Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Embracing Le Mans in Different Ways Possible

Due to how TL;DR the last 24 Hours of Le Mans article was (combined), this part, which was originally to be featured in the last post, was spared. This though isn't without a reason: there isn't just one experiment on replicating a Le Mans race, not even two, three or four, but LOTS OF THEM! Yup, the spirit of Le Mans lives on in these events that we just can't even move on from the French classic, even in top down games. Yes, waiting for another 365 days and moving on is hard, even harder than moving on from a hard relationship and waiting for another season of Orange is The New Black to binge on, if you have Netflix that is.

But the bright side is that 24 Hours of Le Mans is a race everyone wants to be engaged in, and a wide variety of media have facilitated such things, mainly video games since the days arcades were born. From the classic WEC Le Mans arcade game in the 1970s, to Sega's innovative gameplay of Le Mans 24 arcade game, and then swarming home consoles with titles such as Test Drive Le Mans (TWO versions) in the late 90s, Gran Turismo 4 within its infamous full-length Endurance Events hall race WITHOUT A MID-RACE SAVE in 2000s (but does have a day/night cycle in its sequels) and later Race Driver GRID where you are offered a chance to drive the event (which turns out to be 24 minutes long) at the end of every season. XBox-exclusive game Forza Motorsport apparently doesn't miss this chance in its recent installments also, and yes, I'm yet counting simulators like GTR2, rFactor and Project CARS (its "sim" status seems a little bit questionable somehow...) with user-made Circuit de la Sarthes and supporting endurance series mods. Outside of gaming scope, if you have quite a creative brain, you can have some artworks, GIFs or memes in the middle of the race, a series of "live artworks" of the race, or you can even have a stop motion Le Mans-style race.

As far as the video games scope is concerned, the 3D games (bar WEC Le Mans duh -_-) have all the joy and somehow not the top down games you all know, which translates to the 3Ds saying "you can't sit with us" to the top-downs, but is it so?


A hectic first lap in my own rendition of 24 Hours of Le Mans using Whiplash's LMP and GT cars and F1 Speed League's own Circuit de la Sarthe. Occasional familiar name drop can be seen in this picture.

Yet again, I did an Endurance racing experiment again on Turbo Sliders, this time with F1 Speed League's own Circuit de la Sarthe, with single-file start positions, in contrast to the two-file start positions in the last version I tried. While this version can guarantee a cleaner start, the lack of spacing is one of the problems I face on the track, it did its justice in cleaner start pace, especially while crossing the first chicane. Normally, in the previous version, crashes are more imminent due to its crowded nature.

Looking at this, I want to make sure that it's drivable with AIs full grid even with such a configuration. It turns out, fortunately, the track is A-OK; the track, even with the altered positions, works like usual without any weird things happening, and so I proceed to the next task: reconfiguring the cars. Having reconfigured Whiplash's Generic LMP and, later on, some of his GT cars to fit my preference, I took this chance to test out a series of races with those cars while testing the feasibilities of the track under such a condition. But then a storm of one big idea came: utilizing power79's Turbo Sliders Bots project. I did this with a purpose of how the project can handle the endurance race well.

For this project, the said race is two hours long, about 130-ish laps on the aforementioned track, which after some calculations resulted in putting exactly 136 laps to the actual race. As expected, the edited cars of Whiplash's are the stars of this race, which comprises of one LMP type and a bunch of LMGTs, putting Aston Martin, Corvette, Viper, Porsche and Ferrari to the race. The pit stop procedure also mirrors those found in endurance races, meaning that the time taken for tire changes will be longer than refueling. Damage repairs however take the longest time, though it depends on whether the drivers made several dents or not. The rest was a procedural talk between me and power79, but didn't I say that the race features several well-known stars too?

A bunch of TV and Movie character-driven LMPs and LMGTs travelling down Indianapolis.

