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The Automation Gamer Challenge [ROUND 4]


#287

Just so you know, entries are now shut!

I’ll be looking at my inbox when I get back from work tomorrow and will get through the rest of the list. Before releasing results I’ll confirm everything. If you do not have a reply PM from me, I have not opened your car yet.


#288

Kinda forgot to post photos, oops. Good thing there was no deadline on those :stuck_out_tongue:

Arai Kyori GT-T 20v

Moar



#289

Boulanger Roman WRC 🇫🇷

Absolutely makes the stipulated 300bhp haha. Imagine how quirky it’d be if these world rally cars made more haha. Not like this car makes more than that even at the wheels, that’d be crazy.

Couldn’t post pics earlier as I finished this at like 5:30am to send the PM in time


#290

(god i fucking love these rally cars, we need more of this type of challenge, shit)


#291

Alright work’s done and I’ve just been sorting out house stuff. Sorry for upcoming spam taggage.

These entries have been confirmed:

@NormanVauxhall
@mart1n2005
@Aaron.W
@Boiled_Steak
@TheTechnoVampire
@Mikonp7
@BF94387
@Ludvig
@Xepy
@DoctorNarfy
@z2bbgr
@donutsnail

These entries are in my inbox but have not yet been confirmed (I’m going to scrutinise as many of these as I can and hopefully finish by tomorrow):

@Private_Miros & @MGR_99
@titleguy1
@Falling_Comet
@Rk38
@Ramthecowy & @Radster
@Arvok1
@player965347
@Chipskate
@ElMenduko

This entry had a non-regulation part and got DQed but only after I finished testing so will be reviewed nonetheless:

@EddyBT


Before I begin setting up the results, I’d like to make a few general comments to preempt any confusion/saltiness.

  • The overall standard of design was pretty high. I appreciate that it’s more difficult for some than others due to aptitude but also hardware but in truth for the most part there was not a huge amount separating the majority of the entries

  • Parts selection is obviously a tricky topic because of the discrepancy between how Automation and Beam behave. I suspect players fell into distinct camp: those who don’t have Beam and guessed, those who didn’t know how to translate to Beam and tried basing things off real life, and those who do have Beam and tried to optimise for it. This is probably the most difficult part for me to judge, because my scores are currently based on a mix of all of those things. For example, if you gave me TCS on my car, I simply turned it off because it doesn’t behave as we’d like it to as exported. The ABS is also quite wonky and there’s no adjusting the strength or sensitivity and affected driving in more ways that I’d like, so most of you (wisely) avoided it. There is a way to tune the car to make ABS work but it’s quite specific and generally moots the point, but I didn’t penalise anyone for including it on their car, but it bleeds into the ease of driving stat.

  • Furthermore in a real rally there are a lot of ways to tune the car between stages etc. so I left a lot of leeway in the suspension tune (I selected the course to be 50% fast ashphalt and 50% bumps and gravel for a reason). Some cars were blisteringly fast on the tarmac and terrible on the gravel and vice-versa and that was the whole idea. There were some that were tuned so inappropriately that they didn’t work on either but you’ll find out which ones those were later.

  • The biggest issue however were the brakes. I know that WRC cars often used crazy 4, 6 or 8 pot brakes with giant discs. However that’s because you could adjust the brake strength and if you were a driver that liked more responsiveness you could dial it up and if you didn’t want to lock up too much you could dial it back. Sadly we couldn’t do that here so most of the cars that used more than 1 or 2 pot brakes had horrendous problems if I applied more than 5% on the brake pedal. So in an attempt to be fair to everybody I’m going to try to bring this to a more even playing field by adjusting my brake pedal sensitivity for each car and largely ignore if the brake strength is too high (this will require that I re-drive a number of the cars so may take some extra time). If the brake balance is off however, well that’s another matter.

  • And another matter on the brakes: brake pad type was the single biggest modifier of service costs after seat type. I had to mitigate the parts cost score a little on the seat type as I know some of you had weight issues (not fat shaming lol). Some of you were more conscientious about minmaxing than others and that’s a player skill I will acknowledge, but back to the brakes, using a low pad rating is a risky maneuver because it greatly lowers the temp threshold at which the brakes start to fade in Beam. I will add that common sense dictates that a shakedown stage is a pretty short test so if you tuned the brakes to barely squeak through that it won’t last a full rally stage. So it was a major balancing point which I will see fit to comment upon.

