Hello sim racers!
Welcome to the very first new content preview of 2023! Can you believe we are here already, getting ready to kick off the year in style with a massive track announcement… that’s right, how better to start a new season of content releases than with a track probably no one thought we’d ever do… the beautiful, the technical, the challenging and the down right outstanding Long Beach Grand Prix Street Circuit is coming to rFactor 2 this February!
Loved by pretty much everyone, from fans, teams and drivers alike, Long Beach is one of those tracks that just feels right in pretty much any kind of car – from tin top to open wheel to long distance endurance – if it has wheels, then it’s a sure thing to be more fun than you can shake a stick at around this sensational little street circuit.
Built by the Studio 397 track team using the latest laserscan data, our virtual recreation of the Long Beach Grand Prix is just packed full of details and quality, pushing this one right up towards the top of the pile in terms of the circuits we have produced recently for rFactor 2. From the famous dive around the majestic water fountain, to the ever present threat of those concrete barriers that line the circuit, this is a track that will thrill you from beginning to end.
The first corner here at Long Beach isn’t really a corner at all, more a high speed kink that most cars are able to take at full throttle without too much difficulty. Although exceptionally fast, what makes this particular corner a little more daunting than appears on paper is the rough road surface at this circuit – rest too easy through this section, or find yourself too far wide of the ideal line, then potentially you could be heading straight for those unforgiving concrete walls and into an early retirement.
Exceptionally fast with some fierce braking zones and a bumpy surface, the second turn here at Long Beach is a perfect example of what drivers can come to expect as they navigate around this challenging course. Approached at top speed and braking under heavy load on an uneven surface, here you must be careful not to stray over the pit exit lines and attract a penalty, all while trying to minimise potential front locking as you hustle the front of the car reluctantly into the apex and out through the corner on the approach into the fountain section.
T3 / T4
A famed section of corners as we navigate around the centrepiece of this iconic street circuit – the famous Long Beach fountain. Not the typical roadside furniture one expects of a modern racetrack, the fountain is an undeniable visual highlight of this venue, and for the driver, presents yet another opportunity to earn an advantage, or lose precious tenths (or maybe some bodywork), on this unforgiving piece of road. Having accelerated up from Toyota, the circuit here narrows rapidly as you thread the needle between the flowerbeds and raised curbing – inviting aggressive use of curbs and skimming of walls, the best drivers here exercise patience and precision for the greatest rewards.
Turn 5 is another unusual corner for a street circuit, as here the circuit begins to widen noticeably, inviting drivers to approach this right hand corner with a lot more speed than you would initially expect – with that extra speed comes added responsibility, as the potential for disaster remains incredibly high thanks to the even looming threat of the outer retaining walls.
Potentially, drivers can be aggressive on the temporary apex curbing here for additional laptime and to buy more space to run out into on corner exit, however you will need a compliant car and plenty of bravery to extract the absolute ultimate amount of time from this corner on any given lap.
Very similar in nature to the previous corner – wide, surprisingly slow and slightly risky, turn 6 is perhaps a shade more important to lap time than most, thanks to the moderate straight that immediately follows. Off camber for additional jepody, the best drivers here will concentrate on using the full width of the road to extend the corner and get on the power earlier, with that additional speed carrying you all the way down the next section of track before getting hard on the brakes and down the gears into T7. Fancy being extra brave? Use those inside curbs agressively, and the reward can be felt when transferring earlier to the throttle. Get it wrong, say hello to the retaining wall faster than you can say ‘understeer’!
T7 – Tecate Turn
This corner is absolutely critical to get right for a strong lap here at Long Beach. With this circuit offering a healthy mix of slow and fast sections, T7 presents a fantastic opportunity for drivers to grab as much speed onto the long back stretch up into the kink of 8 and tight right of 9. Get the exit right here, and sit back as you bask in the glory of free laptime all the way down the long following straight.
T8 – Pine Avenue
Not much to report corner wise here, as we are pretty much flat through the light kink, giving us a short breather to enjoy so of the epic scenery throughout this stunning circuit.
Get this right at all costs! If you don’t have time to really get under the skin of what makes a good lap at Long Beach, then the least you can do is focus your efforts on this vitally important corner. Here at 9, a good entry and, more importantly, exit, are key to taking home a fast laptime when you cross the start finish straight further down the lap. Why is this one so important? Simply put, any speed you win through this turn will be carried all the way down the long, long backstretch, offering you both laptime in time attack mode, and also a great opportunity to close in and eventually pass a rival during a race session.
T10 – Firestone Turn
Things that go fast eventually have to stop, right? Well, as we approach Firestone Turn this is where you will once again be tested on not only your braking ability, but also your throttle accuracy as getting through and out this corner can be a real test of skill and car balance. As is par for the course on this track, the road surface is exceptionally bumpy here, and drivers are able to carry significant speed through the corner, but be aware, cars are highly prone to understeer on exit here, and at best that will lead to corrective action, at worse, kiss the barriers and head straight to the pit lane to tell your crew chief all about why the wheels don’t point the right direction…
T10 – Indy Left
Beautiful. Frustrating. Easy. Hard. All of the above and more. Indy Left should be a very easy double apex left hand turn, however, this part of the lap requires the driver to ask multiple things of the car underneath them. Firstly, you need to get turned in not once, but twice, all while scrubbing off speed and lock, before positioning the car ready to swing through the very difficult, tight and critical final corner. A turn of multiple lines of attack, it’s just a matter of both picking the right one, and making sure you have more than half an eye on what is still to come.
The last corner is about as fun as eating ice cream on the face of the sun wearing a crisp white shirt. Tight, slow, awkward and frustratingly difficult to judge just right, expect to get this one wrong more often than not… and pay the price all the way down Shoreline Drive to end the current lap, and start the next one.
The final blast of acceleration to the line and beyond, keep it tight here, start too wide and you’ll find that wall gets real big, real quick!
Q1 2023 Announcements so Far
The first of our next wave of content and feature announcements is here – and what a great start to the new rFactor 2 year! Long Beach is a work of art from our development team, and we can’t wait to let you get your hands on this track in early February – before we get to that point though, we’ve got a fair few things to get through between now and then, so make sure you stay tuned to the rFactor 2 social media channels, website, forum and Discord to stay on top of the all the latest news and announcements – plenty of goodies still to come!
Long Beach Grand Prix Street Circuit – Coming to rFactor 2 February 21st!