PC - AOR PC Endurance League S5 - Unwritten rules of Multi-class racing | ApexOnlineRacing.com

PC AOR PC Endurance League S5 - Unwritten rules of Multi-class racing


AndrexUK

2 times PC Project Cars 2 Champion
Staff member
AC Coordinator
May 6, 2015
5,692
5,528
This is going to be helpful for a lot of people, I hope. Some may already know these 'unwritten rules for mult-class racing', but making sure that everyone knows them will go a long way to improving the quality of the racing, the safety in lapping scenarios and reducing frustration when drivers are in and working through traffic. So even if you do a lot of multi-class racing or have done in the past, reading this guide may still be useful and possibly take something new from it.

- Accept that you're going to lose time!
This is probably the biggest and most important factor that you'll need to adopt as a driver, straight off the bat. Sometimes, if you're lucky or have timed it right, a pass will be done on the straight where both parties don't lose any time at all. But with the difference in performance from the cars across the 3 classes, you will frequently run into situations where a faster class car is going to come across a slower class car in and around a corner, or sequence of corners, and its going to cost both drivers time. The amount of time can vary from very little if drivers interact with each other correctly, or huge amounts of time if done poorly or the section of track doesn't facilitate safe passing.

At the end of the day, both parties need to keep calm and remain level headed, don't get frustrated and interact with each other in the most efficient way possible in order for both to not lose or lose as little time as possible.

- Slower class car, hold your line!
This is a big difference from standard racing which the drivers who are new to multi-class racing will need to pick up quickly; and that is the slowest class of car out of the two in a lapping situation, gets priority to the racing line. However in saying that, there will be situations where the slowest class car in the interaction will need to give up the racing line, as turning into the apex of a corner when the faster class car that is lapping you is already alongside you at the turn in point is going to result in disaster. However (again), this does not mean that faster class cars should dive bomb slower class cars into corners as risk of collision is high and even without contact, it will cause both drivers to lose more time.

If you're in a slower class car you are expected to hold the racing line through corners, but be prepared to hold your line in a situation where a faster class car is making a pass on you. If you're in a faster class car, it is down to you to go around the other car and make the pass safely. This leads quite nicely onto my next point...

- Show your intentions clearly.
This goes for both parties. For faster class cars you can do this by positioning your car in such a way that indicates to the other class car that you're planning/looking to make a pass, or by flashing your headlights in moderation with 1-3 flashes. The former will need to be done all the time anyway when trying to make a pass on the slower class car, but the flashing is usually best reserved as an indicator to the slower class car to say that "I am planning on passing you in the next corner / next available safe opportunity". Flashing just isn't necessary on the straights, and majority of the times its not needed either as some of the closing speeds can result in the slower class driver not even seeing the flash, especially if the faster class car is quite far back. Flashing can also potentially startle the slower class driver especially if they're inexperienced in multi-class racing and cause them to panic, potentially making a pass even more dangerous. What I'm generally trying to say with flashing lights is only use it when you REALLY need to, and use it to indicate more immediate lapping intentions to another driver.

For the slower class cars; you can again communicate to the faster class car with positioning and also the lights. If you're happy to concede and give up the corner to a faster class car approaching behind you, you can let them know with a flash of lights or a very short light tap of the brake before you both get to the braking zone. Don't forget that flashing lights also turn on and off the lights at the back of the car. If however you 100% do not want the faster class car to pass you into the next corner because you do not feel it is safe, position your car in a slightly defensive manner early enough to show them that you don't want them to pass you into the next turn. Please however do not do this through multiple corners into multiple braking zones or do this late / in the braking zone. It will only cost you time and serve to frustrate the other driver. You should only really be doing this if it is not safe to pass into the next turn, for example if you've recognized that a car has spun on track up ahead and going side by side is highly likely going to result in a bigger crash.

- Understand where and when it is safe.
This is something that will come more with experience, but thinking about where and when is best to pass, along with some scenarios here will help get some knowledge down of what to expect and will help you hit the ground running to make those passes safely. There will be scenarios on some tracks where a sequence of turns just will not facilitate the room for a safe pass. The beginning of the esses section at COTA for example where it quickly flicks left-right-left before the long right are just a no go for passing, even with the car performance difference across the classes. In these scenarios, it is best for the driver of the faster class car to tuck in behind and/or hang back, let the slower class car run their line through the sequence of turns and pass afterwards on the next straight or long sweeping corner which has a line wide enough for 2 cars.

You will also find the same where cars of the same class are bunched together. In these situations you should be even more cautious, and the faster class car probably shouldn't go for the move they typically would perform if it were just a single car. There might be a bit of space between cars, but its not always the best to take that space. Be prepared to lose time, and if you're ever in doubt, wait for the next straight! A bit more on this and some scenarios can be found further in the post.

- Be aware and be dynamic.
Awareness in multi-class racing is the key factor to being successful. There is plenty of features that allow you to increase your awareness of cars around you if you wish to use them, and using multiple often helps in keeping you out of trouble. Some are more gamey than others, some are more authentic. It is down to you to choose which ones you want to use, but having some is certainly going to be better than none. Having things like the relative board enabled(probably the most useful as you see the 3 cars in front and behind, irrespective of their lap or class, so it is a very powerful tool for multi-class racing and interacting in traffic), the spotter, track map, proximity arrows, rear view mirror or using 3rd party apps like the crew chief can all bring various levels of authenticity and improved racing awareness.