  • Speaking of driving, here is a sample of how I attack the stage:

The above car is set on a 2.6m wheelbase (bit longer than ideal), and puts out 450Nm and 318hp (not the most by any stretch), but was set up to my own preferences i.e. pretty loose. This is just a demonstration mule. I will tell you now that it also happens to do exactly the same time as the fastest entry I’ve tested so far but drives very differently.

I also happen to have tuned my own car (an Armada Motors Fore Gen. III) to go alongside this that absolutely destroys everything else while still keeping to regs, but I’m obviously not competing, but it does lead to my next point…

  • As for arvok’s idea about putting all the cars into a rally pack, it’s a great idea, but most of the cars I’ve received have at least one or two major foibles that prevent them from being optimised for competitive driving in Beam. Others could do with a bit of brushing up elsewhere. It all actually balances out really. But if we want to make a pack out of this perhaps it would be best if we got together after this and put out a really good quality product because what I’d personally be doing after the files were optimised was to fix the .jbeam files so the fixtures worked correctly etc. and TCS and ESC had multiple modes (that also worked correctly) etc.

Okay back to file checking!


#292


Released in March 1995, the Maesima UF70 Series I (UF70.I) Exestis was a three-door liftback with two-plus-two seating. It was based on the front wheel drive UF platform from the midsize Celento the predecessor to the Avellca. It’s low cost and stylish pop-up headlight coupe design made it an immediate success for Maesima and helped establish the company in Western Markets.

The first generation model was sold until 2002 when it was replaced by the second generation Exestis. It was homologation for Group A for the 1995 season and would prove a successful follow on from the NRZ lineup of rally vehicles. The series was continuously improved and would continue to be used well into the new World Rally Car era before being replaced by the second generation of the Exestis.

Notably in its iconic teal and purple Maesima livery as driven by Finnish driver Jouni Mäkitammi and British co-driver Kian Hill in their No. 8 car.

Manufactured in Namju, Anikatia, the front-wheel drive Exestis was powered by Maesima’s MCG family of four-cylinder DOHC and SOHC petrol engines; transmission choices consisted of either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Furthermore, the Exestis range initially consisted of Tz, GTz and the Turbo 2.0 Group A Rallye variants. The Turbo 2.0 Group A Rallye homologation is distinguished from the other trims by its widebody design with flared arches unique alloys, bonnet vents and fascia.

The turbocharged Turbo variant was a Group A homologation powered by Maesima’s 2.0-litre turbocharged MC-GFI4GE1997T-JYJ-H DOHC 4v engine which produced 180 kw (241 hp). Depending on the market the Tz base trim offered either a 2.2-litre SOHC 4v engine which produced 104 kw (140 hp) or a 1.8-litre DOHC 4v 80 kw (108 hp). While the mid-range GTz was offered with a a 2.2-litre DOHC 4v engine which produced 120 kw (160 hp).


Tz


GTz


Turbo 2.0 Group A Rallye


Turbo 2.0 Group A WRC No. 8 Jouni Mäkitammi, Kian Hill



#293

Well then. I think we have been well and truly blown out of the water when it comes to livery.


#294

The Selection

Putting together a classic rally racing game is no mean feat. It involves selecting the most iconic, the most notable of the highest level entries and carefully looking their exploits, their specifications over, then figuring out which of them were the most relevant. This was all about which car would secure their place in history and be immortalised in the hearts and minds of fans all over the world.

No pressure.

With this task in mind, it was easiest to start with a process of exclusion. Thus, without further ado, the first part of these reviews will be dedicated to:

The Instabins :wastebasket:

A couple of the cars came close to absolute perfection, and these are the cars that truly made their mark in a dominant 2001 season. Most of the entries have one or two foibles, or shall we say “character”. But the ones I’m about to mention are the ones that spluttered and fizzed before they even made the paddock, or struggled to get it together before exiting before the season was truly underway.

