I have left the rationale for building this first IOM MC track largely intact. However it HAS BEEN feasible to build the full length track in GPL for some time now, and so I AM undertaking that project.
For infor mation on the progress of that full version, visit my NEWS page.and start reading from the bottom up!.
Unfortunately, GPL didn't like tracks longer than about 25 km. Over this length the AI didn't work and other very evil things started happening.
So sadly, building the full length 60.072 km Mountain course was not feasible when I made and released this track..
However I was not put off the project and proceeded with a version that models the full track layout but is, IN OVERALL TERMS, 40% of the real length and has 40% of the altitude variations, to keep to scale. This is still over 15.4 miles/ 24.7km long, and a challenge to learn. My GPL Rank is -32 and my best time at release was an 8 19 in the Ferrari, compared to my best Nurburgring time of 8 11.
Against this 'scale' concept was the conflicting need to include all the major corners and features as they appear in real life. For example, the corner radiuses had to be reasonably accurate to ensure that the Course flows properly at the correct [ fast] pace. ie if all individual features were made to scale, all the corners would be far too tight and the course would not drive realistically. So to balance these conflicting objectives and remain within the GPL 25km "limit", I have shortened some of the very long almost straight sections.
The only alternative to this approach would have been to cut out much larger sections of the course and join up the remaining bits, but this would have been difficult to achieve, given the circular nature of the track and altitude variations. It would have seemed more artificial too IMHO.
This track has 633 individual track sections. [ by contrast Solitude has about 170 ] 5130 trackside objects and 198 turns.
I think it gives a very fair impression of the full real Mountain Course and is a delight to drive. Longer and faster than the Nurburgring, I have included many of the bumps that make the bikes do their big wheelies.
The latest AI race over the full 14 lap GP distance, showed a winning average speed of 108 mph. Practice times average speeds are up to 111 mph. That is comparable to the average speed of all but the fastest of the current big bikes and comparable to the speeds achieved by the great GP500 riders of the sixties. So average speeds are somewhat closer to to those at Solitude than the Nurburgring.
Just for fun but also as a mark of respect, I have changed four of my AI drivers to "Yer Maun" Joey Dunlop, Mike "The Bike" Hailwood , Giacomo Agostini and David Jefferies, great legends of the Isle of Man, only one of whom [Ago] has survived his riding/driving career. [See downloads page if you want this ]
Cheers, Jim 11 July 2003