MANUFACTURER MONDAY || TWO MANUFACTURERS…TEN CARS

Posted on February 22, 2011

We’re about halfway through revealing the SHIFT 2 Unleashed manufacturers and their cars.  Today we revealed two new manufacturers which made up ten cars on the car list.  Today’s manufacturers are:

Nissan:
- NISSAN 200SX (S14)
– NISSAN 240SX (S13)
– NISSAN 350Z (Z33)
– NISSAN 370Z (Z34)
– NISSAN GT-R (R35)
– NISSAN GT-R SPECV (R35)
– NISSAN SILVIA S15 SPEC. R AERO
– NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R (R32)
– NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R (R34)

Infiniti:
- INFINITI G35 (V35)

We don’t have any sneak peeks for you this week so just click the manufacturer above to read more about them and their cars.

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

BONUS MANUFACTURER REVEAL || PAGANI

Posted on February 20, 2011

No, it not Monday but with the Pagani Huayra being announced today we thought it was only appropriate to reveal Pagani’s full roster of cars featured in SHIFT 2 Unleashed.

Not only is the Huayra in SHIFT 2 but so are the formidable Zonda R & Zonda F.  If ever you’ve played the original SHIFT or know anything about supercars you’d know that these are some of the fastest in the game.

Here is a couple teaser shots of the newly revealed Pagani’s; just click the picture to see more:

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Pagani Zonda F

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Pagani Zonda R

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Need for Speed Visits the Nürburgring

Posted on February 19, 2011

Back in August 2010 MCU, Bojan (NFSUnlimited.net Founder), Torque (NFS Forum Senior Moderator) and I (NFSDrew) took a tour of the Nürburgring while driving some very nice Lotus Exiges.  Sadly, we didn’t get the chance to drive on that very famous track because of a 24 hour bicycle race…or so the website said.  After making arrangements to rent a couple Lotus’s, we picked them up and took a tour of the Nürburgring.  When we arrived at the track we discovered that the bicycle race was just ending and that the track was going to be opened to the public in a matter of minutes.

We weren’t too happy about that but we can’t complain much.  We did get to drive the Lotus’s around the village of Nürburg, Germany for the day and did get on the track…on foot.  Visiting the Nürburgring was something high up on my bucket list and I got to cross it off.  We’ll go back one day and get some laps in.  Until then we have this video to re-live a great day and are very happy to share it will the community.

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Introducing the Limited Edition BMW Z4M Coupe

Posted on February 17, 2011

We are very happy announce the Limited Edition BMW Z4 M Coupe, the latest limited edition car to grace the Need for Speed World free to play racing game.

Under the hood of the BMW Z4 M Coupe are some very impressive race parts just begging to be set free on any unsuspecting blacktop.  Not only is it very fast but it also corners like a dynamo.  Also included is a unique livery only available on this limited edition Z4.

This car can be yours with the purchase of the 17,500 SpeedBoost top up.  This very exclusive edition will only be available for a short period of time so purchase now to add it to your garage. Once you’ve bought the SpeedBoost visit World.NeedforSpeed.com/Gifts to redeem your free car.

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Rendering of Fredric Aasbo’s Team NFS Scion tC

Posted on February 16, 2011

Automotive artist Jon Sibal took the original livery design of Fredric Aasbo’s Scion tC and turned it into the work of art seen above. WIth its matte black on rocket red finish, this car is sure to be a stunner when Team Need for Speed’s Formula Drift season kicks off on April 8 in Long Beach. For more on this, hop over to Speedhunters.

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The Winner of the Create a Track Contest is…

Posted on February 15, 2011

It took a bit longer than expected but Azlan and Marc have finally picked the winner of the Need for Speed World Create a Track contest.  Congratulations to Joshdw who submitted a track called ‘TWIST ROAD':

Azlan and Marc felt that this circuit track is a good length, has lots of difficult corners and a nice section to get up your car to its max speed.  As soon as we release the upcoming Team Escape mode Azlan is going to build the track and get it into the game for everyone to race on!

Here are some honorable mentions for tracks that Azlan and Marc liked but not enough to be the winner:


“BCR Interchange 3.1”  by WodanBCR-Crew


“Around the World” by Name Withheld


“Roundabout” by HazewinDog

Thank you to everyone who participated in this contest. We were absolutely amazed at the number of entries we received! So much so that I think that we should run this contest again some time…

Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

MANUFACTURER MONDAY || AMERICAN & JAPANESE

Posted on February 14, 2011

Another Monday another manufacturer. In this case another three manufacturers in SHIFT 2 have been revealed! They are:

Within the three manufacturers are seven cars:

Acura:
- Acura NSX

Dodge:
- Dodge Challenger Concept
– Dodge Challenger R/T
– Dodge Charger R/T
– Dodge Viper SRT10

Honda:
- Honda Civic SI
– Honda S2000

Below is a quick taste of some of the cars revealed today:

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Special Edition Need for Speed Podcast is LIVE!

Posted on February 12, 2011

The Special Edition Need for Speed Podcast featuring new Team Need for Speed drifter Fredric Aasbo is now LIVE and ready to download on iTunes and our RSS feed, and can also be streamed here.

In the cast, NFSDrew welcomes Fredric to the team, and chats about his background and what he hopes to accomplish in 2011 on the Formula Drift circuit, coming off his Rookie of the Year campaign last year.