BINNED DUE TO FAILURE TO MEET MANDATORY TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

@Falling_Comet 2001 Suisei AMC

As wonderful and unique as the car looked, the Suisei AMC rocked up to the paddock almost 10kg underweight and fitted with the wrong spec tyre, and thus was immediately excluded. While extremely embarrassing for the engineers and ruining the season, management did note that both of these issues were quite easily rectified for future consideration… if they could sufficiently justify the further investment after their immediate loss.

This :wastebasket: really hurt. I saw how much effort went into the styling, and it was one of the most unique entries. Plus the engine was very good. There is much potential here, so hopefully we can save this one up for a larger project down the track.

BINNED DUE TO ATTEMPTING TO PULL AN ST205

except you won’t get past me, ho ho ho

@EddyBT 2001 BT Motors Furo

I won’t lie: I didn’t pick up the “non-regulation part” until the end of testing. Pace notes added for more detailed feedback.

Style

While looking a bit more late 90s than the 2001 MY that it claims to be, the Furo screams rally machine from the era. Fully decked out, striped up and ready to tear up the countryside.

Engineering

Solid, solid tunes around with a reliable but powerful engine and good choices all around… though the brakes like to dance a little close to the fire, and the suspension is a mix of overly damped yet slightly too soft springs, with sway bars that should probably have been a lot looser. I should mention that more camber isn’t great for offroading.*

*I am not certain that camber necessarily works in Beam the way it should in real life, and this is due to the geometry of the wheel model in Beam compared to the geometry of a real wheel. I’d like to know whether sidewall flex occurs in all directions or just radially. As it stands lateral grip isn’t necessarily improved by increasing negative camber which is why I have my suspicions!

Driving

Yeah okay I may have understated the problem of overdone sway bars and camber on a rally course. This car was all over the damn place. Once it started sliding it just wouldn’t stop, but at every little bump it wanted to step out.* Quite frustrating. And then at the very high speed corner the nose felt like it was pitching in too much, so I checked under the car and lo and behold, what’s this, a non regulation aero attachment. That’s a binning.

Overall

BT Motors had a good package going. One of the best engines, a solid chassis and plenty of backing. Unfortunately their half-baked suspension tune didn’t even get a chance to showcase its unique characteristics before their use of an illegal aerodynamic feature under the hood was picked up in scrutineering and they were excluded for the entire season.

This :wastebasket: also really hurt, because it was a good looking car that was scoring solidly on all fronts. In fact it was one of the top contenders despite the fact I wanted to hurl my wheel out the window when I drove it because the handling was everything wrong in a race car and generally giving me the fucking irrits lmao


Intermission

So about the sway bars. This is the suspension setup for the BT Furo WRC

We can’t really tune suspension like on a race car i.e. it’s impossible to modify fast bump, slow bump as well as rebound. That kind of stuff kind of gets all rolled into one because we can adjust springs, dampers and sway bars. It’s worth remembering what they do.

Sway bars reduce wheel travel relative to their counterpart on the other side. That’s how they reduce body roll. It also means that the stiffer the sway bar, the more force that goes through one wheel is transmitted to the other side. This will increase the responsiveness or “liveliness” of that end. Within reason, a stiffer front sway bar will mean a more precise feeling front end but beyond a certain limit, there will be an understeer balance. Conversely a stiff rear sway bar should make the car more prone to oversteer balance. Note I said balance, because the sway bars don’t themselves significantly change how much grip the tyres have (on a skid pan anyway), unless the balance along with the springs is so significant that the cars literally cock a wheel. The best way to tune sway bars on a race car is such that the inside wheel is barely touching the ground.

But… consider that this is a rally car and it’s going across hella uneven surfaces. This means every time I hit a bump if the sway bar is stiffer than it should be the whole body is going to twitch and shake excessively.

Note that 2400/3200 is far from the least balanced sway bar I’ve seen in this round. There was somebody who used 200/4800 (you know who you are) and let me tell you now that ain’t right. There are others who used stiffer rear sway bars than front quite on purpose but their cars felt fine. Why? Because handling balance and body roll are only part of the picture and the dynamics is affected by how the wheels actually travel and how long they touch the ground.

Which brings us to springs and dampers. Springs cushion the impact of a wheel over a bump and slow its travel, but springs just store energy and oscillate. Dampers dissipate this energy and flatten the oscillations. The faster the spring rate the faster the body is going to move in relation to the wheel travel and so the more immediate the response will be, which means quicker direction changes with inputs, but it also means the body moves more with the bumps.

