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Questions: Realism and Assists Settings

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Posted (edited)

I'm trying to get the most realistic sim experience here, which has led me to ponder the assist settings in DR2.  All through my brief DR2 life so far, I've had them all off on the advice of experienced drivers.  However, because I'm new at this, I didn't know anything about all the classes/groups of cars in the game, so I started reading the FIA regulations that define what they are, just so I'd know what I was looking at.  In so doing, I also discovered that the cars of DR2 span a large swath of time, when different regulations applied.  Sometimes VERY different.

The rules for the current generation of top-end WRC cars (which aren't in DR2 anyway) explicitly ban ABS and traction control, but this was not the case a few years ago, and we have plenty of cars from earlier eras.  As for other classes/groups, the rules allow ABS if the homologized car has it, although it can be removed.  In addition, all the rules require "mechanical, limited slip" differentials, which were invented specifically to provide a degree of traction control, although they can't have electric or hydraulic components.  It seems other "assists" were also allowed at various times for various types of cars but these are the ones I'm focusing on now.

So, my questions are as follows:

1.  Does the game keep track of all this itself?  IOW, if a car was built under different rules than today (so had various assists), does the game include those in the basic performance modeling of the car, so even if you have the assists off, you still get some of their effects in specific cars that had them?  If so, then I can quit worrying about this.  Leave assists off and you'll have realism.

2.  If not, then wouldn't it be more realistic to set your assists differently for specific cars?  This would entail researching which cars had which assists, then trying to decide how much of a setting to use.  Then there's the question of even if the street car had ABS, would the race crew have disabled it?

3.  Either way, shouldn't most cars have some amount of traction control due to the mandated limited slip differentials?  Or is that already handled by the game itself?

This is all so complicated  to the uninitiated 🙂 

Thanks for the knowledge.

Edited by BayouRally
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To my knowledge every skilled rallydriver would turn TC and ABS off so you can use the various forces to your benefit.

For example you are sliding through a hairpin on a gravelroad: the traction control would limit the amount of power delivered to the wheels so you can‘t accelerate out of the corner as fast as without the TC. Also On gravelroads you are having mild tireslip all the time or most of the time and driving sideways, drifting through corners, etc.. TC would seriously limit the ability to do all this.

As far as I know a mechanical LSDifferential is balancing the power between the left and the right wheel (or front/rear axis). So if wheel A gets 40% wheel B would get 60% of the power.

So Diff is distributing the power and TC is limiting the power.

Also to drive fast on gravel you sometimes have to „dig“ through the upper layer of dirt to get traction. TC isnt allowing this as good as no TC.

same goes for ABS. To break hard on gravel you have to „break hard“ to get through the loose stuff and grip underneath. There is no such thing (most of the time) as trailbreaking into corners on loose gravel.. again to MY knowledge. (Not talking about leftfootbreaking for balancing the car to get good cornering)

 

on tarmac I asume that TC and ABS could help. Maybe with some of the RGT cars in spain TC can help to get the power down. But in general I think without the assist you will be faster in the longrun. The key seems to be throttlecontrol and breakfeeling.

 

Hope this helps you a bit.

Dear Forum,

Please feel free to correct me if Im wrong and teach me what is right.

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44 minutes ago, Loeinc said:

To my knowledge every skilled rallydriver would turn TC and ABS off so you can use the various forces to your benefit..,...

You make valid points and certainly know more about the subject than I do.  Yet the fact remains that the top-end WRC cars used to have all sorts of assists up until about 9 years ago.  This was considered essential to win, drove the costs of cars way up, and drove quite a few manufacturers out of the game.  So that's when all this stuff got banned.  In my research, I came across this article from 2011, which mentions what used to be:

https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1067669_why-the-world-rally-championship-has-gone-low-tech

Because of this, it seems to me that cars from like 2010 and a few years earlier would have had all this stuff.

And then in 2022 the WRC-1 cars will become hybrids.  I don't see how that will be possible without some fancy electronics micro-managing everything, if my Prius is anything to go by.  I mean, with electric motors turning the wheels, there's not a transmission in the conventional sense, nor even a conventional accelerator.  And the hybrid thing only works if it's tied into the brakes, too.

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Allright now I see were you are going!

Thats indeed an interesting question!

I think we have to asume that it is built into the „character“ of the car.

I believe this is a detail which is not featured in DR2.0. Might be wrong though.. @PJTierney do you know anything about this matter? —>

On 4/6/2020 at 5:45 PM, BayouRally said:

Does the game keep track of all this itself?  IOW, if a car was built under different rules than today (so had various assists), does the game include those in the basic performance modeling of the car, so even if you have the assists off, you still get some of their effects in specific cars that had them?  If so, then I can quit worrying about this.  Leave assists off and you'll have realism.

 

And I think the hybrid technology will be something similar to todays formula 1 which have no abs, tc etc either.

More like recuperating breakingenergy and other forces (maybe travel of suspension?) back into a storage to be used to power the engine when accelerating.

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5 hours ago, Loeinc said:

Allright now I see were you are going!

Thats indeed an interesting question!

I think we have to asume that it is built into the „character“ of the car.

I believe this is a detail which is not featured in DR2.0. Might be wrong though.. @PJTierney do you know anything about this matter? —>

Damn, I was hoping you knew the answer 🙂 

It aught to be something experienced drivers should be able to get an empirical feel for just noting any difference in pre- and post-2011 cars in the same class.  All such cars are way too much for mine own skill level at present, so I haven't driven any of them yet 😉  But the prediction is that if the "assists" are built into the base car performance, the pre-2011 cars should feel rather different than the post-2011 cars.  if they feel the same, then it probably means the "assists" aren't built-in, and that turning some of them on manually for those cars might be more realistic than leaving them off.

 

5 hours ago, Loeinc said:

And I think the hybrid technology will be something similar to todays formula 1 which have no abs, tc etc either.

More like recuperating breakingenergy and other forces (maybe travel of suspension?) back into a storage to be used to power the engine when accelerating.

The regenerative braking (at least in a Prius) is pretty complex.  It's letting the drive motor act as a generator to varying degrees, putting the kinetic energy back into the main battery, depending on how hard you push the brake pedal, which is more like a rheostat than anything else.  This even happens a little just lifting off the gas (which is also basically a rheostat), so hybrids all have a bit of built-in  brake-when-lifted "assist" unavoidably.  Further, the VAST bulk of the braking, REGARDLESS of speed and/or violence, is done this way, with the physical brake pads only engaging from about 5mph down to zero so the brakes last the life of the car--I've got 75K miles on mine and still about 1/2 the brake pads. So you shouldn't ever have to worry about brake wear in a hybrid race car.  

Just doing this requires a fancy computer to juggle the car's electrical needs and storage, and also control the engine.  The engine switches on and off instantly as needed, whether to move the car or charge up the main battery.  The instant start is done by torquing it with the drive motor (so the car doesn't have a conventional starter), which is already spinning at a fair speed.  So the engine mostly only runs at all in the most efficient part of its RPM range.  So there's really not much of a transmission and the computer is constantly juggling what little there is, all automatically because there aren't gears as we know them, using this system doesn't happen at the same times for the same reasons we shift conventional transmissions, and it happens way too fast for us anyway.  In a hybrid, you never feel gears shifting (because there really aren't any), it's like you only have 1 gear that you never reach the top of.  You thus have the same rate of acceleration at all speeds, too, instead of gears getting farther apart in a conventional car.  The control is just a switch or group of buttons:  forward, reverse, neutral, and park (and sometimes also jake brake like on an 18-wheeler).

And all this comes with, seemingly unavoidably, with high amounts of built-in traction control.  My Prius, even though only FWD, absolutely refuses to drift, it just sticks to the road like glue even when pushed to the limit on windy country roads that would make a worthy rally stage.  Won't spin the wheels, either, no matter how much I try.  This is because the power gets to the wheels via electricity, which is closely monitored and measured by the same computer required to make the regenerative braking and the on-off engine work.  If you have the latter (which is the whole point of having a hybrid), you can't seem to avoid having TC because you basically have to have that just to make the core features work.

Now, obviously, there will be a lot of differences between a Prius and a top-end rally hybrid.  But I see these more in the way of the details:  horsepower, suspension, roll cage, etc.  I just don't think they can make major changes to how the hybrid system works, or they won't really have a hybrid.  I mean, there's not much difference except scale between a Prius and a hybrid railway locomotive.  So I figure fully auto, lots of traction control, and a fair amount of brake-on-lift "assists".

It'll sure make rallies sound different.  Cars will be silent during the start countdown instead of revving.  They'll also be silent when the foot is off the gas (probably without even detonations in the exhaust pipe) then roar back to full speed noise when the hammer goes back down.  There won't be any of the changing engine sound during upshifting, it'll all be one long, continuous sound at practically the same note throughout long accelerations.

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Great thread @BayouRally! It's something I've wondered about before, but I couldn't put it as well or in as detailed a manner as you have. Looking forward to reading some more responses.

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I did some more research on the 2022 hybrid system.  While the full technical specs for cars ain't out yet, the general gist of the matter is already decided.  And it's rather strange.  The new cars will be more like the early hybrids from 20 years ago than a Prius from even 9 years ago like mine  (let alone today).

For them as don't follow EV/hybrid tech, here's a little background.  Back around the year 2000, some very simple hybrids came out.  This generation was basically normal production cars--same engine, same transmission and drivetrain, all that.  The only difference was, they had a small, disk-shaped electric motor inserted between the engine and transmission (plus a "medium-voltage" battery around 60V, and a simple regenerative braking system to keep the battery charged).  The engine wasn't on/off nor cranked by the electric motor, and the control system for the hybrid part was pretty basic.  So, these cars operated to all intents and purpose the same as they're non-hybrid contemporaries.  The only difference was that some of their kinetic energy was saved when they stopped instead of all radiating away as brake heat, and then could be fed back into the powertrain, allowing the engine not to work as hard when accelerating again.

