The following racing rules are to be acknowledged and followed by any driver taking part in SOP Events.

All these rules are subject to change and amendments by SOP Motorsport but are true and correct as you read them today. Any rule changes that happen will be taken back to the drivers and they will be notified before the next available event

Racing Etiquette

– Race cleanly at all times. No contact should occur between cars on track, and as a driver you are required to do your best to avoid this from happening. Accidents can happen, but if you are at fault for causing a collision, you are likely to be penalised.

– If you are involved in an on-track incident, don’t overreact. It may be frustrating, but you need to stay calm and get on with it. Losing out due to another driver’s mistake or recklessness is no excuse for retaliation or acting against the rules.

– If you collide with someone and force them into a spin or similar, slow down, do not just drive off into the distance.

– If you are having a bad race, don’t act foolishly. As a driver, you have to accept that some races will be better than others and you can’t always have it your way. If you are unable to enjoy the racing due to not always being at the front, this is not the place for you – there are many drivers in SOP Motorsport, and someone will always have to be at the back.

– If you are racing side by side with someone, have spacial awareness and respect for each other on track. 

– Do not swerve or make any sudden manoeuvres in the braking zones, this will usually end in both of you crashing. 

– When a driver is trying to make an overtake manoeuvre, it is the drivers duty to ensure it’s a clean pass – ramming, bashing, spinning or damaging another drivers car is not classed as making a clean pass.

– Lapped cars should always move out of the way at the first opportunity. But the car overtaking said lapped car must also be patient.

– The cool down lap is part of the race event and therefore the same rules are being applied. Crashing into each other is not allowed during the cool down lap or any other particular time during the race event.

– Penalties will be applied to drivers who knowingly take out brake marker boards and other signs that could be used as reference points.

– If another driver does something you feel is against the rules, report it to the Steward Staff after the race rather than argue about in the forums post race.

– All and any dangerous driving will not be tolerated and will most certainly lead to penalty points which will be added to your licence after the race.

On-Track Behavior

Passing/Overtaking:

– In general, the passing driver is responsible for making a safe pass at a safe time. However, it is the responsibility of both drivers to make sure that a safe pass is made. Failure to do so may result in a penalty. Don’t be too aggressive when trying to overtake. As the chasing car, it is generally your responsibility to not make contact with the car in front.

– Cars being lapped must give up their position, or risk receiving a penalty.

– Generally speaking, the preferred times for a faster car to pass is on the straights, exiting a corner, or entering the braking zone. Passing a car mid-corner is very dangerous and should be avoided, unless the passing car is confident that the other driver is aware of the passing move.

– Entering a turn, the passing driver must at least get their front wheels even with the rear wheels of the car they are passing before the point of turn-in, to have earned the right to a lane. At this point the driver being passed is responsible to leave a lane open.

Chopping: Passing drivers who move back into the lane of the car being passed before being clear may be subject to penalty.

Brake checking: Passing drivers who move back into lane and immediately brake may be subject to penalty.

Bump-passing: Is not allowed and may be subject to penalty unless the offending driver gives back the pass, even if it occurred accidentally.

Bump-passing is defined as the passing driver nudging the car ahead to make it unstable, then passing it while the passed driver is recovering control.

Blocking: Is not allowed for any reason.

Blocking is defined as altering the race line in reaction to another driver in an attempt to prevent a pass. Blocking will be penalized.

Altering the racing line multiple times (weaving) to prevent a following car from drafting is considered blocking and is prohibited. Drivers can make 1 move off line, and then return to the racing line if clear to do so before the next corner. Once back on the racing line, it is prohibited to make another move off the racing line.

Defending:

– When defending from another car, choose a line on the track and stick to it. Do not force a chasing car off the track by leaving it too little room – 1 car’s width is required to be deemed enough room. If the attacking car is alongside you going into a corner, you must adjust your line to avoid contact. Do not leave it too late to defend a move. Make your move clearly and fairly. If you move too late and the car behind has no time to react, it is not them who will be blamed.

Gentleman’s Rule:

– If a driver is involved in an incident they feel they may be responsible for initiating, it is encouraged that the offending driver apply the “Gentleman’s Rule”. This is the online racing equivalent of saying “my fault, sorry”. It simply means that you safely stop or drive slower than normal until the car that you may have harmed has passed you again.

Spinning/Losing control:

– If a driver spins while on track, they should immediately lock their brakes until completely stopped, (even if still on the track), and hold brakes on until they can assess the situation (waiting for a clear opening on track to resume). When a driver doesn’t lock his brakes, the car is prone to spin or roll in a far more unpredictable fashion and cause a further incident. A driver involved in an incident while spinning on track and not locking their brakes completely will be held responsible for that incident.

