Forbidden Fruit: The 1989 Sauber C9 Sprint Variant

244210_20161225211020_1Throughout the course of auto racing history, some vehicles have become almost synonymous with their respective series due to their near-unstoppable performance out on the race track. Mention the 1970 NASCAR Grand National season, and even the most casual of stock car racing fans will be struck with mental images of the rule-bending Plymouth Superbird, sporting an enormous rear wing and pointed nose which essentially caused NASCAR to temporarily chase Chrysler away from the premiere racing series in the United States. Bring up American Open Wheel racing prior to the extremely hostile split, and the Penske PC-23B – otherwise known as “the Marlboro car” piloted by Al Unser Jr. – adorns virtually every piece of memorabilia you can purchase online from the 1994 CART season. And though I’m not the biggest fan of MotoGP in this neck of the sim racing world, Valentino Rossi’s #46 Yamaha is professional motorcycle racing.

Representing an era of endurance racing where factory-backed teams were encouraged to build absolute monstrosities that stopped just short of horrifically maiming their occupants should they make an error behind the wheel, Mercedes’ collaboration with the Sauber F1 team, dubbed the C9, is the poster-child of Group C Prototype racing. Sending roughly 800 horsepower to the rear tires under a shell fifteen years ahead of it’s time, and sporting a simple retro livery that required precisely one crayon for any small child captivated by its brilliance to faithfully reproduce on a scrap sheet of paper, the Sauber C9 won all but one race on the 1989 World Sports Car Championship schedule.

Aided by the stellar co-driving of Jean-Louis Schlesser and Kenneth, Atcheson, German ace Jochen Mass piloted the car to victories in Jarama, the Nurburgring, Donington Park, and Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, while Mauro Baldi captured the top spot on the podium at Brands Hatch and Spa. After a tumultuous 1987 season spent ironing out numerous bugs in the brand new race car, and a patchy 1988 campaign highlighted by the Mercedes team’s withdrawal from Le Mans due to their lack of confidence in Michelin’s tire compound, Mercedes and Sauber ensured their third full championship with the C9 would render it useless for the competition to even bother showing up.

Unfortunately, this is not the car you’re allowed to race in Assetto Corsa.

244210_20161225210011_1Licensing deals can be a bit of a mess, and while there is indeed a Sauber C9 available as official content for Assetto Corsa – found within the first of three “Dream Packs” on the Steam marketplace – the version Kunos Simulazioni have modeled with the assistance of Sauber and Mercedes is a car that failed to score a single point throughout the 1989 season. The 1989 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans was not considered to be part of the actual World Sports Car schedule, but rather a one-off exhibition race – a giant automotive festival of sorts. As a result, Mercedes brought a minimal-downforce variant of the C9 to a little town in France, destroyed the competition, set a trap speed record of 250 miles per hour – which forced organizers to construct two chicanes on the Mulsanne straight in 1990 to keep speeds at a safe level, and never ran the car again.

Now I’m all for Kunos going out and injecting a bunch of one-off odd-ball cars into Assetto Corsa, because it’s cool to learn about a piece of motor racing history through the plastic steering wheel attached to your desk rather than dry Wikipedia articles, but there’s just one problem: Le Mans is nowhere to be found within the vanilla roster of content, which makes the inclusion of the Le Mans-spec Sauber C9 almost completely pointless. The one track this car has been prepared to compete at, is not available in the game, and it’s going to suck everywhere else. To make matters worse, Kunos were able to acquire both renditions of Sauber’s primary competitor – the Porsche 962c – for use in Assetto Corsa. Given that you can actually turn competitive times in the high-downforce 962c, the Le Mans flavored Sauber C9 is essentially relegated to the status of a virtual trailer queen. It sits in the menu and looks nice on the car roster among several unexciting Alfa Romeo sedans and pointless Lotus roadsters, but it’s simply not a practical car to drive by any means. You’ll take it to the Nordschleife once, spin out, realize you can’t adequately dial in the setup for any of the locations in the game because the car simply doesn’t generate enough downforce to be effective, and permanently park it.

hdf1Veteran Assetto Corsa physics modder burrito set out to rectify the obvious problem. Drawing upon his experience from helping out with another fantastic third party release, the Ferrari F2002 – which is one of the highest rated mods ever uploaded for the game on RaceDepartment – burrito built a car that most Assetto Corsa owners agreed was desperately needed within the simulator. Claiming to receive permission from Kunos Simulazioni themselves, and requiring the first Dream Pack DLC for the car to load up properly in the game – while encouraging sim racers to support Kunos and take advantage of a Christmas sale – burrito used the groundwork Kunos had laid out in the Le Mans spec C9 to build what’s undeniably the best car ever made for Assetto Corsa. This is the Sauber C9 that should have been in the first Dream Pack.

244210_20161225211522_1Driving this beast evokes a feeling similar to your first trip to the local water park at the tender age of eight years old. You stare up at the older children in disbelief as they happily rush up the stairs and subject themselves to the perils of the tallest, steepest slide on the property, while it takes you a solid afternoon just to become comfortable with the attractions intended for your specific age group. This is the high-downforce Sauber C9 from burrito in a nutshell; you don’t just jump in and light the Nordschleife on fire – it’s a machine that takes time to learn and become proficient with. Never does the car exhibit unrealistic behavior – there’s simply so much under the bonnet, your own level of talent dictates how fast you go.

