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khems17
19-03-2017, 01:45
Are the default setups competitive enough for public online races?

I've messed with basic tuning (tire pressures, brakes, roll bars, etc.) but not much of anything else.

Or is knowledge of track and racecraft enough to make someone competitive, even with default setup?

My main concern is what I should focus on while practicing and how to go about that goal.

bradleyland
19-03-2017, 02:21
It really depends on the class and the lobby. In a class like GT3, or the open-wheel cars, you're really going to need some intermediate setup tuning capability to be competitive. The greatest contributor will be your skill on track though.

I like that you've pointed out racecraft. Lots of racers can turn a fast hot lap, but they have no strategic brain cells. Knowing when to attack, how to defend, and how to alter your pace can help make you more consistent. So while you may not win every race, you'll find that these skills can make you more competitive in a general sense.

One of the things I love about pCARS is how broad the game is. There are many classes of car, and you'll find that once you step out of GT3, it's easier to be competitive. I really love classes like Group A and GT4. I've also had a ton of really fun races in the little Ginetta Juniors (GT5). Even some of the road car classes make for great racing in single-make. In particular C1 & C2 are great for racing. Road B is fun as well, but some of the cars are quite a bit faster than others. Road A cars simply have too much power for their chassis, IMO. They're extremely fast, but I rarely have a good, clean race in Road A lobbies. Everyone is too busy sliding around or wrecking because the cars have to be over-driven to be fast. The only exception is the Radical RXC, which makes for fantastic single-make races.

Being competitive is all about practice, practice, practice. Until you're consistently within 3s – 5s of the leaders in any given lobby, I wouldn't concern yourself too much with setups. I will add the caveat that I'm talking about tuning setups for outright pace. You should absolutely learn enough about setups to adjust how the car handles. Everyone has their own preference when it comes to handling. Starting out, you'll be more consistent with a setup that favors a little understeer and is stable under braking. As you advance, you'll want to adjust your car to turn more readily.

khems17
19-03-2017, 02:40
That may be one of my issues as well. Other than career, I have rarely ventured away from the gt3 class. I've been working on being within .3-.5 seconds each lap, going mainly for consistency. I had it down pretty well until recently. I got a t150 wheel and now am just getting comfortable with that.

Guess I'll have to step out of my comfort zone and try something other than gt3.

Thanks for the feedback!

Roger Prynne
19-03-2017, 12:09
The first thing I used to do is just take out a GT4 (normally the Ginetta) with default setup, and just learn the track lap after lap after lap.
Then when you know the track like the back of your hand, you can start trying different lines, breaking points etc, then start to tune that car or even use a completely different car.... but knowing the track is very important.

cluck
19-03-2017, 12:21
Are default setups competitive? It all depends on who you're racing against :).

If you are well practiced with a particular car/track combo, on a default setup, then you can absolutely be competitive (or thrash) people who are unfamiliar with that combo. Put yourself up against guys that know how to extract every last thousandth out of a setup and you'll find yourself trailing at the back, hoping they make a mistake.

The thing to do is get comfortable with a car/track combo, in default setup. Get your consistency spot on and then start working on the setup. Change one or two things at a time, drive a few laps and see how it feels and whether you're matching your previous laptimes or beating them, consistently. If it feels better, try adjusting those same things further. Drive some more laps and see if it's better still or getting worse. Now start adjusting other items and so on and so forth. One thing to never lose sight of, though, is to find a setup you are comfortable with and feel you can race with in the middle of a pack. There's no point having a super-fast setup if it's so "on the edge" that you are constantly fighting to control the car - that's fine for time-trial but not good for racing.

Then, once you've mastered that car and that track, try another track and fine-tune your consistency and setup again.

In short, practice practice practice. When you've finished practicing, go practice some more.

As a final step, towards improving your actual racecraft, join a league that promotes fair driving. You'll be amazed at how simply driving with good, clean, drivers can improve your own driving no end :).

Roger Prynne
19-03-2017, 14:15
You say it so much more eloquently than me cluck ;)

konnos
19-03-2017, 20:31
All i saw was cluck cluck cluck cluck

hkraft300
20-03-2017, 05:07
If you're consistent and within 3 seconds of top times in default setup, you're looking at solid podium finishes in almost any GT3 league or public MP lobby.
GT3 is probably the most competitive class, being the most popular and guys having spent the time in them are quite fast even with very basic tuning skills.
Again, something like GT3/4 won't net you seconds/lap from tuning. They're already fast with default setup and easy to drive. Some tracks are exceptions, fast tracks like spa, le Mans, road America where you'd want medium or low downforce (and tune your suspension accordingly).
Really minor tweaks are all you need.
Fast guys are fast and will drive around a particular deficiency in a setup.

open wheel and LMP cars net much more pace out of tuning than GT3/4 or slower race cars.

khems17
20-03-2017, 11:13
Thanks for all the feedback. I'll keep all this in mind and put all this to practice.