RaceRoom: The Unused Potential of Classic Circuits

Ford Mustang GT DTM 1992 in RaceRoom.jpg
When it comes to variety, every racing simulation has its own approach: While titles like Assetto Corsa Competizione are focused on a single discipline, others try to offer as much variety as possible. RaceRoom falls into the latter category, offering multiple content pieces that cannot be found in other sims – but it leaves a lot of potential untapped when it comes to period-correct tracks.

Image Credit: RaceRoom

Modern series like the ADAC GT Masters, DTM or WTCR are a staple of RaceRoom, but the sim also offers numerous historical series with unmatched depth like Group 5 (a.k.a. DRM), DTM 1992, or GTO Classics. Other classes with less variety, but historical significance include Group C, the BMW M1 Cup or the 1990/91 Porsche Carrera Cup. Most of these classes come with a large number of accurate liveries as well.

Deep Historical Grids​

Having series like the full 1992 DTM grid available right down to the smaller efforts of Opel with their Omega 3000 Evo 500 or Ford with their Mustang GT DTM models is excellent, especially since cars like these tend to be overlooked in other sims that feature Group A cars. Unfortunately, however, racing these vehicles on modern circuits does not quite have the right feel to it – at least for motorsport history enthusiasts.

RaceRoom's track roster is remarkable and features licensed versions of circuits that cannot be found in other current sims today, with the Norisring and the Salzburgring being prime examples. Developers KW Studios and Sector3 Studios have numerous exciting circuit licenses, and Automobilista 2's recent influx of historical versions of current tracks that are already in the sim showed that license holders are open to create such versions.

Imagine a 1992 DTM track pack for RaceRoom: Period-correct versions of Zolder, the Nürburgring, Hockenheimring, Norisring, Brno could be added to their modern counterparts that are already available – then only the Wunstorf and Diepholz airfield circuits plus the Alemannenring street circuit in Singen would be missing to form a full calendar. The series also raced on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife that year, which itself would still work well thanks to its old-school nature.

Grid of Group 5 cars in RaceRoom.jpg

Image Credit: RaceRoom

Complex Tracks Are Coming​

The recent additions or announcements of the Circuit de Charade and the Circuit de Pau-Ville show that the developers are perfectly capable of creating complex tracks with an old-school feel, so this would be a good way to capitalize on the excellent historical content that is in the sim already. Additionally, some circuits like the Norisring have not changed their layout since then, so not too many adjustments would need to be made to the track itself.

With RaceRoom also featuring a large DRM grid from the early 1980s, this class would similarly profit from the addition of these vintage versions. Of course, it is perfectly possible to have great races with older vehicles on modern tracks, but driving them at the circuits they were designed for and actually raced at in their day just adds another level of not only immersion, but also excitement thanks to corners that were often faster while having considerably less run-off.

Of course, there are likely other priorities for the sim: Currently, it does not feature either rain or dynamic day/night cycles as well as online driver swaps, which results in RaceRoom not being an alternative for endurance racing. Maybe more historic content would be something to consider for a possible RaceRoom 2, then.

Your Thoughts​

Would you like to see retro circuits to match the vintage cars in RaceRoom? Which track from which period in time would be on top of your list? Let us know in the comments below!
About author
Yannik Haustein
Lifelong motorsport enthusiast and sim racing aficionado, walking racing history encyclopedia.

Sim racing editor, streamer and one half of the SimRacing Buddies podcast (warning, German!).

Heel & Toe Gang 4 life :D

Comments

I said it years ago allready, bring more historic content!
We (the older guys) with money in their pockets have seen many of those content live on track, and we would love to see those tracks and cars in our fav sim. AMS2 is a good example what is possible. And you might not forget. once you have the "basic" layout of a track, a conversion in another version of this track is way less work than starting a new one.
There are so many tracks in raceroom having a historic (and often BETTER) layout, i.e. Hockenheim, Spa, Imola, Monza...i would love to see them in the game and i would absolutly LOVE to give my money for that.
 
I said it years ago allready, bring more historic content!
We (the older guys) with money in their pockets have seen many of those content live on track, and we would love to see those tracks and cars in our fav sim. AMS2 is a good example what is possible. And you might not forget. once you have the "basic" layout of a track, a conversion in another version of this track is way less work than starting a new one.
There are so many tracks in raceroom having a historic (and often BETTER) layout, i.e. Hockenheim, Spa, Imola, Monza...i would love to see them in the game and i would absolutly LOVE to give my money for that.
I'm not even old and sadly couldn't watch those legendary classic races lives yet is still prefer the classic content over modern ones, nothing against modern stuff, i like them too, but there's something else on classic cars and tracks, the danger, the difficulty to tame those monstrous cars, they feel alive and make their modern counterparts look boring and sometime "souless" in comparison.