As someone who’s driven every type of modern GT3 entry under the sun within a host of relevant racing simulators, what shocked me about the Sauber C9 was how familiar it felt. Despite its legendary status both within the endurance racing world, as well as on other platforms such as Gran Turismo 6 and NASCAR Racing 2003 Season’s Redline GTP mod, burrito has captured the essence of exactly why Mercedes dominated the 1989 World Sports Car Championship schedule. The car was simply fifteen or even twenty years ahead of it’s time. While it’s a fair bit stiffer – and thus slightly skittish – compared to your traditional Audi R8 LMS or McLaren 650s, it feels as if Mercedes and Sauber were really looking into the future of what sports car racing would become in the early 2000’s. More often than not, the car is pretty planted, but occasionally you’re reminded that this car was constructed in 1987. Not every rhythm section is smooth sailing as it would be in a Ferrari 458 GT3, and the car’s reliance on downforce is immediately apparent when the front end occasionally washes out in some of the more technical sections of each circuit. As if your buddy sent you a shitty GT3 setup, the Sauber C9 is – in a word – manageable.

It also helps that the vehicle’s bodywork has been constructed in a way where you can see out the damn windshield, and your field of view is not obstructed by intrusive wheel arches as it would be in a 2016 Porsche 919 Hybrid.

244210_20161225211253_1But while I could spend all day gushing over the phenomenal mechanical grip the high downforce C9 exhibits, there’s another area which deserves our attention.

As I’ve said earlier in the article, the Sauber C9 sends 800 horsepower to the rear tires, and is aided by a turbo charger straight out of 1987. Whereas a modern GT3 entry is not a rocket ship by any means, and accelerates in a constant, predictable manner, the C9 just keeps accelerating and really doesn’t give a shit if you’re ready for it. A McLaren 650s will lean out around the 240 mark and slowly build momentum until you enter the 260’s, but from the sheer acceleration of the C9, you know you’re destined to smash the 300 barrier long before exiting third gear. In the same manner that the controversial street drug fentanyl is for those who think heroin isn’t a hardcore enough experience, the Sauber C9 is almost a boss car for the field of GT3 entries in Assetto Corsa. When the car isn’t glued to the race track, and the digital speedometer isn’t shooting into the 260’s with relative ease, you’re forced to fight horrendous turbo lag – potentially the only aspect of the C9 which shows its age. Throttle control is key here, but it’s the kind of throttle control that puts a bit of hair on your chest; each time you come out of a corner victorious over the ancient turbocharger and temperamental set of racing slicks on the rear wheels, you learn a little bit more about who you are as a sim racer.

It’s not a car that bites; it’s a car that nips at you every so often, begging you to make a mistake. The good drivers wrap a nuzzle around its mouth and keep it firmly in line. The bad drivers end up in the wall.

244210_20161225204710_1 I had to map a few buttons to my wheel so I could flip through turbo settings on the fly, because there are for sure times where the engine is beyond what’s necessary for the situation, and that’s what makes the C9 such an enjoyable drive. You can indeed hit the track with 60% boost and complete a set of moderately quick laps with little to no issue, because structurally it has a lot in common with mid-engine GT3 sports cars that most of you have already turned countless laps with due to their popularity. But the fun part is pushing for ridiculous lap times, cranking up the boost for sections you’re comfortable with, and dialing it back ever so slightly to preserve the engine and keep the rear end under control. There’s a strategy to it not seen in many other cars, where you can just unload and click off laps like nothing.

timesTo my surprise, the performance of the car is also fairly accurate. The high downforce variant of the Sauber C9 is not an official Kunos creation, but a car engineered by burrito using the Le Mans-spec C9 characteristics as a base from the Dream Pack DLC, and allegedly given the thumbs up by Kunos themselves prior to its release on RaceDepartment. I took the high downforce C9 to the Nurburgring Nordschleife, and in qualifying trim clicked off a lap two seconds faster than Stefan Bellof’s real life world record, set in 1983 with his Porsche 956c.

While some may scoff at this comparison – the C9 was six years newer, never turned a competition lap at the Nordschleife, and never raced against the 956c – I was pleased to see that a newer Group C prototype was able to register what many would consider a legitimate hypothetical lap time for the Sauber C9, had the Nordschleife been on the World Sports Car schedule for 1989 in place of the newly-constructed GP circuit. Under realistic session settings, a 1989 Group C prototype was only a few seconds faster than a 1983 Group C prototype – as it should have been – and never exhibited any bizarre behavior that made me stare at the computer monitor in disbelief.

It’s really a fantastic car; the absolute perfect vehicle for those who love sports car racing, but feel modern GT3 entries have become a bit bland and boring – driven by rich motor racing enthusiasts rather than the highly skilled automotive fighter pilots of yesteryear. The high downforce Sauber C9, as originally created by Kunos and edited with permission by burrito of the Ferrari F2002 mod, is in my opinion the greatest car ever made for Assetto Corsa. This is Assetto Corsa at its best – a piece of auto racing history conveying all the subtle nuances of the real thing at competition speeds, from the comfort of your unique PC racing simulator setup.

Unfortunately, not everyone shared in my enthusiasm.

he-said-it-was-okayShortly after launching the modified version of the Sauber C9 on RaceDepartment, which requires the Dream Pack DLC to function, and even encourages those who don’t currently own the content to take advantage of a Christmas sale and purchase it – essentially free advertising for Kunos SimulazioniStefano Casillo ordered RaceDepartment moderators to remove the file. The greatest car ever made for Assetto Corsa – and allegedly created with permission from the developers – was removed at the request of the developers after a little less than a day, because one of the staff members threw a tantrum. Casillo also implied that because of this, burrito would no longer be receiving any contract work to help out with future Assetto Corsa DLC packs.

