The Let's Play Archive

Dirt Rally

by Great Joe

Part 1: Best Practices and FF
It’s good to start slow, and in the case of the Mini Cooper, it can be fun to go back to being slow once in a while. Today's text is on a subject that might seem confusing but is pretty important when starting out:

Before every race, rally drivers and co-drivers go on several reconnaissance drives through stages, or “recces”. During these recces, the crew take note of each feature of each stage and write them down, then see how well driving according to these notes goes. The basic formula is to find a good general speed for turns, finding the distance between turns and also noting any special obstacles or features that might change how the driver should act around the turn. If you take a look to the right in most of the cars while in first-person, you’ll see your co-driver reading those pacenotes on a notepad. Let’s take a look at Dirt Rally’s more common pacenotes:

Turn numbers
For example: “Left 4”, “right 6”, “left 2”. The general principle is that the lower the number the tighter the angle. In the Mini Cooper and Lancia Fulvia you generally don’t have to worry about turns until they’re numbered 4 or lower, but in other cars it’s important to note the differences.

Even tighter turns
In order they’re Square, Hairpin and Acute. Squares and hairpins generally require you to be in second or first gear, acutes generally should only be taken in first gear.

Turn notes
Don’t cut: Cutting is short for “taking a shortcut” and it can help you take a second or two off your time if you can do it without slowing down. “Don’t cut” is a very specific warning against this behaviour and every time the co-driver says this, it’s not for no reason.

Bad camber: the edge of the turn is not conducive to taking this turn fast and you’ll probably lose a lot of grip after the turn. Slow down or risk driving into a wall.

Tightens/Opens: The width of the road and/or the angle of the turn changes as it goes on, and this can either help or harm your run.

Angle changes
Any change in angle to the road you drive on can affect your grip dramatically, and it can help to take note of that and react accordingly. These are jumps, bumps, crests and dips. “Jump maybe” means that you’re at risk of jumping. Maybe.

If there’s a 40-meter straight or longer, there’s a note for that fact. Keep note of it as you might be tempted to accelerate and will have to slow down if there’s a sharp turn at the end of the straight.