Motorsport Games and Studio 397 have announced that the Long Beach Grand Prix Street Circuit is coming to rFactor 2 on the 21st of February as part of the Q1 2023 content update.
Looking at the preview video, it is safe to say that the rF2 development team has created a beautiful and highly detailed laser-scanned version of the popular American street circuit. It might even be one of the best looking rFactor 2 tracks to date.
The current Long Beach race circuit is a 1.968-mile (3.167 km) temporary road course through the city streets of Long Beach surrounding the Convention Center situated on the Long Beach waterfront.
In 1975, the Long Beach street course was the venue for the Formula 5000 race. From 1976 until 1983, the track hosted the US GP for the Formula 1 Championship. From 1984 to 2008, the venue welcomed a yearly round of the CART/Champ Car Championship.
From 2009 to the present day, the Verizon IndyCar Series organizes the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Other popular events during the Grand Prix week include a Pirelli World Challenge race, an IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, and the Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge. In 2015 and 2016, the FIA Formula-E races were held at a modified 1.305 miles / 2.100 km version of the Long Beach Grand Prix track.
Long Beach is also a famous venue when it comes to Sportscar Racing. The Street circuit hosted the IMSA GT Championship in 1990 and 1991. From 2007 until 2013 the American Le Mans Series had its annual race, and currently, Long Beach is the venue for one of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races.
Official Webpage – www.studio-397.com – The rFactor 2 Racing Simulator is available via Steam for €29,99.
Studio 397 Quote:
The first corner here at Long Beach isn’t really a corner at all, more a high-speed kink that most cars are able to take at full throttle without too much difficulty. Although exceptionally fast, what makes this particular corner a little more daunting than appears on paper is the rough road surface at this circuit – rest too easy through this section, or find yourself too far wide of the ideal line, then potentially you could be heading straight for those unforgiving concrete walls and into early retirement.
Exceptionally fast with some fierce braking zones and a bumpy surface, the second turn here at Long Beach is a perfect example of what drivers can come to expect as they navigate around this challenging course. Approached at top speed and braking under heavy load on an uneven surface, here you must be careful not to stray over the pit exit lines and attract a penalty, all while trying to minimize potential front locking as you hustle the front of the car reluctantly into the apex and out through the corner on the approach into the fountain section.
T3 / T4
A famed section of corners as we navigate around the centerpiece of this iconic street circuit – the famous Long Beach fountain. Not the typical roadside furniture one expects of a modern racetrack, the fountain is an undeniable visual highlight of this venue, and for the driver, presents yet another opportunity to earn an advantage, or lose precious tenths (or maybe some bodywork), on this unforgiving piece of road. Having accelerated up from Toyota, the circuit here narrows rapidly as you thread the needle between the flowerbeds and raised curbing – inviting aggressive use of curbs and skimming of walls, the best drivers here exercise patience and precision for the greatest rewards.
Turn 5 is another unusual corner for a street circuit, as here the circuit begins to widen noticeably, inviting drivers to approach this right-hand corner with a lot more speed than you would initially expect – with that extra speed comes added responsibility, as the potential for disaster remains incredibly high thanks to the ever-looming threat of the outer retaining walls.
Potentially, drivers can be aggressive on the temporary apex curbing here for additional lap time and to buy more space to run out into on the corner exit, however, you will need a compliant car and plenty of bravery to extract the absolute ultimate amount of time from this corner on any given lap.
Very similar in nature to the previous corner – wide, surprisingly slow, and slightly risky, turn 6 is perhaps a shade more important to lap time than most, thanks to the moderate straight that immediately follows. Off camber for additional jeopardy, the best drivers here will concentrate on using the full width of the road to extend the corner and get on the power earlier, with that additional speed carrying you all the way down the next section of the track before getting hard on the brakes and down the gears into T7. Fancy being extra brave? Use those inside curbs aggressively, and the reward can be felt when transferring earlier to the throttle. Get it wrong, say hello to the retaining wall faster than you can say ‘understeer’!
T7 – Tecate Turn
This corner is absolutely critical to get right for a strong lap here at Long Beach. With this circuit offering a healthy mix of slow and fast sections, T7 presents a fantastic opportunity for drivers to grab as much speed onto the long back stretch up into the kink of 8 and tight right of 9. Get the exit right here, and sit back as you bask in the glory of free lap time all the way down the long following straight.
T8 – Pine Avenue
Not much to report corner-wise here, as we are pretty much flat through the light kink, giving us a short breather to enjoy so of the epic scenery throughout this stunning circuit.
Get this right at all costs! If you don’t have time to really get under the skin of what makes a good lap at Long Beach, then the least you can do is focus your efforts on this vitally important corner. Here at 9, a good entry and, more importantly, exit, are key to taking home a fast lap time when you cross the start and finish straight further down the lap. Why is this one so important? Simply put, any speed you win through this turn will be carried all the way down the long, long backstretch, offering you both lap time in time attack mode, and also a great opportunity to close in and eventually pass a rival during a race session.
T10 – Firestone Turn
Things that go fast eventually have to stop, right? Well, as we approach Firestone Turn this is where you will once again be tested on not only your braking ability but also your throttle accuracy as getting through and out of this corner can be a real test of skill and car balance. As is par for the course on this track, the road surface is exceptionally bumpy here, and drivers are able to carry significant speed through the corner, but be aware, cars are highly prone to understeer on exit here, and at best that will lead to corrective action, at worse, kiss the barriers and head straight to the pit lane to tell your crew chief all about why the wheels don’t point the right direction…
T10 – Indy Left
Beautiful. Frustrating. Easy. Hard. All of the above and more. Indy Left should be a very easy double apex left-hand turn, however, this part of the lap requires the driver to ask multiple things of the car underneath them. Firstly, you need to get turned in not once, but twice, all while scrubbing off speed and lock, before positioning the car ready to swing through the very difficult, tight, and critical final corner. A turn of multiple lines of attack, it’s just a matter of both picking the right one and making sure you have more than half an eye on what is still to come.
The last corner is about as fun as eating ice cream in the face of the sun wearing a crisp white shirt. Tight, slow, awkward, and frustratingly difficult to judge just right, expect to get this one wrong more often than not… and pay the price all the way down Shoreline Drive to end the current lap, and start the next one.
The final blast of acceleration to the line and beyond, keep it tight here, start too wide and you’ll find that wall gets real big, real quick!