The following racing rules are to be acknowledged and followed by any member in the SOP Motorsport Community.

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 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 cooperate with the passing driver. 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 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 Behaviour:

Passing and 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, entering the braking zone or exiting a corner. 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 turn-in point, 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’.

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 to 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. Basically, you’re going too fast to slow down enough.

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, even if it occurred accidentally.

Bump-passing is defined as the passing driver nudging the car ahead and 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.

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.

Blocking:

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

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.

Gentleman’s Rule:

If a driver is involved in an incident they feel they may be responsible for initiating, it is up to the offending driver to apply the “Gentleman’s Rule”. This is the online racing equivalent of saying “my fault, sorry”.

It simply means that, if possible and safe to do so, you give the position back to the other driver you may have harmed. This could prevent the incident from being reported, but is up to the driver’s discretion.

Spinning and 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 in-game Return to Garage option. A parked car will cause an obstruction or Yellow Flag in that area for the remainder of the race. (See Return to Garage)

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.

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.

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 penalised. Overtakes should be clean and within the confines of the track.

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.

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 Steward Staff.

Using the ACC In-Game Chat Function (PC only):

Every driver is required to show respectful behaviour in the ACC in-game chat.

Drivers are allowed to use the in-game chat during Practice Sessions.

Drivers are not allowed to use the in-game chat during Qualifying or Race Sessions for any reason.

Not following these rules or requirements can lead to severe penalties.

Return to Garage (RTG-feature):

In Free Practice Sessions, drivers are allowed to use the RTG-feature at any time, at a safe moment and safe part on track, without impeding other drivers.

In Qualifying Sessions, drivers are allowed to use the RTG-feature at any time, at a safe moment and safe part on track, without impeding other drivers.

In Race Sessions, drivers are generally NOT allowed to use the RTG-feature. Drivers who are found doing so, for example during an incident review by the stewards post-race, can be heavily penalised.

There are a few exceptions where it is allowed to use the RTG-feature during Race Sessions:

  • A car has become permanently disabled on track.
  • A car is heavily damaged and can be a danger to other competitors while returning to pitlane.
  • A car has become stuck in pitlane entry/exit.

These situations are to be judged by the driver, but can be overruled by the stewards while reviewing an incident report.

Driving in Different Conditions:

Free Practice Session:

Free Practice Sessions are used to ensure all drivers have entered the event before qualifying begins. These sessions can be used freely and however you wish, whilst still respecting driver etiquette.

The RTG-feature is allowed. (See Return to Garage)

Qualifying Session:

In the Qualifying Session, 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 inor 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.

The RTG-feature is allowed. (See Return to Garage)

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 waiting 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.

The RTG-feature is generally NOT allowed. (See Return to Garage)

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.

Multi-Class Racing:

Multiclass racing might be one of the most demanding disciplines in racing. There are specific rules that differ from the standard single-class racing. (See Multi-Class Racing)

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 penalised. 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.

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.

A driver can use the indicators to make your intentions clear to the lapping car. Indicators are to show where you will go, not where you want the lapping car to go.

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.

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

Blue Flag in Multi-Class Racing:

Blue flag rules are different in multi-class racing. The slowest class car out of the two in a lapping situation, gets priority to the racing line. Any incidents that occur due to drivers who unexpectedly chang their line can be penalised (See Multi-Class Racing).

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.

Multi-Class Racing:

Multi-class racing might be one of the most demanding disciplines in racing.

Wether you are in the faster or slower class, managing and surviving multiclass traffic and the huge speed gaps, require a calm, cool and composed mind. Incidents can happen because intentions are misunderstood, drivers are impatient or perhaps even panic.

All classes are equally important.

There is a race going on in every class, and all races are equally important. Especially when in the faster class, you need to remember that.

You will lose time. Accept it.

Whenever interacting with other classes, you will lose time.

And the lost time will seem random, sometimes it’s more, sometimes it’s less.

Do not get frustrated. It’s out of your control when a car from another class appears behind or in front of you. But it’s in your control how you manage this. The smoother you handle it, the less time you will lose. Handling traffic better than your competitors can be a winning factor in multiclass racing.

Be patient – sometimes slower is faster.

At the end of the day, both parties need to keep calm and remain level headed. Don’t get frustrated, and interact with each other in the most efficient way possible in order for both to not lose, or lose as little time as possible. An incident will cost you the most.

In situations where cars of the same class are bunched together, you should be even more cautious, and the faster class car probably shouldn’t go for the move they typically would perform if it were just a single car. There might be a bit of space between cars, but its not always the best to take that space. Be pr epared to lose time, and if you’re ever in doubt, wait for the next best opportunity.