Btw a group 7 Mclaren was found in AMS 2 files, I'm hoping for some Can Am stuff there in the future.
 
Premium
Im curious no devs have really come out and said what tracks are popular so I have to wonder if historic content sells well compared to a random track that RRE releases from Moldova. Same goes for cars
 
What RR IMO really needs apart from a modern graphics-engine are more detailed track-surfaces which would also improve the FFB quite a bit. Reiza and also some mods for rF2 and AC proof that tracks doesn't need necessarily to be laserscanned just to feel like it.
 
Im curious no devs have really come out and said what tracks are popular so I have to wonder if historic content sells well compared to a random track that RRE releases from Moldova. Same goes for cars
I understand your point but I'm glad to discover unknown tracks I would never have heard of without a developper giving me the opportunity to drive on it. I like many of the well-known tracks from everywhere in the world, but learning and enjoying a new track is always refreshing as it is a new experience. If a developper asks which classic tracks are populat, we already know the answers : spa, the ring, zandvoort, kyalami, monza hockenheim, le mans, long beach, sebring, interlagos, bathurst... the same popular tracks than nowadays. It is good to give the opportunity to discover something else. And as a simracer, it is really important to learn new tracks, it is part of the brain training.

AMS series, with its unknown (to me) South American tracks is a real fresh air. Raceroom with the STCC tracks, rarely seen in other sims (there were an old STCC sim and obviously the Simbin's STCC game), is also refreshing. These tracks are obviously not popular (they would be in other sims if they were), but they make these games unique. Raceroom made me discover some tracks I wasn't familiar with, like Sachsenring, Salzburgring and I'm going to discover a few others as I just acquired the European tracks pack. These are great tracks you don't know if you are not a German racing fan (or just German). I would not know how good they are without Raceroom.

Anyway, Raceroom classic content focusing on 80s and 90s series, some tracks from this era would be welcome.
 
Premium
I'm not even old and sadly couldn't watch those legendary classic races lives yet is still prefer the classic content over modern ones, nothing against modern stuff, i like them too, but there's something else on classic cars and tracks, the danger, the difficulty to tame those monstrous cars, they feel alive and make their modern counterparts look boring and sometime "souless" in comparison.

Btw a group 7 Mclaren was found in AMS 2 files, I'm hoping for some Can Am stuff there in the future.
I'm in the same boat. I'm on the younger side and have always had more fun with classic cars in Sims.
I agree completely about how alive stuff from the past feels as well.

I have also found the same in real life, at least for the most part. Generally with each car I purchase, the next one is either an even older vintage or around the same era as the car I just sold. This has all been for the pursuit of experience and generally speaking, the further back you go in time, the more experience you get from the car.

There can be exceptions. I would love to acquire an Elise for example. They are a joy to drive and more fun than many cars I've drone that are it's senior.
 
What RR IMO really needs apart from a modern graphics-engine are more detailed track-surfaces which would also improve the FFB quite a bit. Reiza and also some mods for rF2 and AC proof that tracks doesn't need necessarily to be laserscanned just to feel like it.
Raceroom, from what I have read when the game was in its earlier development, used accurate satellite data, which was said not less accurate than laser scanning, just a different method.

I must admit I haven't done detailed direct comparison between different games but RRE never felt bad imo. I know also some details have been lost in the FFB since the simplification of its parameters, it may have done something on the road feedback. But its tracks rendition is for sure based on accurate data and one of the pros of the game.

About the "priorities" of the sim, the article is just a lie, rain and day and night cycle are not Raceroom's priorities, it has been stated day one that these features would never been in the game. Seriously, racedepartment, the quality has been on a huge decline for some time, because of this. If RRE's priorities were rain and D&N cycle, you would have to publish a specific article about them instrad of publishing an opinion asking article which just aims to make the website alive. In a few words, just stop spreading false information because I won't read you anymore.
 
Premium
I understand your point but I'm glad to discover unknown tracks I would never have heard of without a developper giving me the opportunity to drive on it. I like many of the well-known tracks from everywhere in the world, but learning and enjoying a new track is always refreshing as it is a new experience. If a developper asks which classic tracks are populat, we already know the answers : spa, the ring, zandvoort, kyalami, monza hockenheim, le mans, long beach, sebring, interlagos, bathurst... the same popular tracks than nowadays. It is good to give the opportunity to discover something else. And as a simracer, it is really important to learn new tracks, it is part of the brain training.