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

Refer your Facebook Friends and get exclusive vinyls free

Posted on February 11, 2011

If you have a lot of Facebook friends who haven’t tried Need for Speed World yet it’s time to try out the new Refer a Friend tool and earn a reward for yourself in the process. To make referrals really simple we’ve released a new tool to suggest to your Facebook friends they take Need for Speed World out for a spin.

Refer as many friends as you like. The more people you refer, and they register, the better the reward you will receive. We’re starting the process slowly and setting a small target so it only takes three friends registering for an account to trigger the first reward… the Valentine Vinyls. You can track your referral progress on the Referral page so check back often and see how close you are to receiving the exclusive vinyls. As soon as you see three or more friends have registered the vinyls will automatically be unlocked in the game; simply login, go to the Customization screen, enter the Vinyl Shop and you’ll see the Valentine section.

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NEW IN-GAME STORE OUT NOW

Posted on February 10, 2011

Hardcore Need for Speed World gamers may have noticed the introduction of the new in-game store in our latest patch. We’ve built a brand new in-game store so instead of having to visit the website every time you want to buy some new Powerups or to pick up the latest Car releases you’re always just one click away from the new in-game store.

To enter the store click on the SpeedBoost Store sign at the top right corner of the page. We’ve kept the design of the store very minimal to make it as simple as possible so you can see a range of tabs across the top. When you click one of these it’ll reload the page and update with the specific offers. When we designed the store we wanted to be able to offer you more help when you’re deciding which cars to buy. Now when you click on the image of each car the store will open a new window with a larger shot of the car and the all important Handling, Acceleration and Top Speed stats.

Introducing the In-Game Store doesn’t mean an end to the Web Store however as we will be continuing to support both stores and will keep offering cool, exclusive content across both.

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Alpinestars & Need for Speed Presents the PLAY A PRO SWEEPSTAKES

Posted on February 08, 2011

Alpinestars and Need for Speed are very proud to present the PLAY A PRO SWEEPSTAKES.  This new contest gives you the chance to win a trip to attend the Formula Drift in Long Beach, California on April 8 – 9, 2011.

Available to residents of the United States only, this is an opportunity you can’t pass up.  The grand prize winner will receive roundtrip coach-class air transportation for two adults from a major U.S. gateway airport nearest winner’s home (as determined by Sponsors in their sole discretion) to Long Beach, California; hotel accommodations for two nights (two rooms, standard double occupancy) at a hotel selected by Sponsors; two tickets and two pit passes to the Formula Drift in Long Beach on April 8 and 9, 2011; transportation to and from the airport, hotel and event; and an opportunity to play against an Alpinestars drift driver in Shift 2 Unleashed.

To enter into the sweepstakes, visit www.tillys.com and follow the instructions to complete and submit the online entry form to receive one entry.  All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PT on 02/27/11 to be eligible.

Official rules for the PLAY A PRO SWEEPSTAKES can be found here.

Good luck!

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

MANUFACTURER MONDAY >> BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Posted on February 06, 2011

Yes, we know it’s not Monday but we didn’t get to post any new manufacturers this week so we figured we would go into the weekend with at least one reveal.  Today we revealed a new manufacturer in SHIFT 2; Mazda.

On the track, Mazda has been extremely successful with its Wankel rotary-based cars as well as its piston engine models. In fact, the Mazda RX-7 has won more than 100 races on the now-defunct IMSA Showroom Stock circuit, continuing in the vein of success set by its predecessors the RX-2 and RX-3.

You can check out the three Mazda cars; Mazda RX-7, Mazda RX-7 FC3S and the Mazda RX-8 or just read about Mazda.

Enjoy!

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED >> ON THE SUBJECT OF PHYSICS

Posted on February 03, 2011

SHIFT 2  Unleashed Racing Game

One thing that really interests me is the process of recognizing patterns, especially trends and collective opinions. It’s a skill that has allowed me to carve out a bit of a career as a creative director and has served me well over the years.

Now one pattern that I picked up at the end of the Shift1 project was your viewpoint in regards to the physics experience of the game. Shift1 was definitely trying to please both the traditional Need for Speed arcade racers as well as sim racing fans. The feel of the game thus ended somewhere between both of these types of video game racing types.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

So after I showcased for you the in-game AE86 and the host of wheels available for it, I was quite interested to read your feedback. And it appears that while most of you are excited by what I showcased in the article, you wanted to know more about the physics and our approach for this game.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

So I’m quite pleased to let you know that Shift2 is quite firmly focused as a sim racer. And not only that I’m feeling quite bullish that we’ve pushed the genre to the next level.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

Now the whole focus of the SHIFT2 UNLEASHED experience is quite a lot different than the offerings from Forza and GT. We’ve pushed ourselves to replicate the first person, human sensory experience of driving powerful race, time attack and drift cars. So we’ve created a totally new way of racing in a video game: Helmet-cam.

This quite literally puts you in the seat of a race car, whether you’ve built up your hot hatch in to a full spec silhouette racer or you are piloting an FIA GT1 machine. Every single nuance of the real life experience has been lovingly recreated for you. We figure that driving a powerful car should be more than just a mathematical simulation, it has to be violent and frightening.

Let’s face it, motorsports is dangerous and dirty and this is the direction the team chose to take.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

So to make sure we nailed down both the physics and our new helmet-cam feature we turned to the experts. Speedhunters and Need for Speed are involved with the careers of several different racing driver and drifters, so we decided to get them involved with the game production itself.