The primary effect of dampers is the contact patch of the tyre on the ground after a bump. If it’s too stiff the oscillations stop, the wheel goes with the body and the tyre can leave the ground. When the tyre leaves the ground it’s no longer exerting any control over where the car is going and all that force is going through the remaining tyres. This dramatically changes the dynamics of the car during that period. On the other hand if the damper is too soft then the car just oscillates and wobbles around and while the wheels remain on the ground they all exert reduced control over the direction of the car as the external forces are not being dissipated.

This is why I got so nervous when I saw multiple entries with dampers MUCH stiffer than the springs. The car might not be as crashy over the bumps but it sure as hell won’t be controllable after each. And the above also explains why the unfortunate combo above is the worst possible for rally: the sway bars are stiff meaning that each bump drags affects both sides of the body where I would want more individual wheel motion. The springs are soft meaning I get a vague feel with steering response. And the dampers are too stiff meaning every time I hit a bump my wheels lose contact with the ground anyway. The dampers can stay where they are but stiffer springs and looser sway bars all around would have been helpful.


Okay back to regular programming.

BINNED FOR BEING SO OVER-ENGINEERED IT BROKE FOREVER ON THE FIRST STAGE

@Arvok1 2001 Tupi

Seeing as this one actually made it through the paddock, here were my “pace notes” as it were:

Style

Mysteriously named Tupi makes an immediate impression with a great adaptation of a logo into one of the most striking liveries on the grid. Even if the execution is not perfect I gave bonus points for making me sit back and say wow! Elsewhere the look is decent albeit with a couple of out-of-place fixtures (I don’t think that wing would feature in a rally).

Engineering

In throwing in everything including the kitchen sink I suspect that the engineers paid no attention to the frequent prospect of having to perform maintenance on this car. It also reminded me that I forgot to ban active wings because I figured who on earth would think to use an active wing in a rally, haha. Well, I should have known. Everything about this car is over-engineered with all the maximum interventions. Shame the turbo boost is next to useless for rallying. The moment this car breaks down, it’s gonna get stranded.

Driving

On the plus side, the car turns in nicely. On the minus side, it bounces everywhere, not because the suspension is too stiff but presumably due to a mismatch between ride height, spring and damper rates. The whole thing felt like trying to send a hovercraft rock crawling, or a bit of a disaster, and certain high speed corners took a lot of early braking because the nose would pitch hard and completely throw the car off balance. Unpleasantly scary at speed.

Overall

The Tupi had some decent pace, but was a generally mediocre prospect for a car with so many bells and whistles. With insane complexity from nose to tail, it had only made it through the fourth leg of the first stage of the 2001 season before the wing locked in the open position, effectively turning it into an uncontrolled glider and dumping it into a bush. There was no way to fix it in parc ferme, and it was deemed too dangerous to run for the rest of the season.

Shame. It really did look cool, albeit from a slight distance. But it literally scored itself out of contention with astronomical ET and service costs and could never recover unless it was literally the fastest and easiest to drive rally car in the lineup, which it was not.

BINNED FOR TRYING TO PULL A LANCIA BUT REALLY NOT QUITE PULLING IT OFF

@Mikonp7 2001 Hapaala WRC

Style

An oddity from nose to tail, from the mishmash of cues from mismatched decades, to the silver paint with nary a decal. Did a Frankentuner car accidentally find its way into the paddock?

Engineering

The valiant attempt at a boxer tune (Automation’s technical limitations notwithstanding) should be applauded. Unfortunately some questionable choices and compromises played against its hand. The race filter, for one, strengthened the suspicions that this car had come to the wrong meet. It also didn’t attempt to even come close to the minimum weight limit unlike most of the other entries.

Driving

Apart from sounding nice, the Hapaala’s narrow power band made for some sluggish corner exits and frustrating wrestling out of tight spots, especially with the wide gap between first and second. A shorter final diff would have helped. Furthermore it was rather tuned for the road, bouncing nastily over jumps. That it was only slightly slower than average on this course was actually a surprise.

