TOCA Race Driver 2: A 20-Year Retrospective

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TOCA Race Driver 2, also known as DTM Race Driver 2 in Germany and V8 Supercars 2 in Australia, was released on the 13th of April 2004. This is TOCA Race Driver 2 20 years on.

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V8 Supercars at Adelaide


Overview

Often overshadowed by its much more popular successor, TOCA Race Driver 3, TRD2 has a lot to offer that often goes underappreciated. The driving physics are great fun from an arcade point of view, and the menus are well laid out with clear and concise labels.

The sound design is painfully naughties-themed, but that can be turned down or off completely. Unless that is your preferred era of music, of course!

The graphics are surprisingly competitive with similar games of the time, such as the original Forza Motorsport, which was released just one year later. However, do not expect Gran Turismo‘s level of detail.

Forza 1.jpgTRD2 I1.jpg
Image Credit: IGN.com


The car list is also extraordinary, and the handling was a huge improvement from the first title. It is important to remember that TRD2 is 20 years old and had a shoestring budget compared to other competitors at the time.

Whilst unavailable to buy digitally, plenty of disk versions for multiple platforms are available. The most popular is for the PlayStation 2. There are also versions for the PSP and PC. There was even a mobile port in 2005!

The Handling Model​

It should go without saying that TRD2 is not a simulator and was never intended to be one. The TOCA Race Driver series revolutionized the arcade racing scene within a period of Gran Turismo dominance. It did feature relatively intricate damage models, however.

The handling physics are a big step up from its predecessor. Codemasters changed the cars to steer from the front wheels as opposed to from the middle of the car. A classic mechanic of late 90s arcade racing titles. Whilst a little vague, the handling is usable on a period-correct steering wheel and pedal set. Good luck trying to get modern sim racing hardware working, though!

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Street Racing Series

The handling model is designed to be accessible, whilst still difficult enough to reward dedicated players. You will not be penalized too harshly if you happen to trim the grass as you cut a corner too closely, but you cannot just hold down the accelerator the whole time either.

Cars such as the notoriously difficult-to-handle Formula Ford, are especially hard to drive on anything but a steering wheel, even a gamepad is a real challenge. Strangely enough, the American muscle cars are some of the best handling cars in the game. I would recommend starting with the Ford GT or the Ford Mustang.

The Damage Model​

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Retired Ford GT & Damaged Evo

If you are familiar with other entries in the TOCA series, this damage model will be familiar to you. Whilst it can be seen as recycled content, the damage model is better than some modern-day racing games, especially when it comes to visual representation.

The ability for bumpers to fall off, glass to smash and wheels to come loose all add to the damage model. Much like the handling on dirt, it is largely taken from the first game and the early Colin McRae Rally titles.

Storyline And Cutscenes​

The storyline and cutscenes are what put the TOCA Race Driver series on the map for driving fans. The debut of this style of racing game has not been replicated to the level the TOCA series managed. Some of the phrases still live on in meme formats to this day!

The main character (besides you, the driver) is called Scott, your angry and constantly stressed Scottish racing manager. From inappropriate comments to downright bizarre phrases – Scott certainly would not survive a day on the modern internet, but he is still a legend within the virtual racing community. ‘If God had wanted him to wave, he’d have made him a member of the Royal Family’ is a personal favourite of mine.


The video linked above is the first half of the game’s cutscenes. Within those, you meet the documentary woman who follows you with a camera and annoys Scott to no end, Scott himself and your persistent agent. Another character Scott does not get on with unless she is talking about money. A handful of drivers also interact with you positively and negatively depending on how you drive. Those interactions are extremely cringe-worthy and are worth skipping over though.

Overall, the cutscenes certainly have not aged well. But they are what the TOCA Race Driver series is known for. And, if you look past the aged language, they can be quite funny. The voice acting is fairly good, but the animation does leave much to be desired.

Car List Pt.1​

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Audi TT-R ABT. Image Credit: Codemasters

AC

AC 289 CRS
Unlock: Win all races in the Convertible World Tour in Freemode at Normal or Hard

AC Mamba
Unlock: Win all races in the Convertible World Tour in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Aston Martin

Aston Martin DB5
Unlock: Win all races in the Vintage Classic Challenge in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante
Available from the beginning

Aston Martin DB9 Coupe
Unlock: Complete Level 4-1 in Career Mode

Aston Martin V12 Vanquish
Unlock: Complete the Level 8-3 in Career Mode

Audi

Audi TT-R ABT
Unlock: Complete Levels 2-3 in Career Mode

Brailing

Brailing Championship Stockcar
Unlock: Complete Level 2-4 in Career Mode

Ford

Ford 9000
Unlock: Complete Level 6-2 in Career Mode

Ford Falcon AU V8 Supercar
Unlock: Win all races in the V8 Supercars in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Ford Falcon BA V8 Supercar
Unlock: Win all races in the V8 Supercars in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Ford GT
Available from the beginning

