Hands on with Automobilista 2’s Racin’ USA Pack Pt 2 DLC
I’m absolutely in love with the Formula USA Gen2 cars that were released this past weekend on Automobilista 2. More specifically, I’m in love with the Reynard 98i Mercedes, that light blue No. 99 with the Greg Moore / Forsythe Racing-esque ‘Playhard’ livery (Red gloves rule, by the way. Rest in peace, Greg). The new Racin’ USA Pack pt 2 introduces the 1998 Champ Car from the CART open wheel racing series.
This pack also comes with the Swift 009c & Lola T98 cars from the same CART generation. Reynard 98i’s can be found in Mercedes, Ford, Toyota or Honda powered variants. The Swift 009c and Lola T98 both come with Ford under the hood. There are a ton of liveries that are very similar to the schemes of that 1998 CART generation to choose from.
On top of all of that, there are two new tracks in the game – Cleveland Burke Lakefront Road Course (aka the Cleveland Airport) and Watkins Glen Int’l. While Watkins Glen, my home track, is always a treat to take any type of vehicle on, Cleveland’s airport track is one of my favorites of all time, stemming back to the countless hours I spent on CART World Series.
While there is more to this DLC pack than what was released already, I’m pretty satisfied with what’s included already. The Racin’ USA Pack pt 2 will also introduce the Road America road course. There will also be two other historical open wheeled Champ Car and IndyCar machines, the Gen1 featuring Reynard 95i & Lola T95 and the Gen3 featuring Reynard 2Ki & Lola B2K/00. These are all expected later this month. The nostalgia is heavy just on that knowledge alone, but these cars also drive like a dream on the new, updated AMS2 physics.
HANDS ON WITH THE CHAMP CARS
These Champ Cars from 1998 are just incredible, and I’d say I’d have spent my money well on these alone. The sounds are high-pitched and mean. Putting the power down is usually fine, but sometimes you’ll get that slip on the Firestone tires to demonstrate all of that 868 HP that these cars are putting out.
There is definitely a fine line to driving these, especially on the start of a run with colder tires. Once the tires warm up, the car definitely can rip it around on a smoother surface like Watkins Glen. At Cleveland, there are plenty of bumps that will throw the car for a fit if you don’t plan accordingly.
Using a Fanatec Clubsport V2.5 wheel base with the inverted V3 pedals, I really felt an incredible amount of feedback that I hadn’t felt on AMS2 before. The Force Feedback was reworked in the new build, and I can definitely feel the improvements on this new car. Rumble strips are fun to corner off of, shifting gears up and down is a delight, and out-braking opponents into corners is superbly satisfying.
I took these cars to a couple of different circuits I was familiar with first, including the Jacarepagua oval track despite the current road package and configuration on these cars. Like I said before, ovals and oval configurations are both coming in Racin’ USA Pack pt3, but still, these cars were very fun to take in a bit of a circle.
NEW CARS ON THE NEW TRACKS
Once I was comfortable, I went to Cleveland where the familiarity of the track started to rush back into my memories. The version from my childhood definitely had more boundaries and barriers, but the possibility of pushing it past the limit with less of an impact and more grass instead was welcomed. Getting in the grass was likely just as much of a time penalty, however, as these cars don’t like non-paved areas.
Watkins Glen was an absolute thrill in the new cars. Going flat out up the esses, flinging the car around the bus stop, and just driving as deep as I could into every corner was fun as anything. The AI might need a little bit of an update though, as they did have random braking and slowing points on both tracks, especially in the bus stop at WGI. Regardless, once the tires got worn in, it was such a fun time.
I plan to make a custom offline championship with these cars and a collection of tracks very soon. When oval stuff comes in the next DLC pack, AMS2 might just be my full time fun time in the sim racing sphere. I’ll eventually figure out making a custom roster with the real names from the time, as that is also a new feature in the latest build.
I highly recommend giving these a go if you’ve ever enjoy mid-to-late nineties American Open Wheel racing. I’m interested to see how the 1995 and 2000-era cars handle, hopefully those drop fairly soon. I’ve got the V126.96.36.199 changelog included below from the latest update. Let us know what you think about these cars in the comments below.
Automobilista V188.8.131.52 Changelog
- Added Cleveland Burke Lakefront airport circuit (part of the Racin´ USA Pt2 DLC pack)
- Added Watkins Glen International (4 layouts) (part of the Racin´ USA Pt2 DLC pack)
- Added Reynard 98i, Swift 009C, Lola T98 to Formula USA Gen2 class (part of the Racin´ USA Pt2 DLC pack)
- Optimized FFB/custom script performance
- Further revisions to shadow cascading parameters
- Revised AI suspension rates to minimise some cars appearing to “jitter” in online races (as prediction netcode for human opponents in Multiplayer uses those same AI parameters)
- Fixed selection issues in Custom AI grids feature
- Further adjustments to shadow cascading parameters
UI & HUD
- Added engine displacement, weight distribution, wheelbase specs to vehicle browser and loading screen
- Added driver flag to pre/post session leaderboards
- Fixed online rating regulations options being visible in single player.
- Fixed stretched fuel icon on session overview screen
- Adjusted mouse activation zones on monitor screen
- Fixed stretched flag textures on nationality selection screen
- Fixed aspect ratio of loading screen vehicle render
- Updated credits list
PHYSICS & AI
- Minor tire tread revisions to GTE, GT3, F-V10 G1, F-V10 G2, F-Reiza, Super V8
- Revised rain tires for all classes; Increased slick dropoff in wet for GT cars
- Further fine-tuning for ABS system
- F-Trainer AI Calibration pass
- Revised rain tires; Increased slick dropoff in wet for GT cars
- Added wet & hard compounds for F-USA G2; medium & revised hard for F-ultimate
- Adjusted helper spring rates for Porsches Cup, GT3-R & RSR GTE
- Updated SuperV8 suspension (reducing sprung mass), revised splitter aero
- Revised AI suspension parameters should minimise issues with AI potentially rolling or bouncing off high curbs on some tracks
Quick Hotfix Changelog (4th Dec):
- Added F-USA Gen2 to Formula vehicle filter: Fixed F-USA Gen2 being incorrectly sorted in non-English languages
- Corrected engine specs for F-USA cars in vehicle info
- Adjusted tire wear rates for F-USA, F-V10 Gen1 & F-Ultimate tires
- Slightly reduced ideal opearing window for F-USA tires
- Adjusted AI suspension rates for Cadillac DPi, F-Ultimate, P1, GTE, GT3, GT4 class cars to minimise issues when running over curbs
- Updated F-USA onboard sounds
- Watkins Glen: Reworked marshal huts, added tall watchtowers, updated trackside cameras
- Added cockpit antenna vibration to Swift 009c