The Slightly Mad Studios crew are pretty hardcore car nuts and collectively have a lot of experience of taking high powered cars to track day events. But to really take things to a deeper level and get absolute verification of the in-game race experience we hooked them up with a few of our driving crew.

When it comes to advanced technology, the Shift physics system itself is second to none. It takes the actual suspension geometry that we receive from manufacturer CAD data and replicates the suspension components in 3D space. It is not some game producer’s “idea” of how a car should handle. Not at all, if you are say driving a Porsche 911 in game, then you are driving an actual 3D physics representation of that car based on CAD data. Within this driving experience though, we can layer on driving aids and tweak items like holistic track grip, tire slip angles and car setups. So there’s a bit of wiggle room to push the difficulty levels and physics modes in to a few different directions.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

SMS have also added these HUD physics displays to the game, allowing you to see the forces acting on your car in real time. This screen shows tire temp, lateral force and grip direction among other items.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

This screen is layers in shock telemetry and allows you to get a visual on what the suspension is doing.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

But like I said, our goal with this game was to make it as realistic as possible, but also try and capture the essense of driving powerful cars. I don’t think this is something that has really been done too much in the past. I mean seriously, how many of the existing driving engines out there make you feel afraid, as you would be pushing a real race car to the limit?

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

The first driver to get his hands on an early version of SHIFT2 UNLEASHED was Vaughn Gittin JR. Some of you will recall that we flew him to the UK last May to join a Speedhunting trip at Silverstone. What we couldn’t say at the time, was that the real purpose of the trip was for him to sit down with the SMS crew to try out a completely re-imagined drift mode. Our focus? To see if we couldn’t capture the true essence of drifting. It had to be fun, exciting and with just a touch of hooliganism. So we decided to start from scratch with the drift experience in Shift2 and based the mode around car setup and optional driving aids rather than a different set of physics. I’m quite proud of the result but it did require literally months of work from SMS. They kept at it though until we got the feeling just right.

I took this snap of him and Will Roegge right as he arrived at the SMS studio in London.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

So we wanted to see if JR thought we were on the right track or not. He liked where we were going, but had a lot of suggestions which we then worked to incorporate into the mode. I’ll let JR talk more about this in detail in a future article though.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

The next driver to test the game was Jamie Campbell Walter, one of the drivers of the Sumo Power GT-Rs. we set up a meeting in London last August for him to try out SHIFT2 UNLEASHED.

As we have the official license for both the FIA GT1 World Championship and GT3 European series, we wanted to make sure that we had nailed down the exact speed and feeling of the GT1 machines. Were the target laptimes correct? The braking distances ok? Did the cars have too much or too little downforce? And more importantly, were we capturing the true feeling of racing one of these cars?

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

Jamie was very impressed with the overall Shift2 experience, especially helmet-cam, but thought that more downforce was needed. To him, the real life Sumo Power GT-R felt more planted in in Eau Rouge at Spa in real life than in the game. Jamie also wanted to see more aggressive turn in for the car too.

He also pointed out that we needed to raise up the shift knob in the GT-R’s cockpit. It wasn’t in quite the right position.

He did think we had nailed the braking power though. He found that he was hitting the brakes around Spa in exactly the right points.

So we made the adjustments and had him try the updated physics again the following month… this time we got a big thumbs up.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

Now there is one guy on our crew of racers who is as hardcore as they come when it comes to sim racing: Tommy Milner. Interestingly, we both got our big start in sim racing back with the old EA game, Sports Car GT and have remained in contact ever since.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

First of all, we had to updated his BMW to the latest 2010 spec. A few calls to our collegues at Rahal Letterman racing netted the actual graphics file for the 2010 car wrap, which we used on the new 3D model.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

And then we brought him to a private gaming session held at Formula D Irwindale last October.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

Tommy had a huge amount of feedback for us that day. First of all, he thought we needed to rethink our racing headlights in the new night mode. Longer beams would be needed to get around the Nurburgring Nordeschleife at night. He thought that the trees, guardrails and signs were lighting up in a realistic fashion but the tarmac itself was not lighting up enough. You just couldn’t see where you were going enough in the dead of night on the very remote tracks.

Secondly he didn’t like the shock dampening on the BMW and felt that the set up of the car was way too soft compared to how his real GT2 car. He thought it was pitching and rolling too much, which definitely should not be the case for a high end GT racer.

We later discovered that the shock bumpstops of all the high end race cars in SHIFT2 needed some adjustments. It was Tommy that suggested these changes.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

Tommy is a truly amazing in-game racer but Darren McNamara can give him a run for his money.

He was pretty excited to try out the in-game version of the D-Mac86 which was completed for Shift2 well in advance of the real car (Dmac86 when is the next blog post BTW?)

Darren was quite interested to try out the drift mode… he also had some very direct feedback on the amount of lateral grip on the tire model during moments of high speed wheel spin in a long drift, which we also addressed later on with SMS.

Rado also popped by too…

… And was rather blown away by the in-game representation of his AWD Scion. This is one of the wildest, fastest cars in Shift2 and is rather frightening to drive I have to say! Driving this beast of a car around the Nordschleife or Bathurst is extremely frightening :>

The whole Twins Turbo crew are rather hardcore gamers too… they were itching to have a go.

