race Session could crash if an AI Driver missed it's pit stall.

Cautions
- A new caution mode has been added: Full-Course Cautions where Caution Laps Do Not Count as Race Laps (DNC Cautions).
- - This caution mode is modeled after short-track oval racing, where laps under caution are not counted, though it is not intended to exactly mirror any particular series' set of rules.
- - DNC Cautions functions as follows:
- - - At the instant the caution flag is flown, the field ordering is determined (there is no racing back to the line). One goal is to roll-back scoring to the prior completed lap, thus undoing any passing that might have occurred during the lap that brings out the caution. This is accomplished as follows:
- - - - The lead contender on track and all cars on track behind them to the S/F line are reordered as to their most recent lap crossing. Laps are no longer scored for this set of cars until the green flag following the caution period.
- - - - The cars on track behind the S/F line backwards to the lead contender on track are reordered as to their most recent lap crossing, and placed behind the other group. These cars will have their next lap crossing under caution scored, thus preventing them from going a lap-down. A disabled car that does not make it back to the line will not be awarded this lap. These laps will be scored so as to preserve how they are sorted into the pace field. Subsequent laps for these cars while under caution are not scored.
- - - - Any cars not on track when the caution flies will be placed at the back of the field when they exit the pits, and will not have any laps scored during the caution period.
- - - If the selected restart setting (single file, double file, etc.) indicates that lapped cars are to go to the back of the field for the restart, and lapped cars will not get a wave-around to un-lap themselves as the caution is ending, then lapped cars will be placed into the initial pace order behind cars that are on the lead lap. Since laps under caution are not being scored, these cars will be directed to fall-back behind the lead lap cars, as opposed to passing the pace car to catch up to the end of the field. When nearing the end of the caution period, lapped cars that have become co-mingled with lead lap cars due to pitting will again be directed to fall-back and let the lead lap cars by.
- - With this new caution mode enabled, fuel is NOT consumed during these potential extra laps.

- For creating a Hosted Session via the iRacing BETA Interface, the DNC Cautions option may be found at the bottom of the "Track Options" step.
- - The option, "Automatic Full Course Yellows" must first be enabled in order to enable DNC Cautions.
- - - This Race Option has also been added to Heat Racing configurations for any Heat Races in the race weekend.

- For creating a Hosted Session via the Classic Membersite, the old caution selection dropdown has been replaced with two new checkboxes for Automatic Full-Course Cautions, and for enabling Lucky Dog rule.
- - The new setting to enabled DNC Cautions may be found in the CAUTIONS section.
- - The setting to restart single file when one caution is followed immediately by another caution is in the RESTARTS section.

- The chat message identifying which type of restart a Caution is to use has been updated.

Rendering
- Fixed an issue where the environment map was applied to materials rendered inside cockpit mirrors in an incorrect color space, which resulted in sky reflections rendering much too bright in mirrors and an extreme bloom effect on mirrors.

- Fixed an issue where the sky could be rendered in an incorrect color space.

Visual Effects
- Fixed an issue where solar flares were sometimes missing or the wrong color.

Weather
- Wind calculations have been updated to prevent relatively predictable cycles and patterns that could sometimes occur.

- The prevailing winds direction computations have been updated.
- - This fixes an issue when using "Generate Weather" where the average wind direction may have been incorrect at some tracks.

Clubs
- The Club Japan logo has been updated.

CARS:
Audi RS 3 LMS

- Transmission rev match and downshift blip parameters have been updated.

BMW M8 GTE
- Fixed an issue with the BMW logo on the wing.

NASCAR Cup Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- This car, formerly named "NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 - 2018", has been renamed the "NASCAR Cup Chevrolet Camaro ZL1" due to real-world branding updates.
- - NASCAR branding on this vehicle has also been updated for the 2020 season.

- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

- Level-of-Detail (LODs) models have been adjusted to improve framerate performance at far distances.

- The season setup for Auto Club Speedway - Oval has been updated.

- The season setups for ISM Raceway (day and night) have been updated.

NASCAR Cup Ford Mustang
- This car, formerly named "NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Ford Mustang", has been renamed the "NASCAR Cup Ford Mustang" due to real-world branding updates.
- NASCAR branding on this vehicle has also been updated for the 2020 season.

- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

- Level-of-Detail (LODs) models have been adjusted to improve framerate performance at far distances.

- The season setup for Auto Club Speedway - Oval has been updated.

- The season setups for ISM Raceway (day and night) have been updated.

NASCAR Cup Toyota Camry
- This car, formerly named "NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Toyota Camry", has been renamed the "NASCAR Cup Toyota Camry" due to real-world branding updates.
- - NASCAR branding on this vehicle has also been updated for the 2020 season.

- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

- Level-of-Detail (LODs) models have been adjusted to improve framerate performance at far distances.

- The season setup for Auto Club Speedway - Oval has been updated.

- The season setups for ISM Raceway (day and night) have been updated.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Chevrolet Silverado
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Toyota Tundra
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

NASCAR K&N Pro Chevrolet Impala
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

- The season setup for Atlanta Motor Speedway - Oval has been updated.

NASCAR Truck Series Chevrolet Silverado - 2013
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

NASCAR Xfinity Chevrolet Camaro - 2019
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

- The season setups for Bristol Motor Speedway (day and night) have been updated.

NASCAR Xfinity Ford Mustang - 2019
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

- The season setups for Bristol Motor Speedway (day and night) have been updated.

NASCAR Xfinity Toyota Supra
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

- The season setups for Bristol Motor Speedway (day and night) have been updated.

Supercars Ford Mustang GT
- The low fuel warning now persists for 10 seconds before self-clearing.

Supercars Holden ZB Commodore
- The low fuel warning now persists for 10 seconds before self-clearing.

VW Jetta TDI Cup
- Transmission rev match and downshift blip parameters have been updated.

[Archive] NASCAR Cup Chevrolet SS
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

[Archive] NASCAR Cup Ford Fusion
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

[Archive] NASCAR Nationwide Chevrolet Impala - 2011
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

[Archive] NASCAR Sprint Cup Chevrolet Impala COT - 2011
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

[Archive] NASCAR Xfinity Toyota Camry
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

[Archive] NASCAR Xfinity Chevrolet Camaro
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

[Archive] NASCAR Xfinity Ford Mustang
- V7 tires have been adjusted to improve straight-line stability.

TRACKS:
Atlanta Motor Speedway

- Track surface parameters have been adjusted slightly for a more accurate racing experience.

Auto Club Speedway
- (Oval) - Camera set has been updated.

Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari
- Fixed an issue where pine trees could appear too shiny in some locations.

Bristol Motor Speedway
- Track surface parameters have been adjusted slightly for a more accurate racing experience.

Chicagoland Speedway
- Track surface parameters have been adjusted slightly for a more accurate racing experience.

Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya
- (Historic) - A pair of course-cuts now trigger a 1x and gain-time penalty.

Daytona International Speedway - 2007
- NASCAR Cup branding has been added.

Daytona International Speedway
- NASCAR Cup branding has been added.

Mount Panorama Circuit
- Camera set has been updated.

New Hampshire Motor Speedway
- Animated flagman has been added to the three Road course configs.

Okayama International Circuit
- Fixed an issue where the trees could appear shiny without wind.

Phoenix International Raceway - 2008
- NASCAR Cup series ads have been updated.

Wild West Motorsports Park
- Fixed an issue with the generated cubemap at this track.

World Wide Technology Raceway
- This track, formerly named "Gateway Motorsports Park", has been renamed the "World Wide Technology Raceway" due to real-world branding updates



iRacing is available exclusively on PC.

Want to ask our community something about the sim? Start a thread on the iRacing sub forum here at RaceDepartment!

 
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RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief, occasional YouTuber, commentator and broadcaster, with a passion for motorsport on both the real and virtual racetrack.

MarcG

1000RPM
Premium
Jun 17, 2011
1,414
925
Great to see further AI improvements coming along, unfortunately I don't own any of those Ovals which is a bummer. I may have another go with the Road AI before my Sub runs out next month, but after that I'm gonna let it lapse and return in the future when the AI will no doubt be available everywhere across the platform.

In the meantime I'll keep my eye on the progress, love a good changelog!
 

bsmooth

250RPM
Jul 27, 2015
483
125
61
I quit about 2 -3 years ago when there racing schedule and mine didn't quite match. Always thought AI would be a good thing. Nice to see its coming along, maybe not too fast, but I think thats a good thing, as it will only get better with time.
As soon as its across the board I might even join again, just have to wait and see. thats one thing I liked about iRacing and thats the constant updates.
 

David DeGreef

R3E Racing Club Host US
Staff
Premium
Dec 12, 2016
1,378
931
57
Glad to see iRacing rolling out the AI as I hope that developing this feature will not only benefit the offline racing I hope that it pushes all the developers to expand into other aspects in sims. Virtual crew chief, mechanic, engineer and perhaps the rating system and licensing for class advancement.
 

Dazmaniac

1000RPM
Aug 30, 2010
1,468
556
AI now introduced for NASCAR.

Harks back to their Papyrus days in the early 90's and their NASCAR Racing and Indycar Racing titles on PC.
 