Ford GT90
Unlock: Complete Level 3-1 in Career Mode

Ford Hot Rod Coupe
Unlock: Complete Level 7-3 in Career Mode

Ford Mustang 1968
Available from the beginning

Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R
Unlock: Complete Level 3-1 in Career Mode

Ford SVT F-150 Lightning
Unlock: Complete Level 1-3 in Career Mode

Formula Ford
Unlock: Complete Level 1-1 in Career Mode

Global GT Lights

Global GT Lights Race Car
Unlock: Complete Level 2-5 in Career Mode

Holden

Holden Commodore VX V8 Supercar
Unlock: Win all races in the V8 Supercars in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Holden Commodore VY V8 Supercar
Unlock: Complete Level 5-4 in Career Mode

Car List Pt.2​

Jaguar

Jaguar E-Type Series II
Unlock: Complete the Level 2-1 in Career Mode

Jaguar XJ220
Unlock: Complete the Level 7-1 in Career Mode

Jaguar XKR Convertible
Unlock: Win all races in the Convertible World Tour in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Jaguar XKR Race Car
Unlock: Complete the Level 4-2 in Career Mode

Koenig

Koenig C62
Unlock: Win all races in the World GT Series in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Koenig Competition 2002
Unlock: Complete the Level 3-5 in Career Mode

Land Rover

Land Rover Bowler Wildcat
Unlock: Complete the Level 2-3 in Career Mode

Mercedes

Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM AMG
Unlock: Win all races in the DTM in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi 3000 GT
Unlock: Win all races in the Pacific American in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
Unlock: Complete the Level 3-3 in Career Mode

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII
Unlock: Complete the Level 2-2 in Career Mode

Nissan

Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
Unlock: Complete the Level 1-2 in Career Mode

Car List Pt.3​

Opel

Opel Astra V8 Coupe
Unlock: Win all races in the DTM in Freemode at Normal or Hard

Seat

SEAT León Supercopa
Unlock: Complete the Level 1-2 in Career Mode

Solo

Solo Single Seater 1000 Race Car
Unlock: Complete the Level 6-2 in Career Mode

Subaru

Subaru Impreza WRX
Unlock: Complete the Level 2-3 in Career Mode

Subaru Impreza WRX
Unlock: Win all races in the Hella Euro Rally in Freemode at Normal or Hard

VRV

VRV Masters Grand Prix Car
Unlock: Complete the Level 9-1 in Career Mode

How To Play TRD2 In 2024​

Trucks.jpg

Ford 9000 Truck Racing

TOCA Race Driver 2, being 20 years old, is not sold digitally, so your best bet is finding a physical copy. That most likely means scanning eBay or your local used games shop to try your luck.

The plus side is that a lot of people often have old consoles in the attic or down in the basement. If you happen to have one lying around, you can play the original Xbox version or the PlayStation 2 version with a disk. And maybe, the PC CD-ROM (remember those?) is still stuck in a drawer you have not checked in a while. Otherwise, you can pick the game up for two or three Euros/Pounds/Dollars.

Conclusion​

TRD2 is a fantastic title to kick back and play with no added stress. If you have memories of this title from years past, you will be surprised by the graphical quality (For a game from 2004). Games never look as good as you remember, but TRD2 has aged like fine wine in my opinion.

Audi TT.jpeg

Audi TT-R ABT

Whilst the graphics could be considered a selling point of this classic racer, the handling model is not anything to write home about. Especially compared to similar titles available at the time. But, you do not play the TRD series for ultra-realism and graphical superiority. You play them to relive those happy memories and experience some classic arcade racing in a relaxed but meaningful environment.

Overall, TOCA Race Driver 2 is a fantastic second entry to the series, however, the handling does let it down from a sim racing point of view. The graphics are great for the period and the expansive and inclusive car list is a huge tick on the proverbial sheet.

Let us know your experiences with TOCA Race Driver 2 on X @OverTake_gg or down in the comments below!
About author
Connor Minniss
Website Content Editor & Motorsport Photographer aiming to bring you the best of the best within the world of sim racing.

Comments

Great game and career mode spent hours on it having fun.. Had great v8 supercars but v8 supercars 3 was better, then we lost v8 supercars due to code masters sitting on their big fat ***. most older racing series are not even covered anymore by developers, they need to rethink what they license, talk to the users. Most ppl i know that sim race are 30 plus not little kids coming from console to pc sim racing into their EV'S LOL
 
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Great game and career mode spent hours on it having fun.. Had great v8 supercars but v8 supercars 3 was better, then we lost v8 supercars due to code masters sitting on their big fat ***. most older racing series are not even covered anymore by developers, they need to rethink what they license, talk to the users. Most ppl i know that sim race are 30 plus not little kids coming from console to pc sim racing into their EV'S LOL
This is how most of us brits felt when race driver 2 came out and didn't have btcc anymore. Especially when codemasters track racing games had been heavily focused on it before then. It was not long after this came out that my attention was pulled to sim racing and I never really looked back unless I wanted a quick pick up and play.
 