AMS series, with its unknown (to me) South American tracks is a real fresh air. Raceroom with the STCC tracks, rarely seen in other sims (there were an old STCC sim and obviously the Simbin's STCC game), is also refreshing. These tracks are obviously not popular (they would be in other sims if they were), but they make these games unique. Raceroom made me discover some tracks I wasn't familiar with, like Sachsenring, Salzburgring and I'm going to discover a few others as I just acquired the European tracks pack. These are great tracks you don't know if you are not a German racing fan (or just German). I would not know how good they are without Raceroom.

Anyway, Raceroom classic content focusing on 80s and 90s series, some tracks from this era would be welcome.
I do agree, unique content is what makes raceroom different to the competitors. As much as GT3 at Spa and Nurburgring is great I can do that in any number of sims but I cant take 90s DTM to Ningbo raceway in any other game
 
AC has all these tracks and more, and all these cars and more, but, AC looks and feels a LOT better, like a game in 2023 shoudl look.. for mostly about $7 on sale on steam.

The older content in RaceRoom looks and feels its age from a graphical technical perspective, the car interiors on the old stuff is horrendous in many cases, looking like something out of quake 2.

that said, I have owned and hated the game for a long time, -but- having seen some video of the newer stuff in last year, ive spent a few more hours in and the new content is pretty damn good, and some combos are just awesome like the mx5 on Bilster Berg.

Here is hoping they drag the engine two decades forward now and concentrate on detailing their older content.
 
AC has all these tracks and more, and all these cars and more, but, AC looks and feels a LOT better, like a game in 2023 shoudl look.. for mostly about $7 on sale on steam.
Sure, the AC looks better even without mods, but in terms of driving feel it's far behind the R3E. The only problem is the outdated graphics engine.
 
AC has all these tracks and more, and all these cars and more, but, AC looks and feels a LOT better, like a game in 2023 shoudl look.. for mostly about $7 on sale on steam.

The older content in RaceRoom looks and feels its age from a graphical technical perspective, the car interiors on the old stuff is horrendous in many cases, looking like something out of quake 2.

that said, I have owned and hated the game for a long time, -but- having seen some video of the newer stuff in last year, ive spent a few more hours in and the new content is pretty damn good, and some combos are just awesome like the mx5 on Bilster Berg.

Here is hoping they drag the engine two decades forward now and concentrate on detailing their older content.
Sorry, but the issue is people stating that kind of BS.
Did you play Quake 2 when it came out? Did you play the racing games of this time? Did you play RRE in VR?
For sure it is not the best graphical engine there but cut the BS. It is mainly a shaders question (which I don't understand it hasn't been improved).
AC has these tracks but without the details, not any of the RRE tracks not officially in AC feels as good in AC.
 
I'm glad to discover unknown tracks I would never have heard of without a developper giving me the opportunity to drive on it.
I agree, I too like unknown tracks, sometimes strange, and of course, sometimes not interesting. But for example the South American tracks from AMS/AMS2 are for the most part simply delightful, simply because they don't look like the European modern, computer-drawn tracks. And in general, historical tracks are appealing precisely because of their imperfection and sense of proximity to death, especially if you're inside an 800 horsepower out-of-control 60s capsule. :)
 
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Raceroom, from what I have read when the game was in its earlier development, used accurate satellite data, which was said not less accurate than laser scanning, just a different method.

I must admit I haven't done detailed direct comparison between different games but RRE never felt bad imo. I know also some details have been lost in the FFB since the simplification of its parameters, it may have done something on the road feedback. But its tracks rendition is for sure based on accurate data and one of the pros of the game.

About the "priorities" of the sim, the article is just a lie, rain and day and night cycle are not Raceroom's priorities, it has been stated day one that these features would never been in the game. Seriously, racedepartment, the quality has been on a huge decline for some time, because of this. If RRE's priorities were rain and D&N cycle, you would have to publish a specific article about them instrad of publishing an opinion asking article which just aims to make the website alive. In a few words, just stop spreading false information because I won't read you anymore.
So some images from space (or rather Google maps) are as accurate as lidar scans:whistling: And no, it's not just the FFB dampening. I also miss the details with my 7 shakers and 6 actuators. And if I take iRacing tracks as a reference, the same tracks in Raceroom often differ in camber, elevation, angles, but not in AMS2 that I noticed. Raceroom tracks feel like they have a set of generic pre-built corners and straights and stick them together like Lego to do a track. That's why those tracks are missing individual details both in the mesh and textures.
 
