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“You win a race, the next race it’s a question mark. Are you still the best or not? That’s what is funny. But that’s what is interesting. And that’s what is challenging. You have to prove yourself every time” Michael Schumacher. 1. INTRODUCTION First and foremost, I’d like to advise you this is not a street racing guide (not that you’d need one anyway). Motorsport is a global term used to encompass the group of competitive sporting events which primarily uses motorized vehicles, whether for racing or non-racing competitions (rally and time attack as an example). Our governing body is the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, also known as FIA, in which they set the main ruling and standards for every legal motorsport event in the world, even for boat racing. Each country, state and even region has their own Motorpsort association, such as NASCAR, SCCA and many others that rules the events around their specific region. The racing division of the motorsport competitions is divided in many categories, such as open wheel racing (Formula one, IndyCar, Super Formula etc) and enclosed wheel racing (NASCAR, Sportscar Championship, GT Series etc). Despite being an activity known to the public in general, Motorsport is most of the time practiced by wealthy or very well sponsored athletes, with their most famous competition being the Formula One World Championship. The American culture is not far away from this, since F1 is being held mostly across Europe, the Americans created their own way of making high level racing competition, with NASCAR Series, IndyCar and the IMSA SportsCar Championship. Most of mechanics, engineers, marshals and organisers are involved in Motorsports events due to the love of it, it’s being part of a very united group that creates a lively and competitive world for the audience. 2. HOW TO ADAPT TO GTAW REALITY GTAW is set to represent a substitute for the Los Angeles region and it’s surroundings, therefore it wouldn’t make any In Character sense on hosting world wide or nation wide type of events inside the server, that’s why Motorpsort events should (in my opinion) be created and held taking into account the region size and the limits. Rockstar is very limited in venues that you may host realistic motorsport events, that’s why most of the leagues stick to closed public roads to host their events and in my personal case using the many airfields available in the game to create competitive and realistic track layouts that fit to our own world and with reality. As for the gaming aspect, due to the vehicle handling and the actual engine of the game, GTAW should not be treated as an arcade racing game nor a proper simulator, so drivers must be creative and fair while portraying their characters during a race, understanding the sync limitations and also the broken physics of the vehicles. That’s why Motorsport Roleplay should not be focused on the race itself but to everything that surrounds it. 3. PADDOCK ROLEPLAY The paddock zone is the area dedicated to the drivers, staff, mechanics and members of a racing event. It’s the main hub for the drivers and mechanics to roleplay and know each other during a weekend of event. In a motorsport event, despite being highly competitive on track, most of the drivers and teams get along with each other during the race weekend, that’s why you shouldn’t act like the guy in the garage by your side is your enemy, unless something ICly happened in which led to both of you being foes instead of colleagues. 3.1 YOU AND THE OTHER DRIVERS Most of the time you won’t be creating fierce enemies on track or off the track, that’s why your relationship with other drivers around you most of the time must be friendly or at the very least polite. Although, sometimes you will be facing fierce competition on track in which may lead into a blatant rivalry, but that doesn’t mean you are an enemy of this person or you should target him out of the track for any reason, Motorsports Associations most of the time handle racing bans for unsportsmanship and non-suitable behaviors in the paddock. In some specific cases, yes, drivers don’t get along with each other but a simple situation shouldn’t be leading into a rivalry off the track, depending on what character are you portraying. Off-track rivalry on motorsport is something very rare, so be advised on how you should portray it, using the media, associates and friends to target and affect your opponent is one thing, bringing a gun to the paddock is not even close to real life. You’re not a killer, you just want to die in a high-priced racing coffin. 3.2 YOU AND YOUR TEAM A team is divided into many roles and each one has their own responsibility on track. The mechanic is responsible of repairing the car and applying the setup requested by the driver or the engineer. The engineer is responsible of collecting the data passed by the driver and telemetry to apply the best applicable set up for the race and qualifying session. The crew chief is the staff member that is going to be by the radio giving teams and drivers orders during the weekend, he is a key part of a team success on strategy. The driver, the star of the show, he must work in coordination with all these members to make sure the effort of all these combined leads into faster lap times on track and a consistent race to the victory. That’s why the roleplay between these players must be done to perfection. 