Off-Track/Re-joining:

– Drivers who are off-track and cars which have spun on the track itself must resume the race in a safe manner. This may mean driving forwards and/or reversing to a safe area to first get turned in the direction of travel, then merging safely into the flow of traffic away from the racing line.

Damage:

– If for any reason a car becomes permanently disabled, either in pitlane, on track, or in a run-off area, the driver should exit to the garage. A parked car will cause a yellow flag in that area for the remainder of the race.

Predictability:

– Drivers demonstrating unpredictable behaviour may be subject to penalty. Some common examples of unpredictability include:

– A driver suddenly changing lanes ‘to get out of the way’ when lapping cars appear in their mirror or when the blue flag appears. Drivers must hold a predictable line and pace until the pass is initiated by the lapping car, then they must hold their current lane.

– A driver braking early into a corner when (a) lapping car(s) appear(s) in their mirror or when the blue flag appears. Often the lapping car is planning on following and has nowhere to go when a driver brakes early or suddenly.

– Not accelerating at a normal race pace out of a corner. When in an acceleration zone, lifting off the throttle is equal to applying the brakes but without the benefit of brake lights as a warning. The following car has nowhere to go.

Pit Entry and Exit:

Drivers must exit and enter the pits at a safe speed relative to other cars in or near the pits.

– Drivers exiting the pits must not cross the white line marking.

– Drivers on track are not allowed to use the pit blend lane as part of the official racing surface.

Spacial Awareness:

– If you spin off whilst the pack is close, rejoining the track immediately is ill-advised. You do not ghost and you will cause accidents. Staying still is the best option until the other cars have avoided you. It is far easier to avoid a stationary obstacle.

– If you go off the track, rejoin in a manner that is both safe and in no way a danger to other competitors.

– We strongly recommend using the in-game spotter, the crew chief or at least enable the proximity arrows to be always aware of your surroundings. Not using these can have a negative effect in case of an incident report.

Driving in different conditions:

Qualifying: In qualifying, it is your own responsibility to find free space on the track when starting a hot lap. A car on a hot lap does not have to yield for a faster car approaching from behind. If you are on an in- or out-lap, however, you have to let faster cars pass you without blocking them. If you are on a fast lap approaching a slow car, flashing your lights is a way of notifying them that you’re on a fast lap.

Opening lap: In the opening lap all cars are driving very close together. Extra caution, awareness and patience is crucial because there’s a higher risk of contact and less room for error. Also the tires and brakes are not yet at a good operating temperature. Causing an incident in the opening lap can result in a higher penalty than normal when the incident reported involves multiple cars and/or damage to those involved.

Imagine you did a great qualifying lap but then get taken out in the first couple of corners… That’s not what you want and it’s the same for anyone else on track, so take care of each other, especially in the opening lap.

Night: For races that take place at night time, all drivers are required to have their headlights on in order to make your car visible to others, and to make the road more visible for you. If you’re involved in an accident which damages both of your headlights, you must return to the pits immediately for repairs

Rain: For races with rain or a chance of rain, please make sure you have turned the wipers on. Please take note that a race in wet conditions demands extra awareness and caution as the track is slippery and visibility can be poor. 

The Flags

Every driver must obey every flag warning they get. Be that Free Practice, qualifying or race sessions.

During any flag situation you must act accordingly and with due diligence. Slow down where appropriate, watch out for stationary or slow moving vehicles, do not make a situation worse. 

Yellow flag:

– Drivers must be cautious under yellow flag. Be prepared for slow, damaged or stationary cars on track.

– Yellow flags as displayed by ACC are to be observed by slowing appropriately for the situation. Drivers who do not observe the yellow flag and as a result either add to the existing incident or become involved in an additional incident will be penalized. Claiming “I didn´t slow because no one else did” is not acceptable. Each driver is responsible for their own actions.

– Due to limitations with the game it is unable to automatically penalize drivers for passing in a yellow flag zone. If, during the course of reviewing the race and/or via a post-race incident report, the Stewards determine that a driver passed another vehicle in a yellow flag area, that driver may be penalized for Passing Under Yellow. 

– While the yellow flag is displayed, drivers are only permitted to overtake other vehicles if those vehicles are moving very slowly, damaged or stationary.

– Observing the “Gentlemen’s Rule” is encouraged should a driver complete a pass when in a yellow flag zone.

– Drivers are not allowed to create a yellow flag zone by staying stationary on track, or by creating a dangerous environment for other drivers.

White flag:

– Slow car ahead, be careful.

Blue flag:

– Blue flags are shown to warn that an approaching car will put a lap on the driver and must be allowed to pass.

– Drivers that are being lapped must help the passing driver make a complete and safe pass.