Blue Flags.

There is a big difference from standard single-class racing, which the drivers who are new to multi-class racing will need to pick up quickly:

The slowest class car out of the two in a lapping situation, gets priority to the racing line.

If you’re in a slower class car, you are expected to hold the racing line through corners. But be prepared to hold your line in a situation where a faster class car is making a pass on you.

Blue flags only warn you that a faster car is behind you. Your obligation is to maintain a consistent line and cooperate with the faster driver. That’s it. Don’t get out of the way. While you mean well, it will cause issues and increase the risk of incidents. By getting out of the way, you might end up being in the way, because you change your line and slow down – something the faster driver may not expect. If you’re in a faster class car, it is down to you to go around the other car and make the pass safely.

Show your intentions and be predictable.

Be as clear as you can. Changing your line when approaching or exiting a turn with the other car being close by, is very risky business. See above, don’t get out of the way. Be predictable.

Drive the other classes.

Get into the other cars and get an understanding of how those cars drive and differ from your class. The more you understand how the other classes handle, the better you will be at dealing with traffic.

Anticipate.

There are a few big differences between the GT4 and GT3 cars. Compared to the GT3 cars, the GT4’s are slower overall. They have to brake earlier for a corner, and accelerate slower out of a corner. The GT3’s have alot more downforce and grip. Try to anticipate on the other class car when you are trying to overtake, or being overtaken.

Be flexible.

No two situations are the same. Try to read the situation and adapt to what is happening. Sometimes the best thing to do is to patiently wait through the series of corners before passing slower cars.

Awareness in multi-class racing is the key factor to being successful.

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.

Glitches and Timing Errors:

Unfortunately with sim racing, there is always the possibility of issues with the sim having an unexpected adverse effect on drivers. There are a few known issues with Assetto Corsa Competizione that can have a disastrous impact on a race.

If the stewards believe that a driver has lost a huge amount of time due to glitches and errors, the stewards can agree to take action if possible and reasonable.

The most notable is an issue with track checkpoints that can lead to entire laps not being counted during a race. If this happens in the final 10 minutes of a race and has no significant impact on other drivers, the stewards can look at reverting the effects on a case by case basis.

However, in the event this happens, drivers must act according to the position the game shows they are in when interacting with other drivers, including obeying any blue flags.

Disconnection in the Final Stage of a Race:

If a driver lost connection with the server in the final stage of a race, but has driven 95% of the race distance (including a -1% leniency), they can let the stewards take a look for a possible reinstatement of the driver’s position. This will be done on a case by case basis.

Should this happen when gaps between other drivers are close and if a battle for position could have occurred, the driver who got disconnected can lose that position so there is no advantage gained.

If the driver is part of a close battle for finishing positions, the drivers who actually finished will keep that position and it’s likely any reinstatement will be behind the car/cars involved.

Steward Staff and 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 the 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.

Incident reports have to be submitted within 24 hours after the event.

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 Steward Staff before being issued and the driver(s) will always be informed of the outcome.

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

Penalty and Incident Overview:

Penalties can be received either in the race from the game’s automated penalty system, during live-stewarding, or after the race in an incident review by the Steward Staff.

These are the different types of incidents that are subject to warnings or penalties:

Aggressive Driving: when a driver displays overly aggressive driving.

Avoidable Contact: when a driver makes contact with another driver in a manner, which is deemed avoidable.

Blocking: when drivers alter their racing line in reaction to another driver, in an attempt to prevent a pass or to reduce the effect of drafting (weaving).

Failure to Lock Brakes: when a driver is involved in an incident, and failed to lock their brakes completely, moving unpredictable on track.

Ignoring Blue Flag: when a driver does not follow the Blue Flag rules.

Ignoring Yellow Flag: when a driver does not slow down appropriately for a Yellow Flag zone.

Passing Under Yellow: when a driver completes a pass in a Yellow Flag zone.

Pit Lane Violation: when a driver violates the Pit Entry and Exit rules.

Qualifying Incident: when an incident occurs during the qualifying session.

Unfair Overtake: when an overtake takes place outside the track boundaries.

Unsafe Re-Join: when a driver fails to resume the race in a safe manner.

Unpredictability: when a driver has demonstrated unpredictable behaviour.

Unsportsmanlike: when a driver behaves in a manner which is deemed unsportsmanlike by the SOP Steward Staff.

Typical incidents will fall into 3 classes:

Racing Incident: No penalty involved.
Warning: A driver will be warned of an action, but it does not warrant a penalty.
Penalty: A driver violated a rule and caused an issue on track worth of a penalty.

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