.read me

Racing Line Developments presents CART Factor, a simulation of the CART FedEx Championship Series.


.car list

#1 Alex Zanardi, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Reynard/Honda/Firestone
#12 Jimmy Vasser, Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Reynard/Honda/Firestone
#2 Al Unser Jr, Marlboro Team Penske, Penske/Mercedes Benz/Goodyear
#3 Andre Ribeiro, Marlboro Team Penske, Penske/Mercedes Benz/Goodyear
#5 Gil de Ferran, Walker Racing, Reynard/Honda/Goodyear
#6 Michael Andretti, Newman/Haas Racing, Swift/Ford Cosworth/Goodyear
#11 Christian Fittipaldi, Newman/Haas Racing, Swift/Ford Cosworth/Goodyear
#7 Bobby Rahal, Team Rahal, Reynard/Ford Cosworth/Firestone
#8 Bryan Herta, Team Rahal, Reynard/Ford Cosworth/Firestone
#9 JJ Lehto, Hogan Racing, Reynard/Mercedes Benz/Firestone
#10 Richie Hearn, Della Penna Motorsports, Swift/Ford Cosworth/Firestone
#15 Roberto Moreno, Project Indy, Reynard/Mercedes Benz/Goodyear
#16 Helio Castro Neves, Bettenhausen, Reynard/Mercedes Benz/Goodyear
#17 Mauricio Gugelmin, PacWest Racing, Reynard/Mercedes Benz/Firestone
#18 Mark Blundell, PacWest Racing, Reynard/Mercedes Benz/Firestone
#19 Michel Jourdain Jr, Payton Coyne Racing, Reynard/Ford Cosworth/Firestone
#34 Dennis Vitolo, Payton Coyne Racing, Reynard/Ford Cosworth/Firestone
#20 Scott Pruett, Patrick Racing, Reynard/Ford/Firestone
#40 Adrian Fernandez, Patrick Racing, Reynard/Ford/Firestone
#21 Tony Kanaan, Tasman Racing, Reynard/Honda/Firestone
#24 Robby Gordon, Arciero-Wells, Reynard/Toyota/Firestone
#25 Max Papis, Arciero-Wells, Reynard/Toyota/Firestone
#26 Paul Tracy, Team KOOL Green, Reynard/Honda/Firestone
#27 Dario Franchitti, Team KOOL Green, Reynard/Honda/Firestone
#33 Patrick Carpentier, Player's Forsythe Championship Racing, Reynard/Mercedes Benz/Firestone
#99 Greg Moore, Player's Forsythe Championship Racing, Reynard/Mercedes Benz/Firestone
#36 Alex Barron, All American Racers, Reynard/Toyota/Goodyear
#98 PJ Jones, All American Racers, Reynard/Toyota/Goodyear
#77 Arnd Meier, Davis Racing, Lola/Ford Cosworth/Goodyear


NOTE: It is recommended that you use CART Factor in conjunction with a fresh install of rFactor Lite. At minimum, if you have CART Factor: Prologue installed you must delete the "Prologue" folder from GameData\Vehicles\CARTFactor.

There are two different packages of CART Factor; one is just a compressed .rar archive, the other is an .exe installer. Both install the exact same files, however RLD appreciates that some users do not like executable installers while others prefer the convenience an installer provides.

If you selected the .exe installer, all you have to do to install CART Factor is run the .exe and follow the wizard, inputting your rFactor directory when prompted. If you have downloaded the .rar archive, it is recommended that CART Factor is extracted to a temporary directory, and then that the files are manually copied to the rFactor directory to ensure all files are installed to the correct location.

.physics notes

The physics in the full release of CART Factor are a result of intensive research in all areas of vehicle dynamics and meticulous crafting of the rFactor physics engine spanning 30 months of development. They are based upon a large amount of real data which came not only from reputable books and studies, but also contemporary CART engineers and drivers.

The physics have evolved considerably since the Prologue release, with tyre physics in particular having been extensively revamped.