Which is a shame, because burrito built something extremely special with his high-downforce Sauber C9, and the early comments left in his release thread on RaceDepartment convey the same message I’ve left in this article – this car is simply phenomenal, and a whole bunch of people are happy he created it.

greatSadly, this is the price you pay with Kunos Simulazioni. Though burrito claims to have received permission to release the championship-spec Sauber C9 as a free add-on for Assetto Corsa, even going the extra length and requiring users to own the appropriate DLC package for the car to function in the first place, the car has been removed at the request of Stefano Casillo, and burrito has been scrapped from whatever partnership he had with Kunos Simulazioni behind the scenes.

I’m hoping there’s a different side to this story, and burrito really didn’t have the appropriate permission to release the car – maybe his buddy just made up a story because he wanted to see the project out in the wild as soon as possible – but as it stands right now, it appears as if Kunos Simulazioni essentially got upstaged by a modder who created an awesome fucking variant of an official DLC car that was otherwise useless within their game, and they weren’t happy about it.

You can download Version 1.1 of the High Downforce Sauber C9 HERE (ignore the 1.0 Zip File name).

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137 thoughts on “Forbidden Fruit: The 1989 Sauber C9 Sprint Variant

        1. Yeah, it’s kind of a giant Hockenheim. All straights, chicanes and Mickey Mouse low speed technical shit (ie Autocross). Why can’t every track be like Spa, Imola or Laguna Seca?

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      1. I can’t seem to get it to download. Couldn’t try a site less… spammy?
        On the other hand, now I know why this car was always a piece of shit.

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  1. You know, fuck Kunos for how they handled this.

    They’ve had a long time to put out a high-DF variant of the C9 (which no one uses for the reasons outlined in the article), then someone finally does and they shut it down? Didn’t you need the official shit-version C9 to use the mod in the first place?

    Back to R3E.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to walk back my comment.

      Sounds like there were actual licensing issues that could’ve cost KS money or at least could have impaired their ability to get licensing from MB in the future.

      It wasn’t that anyone was jealous of Burritos awesome modding ability (no sarcasm – he is awesome).

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  2. Glad I downloaded this before they killed it off. It’s fantastic. Drives exactly how you’d expect. No Group C car is as exciting as any of the Sauber Mercedes cars. The sound of that engine is glorious. Just hope one day we get an official C11 in a sim. That car represents Group C at its peak… before the FIA basically killed it to try and lure more manufacturers to F1

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    1. You should put it up on Mediafire or Mega, or just start a torrent. Really frustrated because the historical C9 was one of my favorites but the low-df variant in AC just sucks.

      And the Le Mans track that’s available as a mod is crap compared to a real laser-scanned AC track.

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  3. I’d suggest a torrent on a relevant site.

    Kunos are a bunch of idiots sometimes. This could only have driven sales for their DLC. And don’t they realize that modding is one of the major draws for AC vs the alternatives? Bizarre decision.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stefano’s a mega fedora tipper, check his twitter.

      Probably just angry that it was Christmas.

      Makes it hard to support them, even when they do the physics so so right

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  4. I’m curious, is this high-downforce version just the low-downforce version with the aero numbers cranked-up?, or did he actually go through all the details and create a completely different chassis underneath that just re-uses the body?

    Surprised RD wasn’t more weary of the “Kunos-approved” bit, usually if you so much as get the idea of modifying Kunos content for public use, they screech and burn you at the stake. But I haven’t been around a whole lot until recently so maybe things changed? (i.e. they got lazy/desperate)

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    1. It’s all numbers work, the same model so no changes on air intake or wing. But honestly, given all the circumstances this can be overlooked. This is the car I always wanted and along with the F-40, and faith from nKp, that I supported the game.

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    1. Fortunately modders still develop quality content despite some lack of encouragement. This can be applicable to all games, of course, but it doesn’t help when there are people effectively against.

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      1. It’s also akin to the yesteryear of LimeWire, where you have to infect your computer with virtual AIDS to get something downloaded. Still, it isn’t broken.

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        1. Just load up on ad blocker and make sure Kaspersky or whatever is running. You can get a custom list that’ll block their tab-opening. No big deal. They gotta make money off a few idiots clicking on shit, right?

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  5. Now somebody needs to make this car for rF2. That would make for a real Christmas present.
    You can sing the odes all you want, James, but I’m done with guesstimating my braking in AC. Compared to rF2, it’s like entering the bend with your eyes closed. Fancy that kinda thing? Good for you. I don’t.

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    1. What’s wrong with the braking in AC? I use visual markers just like when I take my car to track days at COTA and it feels/looks about the same. Tires feel kinda dead but that’s an AC thing.

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      1. I guess everyone uses visual markers for telling when you need to start your braking. I was talking about what you are doing after you have initiated the braking phase. In rF2 I can feel exactly how much brake should be applied every split second during the turn-in, how the wheels should be turned for the most efficient trailbraking. In AC it’s more like, “ok, let’s try doing it like this and see what happens… damn, the rear doesn’t want to get as loose as I need it to… again”

        AC is kind of ok in any other circumstances now, but the braking is just so lifeless and uninformative, I had to simply remove the whole thing. Now I have decided not to install it back again until Kunos have addressed the issue. Braking is basically the most interesting part of the process, yet they robbed the simmer of it.

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        1. I think I understand your point. I feel rF2’s FFB able to transmit the car’s behavior more dynamically than in AC. It may be from the feedback transmitting more than just the wheel track, but since I don’t have a motion rig, it helps to have that through the wheel.