Their Viper was a very late addition to the SHIFT2 UNLEASHED release plan, but we’ve been working with them for a while now to get this crazy machine set up and going. I’ll show you more about this process later on….

I’d say that of any driver we’ve had working on SHIFT2 UNLEASHED, the one guy that’s had the biggest effect on the game is Edward Sandstrom. He worked out of the EA DICE Studio in Stockholm for around three months this past winter and individually tuned the set up for each of the cars. He wanted to also get a more aggressive turn-in for the high end GT race cars and also focused on making them a bit more lively, to allow you to balance the pitch and angle of the car using throttle input as you exited the corners.

SHIFT 2 Unleashed Racing Game

Of course I need to mention Patrick Soderlund who not only spent 2010 racing the Team NFS Schubert BMW Z4 GT3, but oversees the production of all racing titles inside EA. The first title to be released under his leadership was NFS Hot Pursuit, and SHIFT2 UNLEASHED will be his second.

I think Patrick considers SHIFT2 to be a little bit of a special project for him, so he spent quite a bit of time trying out all the physics settings. In particular Patrick was able to use his actual experiences behind the wheel of the real world Z4 GT3 to compare with the in-game counterpart.

The last big game test we did was was at SEMA in November. We rented out a private suite above the show floor to present the game to a few select journalists and drivers on a crazy D-Box setup.

BTW notice how Tommy prefers to drive in his socks. I guess trainers deaden the feel of the pedals too much.

Tommy is by far the fastest sim racer I’ve ever witnessed in the flesh. It’s quite unreal to see him display his skill as a racing driver on plain view.

We also let Fredric Aasbo and Matt Powers have a go too. Fredric interestingly had no issues drifting using a game controller AND manual transmission. More testing with these drifters and few of our other guests have netted more changes to the mode. Personally speaking, I think it feels pretty natural now. The cars still feel like there’s grip and you can dial in or out a number of aids depending on your level of hardcoreness.

Personally I’m completely addicted to these D-Box chairs. With a full range of motion, vibration actuators, and built in surround sound, this is the ultimate way to experience SHIFT 2… I quite literally am shaking with adrenaline, every time I use one of these things.

Of course this new focus on deep, immerse realism would not be possible without the superhuman efforts of the Slightly Mad Studios crew. Once they were freed up up to unleash the full power of their physics engine with a purely realism focused game, they really went to town adding the new on-screen telemetry features and a whole new level of car setup detail. If a parameter is adjustable on the real life car, then it’s adjustable in game. And if you add aftermarket parts to your car, then more adjustment options open up.

So to answer your questions: YES the driving experience of SHIFT2 UNLEASHED is squarely in the realism space and the physics experience is much improved and evolved.

:R

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

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I want this game!! Now!

Driver Blog: MILNER AND SANDSTROM >> WINNING THE DUBAI 24HS PT1

Posted on February 02, 2011

Tommy Milner: What’s up SpeedHunters! Welcome to a two part blog about the Dubai 24 Hours from half of the winning driver lineup, Edward Sandstrom and myself, Tommy Milner. The Dubai 24 Hour race is, for some people, a warm up for the 2011 season and for others their biggest race of the season.

I’ve known about The Dubai 24 Hour for a couple years. Recently, it’s been getting more attention in the world motorsport press as more well known teams and drivers make the trip to the UAE. This year was no exception as a number of world class teams sent their cars, crew, and drivers to Dubai for the first 24 hour race of the 2011 season.
Being a sports car racing driver, any 24 hour race is good experience and a good workout at the bare minimum and has the potential to be an unforgettable twice around the clock marathon. This year was exactly that.

Edward Sandstrom: Hi again. New season and what a perfect start then. I’ve never been start-ing a season in early January before, so it was great to start driving directly after Christmas. I was already in Dubai 2004 doing a race in Formula Renault V6, but my memories of the track wasn’t too sharp when me and Augusto were biking around the track. Off course I was bit disappointed that my regular co-drver Patrick unfortunately couldn’t drive because of his neck injury after the crash at Zolder. A good thing instead though was that he was helping the team with strategy during the race.

Tommy Milner: My involvement with Need for Speed, EA, and Speedhunters has lead to some great opportunities. Rod had hinted a few times at a desire to have me drive the Team Need For Speed Z4s. Rewind to a few months ago when I spoke with Patrick Soderlund and just like that I was going to drive for the team at Dubai! I was excited and I could tell Patrick was too.

Tommy Milner: As you are probably aware, the crew responsible for making Team Need for Speed happen is Schubert Motorsport. Having been around BMW’s racing programs for a number of years, the most well known and most well connected privateer BMW team has to be Schubert Motorsport. They are always first to run BMW’s latest customer racing car offering. I’d never met anyone from the team before until BMW’s End of Year Gala held in Munich where I met the lead Engineer for the team, Stefan Fober. We had a long chat about the race and after speaking with him I was pretty sure we had a good shot of winning this race!

Edward Sandstrom: I’ve known, Schubert since last season and must say I’m really impressed over the dedication they have for racing and preparing race cars. Every time I’ve been behind the steering wheel of their cars, everything is always working perfectly. Even when there’s been a crash they always make sure everything is 100 % to perfection

Tommy Milner: Our team for Dubai was Edward, Augusto Farfus, and Claudia Huertgen. I’d never met Edward and had only met Augusto and Claudia briefly before but I was aware of who they all were from following the GT3 championship here on Speedhunters and Augusto did a lot of the testing for the BMW M3 GT2 car I race for the last two seasons. I don’t think anyone would disagree with me when I say we had the best all around driver lineup in Dubai.

