If you followed the dramas from this year’s iRacing 24 Hours of Spa, you’ve probably heard the term ‘grass dipping’ or ‘tire dipping’ at some point over the last few weeks.
Many of the top teams in RaceSpot’s broadcasted top split of the event were seen using the grass to effectively get an advantage which would include benefits from cooler tire temperatures.
It looked dumb. Some teams like URANO eSports even went as far to withdraw from the event, tweeting out that they “didn’t want to make use of an exploit in the sim that makes you at least five tenths per lap faster.” Our friend Dave Cam even put this to the test, expressing his displeasure in the exploit.
It was enough of an issue that iRacing President Tony Gardner took to the forums to address it. “We obviously know about the tire dipping exploit (putting two tires in the cooler grass to cool tires) that was used by some drivers to purposely manipulate tire temperatures to increase lap times,” Gardner wrote.
“This is not something that is typically done in the real world for a number of reasons and nor should you be able to do it on iRacing, no excuses.”
On Friday (5th August 2022), iRacing finally acted, releasing Season 3 Patch 3 Hotfix 1. However, not much more was said other than the fix was put out to address the recent tire temperatures exploit using grass, per iRacing Associate Producer Alex Gustafson.
Here’s the Hotfix notes:
- Tire conditioning properties have been updated.
iRacing Associate Producer Greg West went further in a separate forum post linked to the original patch notes post later on in the morning. “Our team is happy to say that we have identified the underlying catalyst that allowed for the tire dipping exploit to provide an advantage for those who chose to drive in that manner,” West wrote.
So that’s it, right? iRacers shouldn’t be able to touch grass and go fast anymore, right? It’s fairly vague as to exactly what was fixed besides the part about tire rubber conditioning. Regardless though, I’m sure that it’s clear that this is against the Sporting Code and exploitation of it will be a penalty in the future.
Hopefully this is the last we hear about grass or tire dipping. West also wrote that this particular issue has led to improvement in other areas of the sim. The iRacing dev team has “pursued additional improvements to the sim that were made possible through these conversations.”
What those additional improvements are, we’ll have wait to see about. We’ll also await if iRacing will address restart protocol in these improvements…
Keeping my thoughts out to my friends at iRacing. I can’t imagine any of this is any fun to deal with.