          Using wheel check and the LUT generator helped my AC experience by a lot. Coupled with using the better wheel driver (much older version in this case), the game’s FFB feels superior than Automobilista’s and iRacing.

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          1. It’s just that rF2 currently is the only sim on the market capable of properly translating the forces acting on the front wheels onto the controller wheel. Even AMS is a bit sketchy in that regard, and I suspect that’s just a limitation of the aging previous iteration of isiMotor.

            AC doesn’t even try to tell you what’s going on at the front. Instead, it generates some sort of a synthetic representation of forces acting on the car in general while expecting you to be content with that much (peculiarly processed) info. Ancient wheel drivers or not, you can’t magically summon proper feedback where there is none. It was a deliberate decision on the Kunos part, and it seems to have clicked with the majority of population. Good for them. It would be nice to at least provide an option for a more classic FFB though.

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              1. Is the quoted line one of the Kunos’ lies? Maybe it’s best to be changed into “only the torque you can get through a steering wheel connected to a particularly numb EPAS”, then I could believe that.

                Either way, AC’s FFB is one of the worst of its kind. Be it a sim or real life car, I’d rather go with a feedback similar to what rF2 has to offer.

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        2. OK, yes I have to agree on that. I’m always subconsciously comparing the feel in AC to my car IRL (Audi TT RS) and that car has both ABS (of course) and pretty lifeless, artificial steering feel (just weights up in the corners, have no idea what grip is like as the computers send torque all over the place, ends up lightly understeering no matter what you do and is basically idiot-proof). So AC actually feels about right – but only in relation to my real track-day car.

          The last really raw car I had was a Honda S2000, but I last drove that car in 2010. After that, a BMW M6 (no feel at all but so easy to drift, very stable long wheelbase, a real joy actually). So, I’ve been driving ABS cars with little steering feel for 6 years now.

          Most street cars now actually don’t have the braking feel you’re describing. But I know exactly what you mean. I drove my dad’s 323i at Road Atlanta in SCCA for 2 years (83-84: They put is in the same group as the Vettes and 944 Turbo’s – we got killed) and the only thing it had was a too-tight LSD. You really had to trail brake into the apex to upset the car a little and get it to rotate. That’s hard to do in AC and, like you, it seems like random guesswork (I’m looking at you, 917/30).

          I had assumed it was because I suck (usually a safe assumption). I should go play with rF2 again.

          What do you think of R3E? I love their tire “feel”. It’s perfect to me…

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          1. Why would you expect easy and non random trail braking rotation on 917/30? it has welded diff. Personally I find trail braking and rotation much easier and overall better feel of the rear since 1.11 update (GT3 cars) as the cars dont plow in understeer as it did previously.
            rF2 FFB is really detailed but I would say it over the top. Even feedback in RL carts is more about strong aligning force instead of those small vibrations and scrubbing effects that you can feel really well even with 3nM wheel in rF2. But yes it is really immersive and gets the job done.

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            1. Much easier indeed. I suspect that we have to thank the tire model improvements for that. Intuitive? Easily readable? No. Enjoyable? Not in the slightest. Just “doable”.

              The rF2’s FFB not only gets the job done, but I would probably suggest that it’s something for real life cars to look up to. At least for the majority of road cars. At least if the manufacturers really are seeking ways of creating addictive track day cars.

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              1. It’s wonderful, rf2 better than real cars. rf2 is in a gaming genre of its own, heaven racing. Why wouldn’t I drive rf2 when there’s no understeer and the steering gives me more information than the real life steering. Basically rf2 is real life 2.0

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                1. Ok, give me at least one reason why rF2 can’t have a better driving feel than your typical electric power assisted commuter? Also, I wasn’t the one who said it had possibly better FFB than at least some of real life cars. You need to start thinking out of the box. Real life is not absolute. Real cars can have very crappy, spongy steering. Why rF2 can’t be better than that? Just because it’s a “video game”? Engineering software suites are being employed for aeronautical purposes for quite a while already, and the results tend to work equally well in real life just like they do in the simulated environment. Think about it. Simulations are not what they used to be 30 years ago.

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          2. Ideally, the car should have a good direct link between the steering wheel and the front wheels. All these modern electric power steering systems make a car a personal transportation device at best. And while you can still have fun enjoying the g-forces roller-coaster style, that’s not something easily and intuitively conveyed by the means of a simulator.
            If Kunos have decided to properly replicate the real life steering feel of their cars, why is Lotus Elise, for one, as mushy as any other car of theirs? And why did Porsche opt for the opposite and tried to enhance their EPAS with a processed and synthesized feedback?

            At first I thought that the only problem with AC when it comes to braking was its innate overwhelming understeer. The 1.11.3 update has really opened my eyes. Even though it still looks suspicious how reluctant the front wheels are to spin back up after being locked, dragged for a bit and then released, all in all the tire model looks extremely decent now, and you can negotiate a hairpin without resorting to Scandi-flicks or handbrake turns while going about as fast as you would expect from such a car. Alas, the feedback itself is optimized for the “brake, coast, apply power” routine. The only way to make the rear step out under braking is to memorize the brake/steering envelope that seemed to have worked the previous lap and to maintain a database of different corner entries in different conditions from all the previous experiences in one’s head.
            In rF2 I just sit in a car and drive. My feet, hands and arms react before I can give it a thought. Because there seems to be a very natural, direct connection between the front wheels and my spinal cord. I barely even look out the windshield, because I don’t need to detect visual changes to my trajectory as much. I get most of the relevant data directly from the wheel in my hands. And I can also tell the moment when it’s time to finally move on to the throttle application. Not because “ok, it was around here”, but because the wheel tells me explicitly when there is the time.

