Over the past several months, CanAm VRL has seen a steady decline in numbers of active drivers for official league races.
Over the past several months, CanAm VRL has seen a steady decline in numbers of active drivers for official league races. WHile many of those drivers are still active within the league, something has caused a steady decline in interest in the actual racing.
Some drivers have moved to other platforms, some drivers have simply had too many real world distractions that have obviously (and rightly) taken priority over their time, and still others simply didn't care for the format of this past season (IndyCar).
One fairly common thread we have seen over and over again though is a steady level of complaints over online specific issues with the current sim platform of choice. This has also resulted in a noticeable decline of drivers looking for online leagues running that platform. Obviously, this has impacted and hampered our ability to recruit new members. While the platform we are currently using provides excellent racing for offline, and short informal "pickup" style races, there is a well documented list of issues that hinder our longer race formats. Many of us have willingly continued on with those issues in the hopes that they would eventually get addressed via patches. Now that support has ended without those issues being resolved, it has pushed us to consider other options.
With that in mind, we have run several test and evaluation events using rFactor 2. Most recently, we ran a very successful event using the recently released Studio 397 Endurance pack (LMP2, LMP3, GTE and Sebring track). Turnout for this event was terrific, with 15 drivers participating. Overall feedback was extremely positive.
Some of the main points of feedback from the various test events were:
rFactor 2 also offers a very good recruiting opportunity, as it is as highly regarded in the more serious sim player base as iRacing is. It still has it's flaws, but it is far more highly regarded for running leagues in. As a resutl, it opens up a bigger potential driver pool. We also have an advantage in that most current rFactor 2 leagues are Asia and Europe based. We have a major opportunity to establish ourselves in an untapped market.
With that in mind, the panel has decided on the following path going forward:
By cancelling the current season (3 races cancelled), we hope to give members the time and opportunity to get settled into rFactor 2. A new sim for many members, it will require time to get the game installed, tweaked and functioning to each driver's preferences. It is a very customizeable platform, so tinkering is required. It will also give members time to adjust to the nuances and intricacies of how the cars drive and are tuned. This will also give us time for a major marketing blitz on the major rFactor 2 sites, forums, Twitter, Discord, etc.
While we understand that some members will decide not to make this switch with us, we feel it is in the best interest for the future of CanAm VRL. We are sorry to lose any members that feel strongly opposed to this switch, and we wish that were not the case. For those drivers that do decide not to switch, we hope you will still continue to race with us in the ongoing Project CARS 2 format.
Change is never easy, and will bring growing pains. Our hope is that short term pain will lead to long term gain.
Even this change will not be the final change of platform for CanAm VRL. As new sims are released, we most continually review, test and evaluate them in order to ensure we are always using the best platform for the style of racing this league was built on.
Technology is always moving and evolving. We must also continue to always evolve if we want to avoid extinction.
We hope to see you all on track with us in February.
[Submitted by F1_Racer68]