The race, which took place on July 4, consisted of two sessions: a 3-lap, ghost mode qualifying without settings to determine the positions for the racers based on their fastest time, and the race which ended up being 136 laps long. Not to mention there are eight LMP cars and twelve GT cars on the grid for this race, all with their own base personalities and level changes for certain drivers in certain stints. Also in the race, there are some get togethers, especially in the first lap, some overtaking actions, and overlapping struggles. Amazingly, all cars finished the race, yet not without a plot twist where one car finally took the lead at the last minute, taking an advantage of the then leader's fuel stop.

Though even though I am happy with how everything turned out, I was very indecisive due to one thing: a race like this should've been made into a YouTube video, but the problem lies on the recording computer; my laptop is NOT a tool to record things because, you guessed it, it doesn't have the required specifications to do so, not to mention who would commentate on the race which of course requires multiple recordings to maximize the focus to the action (if only I could take Team Bombersports to do it...). Interesting to take note however that I was doing this for analysis purposes for the next race, which would take place on the same track, using the same cars but with different concept. I have already took to mind what to be done for the next race, for example the algorithm to allow the driver to ignore the minimum refueling percentage rule in the final lap, more skill changes to simulate multi-driver capabilities, yet another revision of the start positions, and so on.

Right now, enjoy the race in its raw, uncommentated glory, complete with both *.tsr recordings of the qualifying and race sessions, the required track and cars involved, and of course star-studded talents (As seen in the previous image above :p) contained within one zip here. Of course, you need to install Turbo Sliders first before opening this file and not to forget to put the additional contents to where they belong. If you have something to say about this recording, do drop some line here in the comments section :).

SL Le Mans 2015 - F1 Speed League's two-hour battle of wits. Seven participants took part in this race.

Slightly off-topic, you should also check out SL Le Mans 2015 too. This time, the race took place in a revised version of F1SL's Le Mans track, and used the 2014 LMP1s in place of 2015 LMP1s per their original plan. Seven players took part in the two-hour endurance race with all LMP1 cars (Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Rebellion) chosen by all players. Check out the race results here or you can check out complete information on testing session results too here. *.tsr recordings from all sessions are also available on the first link, but you will need the F1SL 2014 mod and a revised SL Le Mans track first before you can open it, available on one page here. But in case you want MORE of endurance, you're in luck: this is the first round of F1SL's new Speed League Endurance Championship, out of all five rounds. Check it out here, and don't hesitate to join if you're interested! You won't get the top-down Endurance racing experience anywhere else!


(Image: FIA WEC / Le Mans mod thread on MRO forums)

Also in the last post I showed you in the last post how cool would it be if MiniRacingOnline faithfully replicates a Le Mans race, complete with the FIA WEC on-screen display as seen on your screens and Vivndum's 2015 LMP1s and LMP2s. It turns out that the showcased mod in question also has its own thread, and to make it more interesting, Kotai also reveals that each mod will have its own physics, regulations and stuff!

While this isn't the only mod in the works (the other honorable mention should go to DerekE's NASCAR mod, now working in progress), the fact that these new features give MRO its equal footing to Turbo Sliders as far as variable physics are concerned. The following are new features originally written in Spanish and translated with the help of Google Translate and my decent level of roughly-translated English polishing:

[In future versions,] Different Mods will have:
  • Different physics and rules
  • An ability to remove certain setup configurations and/or parameters
  • Unique game musics and default bots
  •  An ability to filter cars and tracks from the year the mod uses
  •  Customized ranks

Granted that we will have various physics for different mods in the game, making it far more enjoyable than ever! The only bothering thing now is that *ahem* the GTEs. I mean, YOU CANNOT CALL IT LE MANS WITHOUT GTEs!  ('o')

But no worries, I guess Vivndum will make the GTEs some time. Hopefully we can get some sooner or later because apparently the game needs more Aston Martin Vantages, Ferrari F458 Italias, Porsche 911 RSRs and Chevrolet Corvette C7.Rs in all its GTE-spec glory. You may consider counting SRT Vipers as well.


