All About ForzaRC 2019
We are one day away from the start of the most exciting season of Forza Racing Championship yet. That means it’s time to drop some last-minute details about how the ForzaRC Invitational Series 2019 is going to play out.
Let’s Talk About Format
Format covers the nuts and bolts of the competition from week to week. How is the tournament laid out, how do teams advance through competition, and what cars and tracks are being raced?
The decision to move to a teams format was a huge one, and we knew it would open the doors to a whole new level of competition. Being the fastest racer on the field is no longer a guarantee of victory, and everything you think you know about these drivers and teams can change in an instant.
For the first six weeks of online competition (Sept 21–Oct 26), each show will be comprised of two matches. A match is three or four races, with four teams competing in each race.
The winner of the first match will progress to the second match. That means that, at most, seven teams will be competing in any given week of competition. Two weeks equals one round, where all thirteen teams have a chance to compete.
With us so far?
Teams will qualify for the next match based on points accrued throughout a race. Points are calculated based on lap times and penalties incurred. That means the first person across the finish line in a race is not guaranteed to be the winner. They might have the fastest time, but once penalties are factored in, that may no longer be the case. Are you the fastest driver? Or the best teammate?
Here’s a breakdown of the points possible based on finishing position in each race, once penalties have been taken into consideration:
1st – 20
2nd – 15
3rd – 12
4th – 10
5th – 8
6th – 6
7th – 5
8th – 4
9th – 3
10th – 2
11th – 1
12th – 0
Points in each round are cumulative for the season, meaning that all the points scored in a race are added up to equal a team’s total, which in turn is added to their overall season total. These points will determine whether a team makes it straight to the finals, or has to compete in the Last Chance Qualifiers.
However, when a team wins a match and progresses to the next match in that round, their highest match score will be the only one taken. For example, if Team 1 scores 60 points and wins Match 1, then go on to score 50 points in match 2 in a losing effort, their Match 1 score will be the one that counts towards their season total and the Match 2 score will be ignored.
After the first six weeks of racing, the top seven teams in the points standings will advance to the Finals, while the bottom two teams will be finished for the season. This leaves four teams to compete in the Last Chance Qualifiers. Week 7 of the online portion will see those remaining four teams compete, regardless of their previous points standing, for the final spot in the Finals.
Following those seven weeks of online competition, the action will move to our live studios in Burbank, California for two-day finals event to crown the winning ForzaRC team.
Earlier this week, teams were randomly seeded to determine their race order. Every team has a chance to race every other team, and the competition comes down to skill and strategy, rather than circumstance and chance. No teams have a straight path to the finals. They’ll have to go through every other team to get there.
What is a Team?
Teams are made up of three racers and a coach. We’ve spent the last few weeks rolling out teams and rosters for this season, and the competition is absolutely stacked with some of the heaviest hitters in Forza racing. Given the level of strategy it takes to excel as a three-person racing squad, the role of the coach will be central to coming out ahead.
Coaches will serve as the point of contact between teams and race officials, as well as being responsible for wrangling their team of elite drivers and devising the best possible approach to every single race. Are drivers communicating and cooperating as well as they can? What driver starts in which position on the grid? Whose car gets the bonus modifications? (More on that below.) The coach is the glue that maintains team unity and dominance on and off the track.
Additionally, coaches serve as fill-in drivers in the event that one of their roster can’t compete, so talent on the track is a huge part of the job for any coach.
Now let’s talk about cars and tracks.
This season, all racing will be held in a modified multiclass format, with customization and strategy playing a huge part. The various classes are defined by car divisions, as defined by Forza Motorsport 7. A week before every show, teams will receive a race packet with all the details on what car divisions are being used, and what tracks are being featured. They will then have a week to build cars in specific divisions that maximize performance, within strict parameters that have been laid out for them like Performance Index constraints, banned parts, and special bonus modifications, which teams can earn through skilled racing throughout the season.
Let’s break this down a little further, starting with Performance Index, or “PI” - this is a number calculated as a result of the specifications that teams are required to build their car within. Those specifications include things like mandatory parts each car must include, banned parts that a car cannot include, and minimum or maximum restrictions on things like weight.
Every team is given a total PI budget that all three cars in a race must be built around. This ensures that all racers are balanced and competitive, with some flexibility to budget towards an individual racer’s strengths.
The strategy options that PI opens up are already wide, but on top of that, we’ve introduced Bonus Builds to the Series – upgrade packs that award a boost to one car, for a single race. Every team starts each match with one Bonus Build, but there’s a number of ways that a team can win additional Builds.
- Clean Sheet - none of a team’s three drivers get any penalties
- Photo Finish - all of a team’s three drivers finish consecutively (e.g. 4th, 5th and 6th)
- Hard Charger - the single driver with most overtakes
This Saturday, you can expect to see ForzaGT vs. HyperCar vs. ExoticGT . That’s three different divisions of cars, and teams will have to build them in line with their PI budget, time constraints, and the strengths of their drivers. Every team must have one car from each division in their lineup.
The tracks for Match 1 are:
1. Circuit De Catalunya Grand Prix Circuit
2. Silverstone Racing Circuit Grand Prix Circuit
3. Hockenheimring Full Circuit
And the tracks for Match 2 are:
4. Mugello Autodromo Internazionale Full Circuit
5. Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps Full Circuit
6. Nurburgring GP Circuit
Per our seeding earlier this week on Alie Tacq’s livestream, Week 1 will see races between
1. Ryze Motorsport
2. Williams Esports
4. Fast Racers Forza
5. Team Highlands Racing
6. Red Bull Racing
7. Raging Dragons Esports
8. the winner of Match 1
There’s a LOT of information there, but here’s what we can guarantee – a season of ForzaRC unlike any other, and an esports competition that raises the bar for competitive racing.
Will the heavy hitters dominate, or will smaller teams better navigate the new format?
Will drivers and coaches be able to cooperate, or will solo driving instincts kick in?
Who will excel in building cars to spec, and who will struggle to get it just right?
We can’t wait for this season to begin. We’re unbelievably excited to see how this Series plays out. And we hope that you’ll join us for every minute of the action, starting at 10 AM PDT on September 21st on Mixer and Twitch
See you there!