Absurd Penalties Handed Out in RaceDepartment Assetto Corsa League

After months of waiting in limbo for Kunos to add several requested features and functionality to the Multiplayer side of Assetto Corsa, RaceDepartment began their inaugural season of the BMW M235i Series last Wednesday at the short layout of Silverstone. 24 of the fastest drivers from several different countries and prestigious Sim Racing teams arrived for a trek into the unknown, with alien Hany Al-Sabti taking the victory. The race was a rather dull affair, as Al-Sabti began pulling away from the competition mere minutes into the 28-lap shootout with the help of his teammate to shuffle the polesitter back to third place.

VBRC Round 1 Silverstone Flyer.png

After the race, however, a firestorm erupted in the official forums where over eight and a half minutes of penalties were handed out to the top drivers, giving the win to Akis Kevrekidis and relegating Al-Sabti, Keithley, and Paul Patrick to Division 2.

ResultsReading through the entire thread, it appears RaceDepartment’s approach to track limits in the BMW M235i league was the same approach NASCAR took to the yellow line rule in 2001 – where any driver who dared to even sneeze near a white line was instantly hit with a penalty that took them out of the race. As someone who personally watched the race on the site’s Livestream (I was home from work sick), there were zero instances of intentional cutting among the penalized drivers. Most drivers flirted with the white line boundaries unintentionally when battling with an opponent, but that’s to be expected. Also to be expected were lapses in concentration where one or two drivers ran wide in a corner, because that happens and usually it’s okay because it doesn’t provide any competitive advantage.

However, these instances were all seen by race stewards as intentional violations, and the drivers were given monstrous penalties that effectively ruined their chances at a championship before the season had really even began. Al-Sabti and Keithley’s penalties combined for a total of four minutes, and Paul Patrick’s penalties put him four laps down.

The penalties, as explained in detail:

pnIn the post race thread, many drivers, even ones who were not penalized and actually benefited from the revised finishing order, spoke out against these strange penalties. Some teams completely withdrew from the series altogether, and others brought up that 200-second penalties for running a bit wide and putting one tire on a white line had never been an issue in all previous RaceDepartment leagues:

1mrc23sevWhat’s crazy is that RaceDepartment’s stance on track limit enforcement seems to change with each passing moment. In the official rules, drivers are told to keep two tires on the racing surface at all times:

cuttingIn the Stock Car Brazil series I participated in over the past month, track limits were clearly defined and nobody was ever penalized for track limit violations during the course of the regular season. Accidental off-track adventures were always seen as genuine driver error and an acceptable amount of flexibility was given to track limit violations, as is done in real life. However, in the BMW M235i league, this flexibility has been completely disregarded in favor of tennis-like rules:

tennisWith RaceDepartment already having expressed concerns about the stability of Assetto Corsa’s online component, now with people dropping out of the league after the first race due to absurd penalties, it remains to be seen how the rest of the season will play out.


13 thoughts on “Absurd Penalties Handed Out in RaceDepartment Assetto Corsa League

  1. But, isn’t the track limits… the limits? And running outside them illegal? I mean, we “all” complain about F1 drivers not sticking to the white lines


    1. Except F1 drivers are only penalised if they gain a lasting advantage out of the cut. If some driver misses a braking point or goes slightly off track while fighting against another driver, he won’t get a penalty.

      Yes, track limits should be enforced, but this is going a bit too far. Especially when you race small closed wheel cars. They might as well re-enable AC’s built-in penalty system and don’t allow a single wheel off the track.


  2. I don’t have an opinion on how harsh the penalties are, but I wanted to point out that there’s some sloppy journalism here. In the Stock Car championship, there were 3 drivers penalised for exceeding track limits during the regular season. 5 point penalties. But the general gist is true; they had to be persistent cutting over many laps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sloppy journalism here? … what a surprise! 😀

      PS: i don’t think there’s any real journalist writing here, this is a blog run by amateurs (and read by 50 visitors in total).


  3. Lol, 240 seconds??? What, did the guy just do circles over the S/F line and exploit a bug or something? 4 laps for a 0.5 second gain… That’s mental.


  4. Guess I’ll hold onto that ‘premium’ $$$ until I actually find a decent place for sim racing. This is laughable.


  5. Dunno, I found this blog because of the spam on the forums… i don’t see much “traffic” on it, all the articles are about hating a website or a game or another game and so on. I didn’t got what’s the purpose.. but ok.


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