rFactor 2 is a computer racing simulator developed by the American independent software developer Image Space Incorporated. It is the sequel to the highly acclaimed rFactor. The simulator was released for Windows in 2013. Just like its precursor it is designed to be modded and is a top choice among real professional racing teams, for driver training and race car development. A lot of its code is derived from rFactor Pro, which is also used by real professional racing and most of the Formula One teams and NASCAR manufacturers.
rFactor 2 is designed to run any type of four-wheeled vehicle of any era. The simulator features highly advanced physics, and is highly modifiable. Offline and online racing modes are available.
rFactor 2 and its precursor have received much praise for its highly advanced and accurate simulation of vehicle dynamics and is the preferred simulator for most real life professional racing teams, car engineers and simulation centers.
Race Engineer Andrea Quintarelli stated: “It is also no surprise for me that most of these professional simulators (or centers) are using rFactor. As I had the chance to prove myself (and probably to somebody reading here), when you know how to properly build your models, rFactor is producing very accurate results, at a very low cost.”
Petros Mak, founder of the professional modding company Mak Corp, stated: “All our race team clients and even our series clients, they don’t only use rFactor for track familiarization. They also use it to test setup data before they go to an event, they use it to test potential new part data, by developing new brakes or new engine performances and testing it in the game before they actually commit to building it in real life. rF1 and rF2 provide far higher accuracy for those things than any other simulation on the market. (…) rFactor 2’s physics engine is by far the most simulation based physics engine using real life aero and physical data that no other title has come close to.”
The interaction and collaboration between Image Space Incorporated and professional racing teams and their engineers using the ISI developed rFactor Pro platform has benefited the new tire model used in rFactor 2. This has resulted in the “ISI TGM Tyre Tool”, a tool that is also available to third party modders.
rFactor 2 is the first consumer simulation featuring a thermomechanical physically-based tire model, based on first principles, simulating the entire carcass, thread and contact patch, with proper heat transfer, accurate tire wear and flatspots, and also visual deformation. It’s also the first to feature truly dynamic track conditions.
Most people new to rFactor 2 including experienced simracers aren’t used to having to manage their tires like in reality, therefore they tend to overdrive the car with too much steering input (something you can get away with in other driving simulations) resulting in overheating tires and excessive tire wear.
rFactor 2 also includes a new constraint system that allows for advanced physics simulation such as chassis flex, which removes the typical infinite rigidity of a virtual vehicle and incorporates unique chassis characteristics into the handling and performance of the car, as well as highly accurate suspension geometry and wheel rates.
On September 16, 2016, at Simracing Expo, ISI announced a deal with Luminis, a software company based in the Netherlands, that has already had experience with racing simulators having supported Reiza Studios in the development of Automobilista. This partnership brings the development of rFactor 2 in a new company called Studio 397. Studio 397 managing director Marcel Offermans stated that a lot of new features will be implemented in the game, including a more web-based UI, a DirectX 11 compatible graphics engine and the VR support for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. Moreover, a new “paid-content system” would allow ISI to add more licensed content to the simulator.
In October, Studio 397 released informations about the new content. The developers announced they have acquired the license of U.S. F2000 National Championship, Radical Sportscars and NOLA Motorsports Park. The new rFactor 2 version will be available only on Steam.