While there have been inevitable compromises and simplifications made in the application of the collected data in order to suit the physics engine and maximize the value of the driving experience, and acknowledging perfection is a complex goal to aim for even at this level of race car simulation, we hope the end result provides a level of accuracy all simracers can be satisfied with.

.the machinery

CART Factor features four chassis from the 1998 CART FedEx Championship Series season. The majority of the field ran Reynard’s 98I chassis; two teams ran the Swift 009C (Della Penna and Newman-Haas), one ran Lola’s T98/00 (Davis) while Penske campaigned their PC27. All American Racers switched from Reynard to their own Eagle chassis towards the end of the season, though the latter is not included in this release.

Honda, Ford Cosworth, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota were the engine manufacturers, all four building to the 2.4L, turbo-charged V8 formula of the day.

Tyres were supplied by two storied brands in racing; Firestone and Goodyear.

The small handling nuances of each of the four chassis and the comparative strengths and weaknesses of each of the different chassis/engine/tyre combinations have been carefully crafted in the physics. As ever, proper understanding of these differences is better achieved through first-hand experience rather than cold documentation. We encourage the player to run through the numerous available combinations and verify that, while as per real life one particular combo was overall the strongest, the field was usually covered by tight and competitive margins and the balance of strength both in terms of handling and performance can vary from track to track.

On the tyre front, Firestone was usually the better and in particular the more consistent option on road courses. The Goodyears had more trouble building up temperature - a significant flaw in light of the absence of tyre warmers – and wore faster with bigger grip drop-off. This meant a narrower optimal operating window relative to the Firestone runners and potentially big performance deterioration towards the end of a stint, especially with more aggressive setups.

.car setups

As a consequence of the changes to the tyre model, and the fact that some setup ranges have been amended for this release, it is recommended that new setups are developed rather than re-using sets from Prologue.

This mod comes with a setup pack covering a wide range of tracks, which can be found at UserData\CARTFactor after installation; these should be extracted to their relevant track folder inside the user´s UserData\"driver_name"\Settings folder - though these setups were developed as a baseline for the Reynard chassis, they are also perfectly suitable starting points for all other chassis in the mod.

Engines have a boost setting that can also be adjusted on-track - so long as you map two buttons for it in your controller settings. The boost ranges from 1 (minimum) to 5 (maximum).

This boost range in the simulation is a synthesis of both engine boost and fuel mixture adjustments the real cars had, and as such each of the five steps have a significant impact not only to the engine’s power output, but also its fuel consumption, driveability and reliability.

While maximum boost is the logical option for qualifying runs and short-distance races more careful management might be required in longer stints, particularly if the races are run with full flag rules. The engines were notoriously thirsty, and adequate optimization of fuel mileage was crucial if the driver wanted to minimize the risk of having to pit under green flag and thus potentially ruin his race.

The engines were also rather sensitive near the top of the rev range, so the driver should try to balance his boost and rev limit settings with the gear ratios in a manner that prevents overstressing the engine - particularly when running superspeedways with the Handford device, where drafting can push the engine to extremes it would not reach in clean air. The engine will also not survive over-aggressive downshifting for very long.

There are four tyre options: two road compounds (soft and hard), one for short ovals, one for speedways/superspeedways. The options vary in compound hardness and their construction provide different hysteresis levels, which leads to not only distinct grip levels but also differing wear and heating patterns, rolling resistance and load sensitivity. All options have an optimum temperature of 100º C.

Brakes in these cars were made of steel rather than carbon, which meant less abrupt braking power and more progressive feel. Brake torque starts to fade when reaching temperatures beyond 650ºC, so ensure your brake ducts are set such that the brakes can cool enough on the available straights and do not go much beyond this temperature, except at the end of the hardest braking points.

Aerodynamic settings in terms of available wing ranges vary according to the aero package installed. The road course package front wing flaps range from 15 to 30 degrees of inclination with each increment on the setup screen corresponding to 0.5 degrees. The rear wing ranges from 24 to 44 degrees, with 6 possible settings of 4 incremental degrees each. The short oval package uses the same wings, but at a shallower range of adjustment – 9 to 18 degrees at the front, 20 to 28 degrees at the rear.

