Featured Why No Matra in Sim-Racing?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by leon_90, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. leon_90

    leon_90
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    Matra MS630.jpg
    credits: https://imgur.com/gallery/5oUnw

    The French Icon is sorely missing from the virtual racing scene. How come?


    DISCLAIMER: The article is about licensed, official content only! Thus, mods and 3rd party unofficial add-ons, developed for any sim, are not the object of this piece and in no way should be considered as such. Please, be aware and keep this in mind in the comments.


    During the last few years, all sorts of cars have been licensed and featured in simracing titles. We have a range of vehicles spacing from open-wheel prototypes to commercial sedans. Even SUVs have managed to break into the virtual motorsports. Among the more sportive and competitive cars, we have prestigious brands and manufacturers like Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bugatti, Jaguar, and the list goes on and on. Even Porsche, which was locked into an exclusive partnership with the publisher EA, last year has literally flooded into the simracing market reaching all of the most notorious titles. Even names of the past like De Tomaso have made an appearance in certain sims. However, a notorious manufacturer is sorely missing to this very day in simracing. Why?

    I am of course talking about the French Matra, the WSC title winner in ’73 and ’74 (winning the ’72, ’73 and ’74 Le Mans 24h races) and 1969 F1 championship winner thanks to Sir Jackie Stewart. Matra (Mechanique Aviation TRAction) was born in 1941 after the pre-existing CAPRA (Compagnie Anonyme de Production et de Réalisations Aéronautiques) had been closed. Originally involved mainly in military technology, it diversified its interests in the post War period in eleven different branches, ranging from “Branche Espace” to “Controle et Automatisme” and “Telecommunications”. At the beginning of the 60es, in 1962, Matra made a deal with French racer René Bonnet, supplying bodies and body components to his company. In 1965, the Société MATRA Sports was born out of the “Branche des Engins” and it incorporated the Automobiles René Bonnet, which was by then in economic difficulties. The first car that was the result of this union was the sleek Matra DJet, an innovative small vehicle powered by a Renault 8 engine, originally produced by Bonnet under license. The logo of the newly born company was an arrow pointing high, towards the sky. Ambitious, to say the least.

    test matra.jpg

    Matra was mainly invested into open wheel racing, namely F1, F2 and F3, and in Sports Cars racing. Given its acquaintances with aero spatial and aeronautical projects, and the owning of a wind tunnel, its racing cars were obviously very well design from that standpoint. Lightweight, compact, predictable handling, innovative, these were all characteristics of the French Matras, painted in a beautiful Bleu de France. Sir Jackie Stewart, who drove Can Am cars, Indy Cars, GT cars, Formula 1 and 2 cars, among many others, has had no difficulty in saying that the MS80 was by far the best car he ever drove. In his words: «the Matra was terrific. That’s the one I would say was maybe the nicest racing car I ever drove». (Interview with Ted Gushue from Petrolicious, September 8, 2016)

    Matra MS80.jpg

    Now, how come that no developer in simracing has even bothered to license any of the French manufacturer models in its sim? Yes, one might argue that the “Eve” in rFactor 2 are based off Matra open wheelers in 1968. However, they are not branded to start with, and they have some pretty evident inconsistencies as far as some particulars of the cars are modelled and depicted. We can say that the original Matra cars from F1, F2 and F3 championships in ’68 have been an inspiration to ISI, but not really anything more than that, which is a real shame. If we think for example at the MS10, how small and sleek it looked, while proving also very competitive, it is a mystery why it did not get any attention compared to a similar model like the Lotus 49. The latter has the merit of having become a legend, but merely thanks to its engine rather than the characteristic of the car as a whole. Nevertheless, the MS10 too had a DFV engine!

    Matra MS10.png

    The MS10 was also fitted with a beautiful V12 engine and labelled as MS11 in this configuration, which was produced by Matra itself under heavy pressure by SIMCA. The French were (and still are to this day) very patriotic, and so they kept asking to have not only an highly competitive car into the highest tiers of the motorsports, but that it would also be all French. Engine included. Matra kept relying on other manufacturers’ engines up to that point in time, but when Charles de Gaulle himself, President of the Fifth French Republic, intervened it was then clear what had to be done. Designer and engineer Georges Martin was appointed with the task of making a 3 litres unit capable of delivering 150 hp/l. The result has been a masterpiece of engineering capable of delivering symphonic notes.



    This engine was also adapted to prototypes for Endurance and Sprint racing, and it was powering legendary cars like the MS650 and MS670, both of which were highly competitive. The latter model won as we said three Le Mans 24 Hours, from ’72 to ’74, establishing itself like a true racing icon. In particular, it gave Graham Hill the Le Mans win that made him able to achieve the Triple Crown of Motorsport (Monaco, Indy 500, Le Mans 24 Hours). The sound of the MS670 is something that no one who listened to it can forget, as stated by the author and former racing driver Ed McDonough. Who suffered permanent ear damage from it and yet drove the very car at the 2009 Goodwood Revival, refusing to wear earplugs, in order to be able to fully enjoy the sound of this engine. Every driver who drove Matra prototypes had nothing short of enthusiasm for these cars, praising them for the innovation powering them. Competitive, easy handling cars, fitting cutting edge technology from brake discs to suspensions.



