Stage 3 Upgrades

previewRiding high on the momentum Assetto Corsa’s 1.11.3 patch produced, we ended the weekend here at with a lengthy positive review of Burrito’s Mercedes Benz-Sauber C9, a phenomenal piece of Group C machinery from the late 1980’s. Though rather unspectacular when you first acquire the car legitimately through Assetto Corsa’s original Dream Pack DLC, burrito’s allegedly approved modifications to official Kunos content brought the car in-line with what actually competed during the 1989 World Sports Car championship season. Due to supposed licensing constraints – which forced Kunos to model the low-downforce Le Mans special rather than the car which dominated the 1989 campaign – the Sauber C9 available as premium downloadable content for Assetto Corsa is unfortunately quite useless within the popular racing simulator, considering Le Mans isn’t featured on the roster of circuits. I mean, you can try and take it to Spa or Mugello, but it’s going to be an understeering pig. And you can definitely go out and acquire a third party version of Circuit de la Sarthe, but let’s be real here – Kunos make phenomenal tracks the community can rarely match. You didn’t buy a modern racing simulator to mess around on yet another rFactor conversion from 2007.

Veteran physics modder burrito, who had recently pushed out a phenomenal third party vehicle in the Ferrari F2002, set out to rectify the issue, claiming to receive approval from Kunos to use the low-downforce Sauber C9 as a base for the WSC-spec car most people wanted to begin with, and release it on RaceDepartment as a free upgrade that actually required you to own the relevant DLC package before the car would load in-game. Yet in just under a day, Kunos Simulazioni staff member Stefano Casillo demanded burrito to remove the car, claiming he didn’t have permission to begin with, and that he was “finished” with Kunos Simulazioni – which led many to speculate whom exactly Kunos had working on the physics of official content behind the scenes.

I can see both sides of the argument. Kunos isn’t in a position to fuck around with major licenses and admit they basically gave out sensitive race car data to some random modder on the internet who hadn’t been contractually obligated to keep his mouth shut, but at the end of the day, Assetto Corsa was advertised primarily as a modding platform, and the data.acd converter is so easy to use even I can bust open encrypted car files and go to town. I’m not a fan of how Stefano unloaded on the guy over at RaceDepartment instead of merely saying “hey man, you did a really nice job, but I checked with the team and we changed our minds after looking through some of the contracts” – though at this point between the random restructuring of the official mod community, the numerous tirades on RaceDepartment, and excuses such as “football season” to explain the delay of the console game (which ended up being a disaster), it’s stuff that should really go in one ear, and out the other.

previewNo matter which side you take on that argument, at the end of the day Assetto Corsa owners – those who didn’t fetch the car from our latest post and prefer to stick with official content – still don’t have a relevant version of the Sauber C9 to mess around with. And this is actually quite silly when you explore what else Assetto Corsa has to offer.

Some over on RaceDepartment are claiming Kunos simply didn’t acquire the rights to the World Sports Car variant of the Sauber C9 – you know, the car that would be enjoyable to drive on the default roster of tracks instead of being a supersonic understeering piece of shit – but just by clicking around the menus, there might be more to this story. Kunos were more than capable of building a circuit-spec Sauber C9, they just didn’t bother.

challengeWhile Kunos did not acquire the rights to the Ferrari 458 Challenge series – a private championship for Ferrari owners campaigning somewhat equally prepared track variants of the Ferrari 458, Kunos instead got around the lack of a license by modelling a Stage 3 Performance Package on the default Ferrari 458, and basically admitted in the description it was a Ferrari Challenge car. Taking advantage of the game’s Stage system, which allows content creators – or the developers themselves – to start with an existing vehicle and slap on 3D model adjustments or performance tweaks, Kunos included a Ferrari challenge car within Assetto Corsa – it just wasn’t called that in the menus. In the official forums, most people acknowledged it was a Ferrari Challenge car, and during the Early Access period I recall it was one of the more popular cars in the game – but it drills home the point that Kunos at one point were absolutely, one hundred percent willing, to work around a license they didn’t have for the benefit of their audience.

lmThe Ferrari F40LM was a beast of a GT participant in the mid 1990’s, but once again, Kunos simply couldn’t acquire the rights to model the exact car for use in Assetto Corsa. Rather than admit defeat and hope modders would get to work on the F40LM once the game came out, Kunos instead heavily implied the Stage 3 Ferrari F40 was in fact an F40LM – or as close as they could possibly get to it without pissing off Ferrari, according to the vehicle’s description. It sure didn’t look the part of an F40LM, relying on the street car 3D model, the inevitable influx of 1990’s GT liveries from the community, and a convincing set of physics to get the point across, but everybody knew what they were getting with the Stage 3 F40.