Overall

Out of style and out of sorts, the Hapaala was out of place on the WRC stage and never, as far as we could tell, made it past initial testing.

Not gonna lie, the moment I saw this, I thought to myself "oh Mik, why you gotta be so special like, shit. I tried to fit it in but it just seemed to be doing its darnedest to jump out of the box and if it’s so consistently doing that across every domain then well that’s just entirely missing the point of a themed challenge isn’t it.

BINNED FOR BEING LITERALLY THE ONLY ENTRY THAT WAS TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL

And by school I mean a sequential gearbox

@z2bbgr 2001 Meguminshi Pantser

Style

The Meguminshi (really?) Panser (really??) really makes an explosive (god damnit) entrance to the paddock with a striking livery on a classic sports sedan body. Plentiful sponsors are strategically decalled on in order of prominence. It’s all very tasteful… less so the name. And I am not subbing to BaE.

Engineering

Plenty of torque, check. Suspension geared towards bumpy dirt stages, check. Easy to service, check. Then the weird stuff comes in: the brakes are probably too strong (at this point I should point out that the discrepancy between real life rally cars and Automation cars is probably biggest in the required brake strength…), and the transmission is a 5 speed manual. My left foot is going to be busy.

Driving

So here’s the deal with row-your-own. Yeah sure they were common in rally. But they weren’t common in 2001 WRC tier cars. Why? Because when you bind my left foot to the clutch all the time, and consign one hand to always shuffling my gear knob, that robs me of most of my techniques on the finer parts of cornering half the time. The worst part is when you couple this with a really twitchy brake pedal by overcooking the brake power so I’m always locking up if I want to use my right foot to modulate both throttle and brake which is just torture to control. I tried, I really did, but this is the time you get when if I didn’t have to clutch all the time I could easily be 11-12 seconds faster. Never again.

Overall

The decision to eschew an auto-clutch and dog-gear mechanism in the Meguminshi proved to be a costly one in an otherwise competitive package. Struggling with twice as many tasks to coordinate, drivers struggled to hit the pace of cars from the previous decade.

Yeah, so, um. I did say I wasn’t gonna bin based on a single part selection alone, but it’s a gamble to use a transmission type that no real WRC car in that era used, especially when every single other submission clearly got the memo. With the kind of outputs we’re dealing with, rallying is a constant negotiation of trajectory and that means a LOT of inputs, a lot of left foot brake, a lot of handbrake. Coming out of corners onto a straight rally cars frequently go from first through to sixth in the span of about six seconds. That’s just not practical with a manual transmission, so by that logic, that kind of car would simply not be competitive in real competition. Again this hurts coz this car was a real looker.


Stay tuned tomorrow for more hammer of doom!


#295

Oh, I saw it coming from a long distance
I really sucks in engineering
Btw, Tupi is one of the biggest and oldest indian tribes that lives here in Brasil, and Tupã, that was meant to be the name of the car, But ~ dont let me, is their strongest god
And im very happy to have made a “striking” livery and a decent but-not-too-much car


#296

oof

My gearbox gamble for the lightness didn’t pay off (I’ve chosen that due to difficulties in Beam for the realistic)
Welp, it became lore as Meguminshi struggle with the old gearbox until 3rd round of the championship (hence the name of Explosion IV.5) which received state of the art sequential gearbox from “Gedank X-Coupler”.

After I’ve switched to sequential, now showing its true potential.


#298

Curse you darn scrutineers! And I would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!

goddammit why am I so dumb and thought that the rule was only one wing on the rear but nothing against one on the front

Did I make it too soft or something? I did have some issues with the jump after the first hairpin (the one after the long straight)

Wait what where did I go wrong


#299

I’ll include the pace notes when I get home!


#300

this is making me more nervous than if I was the actual owner of a company that was on the verge of bankruptcy if they failed this…
I worry that my brakes are ridiculously strong…and since I threw on ABS at the last minute to try and see if it would fix the brake lock at about 1% press…I don’t know if it would work


#301

The No Cigars :no_smoking:

These are the cars that made it past the paddock, past the staging area, but just didn’t work for some reason or other or just every reason in general, and therefore won’t feature in our 2001 WRC sim.

