I run an F1 management simulation game where people build up a team and car to race against other online players. The system currently uses a 2D race animation system to allow players to "watch" their races (the current system can be viewed here: [url removed, login to view]).
Whilst I do like this feature I have been considering a move to a better 3D race system instead, similar to one used in an old PC game called "Grand Prix World" - it had four viewing panes which the user could swap to view whatever aspect of their race they wanted. For instance:
1) Live race camera
2) Follow own cars
3) Specific corner shots
4) Telemetry viewer
5) Full map view (similar to the 2d system I currently use)
I have found it difficult to find many screenshots of this system, but here is the best example I could see: [url removed, login to view]
There is no requirement in this project to give the user the ability to control their cars "live", it is meant as a race viewing tool only (but will be watched with the players internet browser).
Due to this, I believe Flash is the only way to go with a project such as this, without having a server farm back end to support hundreds of races at the same time, but if you have an alternative view please let me know in your comments section.
My game currently has 17 tracks available on it so the work for this project will involve making the 3D races for those 17 individual tracks.
This is my first project with a 3D engine such as this so you will also be required to instruct me on what data the race engine would need, I believe the simplest method would be to provide a laptime for each of the drivers and let the system handle things from there, but if this will be different it is easy enough to amend things from my side.