            As for R3E… Yes, the tire feel is good. And I agree with James that there is a lot of similarity now between AC and R3E. The problem is, there is something wrong with R3E, which never fails to ruin my mood, but I can’t even tell what exactly is wrong. Also, compared to rF2, I can hardly tell any difference between a laser scanned track and a non-scanned one in R3E. Put one of the AC tracks conversions into rF2, on the other hand (I should get at least something from buying Assetto Corsa if I can’t really use it, right?), and it really comes to life. If there is a sim that deserve laser scans, it’s this one.
            So, for me R3E is mostly in a limbo: I fire it up once or twice a month hoping that maybe this time I could bear with its weirdness, but after just a couple of runs I turn it off until next time. At least it still stays on my HDD, unlike AC and Project CARS.

            There are still other simulators apart from rF2 that I do really enjoy. Mostly mods though: the NGP 4.4 for Richard Burns Rally and the RFPE for Sebastien Loeb Rally EVO. Automobilista is pretty good at shuffling between the “almost rF2 or even better” and “a really good sim, but they need to move on to a better physics engine” nominations to the point of being annoying.

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            1. Um, it sounds like maybe rF2 is giving you a little *too much* steering feel. You realize that in a real track car you mainly use the seat of your pants, right? The wheel doesn’t really tell you what the back end is doing until it’s way way too late.

              If, in real life, I waited on the wheel to tell me when to correct oversteer, I’d be sloppy as shit and all over the place (I think). Maybe sims have to introduce fake (or at least highly exaggerated) sensations to make up for the loss of that queasy sensation when the rear tries to step out.

              Maybe that’s why a lot of the top drivers on iRacing run with zero FFB?

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              1. The question is, would you not like to have the steering in RL cars feel more detailed? Also, I suspect that at least some cars (the Caterhams, for example) might provide feedback on par with rF2, if not better. My guess is that if you remove all the slack from the rack and pinion in such cars, you basically get rF2-like feedback. Fiddling with the caster angle should also help.

                I think you just have a wrong real life car example on your mind. Check some drift-prepped cars videos on YouTube. You’ll notice that those things can hold the drift on their own almost. It’s all about the steering geometry. And a typical commuter car might be not created with the best steering feel in mind. Doesn’t mean such a car cannot be created at all.

                And in a sim we can have the best possible force feedback. Theoretically. So why not jump at the opportunity? What’s with the thinking that the real life experience is something sacred and should not be tried to be bested?
                We are robbed of the g-forces in a sim. Even a motion platform can not possibly give us an adequate representation of those. But we can have the next best thing (or the first?) in rF2: the steering feel to beat. All the while Kunos will have their attempt at somehow emulating both at the same time and failing at recreating either. You simply can’t possibly translate the 2D g-forces picture onto the wheel which only goes either left or right. Not to mention that in reality it’s more of 6DOF.

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                1. The Audi TT RS is decidedly not a commuter car. Neither was my M6. Or my supercharged S2000 with Motons. But yeah, none of those had the raw feel of the unassisted steering in my 1981 323i.

                  Funny how some things have gone backwards in terms of the actual tactile experience. I’d love to try something like a Formula Atlantic, just to experience it again.

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                  1. Regardless of their perceived intended use, those cars are still not really meant for pure, unadulterated driving fun. As for the 323i, it probably also is not the best choice, to be honest. One would naturally want a sharper steering with a smaller wheel (in terms of real life cars… things like a G27 are already too small anyway). And it seems that only certain configuration would help with that. Like, the overall weight being under 2000 lbs or so, the engine put behind the driver, preferably over the rear axle. All that would make for a manageable yet fun unassisted steering. Also, I have the feeling that something more clever could be thought up to replace rack and pinion just for the purpose.

                    Yes, things seem to be going progressively down the hill these days. Heck, even Internet got much worse over just a course of several years, and it wasn’t around all that long either. It almost looks natural how everything “decays” over time now.
                    Personally, I think some of the older cars deserve to be given a new life, new production. Even that 323. There are examples of this happening already. The Singer 911 for one. They just need to be less exclusive and more affordable.

                    By the way, you probably mistook the person below for me. The writing is kind of similar indeed. Not sure if that’s intended. Just to clarify this: it’s a different person.

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  6. I dont see the issue here. They _could_ probably get in trouble with Mercedes if they allowed this and by the looks of it they didnt give Burrito permission to tweak the car.

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  7. I can understand why LM one-trick-pony cars are in AC, because they’re what people put on posters (plus most simracers familiarity with racing history seems centered around old Gran Turismo car rosters) but I can’t understand why they haven’t done the C9 Sprint, 935/77, or 908/03 since those actually raced on tracks that are in the damn game.

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    1. True. The 935/78 is just about as Ill-suited for the default content as the Le Mans spec C9. Hopefully the DRM mod isn’t too far away and will be a success

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    1. That’s what I heard as well. But maybe they should hire this guy. Have you tried his F2002? Jesus Fucking Christ that car rocks. Easily 1st party quality stuff right there.

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  8. Why can’t they just make bigger the rear wing bar and call it a day?

    I love driving the version already in the game anyway, it is just a bit more challenging. I see nothing wrong with it until the day it gets grid partners and the car is off the pace.

