David Noonan's awesome Track Converter for GPL converts 21 tracks from several Papyrus simulations, including IndyCar Racing 2, CART Racing, and recent versions of NASCAR Racing.
Any DOS or Windows version of IndyCar Racing 2 (ICR2) or CART will serve as a "donor" for tracks for GPL.
However, certain later versions of these sims contain tracks which will look much better than the original versions.
After the original release of ICR2, 3D video cards began to emerge. This new more powerful hardware permitted much more graphic detail to be displayed in racing simulations as well as many other simulations and games.
Papyrus and Sierra aligned with Rendition, an early leader in the 3D hardware field. To help promote the new hardware, Papyrus developed a new "Rendition Ready" version of ICR2 which took advantage of the hardware's greater display capacity by drawing more detailed cars and tracks.
The tracks which Papyrus enhanced for the Rendition version had many more graphic details, including improved track surface textures, skies with clouds, better grass, buildings, trees, and other objects.
An Eagle Roars Under a Bridge at
Papyrus-Enhanced Elkhart Lake
The ehanced versions are much nicer-looking than the original tracks in DOS and Windows versions of ICR2 and CART, which appear very plain compared to the tracks which come with GPL and the more recent Papyrus simulations.
See CART Racing Versions to find out more about which versions of ICR2 and CART are Rendition Ready. Some CART packages are labeled incorrectly! I've included plenty of detail to help you determine whether the version you have or are planning to buy is actually Rendition Ready, and also some suggestions about where to acquire copies.
See Buying a Copy of CART if you need to buy a copy of CART. As of March 2000, the Rendition Ready version is available from Sierra by mail via the Web for $9.95.
Fifteen tracks came with ICR2/CART, but Papyrus enhanced only five of those: Elkhart Lake, Laguna Seca, Michigan, Phoenix, and Portland. The other tracks in the Rendition Ready versions of ICR2 and CART looked the same as the original non-enhanced tracks.
Sunset at 3D Kit-Enhanced Cleveland
from the Cockpit of a Lotus 49
In 1997, I worked with artists "Snowdog" and David Mocnay to create 3D Kits for The Sim Project which produced enhanced versions of the remaining ten tracks as well as some of the NASCAR to CART conversion tracks. Joachim Boeddeker later contributed kits for many more NASCAR tracks.
These kits are still available at The Sim Project's CART Tracks and Graphics page, and can dramatically enhance your experience when driving the converted CART tracks in GPL.
New 3D Kits for DOS and Windows CART and ICR2
The original 3D Kits were designed for use with Rendition versions of CART or ICR2. They will not work with DOS or Windows versions.
A Brooding Sky Looms Over a Ferrari
at 3D Kit-Enhanced Mid-Ohio
However, I have prepared new 3D Kits which will enhance six of the tracks from the DOS or Windows versions of CART or ICR2. You will need to download one additional 485kb file to use these new kits (details below).
These new DOS/Windows 3D Kits will produce 3D-enhanced tracks you can convert to GPL using David Noonan's Track Converter.
However, you won't be able to use these tracks for racing in DOS or Windows ICR2 or CART. Only GPL or the Rendition Ready version of CART or ICR2 can load these enhanced tracks.
What About DOS/Windows 3D Kits for the Other Nine Tracks?
If you have only a DOS or Windows version of CART or ICR2, that there is currently no way to enhance your versions of Elkhart Lake, Laguna Seca, Michigan, Phoenix, and Portland. Enhanced versions of these tracks were included in Rendition versions of CART and ICR2, so no 3D Kits exist for them.
You can, however, convert the un-enhanced versions of these tracks from DOS/Windows ICR2/CART to GPL.
Also, I have not created new kits for Australia, Nazareth, Milwaukee and Loudon. Australia and Nazareth cannot be converted to GPL.
Enhanced versions of Milwaukee and Loudon can be converted to GPL from recent NASCAR sims. I recommend that all users convert these tracks to GPL from a NASCAR sim.
See Track Notes below for more information about tracks. Go here for a complete list of tracks converted by David Noonan's converter and their "donor" sims.
To download and install the 3D Kits, go here.
If you have any problems installing the 3D Kits, please read the 3D Kit Installation Instructions! These are also in the readme included in the 3D Kit Installer.
If you still can't resolve your problems, read the ICR2/CART Debugging Tips. Please don't email me until you've read the Debugging Tips and have followed the instructions inside precisely!
Some of the images used in the CART/ICR2 tracks do not translate well to GPL. This is because ICR2 used some bitmaps that are longer and narrower than GPL expects. In GPL these bitmaps are either displayed with poor resolution or are truncated.
A Coventry at 3D Kit-Enhanced Vancouver
At right is an image from Vancouver showing some wall banners which look blurred and grainy in GPL. The Chevrolet and Firestone banners are barely legible. Many banners at the other converted street circuits are similarly blurred.
Some billboards on bridges are noticeably truncated, as can be seen in the screen shot from Mid-Ohio above.
Surfer's Paradise does not convert to GPL, due to problems in the original CART/ICR2 version. Nazareth also does not convert to GPL.
Improved versions of Loudon, Michigan, Milwaukee and Phoenix appear in recent Papyrus NASCAR sims. I recommend you convert these tracks from NASCAR 3, NASCAR 1999, NASCAR 2, or the BGN expansion pack, as available. You'll probably find it easier, and the resulting conversion will probably look better. (Go here for details on track availability.)
If you don't have a NASCAR sim you can convert these tracks from CART or ICR2; their track configuration is identical among all currently available Papyrus sims.
The Portland road course in CART/ICR2 is not the same track as the Portland Speedway oval in the Craftsman Truck add-on for NASCAR 2 and in NASCAR 1999.
Go here for a complete list of tracks converted and their "donor" sims. See above for more information about the new 3D Kits.