A BRAVE ATTEMPT BUT NOT JUST NOT PRETTY BUT ALSO PRETTY TERRIBLE AT BEING A RALLY CAR

@Ludvig 2001 Batz Breton Mk4

Style

Ow my eyes. What appears to be a taxi emblazoned in Brazilian colours is now seared into my retinas. The base car was already a mash of misproportioned features, and the rally car continues the trend with awkwardly stretched decals. I won’t be forgetting this in a hurry! I did award a bonus point for the choice of a wagon though, props. Hope I don’t bash the tailgate into a wall though!

Engineering

The Batz Breton WRC has a really impressive engine tune. Not only does an i5 work but it works fantastically, with a massive powerband and massive amounts of torque. Bonus points for this for sure. The rest of the car is quite solid, with parts that won’t break the bank, and decent choices though the suspension is probably a touch delicate and tuned a touch stiff for the ride height, and the brakes a bit powerful. Given its dimensions I’m going to have to be careful.

Driving

As foretold, the long overhang made things quite tricky. The higher ride height and the stiffer suspension was barely enough to avoid crunching the bumpers over bumps and jumps, but caused sluggish response exacerbated by the fact that more of the weight was at each end of the car. After wondering why the front end felt so heavy, a review of the specs revealed the engine was a good 40kg heavier than average. No wonder driving the stage felt like trying to wield a double-ended mace. On stilts. Oh, and the gearing was a bit too long for rally spec.

Overall

It’s not that wagons were never featured in rally. It’s just that they were a brave choice, especially when they had long wheel bases and huge overhangs. Such was the challenge the Batz Breton faced, and despite a promising drivetrain, it never quite came together.

In short, just because something has a center of gravity somewhere near the middle doesn’t mean that it’s not really hard to drive if most of the weight is situated well away from said COG. That engine was a true chonk.

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE, TRACTION CONTROL DOES NOTHING FOR SEASICKNESS

@TheTechnoVampire 2001 Voltan Roundabout

Style

A model produced late on the popular hatch platform, the oddly named Voltan Roundabout brought plenty of attitude and vroom to the hot hatch segment with its angry lights. ALKLIA kicked it up a notch with eye-searing flourescent accents sure to catch one’s eye even after the white paint was stained with mud.

Engineering

As a more modern model the rally car continued the trend with fancy doodads like TC and ABS and a rear-biased diff… which was not active, strangely enough. Perhaps the team had engineering budget allocated elsewhere. The brakes on the other hand, had more bite than a hydraulic press. The engine was plenty reliable, but the ALKLIA had to pray hard that the ABS didn’t fail.

Driving

Like a first-timer on a superbike, the Voltan lurched back and forth: first back over the bumps in the gravel, then forward on braking. The ABS came in handy in exactly one circumstance: on absolute straights with flat surfaces. Elsewhere it was a mess, and despite being a match on paper, the slower time in the shakedown showed.

Overall

The Voltan Roundabout came with many bells and whistles abound, but with the parts not well matched, it was a fickle beast whose true talents always lay out of reach of the driver. Solidly reliable, the bane of its campaign was the frequent crashes caused by the impossible handling under braking.

It was pretty competitive right up until the point I couldn’t drive it for shit. As implied this was a rare case of the suspension being generally too soft. When the suspension is soft to the point of the braking being nigh uncontrollable and braking distance ballooning out that’s… too soft.

CHEESING SETTINGS TO MINMAX DOES NOT MAKE FOR A PLEASANT DRIVE OR A ROBUST BUILD

@donutsnail 2001 Turbol Pluma

Style

It’s not the prettiest thing on the planet, it’s clearly got the backing from at least one multibillion dollar corporation (I know these decals are spoofs but I should mention that the Book of Face did not actually exist in public until about 2008 haha. Didn’t deduct any points for this of course).

Engineering

At first I saw the service costs and was like holy crap how did you do this. Then I realised that the brake pads might melt on the second hard stop. That’s going to cause some big problems. Then I realised that brake issues seemed to happen on the cars with the best engines. Are you guys conspiring or something? Then I looked at the suspension… well, this is either going to be hilarious or it’s going to be utterly horrifying. I’ll see how it drives.