3.2 GENTLEMAN DRIVERS A gentleman driver is a driver for a professional auto racing team or privateer who, instead of being paid by the owner of their car, drives for free and brings with them either personal sponsorship or personal or family funding to finance the team's operations or even buying the whole team. This may be done to gain on-track experience or to live the lifestyle of a driver in a particular series when one's talent or credentials do not merit a paying ride. Most of the times they’re slower than the top tier drivers and are criticized by their results in the events due to the lack of experience and speed. 4. CAR SETUP ROLEPLAY Setting up your car is the most important part of the weekend. With a well done setup, you can enhance your lap times up to one or two seconds, depending on the limitations of the league and vehicle. It’s at this moment that you’ll be near your mechanics and engineers working to take out the best of the car through the sessions, reporting every reaction you receive from the car during a lap. Creating an immersive workflow with your mechanics using the next described steps is one of the best scenarios you can get out of a session to involve everyone around you in the roleplay. A 1:1 recreation of a setup roleplay is impossible but it would bring a lot of immersion if you try as hard as you can to adapt the game limitations and your roleplay actions to turn the garage into a lively world. Your main goal is to build a setup that has minimal oversteer (the rear of the car loses grip and cause the car to spin), understeer (the front of the car doesn’t turn very well, demanding more input from the driver on taking a corner) and a high acceleration and top speed. 4.1 Tyre pressure Finding the key temperature for your tyre during a session is what will give you most of the mechanical grip needed for a good lap and a good pace. Tyre pressure should be determined by the load you put on them. The more load the more pressure. So, a heavier car, or a banked turn, or suspension compression, more grip will be retained with higher pressures, whereas with light loads, lower pressures tend to give better grip. On the circuit you will generate a lot more heat in the tyre. Heating the air in the tyre will increase the pressure. Lowering the tyre pressure is necessary so that once the pressure in the tyre increases with the heat, it’s back to its normal operating temperature, giving optimum performance. Raising tyre pressures will in reinforce the sidewall of the tyre, which makes the tyre more responsive to the driver’s inputs, particularly during the initial turn-in for a corner. The compromise is that as the tyre stiffer if will start to lose compliance with the road. Losing that compliance will induce slip from the tyres. Lowering tyre pressures will allow the sidewall to move. As the tyre softens, the compliance improves and, generally, grip improves. The downside is that the car will become less responsive to the driver inputs as the tyre absorbs that initial input. 4.2 Suspension, ride height and rake Ride height changes have a massive impact on a car’s behaviour. There are a few things that you want to be aware of when going for the optimum ride height. What looks good isn’t always something that is going to work well. Often when looking to lower a car for looks the car is set level. However, for performance you may run the car with Rake. This is when the car is higher on one axle than the other. When the front suspension is set lower than the rear, the car is said to have “Positive Rake” and vice versa. Front: lowering the ride height of the front of the car will shift weight balance to front, increasing front tyre grip for less understeer, more oversteer. Raising the ride height of the front will shift weight balance to the rear, increasing the grip of the tyres at the rear for more understeer. Rear: lowering the ride height at the rear of the car will shift the weight to the rear for understeer. Raising the ride height at the rear of the car will shift the weight to the front of the car for oversteer. 4.3 Fuel and weight A good weight balance due to fuel usage may change your lap times during sessions. Running a high fuel tank during a qualify session will probably put you at the back of the grid due to the weight added by the fuel, that’s why in each session, the exact amount of fuel must be used to make sure the car performance is always on point. You must work with your engineer and mechanics to understand the exact amount of fuel needed for each session, the goal is to cross the finish line with the tank almost empty. 