rFactor 2 May Q2 Update adds new engine sounds, cars, tracks & more

After weeks of teasers, the much-anticipated rFactor 2 May Q2 2022 update has arrived. The second of four planned major updates this year brings a host of fixes, improvements, and new features.

New content is also available as DLC, including officially licensed BTCC cars and circuits. Here’s what players can enjoy in the rFactor 2 May Q2 Update.

New engine sounds

One of the main highlights is the introduction of a new sound engine. With the update, onboard and offboard audio sounds richer, more detailed, and more immersive.

Open and closed cockpit cars sound more distinct, while HRFT improves the audio experience for headphone and virtual reality headset users.

Wet weather update

The update also significantly improves rFactor 2’s wet weather effects and simulation. Rain falls and dries on the track more accurately and AI drivers react to wet conditions more realistically in terms of tyre choice and strategy.

rFactor 2 wet weather update
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AI drivers behave more realistically in the wet with the new update

Users can also customise the amount of water on the track before a race.

Particles and sparks

Adding to the spectacle, the update enhances particle and spark effects in rFactor 2, with cars kicking off sparks, rain spray, and track debris.

rFactor 2 spark effects
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Races will look more dramatic with rFactor 2's new spark and particle effects

Particle effects also react to vehicles realistically depending on the shape of the car.

Shift protection

It’s important to prevent engine damage from aggressive downshifting. A new shift protection feature adds another layer of realism, preventing engine damage and stopping drivers from gaining unfair advantages when slowing down for corners.

rFactor 2 shift protection
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rFactor 2's new Shift Protection feature prevents engine damage from aggressive downshifts

This long-requested feature can only be applied to the new BTCC cars for now but will be added to more cars in future updates. New engine and brake cooling features introduced in the update are also initially only available for the BTCC cars.

This long-requested feature can only be applied to the new BTCC cars for now but will be added to more cars in future updates. New engine and brake cooling features introduced in the update are also initially only available for the BTCC cars.

New cars and tracks

As well as fixes and improvements, the rFactor 2 May Q2 update adds new car and track DLC. Priced at £4.28 each, new cars include the Infiniti Q50 V37 and Toyota Corolla GR from the 2021 British Touring Car Championship.

rFactor 2 Infiniti Q50 BTCC
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Youc an now drive officially licensed BTCC cars in rFactor 2

With the official BTCC game delayed, rFactor 2 is the only racing simulation with officially licensed BTCC content from the last season, so the update couldn’t come at a better time.

Sticking with the BTCC theme, Brands Hatch and Donington Park are now available. Laguna Seca also makes its rFactor 2 debut. Each track will set you back £7.71 on the rFactor 2 Steam page.

rFactor 2 Brands Hatch
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new rFactor 2 tracks include Donington Park, Brands Hatch, and Laguna Seca

While the Q2 May update is substantial, Studio 397 has even bigger plans for the next update. The team is already working on the next update and pushing to “make an even bigger and better splash” with the August update.

Until then, you can check out the full list of changes, fixes, and improvements in the rFactor 2 Q2 May update patch notes.

rFactor 2 May Q2 update patch notes Patch Notes

Known Issues

  • Sparks cause performance spikes for some users running with uncapped frame rates they can be temporarily disabled by setting specialfx to low (This has minimal impact on other effects)
  • Toggling driver labels doesn’t work in VR
  • Driver labels don’t depth test when MSAA is turned off
  • Spotter may skip words
  • Some terrains may play incorrect scrub sfx

Steam Build IDs:

Client: 8703241
Dedicated Server: 8703245


  • Updated Safety Car added to Retail and ModDev. Old Safety Car removed.
  • Added a visual driving line feature, this can be toggled from settings.
  • Removed texture cache to simplify loading.
  • Added an option to set the amount of water on roads at the start of a session.
  • Increased the rate of RealRoad calculations by approximately x4.
  • Added a server option to disable faster real road calculations, as this adds approximately an extra 4KBps per client to server overheads.
  • Improved real road update rates. They’re now separate per real road property, with wet road having a higher update rate.
  • Minor update to default weather conditions for different profiles (Rainy/Overcast/Sunny etc).
  • New algorithm for wet road calculations effecting how quickly surfaces get wet and dry, taking into account drainage, humidity, ambient temperature and sky weather conditions.
  • Updated tyre grip calculations on rubbered in areas when surfaces are wet.
  • Updated how road and rain conditions are reported. Old percentage values now snap to a set percent for each tyre of condition, masking the true absolute condition in the game. The Default HUD has been updated to show a text description.
  • Corrected Rear Flap System default wet weather disable point to work with new weather ranges.
  • Fixed an issue where Cameras constrained to specific paths would not work correctly in replays.
  • Extended Freelook mode to allow control via joypads as well as adjustments of exposure, aperture, sensor size and focus.


  • Added spark effects.
  • Decreased interval of Static Mapper updates from 5 minutes to 10 seconds. This should result in smoother lighting changes at dawn / dusk and as weather conditions change.
  • Corrected Sky Colour to remove Cyan effect.
  • Slight adjustments to exposure for sky colour adjustments when sun at it’s highest.
  • Minor Atmospheric Corrections, including linking AirMass to AirPollution.
  • Reducing fog brightness slightly.
  • Reduced Exposure a touch when the sun is around 10 degrees of altitude.
  • Improved cloud selection at different weather settings.
  • Minor cloud texture improvements.
  • Fixed an issue where Clouds would disappear at really high altitudes.
  • Fixed issues with lighting interpolation in sky rendering at Dusk/Sunrise, which would result in jumps in lighting values.
  • Fixed puddle splashes not setting when rain drops are not used (set to off or scene viewer).
  • Fixed lighting on spray during wet conditions, and tweaked particle profile.
  • Updated reflections on PBR Road and Curb Shaders.
  • Updated Rain Particle settings and fixed rendering on ultra wide screens.
  • Passed through particle settings refining Spray, Dust, Smoke and more.
  • Fixed an issue in VR where the scene would over exposure.
  • Fixed an issue in VR where replay mode would not render correctly.


