At long last, we at Studio 397 are absolutely delighted to announce the iconic Daytona International Raceway is heading to rFactor 2 next week – adding the premium US endurance racing circuit to our simulation in a move that we are sure will delight the many members of our community who have so vocally called for this historic venue to be brought to life in rFactor 2. We heard you, and here it is!
The voices calling for this track to be added to rFactor 2 have been loud for a long time on our Discord channel, and trust us when we say it has been incredibly difficult to keep ourselves from telling you all about our plans to bring the track into our simulation – the amount of times any one of us here at Studio has almost let the cat out of the bag are beyond counting!
Although this one has been cooking for a little while back at base, we’ve been unable to put virtual pen to paper and share the good news with you all until now, however that period of enforced silence is over, and we are sincerely overjoyed to finally be able to tell you all about this exciting new addition to the sim – licencing deals have been struck, and development is almost done and we are gearing up and ready to release what must be one of the most often requested new track additions in recent years!
Hard braking from the lightening fast run off the NASCAR oval and onto the “front stretch”, Turn 1 is a vital overtaking opportunity and the type of corner that was seemingly invented to lull drivers into a false sense of security.
Reasonably straight forward on paper, in reality it is incredibly difficult to spot your braking point and hustle the car into the apex for the opening turn, made especially difficult as drivers have to contend with the transition from 18 degrees of banking in the oval, to the uneven road surface that leads up to, and beyond this opening portion of the Road Course configuration here at Daytona.
Once drivers successfully navigate their way through the opening corner, the right / left of Turn 2 is a relatively straightforward affair. Flat to the boards in a GT3 car, here drivers are often seen taking a mix of lines between using judicious amounts of kerbs or keeping it on the grey stuff, depending on the stage of the race and of course the individual characteristics of the car in question.
Rodriguez International Horseshoe
Another exceptionally popular overtaking opportunity on the Daytona International Raceway Road Course is the Rodriguez International Horseshoe, otherwise known as Turn 3. Approached from speed following a flat blast all the way from the acceleration zone of the opening corner, braking here can be left deceptively late. Encouraging the driver to dive deep into the corner and maximise the use of trail braking techniques as they look to achieve a late apex and strong launch off the turn, this is both a great place to set up a pass, and a critical corner to get right in order to carry speed all the way down into the next significant braking event of the lap, to be found on the entry into Turn 5.
Turn 4, or ‘The Kink’ is one of those corners that can be as easy as they come 99.9% of the time, flat chat with margin to spare, but catch this turn slightly off line, or approach too confident with tyres that are anything other than in optimal condition, and very quickly you will find out why this corner has a much bigger bite than first appears.
Unlike a lot of the Daytona circuit, thanks to plenty of run off space a mistake here doesn’t have to be race ending, but run wide onto the grass at these speeds, and expect to lose a lot of time and make yourself vulnerable to attack on the run into Turn 5.
Bumpy on entry and requiring a downshift of three gears, Turn 5 is similar in nature to the earlier encounter we experience at the Rodriguez International Horseshoe, in that despite being a hairpin in nature, the corner benefits from a long radius and requires drivers to fully commit late into the braking zone, with trail braking and a late apex optimal in order to achieve the highest possible minimum corner speed, and maintain strong momentum and early acceleration onto the short straight that follows.
The final corner of the infield road course section, put simply Turn 6 is vital to a fast laptime here at Daytona. The reason for this is the considerable amount of time drivers will speed at full throttle in the following section of track – lose time in this corner and delay getting back on the gas, and you will pay a heavy price all the way down turns 7 and 8 and onto the backstretch.
Quicker than might appear at first glance, Turn 6 again requires a driver to dive into the heavy braking zone with full commitment in order to achieve the maximum performance, starting with pulling the car as far right as possible on corner entry, before committing to turning in and quickly transitioning to the brake pedal and back onto throttle for the run onto the oval. Be careful on corner exit, as cars certainly like to dance on the power as you jump back onto the banking and into the backstretch of this exceptional venue.
Turn 7 and 8
Be smooth. SMOOTH! Turns 7 and 8 are far more used to hosting stock car racing as part of the traditional Daytona oval configuration, and here you will find you finally have a moment to relax and take in your surroundings as you firmly plant your foot on the throttle and begin the run into the world-famous Bus Stop chicane.
Begin by running up near the top of the banking on the corner exit from turn 6, then slowly and smoothly start the process of rolling the car down onto the lower line of the oval banking, keeping a firm eye out in the mirror for any faster traffic trying to find a way past in multiclass events.
Hold on, hold out, and get ready for the most risky section on the track….
Turn 9 – Bus Stop – Turn 10
… the Bus Stop chicane! A famous section of track, and one that attracts its fair share of action over the course of a long distance race event. Loved and loathed in equal measure, the Bus Stop is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Approached at absolutely full speed in pretty much any type of car, here drivers need to be brave on the brakes as they approach the first right-hand corner of turn 9, using plenty of curb in order to get the car as straight as possible through the chicane before monstering the final inside curb at Turn 10. A risky section of corners where much of your event is at the mercy of the racing gods – get it wrong and at best you will lose a whole load of time, and at worse a trip to the pits for significant repairs will be your reward.
Turn 11 and 12
Should you survive the Bus Stop for another lap, it is once again back on to the oval banking you go for these final two corners of the lap. Again, here it is all about being smooth, calm and controlled as you look to pick out the line of least resistance in order to maximise your ultimate car speed, keeping an eye out for other traffic and charging onwards to that start / finish line and another lap of this exceptional racetrack.
We’ve gone on record many times in the past to share our love of endurance racing here at Studio 397, so it goes without saying that the team back at base are absolutely stoked to bring one of the best endurance tracks to life within rFactor 2 with this new deal, and furthermore, we aren’t just adding the road course configuration, we are also releasing the speedway layout of Daytona, so get ready for some awesome Stock Car action with our epic Stock Car 2018 and Stock Car 2018x free add-on vehicles too!
As one of the absolute premium endurance racing venues in world motorsport, we cannot wait to see how this track plays out amongst the various events and activities that our community are sure to host come release day – it has been a long time coming, but we are sure you will agree – the wait will be more than worth it!
Daytona International Speedway – coming soon to rFactor 2