4.4 Aero Balance The aerodynamics of the car is the final step of the setup, with these adjustments, you’ll be able to correct oversteer, understeer, balance through corners and even gain some top speed with the correct setup. In regular GT cars, the aero adjustments are minimal or done only on the front wing, but in this guide, we’ll approach both front and rear aero setups. The more aero on the car, the more grip and downforce you will produce, and the more planted you will be on the ground. With less aero, your car will be more skittish and potentially trickier to drive. While more aero sounds great, some tracks, with longer straights, require a car that is ‘slippery’ or otherwise fast in a straight line. Finding the balance for front and rear wings is tricky and sometimes it comes down to personal preference. Adding more angle to your front wing will increase your front downforce, this means the car will turn in more easily but will increase the oversteer in the back. Adding more angle to your rear wing will give your rear more stability but will make you lose stop speed, since the wing is going to be stopping the airflow to go through the car. Reducing your rear wing angle will make your car go faster but will highly increase the chance of oversteer, while reducing the front wing angle will make your car more prone to understeer but faster on straight line. Your goal is to find the good balance between top speed and aerodynamics. 5. PRE-RACE ROLEPLAY The anticipated excitement for a racing weekend is what most of the teams feel during a competitive season. Teams most of the time haul their cars and equipment one day before the event and take that time to study the track layout and the strategy to use during the weekend. As a driver, you’d find yourself stuck into giving media interviews, team briefings, doing promotional events or acts and preparing your body and mind to the main show. The engineers and mechanics must be already aware of the weather, track conditions and what are the targets for each session. 5.1 THE IMPORTANCE OF TRACK WALK Drivers, mechanics and engineers most of the times, before the practice session starts go out on track to find good braking points, elevation changes, bumps and other things that may give you an advantage during the race and qualifying, you’ll know where you can push and where you should be careful. A good understand of how to be fast on a track may put you ahead of half of the field, even if you are in an underpowered machine. 6. RACE ROLEPLAY 6.1 FLAGS AND ROLES There are several staff members that take part during a race weekend or practice session, they’re key to the success of a safe and fun event. The Track Marshal is responsible to stay on strategic points of the track to give the drivers signals and flags and also during a crash to help the vehicle removal and faster driver extrication from the danger zone. They’re most of the time voluntary roles but some of them get paid or rewarded for their work. The Race officials are licensed staff members that are able to run the race, give orders to the Marshals, hand out flags and also punish the drivers for their behaviors. The Race Director is the manager of the race, he has the final words on every aspect of the event and with the support of the Race officials is the one responsible to make the decisions right on track to make sure the event is run perfectly. 6.2 FLAGS Drivers, teams and race officials are able to communicate through the radio, although, due to the dynamics of racing, not all messages can be relayed there, that’s why marshals and electronic panels are placed on track to hand out flags to the drivers, each flag has a specific meaning and all drivers must obey to them. GREEN FLAG: This flag means that a session has started or drives can resume racing after a caution. GREEN AND YELLOW FLAG: This flag means that the race is going to be restarted but still under caution, no overtake allowed. YELLOW FLAG: This flag means that there is a hazard in an specific spot on track, drivers must slow down at the specified location. DOUBLE YELLOW FLAG: This mean that there is hazard blocking the track and drivers must slow down at the whole circuit. SAFETY CAR BOARD: Most of the times when a double yellow is out, the Safety Car board is shown to inorm drivers that the safety car is leaving the pits. Drivers must follow it until the next green flag. RED FLAG: This flag means the session is suspended, most of the time due to hazard on track or a heavy crash that needs medical assistance. RED AND BLACK FLAG: This flag means the end of the qualifying or practice session, cars must go back to the pits. BLUE FLAG: This flag means a faster car or a lapping car approaching, lapped car must slow down and give room for the faster car to overtake safely. WHITE FLAG: This flag is shown to inform a faster car that a slow car is ahead of him, overtake carefully. This is also shown at the last lap of the race. BLACK AND WHITE FLAG: This flag means that the driver has been warned or handed a penalty due to a behavior on track. BLACK FLAG: Car is disqualified from the race, due to unsportsmanlike conduct or a mechanical problem. CHECKERED FLAG: End of the race. 6.3 PRACTICE SESSION The practice session is the moment the drivers have to understand the track layout and turns, the common method is to gradually improve their lap times through the session, trying to find the fine limit of the tracks and gain the extra seconds needed for a good pace. The second most important thing to do is to be aware of the car reactions and how they behave on track to give inputs to your mechanics and engineers on what must be changed to improve the car. Most of the professional teams divide the practice session in three parts. The first one is to find the best baseline setup for the car, and then they move into qualifying and race simulations to check the drivers pace and if the setup worked. Trading information with your team mate is very important to improve the lap times, sometimes your team mate can be faster than you in a sector because he is driving differently in that portion of the track and that information might give you an advantage during the qualifying session. 