Edward Sandstrom: Claudia and me have been working together in the team during the 2010 season. Augusto I met shortly before. And fast Tommy was first time. Anyway this was best driver lineup I have ever shared a car with.

Tommy Milner: Joining the Schubert Motorsport team in the sister car was a bunch of nobodies… Yeah, no, just kidding. The other car was probably our stiffest competition going into the race. Boris Said, my teammate from last year Bill Auberlen, Matt Plumb, and Paul Dalla Lana. 3 Americans and one Canadian. I think just in our team was half of the American’s driving in the race. These guys would be fast for sure.

Tommy Milner: The first practice was my first time in the Z4 GT3 car so I was happy to hear they added another practice session as there wasn’t much time otherwise. The car felt like a slightly less refined version of the M3 GT2 car I was used to. However, with ABS, traction control, and stability control, finding the speed was easy.

Edward, How did you find the car in the first session? Was it a big change going from be-ing around cars that were all your speed to passing 30 cars per lap?

Edward Sandstrom: Actually the car itself worked better then expected. Because of the different rules for this race we had to change some important things like ride height on the car. I had some worries before, but it was no really drama. The thing was to get the tires working properly. The track in Dubai is really “green” and it isn’t too much rubber lad down, which causes graining. The traffic was actually worse then at Nurburgring 24h. You really have to pay attention to avoid all possible misunderstandings with slower cars. But it worked fine for me.

Tommy Milner: Our biggest competition for the race looked like it would be a couple Porsches, a Mercedes or two, and Ferrari or two as well. Judging by their lap times and driver lineups I guessed we’d be fighting at least one or two of those cars throughout the race.

I mean with names like Bernd Schneider, Sacha Maasen and Jeroen Blekemolen you know it’s better to step on it and have perfect tactics. The Mercedes SLS AMG GT3  is new and looks impressive and was also very fast on track.

Edward Sandstrom: I’m used to sharing seat with Patrick who is tall (198cm), so with standard Recaro-seat it was easy for me. Even then you have to adjust belts and everything to make sure everything fits properly and all stops can be effectively made.

Tommy Milner: One of the first things on the schedule was fitting into the car. When you have four drivers of all different sizes, the seating position and belt fitment is key. The four of us spent half an hour working on getting fitted into the car and doing some driver change practice.

Tommy Milner: With 80+ cars entered and every car having at least four drivers, some with five drivers in the car, the drivers meeting was packed. The Dubai 24 Hour has some different rules so I spent most of the meeting reading the handout and asking Stefan some questions about the Code 60 rules which was the biggest difference for me.

Edward Sandstrom: Quite different rules in some areas, code 60 means they instead of using a safety car puts out code 60 board which means you have to go around the track not higher then 60 km/h. You also have reference time for it. 5 min 23 seconds I think it was. I had a penalty in the race when I had been too quick, but just visual, hmm.

Tommy Milner: The NFS crew loves to put cameras everywhere. Edward had the honors of doing a helmet cam for the team this time. Does that distract you in the car much?

Edward Sandstrom: Off course you maybe doesn’t want to use it in qualifying. But you tend to focus on your line and so on. So it didn’t really disturb me. I’m just waiting to see the result and hope the developers got some useful data for helmet cam, which I really think is great in SHIFT2 UNLEASHED.

Tommy Milner: New team, new stickers. Throwing on some NFS branding on the helmet for the event. Thankfully, my helmet painter decided it would be better to put stickers for last years sponsors and not paint them. It made rebranding a lot easier

Tommy Milner: And some shiny new suits designed by the one and only, Andy Blackmore. Definitely one of the best designs I’ve worn.

Edward Sandstrom: Yeah I agree, thx Andy! They worked perfect and also shoes, gloves and underwear from Alpinestars. You really need a lot of things when doing 24h race and definitely need dry and fresh gear for every stint.

Tommy Milner: Practice was … OK. The car and team and drivers all worked well but we struggled with the tires. Specifically, graining the tires.

Tommy Milner: Depending on the balance of the car, we’d grain either the front tires or the rear tires. We hoped that it would be better in the practice session before qualifying after some more rubber was laid down on the track, but that wasn’t the case. We still had trouble.

Tommy Milner: The track surroundings are pretty interesting. As you drive to the track from the main city area, you leave these towering buildings and head out to what looks like nowhere. As you get closer though, the specs off in the distance then become buildings which are, as you soon become well aware of, under construction. Three, four, five, and on and on. More and more buildings this far out from the main city are just shells of buildings.

When I’m driving though, all I see is brake points, apexes, and the rear bumpers of about 20 cars per lap. You could put me into a street circuit in downtown NYC and all I’d end up seeing is the race track.

Edward Sandstrom: Yes, all aspects about the surrounding I was watching during the cab drives to the track. Off course you also crossed your fingers he would find the track. It wasn’t for granted. On track it’s only cars and the best possible overtaking you could do all the time.

Tommy Milner: The track itself is great though. The flow of the track is actually quite nice. The first section with a tough downhill right-hander that leads to a flat out left kink to a long right-hander. Then a quick little left kink to a long right, then to a long left. That first section has a great rhythm to it that when the car is on new tires and well balanced, a lot of fun to drive in the Z4 GT3.