– If a blue–flagged driver is able to pull away from the blue flag condition, they may continue. However, if the blue flag condition occurs again, they must give way.

– Extra attention will be used when in a blue flag situation and this changes on a track by track basis. There are some tracks you just cannot overtake on for large sections and sectors. All drivers will be given prior warning of any specifics related to this. 

Meatball flag:

The meatball flag is a black flag with an orange disc in its center which indicates that a vehicle is being summoned to the pits due to serious mechanical problems that presents a risk to other competitors. Also known as the ‘Meatball’ flag.

– Drivers who get this flag, are allowed to use the ‘back to garage’ option. This is mostly advisable as you can be a danger on track.

Red flag:

– A red flag situation will only occur, at the admins, race directors or stewards discretion.

The following incidents may cause a red flag situation;

– If 50% of the field are caught up in a turn one incident and it adversely effects a plethora of drivers. A red flag will be issued and a server restart will happen.

– If any race, event or series has completed more than 75% of its racing and there is a server crash or malfunction, the race will be red flag and results from the previous lap will be taken. With results standing respectively.

The Events

Free practice sessions: 

2. Free practice sessions are used to ensure all drivers have entered the event before qualifying begins. 

2.1. Free practice sessions can be used freely and however you wish. Whilst still respecting driver etiquette. 

2.2. Drivers are permitted to use the ‘return to garage feature’ at any point during this session without receiving a penalty. 

Qualifying sessions: 

2.3. Various lengths of qualifying will be determine the starting grid for each race, event or series, this will take the form of a single qualifying round and will be determined by fastest on pole through to 20th. 

2.4. If you are not on a qualifying lap, show that through your car mannerisms and actions and always give way to someone on a fast lap.

2.5. During any and all qualifying sessions you are permitted to use the ‘return to garage’ feature at any point without getting a penalty.

Race sessions: 

2.6. Once a qualifying session has ended and a race session has started. You are locked into the race. Nobody can then join the session. 

2.7. Every SOP Motorsport event will use the full formation lap feature. You must stay in formation and within your radars limits. 

2.8. Each event will start with a minimum wait time of 4 minutes to prepare. But you must remember to press the ‘drive’ option, otherwise you will be sent back to the pits and will miss the race start. 

2.9. Race restarts will only happen if more than 50% of the field are effected in the opening lap by either T1 collisions, disconnects or server failures. No other time will a server restart happen. 

2.10. Upon a full server restart, you will be put into a 5 minute qualifying rerun to set a new time.

Participation

Participation

SOP Motorsport is hosting multiple types of events that have a different kind of structure:

Series (multiple rounds over a longer period of time)

Championships (multiple rounds over a longer period of time)

One-off events (single events)

Sponsored events (single events that are sponsored by partners of SOP)

Please note that unacceptable behaviour in any of these events can lead to being excluded or banned entirely from all Sponsored events. 

Missing races / No-shows / Pulling out a Series or Championship

If you are unable to attend a race, you have to give sufficient notice for your absence before the race starts. This is done by informing SOP Motorsport of your situation, either by sending a private message or by making a post in the race thread on Discord. It is your responsibility to make sure that SOP Motorsports gets your message.

If you are absent without informing SOP Motorsport, you can receive 10 License Penalty Points in an One-off event and Sponsored event or a qualifying ban in a Series or Championship.

Rage-quitting

Deliberately quitting the race in any way – whether that is by quitting through the pause menu, getting yourself disqualified or deliberately crashing your car – is not allowed, unless you have a very good reason to do so. Accepted reasons for quitting could be that you are a danger to other drivers on track due to poor driving or connection issues. Quitting because you “couldn’t be bothered” or due to being angry at something – rage-quitting, in other words – are not good reasons.

Excuses such as ‘poor driving’ and ‘connection issues’ will be monitored. These are not a get-out of jail free cards if you can’t be bothered. Poor driving is occasional, if perhaps life has been unkind and you haven’t had as much time to practice. However, turning up each week having not practised, and therefore not enjoying your racing because you’re struggling will see you put under review. We don’t expect every driver to complete a certain amount of practice each week, but we expect you to be able to control your car and be safe on track. Also the more practice you do, the more competitive you are.

Connection issues can strike anybody, but drivers who are continually unable to race safely due to connection can receive consequences.

Connection & Lag

It’s an unfortunate aspect of online racing that having a stable connection can be critical to being able to race closely with other cars. While we understand that not everyone can have perfect connections, and that occasional lag can’t be avoided, we reserve the right to ask a driver to step down from a Series or Championship if their connection is causing too many issues for other drivers.

Penalties

For penalties, please refer to the Penalties and Driver Licence Section here

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