f1But these tongue-in-cheek nods to cars Kunos were unable to license for Assetto Corsa straight up stopped with the Stage 1 variant of the Lotus Exos T125. Prior to landing two modern Ferrari Formula One entries in this year’s Red Pack DLC bundle, the only professional category open wheel car on the Assetto Corsa car roster was hidden in the upgrades menu for the consumer-spec Lotus Exos T125. Designed as the ultimate toy for elite track day snobs, the Exos T125 was basically a Formula One car that a rich asshole could run at his local track with the help of a few buddies. Kunos used this vehicle as a base to sneak an actual Formula One car into Assetto Corsa when they didn’t have the rights to any at the time, creating a Stage 1 Performance Package rendition that was basically the 2013 Lotus Grand Prix car. Though some would argue the car’s on-track performance and underlying physics figures were merely estimations, the work Kunos had done previously for Toyota and Ferrari on both Ferrari Virtual Academy and netKar Pro suggested they weren’t exactly taking shots in the dark.

16549421029_51b86b99c9_oSo now we revisit the drama surrounding the Sauber C9, with this additional bundle of knowledge.

I’m really perplexed as to why Kunos couldn’t model a Stage 1 variant of the legendary Group C prototype to begin with, when they seemed to have no problem doing so previously with other cars on the roster – including vehicles from Ferrari and Lotus, of whom the former is known for being notoriously difficult to deal with when it comes to video game licensing deals. This was basically the entire point of Kunos creating the Stage system for vehicle selection – allowing multiple versions of the same base vehicle to co-exist within the application. Marco Massarutto also confirmed in a live stream that Le Mans is not going to appear in Assetto Corsa, so why intentionally go out and model the Le Mans-spec variants of certain cars knowing full well there isn’t actually a use for them in your game? The whole scenario is just really silly.

But what’s even more bizarre, is for someone like Stefano to go out and chastise a respected modder of their game for essentially doing the exact same thing the actual developers of the game did. Just as burrrio ended up not having permission to create the high-downforce WSC-variant of the Sauber C9, Kunos didn’t have permission to create the Ferrari 458 Challenge Series, the Ferrari F40LM, or the 2013 Lotus E21. These cars have been in the game as far back as early 2014, and they have never caused problems. They’ve also demonstrated that licensing doesn’t mean shit in this situation – contrary to their claims in forum posts regarding the matter – and Kunos were very well capable of building a high-downforce C9 themselves by merely calling it a Stage 1 upgrade, they just chose not to, and instead chased after someone in the community who did.



77 thoughts on “Stage 3 Upgrades

  1. 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.


  2. This is the same article except you remembered that the Stage upgrades exist.

    The Exos S1 is nowhere near any modern F1 car aside from the engine they threw in.


  3. Have you seen their license agreements with different manufacturers or how do you know what permissions they have or do not have πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


          1. He didn’t get mad because somebody used steps to make a car, he got mad because he falsely claimed that he had permission from Kunos to mod official content and distribute it on RD πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

            Fact is, you don’t know if Kunos has permission from Ferrari and Lotus for them tuned steps versions πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Then take out the line that says “Kunos gave permission.” The end. Upload it like those increased grid spot tracks, call it a day. There is no need for Stefano to get all asshurt.

              And I highly doubt Ferrari or Lotus approved extremely specific generic Stage 1/3 cars based entirely on existing cars that would have cost more to license. This is literally why the whole Stage system was both created and used extensively by Kunos.

              Im also under the impression burrito DID get permission – considering hes an actual good modder and the cryptic comments from Stefano – only for someone to be asshurt behind the scenrs. Nobody just slaps “kunos approved” on their mods without good reason.


              1. IMHO there was a problem with the way the whole thing was packaged in RD, even if it had authorization for physics. It included all other assets from the DLC C9, such as skin work, sound banks, etc, that are also copyrighted, even if they require someone to buy DP1 to use the mod.

                It could have been circumvented by only including the modified files (or even a diff patcher to modify a copy from the original data.acd file in the destination folder so not to include anything standalone from kunos data), and then a batch file in the Sprint step folder to copy the original content to there.

                It’d still be a breach on the user contract to open the data files for modification (and a bit more of a pain to release), but almost no copyrighted and paid content would be distributed by that means on RD, making it a bit more friendly to Kunos IP.

                Btw, the “1.1” on your post only seems to differ from the 1.0 that had been available on RD with the inclusion of Gui Cramer’s skins, or am I missing anything else?


                  1. Just ran a diff on folders, the only difference really seems the addition of Gui’s mods (complimentary skins #s and Names/Tire/UI update on kunos skins).