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So some images from space (or rather Google maps) are as accurate as lidar scans:whistling: And no, it's not just the FFB dampening. I also miss the details with my 7 shakers and 6 actuators. And if I take iRacing tracks as a reference, the same tracks in Raceroom often differ in camber, elevation, angles, but not in AMS2 that I noticed. Raceroom tracks feel like they have a set of generic pre-built corners and straights and stick them together like Lego to do a track. That's why those tracks are missing individual details both in the mesh and textures.
I agree. If you race with a motion platform and tactile transducer, you feel the difference from all other major Sim games, much less track details in RaceRoom. And therefore, the complete driving experience lacks excitement.
 
You might be right, but how much of us simracers have those hardware? 0.01%? Does it make sens to include a new tecnology for an "old" grafic engine to make track releases more expensive? Does it make sens to include rain and day/night circle? Don't think so. Go and setup a server in AMS2 with rain in the night, and you will have an empty server all day long.
RRRE is fine as it is. It's an old sim, but still gets new tracks and cars every year. And compared to the "modern" sim it has very good FFB, very good AI, the best sounds, very good netcode and is (imo) still good looking.
 
I'm surprised there hasn't been a game based on this idea, it would be the racing equivalent of a fps based in ww2 or Vietnam.
 
I said it years ago allready, bring more historic content!
We (the older guys) with money in their pockets have seen many of those content live on track, and we would love to see those tracks and cars in our fav sim. AMS2 is a good example what is possible. And you might not forget. once you have the "basic" layout of a track, a conversion in another version of this track is way less work than starting a new one.
There are so many tracks in raceroom having a historic (and often BETTER) layout, i.e. Hockenheim, Spa, Imola, Monza...i would love to see them in the game and i would absolutly LOVE to give my money for that.
I love these old tracks, for one I'd like to see the original 8km version of Charade!
 
With AC I really don't need official sim releases, coming 'as is' where modders typically come up with constantly improved content.

Speaking DTM 1992 a couple of years ago enjoyed countryman and multible WEC GT champion and NS24 champion Nicki Thiim always super-enthusiastic AC racing his dad's Diebels Zakspeed 190E 2.5 Evo2 at same tracks as Kurt did in the days. Which made me instantly go back to racing my old DTM rF1 and GTR2 packS and, besides, acquire the R3E DTM 1992 pack for immense joy.

Ofcouse it could be very nice with a full R3E DTM 1992 grid + track pack, all authentic grids for each venue. But regarding R3E I see an instant showstopper speaking authentic correct immersion: weather modelling.
17 yo GTR2 DTM mod packs does that part way better, but strictly simwise R3E to me is more precise and nice engine sound modelling also, and I live with close and funny AI races in sunny weather, especially at Bilsterberg.
 
I'm a great fan of classic tracks and some of the latests additions in RaceRoom are really great, like Donington Park and Charade. For sure there still are many classic tracks to add to the list, like Oulton Park, Castle Combe, Mosport Park, Mont-Tremblant (St. Jovite), Road Atlanta, Sebring, Portland, Summit Point, Mondello Park, Cadwell Park and Goodwood, only to name a few.

Fot those of us who spent so time in GT Legends (and I spent countless hours in it), I think we still miss the fantastic list of classic cars that were available in this simulation, like the AC Cobra, BMW CSL, Porsche 911 RSR or even the Lotus Cortina.
 
Raceroom, from what I have read when the game was in its earlier development, used accurate satellite data, which was said not less accurate than laser scanning, just a different method.

I must admit I haven't done detailed direct comparison between different games but RRE never felt bad imo. I know also some details have been lost in the FFB since the simplification of its parameters, it may have done something on the road feedback. But its tracks rendition is for sure based on accurate data and one of the pros of the game.

About the "priorities" of the sim, the article is just a lie, rain and day and night cycle are not Raceroom's priorities, it has been stated day one that these features would never been in the game. Seriously, racedepartment, the quality has been on a huge decline for some time, because of this. If RRE's priorities were rain and D&N cycle, you would have to publish a specific article about them instrad of publishing an opinion asking article which just aims to make the website alive. In a few words, just stop spreading false information because I won't read you anymore.
Your first paragraph itself can be considered false information. There’s absolutely zero chance whatever they used to build tracks is as accurate as lidar… if it came from a satellite.
 

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