Release Date: 1983 Publishers: EPYX

"Pitstop" is a racing video game for the Atari XL/XE systems, released in 1983 by the publisher Epyx. It stands out in the genre for its innovative inclusion of pit stops during races, where players must manage their car's condition by replacing tires and refueling.

 This mechanic introduced a strategic element not commonly found in racing games of that era. The game's design allows cars to sustain damage without immediate destruction, gradually showing wear on the tires which change color from dark to light blue to pink as they wear out. This feature, along with the need to manually control the refueling process, adds depth to the gameplay. Despite its age and the limitations of the system it was developed for, "Pitstop" provided an engaging experience by incorporating these unique gameplay elements​.

"Pitstop II," the sequel, was released in 1984 and developed by Synergistic Software. This version built upon the original's foundation but introduced new challenges and enhancements, including better racing dynamics and the continued emphasis on strategic pit stops. Lloyd D. Ollmann Jr. is credited as the programmer for "Pitstop II," showcasing his contribution to the advancement of the racing game genre on the Atari platform. The sequel also maintained the racing formula genre but was criticized for lacking the illusion of speed and action crucial to racing games, despite these improvements​ 


Screenshot of the classic 1983 Atari game Pitstop showing race and pit stop strategy