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Understanding Dirty Laps

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Based on the chatter on chat boards, Dirty Laps are the hobgoblin of the Forza world, largely because of the uncertainty of what causes them, and what their impact is to your racer.

What causes a dirty lap? A number of things, including:

1. Leaving the designated track area (like cutting a corner with all four tires or going off of the side of the track briefly).

2. Hitting another car and causing damage to it OR being hit by another car and causing damage to it.

3. Causing damage to your OWN car by rubbing a jersey barrier or other obstruction.

4. Drafting off of another racer OR having another racer draft off of you.

Those are the four primary causes for getting flagged with a Dirty Lap -- and while number 1 and 3 are pretty much within your control assuming you are in control, numbers 2 and 4 are not.

In fact 9 times out of 10 during the first lap of a race you get the Dirty Lap flag due to the contact that takes place in the crush around the first two turns. What is worse half the time when you get a dirty lap it happens because you either allowed another raced to draft off of you, or you inadvertently draft off of another racer.

For the single-player campaign getting flagged for a Dirty Lap is not really all that big a deal since you will get your pay-out for the race regardless of the flag, but for multiplayer online you do need a clean lap in order to collect the reward for races you set up.

The good news is that as long as the race is 2 or more laps you have a better than even chance of getting one clean lap in, because once you get out in front there is far less a chance of damage causing a dirty lap.

For single-player the objective of a clean lap is so that the time for that lap -- or the best time for all of the clean laps - is considered for your best lap time.

That is the good news - the bad news is that if you make a mistake and flag in the last section of the lap, that flag carries forward to you into the next lap, which means getting dirty in one lap can dirty you in another. Not fair? I tend to agree with that. But it is what it is.

On the happy face side if you spot the flag you can hit rewind as long as you do it before the new lap starts, back up past where you flagged, and then don't flag and you will start a clean lap.

But bear this in mind - if you use rewind anywhere other than the last section to correct, it dirties the lap.

If it is any comfort to you there is a backstory on why drafting is considered dirty... It seems that in FM2 a certain type of racer would work with a buddy to draft in series in order to set impossibly fast lap times. To combat that they made drafting dirty. I might not have made that call myself but I can respect the decision that they made, and why they made it.

Unique Tracks: Road Atlanta

The Patented “It Wasn't Me” Section

When the Dirty Lap flags because a Drivatar decides to take you out, bump, grind, trade paint, or pit you, well that really sucks.

It sucks because it is the one weakness of the Drivatar system: the driving habits of the real-world player behind the Drivatar is recorded -- including their bad habits -- like aggressive tactics in dealing with other drivers also becomes part of the record, and can manifest in the races that they appear in with you.

The good news is that this is not inevitable -- you will find that when you have the Drivatar difficulty set low or medium you are more likely to experience this sort of interaction largely because that level of skill tends to do things like use other Cars to make turns that they approach to hot by literally slamming into them to slow down.

They are also likely to be more aggressive in their driving habits -- that is basically the reality of lower skilled drivers. The good news is that if you increase the Drivatar difficulty level, you will end up with less of that sort of interference. But you may end up with a different kind.

Where the lower skilled Drivatars tend to hit, rub, and otherwise use you as alternative brakes, the better skilled ones will block you on turns and move to prevent you from passing as you approach the line - that is OK, it is not cheating, it is what they call Strategy and that is a good thing because you can learn from it.

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Comments for Understanding Dirty Laps

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2 comments, latest first.
Feb 10th 2016 Guest
Thank you for the drafting info. I'm busy setting up endurance races on fm6 and was always baffled why passing gave me a dirty lap. Ie, drafting then passing. From experience with racing in previous games and speedboarding, this makes the most logical sense in passing strategy (draft into the pass). Now I know. Smile
ID #634320
Jul 22nd 2015 Guest
Good info, but you should explain how you can beat someone's time on the leaderboard even with a dirty lap. Is their a penalty if it's dirty or can you only beat someone who's lap was also dirty? Thanks!
ID #587861
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