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 at SOP Motorsport and someone will always have to be at the back.

If you are racing side by side with someone, have spatial 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 that 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 can lead to severe penalties.

On-Track Behavior

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, if possible, you safely stop or drive slower than normal until the car that you may have harmed has passed you again. This has to be done in safe manner without interferring with the other competitors.

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.

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. This can also be referred to as ‘overlap’.
There are different opinions and views about what dive-bombing is, and in what way this could be a fair or over-aggressive move.

Dive-bombing: Dive-bombing is considered as outbraking the driver who is still in front, where you place your car enough on the inside without making contact or forcing your way through. You need to have a substantional overlap before the turn-in point.
You also need to slow down enough to keep the inside lane and most importantly, give enough space needed for the car on the outside without forcing the defending car wide or off-track. Basically, a fair and valid outbraking move.

Barge-passing : Dive-bombing up the inside of a car ahead, where there is NO substantional overlap before the turn-in point, is sometimes referred as barge-passing. In other words, you barge your way passed and often the defending car has to react to avoid contact.

Understand that barge-passing is a high risk manoeuvre for both you and others, and can be seen as aggressive driving if you are pushing those limits. Drivers who show risky or aggressive driving can receive a warning or 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.

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 of the car they just passed and immediately brake, may be subject to penalty.

Blocking: Is not allowed for any reason.

Blocking is defined as altering the racingline in reaction to another driver in an attempt to prevent a pass. Blocking will be penalised.

Drivers can make 1 move off the racingline, and then return to the racingline if clear to do so before the next corner. Once back on the racingline, it is prohibited to make another move off the racingline.

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. One 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.


Spinning/Losing control:

If a driver spins while on track, he should immediately lock his brakes until completely stopped, even if he is still on the track. He should then hold the brakes on until he can assess the situation and wait 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 can 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.


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 or reversing to a safe area first, to get turned in the direction of travel.
They then should merge safely into the flow of traffic that is both safe and in no way a danger to other competitors.

Severe 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 by using the ingame Return to Garage option.
A parked car will cause an obstruction or 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 his mirror or when the blue flag appear: Drivers must hold a predictable line and pace until the pass is initiated by the lapping car.

A driver braking early into a corner when lapping cars appear in his mirror or when the blue flag appear:
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 enter and exit 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.

Spatial Awareness:

If you spin off the track while 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, 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.

Tracklimits.

Tracklimit violations are determined by the game itself. The penalties applied are as follows:

First, second and third cuts = Warning
Fourth cut = Drive-Through (DT)

If the game deems any cut to be too excessive, a DT may be applied automatically depending on the severity.

There can be a situation where a driver is hit with multiple tracklimit warnings in 1 or 2 consecutive corners.
For these situations an incident report can be submitted to be reviewed by the stewards.

Gaining an advantage.

When cars are battling close together, a position may neither be gained or defended if a car leaves the track defined by the track boundaries.

Going off-track to avoid a collision is legal and advisable, but gaining or defending a position while doing so, can be penalized. Overtakes should be clean and within the confines of the track.



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. However, if you are on an in- or outlap, you have to let faster cars pass you without blocking them.

Try to leave enough room in front of you for your flying lap. If you catch someone up, also on their flying lap, they are not expected to get out of your way as you are faster.
In fact, if you damage their lap trying to pass, you are at fault.
Either find a place to pass without impediment or back off and try again.

Do not race other drivers during qualifying.
If you’re found to be doing so you will be penalised.

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 brakes and tires 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 within the game, it is unable to automatically penalise drivers for passing in a yellow flag zone. If during the course of reviewing the race via a post-race incident report, the Stewards determine that a driver passed another vehicle in a yellow flag area, that driver may be penalised 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.

The “Gentlemen’s Rule” is encouraged should a driver complete a pass 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. Expect stationary or very slow cars ahead.


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, and not resist being overtaken.
Only move out of the way when you believe it is safe to do so. For example, not on the apex of the corner.

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

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 can change 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 ‘return to garage’ feature.
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 has completed more than 75% of its racing and there is a server crash or malfunction, the race will be red flagged and results from the previous lap will be taken.
With results standing respectively.

Mandatory Onboard
Recording

All drivers who participate in any of the Playstation races hosted or organized by SOP Motorsport, have to:
– record their race.
– save their race for at least 7 days after the race.


This is needed:
– to properly review any incident reports in which you are involved.
– to show that you got disconnected during the race.
This footage has to contain:
– your onboard view with driver inputs.

There are multiple ways to do this on Playstation:

– Streaming and saving your race.
– Using the PlayStation build-in recording feature.

* Please note that using the ACC ingame replay mode only, is not enough.
You also need footage in your defense, or to prove a server disconnection.


In case of an incident report, drivers who fail to show and share their onboards, will receive a penalty:
Single and sponsored events: 5 Penalty Points.

Series or championships: 5 second time penalty.

Participation

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

Single and sponsored events: single events, and events that are sponsored by partners of SOP.
Series and championships: multiple rounds over a longer period of time.

