Round 3 of the Project CARS Esports NVIDIA Challenger Series took our drivers across the globe, to New Zealand’s Ruapuna Park.
The short, two mile course at Ruapuna rewards smooth driving. The short-lap means than small mistakes can cost you a lot of time. Ruapuna is also a very flat circuit, with little elevation change to speak of, but don’t let that trick you into thinking it’s an easy place to drive. Many of the corners have wide apexes, encouraging drivers to experiment with different lines to find a route that suits their own driving style. Turn 1 is also a mighty challenge, forcing the drivers to negotiate a flat-out left kink just before a heavy braking zone, making it very easy to lock up the front tires and miss the corner completely.
To add to the challenge, the organisers selected the Ford Falcon FG for this event. Made famous in the Australian V8 Supercars series, the Falcon is a high-powered but heavy touring car. It has little to offer in terms of driver aids, and it loves to spin up its rear tires. This makes it a great fit for this Fixed Setup Series, because it makes for a real test of the the driver, rather than of engineering skill. With no way to dial-out this car’s unique handling through setup tweaks, all of the drivers had to use their feet, their hands and their senses to master this event. On with the results.