With road and short oval packages, increasing front wing angle generates more downforce for very little extra drag, and it should be adjusted to balance the car at speed. Lift/drag efficiency from the rear wing on the other hand drops marginally with each extra setting.

Speedway front wings have 6 possible settings, while the rear wing is fixed at 6 degrees. The superspeedway package is the same regarding the front wing; the rear equipped with the Handford wing is likewise not adjustable, and in fact generates some positive lift rather than downforce.

The cars also produced significant amounts of downforce through the undertray venturis, so ride height tuning is important. Downforce begins to stall at ride heights around and below 20mm, so one is advised to keep the car high enough, particularly when running softer suspension rates.

.chassis configurations

CART Factor features the four specific aero packages as used through the 1998 season - road course, short oval, speedway and superspeedway with Handford device.

By default the road course package is used except for a number of oval tracks for which the mod will automatically load one of the three other oval-specific packages along with a more suitable default setup, for the player and his opponents, be they either online or AI drivers.

For actual tracks used in the 1998 CART calendar, this selection confers with reality; for other existing rFactor tracks that were not actually part of the real season, this option has been defined according to the nature of the track as one would assume they would in reality.

The user can however modify this filter (defined in the TrackConfigsBase.ini file inside each chassis´ folder) to his preference, either adding more entries for tracks that are not present in the mod filter, or changing the aero selection to one of his preference (for instance changing the Indianapolis entry from "=3" to "=2" so that the cars run regular speedway wings rather than the Handford device).

To add an entry, insert the track name into the list (as defined in the respective track’s .GDB file), and define chassis configuration as =0 (road), =1 (short oval), =2 (speedway) or =3 (Handford device).

NOTE: The above is only an option for offline play, or for leagues in which an agreement is made for such change; if the player changes this filter for himself only and goes online, he will get a mismatch.

The user can also manually install one of the four aero packages through the upgrade menu, with which he’ll be able to hit the track, so long as the track chosen is not one which the mod already has a specified configuration for. Naturally, the user should stick with the default road course package as long as he intends to run on any road course.

CART Factor has been tailored to work with the following ovals via the TrackConfigsBase files:

TPSCC Loudon (The Pits) - Short Oval
TPSCC Arizona (The Pits) - Short Oval
Gateway International (The Lonely) - Speedway
Orchard Lake Speedway (ISI) - Speedway
Texas (Crossfire Motorsports) - Speedway
TPSCC Illinois (The Pits) - Speedway
Indianapolis (RacerAlex) - Handford
Jacksonville Superspeedway (ISI) - Handford
TPSCC Fontana (The Pits) - Handford
TPSCC Brooklyn (The Pits) - Handford

Several other ovals are available from JNS.

Since the road course aero/physics package is the default, recommending road courses is less critical than ovals. However, here is a brief selection of favourites during testing:

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (Virtua_LM and MonSum)
Laguna Seca (Com8)
Vanport International Raceway (The Lonely/SLN)
ElkhartLike (Neel Jani)
Essington Park (ISI)

.ai recommendations

The AI parameters in CART Factor have been extensively tuned to optimize offline racing within rFactor’s potential in this area; when combined with a track featuring a properly tuned AIW the computer opponents should be able to provide some exciting races with true-to-life relative performances. The player will have to face off fierce competition from the likes of Zanardi, Franchitti and Andretti in order to be first past the checkered flag.

AI strength at 100% should be challenging even for experienced racers, while a 50% aggression level or thereabouts has shown to be the best value to minimize the occasional AI quirks with situation awareness.

.controller setup

For optimum car control, it is recommended that the settings in-game for steering, throttle, braking and clutch sensitivity are at 50%, while the speed sensitivity ratio should be 0%.

The default steering lock is adjusted to wheels with around 270 degrees of rotation, which is the standard for most wheels. If the user has a wheel with adjustable rotation, a setting ranging from 360 degrees to a maximum of 540 degrees of rotation is realistic and recommended for more precise control, with steering lock being then adjusted within a range of 20 up to 30 degrees in the setup menu - it is also recommended for the user to adjust the in-game steering wheel rotation range setting in rFactor’s controller.ini to match his controller setting (270 degrees being the default value).

