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Hands on with 2021 Phoenix Raceway | 2021 iRacing Season 4 Patch 3 notes

Hands on with 2021 Phoenix Raceway, 2021 iRacing Season 4 Patch 3 notes

In the 2021 iRacing Season 4 Patch 3, iRacing members who owned what used to be their current model of Phoenix Raceway were gifted a new model of the venue dated as a 2021 edition. While the 2012 version of Phoenix had its own share of fantastic visuals, the new track is just that much more incredible.

The new Phoenix Raceway on iRacing might be one of the most visually appealing tracks that I’ve ever driven on in any video game. Whether it’s the middle of the day, right at sunset, or in the pitch black night sky, iRacing definitely did a wonderful job with this track.

Hands on with 2021 Phoenix Raceway, 2021 iRacing Season 4 Patch 3 notes

Now, I’m not any sort of expert with the handling aspects of the track, but I do know that it feels very fun to whip a NASCAR Stock Car or an IndyCar around. The oval is considered a flat track, only getting up to 11 degrees of banking at the steepest points in Turns 3, 4 and the dogleg.

It is progressively banked and there are multiple grooves on which to race. The dogleg in particular is known for stock cars fanning out multiple cars wide as everyone looks for a path to get to the front as soon as possible. That section quickly shrinks before the new Turn 1, but the apron is still a viable lane with the right entrance and grip.

Hands on with 2021 Phoenix Raceway, 2021 iRacing Season 4 Patch 3 notes

You won’t see an open-wheel car cutting the dogleg or racing around on the apron, but the stock cars will try and find any piece of race-able pavement to stick a tire on. The old version of the track had the capability to damage your car slightly if you dove it in too deep on the dogleg. While the sparks can still occur, it should be a more seamless transition.

The way that the pit wall extrudes in the dogleg makes the line a little less effective than it was on the old track as well. Still, with momentum off of Turn 4, cutting down on the frontstretch section is a viable solution to attempt to gain time and positions.

Hands on with 2021 Phoenix Raceway, 2021 iRacing Season 4 Patch 3 notes

Back to the visuals, and man, does this track shine. The pavement looks spectacular, everything painted on the way it is supposed to be. The lighting is also fantastic at every time of day. One of my personal favorite times to take screenshots on iRacing comes when the sun is real low and you can get a great sunset photo.

The reflections on the track and the cars are also top notch. I really enjoyed finding some great spots to take photos on the new venue.

Hands on with 2021 Phoenix Raceway, 2021 iRacing Season 4 Patch 3 notes

One of the best parts about this track is the lights on the cactus at the Start/Finish line. In other games like NASCAR Heat 5 and NASCAR 21: Ignition, both with the latest version of Phoenix Raceway included, their cactus lights also shine green to signify the race is underway. While Ignition doesn’t just yet (maybe in a patch later on?) Heat 5 does correctly shine yellow when the caution has waved.

One of my biggest questions was if the cactus would light up a different color under a different racing period, and the answer is yes. Yellow lights when it’s a caution, no lights when it’s one lap to green, and bright green when the racing resumes. The cactus can also light up red during red flag periods, but no game currently has that capability.

We will get our first look at the new track during the first race of the eNASCAR Contender iRacing Series race next week. The final step of the Road To Pro ladder and they’ll be starting out with a brand new track to make setups work for in less than a week’s time.

The older venue was recently used in both splits of the eNASCAR Qualifying iRacing Series to end the season. The new track has a fantastic secret, though. For the first time on a paved NASCAR oval, iRacers can get into the infield just enough to park their racecars in the Phoenix Raceway victory lane.

Hopefully whoever wins on Tuesday starts a tradition of winning moments, and maybe iRacing can look into adding accessible victory lanes into their existing and future content.

As mentioned above, the new Phoenix came included in a patch update on Thursday 28th October. While the patch didn’t have too much else to it, there were a few other fun tidbits to find. Fans of the Dirt Sprint Car will have a new feel the next time they get in one of those. Parameters such as engine power, torque, tire and aerodynamics have been modified.

Also, there was an update for the NASCAR Cup Series cars regarding “aerodynamic shifting in draft”, which I can only hope makes the cars fun to race on superspeedways again. I’m not holding my breath, however.

The rest of the patch notes are below, including the full notes regarding Phoenix Raceway. Check out these other screenshots captured at the new Phoenix Raceway venue as well!

iRACING UI:

Home Page

  • The Season and Week display has been moved to the right side of the page.

Licenses

  • Clicking on your licenses at the top-right now opens the Licenses page.

