The start of the new year brought some welcome new features and content to rFactor 2. After being silent for quite some time, Studio 397 announced and released a new user interface, quickly followed by a content drop including three cars and a laser scanned track. The Indycar Dallara IR18, the Ligier JS P320 LMP3, the BMW M4 GT3 and finally the Daytona International Speedway have all been introduced into the sim, and by the looks of things, the future seems bright for rF2, with much more to come in 2022.
The rFactor 2 UI gets a refresh
One of the chronic issues of rFactor 2 has always been the user interface, which could look confusing at first sight. Studio 397 has worked hard to improve the experience for newcomers, making it easier to navigate through and more eye appealing. Generally speaking, the number of clicks required in order to reach a specific area has been reduced and both vertical and horizontal scrollings are now a distant memory. As a flavour element, some chill background music has been added to the main menu, just to make sitting in the loading screens a little less bland.
The new UI has deeply affected the way in which racers can access data during an event. Live timing is more detailed, for example showing the tyre compound in use and with an improved timesheet compared to the past. The setup screen has been revamped as well, removing the vertical scrolling and with a couple of useful additions, such as the number of ‘clicks’ applied in one direction or the other when changing values.
The new cars in rF2
Indycar Dallara IR18
When the new UI came out, users were surprised by the welcome menu, showcasing an Indycar Dallara IR18. In fact, rFactor 2 only featured the old Dallara DW12, released back in 2014. This content drop allows racers to compete in one of the most popular open-wheel racing championships in the world, with all teams, drivers and liveries from the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series featured in the game.
The car has several upgrades. It offers up different chassis options: road course, oval and superspeedway configurations, which should all be selected based on the track chosen to take this beast for a ride. Racers can also decide between picking a Honda or Chevrolet engine, different wheelbase, steering method and the percentage of transparency of the Aeroscreen.
On the upgrades’ page, there is also a “track restrictions” voice with a list of tracks to choose from, but the majority of them are currently not in the game. Could this be a hint for some future releases? At the moment, this is just pure speculation; meanwhile, we can enjoy the Dallara IR18 on iconic tracks such as Indianapolis, Sebring or VIR.
Ligier JS P320
While the Indycar release made open-wheel specialists happy, rFactor 2 did not forget about its fame as one of the best sims in terms of endurance and multiclass racing. The Ligier JS P320 joins the Norma M30 in the LMP3 field and both cars get an update to keep up with real-life technical changes. In fact, unlike its real counterpart, the old Norma M30 did not have traction control, which has now been added. Mounting a Nissan V8 engine for a maximum output of 460 hp, the new Ligier puts the lights back on the LMP3 class. Often underappreciated, it is a sort of entry-level for prototype racing, easier to handle compared to the more powerful LMP2, but equally exciting to drive.
BMW M4 GT3
The third car included in the new rFactor 2 update is the BMW M4 GT3, which joins the already big GT3 field. The M4 is the latest machine developed by the German manufacturer and succeeds the old M6. With a power output that can reach up to 590 hp, this new competitor will bring some fresh air to the GT3 class, spicing up the BOP talks and starting the comparisons with the M4s recently released by Assetto Corsa Competizione and iRacing.
Daytona International Speedway rounds out the content
There have been rumours for a long time, but now it is finally here. The iconic Daytona International Speedway is now available on rFactor 2. As one would expect, the track features two different configurations: oval and road course. The first one fills the void of speedways in the sim, potentially providing some exciting Stock Car racing action. The latter will guarantee the chance to reproduce the incredible 24 hours of Daytona, the pinnacle of American endurance racing.
The three cars and the track can be purchased separately on the Steam store or, as a bundle, in the 2022 Q1 pack.