Then there is the added advantage of discord, where you're also able to call out to other drivers if necessary where to pass or where you're planning on passing, saying whether it is unsafe or not. Not everyone has a mic though and it can get pretty confusing with everyone saying 'pass left, pass right' every few seconds. Majority of the time therefore it isn't really necessary, but in some slightly more sticky situations where another car needs to be made aware of something such as a crash up ahead, it is a good idea to call it out and make it clear its not safe to pass. Likewise with pit entry and exit, its a good idea to call those out too as it is very easy to run into a situation where a slower class car needs to cross in front of a faster class car to get into the pits. Without that communication, it could quite easily result in disaster.

Also make sure to be dynamic. No two situations in a race are going to be the same. Be prepared to think on your feet a little, react and adapt to each situation. Having to do so is going to cost you more time than if both parties indicate to each other clear intentions and orchestrate them, but not being prepared at all and having to react is going to cost you even more time.

- Honor the blue flags when being lapped by the same class
When being lapped by a driver in the same class as yourself, you must obey the blue flags and make it easy for them to pass you.
As before, try to be predictable, and make it as clear as possible that you are letting them past.
Move off the racing line early enough (ideally on a straight), and make sure they are safely past before joining the racing line again.
If you do this on a straight, you will likely find you don't loose too much time on that lap, compared to taking an unusual line through a corner.
Also be aware, that there may be more than 1 car trying to pass you.
 
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AndrexUK

2 times PC Project Cars 2 Champion
Staff member
AC Coordinator
May 6, 2015
5,692
5,528
So below are the more common situations that you're going to be finding yourselves in, and this is generally the most efficient way to go about interacting in lapping situations. Of course each situation is different and there are going to be other scenarios, but these are the more common ones.

Straights (two main scenarios):
  • Slower class car holds the racing line, faster class car goes around the side with most space. 95% of the time.
  • Slower class car picks a side and stays there, faster class car goes around the side with most space. This usually happens in a scenario where the faster class car is already very close and clearly looking to one particular side. In this case the slower class car may have to give up their typical line to not cross over the front of the faster class car.
Slow - Medium speed corners (two places to pass):
  • Corner exit with the over-under or switchback: The safest method of passing in slow speed corners. Two cars are approaching the corner with the faster class car tucked in behind the slower class car. The faster class car is clearly not indicating a pass upon entry. Slower class car takes the racing line through and out the exit of the corner using the full width of the track. The faster class car tightens their exit and leaves at least a cars width on the exit of the corner to pass the slower class car under acceleration or on the next straight.
  • Corner Entry: The slowest class car should generally be the one making the decision of whether it is safe or not for the pass. If it is safe, it is best to facilitate and allow the pass to happen by sticking to the racing line approaching the corner and letting the faster class car pull out from behind to indicate an intent to pass under braking. If there is space behind the faster class car, it is generally better to brake early and fall in behind the faster class car at the apex and resume your normal racing line to minimize the time lost. If it is unsafe, indicate that you do not want a pass to happen by moving across towards the middle of the track slightly at the earliest opportunity, to indicate to the faster class driver to not pass into the next corner. The faster class car should take this and move back or remain on the racing line and behind the slower class car until corner exit or a hazard has been passed. The slower class car should then either hold their line if it is close to the braking zone, or if it is safe to do so retake the racing line with the faster class car holding behind, and proceed through the corner on the racing line as normal. The earlier the indication to not pass is done, the safer it is. Do not change lines in the braking zone!
High speed corners:
- There is one place to pass with high speed corners and that is through the middle of the high speed corner, with the faster class car passing on the outside. Do not pass on the entry or exit, and do not try to dive down the inside. The slower class car has priority to the racing line and often once they commit to the corner, it is very difficult for them to change their line. The higher class cars have the downforce and speed to go around the outside, but obviously the closer the speeds and performance of the car classes, the harder this is. The slower class car will need to ensure they hold a tight line through the corner and stay to the inside to ensure that the higher class car can pass as quickly and as safely as possible.

The longer two cars are next to each other, the more time you're going to lose. Having two cars side by side at the apex is going to compromise both drivers even more than 1 driver having to compromise either at the entry or the exit. Think about the type of car you're going to be passing, and the corner that you're passing in. At times it is beneficial to hang back in a corner or sequence of corners to give yourself more room and a better run up to carry the momentum through a pass. Sitting right under the rear wing of a GTE when you're in an LMPH into the braking zone of a slow speed corner, through the apex and then not having the room to accelerate on exit is going to cost you more time and momentum than giving yourself a couple of car lengths going into the braking zone and through the apex, to give yourself the run out of the corner. Typically the apex speeds of all 3 classes in the slow speed corners are going to be about the same, if not higher for the GTE's because of their mechanical grip. Think about that and use it to your advantage.


So hopefully this helps. Its a bit of a read, but if everyone can follow the above, keep a cool head and respect others out on track no matter the class, then you'll have some of the best, most intense and strategic racing you can find! And of course, feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have :)


Many thanks to @Yorkie065 for creating the large majority of the guide above!
Check out his Youtube channel for some fantastic content.
Having recently acted as Commentator for the IMSA season 1 league!
And other Multi-class racing / guides!
 
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BMW /// M-Power

GP2 1st Driver
Oct 8, 2018
410
297
Andrex, may you wanna add IN-class lapping rules (GTE lapping GTE for example) cause this definetly didnt work in last IMSA race in daytona!
 
  • Agree
Reactions: AndrexUK