My favorite part of the track has to be the last section. A really fast, flat out, left hand kink that leads right into the brake zone for a slow, late apex, left with lots of camber. You can really throw the car into the corner here and let the camber in the road catch the car. It was also a place in the race that I was able to make a lot of passes.

Edward Sandstrom: We wanted to qualify in a certain time, because of the rules with ballast. Setup changes and stipulated best time in the race if you went too fast. Our time was a little bit better than we wanted and therefore we had to put in 75kg ballast instead of predicted 25kg. We actually saw that our opposition reflected on this and bettered their times as well. Good to know they where watching us. What we had calculated with from the beginning would have been enough to go flatout in the race without hitting the reference time, the traffic influences the laptimes quite a bit. If you went lower you had 10 joker cards to use before getting a penalty. Strange to get a penalty for being too fast, but it actually didn’t affect the race this time. But I hope this rule was one timer.

Tommy Milner: I was focused on our 76 Z4 but I was also keeping an eye on 77. Having worked with both Bill and Boris before I was chatting with them as well about how they were finding the car and the track.

Tommy Milner: The morning before the race. The whole EA/Speedhunters crew, minus Jonathan here, was up enjoying the awesome breakfast at the hotel. Usually I’m really picky about what I eat before a race but I couldn’t resist enjoying the food they had out. I was really relaxed and ready for the race. It was odd having such little time in the car before the race. Usually, the team and I have done a lot of testing and practice leading up to the race that you’re almost tired already of the weekend. In Dubai though, I was excited to get going and racing for 24 hours. Quite a bit different feeling than I’m used to. It was a nice change.

Tommy Milner: My girlfriend, Evin, joined me on the trip and she was a huge help, as always. She would get me a snack if I needed something during the race.

Tommy Milner: Before qualifying the #77 car had a problem with a brake line and smashed the rear end pretty good. The Schubert guys were up until 5am before the night of the race fixing the car so it was good as new. A huge effort before a 24 hour race and something you never want to see but it was pretty impressive to see the car the night before the race and to see it all buttoned up and looking ready to race the next morning.

Edward Sandstrom: When it comes to repairing cars Schubert Motorsport knew how to do it. Even if you think it’s not possible.


Tommy Milner: Part of the agenda for the weekend, besides winning races, was doing some video for SHIFT2 UNLEASHED to appear later. As I’ve had a bigger hand this year in the development of SHIFT2, with helping them improve the driving characteristics of some of the race cars and other gameplay improvements, they’ve also had me do some more promotional video clips as well. Every time I play an updated version of the game, the better it gets. Can’t wait to see where they take it by the time it is released!


Tommy Milner: So, it was race time! It felt like it came so soon, which is a nice change. I headed out onto the grid to take a look, finally, at some of the competition. I recognized a lot of names on the tops of many of the cars. I was pretty surprised at the level of development that has occurred on the GT3 cars now. The Mercedes and the new Porsche GT3 R are impressive looking from the outside and look almost more aggressive than the GT2 cars I’m used to!

Also, a pretty cool meeting I had on the grid, was with a distant cousin of mine! Amazing that we’d meet in Dubai of all places. Will Langhorne races quite a bit in Europe in the Porsche Supercup series and is related somehow to me on my mothers side. He had spoken with my mom a number of years ago and it was neat to meet him there before the race.

Edward Sandstrom: I had a good feeling for the race. Bu you never know which cards have been shown during qualifying.


Tommy Milner: Giddy up! It’s go time. Claudia would start for us and she did a phenominal job at the start. Moving up from sixth to third on the first lap. Just as soon as the race got started though, it was under a Code 60, or essentially a full course caution. Code 60 basically requires you to cruise around the track at 60kph while they clean up the problem. A Porsche had speared off the track at the end of the fastest straight and completely taken out a section of guardrail. A quick end to a long race for those guys.


Tommy Milner: Once it went back to green flag racing, Claudia held her spot in third for a number of laps, running some fast lap times early on while traffic wasn’t much of a problem. However, it wasn’t long before she started to drop back. The problem was the tires and they were graining again. We had hoped that by now the track would be nice and rubbered in and the tires would hold up fine but that wasn’t the case. We now all had to do our best to conserve the tires as long as we could so we wouldn’t have to stop early for tires.


Tommy Milner: Claudia pitted a bit earlier than the others, which was to plan actually. The fueling stations can get crowded so we wanted to be off sequence of the rest of them so we weren’t waiting to get fuel. It also helped our tire situation as we had dropped down the order a few spots at this point and we needed to get the tires off the car.

Edward Sandstrom: I was seriously concerned because of all the problems during practice with graining. We had hoped the amout of rubber should have changed our tire situation. Luckily we found a way to cope with it.


Tommy Milner: Our plan for the driver rotation was Claudia, Augusto, Me, Edward. Augusto is in the car at this point now and he is trying to conserve the tires as best as he can. Edward and I wait and watch the timing screens to see how our progress was since the pit stop. We had dropped WAY down the order by pitting early but it wasn’t long before we’d be back on top.

Tommy Milner: The Schubert guys hard at work during a pitstop. No mistakes in pitlane would be a huge part of doing well.


