Patras is that Greek F1 track that never came to fruition. However, thanks to the mod community in rFactor 2 it is available.
Thanks to the great mod community in rFactor 2, Patras is now available to download and add to your race track collection. We know many in the mod community enjoy creating and bringing motorsport reality to the virtual world.
Located 20 km southeast of Patras, in the Halandritsa area, a new Formula 1 track was envisioned. The private company, Racetrack Patras SA, had worked with investors and the Greek government to lay the groundwork that would bring this project to life.
500 direct, new jobs and tourism would be the payoff for this almost 95 million Euro ($40MM) project. It would take almost 3 years to complete but would be a new bastion of motorsport.
That was in 2012. Today, grass grows over the turned dirt of what was meant to be an asphalt foundation. What happened?
Evangelos Floratos, a former Greek mayor, had worked out the deal so the Greek government would fund almost a quarter of the construction and private equity would cover the rest. This would be paid back in full once F1, Moto GP, karting and other forms of racing and entertainment began bringing business to the facility.
While Greece itself was only funding a small portion of development, it was still a significant amount that was needed for the early construction phases. Greece’s economic woes from hosting the 2004 Olympics (and their recession in general) were not helping things.
The hope was that additional job growth with these types of projects would inject revenue back into the country, especially if currency could flow in from the outside via lucrative F1 deals.
Sadly, the payoff was too long term for parliament to stomach and the funding ceased shortly after construction began. (for more reading: https://neoskosmos.com/en/131522/athens-grand-prix-dreams-of-a-f1-track-continue/)
And here is where Trev Rich and his group, Pixel Trax enters the picture. As he has written on their website pixeltrax.eu:
“I happened to ‘walk in’ on a Discord discussion where they were talking about ‘wouldn’t it be great to make Patras and race it. Does anyone have any experience in 3D modelling?’
Having worked with Solidworks software for work, I stepped in to help build the track”.
The group became familiar with the process of putting tracks in rF2 by converting some existing Assetto Corsa circuits: Daimler Teststrecke and Sveg Raceway. Daimler was more of a proof-of-concept to understand the workflow.
Sveg was a deeper dive into some of the mechanics of the modding process which included graphical improvements, aided by fellow modder, Senormen.
In about two years, the team had gotten better with their tools and the demands of the rFactor 2 engine and were able to create a very impressive WIP version of the track. This version was run very successfully at SRGP for their The Rookie League touring car races, among several others.
It featured homemade towers and other trackside objects as well as a ton of custom skinning on walls and helicopters. With version 1.0, the track looks even more gorgeous with PBR materials implemented and more detail added all around the circuit. The AI have even been tweaked for exciting offline runs.
While the world of sim racing is dominated by the real world circuits seen across Assetto Corsa Competizione, iRacing and even rFactor 2, passion projects like this half-fantasy, half-revival track are few and far between.
Let’s celebrate the incredible efforts of this small but dedicated team of modders by enjoying the fruits of their labors and racing on the track that almost was (and may still be someday).
Patras is available for download via the rFactor 2 Steam Workshop.Steam Workshop::Patras 2021 – Greek F1 Track (steamcommunity.com)
To purchase rFactor 2 visit: Studio-397 – Racing Simulation
About rFACTOR 2
rFactor 2 is a realistic, easily extendable racing simulation from Studio 397. It offers the latest in vehicle and race customization, great graphics, outstanding multiplayer and the height of racing realism. rFactor 2 features mixed class road racing with ultra realistic dynamics, an immersive sound environment and stunning graphics, perfect for top-level esports and a rich single-player experience.
Race against a field of AI cars, or in multi-player mode against others. rFactor 2 supports a full day-night cycle as well as dynamically varying weather conditions such as rain which dynamically builds into puddles. Tracks feature “real-road” technology that changes the grip as more cars drive on it. You can run full 24 hour endurance events and in multi-player mode, driver swaps are also supported. Everything can be customized by the community, including adding new tracks and cars, and a wealth of add-ons are available on-line.Working with several partners, rFactor 2 has been used in hundreds of esport championships all over the world – in particular McLaren’s World’s Fastest Gamer and Formula E.
rFactor 2 is also an evolving product, which will be updated and added to for many years, so the list of features will expand!
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