Currently Under Changes: The Perplexing Story of Josh Martin Continues *UPDATED*

Update: Martin’s personal web page has been wiped entirely, with only the text Site Under Maintenance displayed.

Only a few short days ago, we here at PRC introduced our readers to the curious case of eSports personality Josh Martin. Boasting seventeen world records in Assetto Corsa alone, as well as fifteen online championships and over five hundred individual race wins, the twenty year old Scottish chap had been aggressively marketing himself for a number of years as a virtual racing phenom who had landed the opportunity to campaign a real race car thanks to his eSports accolades – until we performed a thorough background check and discovered he had a lot of explaining to do. A disservice to top level sim racers such as Greger Huttu, Bono Huis, and Olli Pahkala – stand-up individuals whom act as ambassadors for sim racing to the rest of the eSports world & motorsports community – we revealed that Josh Martin’s online career, sponsorships, and even partnerships with legitimate race teams, had been built upon extremely liberal interpretations of the truth, stretching into fraud-like territory that certain entities may possibly be able to pursue legally, but we’ll leave that up to them.

The fifteen eSports titles were attained primarily via competing against mates from school in unsanctioned Codemasters’ Formula One 2013 leagues for the Xbox 360, a far cry from sanctioned, licensed eSports events such as the $10,000 iRacing championships sponsored by automotive brand PEAK Anti-Freeze, and the $1,000,000 Visa Vegas eRace that come to mind when one is to mention eSports competitions. Likewise, the seventeen world records Martin was using as proof of his raw speed in simulators were discovered to be just as invalid, as in several of the leaderboards that deemed him to be the world record holder for a given car on a particular track, he was the only participant whatsoever. And though it was difficult to find evidence of his five hundred victories, results from the Eurogamer Assetto Corsa Championship held this spring depict him to be a bust unlike any other – Martin’s self-proclaimed title as the #1 sim racer in Scotland (of which no ranking exists) does not match up with his on-track performance, in which he is seen to be four seconds off pace and was most recently disqualified from an event for reckless driving.

Since our expose on Martin’s misleading eSports statistics, as well as another sim racer taking time out of his day to beat all seventeen of Josh’s records quite easily, Martin has now drastically reconfigured his personal webpage to delete any mention of the bogus statistics in favor of red text that reads Currently Under Changes, though previously uploaded YouTube videos of his have allowed us to preserve the outright misleading information in some fashion.

So your next question is understandably to ask why this all matters, as the sad reality is that sim racing attracts many teenagers and man-children alike by allowing them to live out their failed childhood dreams of becoming a race car driver. It’s certainly not uncommon to run across people in the community who believe NASCAR scouts are paying attention to their iRacing results, or Formula One teams are interested in their offline F1 2016 career mode progress, so yet another sim racer taking their delusions of grandeur to the extreme and opening a website to portray themselves as a professional eSports personality with incredibly impressive statistics full of more holes than swiss cheese, should be par for the course in a sense.

The problem here, is that Martin is actively marketing himself to both media outlets and potential sponsors under these same false pretenses that most sim racers can easily see through, and in some cases, these entities are handing over money, time, and real cars in return for exposure they aren’t actually getting, because Martin isn’t who he says he is, and isn’t doing what he said he would.

A post in January of 2015 by Josh claims he has been offered an actual racing contract to drive in the United Kingdom’s highly popular Formula Ford series, with a smilar story appearing on the Codemasters community blog, and is a “big sim racer” who is sponsored by Thrustmaster to compete in eSports competitions.

There is no record of Josh competing in any prominent eSports competitions such as iRacing’s World Grand Prix Series, the iRacing NASCAR Peak Anti-Freeze Series, or the Formula E Visa Vegas eRace, the three biggest simulator competitions of our time. Josh’s personal website does not depict him driving the Formula Ford entry from Gwyn Richardson, but merely attending one of the races as a paddock guest, a fact reiterated by another publication. Furthermore, we have been supplied screenshots of a private message exchange in which Josh asks his acquaintances to fabricate emails that would increase the likelihood of Thrustmaster supplying him with sponsorship funds after they initially rejected his offer.

Despite the moderate coverage of Josh’s acquisition by Richardson Racing, including a television interview with STV, there is no record of Josh Martin piloting Gwyn Richardson’s Formula Ford. Martin himself made no effort to inform those following the story that the deal did not materialize, and continues to use choice shots of the Richardson car on his website to subtly imply to the untrained eye he had at one point driven it.