Tommy Milner: Everyone was examining the tires that came off of Claudia’s car at the start. We knew by the lap times that they were graining so Augusto and I had already discussed taking it easy on them in a few areas and discussed with Claudia where she thought we could push and where we could take it a bit easy on them.


Tommy Milner: Almost 5pm and it was my turn in the car. I would drive from sunset into the darkness.


Tommy Milner: It was good to just get in the car and get that first stint out of the way. I took it easy on the front tires and it really made a huge difference over the stint. I was the quickest car on the track during my stint and was able to maintain that all the way through.


Tommy Milner: By this time we’d moved up from below 20th back up into the top ten and working our way back to the front.


Tommy Milner: I came out of the pits around the time the 77 car was nearing the end of its stint. Bill was in the car at the time and we raced for a bit before I let him by. It wasn’t but a few laps later and he was pitting to finish his first stint.

Edward Sandstrom: I used the first stint mostly to settle in. I first had to understand how dirty the track was off the racing line. If you overtook cars too much off the line you definitely suffered from pick up on the tires. When I realized all this it felt easier to get a good rhythm. The darkness was most difficult in the early high speed right hander as the elevation made the apex blind in the dark.


Edward Sandstrom: Actually the head lights arent as important as on Nurburgring as the track is quite bright even in the dark.


Edward Sandstrom: But the headlight flashing function is very useful to get attention from slower cars when passing in the traffic!


Tommy Milner: Looking pretty unhappy here at this point. Everything was just getting started really. We’d solved our tire issue and now leading the race. Things were looking good!


Tommy Milner: Here’s Claudia waiting for her turn in the car again. Her second stint now. The big number on the helmet is for the organizers to know who is in the car. The number corresponds to our entry sheet that lists each driver as 1, 2, 3, or 4


Edward Sandstrom: Here I was actually bringing the car into from lead after 7 hours I think. But I didn’t know I was in the lead. Also there were so many hours left that it didn’t really matter. Instead you always where thinking about strategy. How many stops have the others made or not, will they stop refueling before or after us.

Edward Sandstrom: Stefan Wendl our engineer and Patrick, who because of injury were replaced by Farfus, did an early master call in strategy, when we used the first code 60 to top up the fuel and stretch the stint for Farfus. Later the others started to copy this. But they weren’t awake from start, which made us an advantage

Tommy Milner: The key to these races is getting rest when you can. By the end of the race, hopefully, I’ll be sore and tired from the event so napping while I can is huge. The earbuds were crucial too for sleeping later in the night as they blocked out all of the noise and the iPod put me to sleep.

Tommy Milner: Waiting… It was pretty chilly in the garages with the wind rushing through. I threw this hoodie in my bag last minute and I’m glad I did. Maybe next year I’ll pack a snuggie just for that extra warmth.

Tommy Milner: No more than 5 minutes later from the previous shot, the car was coming in and I had to throw my helmet and suit on as quick as possible as Augusto was coming in a bit earlier because of a Code 60 again. Ready to go!

Tommy Milner: I was actually a bit nervous about the driver changes. In practice, I had trouble getting the lap belts buckled quickly. For whatever though in the race, it all went smooth and I got the belts buckled easily each time. One of those times when habit and second nature takes over and everything goes easy.

Tommy Milner: And away I go, but not before I had to turn hard right at the end of pit lane to go to the fueling station where two more of the Schubert crew were waiting for me, to fill me up with fuel out of your every day gas pump. The whole situation was bizarre for me as I’ve never seen anything like it but amazingly it worked well.

Tommy Milner: To be honest, I was a bit of a mad man in traffic. I was taking some risks but ones that I thought were worth it.

Tommy Milner: Despite the fact that we were in the lead and at this point leading by a lap or so, there was still a lot of race left to be run and who knows what would happen later. I wanted to put in good drives each time I was in the car and keep the gap we had built and if I could, extend it.

Tommy Milner: The car does look fantastic with the reflective wireframe. It’s also worth pointing out the lights. The Z4 GT3 has a high beam flasher button on the wheel that I’ve never pushed so much in my life. With so many slower cars around me on the track, it might have been more effective to just turn the high beam flasher on full time.

Tommy Milner: I’m sure some of the slower cars were annoyed with us faster cars as I saw many other faster cars doing the same thing I was.

Tommy Milner: Fireworks! Pretty cool to be in the car while the fireworks were going off at Midnight. The first firework caught me off guard a bit but after that I just tuned them out until the back straight where I took a break when I could to check out the show.

Tommy Milner: By this time this photo was taken at 1AM, I’d headed back for our shipping crate and some cots set up in there to get some sleep. Bill Auberlen was already sleeping and Augusto was in there as well getting a little rest. I chatted with Augusto real quick about the car and my stint and then put the earbuds in and turned my brain off for a bit.

More in part 2!…

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

Presenting the T-Mobile NFS Boost Pack

Posted on February 02, 2011

Today we are very excited to announce that T-Mobile and the Need for Speed World free to play online racing game have teamed up to bring you the T-Mobile NFS Boost Pack.

Available to North American players who have not yet redeemed their T-Mobile code, the Boost Pack provides players with:

- +25% Reputation Amplifier
– +25% Cash Amplifier
– 7 day rental: Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4
– 7 day rental: BMW M3 GTR
– 7 day rental: Audi R8 4.2 FSI QUATTRO
– Owned Car: T-Mobile Mazda MAZDASPEED3

To claim your T-Mobile NFS Boost Pack simply visit http://t-mobile.ea.com and follow the on-screen instructions.  It’s as simple as that!

