Carmen Park

Oberhochstadt, GER


Category Fictionals
Type Road Course
Configuration 18 Turns
Max Field 43
Length 2.614 Miles
Track Record(s) PTA - Alexander Marx 76.398
Cup - Alexander Marx 80.25
NR2K3 Track Author Computer Aided Racing e.V.

Carmen Park

Click here for a numbered view

Notes:

Nice 8-Page PDF document with this track. It I would have seen it earlier I probably wouldn't have created a diagram of this track.

Revisiting An Old Friend

For some reason this track seems to get overlooked when people talk about their favorites. Which is a shame because this course may be one of the best designed and detailed roadies that you'll ever find and may be my alltime favorite NR03 tracks. It's more real than many of the NR03 tracks that masquerade as real. Maybe it puts some people off since it is NOT an arcade experience. This track is a handful. This track has bumps and twists that force you to find the ideal driving line (which is not necessarily the "cheat line" that the raceline gives you). It's easy to overdrive sections, it's easy to upset your car. And the AI are tough. I'm thinking maybe too tough in some respects. I drove a lot of laps on my recent "revisit" and when I finally cranked out a sub-1:20 lap I decided I was ready. It turns out that the AI treat me a lot more agreeably at 95% than 100%. To tell the truth I love driving it and hotlapping but it's tough getting a good race--the AI just seem to always be on the edge and the wrecks are not always caused by me anymore.

So I Played Around...

I don't want to quit on this track just because the AI don't race the way I want to race. I don't want them to be slower, just nicer. I don't like feeling out of control unless it's giving me better laps. I didn't see anything obvious in the Track INI that would contribute to the over-aggressiveness that I felt I was experiencing; on the contrary it looked like the AI were being toned down. I looked at the LP lines and tried replacing the Raceline with Race at one point but just became more confused--the LP seems to indicate excessive braking at many points and I couldn't even achieve decent laps while trying to drive it. One thing I noticed was that the race LP frequently went outside of the Minrace and Maxrace LP's--as if the Race LP was actually too good. And I think that may be possible--this track was tested and put together by some of the better RC drivers in the NR community. My thinking is that the wandering Race LP may actually be squeezing the racing width at portions causing the AI to race too close together (that's only one theory that I haven't proven). So one thing I'm experimenting with is new max and min race LP's. Another area I'm looking at is the way the AI close extremely rapid in the braking zones but can be overtaken many times somewhat easily on the straights. Playing with the INI file has helped somewhat I think but it's such a subjective thing when it comes to what is actually working. So I'm getting some raw numbers to go with my "gut feeling" and I'll see what it yields.

Possibilities

I suspect that there are those who experience rather severe FPS hits at this track. I may play with taking out the JumboTrons (yes, plural) to see if it helps although it hasn't been a problem for me. The nice thing that this collective trackmaker did was offer it to the community and basically say "Do whatever you want with it". Refreshing. No "This is mine so don't mess with it or borrow it or we'll C & D yer ass". No pomposity. I respect this approach much more than the self-aggrandizing that sometimes goes on with ones' prize creation. I think there are many who are much more willing to help an individual if he's not all caught up in ownership. The truth will always win out in the long run anyway. I salute those who worked together on this magnificent feat of engineering design.

BTW And FWIW

Fernando Rees, the F1 driver has the best laptime for this track at NR Rank. There are usually some record laps that I'll throw out because of dubious authenticity. But in this case (1:15.563) I'll just say "He's probably that good". My best time of 1:17.629 ranks 8th internationally. But I was driving it constantly when I posted that time. When I haven't been here for awhile it takes some doing to crack the 1:19 mark.