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Lentoveloz

75RPM
Premium
Mar 30, 2016
85
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I would like to participate in the evolution of iRacing offline, but having to pay the monthly fee for the online service (I do not currently participate in online races) plus the circuits and cars to race offline has an unfavorable cost benefit.
 
Dec 29, 2006
5,968
1,351
I would like to participate in the evolution of iRacing offline, but having to pay the monthly fee for the online service (I do not currently participate in online races) plus the circuits and cars to race offline has an unfavorable cost benefit.
yep, atm, offline only doesn't figure out
 

EduCalza

250RPM
Nov 2, 2015
291
135
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This alone will probably make me get an iRacing subscription. I've been looking for a next-gen NASCAR simulator for a looooong time. (NASCAR is the only racing series that I'd rather simulate than watch on TV.)
Very soon we will get the best NASCAR sim. But for while the AI names are only iRacing employees
 

M D Gourley

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Sep 17, 2015
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This alone will probably make me get an iRacing subscription. I've been looking for a next-gen NASCAR simulator for a looooong time. (NASCAR is the only racing series that I'd rather simulate than watch on TV.)
Absolutely agree....as I am on the other side of the world and Nascar is not part of our culture...been looking forward to this for a long time.
 
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RCHeliguy

2000RPM
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Jan 19, 2019
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I never understood the draw to watching NASCAR, but while I don't do circle racing, I did try it out and it is very different from road racing and the dynamics are different. I was surprised how much there was to concentrate on when you are in the car. So I can see how this would be a worthy addition.
 
Dec 29, 2006
5,968
1,351
Totally loved the papyrus NASCAR titles which were at the root of iRacing back in the day, so basically these guys are coming full circle. Now all we need is a mid-game save function. Did many 500 miles races back then in little bits and pieces, great fun.
 

M D Gourley

1000RPM
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Sep 17, 2015
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OMG...the hairs on the back of my neck stood up...lol...this would be a fantastic training tool for noobs like myself as in my first race with AI, I did not get very far before I crashed out....'Hold your line boy, hold your line'...Screenshots below
First crash in '007' Camry...LOL
1 iRACING DAYTONA NASCAR copy.jpg

First Pit Stop...WOW animated Dudes...lol
2 iRACING DAYTONA NASCAR pit copy.jpg

Holy cow, it feels claustrophobic in here...lol
3 iRACING DAYTONA NASCAR cockpit copy.jpg
 

Brice.S.

250RPM
Sep 12, 2014
416
309
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Didn't test it yet (atm, i'm focusing on acc), and, to be honest, not really interested by superspeedways, but for sure I'll give it a go. it's very surprising to see iracing starting oval with cup series cars, I mean, these cars are really difficult, i was sure they'would start with trucks...
i have to precise that I run nascar class A fix (so these cars), but only for participation credit (i'm a road guy, so i run oval without any train or ambition, don't care beeing last, i just want my 7$/season^^), but it should be interesting to see how many people it (the AI) could convinced to run the serie (as when they start AI with the porsche cup, suddently the participation increased a lot)
@++
 
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EduCalza

250RPM
Nov 2, 2015
291
135
31
OMG...the hairs on the back of my neck stood up...lol...this would be a fantastic training tool for noobs like myself as in my first race with AI, I did not get very far before I crashed out....'Hold your line boy, hold your line'...Screenshots below
First crash in '007' Camry...LOL
View attachment 347835
First Pit Stop...WOW animated Dudes...lol
View attachment 347836
Holy cow, it feels claustrophobic in here...lol
View attachment 347837
Yeah. Will be a great trainning tool. When all track (oval, I only race in oval) become available I will practice more with AI than open practice haha.

I will learn more about setup, try to beat AI. Learn what setting will work great or loss time/stability
 

AlexHeuskat

75RPM
Sep 23, 2018
77
152
- AI Driver behavior for a variety of activities has been upgraded, including:
- - Throttle and brake application
- - Pace lap driving and spacing
- - Low speed driving
- - Deceleration actions
- - Drafting tactics
- - Two-wide racing
- - Learning individual track corners
- - Racing in traffic
- - Opponent car location prediction
- - Caution flag flying
- - Passing while pitting

more than rF2 in 7 years.
I think I will renew my membership, I don't know, ACC got me for the moment
 

michelforest

500RPM
Mar 2, 2010
522
441
I never understood the draw to watching NASCAR, but while I don't do circle racing, I did try it out and it is very different from road racing and the dynamics are different. I was surprised how much there was to concentrate on when you are in the car.
Indeed. Oval racing is much harder than it looks. It's like baseball: it looks easy, until you try it for yourself.