Gzehoo's 2015 LMP1 pack for GeneRally, also making its appearance in the upcoming International Endurance Series this year. (Image: WEC LMP1 2015 car pack thread on GeneRally International Forums)

While this hasn't been started yet, GeneRally's International Endurance Series will roll its 2015 season shortly. Quite a few registered to this competition at the moment due to the fact that several other competitions, mainly the 2015 PGR Formula 1, is still running, and it seems that the competition activity in the community is a little bit lesser than last year. Apparently, several community members are pursuing their personal matters, but most of them are still active while others take temporary or to an extent permanent leave, but for the latter the numbers are still not much.

As you know, this season will consist of two categories like last year, but unlike last year where there are two classes in the form of LMP1 and GT, this year consists of LMP1 (Works Prototype) and OP1 (Open Prototype). LMP1 is a self-explanation class, but in OP1, it's the class aimed at first-timers but allows for custom designs with pre-selected engine choices of Audi, Porsche, Toyota and Nissan. Though the structure for the classes are left unchanged (LMP1 for competitors competing since the first season and previous season's lower-category winner, and OP1 for first-timers and veterans who didn't win), these categories allow for occasional equal footing, which means there can be a case where OP1s can win the race outright. Think GR Formula Cup meets Endurance Series.

As a Nissan fan of course, I would take Nissan at any day. The problem, if GRIF competitions are considered a canon in its own right, is that Team [R]GARAGE is still having a contract ties with Toyota since the recent season of GR Formula Cup and, being a Nissan fangirl, is torn whether to carry on for the IES or scratch the papers for Nissan at a cost of its Formula Cup entry. One thing's for sure, I will only compete as a constructor, not a driver. My mind can change faster than you readers can say "salsa verde" though, but it depends on whenever my condition allows me to drive one race or more or not.

Gzehoo, the competition's organizer, deserves a shout out here. Not only that he makes this competition, but he is also quite active in Turbo Sliders as well, being one of the competitors in the F1SL Le Mans and recently is making a 4K track project of Nürburgring which combines the GP configuration AND the proper Nordschleife. You can see how it looks like in motion here.


Hard work prevails; Jayson Fong, Australian artist and photographer, drew the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans despite unable to be present to the race in person. His live sketches have successfully put extra enjoyment to this year's race. (Image: Jayson Fong on Twitter)

Jayson Fong, an artist slash photographer hailing from Sydney, Australia, was just your normal talent, until we see his "live sketches" of this year's Le Mans race. Amidst the video game-ridden embraces of the 24-hour race, his vision on the race has put a different light and redefined the Le Mans embrace in itself. He was unable to be present to the race this year for some reason, but for this very reason he decided to draw the race instead donning the hashtag of #24forLM24.

It turns out that Jayson has come a very long way before his series of live sketches that colored this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans race. His achievements and awards include being a finalist in Red Bull Doodle Art Competition in 2010, and a two-time finalist of Australia's Top Emerging Photographers: Sports category since 2014. Recently, Toyota commissioned him to paint its FT-1 car at Goodwood Festival of Speed weeks ago. His clients also include Car Throttle, GTSpirit and Motorsport Magazine, to name a few.

I had to say I really enjoyed the artworks he made. He did an amazing job in conveying the race's outliners in drawings, but I enjoyed the Strakka Racing one the best (titled "It ain't over till it's over") because it doubles as a "live sketch" and a narrative, having the driver posing like that. There are of course other sketches that I also liked like "What Bonnet?" too because the colors black, red, white and yellow combine well and the artwork makes the GT-R LM look more badass even if it was flawed in the race. It's always a better idea to check out the complete gallery here, but if you really are dying to have your own copy of his drawing or two please do check out here.


A screengrab from Team Bombersports's Desktop Le Mans race.

A long time ago before this year's Le Mans race, I was searching for a Le Mans-themed stop motion racing. And then, Team Bombersports's Desktop Le Mans race popped out on my results page. Even after watching it once, my heart wanted to watch it again and again and again until I have taken the right action: SUBSCRIBING IT. Until then, lots of good stuffs were presented by the channel, including his take on Test Drive Le Mans (the Eutechnyx one) to an extent that he did a 2-hour race with MegaSmashTV, doing his take on GT Academy 2015 challenges as well as racing the 24 Minutes of Le Mans in Gran Turismo 6, and recently, the spiritual sequel to Desktop Le Mans entitled London Sportscar Trophy featuring more recent lineups of LMP1s, LMP2s and GTEs thanks to his crowdfunding campaign success at the very last minute.