Current Series

  • Fixed an issue where the icon for Road Course was incorrect.

Time Attack

  • Resolved an issue where registering for a Time Attack Session could cause an unexpected error to occur.

SIMULATION:

AI Racing

  • AI Racing is now available at Phoenix Raceway!
  • AI Drivers have improved their pitting skills at Rockingham Speedway.

Cameras

  • Fixed an issue where the focus depth decrease key-step could cause it to jump an inconsistent amount.

Spotter

  • Fixed a grammar issue about your gas.

CARS:

ARCA Menards Chevrolet Impala

  • iRacing setups have been updated.

Dirt Sprint Car

  • (ALL) – Engine power and torque have been increased.
  • (ALL) – Tire parameters have been adjusted slightly.
  • (ALL) – Aerodynamic parameters have been overhauled and improved.
  • – – These changes resolve a pitch sensitivity issue.
  • – – All wing sensitivities have been adjusted to better reflect real world setups.
  • – – Wing angle ranges have been adjusted.
  • (ALL) – Opponent vehicle settings have been adjusted to reduce the visual warping that could sometimes be seen.
  • (ALL) iRacing setups have been updated.

NASCAR Cup Series Class Cars

  • Aerodynamic shifting in draft at super speedways has been reduced, especially for oversteer.
  • iRacing setups have been updated.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Series Class Trucks

  • iRacing setups have been updated.

NASCAR Next Gen Series Class Cars

  • iRacing setups have been updated.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Class Cars

  • iRacing setups have been updated.

TRACKS:

Daytona International Speedway

  • Collision parameters for the tire island have been improved.

Hickory Motor Speedway

  • Track checkpoints have been updated to prevent course cutting.
  • Penalties for course cutting have been increased.

Hungaroring Circuit

  • Collision parameters for the tire bundle at pit entry have been improved.
  • Visibility settings for brake markers have been improved based on camera distances and graphics settings.

Lanier National Speedway

  • Visibility settings for a variety of objects have been improved based on camera distances and graphics settings.

Oran Park Raceway

  • A gain-time penalty has been added for leaving the race track and using the off-track road prior to the bridge.

Phoenix Raceway

  • NEW AND FULLY UPDATED TRACK!
  • – – Phoenix Raceway has been fully updated with brand new scan data fresh from 2021!
  • This 2021 version completely replaces the previous 2012 version.
  • – – The 2012 version has been retired with this deployment – only the 2021 version is now available.
  • – – All users who previously owned the 2012 version have been granted ownership of the 2021 version for free!
  • Opened in 1964, Phoenix Raceway was built with one thing in mind: becoming the home for open-wheel racing in the western half of the United States. It quickly accomplished that, hosting IndyCar races for more than 40 consecutive years and later adding the Copper World Classic for Silver Crown and midget cars in 1977. From there, it was only a matter of time until NASCAR brought the Cup Series there for the first time in 1988; Alan Kulwicki’s first career win came in that race, and he celebrated with the reverse “Polish Victory Lap” that many drivers still utilize today. The track also hosted the first-ever NASCAR Truck Series event in 1995. Through its history, Phoenix’s one-mile oval has always been defined by its asymmetrical turns and dogleg, which was implemented in part because of the natural terrain of the area. With different progressive banking at each end of the track as well, Phoenix is often a favorite track of drivers for the challenges that they face in setting up their cars and maximizing their performance. Although its backstretch dogleg already made it one of the most unique ovals in America, the track’s latest renovation, which was completed in October 2018, made it even more unique. The start-finish line was moved between the former Turn 2 and the dogleg, fundamentally changing how drivers would approach each lap, while the former frontstretch grandstand was removed in favor of expanding seating closer to the new start-finish line. The shift also led to a reconfiguration of pit road. This layout made its NASCAR Cup Series debut in November 2018, and began hosting NASCAR’s championship weekend with the 2020 season.
  • Add this brand new version of Phoenix Raceway to your digital landscape from the iRacing Store here: https://members.iracing.com/membersite/member/TrackDetail.do?trkid=418

Sebring International Raceway

  • (Club) – Pit stall locations have been adjusted slightly.

South Boston Speedway

  • Collision parameters for pit barrels have been improved.
  • Visibility settings for pit barrels have been improved based on camera distances and graphics settings.

Talladega Superspeedway

  • Closed a gap in the Turn 2 SAFER Barrier.

Weedsport Speedway

  • Visibility settings for a variety of objects have been improved based on camera distances and graphics settings.
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