Driving

Thankfully, the brakes were large enough to avoid a meltdown. But remember how I said the suspension was gonna be either hilarious or a disaster. Sadly a bit more the latter. If the sway bars are so badly mismatched what you end up with is a really wallowly front and sluggish response, not to mention the low spring rates. As a result the car was easy to slide but impossible to actually steer, and most of it was guesswork. As you can see from the time, I’m pretty good at the “guess where the car’s going next” game, but if the suspension were sorted this would easily be vying for top spot.

Overall

The Turbol Plume had promise as a WRC car. Great engine with great speed, but unfortunately coupled to some of the worst handling in the paddock meant it was a complete crashfest with glimpses of brilliance.

I put a big spiel about sway bar setup and how the other suspension components link into that in the first judging post.

I’M DUMMY THICC AND THE CLAP OF MY ASS CHEEKS KEEPS BOUNCING INTO THE WALLS WHENEVER I SCANDANAVIAN FLICK

@DoctorNarfy 1996 Shromet Radiant

Style

The Shromet Radiant was a touch on the plain side and this trend remains unbroken in the rally trim. The livery, too, was a simple affair. Like this comment, because I think I’ve run out of things to say about it lmao.

Engineering

The parts list looked fairly standard for the field, with a few snags: the undertray, and the tune of the turbo were more suited to road racing than rally. And the rear brakes looked potentially a little underdone after taking into account the balance. But the biggest concern was that the engineers had gone ham on widening the track as far as possible. Surely that was more a road racing thing too?

Driving

As implied, the Shromet Radiant WRC was more of a roadgoing time-attack car than an out and out rally car. Wide and firmly planted, it was nimble on the road and accelerated like the blazes. On narrow, technical dirt sections, it felt quite out of place. Too wide to kick out hard, too jumpy to take most bumps flat out. And the ABS further tilted its bias towards the road. Its main saving grace was that it had such pace in open stretches it could more than make up for time lost in the narrow twisties.

Overall

Never quite fully equipped for the worst rally could throw at it, the Shromet Radiant WRC struggled on any stage that wasn’t mostly tarmac, but it was dominant on the blacktop. Eventually this trim became better known for its exploits in rallycross, hillclimb and time-attack than anything it achieved during its rallying days.

Yeah so a handful of people put significant amounts of offset on their bodywork. This was Edit: not the worst offender but it really felt very noticeable. On a short wheelbase that makes it quite a bit twitchier on bumps. It also occurs to me that the level of livery from some users could actually cause hardware issues in others. I don’t know whether that affected this entry which was relatively plain, but unfortunately there was not a huge amount I can do about that disparity, as the competition level was high.

NOT AS TORTUROUS AS OTHERS BUT A BIT UNPLEASANT TO DRIVE IN GENERAL

@player965347 2001 Vixen Vulpine DXR

Style

Not gonna lie, “Vixen Vulpine” makes me think of the redundancy in the name “Speed of Sound Sonic” from One Punch Man (“like what kind of a name is that” I hear Genos saying). This said nothing in particular about the design makes me think anything particularly foxy, not that this is a bad thing. The colours are a nice pick (reminiscient of a certain marque in the real season), else, there’s not much to say except it’s mostly neat and tidy.

Engineering

Average in most respects overall, with a respectable but not quite optimal boost profile, and slightly fancier more expensive parts. The big nose-wrinkler here would be the comparatively stiff sway bars and the extrame force on the brakes thanks to the high grade pads. This is gonna get bitey.

Driving

After a while of actively fighting the car to the point it was causing me physical pain, I backed off about 10% and banged in a decent time. This car doesn’t like to be thrown around at all, but it’s also jittery over bumps to boot. Even with the brake sensitivity turned down it’s a finnicky, unsociable thing. Now I understand the fox references.

Overall

Foxes are striking creatures that look great and make people think they’re really cool and nice and cute and all that, but don’t be fooled. In reality they’re untameable and probably smell bad. As a car, the Vixen Vulpine seemed like it should be alright on paper, but when push came to shove, it bared its fangs and refused to play nice.

While I haven’t checked, I really think this entry scored the median score on every aspect. Obviously that’s not going to win competitions, but that’s definitely how it did manage to score the median total too lol

IF ONLY I COULD JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER

@Xepy 2001 Kuma TD

Style

Nothing screams Japan more than a totally cute bear livery. Classy touches with subtlety in the boldness ensure that this will be an entry to remember. Top marks to add heat to the mildly spicy bodywork.