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      1. Not yet in the console version. All we can do is to hotlap it or race it vs 15 AI clones.

        I don’t think it drives bad, it is just harder to slow down and unable to pull many lateral Gs. It just has a different limit, but it’s a pleasure to drive. If you crank up the rear wing to the limit the low DF version allows it is OK.

        But yes, it is going to suck ass when it is outpaced around Nurburgring because not enough wing. Will be only good to race itself.

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      2. Realistically the 787B probably needs the C9 to be in the wrong downforce package to be competitive anyways, it was 4-5 seconds a lap slower everywhere.

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  9. Is that true, Austin?
    ”- The whole “Turn10 Gate”.. where to begin with this one? They get some info about Turn10 buying us (lol, how I wish it was true.. really hahaha), first come out with an article about it. Then the main PRC chimp tries to blackmail me offering his “services” as PR to handle the buyout (lol) and, if we would not accept to handle to him the communication he’ll keep pushing articles on PRC about it and that would make us “look bad”. He does, but time, as always, shows there was absolutely nothing to report.. so he turns this into a conspiracy theory in which we deliberately sent out false info in order to trick him.. just when you thought he could not get any more retarded”

    oh man…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is literally a post by Stefano on the official forum from about a year ago admitting the PRC articles got to him, and this was followed by fanboys firing us fake news tips. You tell me what happened.

      But of course, karma bit ’em in the ass. We all know how the console launch of AC went down. So yeah, I looked stupid for a week for biting on a rumor that turned out to be false. That’s fine. VirtualR did a big piece this week on a mod that turned out to be ripped content. It happens.

      At least I didn’t have to explain why I charged $60 for a borderline unplayable piece of software, all while Italian/Spanish review sites deemed it to be a masterpiece despite a massive list of complaints from people who actually played the game.

      Like

      1. He asked a simple question: is that true or not?
        Can you answer this in a simple form without trying to deflect back on Kunos with this “AC sucks stuff”?

        Like

        1. Yeah, it’s true. They succeeded in making me look like a dumbass for a week. It’s cool. If that’s what they wanted to divert their resources to during crunch time for the console release – which was and still is a disaster – the quality of their product shows.

          Like

            1. Blackmail? Nah. I was tired of shitting on ’em and hoped the Forza thing was legit. On paper it sounded great, take the things Kunos does well and blend it with a proper Forza release. Provided it was real, I wanted to push aside the animosity and help celebrate.

              Turns out it was someone fucking with us. Oh well. Jumped the gun. My bad. Neets from the AC forum like Horncuck got to have a laugh for a week at our expense, whatever. We recovered and pressed onward.

              Again, I can live with myself knowing out of 822 articles, two of ’em were an oops. I know for a fact it was people fucking with us, and just last week someone tried to pull that shit again – in a bit more of an elaborate fashion.

              No dev would admit they were behind it, but it’s either that, or the AC fans are a seriously autistic bunch. Sorta explains why brownninja received death threats afterwards.

              Like

              1. So you really wanted to handle PR for the Turn 10 takeover? And you were going to do more articles if they declined your suggestion? Whoa

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                1. Handle PR? Nah. Just help celebrateand write some nice articles for a change.

                  Then it turned out not to be true, and the console release was a massive failure – which warranted more of the same.

                  Like

                  1. So, you admit you enjoy being a tabloid writer and focus on personalities quirks rather than staying on the automotive topic, don’t you?

                    Like

          1. Its not them who suceeded to make you look stupid, its you and that happened more than once. This happens because of the way you express your crazy speculations and how you go over the line while doing that.

            Like

  10. Have to love the way Stefano deals with stuff. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be that angry all the time.

    That said, Burrito here should’ve just avoided the Kunos people all together and just put the thing up on RD. The quality speaks for itself and there was no need to seek an endorsement from the developers.

    Like

  11. If people would think this correctly, kunos response was adequate to the risky situation burrito put them in.
    Saying “approved by Kunos” on a mod that contains official car could get them in trouble with the manufacturer Mercedes that signed with Kunos to represent their car. Kunos can’t share data about their official cars with people outside the company, which means nobody can use the encrypted data of the official car and create a mod out of it. So saying the mod was approved by Kunos puts them in a bad spot towards the manufacturer they signed with. That’s why he reacted badly and asked to take down the mod as it wasn’t approved by the company.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. LM version
    “You’ll take it to the Nordschleife once, spin out, realize you can’t adequately dial in the setup for any of the locations in the game because the car simply doesn’t generate enough downforce to be effective, and permanently park it.”

    Sprint version
    “This is the high-downforce Sauber C9 from burrito in a nutshell; you don’t just jump in and light the Nordschleife on fire – it’s a machine that takes time to learn and become proficient with.”

    So the sprint car isn’t just plug and play, you need to mess with it to be competitive? James… do you think sim racers, outside those in hardcore leagues, will bother with either car to get the most of it and learn the most of it? I don’t think so, therefore either version Kunos simulated is fine for sim racing. Besides, now we will have the 962C Long Tail and the Mazda 787b to compete with Mercedes C9 Le Mans.

    For the pleb of sim racer I am, I enjoy driving and racing the current C9 on tracks like Spa, Nordschleife, Nurburgring, Brands Hatch, Monza, etc. LM cars aren’t bad or good to drive in these tracks, they just are how they are and you adapt to its driving style.

    Like

    1. The problem is the performance difference between the default C9 and the others. And 3 cars isn’t much variety. Beyond GT amd DTM, this is common in AC. This is what R3E gets so right – each car class usually has anywhere from 4-5 or more cars in it. Can you imagine a Group C / IMSA GTP R3E class? That would be amazing. In AC, some really fun cars (such as RS1600) don’t have any equivalent cars to race against.