    Then again, why are these cars absent from simracing? It is absurd that none of the developers licensed any Matra vehicle to this very day for their sim, and I believe everyone agrees with me in hoping that this mistake will be remedied soon. Then, we will be bringing the scream of these howling engines around the corners of every track in the world, tearing the sky apart, honouring them as they deserve to be (and having a lot of fun in the process too!).

    Matra MS670.jpg

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  2. UnixRoot

    UnixRoot

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    I wish simracing would sound that good. I love the 70s Matra F1 cars.
     
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  3. Tbear

    Tbear
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    Love to see them in AC, but probably won't.

    I keep speaking with modders & modding teams who tell me that modable sim games are dead ... they tell me that we will only see single series games going forward, and they, the modders I've spoken with have no plans for new content, paid or free, at least for AC.

    I think we would be more likely to see a Matra if it was already part of a package than we will as new content.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  4. Ryno917

    Ryno917

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    It's because no one is confident they can nail the sound, obviously.
     
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  5. racingenthusiast

    racingenthusiast
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    Maybe companies can not get the licensing for them?
     
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  6. Vera9

    Vera9

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  7. muzikant

    muzikant

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    Because there is to much from the same... modern track layouts and gt3 cars I dee it everyware
    I hope for more cars and tracks from the 60,s and 70,s

    Why no Matra?

    Why no old Nurburgring? :sneaky:(Nordschleife) with the bumps and green fences
     
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  8. Zuffenhausen Weiss

    Zuffenhausen Weiss

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    Little does this mention how the Matra brand disappeared and their role in Renault as they made the Espace for decades after ceding car production. I don't know anything about legal ownership of defunct brands but I guess it's complicated to get hold of the rights as the company went bankrupt in 2003 due to Renault's poor decision making when the Avantime flopped.

    The administrators or whoever held the rights to the brand name would be the best bet I think
     
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  9. AccAkut

    AccAkut
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    wat?
    There is plenty of life in AC as a mod platform, x4fab is not finished with his shader updates and plenty of hobby and payware modders are still working on content. ACC will come, but for now only with a single track and a single car... people will not change ships altogether

    Mod wise Matra is all down to resources, You can't replicate these cars just from a few photos, to make a good mod you basically need contact to a team and intimate data and info access.

    This OP post is no different from a typical mod request.. a few photos, a "why has no one yet" text and no direct help or data promise. Moderator, please put it here please https://www.racedepartment.com/threads/mod-app-requests-thread.64157/page-67 :p
     
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  10. Toonces

    Toonces

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    I note that nowhere does leon_90 actually answer the Q posed in the headline: "Why no Matra in Sim Racing?"
    Mod Edit:
    No need for insults.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2018
  11. Jason Mullin

    Jason Mullin
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    Going out on a limb here so don't throw me to the wolves but... Sales?
    Could it be the present and future of motorsport is more profitable than history?

    We have to look at current sim racing demographics, who they are, what they'll spend money on, what products are attractive.

    We could ask why aren't F1 running a current vintage series, same for historic GT or Prototype.
    I believe it all comes down to money like everything else what will sell?
     
  12. formidable

    formidable

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    I had the honour to listen on live an MS650, and It sounds gourgeous
     
  13. Nico

    Nico
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    Kids today have no clue about currently non-existent brands / teams like Matra, Tyrrell, Simca, Talbot, or even Lancia which is virtually dead by now. And if they do, they don't really care. They only want the newest, the fastest, the flashiest, the quickest, etc. Nobody really cares about the rich history of motorsport, which is sad. I seriously hope there will be a moddable AC successor someday, because ACC is not the real successor I'm looking for such a great game like Assetto Corsa. Fill me with disagrees if you want, don't really care.
     
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  14. leon_90

    leon_90
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    Very funny, if only the very first thing I stated wasn't that mods were not the object of this article. Congrats for being the first making the out of context comment I was waiting for, you won the "Functional Illiterate" trophy ;) :)


    Because I don't have the answer, duh?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2018
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  15. Tbear

    Tbear
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    Just so you know ... I'm not the OP And I'm not staff ... and I didn't say anything about ACC.

    For the record, I STRONGLY agree with you that there is a LOT of development potential in AC.

    My post about the Matra is not my opinion, it's what I've been told by several modders and modding teams.

    You are right, cars require a lot of resources to create a mod. Tracks are somewhat easier to get the data. Apps are easy pezy compared to cars. Most modders don't have the money, time or data to put into one car for a 5 or 6 year old game. Some do ... but not many.
     
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  16. Rory Wetherington

    Rory Wetherington
    pflynhi Premium

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    Wow, love that 670 sound. pC2 missed a golden chance to bring the MATRA to life with the LeMans pack...but you know........
     
  17. mclarenf1papa

    mclarenf1papa

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    It's hard to licence something from a company that no longer exists....
     
  18. Richard Wilks

    Richard Wilks

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    At least in mods they are alive and well!

     
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  19. Durge Driven

    Durge Driven

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    Why did it take consoles to have vintage Australian cars

    Ford Falcon GTHO Phase III was the fastest 4 door in the world

    Still waiting for 1964 Holden EH S4

    Matra Sports Jet 6 1966 :cool:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2018
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