Greetings everyone, we hope you all have been enjoying a great start to 2023! We have an extremely promising year ahead of us for Automobilista 2 - it hasn´t been the smoothest start however as evidenced by the new update being a bit behind schedule. Some of the developments we had planned in this cycle are proving a bit more troublesome than expected, so in order to avoid a longer delay for valuable developments and bug fixes we already had in the bag we´ve decided to break the update into parts - the first is just around the corner and should be available at least as a release candidate for this weekend, and it will then be complemented with further updates over the course of March. Let´s get into it then and have a look into what we have been working on lately for the next update and beyond. Improvements & Bug Fixes The last update slipped out with a few bugs which have taken us a while to figure out, but that have since been sorted for the upcoming update - these include fixing the issues with customized drivers disappearing and the track issues with Snetterton and Imola 2001. We have made some further good progress with the AI, with several further improvements to their pitstop strategy decisions and also fixing some issues with their pit in / pit out routines that were costing them a lot of time. There have also been some improvements to championship mode, increasing the number of custom championship slots to 5, adding the option to configure pit speed limit in custom championships and fixing the bug causing official championships taking grid setup of custom championship slot in some cases. AMS2 Multiplayer Development in 2023 We remain aware users are still occasionally running into reliability issues in Multiplayer and urging for further developments in this area - efforts have been ongoing for months now and even though there haven´t been many fruits from it yet, there are good prospects for significant developments over the course of the year. We have already outlined a plan with various quality-of-life developments such as expanding client voting options, adding support for auto-advance sessions without host interaction, the option for host to join as spectator along with adjusting the time window for clients to join or rejoin in various sessions - these and other relatively lower hanging developments should be delivered over the course of the next few months. Sadly, more intrinsic reliability bugs have proved more challenging to track down precisely because they aren´t so easy to reproduce - we have been picking through the code throughout the second half of 2022 looking for potential improvements, and have recently begun to evaluate a more extensive reform to the whole multiplayer structure - given the complexity of such project however and the number of unknowns involved we can´t really reliably assess a timeline for its conclusion nor how fruitful it will turn out to be. So while there may be no quick prospects in this area, we want to assure we are not oblivious to the issues and are doing all we can to bring substantial developments over the course of this year. Bathurst 1983 Our sim racing time machine has now been set to 1983 Australia, more specifically the glorious Mount Panorama - this track complements the Historic Track Pack Pt1 DLC released in December and it´s free of charge for those who own it or packages that include it. Although the layout itself is not substantially different to the modern track - the main difference then was the Conrod straight still uninterrupted by the Chase section to be introduced in 1987 - there is a perceptible 80s grit to the place, and the general absence of barriers between the race track and surrounding hills and trees make its roller coaster nature that much more daunting. The development of Historic Bathurst include the addition of 3D trees in more immediate trackside surroundings also for the modern track, replacing the rotating 2D trees that could look a bit awkward especially in VR mode - this over time will also be done to other tracks with trees close to trackside. Nürburgring 1971 Development Hard work is also ongoing on the mammoth Nürburgring Historic 1971 project - unfortunately it still won´t quite make it in time in the upcoming update, but for good reasons as the project has been extended to include the Historic Sudschleife (South Loop) layout along the more famous Nordschleife layout we all know and love. Although the roads are still there, the Sudschleife has not been used for competitive racing since 1971 and there is precious little reference material for it which is why it wasn´t part of the original project - recently though the track team managed to get hold of some LIDAR data for the roads and decided to take on the challenge to reproduce the lesser known southern end of the Green Hell. The Nordschleife in turn is in its finishing stages - a couple of fresh previews to whet appetites: We expect to conclude this much anticipated project before the end of March. Formula Inter The new update introduces a new free series to the sim - Formula Inter is a Brazilian series initially created in 2015 as a platform for new racing talents looking to start their careers out of karting. The series had been in hiatus in recent years but is returning in 2023 with some races already on the schedule. With little under 500kg, 190hp and 5-speed H shifter, the MG15 is an excellent car for rookies to grasp racing fundamentals. That covers the thick of it for this cycle - there is not long to wait now as the update with Bathurst 1983 and Formula Inter should be available very soon. We hope you all enjoy it!