Most important thing not mentioned here is that ToCA Race Driver 2 + 3 used the dreaded StarForce protection drivers, so you'll need to pay a visit to your favourite no-CD/cracked exe website, and find a replacement.

Once done it works fine, even on Windows 10 64bit.

Here's the "not-F1" Masters Grand Prix:


And the limited rally content (that TRD3 improved on collosally):

 
One of the last truly good offline sim racing titles... Had the best of everything needed for it's time with a lot of choice and great career mode...

Now we've got to pick and choose the limitations of that experience and make up ways to suspend the belief to get there in anything with more than a handful of classes/series like the F1 series or LMU...
 
I still have the boxed disc version and I actually have it installed on a WinXP machine in my hobby room (though not played it for a while). It was my fave racing title of the time and for a few years - just pick up and play fun. I remember how shocked I was when I sent an email to Codemasters about running it on Windows Vista and actually got a nice reply from them saying it wouldn't be possible.
Although I drove ToCA RD3 quite a bit, I never enjoyed it as much as 2, even if it was less 'arcadey'. I often feel that while racing sims have come on in leaps and bounds, racing games are missing this kind of fun today. (I'm not of the "it's a sim, not a game!" crowd but it explains well what I mean in this context).
TOCARD2sized.JPG
 
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TOCA 2 on PC with a wheel & pedals is seriously fun even nowadays. It doesn't have to have the most hardcore physics but what's important is that you can control the behaviour of the car going into and out of slip, maintaining and controlling the slip & wheelspin, fairly controllably and natural - something that's severely lacking in most "hardcore" sims that don't have the name Live For Speed or Netkar Pro (or, to a certain extent - very vehicle dependent - Assetto Corsa) in their title.
 
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Article failed to mention it was also released on Xbox. Had great fun playing online with Xbox Live 20 years ago. Hard to believe it has been that long.
 
OverTake
Premium
Article failed to mention it was also released on Xbox. Had great fun playing online with Xbox Live 20 years ago. Hard to believe it has been that long.
Right before the conclusion ;)
The plus side is that a lot of people often have old consoles in the attic or down in the basement. If you happen to have one lying around, you can play the original Xbox version or the PlayStation 2 version with a disk.
I remember playing that version at a friend's place all the time. Even the split screen mode was a ton of fun, and I also remember that we couldn't make sense of the speed of the IndyCars in the game - they were absolutely insane to us :D
 
I had Toca Race Driver, which I loved. Never really had the follow ups TRD2 and TRD3. As a teen not had that much budget, and the moment i went towards to GTR (1) and later GTR2, these kind of arcade games I had been put aside and never really played arcade racing games no more. I had tried TRD2 and TRD3 later, but never game me the same feeling I had with TRD1. Also loved the pyramid system career thing in TRD1.
 
Premium
I still have the boxed disc version and I actually have it installed on a WinXP machine in my hobby room (though not played it for a while). It was my fave racing title of the time and for a few years - just pick up and play fun. I remember how shocked I was when I sent an email to Codemasters about running it on Windows Vista and actually got a nice reply from them saying it wouldn't be possible.
Although I drove ToCA RD3 quite a bit, I never enjoyed it as much as 2, even if it was less 'arcadey'. I often feel that while racing sims have come on in leaps and bounds, racing games are missing this kind of fun today. (I'm not of the "it's a sim, not a game!" crowd but it explains well what I mean in this context).
View attachment 737573
I really liked both (2 and 3). I have the cds. I tried to install 3 on widows 10 and it broke my computer. I had to reinstall the operating system. Installing it in a virtual machine seemed too cumbersome to me. With these old programs you have to be careful.
 
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TOCA 2 on PC with a wheel & pedals is seriously fun even nowadays. It doesn't have to have the most hardcore physics but what's important is that you can control the behaviour of the car going into and out of slip, maintaining and controlling the slip & wheelspin, fairly controllably and natural - something that's severely lacking in most "hardcore" sims that don't have the name Live For Speed or Netkar Pro (or, to a certain extent - very vehicle dependent - Assetto Corsa) in their title.
How did you manage to make the game work on a modern systems?
Few years ago I tried to install TRD2 on Windows10 and the installation was stuck after a while. I tried with my original CD or DVD copy, with downloaded ISO ones, the same problem occured each time. I didn't find a repacked copy on the internet at that time.
 

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