Following from the announcement of Project CARS securing its target WMD funding, new information about one of 2013's most anticipated racing games is slowly starting to trickle out. But while we were expecting the usual wealth of car and track details to emerge, we perhaps weren't expecting the news that popped into our inboxes today.
In arguably its most significant development yet, Slightly Mad Studios has announced that Renault Clip Cup driver Nicolas Hamilton will be joining the team in the role of Handling Consultant, where he will overlook the development of the vehicle physics and handling in an effort to make it "as authentic as possible". He will also join tens of thousands of community members of the WMD forums to provide further feedback on upcoming builds of the game in a weekly blog.
Like Formula Two racing driver Dino Zamparelli, Nicolas's racing career began in karting from a first stint at just seven years old. Despite being born with Cerebral Palsy, Nicolas has ensured that nothing will stand in his way of pursuing his passion for motorsport, and has since been racing in the British Renault Clio Cup since 2011.
While hearing about racing drivers collaborating with game developers is nothing new (ever heard of Colin McRae Rally?), having Nicolas on board with Slightly Mad Studios is a very positive development – not only is he an experienced racing driver (and the younger sibling of Lewis Hamilton, coincidentally), but is also already heavily involved with racing simulation gaming having won the 2009 SBTCC Championship in Race '07 and participating in many other sim racing community events.
Nicolas's deep understanding of both real and virtual car racing should therefore be instrumental for Slightly Mad Studios. Coupled with the lack of publisher demands (which should prevent the possibility of another Shift situation where EA insisted on dumbing down the handling), we can hopefully expect a thoroughly authentic physics engine when the final version of Project CARS rolls out late next year.