Pitting in rFactor
One of the most important aspects of long-distance races in rFactor is pitting. Planning and performing a smooth, fast pit stop could mean the difference between losing to Risto by five minutes or losing to Risto by only thirty seconds. It can be confusing for rookies, however, so I've created this page to guide you through the magical world of pitting in rFactor.
Step 1: Requesting a Pit Stop
Requesting a pit stop makes for shorter pit times. You can pit without requesting a stop, but it will significantly increase the amount of time it takes to complete a pit stop (to simulate your crew being "unprepared" for you to stop). The default key for this is the "S" key, but it's recommended you map this to a button on the wheel if possible. When you hit this button, a message will appear at the lower left of your screen letting you know that the pit stop has been requested.
"Crew Is Ready For Pitstop"
Some time shortly after you request your pit, you will receive a message at the lower left informing you that your crew are ready for you to pit. This simply means that your crew are prepared and your stop will not take as long as if you had not requested the stop.
Step 2: Setting up your Pit Stop
When you hit the pit stop request button, your "LCD" screen at the lower right will automatically switch to the pit settings page. You can also navigate to this manually (without requesting a pit) by hitting the "Toggle LCD" key, "Enter" by default. From this page you can choose what settings you wish to change during your pit stop. This includes the all important tires and fuel, as well as various car setup settings. By default, you use the "Up" and "Down" arrow keys to scroll through the page, and the "Left" and "Right" arrow keys to change the settings themselves. Again, it is recommended to map these to buttons on your wheel if possible. SPECIAL NOTE: If you have been assessed a "Stop and Go" penalty, this page is where you will tell your crew that you will be serving that penalty. You will find the "Stop and Go" option at the top of the pit settings page. Depending on series rules you can serve a penalty and pit or you may have to do two pitstops, one for the penalty, the other for the servicing. IF YOU DO NOT TOGGLE THIS, YOUR CREW WILL PERFORM A NORMAL STOP AND YOUR STOP WILL NOT COUNT FOR THE PENALTY!!!
The settings in this window will default to whatever you currently have, or whatever pit settings you set up in the Garage menus in the monitor. Be careful of fuel, the value listed on the menu is how much you want in your car when you leave the pits, NOT how much you want added. Depending on server settings or random quirks with rFactor, this might mean a setting of "0" makes your crew drain your tank completely!
Step 3: Entering Pit Lane
Once you have made your way around the track, it's time to enter pit lane. Hopefully you know that every track has a pit road speed limit. In order not to violate this, you can use your "pit speed limiter". This is the "L" key by default, but again it's recommended to map this to a button on the wheel. You need to make sure you are at or below pit speed limit before you pass the pit lane commit line. This line is usually demarcated by a set of pit lights and/or a literal line on the track. Find this line in practice before the race. You must be at or below pit speed limit before crossing the commit line or you will be assessed a penalty!
Step 4: Entering and Exiting Your Pit
Your pit stall will be demarcated by a red box on the ground and (usually) two pit dudes pointing and holding signs. Don't worry about confusing pit stalls, you will only be able to see your pit stall; you won't see anyone else's and they won't see yours. Entering your stall and stopping on target actually takes a bit of practice. Try it offline or in practice a few times to time it just right. When in doubt, brake early. It's much quicker to pull slowly into your stall than it is to reverse into it because you overshot.
Once in your pit, your car will appear to raise off the ground a bit. It might also bounce up and down a time or two. This is merely your crew servicing the car. You will also notice a message appear at the lower left, showing how long each of your pit options will take and the total elapsed time of your pit stop. Your stop time will be the total combined time of all your pit options. This can vary depending on options chosen and whether or not you have damage that needs repairing. Once your stop is complete, your car will appear to drop, and the timer will stop. This is your signal to exit the pit stall. I recommend exiting your pit stall in second gear to avoid spinning out in pit lane. Also double tap your "pit speed limiter" button to make sure it's still on. Once you reach pit exit, you can toggle the limiter off and you're good to go!