The Desktop Le Mans race combines three things: first, it has an assorted grid of Le Mans cars which pits 2000s prototypes from the likes of Peugeot 908 HDI FAP, Pescarolo C60 and Aston Martin LMP1 against classics like GT1-homologated Toyota GT-ONE (TS020) and the Group C steed Sauber C9 plus a mix of GTs from the likes of Aston Martin, Corvette, Ferrari, Saleen and Pagani Zonda. Second, you can't miss the hilarious bits and pieces of commentary, especially the "commercials" presented. Last but not least, it is yet another tribute to Allan Simonsen. You can see his #97 car in this stop motion video, and witness how the very same car that was crashed in the 2013 race is fighting for the category win. Not to mention also, the Allan Simonsen Memorial Trophy everyone is racing for and the moment of silence in the first lap to honor the late Danish driver.

To be honest, not much Le Mans-styled stop motion races exist on the internet. Doing so requires a hefty amount of time and concentration to make sure that the stop motion race yields a good quality that can become a standard to the other stop motion makers out there, especially if the race is really long. Team Bombersports has came a long way, producing stop motion races of NASCAR and V8 Supercars, alongside the aforementioned Desktop Le Mans race. While we might not know what kind of course will be used for the LST, the channel has already published the actors for the race, including the new LMP1s and GTs on his Instagram, then introducing further the IMSA GTLM versions of Corvette C7.R and the legendary-liveried Viper GTS-R as well as movie royalty Jota Sport Zytek Z11SN which won the 2014 24 Hours of Le Mans race and, as its title implies, the main hero of the Journey To Le Mans documentary movie. I would skip my issues with the LMP1 and GTE grids and instead focusing on how he will manage the LMP2s. I would say Orecas and Ligiers can be a good mix, but if not or less possible a mix of older-generation LMP2s might do.

Looking back at his campaign page, it did state something about bringing John Hindhaugh's commentary in whenever the crowdfunding goal has been reached, and the good news is, Hindhaugh himself is willing to do so which means it's HYPE INTENSIFIES for you all, including myself! Still speaking on the campaign, I really wanted to chip in to the campaign, but unfortunately minimal knowledge on internet payment and financial difficulty that I faced has hindered me from doing so. Maybe if there's another crowdfunding campaign someday and that I have lots of money I can try to chip in, although only a mere one pound, looking at how cringe-worthy the exchange amount of Rupiah to Poundsterling is, for my level of finance at least.

Now you know that 24 Hours of Le Mans is not just about the race itself, but is a cult phenomenon that has been embraced not just in video games, but in art, be it an artistic sketch, digital drawing, or even motion graphics. It shows how the race itself has made a good impact to its fans, allowing them to express their love to Le Mans even further. The same way to video games and simulators, trying to make the most accurate rendition of the race despite having to face their limitations.

24 Hours of Le Mans isn't just a race; it is something that needs to breathe, live, and embrace for.


Update (July 31):  It seems that the race record's *.rar file missed LMGT Viper's pattern file which makes it unable to load the replay. It has been fixed, so you can re-download it now! (same link, thank you Brian Duddy!)


  1. How do you do TS races with AIs that do pitstops and such? I thought that wasn't possible...

    1. power79's Turbo Sliders Bots. It is still WIP but I asked him to do a race like this just to see how the project handles this kind of race. I wrote it earlier (

      You can also check out his thread on the TS forum at

    2. Oh, so it's not publically available yet?

      I get a "cars not available" error when I try to run the replay... I put the cars from the .zip into my Cars folder, so I don't know why...

    3. Blimey! I found out that I missed the Viper's pattern file. Will release the fix ASAP.

  2. The pack has been updated with the missing LMGT Viper *-pat file! Please re-download it, thank you! :)