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

The single and sponsored events are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
These events can be very popular and they could fill-up quick.
Drivers will be put on a reserve-list if the events are full.

Signing up but
Not Showing up

f you are signing up, you are expected to show up.
It is very frustrating if a driver doesn’t show up while a reserve-driver could fill this spot.
They would be happy to do so. It’s also not respectful to the other drivers and organisation.


Attendance :
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.

In single and sponsored events, a chat-room will be opened prior to the race where you will be asked to confirm your attendance. If you don’t confirm or indicate your attendance, you will be assumed as not racing and a reserve may be found for you.

If you sign up but do not show up without informing SOP Motorsport prior to the race, you will be penalized.

Penalties for No-Shows

Failure to inform SOP Motorsport of non-attendance, will result in a penalty:


– Single and sponsored events: No-Shows: 3-Strike Warning.

– Series and championships: No-Shows: Qualifying ban for the next round.

or:

20 championship points deduction if it’s the final round.

Leaving the Server
Mid Race

There are situations that a driver leaves the server in the middle of a race.
This can happen by the player’s choice, or a connection issue.

Drivers are expected to inform SOP Motorsport of this situation.
Drivers who left the server will be asked for the reason why they left.
We understand that life sometimes forces you to leave the server mid race, where a disconnection is an unfortunate situation that can strike one or more drivers.

Drivers who got disconnected, have to provide video-footage of this. (See Mandatory onboard recording)

If a driver can not show that he got disconnected, it will be seen as leaving the server by choice.


Penalties for Leaving
the Server

– Single and sponsored events: Disconnection: No penalty.

By choice: 3-Strike Warning.


* Please note, that drivers who are issued with a penalty for an incident they are involved in, will  still get the amount of
Penalty Points for that incident.

– Series and championships: Disconnection: No penalty.

By choice: Qualifying ban for the next round.

Or 20 championship points deduction if it’s the final round.

* Please note, that drivers who are issued with a time penalty for an incident they are involved in, will see their time penalty being cleared, but will still be


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.


Pulling out a Series or Championship

ItIf you have to pull out of a Series or championship while the season is ongoing, you must inform SOP Motorsport about this situation.

It is impossible for us to stop you from leaving if you have made up your mind but remember that pulling out of a Series or championship without a proper reason, will see you placed under review.

A proper reason would be something happening in your life that forces you to quit – something that you didn’t expect when signing up – or that your equipment (hardware or lag issues) render you unable to carry on.

However, choosing to quit due to getting bored of the game, having a bad season or because something goes against you, is not a good reason.
When signing up,  you commit yourself to racing for a full season, not only for a few races.

Should a driver be found just quitting a Series or championship without a proper reason, they will be put under review with the likely outcome to be excluded from any future Series or championships.


The Events

Free practice session:

Free practice sessions are used, to ensure all drivers have entered the event before qualifying begins.
Free practice sessions can be used freely and however you wish, whilst still respecting driver etiquette.
Drivers are permitted to use the ‘return to garage’ feature at any point during this session without receiving a penalty.


Qualifying session:

Various lengths of qualifying will 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.

If you are not on a qualifying lap, show that through your car mannerisms and actions and always give way to someone on a qualifying lap.
During any and all qualifying sessions, you are permitted to use the ‘return to garage’ feature at any point without getting a penalty.


Race session:

Once a qualifying session has ended and a race session has started, you are locked into the race.

Each event will start with a wait time 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.

Race restarts will only happen in case of a red flag situation.

Race Stewards &
Incident Reporting

SOP Motorsport has established a non-biased Steward Staff that reviews each incident report looking for aggressive and rough driving, and drivers not conforming to SOP Motorsport rules and regulations.

The Steward Staff has the responsibility of reviewing incidents and determining the driver(s) at fault and shall apply penalties accordingly.

Stewards will not review an entire race. If a driver want an incident reviewed, they are encouraged to file an incident report. This form can be found in the SOP Motorsport Discord.

Incident reports have to be submitted within 24 hours after that race with the following information :

  • Name of the race.
  • Cars and drivers involved.
  • A short description of the incident.
  • Video footage of the incident, including time-stamp. (See Mandatory onboard recording)

You should report incidents that you are involved in. Reporting an incident that you heard about, or saw behind you for example, will not be accepted. Two drivers may collide, shake hands and speak no more of it.
If someone goes and starts causing trouble for the sake of it, the enquiries will be closed, if those involved in the incident prefer it to go no further.

Any penalties will be aimed at the person who has done wrong. We can not compensate anyone else as a result of someone’s actions. All penalties are discussed by the SOP Stewards Staff before being issued and the driver will always be informed of the outcome.

The SOP Stewards Staff is completely neutral and will not include anyone who may be affected by the incident in question.

Penalties

SOP Motorsport has 2 separate Penalty Systems that may be applied to punish drivers who break our racing rules, depending on the severity of the violation:

Single and sponsored events: License Penalty Point System.

Series and championships: Time Penalty System.

Both penalty point system are available here

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