      Like

  13. Sorry for the noob question, but how do you download this MOD? I followed the link but it took me to a bunch of advertisements. Once downloaded do you just drop the file inside the AC car folder
    Thanks

    Like

    1. Stefano created one of the best sims out here – AC , yet you call him cancer. Clearly you are the cancer here and the reason why there is so much hate in sim racing communities.

      Like

        1. There’s some stuff I know that I’m not allowed to say.

          His reputation was earned, not given.

          Give me attention, guys. I know secrets ya’ll don’t. Give me attention, guys. Nothing stopped me before but there’s some stuff I’m not allowed to say, because this isn’t my blog, and I never gave out my sources, user IPs, or posting history.

          Like

  14. i just hope stefano’s “you’re done with us” hysteria was for public show, bc running guys like burrito away is really, really dumb.

    Like

      1. He unbanned him after burrito approached him in private message.

        “This dude is such a fucking manchild.” The more I read these sentences the more I believe the one saying it to someone else should first look in the mirror.
        Only “kids” are constantly calling children to other “kids”.

        Like

        1. Based on his actions from his stuff on Twitter, kicking out the modding community on the AC forums and lying about the reason, his various RD meltdowns throughout the year, and this most recent incident, it’s accurate to call him a manchild and there’s no need for you to get butthurt about it.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hmm… now honest and frontal people are manchildren. Learning things every day. I thought this blog was about honesty and stuff like that, but the only that can be like that are the authors and commentators here, everyone else in sim racing must have pristine behavior and manners. Here we celebrate honesty and frontality, but for everyone else in sim racing is acting like children and having meltdowns.
            Idk what’s bigger in simracing, hypocrisy or dishonesty.. I was never let down by sim racing games and developers, but a certain group of ‘players’ in sim racing amaze every day, but negatively.

            Like

      2. No, he said more than that. He also dissolved any sort of future collaboration with Burrito. Maybe it’s just a short term thing to really drill it in that this wasn’t handled right. I hope so. There’s not exactly a plethora of truly top-tier AC mods other there.
        Pretty much everything (except Bazza’s F1 Legends 1967, which rocks) not on RD is Soviet Shovelware (my wife is Russian, and she says it’s OK to put it that way) that is sub-Forza level in terms of physics.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. If the modder was being a prick, or the car was awful, I’d better understand Stefano’s response.

      But when the guy was obviously trying very hard to accommodate Kunos, and only fucked up by not verifying the permission he thought he had, all the while creating perhaps the game’s greatest car, I think a gentler response was warranted.

      The mod obviously had to come down, but acknowledging its quality, and the modder’s efforts, would have allowed Stefano, and by extension, Kunos, to sidestep the current backlash.

      Better yet, they should acknowledge the current car’s failings, explain why the mod has to go (within the bounds of their ND agreement with Mercedes), and apologize to the community for their loss.

      FFS, even after being publicly shamed, the guy apparently apologized.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. The title and early paragraph stuff here initially made me think of unused stuff in AC that belongs in The Cutting Room Floor wiki (which I do edit and contribute, there’s some stuff from Gran Turismo games there!)

    Like

  16. The circlejerk of sim haters (those which are let down by every sim), or specific sim haters (those which are anti-AC, anti-Pcars, anti-Iracing), should all gather up and play the real Sims, made by EA, and leave us in peace playing our pretend sims.
    Wouldn’t our sim racing be much happier and nicer all around if the circlejerk would go away… after all they don’t even like the games…

    Hey, do you want the sim with specific features and specific cars and tracks? Go take programming lessons and make your game. Only you can satisfy yourself, everyone else is a disappointment, am I right? So don’t be a hater and make things, don’t bitch about others when yourself are useless at doing the things you disagree so much with.

    Don’t like the offers on the market for this genre? Find another gaming genre. Go somewhere else where you’re happy, cause I’m damn sure you ain’t happy here, unless you’re addicted on sadness and disappointment which strangely is the only thing that makes you happy. Which would make you a masochist. Too long, you didn’t read, there’s a group of masochists in sim racing, they have enjoyment in playing bad and tedious games. This blog is their central hub, their mecca.

    Like

        1. Well my race is over, so I can now explain to you that there are plenty of people who love NR2003, rF1, GTR, RACE, etc. that are frustrated that the current games 10 years and a couple major hardware generations later all spectacularly fail at properly obsoleting these ancient ass games due to a lack of features, problems with the game engine, shitty community interaction, bad business models, or whatever. Locking down your audience to exclude these people entirely is not going to help anyone.

          The people with the most complicated and highest number of complaints are probably among the heaviest users. AC is fucking amazing if you’re coming from casually playing Forza but has tons of problems if you’re coming from league racing in rFactor.

          Like

          1. League racing isn’t the way of the future for sim racing, at least not on its current mold. The fact that you need to sign up outside the game and only race once per week and usually only the best racers do it, it will remain just a small part of the game and not approachable for everyone.

            Competitive multiplayer sim racing has to be integrated in the game and accessible for everyone.

            Like

  17. James, I realize you’re trying to cater to a younger demographic, but us more mature aged gamers would prefer that you also cover actual racing simulators. AC articles might get more views and comments, but there is a large section of the sim racing community (usually the older folks) who prefer rf2 or AMS, and are tired of the copies amounts of AC articles.

