G-Force Analyzer: This is something new for all of us to think about. So what is it? Well simply put it shows you how much traction your vehicle is getting. Papy tells us that a Corvette on asphalt can get 0.84 g's and a Trans-Am race car about 1.15g's. So should values be higher or lower? Well in real life they should be much lower, but Papy increased the the values to make the game (in their words) playable.
The G-Force Analyzer then is a tool that allows you to tweak your setups by showing you the overall effect acceleration has on your vehicles body in the forward/backward and left/right directions. The goal is to maximize the number of g's your vehicle is feeling during acceleration, braking and turning. And of course the only true test is to make changes to your setup and go out and test it with the g-force analyzer turned on. See how it feels and then look at the numbers and see if you are getting the best numbers you think you can be getting.
Tire Selection: Road surfaces between different environments vary greatly. For example in country settings tracks are dirt and mud. In the desert they are gravel and packed dirt. And in the tropics they are mud and packed dirt. Tire selection is different for each type of surface.
As a general rule in country settings normal tires are always a good selection unless the track is mostly mud. Then you will want to go to a deep tread. In a desert setting you will want to choose a shallow tread unless the track is mostly gravel. In that case a deep tread tire is best. In the tropics a shallow tread tire again is the best selection for the packed dirt surface, however if you have a track surface that is mostly gravel, then you will want to go to the deep tread tires.
Camber: Camber simply put is the angle the wheel is titled at. If the wheel is tilted in towards the engine it has a negative camber and if it is tilted away from the engine it is said to have a positive camber. Camber has effects on two things in relationship to the vehicle. How it handles and how the tires wear. Since the tire will not be sitting square to the ground you can suspect that with large angles the tire would not wear evenly.
A negative camber has the effect of increasing cornering speed on a vehicle, but too much camber can have negative effects as well. The g-force analyzer can certainly help you find the correct amount of camber !
Springs: Springs keep the tires in contact with the road. If the springs are too soft the suspension "bottoms out" when landing from jumps or when going over bumps and this could damage suspensions and wheels. If the springs are too hard, traction suffers making it easier for the vehicle to roll over. As a rule of thumb it is good to set the springs as soft as possible possible.
Shocks: Shocks act together with the springs as part of the suspension. Without them off-road vehicles would be impossible to handle. Shock absorbers absorb much of the bumps and force from flying over the large jumps. So if the shocks are too soft the springs bottoms out and the suspension gets damaged. If the shocks are to stiff, the shocks themselves take too much abuse and get damaged.
Gearing and Horsepower: Well now we have our suspension set up and we are ready to setup our drivetrain. The drivetrain components we can change (gears and horsepower) will make a huge impact on our lap times.
We have the ability to change the horsepower to either lower it or increase it although we can't go over the maximum allowed for the vehicle type we are racing. It is important that we realize the importance of what horsepower does for us. Horsepower is the engine under the hood !!! If we have to much engine for the track we spin the tires too much and wear our tires to fast. If we have too little engine we lose precious time on the track. Getting the right horsepower is key to winning. But setting it at maximum isn't always the right thing to do either.
But even more important than horesepower is how we use it and that's where gearing comes in. Gearing has a huge impact on lap times. When the gears are set too tall the vehicle has a high top end speed and takes longer to get their. When the gears are to short the vehicle has a slower top end speed and gets their much faster. Also when the gears are to short you burn the tires much easier !
Some key things to remember about gears. For tracks with alot of turns you will want better acceleration so you will want a shorter 4th gear. If the track has long straights that require more wide open racing then taller gears are required.
Best lesson I learned the first time I raced a real car on a dirt track was to go off turn 1 into the weeds ! Why? I was just plain going to darn fast. Same thing here. I found the best times I turned were when I started to slow down a little bit. So the old rule applies here as well (slow down to go fast).
Ok, so what do I mean. Well, first off, don't go charging into the corner wide open and expect to get around it sideways like your Jack Haudenschild. It isn't gonna happen. Well before the corner is even on you know if and be ready for it. Start your braking and start your turning. Then at the right moment in the corner you can begin your acceleration. But usually not by flooring it either. The best way to come off corners is smoothly and a bit sideways. Like I said earlier, go slower to go faster. You'll find your times improve because the vehicle is under control more often than not. As an added benefit you get better than average tire wear and in many cases your acceleration is even better because you never lost traction !
Now in case you followed the advice above and are still having some problems try some of the following suggestions:
HEY ! THERE'S NO WAY TO TAKE A SCREEN SHOT?
This information discovered by Chris Frederick
You can PAUSE the game while racing by simple pressing the "P" key or by hitting the "ESC" key. Pressing "ESC" brings up a separate menu while gives you three different options:
There are several other keys available to you while racing as well. They are as follows:
FRAME RATE TIPS:
Any or all of following suggestions can help improve the game's frame rate on many PCs: