PC Games

Published on June 10th, 2024 | by Marc Rigg

Golden Lap PC Preview

Funselektor, the developer of minimalist racing games art of rally and Absolute Drift, has joined forces with Italian studio, Strelka Games, for their next project, the minimalist racing management sim, Golden Lap. I was lucky enough to be able to take a preview build for a spin ahead of the release of their upcoming demo for Steam Next Fest.

Set during the dangerous and unpredictable golden era of Formula One, Golden Lap lets players guide one of ten racing teams through a 14-race season as they aim for glory.


The demo has a quick race and a short sample of the career mode available, the latter allows the player to take one of the ten teams through a brief, 4 race season. The tracks are all legally distinct versions of existing circuits, Monaco, Silverstone, Monza, and what I believe to be Jarama in Spain. They should be instantly recognisable to any F1 fan.

Players are given a budget, and with this have to employ two drivers, an engineer and a crew chief, choose a sponsor, and pick a car development path. Choosing whether to go with a safer, more reliable but slower design or push the limit with faster machinery that’s more prone to self-destructing.

Each race weekend starts with qualifying. Drivers are sent out onto the track to set their fastest lap time, with time in between runs spent in the pits tuning the car. It’s a simple system, with a set amount of tokens being redeemed to give a boost to an attribute within a defined range. Once qualifying is completed, drivers head out onto the track to compete for the top step of the podium. Pick a tyre, keep an eye on the weather pit your drivers at the optimum time to maximise the result.

Options within the race are relatively slim, fitting in with the minimalist feel of Golden Lap, and all of Funselektor’s games. Choosing when to pit, when to push for an overtake or back off to save fuel and tyres are about the only strategic options available. This fits with the theme though, cars of this era not being especially advanced, at least by modern standards.

Meeting a sponsor’s goals for a race rewards money that can be used to further develop the car between races, improving it in any of the three areas of acceleration, top speed, and handling.

Each of a team’s drivers and staff members all have unique traits, for example, being overly aggressive (potentially leading to more accidents) or good in wet weather. These often manifest themselves as events taking place off of the track, with their effects filtering down to a race weekend. One of my drivers, while very fast on track, was a notorious party animal outside of the paddock, and often turned up to races hungover, leading to a penalty to his focus in races, resulting in more mistakes on track.

Golden Lap is shaping up to be another winner from Funselektor. A fun, simple, and relaxing experience with tons of potential. It’s perhaps a little too simple based on the demo, especially when compared to other entries in the genre, but with it just being a limited slice of the game, there’s plenty of scope for things to fill out before release.

The Golden Lap demo is available throughout Steam Next Fest until June 17th.

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