    I like AC as much as the next overweight balding manchild who plays with his toy steering wheel too much and can’t get a girlfriend, but it’s not a hardcore racing simulator. The reasons for this are many, but for me the main one has been mentioned above and many times previously, and I’m surprised that a seasoned sim racing veteran such as yourself can even maintain an erection while driving in AC due to this issue.

    The glorious feeling of balancing the car mid corner with the brake pedal and adjusting it’s trajectory is completely missing in AC, whereas rf2 reproduces it brilliantly. Get hard on the brakes in AC around a corner, and there is no negative consequences, and basically no change in the cars attitude whatsoever. Get on the brakes mid corner in rf2, the rear tires get light as the weight shifts forward, and the car begins to rotate and tighten it’s line. Too hard on the brakes, and the car will spin out almost instantly.

    Even real racing car drivers struggle with this most delicate (yet most rewarding) of driving techniques, and I believe the majority of racing games remove the effects of mid corner braking from their driving model via hidden assists to aid the casual gamer in controlling the virtual car.

    If you want to redefine words and refer to AC as a simulator, then we need to start calling rf2 something else, perhaps an ‘ultra simulator’, because it’s not fair to place them in the same category. One is made for a younger audience who is new to simulators and wants a challenge but ultimately just to have fun (and the driving model is brilliant at delivering that), the other is made for a very small demographic who demand the pinnacle of realism, despite how difficult and frustrating it might be. Surprisingly though, it seems the more driving experience you have, the more connected and intuitive rf2 feels, and the more vague and disconnected other sims feel.

    We will always be arguing about what the best all round sim is, but in my opinion it’s pretty clear what the most realistic sim is. With James deleting rf2 from his HD, he refuses to cover what is the pinnacle of sim racing today physics wise. I would prefer you try out a new mod in rf2 and tear it a new asshole, rather than just ignoring rf2 all together.

    Like

    1. Sounds like your’re describing trail braking. I use left-foot trail braking on my trackday car to get it to rotate, but that’s a car with ABS, 4WD and a 61/39 weight balance. Even with the larger RARB I’ve got, trail braking is a necessary evil to get it to tuck into the apex properly near the limit.

      But I don’t “get on the brake” mid-corner. I’m *already* left-foot-braking as I approach the apex and I’m progressively easing off the brakes the whole time. Just before I hit the apex, I’m off the brakes entirely and back on the gas. Takes a lot of practice IRL. I’ve never once “got on the brake mid-corner”. Assuming I’m at the limit, the car would spin if I did that, or just upset it so much that I’d lose a shitload of time scrubbing off speed. Not sure why you’d ever do that, except maybe with a spool diff?

      Anyway, I just bought rF2 again (trying to help them out), so I’m going to reinstall and see if what you say is accurate. I can trail-brake just fine in R3E and I’m able to do fairly well with the 917/30 in AC.

      Maybe you’re right – I had assumed that I simply sucked compared to Mark Donohue and wasn’t doing it right. A 1200hp 917 is certainly a lot different than my little 365hp Audi.

      Like

      1. get a refund and just convert your license to steam. they’ll be releasing dlc so you can help them out by buying it. otherwise, I know someone who is desperately trying to find his rf2 info to get the key transferred. he may not find it because it’s been two years since he last played it.

        Like

      2. “I’ve never once “got on the brake mid-corner”. Assuming I’m at the limit, the car would spin if I did that, or just upset it so much that I’d lose a shitload of time scrubbing off speed.”

        Trust me, when you’re mid corner and you realize you’re going to smash into the outside barrier if you don’t scrub of some speed, you will definitely get on the brakes. What happens? The car begins to overseer and the line tightens, and with a little bit of talent you can control it.

        Agreed, if you are on the absolute limit of front and rear adhesion and you hit the brake, it’s very easy to lose control.

        rF2 seems fairly accurate in terms of rotation while braking, whereas in AC it seems heavily watered down, both on entry while trail braking, and during mid corner brake application.

        Like

        1. “I can machine gun downshift any cars in ‘ultra simulator’..”

          Point being? Sticky rear tires and close ratio gear box don’t always lead to compression lock up during hard down shifting, especially if you brake exactly in a straight line. Try ‘machine gun downshifting” in the NSX or Cobra and see what happens to the rear tires.

          Or are you referring to the gearbox model, in which case I agree, studio 397 need to get onto that shit ASAP, so maybe not quite ‘ultra simulator’ yet.

          Like

    2. Actually, it’s more about the balance. Brake too hard into the corner and your front wheels will give up on you, sending the car into an understeery trip to the outside. To be totally honest, some cars have a lot of inherent understeer in rF2. That AC Cobra is one good example. You really have to learn to deal with that. But at least it’s much more satisfying to finally become able to cope with that understeer. Or you could simply use something more balanced like that Nissan instead.

      Like

    3. Ok, I was reading calmly your post, but then I realized is the same guy that keeps talking about ‘I cant brake in AC the way I can brake in rf2, therefore this is shit game and sim”. All your posts are just around that subject, no matter how much you fill your comments.

      Like

  18. James is praising Assetto Corsa even though rFactor 2’s physical thermo-mechanical tire model alone took more research and devlopment effort than the whole of Assetto Corsa alone.

    And Assetto Corsa still lacks basic fudamental physics essentials such as gyroscopic effects that influence vehicle dynamics, it also lacks chassis flex that takes sideslip/alpha properly into account and suspension compliance, torque steering among other things, and these issues alone means you can’t take any AC car seriously let alone any historic car like C9.

    Like

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