This seems to be what the 2022 WRC R1 cars will be like.  They will be required to use the hybrid system on the transport stages and when putting around in the service areas (IOW, all low-speed operation).  However, during actual race stages, the electric motor will mostly be disengaged, but can be turned on for a limited period to provide a boost in horsepower/torque.  IOW, kinda like turning nitrous on and off.  So for the most part, the cars will still work the same as now (meaning they'll still sound the same), they just have to lug around the extra weight of the hybrid system, which is mostly for low-speed, non-racing conditions.

This all makes me wonder, "why bother?"

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On 4/6/2020 at 6:45 PM, BayouRally said:

In addition, all the rules require "mechanical, limited slip" differentials, which were invented specifically to provide a degree of traction control

Well this has nothing to do with actual traction control. It's just lsd.

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Posted (edited)

Well, if new hybrid cars will be allowed to use electric motor for spool-up, they will become more fun, as electric motor will effectively eliminate turbo lag of small turbo engines at low RPM, then turbo will pick up and pull up to red line. It will be something like supercharger on Lanchia Delta S4.

The big questions is reliability of electric components. Electric motors are very simple, but usually they are not reparable in the field. If it does not work, you just have to replace it completely. Batteries under high abusive loads (especially with all bumps and hits a car faces during rally) also may behave very "unexpectedly" - suddenly dropping power without any reasons or even catching on explosive fire that you cannot extinguish without specific fire extinguisher.

Edited by Tigron

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2 hours ago, Tigron said:

Well, if new hybrid cars will be allowed to use electric motor for spool-up, they will become more fun, as electric motor will effectively eliminate turbo lag of small turbo engines at low RPM, then turbo will pick up and pull up to red line. It will be something like supercharger on Lanchia Delta S4.

I don't think that's the direction they're going, as the whole system can be disabled and apparently they'll still have manual transmissions.  If you've got a manual transmission, you can't really have the electric motor turning the engine on and off at will.

 

2 hours ago, Tigron said:

The big questions is reliability of electric components. Electric motors are very simple, but usually they are not reparable in the field. If it does not work, you just have to replace it completely. Batteries under high abusive loads (especially with all bumps and hits a car faces during rally) also may behave very "unexpectedly" - suddenly dropping power without any reasons or even catching on explosive fire that you cannot extinguish without specific fire extinguisher.

The motors I figure should last at least a full season if not more.  But yeah, the batteries are going to be a concern.  They'll definitely need to be in an armored box to prevent punctures from debris and also to contain any fire that might happen.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Murikka said:

Well yeah, but it doesn't make it an actual traction control. lsd is just one sort of locked differentials.

It's as much traction control than leaking brake line is anti locking braking system. 

If you say so, but on my department's oldest firetrucks, which have stupid hydraulic instead of air brakes, loss of hydraulic pressure is the same as loss of air pressure with airbrakes:  the parking brakes come on.  Except with airbrakes you have 30 seconds or so to make a controlled stop as the storage tank bleeds down.  With hydraulics, you only have pressure as long as the lines are intact and the pump's turning.  Lose either, and the parking brakes come on INSTANTLY.  This is rather annoying when it happens at 70mph 😄 

Edited by BayouRally

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4 minutes ago, BayouRally said:

If you say so, but on my department's oldest firetrucks, which have stupid hydraulic instead of air brakes, loss of hydraulic pressure is the same as loss of air pressure with airbrakes:  the parking brakes come on.  Except with airbrakes you have 30 seconds or so to make a controlled stop as the storage tank bleeds down.  With hydraulics, you only have pressure as long as the lines are intact and the pump's turning.  Lose either, and the parking brakes come on INSTANTLY.  This is rather annoying when it happens at 70mph 😄 

That is about the only thing I remember from school about big rigs when I studied to be a car mechanic. We had to learn all the basics from little 2strokes to big trucks, when our main goal was on passenger cars. In the end I wanted to stay away from truck/diesel mechanics. 

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Posted (edited)

I should point out that if I remember correctly, at least Audi in Group B did not have hand brake (only for rear wheels), it was incompatible with the diffs, at least until late 86. They did have something but it locked all 4 wheels. I can not say if others cars did or did not have hand brake for rear wheels.

 

I can not assure that Audi in Group B did not have traction control or ABS... they were constantly trying things and a lot of people do not know the truth. An intelligent traction control is viable, and there were no strict regulation those years.. so...

For example, I should search in youtube, but the last cars in Audi from Group B could change easily gears without using clutch (you can do it in any manual car, but not so easily as shown in that video, it could be seen clearly - so I suspect semiautomatic transmission they did have indeed). If I have time next days I will try to search in of the documentals, they do not say anything about that feature... but the footage speaks by itself.

 

I have no time right now, but here they explain more or less the feature... but there were a video testing that gearbox or a car in rally using that gearbox ...

(https://www.racedepartment.com/threads/audi-sport-quattro-s1-e2-drives-h-pattern-but-appears-sequential.143634/)

https://youtu.be/Px1o2lvv1CI

Edited by IgorPr
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Thanks for the info, @IgorPr  This sort of research is something I dread having to do because I don't know anything about the cars to begin with, unlike the devoted followers of the sport.

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