6.4 QUALIFY SESSION This is the time to show true speed, you have most of the track to yourself and you can push it as hard as you wish to fight for the best starting position on the grid. Most drivers take their time before this session to concentrate on how they’re going to approach each turn and how they’re going to attack the apexes. At this moment, no setup changes are done, it’s you and your machinery. 6.5. RACING LINES The racing line is the optimal way through the race track, you’d be aiming to use most of the track available to carry more speed through the corners and hit the apex at the right moment to setup a good and fast exit. During a race, if you are by yourself, you’re always going to aim for the best racing line, although, if you’re battling or defending a positon, you must be aware of your opponent and take care of how you approach a corner to avoid a crash. 6.6. DEFENDING AND ATTACKING When you’re aiming to overtake a car, you need to position yourself in a better way to take the next corner ahead of him. Most of the times, good overtakes are done by out braking the opponent and trying to use the racing line in your advantage to it. Use your judgement in which corner you should attack the driver, if you clearly have more pace than him, be patient to attack on a safe position in which he can’t fight back. Sometimes full sending into a corner might just ruin yours and his race. Forcing your opponent into a mistake is always a good strategy, moving your cars towards the inside, pretending to overtake him just to make your opponent to get out of the racing line and then move back to the racing line to have the optimal spot on track to overtake him. While defending, you need to stay aware of your opponent behind, your main goal is to stay on the better racing line and offer him the worst line possible he can take on that corner, that means that you need to commit your racing line before the braking zone, after that you’re not allowed to block your opponent. That’s why you should aim to brake as late as possible to take the advantage. Related to GTA V limitations and sync, stay aware of your ping while racing and your opponent’s ping too, if you see that his car is flickering or lagging too much, maybe it’s not the perfect time to make the move, it may cause a crash on both of you that can’t be reversed and may lead into a penalty. As a last hint, learn to give your position, sometimes the guy is faster than you and there is no point fighting him on track if both of you are going to lose time and lose more positions if the fight takes too long. You should also take into account teams strategy and order, so if it’s worth for your team if you make that driver lose some time, costing your race, go for it. (Checo is a legend). 6.7. DIRT RACING – HOW TO BE A DICKHEAD WITHOUT SPOILING THE FUN In any type of sports there is that dude, the dirt one. As in real life, you’re allowed to do that too in a roleplay server, although you need to take into account that you must use IN CHARACTER advantages and not OUT OF CHARACTER mechanics to do that. While being a dirt driver, weaving across a straight line to disrupt your opponent focus or judgement on the braking point, slight rear bumps on their car or even going wide and giving almost to no room for a driver on a turn is moves that are made in real life. But doing that ALWAYS leads into consequences, that’s why you should judge if your character portrayal allows you to be that type of racer and if he is ready to take a penalty or even a race ban if he is caught doing that. What you CAN’T do while being a dirt racer is to crash on purpose, use your lag to pit drivers or cut the whole track to gain an advantage that you shouldn’t have in first place, brake test drivers or put the life of others in danger. No driver does that in real life and if he does, he’s either banned, suspended or in jail. 7. POST-RACE ROLEPLAY That’s it, you survived the race, if you didn’t crash you can consider it a good weekend, if you scored points? Well, that’s nice, but if you got the podium? Hah, you’re in heaven. The podium is the highest target of a driver, to be on top, to be a better version of yourself and to beat your teammates. Executing a good strategy from the qualifying to the race and being rewarded with a victory is one of the most exciting things in a Motorsport event. After it, it’s time to go out, party and have fun, enjoy the spoils of being one of the fastest of the day, you can leave the debrief to another day. 8. THE PLAY FOR FUN MENTALITY The main goal is to roleplay an active motorsport league, the pride of being the best in a virtual world should not be your main focus, unless it’s your character’s portrayal. Be polite to your opponents, teammates and staff and learn to take all the actions during the race weekend ICly, by doing that you’ll make the event fun for both you and the others attending. Have fun and race safe. “These things bring you to reality as to how fragile you are; at the same moment you are doing something that nobody else is able to do. The same moment that you are seen as the best, the fastest and somebody that cannot be touched, you are enormously fragile.” Ayrton Senna.