The use of the RealFeel FFB plugin is also strongly recommended, with the settings below having proved to work well enough for all chassis (settings are found in the realfeelplugin.ini in the rFactor root folder):

[CART 1998]

Note that the user might need to invert the first value from negative to positive depending on his other controller configurations.

The upgrade menu for all cars also feature 4 different FFB options, 3 of them providing different levels of FFB strength for users running only or some level of rFactor’s original FFB effects, the fourth zeroing these original effects for those intending to run solely with RealFeel.

The 1998 CART machines all had sequential gearboxes with an electronic ignition cut-off during gear shifts; therefore, for users that don’t run auto-clutch, the auto-lift aid found in the player’s .PLR file should be at 1, for a more realistic emulation of the real car’s gear shifting operation. Running auto-clutch means both auto-lift and auto-blip are on by default, so no .PLR adjustment is required.

.special thanks to

Image Space, Inc.
Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates
Mark Page/Swift Engineering, Inc
Dr. Joseph Katz, BSc, MSc, DSc
Dario Franchitti
Marino Franchitti

.the development team

Nick Ovey
Dave Ellis
Renato Simioni
Justin Ziarko
Roman Mika
Sim Steele

.test drivers

Greger Huttu
Dom Duhan
Michael Manning
Chris Kirk
Neil Pearson
Matt Hatton
Matt Bye
Dion Polk
Chris Rainer
Ron Sharpe
Tim Traylor
David Laplante
Laurent Vaisman
Chris Griffin
Andrew Massey
Dane Buckley


Andreas Neidhardt, Alexander Borro & Shaun Stroud of CTDP for driver body model and suit template
Ace8 for updated wall tyrerub and fire textures
Neil Ascough for Roberto Moreno's helmet texture

.additional thanks to

Elan Motorsport Technologies
All American Racers
Rob Bastian
Gjon Camaj
Michael J. Fuller/mulsannescorner.com
Chris Hoyle
Grand Prix Classics
Team Redline
Virtua_LM and MonSum
Ian Woollam
Thorsten Reuter
Jeroen Goedhart


As featured in Psygnosis' "Formula 1"


Due to the limited data presented on the Pi dash unit in the Ford and Honda powered vehicles, and the small size of the LCD on the Mercedes steering wheel, it is recommended that the HUD info panel (press 6 to toggle on/off) is used even in the cockpit view. The tachometers and shift lights in the Ford and Honda powered cars are not visible in any external camera, this is an rF issue due to the materials used only working when connected to the steering wheel instance. Additionally, the lack of a car speed indicator in-cockpit is intentional.

By default CART Factor has high definition bump maps (DX9 only), which do not suffer from the compression artifacts commonly associated with the dds file format. However as a result of this they are fairly large in size, and while this is not such an issue with just six vehicles standard definition bump maps are also included. They can be found in the Reynard_Teams, Swift_Teams, Penske and Lola_Teams folders in the form of *.dds.comp files. If your PC is slightly struggling, it is recommended that before you turn any details down to rename these files to *.dds (ie, remove the superfluous .comp file extension). This will force the sim to load the lower definition bumpmaps and thus reduce the required graphics memory.

Although rare, on some PC configurations the gear indicator on the Pi dash unit in the Ford and Honda cars displays incorrectly. If you suffer from this error please rename "gearfont.bmp.blackfix" in GameData\Vehicles\CART Factor to "gearfont.bmp". A full explanation can be read here.

Full credits available here.

.disclaimer and licensing

CART Factor has been developed by Racing Line Developments for free distribution. Racing Line Developments takes no responsibility for issues caused by CART Factor and any problems or issues derived from its installation are the sole responsibility of the user.

Any commercial or demonstrational use is strictly prohibited without prior agreement.

Third-party brands and logos are the property of their respective owners.

CART Factor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License

Some Rights Reserved.