Thursday, March 24, 2011

Série Internationale Du Mans (International Le Mans Series)

John Marine | 3/24/2011 06:59:00 PM |
Big time sportscar racing comes your way in a stylish package featuring some of the most recent GT and prototype cars in the Série Internationale Du Mans (or International Le Mans Series) mod. Many different cars are featured in this mod. You can race a variety of cars in this mod. As of the date of this blog post, the latest version is Version 2.78, and only a public version of SIDM is offered. The mod was a lot reminiscent of what I had seen posted previously by a French modding team called EnduRacers. The Série Internationale Du Mans mod was made by the Carpe Noctem Design Group (CNDG). This blog post is a little look at the Série Internationale Du Mans mod.



Early Thoughts.

First of all, I had downloaded this mod previously (before I upgraded my PC's RAM). I hated that I couldn't yet race the prototypes, and the mod ran slow. So I deleted it from my computer.

Then on YouTube, one of my YouTube friends shown me two videos where he was racing two different versions of Sebring International Raceway. One was in an Acura LMP while another was in the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. That re-kindled my interest in downloading the Série Internationale Du Mans mod.
UPDATE (MAR 25 2011) The mod I'm talking about with the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP is part of a much different mod from EnduRacers called the EnduRacers Endurance Series.

This time, I actually gave this mod a second chance and a second look. Let me tell you- it is BRILLIANT! The issue of frame rate was resolved in the 2.77 update. I normally set my version of rFactor to always auto-adjust graphics settings to maintain a frame rate of 30 FPS. This doesn't seem to be too much of a problem for my PC. I can, however, put on 16 cars to a track. Normally, I try to have as many as 20 cars to a track for all mods I have. I have put on a maximum of 16 for this mod. Haven't yet tried 20.


Brief Overview.

The car you start off with is a blue Corvette C6.R. That's no problem for me because blue is my favorite color. The modifications to dress up your car are free for the most part. You can change the wheels, modify the steering wheel, add endurance racing packages, and add some Force Feedback settings.

I did some test laps in my Corvette C6.R around a few tracks and against other cars. I raced around Montreal (Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve) and clocked a lap of about 1:42 around the track. My confidence was growing that I could run better laps in this car around Montreal. Later on, I clocked a lap time in the 1:38 range around Montreal. To continue my test lap sessions, I took my Corvette around the GP Short version of the Lienz circuit. I could muster lap times of about 1:04 early on. However, I felt the urge to complete laps below one minute- and I did: I pulled a 59-second lap!

The most exciting aspect of sportscar racing is in doing night racing. At one point, I did a test session with GT and prototype cars on the same track at once. The night test session was around Sebring. I set the session for 9:00 PM game time. The details were impressive for night racing. As the cars go by signs hanging overhead, you note the glare from the lights shine on the signs as you zoom under them. This is just a well-done mod.


Cars and Car Comparisons.

You start off with the Corvette C6.R, but you can purchase other GT cars for free with the mod. The mod The only other car in the LM-GT1 class is the Aston Martin DBR9. The LM-GT2 class features only the Ferrari F430 GT and the Porsche 997 GT3 RSR. You need experience before you can race with the prototypes. You need about 1900 experience points to race any of the LM-P2 machines, and some of the LM-P1 machines require about 4900 experience points. And unlike the GT cars, the prototypes cost credits. So it's almost like you need to pick a prototype that you can stick with and keep racing with. You are given about 2.5M Credits to start off with. Don't worry about this money just yet because you haven't the experience poitns needed to access the prototype ranks.

Prototypes consist of newer and fairly recent cars. Cars from the likes of Audi, Dome, MG-Lola, Acura, and Pescarolo all are part of the prototype ranks. The cars are all designed very beautifully. I've recently become fond of the Dome LMP cars on just this mod.

Each car has some realistic paintschemes and teams along with many fictional paintschemes. Each car also has a basic paintscheme style that has one or so base colors to each. The base Corvette you start off with has other solid-color variations you can choose from. They would make a great base for painting.

So how do the cars compare?

* Corvette C6.R (GT1)
The Corvettes are great racing machines for a reason. These are great-handling machines with sufficient acceleration and top speed. Its handling capabilities are exceptional.

* Aston Martin DBR9 (GT1)
The Aston Martins are pretty fast, but they are very twitchy to handle at speed. This is probably the car you want if you don't like Chevys.

* Ferrari F430 (GT2)
This car is very quick and handles quite well. However (and I don't know if it is my controller setup or anything), the Ferraris in their default setup can't stay on the road in a straight line, and they get unstable when braking. Again- I don't know if it is the default setup of the Ferraris or if there are controller issues, but the Ferraris can be tough to keep on the road and in a straight line. My own thought is that it's the default setup given to the Ferraris that makes them so tough to drive.

* Porsche 997 GT3 RSR (GT2)
You know something is wrong when a Ferrari fan like myself says that Porsches are better. Well, the Porsches are better. Porsches are the Old Reliable cars of sportscar racing. That's why you see so many of them in sportscar racing. They have great handling and performance. I didn't note these Porsches being too twitchy under braking from my playing of this mod.


In the future, if I do get to race the prototypes, I may update this blog post to include some of the many prototypes in this mod.


Review.

If you are any kind of sportscar racing fan, you need to download Série Internationale Du Mans. It is a MASSIVE download, though- the file I downloaded comes in at about 470 MB in size. It is worth the download, though. I think it was a two-hour download for me on a 54 Mbps broadband connection. Version 2.78 is a public version, but work is still ongoing to try to make a bigger version of this mod featuring many more kinds of cars.

I wish everyone behind Série Internationale Du Mans much luck in releasing more cars and making this impressive mod even better. I also hope I had the fire to design skins for cars. I used to paint up a few cars for Sports Car GT as it was easier. However, I never realy made anything for any rFactor car.


Video Preview.

I found one video on YouTube to showcase this mod at play. That is, until I found this video below. This is the best possible preview I can give you of this mod in its original form. The good stuff comes in after the 0:52 mark:



To learn more about Série Internationale Du Mans, or if you would like to download it for rFactor, please visit Série Internationale Du Mans on rfactorcentral.com.




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