GPL Race Engineer

"You don't have to put up with an evil car under any circumstances."

-Carroll Smith

GRE Features
GRE Update, March 2003
GRE Help (also available on the Web)
Download and Install
User Feedback

Mo Funn

Since the introduction of the Noonan GPL Track Converter and the release of the GPLEA track editing tools, the number of circuits available for GPL is in the hundreds. The GPL Engine Manager has increased the available number of car/engine combinations exponentially. Given seven different original chassis and ten engines, it would take thousands of setups to cover all possibilities.

There is no way that I or anyone else can conceivably publish setup collections that are anywhere near complete or comprehensive and also consistent, at least at any time in the near future. In late 1999, my brother Nate Hine and I realized a different approach was needed.

Nate created a utility, GPL Race Engineer (GRE) for developing setups for GPL. GRE provides considerably enhanced functionality over the setup management mechanism built into GPL and over other currently available GPL setup development tools.

GRE Help contains a manual for GRE written by Yours Truly. However, GRE Help is much more than a simple manual for GRE; it contains extensive background material on race car dynamics as well as practical, specific recommendations for setting up each of GPL's cars, along with discussions of each of the road, street, and airport circuits available for GPL.

All of this is organized in a way intended to make any information you need only a few clicks away.

GRE and GRE Help incorporate much of what we've learned about GPL setups over the last two years we've spent racing GPL and developing setups for it. I feel that developing setups for GPL and, through this, enhancing my understanding of the behavior of race cars is one of the most exciting and rewarding aspects of my involvement with GPL.

Our goal with GRE and GRE Help is to make you feel almost as though you have your own race engineer at your elbow as you develop new setups for GPL. We feel that these "assistants" - with their large body of knowledge and experience at your fingertips - present you with a unique new opportunity to enhance your own understanding of race car behavior in both GPL's virtual world and the real world.

We hope that GRE and GRE Help will help you to have a great deal "Mo Funn".

GRE Features

GRE features include:

  • Context-sensitive Help; mouse right-click leads directly to an explanation of each item and suggestions for appropriate values
  • Improved File Management including:
  • Copy of Gearbox or Chassis settings from one setup to another
  • Drop-down box selection of Player, Track, Class, and Chassis
  • Automatic association of Player, Track, Class, and Chassis with path
  • Import/Export of setups from/to Excel-compatible .csv text files
  • Drag and Drop setup files onto GRE to open them
  • Power and torque band graph to assist in gearbox ratio selection
  • Adjustment assistance including:
  • Optional locking of front and rear Anti-Roll Bar Rates to a constant overall roll rate
  • Optional locking of front and rear Spring Rates to a constant proportion or to a proportion relative to weight distribution
  • Extended ranges for Bump Rubber, Spring Rate, and Anti-Roll Bar Rate settings
  • Optional Fine Adjustment increments on selected settings
  • Optional small window display of only Chassis or Gearbox settings for easier comparison of different setups
  • Extensive Help, including an Introduction to Race Car Dynamics, the Race Engineer's Handbook, extensive Quick References and the Appendices
  • See the GRE Features page for more information about GRE's enhancements and assists.

    GRE Update, March 2003

    I've released a new version of GRE, 1.0.0, which addresses some bugs that occurred with earlier versions under Windows XP.

    This new version also has expanded the upper end of the spring and shock ranges and has much finer increments for adjusting the differential's ramp angles. This allows more fine tuning of the differential and also allows using stiffer springs and shocks, which I find is very effective in making fast and easy to drive GPL setups.

    Many thanks to Lynn Deman for finding and fixing the Windows XP bug!

    Download GRE 1.0.0 here.

    GRE Help

    All of the setup items on GRE's Setup page have context-sensitive Help which links to appropriate sections of GRE Help.

    Simply right-click on any item on GRE's Setup page to link to an explanation of that item and suggestions for appropriate values.

    GRE Help includes:

    The Appendix includes a number of tables and charts, including power and torque curves for every engine in GPL (illustrated at right).

    GRE Help on the Web

    GRE Help is now available in HTML form on this Web site.

    If you haven't yet installed GRE, and you're not sure you want to download the entire 1 MB GRE Help file, or you can't get Windows Help to work properly, you can simply access GRE Help from your browser. Click here.

    The Web-based menu structure is not as deep and sophisticated as that generated by Windows Help, and the Windows Help Index and Search features are not available, but you can access every page and illustration from the Help file distributed with GRE.

    Download and Install

    Download GRE and GRE Help here.

    User Feedback

    Thanks to you and Nate for this fantastic, phenomenal, amazingly helpful, useful, terrific, much-needed supplement to GPL (which has had enough superlatives thrown at it I don't need to add any).

    I cannot say enough about how much it improves my ability to do my own set-ups and actually understand what the hell is happening. Within a few minutes of using your base-line set-ups for each chassis and with a bit of tweaking I set personal bests in every chassis at several tracks I experimented with.

    And so other readers know, 1/2 of the greatness is in the user interface of the very handy tool and the other half is in the context sensitive help and racing guide that Alison is referring to in this post. Easier access to all the settings wouldn't help if you had no better idea what you were doing.

    Thanks a zillion. You really should be nominated for some sort of GPL community service life-time achievement award--except that they usually give those to people who are on their way out... which we all hope is not the case with either of you Hines.

    In reality, Papy would be insane NOT to include a tool and guide exactly like this in every future sim they release. Listening, anyone from Papy??

    - Marc Collins

    I never have been any good at doing setups. At all. Nada. So when I tried Riverside I was in a quandary over how to set up my Eagle. Then I used the standard GRE recommendations for the Eagle and the track, and was very impressed. Now I know how a neutral setup feels on a new course. I still have to do some tweaking, but I'm very satisfied with how well the starting GRE settings work.

    The information for a "standard" chassis setup is in the help file. They have recommended settings for the particular chassis in one section, and then in another section there are recommended settings for certain types of tracks. You need to enter these values using the GRE main window.

    - Marc Game

    I really like [the context-sensitive Help] in GPE. Also the fact that you can use more values than within GPL, makes it such a great tool.

    And the real killer is the "Happy Mechanic" TM...

    A huge THANKS to Nate and Alison, for creating such a great utility.

    - Remco Moedt

    I have installed GRE...and I am just blown away. This doohickey is awesome.
    The help section is worth $50.00 alone. You have once again made a unique sim more enjoyable. Thank You Very Much.

    - Kenny L.