Engineering

As a relatively new technology, Direct Injection was not typical of rally cars. Nonetheless it is used here to great effect, with fantastical outputs. Hopefully this will make up for the rather tall first gear. Elsewhere, the choices were mostly solid with the exception of overpowered brakes, wide offset wheels and stiff dampers on a slightly mismatched spring rate. Would this serve to unsettle the handling?

Driving

So many foibles! As predicted, the long gearing made controlling with the throttle a chore, even needing a dose of clutch kick in the hairpins. The brakes were on a hair-trigger (even with ridiculous levels of output modulation), the tyres constantly locking up with anything but the lightest of touches. And the damper rate was too high, so the car bounced, and unevenly at that due to the mismatched spring rates. It could be quite a bit faster than this!

Overall

The Kuma TD had much promise, with advanced engine technology powering a superior engine without sacrificing much elsewhere. But finnicky tuning would be almost as much of a challenge for the team as the rigours of rallying itself.

Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck I was so annoyed, this was a genuinely good looking car with a good engine but all the little details added up and it handled like ass. Tweaking will probably gain a good 6-7 seconds

PROBABLY GOT LOST ON THE WAY TO VECTOR TANKS OR SOMETHING

@BF94387 2001 Alfrezza 360T-ZM

Style

The Alfrezza sedan had a longer wheelbase than most, making it an unusual choice of rally car. As if to compensate it also had one of the most striking designs on display, a bolder than bold Italian tricolore bursting out of the black paint.

Engineering

Straight out of the gate, the most striking of distinctive engineering shenanigans was the use of a V6. Absolutely ambitious, but also… producing far from optimal results. To make matters worse, the mismatched front and rear tyres made it twice as tricky to service in parc ferme. The brakes were markedly underdone, but it still came with ABS just to make stopping on loose surfaces harder lmao. And its low ride height threatened to make offroad driving even more interesting.

Driving

Due to the longer wheelbase and the compromises of using a V6, the Alfrezza was not the quickest or the best suited to rallying, but in a way, thanks to its less potent performance, it was comparatively easier to drive harder and therefore made for a more consistent candidate, deficits to the competition not as bad as expected.

Overall

A valiant effort from a base that seemed unsuitable from the get-go, the Alfrezza actually worked as a rally car, if barely. Its quirky characteristics and unique engine note soon won it a small cult following among fans as well as rookie drivers trying to master a cleaner style of rally racing.

This was the only car that didn’t use 215 wide front tyres. I suspect this was unintentional, but every little thing adds up. Not fast, but one of the easiest to drive, but also not quite right for inclusion in the top tier of competition.


So, uh, let’s just say if you haven’t been tagged yet and you entered, hooray, you made it to the final round!


#302

Hey, epic I’m in the finals!!!

It’s honestly really sad to see everyone’s cool creations get binned especially those with the liveries

Also strop I never knew you was dummy thicc :face_with_raised_eyebrow::face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#303

I can DM you photos if you ask nicely :kissing_heart:

^ disregard like hell I’m going to do that


#304

The V6 was an ambitious choice indeed - mainly because from a lore perspective, the Alfrezza engineers would rather chew on glass than put “one of those whipper-snipper four cylinders” in their beloved sports sedan.

Oh well, you live and learn - I may have to distance myself from the engineering part next time :joy:


#305

Thanks for the blurb on suspension tuning. I really struggled. I was afraid to make any further changes to my springs and dampers once I found a setting that didn’t feel like a pogo stick, so then I tried to fight the understeer I was getting testing on a controller with sway bar differential. Eventually I ran out of ideas and patience and decided maybe just wallowing in then powersliding out was just the way Automation rally cars corner in Beam.


#306

shame to see cars get binned when people have spent so long on the designs, also shocked my car is through as i have trouble driving in beam with only a xbox pad


#307

I don’t have the space to setup my wheel and didn’t want the hassle of choppin g back and forth with a controller, so I only set it on the offroad preset.

I’m also not the best driver either IRL or in Beam, so not entirely sure how soft I should’ve made the suspension.