Pretty sweet pack so if you haven’t already redeemed your T-Mobile code you should do so now.

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

Last Chance to Enter the Create A Track Contest

Posted on January 31, 2011

If you haven’t yet submitted an entry into the Need for Speed World Create a Track contest you better get on it.  The contest closes at 11:59 PM (PST) February 2, 2011 so you only have a few more days to enter.  We received thousands of entries so far and it’s going to be difficult for us to pick the winner.  Here are the details for the contest in case you haven’t had a chance to read though them yet.

In the Create a Track Contest we want you to create a track for us using the world map below.  Simply draw your race route on the map and submit it to NFSDrew. We’ll even let you name the track!

Need for Speed World - Small World Map
The best track as judged by Marc De Vellis (NFS World Producer) and Azlan Mustapha (NFS World Designer) will be declared the winner.  Once a winner is chosen, we’ll create their track and implement it in the game for the entire world to race on!

Here are the details of the Create a Track Contest:

How Do I Participate in the contest?
In order to participate in this contest follow these simple steps:

1. Download the large version of the NFS World world map by right-clicking on the image of the map above and select the “Save Link as…” option.  Alternatively, you could click on the map above to display the large version; once the large version is displayed right-click on it and select the “Save Image as…” option.
2. Using an image editing program (MS Paint, PhotoShop (Trial), etc) draw your track (race route) on the world map and save it.

3. Once you’ve finished creating your track submit it to NFSDrew via email.

How do I Win (Winning Conditions)?
The player that submits the best track will win.  Marc De Vellis and Azlan Mustapha will review each entry and choose the best track therefore the winner will be determined by subjective judgment.

What do I Win (Prize):
The winner will have their track built and implemented into NFS World.  It will be available to race on in-game mid-March depending on the complexity of the track.

Official Rules:
1. A player must submit their entry via email to NFSDrew (Drew@NeedforSpeed.com) in order to be eligible to win
2. The track must contain a race route
3. A player may choose to include a name for their track.  If no name is provide the NFS World team will make one up.

4. The track name must be rated E for Everyone.  This means that the name cannot contain any text that contains inappropriate language (abusive, hateful, racially, religiously or ethnically offensive, obscene, threatening, bullying, vulgar, sexually explicit, defamatory, infringing, invasive of personal privacy or publicity rights)
5. The track can be either a Circuit race or a Sprint race
6. A player can submit as many entries to the contest as they wish
7. There are no regional and/or language restrictions in this contest.  Anyone in the world in any language can enter.

8. The NFS World Create a Track Contest officially began at 00:01 / 12:01 AM (PST) January 19, 2010 and ends 23:59 / 11:59 PM February 2, 2011.
9. Winners will be announced on or about February 7, 2011.  Please note that due to the over-whelming number of entries the winner announcement may be delayed to on or about February 11, 2011.

Good luck!

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

First SHIFT 2 Unleashed Manufacturers, Cars and Tracks Revealed!

Posted on January 29, 2011

Today is a very special day because we unveiled the first batch of manufacturers, cars and tracks in SHIFT 2.  But that’s not all!  Today we also refreshed the SHIFT 2 web site with a all new design so we can start revealing the rest of the manufacturer, car and track lists.

Starting next week we’re going to be revealing new manufacturers, cars and tracks every week.  Be on the lookout for ‘Manufacturer Mondays’ and ‘Track Thursdays’ because that’s when we’re going to post the next reveal every week for the next nine weeks.

Today we unveiled three manufacturers and four tracks.  Just click the logos below to read more about them:

Here is a quick preview:

Enjoy!

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

Another Classic Returns to Need for Speed World

Posted on January 29, 2011

Need for Speed World Pontiac GTO

This Thursday the 1965 Pontiac GTO makes its debut in the Need for Speed World free to play online racing game.  The last Need for Speed that featured the GTO was NFS Undercover and it looked like this:

Need for Speed Undercover Pontiac GTO

So it’s been a while since NFS player’s have had the opportunity to drive this car which is why the NFS World team made it a priority to get in the game.

Need for Speed World Pontiac GTO

The 1965 Pontiac GTO will be available for rental starting Thursday, January 27th from the in-game Car Dealer.

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

SUMO Power 2010 Retrospective

Posted on January 25, 2011

While following Team Need for Speed’s European GT3 program Will Roegge, of SpeedHunters.com, also had the opportunity to shoot FIA GT1 and to document SUMO Power’s inaugural season. Enjoy this look back at the FIA GT1 races at Silverstone, Paul Ricard, and Algarve.

Check out the full article on SpeedHunters.com here.

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

SHIFT 2 Unleashed™ Limited Edition Trailer

Posted on January 22, 2011

This latest trailer from SHIFT 2 Unleashed™ shows off the exclusive content included in the SHIFT 2 Limited Edition.  By pre-ordering the Limited Edition you’ll get access to the Nissan Silvia spec.R Aero (S15), the Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV, and the Lamborghini Murciélago LP640 as well as 40 unique career events.

You can pre-order SHIFT 2 Unleashed from the EA Store here.

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Go to Source (NeedForSpeed.com)

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You can also pre-order SHIFT 2 Unleashed from Amazon here.



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