  • Implemented enhanced cooling system for oil & water. This includes new parameters in the .hdv file. The new model includes:
    • Direct heat transfer between water and oil.
    • Oil radiator.
    • Switchover Thermostat.
  • Separated front and rear brake ducts.
  • Added configurable gear shift protection.


  • Added AI Dry Tyre strategy (Random Dry Tyre in Practice, Softs in Qualifying and try to pick an appropriate tyre for race strategy in race).
  • AI now check if to change Tyre Type just before the pit road entry rather than at the start of the lap.
  • Fixed various issues around AI Tyre Selection when session changes and weather changes – such as not switching to wet tyres when it was dry before but now is wet.
  • Fixed an issue with calculating road conditions when changing session where they would not fully compute.
  • Fixed an issue where cars that don’t allow pit stop refuelling would run a full tank in practice and qualifying.
  • Prevent AI from leaving pits in closed session.
  • Fixed an issue where if there was a set of valid wet tyres, intermediate tyres would default to dry tyres.


  • Always show official sticky servers in the server list even if filters are active.
  • Enabled “Restart warmup” button also when event is in race session.
  • Updated button layout in session controls and setup summary.
  • Added fading out of screen when leaving event or replay.
  • Added condensing of tire name when too long to fit in event standings table.
  • Added help text when hovering over various settings.
  • Added music to showroom.
  • Changed breaking of long chat lines so they only break on full words.
  • Fixed getting stuck in assign control pop-up after assigning tab key.
  • Disabled user text selection everywhere except in text fields.
  • Added highlighting of assigned control key values when hovering over with mouse.
  • Improved transition between different profiles in graphics and gameplay settings menus.
  • Refined styling of car classes in event screen.
  • Refined styling of car classes in fullscreen standings ticker.
  • Disabled “Default max wheel angle” setting when “Max wheel angle mode” is set to automatic.
  • Disabled “Steering wheel range” setting when “Range set by vehicle” setting is enabled.
  • Hid the car selection list when the drive/spectate pop-up is showing when joining a server directly with a join link.
  • Changed searching for cars and tracks so that the list scroll position is kept at the top after search (clearing the search text will scroll to the selected item).
  • Enabled car selection on server during a practice session.
  • Made it possible to add multiple custom graphics profiles.
  • Made it possible to add multiple custom gameplay difficulty profiles.
  • Always sort “All Tracks & Cars” to the top of the list in singleplayer series selection.
  • Added fallback image for showcase tile in case the actual image cannot be loaded.
  • Updated showcase, news and store tiles background image positioning and scaling.
  • Added option to expand server chat window to full height.
  • Setup notes for the highlighted setup (the one you clicked on in the setup list but not yet loaded) are now shown on the setup summary page.
  • Setup notes can now be typed in the setup summary page (the setup still has to be saved to save the changes).
  • When saving a setup, the folder for the current track will be selected by default (instead of the folder of the loaded setup).
  • Removed automatically expanding all found items in car and track selection after search.
  • Added highlighting of selected opponent filters.
  • Fixed multiplayer screen with drive/spectate pop-up showing too soon when using +connect to join a server, and if and when content install is still in progress.
  • You can now select car upgrades directly from the car selection screen without going to the showroom (both in singleplayer and multiplayer).
  • Disabled singleplayer grid position setting if qualifying is enabled.
  • Added two new gearbox graphs:
    • Top speed per gear
    • RPM after upshift
    • The existing graph, gear spacing, is kept as a third option
  • Fixed occasional blank page in the first launch wizard when going to the exit screen and back.
  • Reordered difficulty settings and sliders.
  • Singleplayer RealRoad settings are now enabled only when the weather preset is set to “Scripted”.
  • Renamed “Steering effects strength” setting to “Force feedback direction”.
  • Singleplayer “Race Laps” and “Race Time” settings are now disabled/enabled based on the “Finish Criteria” setting.
  • A singleplayer session can now also be enabled by clicking on the disabled session button in quick event.
  • The “Drive” button now changes to a “Next session” button when session time runs out in singleplayer.
  • Skipping the first launch wizard now takes you to the content selection page, instead of skipping the whole wizard. You can also skip the content selection from there.
  • You can now skip the first launch wizard from any page.


  • Added IBL Visualizer Debug tool to Scene Viewer (already present in ModDev).
  • Added Texture UV Mip Debug tool to Scene Viewer (already present in ModDev).
  • Added AI Vocal Strategy Player File debug option for Mod Dev (Pit Strategies, Tyre Changes and when selected what they are doing – can be expanded in future).
  • Fixed overcast preview mode (note: this is not exactly the same as in game).
  • Updated sample wet masks at Loch Drummond.


  • New Sound Engine
    • New 3D rendering.
    • Vastly increased amount of simulataneously playing effects.
    • Environmental effects and filtering system.
    • Proper cockpit filtering.
    • Autodetection of open and closed cockpits for environment effects and filtering.
    • Sound effects such as skid, kerbs, gravel, wind, suspension and many more now work online and in replays.
    • Support for full surround sound setups.
    • HRTF support (Binaural headphone experience).
    • Vastly improved VR experience.
    • Backwards compatible.
    • Many new sound effects.
    • Support for trackside broadcast microphones.
    • Every car causes audible ambient noise around the whole track.
    • Brand new, modern, customisable file format with much more freedom for audio designers.
    • Improved debugging tools for dev mode.
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