      1. “If you had the rights to a Ferrari 458 Challenge car or the Lotus E21, why would you instead create a fictional step variant using a different car as a base?”

        Probably because the data is fictional and the body-work not accurate.


          1. Reiza makes fictional cars with a resemblance to the real ones, Kunos makes licensed cars. They did the mentioned stages years ago to have more car-content in the game without a second 3D-model, but stopped doing that. I suggested to make some BOP-stages instead to balance some cars that are close in performance, but not close enough.


      2. they have to deal with this Stage variants car ba car with manufactureres .. Aris comes up with some variant and it has to be approved by manufacturer, it is not like they just throw in whatever they want … I have no idea if C9 was not approved or they haven`t even try ..


  4. “hey man, you did a really nice job, but I checked with the team and we changed our minds after looking through some of the contracts”

    Apparently he didnt get the actual permission to begin with so why in the world should he write something like that?


  5. Yo, the Exos is not a Lotus F1. It’s just an Exos with a V8, more compounds, more liveries and more downforce.

    Has no KERS, has Michelin high profile wheels, has 6 gears, has traction control and it’s way off F1 cars pace.


      1. I don’t know why you’re so defensive man. Look, I agree with the gist of your post. They can use the Stage thing to circumvent the license problems, and it would be smart to do it with the C9. You’re spot on, and they’re idiots not to try that route. Keep the name, keep the 3D model, give us the downforce.

        All I’m telling you is that the particular Exos example is off. The car is not an attempt to put a Lotus F1 car in there. It’s just an upgrade to the car. The original Exos is horribly underwhelming, can’t break traction in 3rd gear!

        The extra compounds and liveries make it a good “league car” too. But it’s in no way a believable substitute for an F1 car. 2013 Lotus qualified with a 1:21 in Barcelona, the Exos will do a 1:26 in the same conditions.


  6. “but let’s be real here – Kunos make phenomenal tracks the community can rarely match”
    No shit. Good luck matching the scans.


  7. “No matter which side you take on that argument, at the end of the day Assetto Corsa owners – those who didn’t fetch the car from our latest post and prefer to stick with official content – still don’t have a relevant version of the Sauber C9 to mess around with. And this is actually quite silly when you explore what else Assetto Corsa has to offer.”
    Nice plan, Ogonoski. Bait the ****ers to install dubious plugins into their browsers. Somehow I fail to see ZippyShare on “The Disclosure Page”. Forgot to add it?


      1. Did you install that crap yourself then? You might be in for a surprise soon enough.
        Ever asked yourself what are their ways of capitalizing on stuff when there is no ready supply of fools who’d buy one of their subscriptions?
        Heard about what happened to sourceforge? Think ZS is a more reliable entity? About as reliable as you are πŸ™‚


          1. That’s not what I meant. Nevermind it, though, I’ve finally managed to dl this sucker. The trick is to right click the “download now” button and Save As… This is the first time I had to jump through hoops like that.
            Care to update your “article” to reflect the actual process of retrieving, or being the masochist you had finally admitted in the other thread, you’d prefer less lucky idiots to actually install malware to their browsers, followed by unleashing different levels of vendetta onto you?


            1. Are you on drugs or something? People invented a thing called AdBlock. Try it, it might cure your mental illness. Otherwise, good luck being retarded for the rest of your life.


              1. Fuck adblock it can be just as bad,and bring unknown issues, run lean and just learn how to fucking internet, its not hard to tell whats going on with these type of sites, most first clicks spark pop up, shoot it, second should DL, yes the ads can be dodgy, but youd have to be a bonafide idiot to fall for that shit, the site itself is fine.


                1. As I said, I had to right click the button to save the file. This is the first time I had to resort to that. Neither the second nor the third left clicks did work in the slightest.


      1. Downloaded it just fine. Apparently, you’re incompetent with a PC. Perhaps you’d be safer to get off the net entirely and get back to your crochet?


  8. The F40s3 could possibly be representative of an F40 with a tuner package on it, but the 458s3 is actually tagged as “458Challenge” in the game’s ui.


  9. ho ho

    “I was also thinking that it would be cool to have a live stream interview face to face with him. I am sure the guy is so stupid he won’t be able to articulate 3 words in a row even when faced with a non native speaker that calls out his bull**** one by one. He already denied to talk to Ian Bell, he’s a total pathetic loser that can only survive in that pathetic blog where he answers to himself posing as readers.
    But it’ll be like Dawkins debating with scums like ken ham or ray confort.. it’ll do nothing more than increase the idiot’s visibility.. not really a good idea.”

    Now it’s your turn, James ;P


  10. Finally stop by for today.

    As I have no time to read, I have no comment for that article. But I found that an advert for Black Flag is changed to an advert for girl playing sim racing.

