The weekend of April 22 saw the first round of the 2016 NVIDIA Challenger Series - the new 'fixed setup' series in Project CARS.
Round 1 took place at Monza in the Bentley Continental GT3, in sync with the Blancpain Endurance Series, which hosted the latest round of its real-world GT Series at the same circuit.
Our virtual racers in Project CARS set record laps of 1:44.990 on PC, and 1:45.217 on console, an incredibly close match for the times set at the real track in the Blancpain Series.
Round 1 of the NVIDIA Challenger Series threw up some remarkable results, with a huge number of drivers being eliminated for cutting the inside of either the first or the second chicane on their fastest laps. This opened the door for some of our more conservative drivers to put some good points on the board in the first event of the year. In some cases, such as with Virtual Drivers by TX3, entire teams were guilty of cutting the circuit, often all at the same corner.
Slightly Mad Studios intends to be strict in its enforcement of the track limits rules this year, so it is important that all of the teams and drivers bear this in mind for future events in both the NVIDIA and Logitech G Series.
Team Shark Racing’s one-two-three gives it the early lead in the NCS team standings on console, with its bitter rivals, last year’s Driver Network Champions, SDL Motorsport in second. Despite not having a driver on the podium in Round 1, SDL still managed to get four drivers into the points, giving them a solid start to the 2016 NCS team championship on Console.
Over in the PC division, track limits were just as much of a factor. In fact, we didn’t have enough valid laps to complete a top 20 leaderboard for NCS Round 1 on PC. Only 16 drivers posted valid laps and scored points.