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Motorsport

24 Sep 2020

V10 R-League: Does the sim series need damage to balance risk/reward?

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Turn damage on

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Why we should keep the status quo

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How to watch

The V10 R-League has been a raging success since its first round three weeks ago.

The unique format of the competition coupled with the competitiveness of the entire grid has created a perfect sim racing storm.

Perfection can always be improved upon though and we believe a small change to the settings used in the V10 R-League will improve the series' balance and immersion.

Turn damage on

This week's ties at the Nordschleife were the most entertaining we've seen yet. However, they also highlighted a potential issue with the settings used in the R-League.

NOW WATCH BELOW - NORDSCHLEIFE HIGHLIGHTS

There were a lot of incidents in Germany and some that would've ended with the cars sustaining substantial damage or even retiring from the race.

One of the few tweaks in the R-League is for damage to be turned off. This hadn't been too noticeable before Round 3, as contact had been limited.

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However, incidents like that between Smidl and Carroll made it obvious that damage isn't enabled in the R-League. The lack of damage in situations like these separates sim racing from the real world and that isn't necessarily a good thing.

Screenshot grs v10r ks nordschleife 15 9 120 14 31 2 min

COOL BUT UNREALISTIC: Some crashes went unpunished in this week's race

The point of simulation racing is for it to be as realistic as possible while having the real-life danger removed. This means that drivers make moves that they probably wouldn't try if they were racing physical cars.

The fact that there's no damage enabled exacerbates this issue. The driver behind (especially in a head-to-head or relay race) would have nothing to lose if they make contact with their rival going into the final braking zone.

These are professional esports drivers, but this tactic isn't below them, as it's relatively sound. If the move doesn't work out or they pick up a penalty it doesn't matter, as they wouldn't have won anyway.

Why we should keep the status quo

This is far from a one-sided debate though and there are numerous reasons why the organisers of the R-League shouldn't change the damage settings for next season.

Screenshot grs v10r ks brands hatch 10 9 120 15 49 16 min

WHEEL-TO-WHEEL ACTION: The R-League has been amazing to watch

The proverb "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" definitely applies here. It's not an exaggeration to say this series has been a roaring success, why change that?

If damage is enabled, we could get scenarios where an innocent driver has to complete an entire lap with their front wing off. Around a long circuit like the Nordschleife, that would ruin their chances.

In a case like that, the stewards should intervene and punish the offending driver, but there are no guarantees of this. If the crash is deemed to be a racing incident, they wouldn't take any action at all.

From a purist's perspective, damage should be enabled, as it increases the challenge of the GRS V10R '20. However, this car has already been proven to be a handful, as even the most experienced drivers have made errors.

No matter what though, we think everybody will be in agreement when we say that damage shouldn't be on visual only.

If that were to happen, you could have a driver with the front and rear wings off winning the race and that would destroy the immersion.

How to watch

If you haven't tuned in for the V10 R-League yet, you're missing out! The series returns to Italy for the next round of the season. Round 4 will be held at Vallelunga on 28 September at 7pm BST.

The entire Season 1 of V10 R-League will be shown on BT Sport 3 in the UK.

Those in the US can watch on ESPN3, while in the Middle East it will be available on STARZPLAY Arabia.