    Is that just me, or…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. James, you used my “understeering pig” line from the thread I started at RD. So now you’ve violated our licensing agreement. Now, I realize you didn’t *know* we even had a licensing agreement, but it’s OK: Just cut me a check for $50k, agree to distribute my Hero Cards and I’ll let it slide just this once.

    Here’s the thing though. Ever since the v10 tires and 1.11.13, the C9 LM actually drives much better. The previous relentless, Camry-like understeer has been largely eliminated and the car actually felt balanced at Red Bull Ring (aka “Understeer Hell”).

    Did you happen to go back and try the C9 LM using this latest, greatest AC iteration? Maybe we don’t need the Sprint after all…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Stage upgrade talk is cool and all but i’m really disapointed about the “friends with benefits” ads… I tought i was going to a legitimately shaddy site!. I mean, i know there’s some kinky stuff on the web, but sim racing related smut! πŸ˜€


    1. Nope, just wanted to show off the suspicious number of Instagram Whores… sorry… “promo models”, holding copies of AC for consoles. I wanted to get sev to copy all the poses with whatever shitty ps2 driving game he had floating around, but he’s with his fiancee at the moment.


  13. You’re talking about fantasy variants here. Polyphony Digital does the same thing in Gran Turismo games – creating a fictional race car out of a road car which may or may not contain ties to an actual race car. For instance, the Subaru Impreza Super Touring Car (based on the bugeye Impreza) is loosely based on the 1999-2000 Cusco-sponsored GT300 racer visually, but features 4WD (as in road/WRC car – the Cusco Impreza GT300 in those days were FR due to JGTC rules) and a more powerful engine. The C6 RM (for both Z06 and ZR1) as well as the upcoming C7 Gr.3 emulates the C6.R and C7.R respectively. (Apparently PD went to make their own Corvette racers because it is cheaper for them – the C6.R/C7.R have third-party intervention in it, namely Callaway – although the C6 RMs have the Pratt & Miller logos in it.)


  14. My thing is this: I am *not* buying that Mercedes gives a flying fuck about the exact kg of downforce on the left front wheel of an ancient prototype they used to make when Bush 41 was President.

    KS could *easily* create the equivalent of the Sprint version themselves by using the same “S1” mechanism that Burrito used. So, sure, fine – Burrito fucked up and claimed it was all KS-approved. Bad on him, don’t do it again, lesson learned.

    But for fuck’s sake, don’t punish the rest of the AC community by denying them this most excellent vehicle. Of course (thanks to James), now anyone who comes over here can grab it, but it sets up a bad precedent and I’m actually thinking forward at this point to the 787B and the 905 Evo 1 (or please, Lord God – the Lancia LC2 – please let it happen!).

    I really don’t want those cars saddled with *only* the LM ultra-low-downforce configs like they did with the C9.


  15. I saw the light and bought rFactor 2 and there is no coming back, thermo-mechanical tire model is just that good everything else feels completely numb after it.


      1. Apparently, AC fanbois didn’t like what I wrote on the subject of braking and general steering feel in rF2, so they decided to laugh it off like that, since there is little else they can do.


      1. I used to fanboy the shit out of AC, but I bought rFactor 2 and saw the light, AI is fantastic they can be aggressive, yet disciplined. rFactor 2 also has a 85 DOF physics model.


        1. why did you have to be a fanboy in the first place? Can’t you be a normal player and person who plays the games it suits and likes most?

          But you don’t seem honest, you just posted to advertise for rf2. I saw guys like you on steam.. then they had like 30h on rf2 and 200+ in AC.


      1. Haha, bet she had some fucking awesome marathon sex on that shit though, well worth the blow, ill happily give up my decrepit age for some funky A-Class fueled fucks, gets even better when mix and match, Viagra, MDMA and a bit of meth rolled up and finished with some fine NZ greenery is a lot of fun, dont tell ya mothers you heard it from me though.


  16. Re: New sponsors on PRC.

    Adblock wasn’t efficient, so what one has to do if let down by his trusted software? (same as with AC)

    I felt the urge to click on those damn suckers (the girls seemed inviting) and OH GOD IT’S HEAVEN!

    Yours trully,

    A grateful customer*

    *I have bought six of your brilliant pdfs for me and my registered team.


  17. I recall at one point Aristotelis said that AC is cutting back on “stage” upgrades because Kunos don’t like how they’re stored (as it stands they use a distinct copy of the car assets – sounds/graphics – even if they’re identical) and if they have the time to build a better system for upgrades then they’ll start making more of them again. In the recent carpacks (japan cars anyway) stages have started happening again but there were a few packs in there where it wasn’t really a thing.


Ratio of vowels to consonants will be monitored. Post at your own discretion.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s