Two years later, in October of 2016, Martin resurfaced, returning to media outlets and sim racing message boards alike to proclaim he had signed with a hobbyist squad, ProRaceUK, to drive their BMW 3 series race car. The snazzy pre-season photographs and media frenzy culminated in an interview with two outlets, one on BBC Radio Scotland, and another on BBC Radio 5 Live, in which Josh again attempted to tell the same story of landing a professional racing gig through his eSports exploits – albeit with a tintop team instead of a Formula Ford operation. Failing to inquire why an earlier, identical deal had fallen through, media outlets ran the story anyway.

However, as the date of the first race approached, and sim racers were eager to see how eSports personality Josh Martin would fare on a legitimate track under competition speeds despite his misleading accolades, it was discovered that the same operation that had taken part in his aggressive self-promotion, were actually selling the car he had posed with on their public Facebook page, and despite a very thorough marketing push heavily implying Josh would be driving for them in 2017, did not even list him as the potential driver.

As someone whose schedule is loaded from May to October driving two very different race cars, I don’t know of a single team owner who would willingly take elaborate press photos with one specific car & driver combination, complete with the guy’s name and number plastered all over the bodywork, go through the trouble of promoting it on a pretty large scale to the point where the driver was being interviewed by the Goddamn BBC, only to get rid of the car weeks before the season was set to commence. This is very strange, and it is simply not what auto racing teams do on any level whatsoever.

After our original article on Josh Martin went viral, ProRaceUK’s own Craig Harper appeared in our comments section to both belittle and insult anyone who dared to question why the heavily promoted 2017 plans with Josh Martin failed to materialize in the exact same manner as the Formula Ford deal mentioned earlier. Harper’s meltdown spanned over three hundred comments, and you can read the entire chain by clicking here, but even when confronted with proof that Josh’s sim racing accolades the media had been so quick to run with were bogus embellishments mocked by legitimate eSports personalities, Harper claimed these comments were from angry, bitter individuals made out of jealousy, and he felt what had already been debunked as misleading, fraud-like eSports statistics from Josh were instead a “strong, marketable package.”

It’s easy to feel sorry for Mr. Harper at first; a real mechanic had simply been taken advantage of by a crafty twenty year old due to his understandable lack of knowledge when it comes to simulated race cars and the eSports kingdom, but after three hundred comments, the other side of the story was able to materialize. A Facebook video featuring Josh Martin & Craig Harper has surfaced, in which they gleefully boast about Josh’s now-debunked sim racing statistics before joking about Josh taking all of Craig’s money, and needing additional sponsors to field the car for the upcoming season.

It’s easy for some to dismiss this video as off-beat British Humor that may go over the heads of North American readers, but comments from Craig Harper appear to convey that all jokes aside, Josh’s 2017 drive that was promoted so heavily across the BBC and even sim racing websites, is indeed hindered by financial issues.

This is where I stop playing nice.

In the world of auto racing, you do not announce a very specific season plan via relentless promotional material unless it is 100% going to happen, and if it does fall through for one reason or another, you make that shit public right away to not mislead people, current sponsors, or potential sponsors. Financial issues never arise at the eleventh hour; there is no such thing as “oops, we went through all this trouble of spending money to prepare a car, and now that its done, can’t afford to race it” unless you are mind-boggling levels of retarded. What dumb motherfucker poses with a race car, hits up the BBC and several other media outlets to talk about his race car, and tells the sim racing community about his race car, when he knowingly won’t be able to afford driving the race car, and the team is actually in the process of selling the race car?

For example, when preparing to campaign the #2 Chevrolet SS for this upcoming season, our complete internal budget spreadsheet was completed prior to receiving the sponsorship money from Slightly Mad Studios. Our entire 2017 season, including but not limited to parts, travel, fuel, tires, potential damages, setup software, and other miscellaneous items we could purchase to ensure we could race the car for at least seven events, had been meticulously calculated to ensure the venture was both affordable with the funding we were provided with, and ready to be put into action on the day of the money changing hands. And after causing a miniature riot among some of our 650,000 readers with the season announcement, adding an entire Team PRC tab to our website that listed our tentative schedule, creating a Facebook page for the team, we certainly did not list the car on RacingJunk.com.

I refuse to believe that a team competing at locations such Silverstone International Raceway were so ill-prepared for the financial aspect of running a race team, and the financial problems crept up so quickly, they were unable to inform their sponsors, supporters, and the press who had covered them, that the endeavor would not be going ahead as initially advertised.

Martin’s personal web page still heavily implies he will be competing in the BMW Compact Cup, giving off the impression that the venture is still moving forward. Nowhere on his web page does he list a tangible schedule, nor that he was forced to miss the opening round of the championship and will instead be competing in a partial schedule, or that the car he posed with has been sold by the team he lists as a partner. ProRace UK’s Facebook page contains no announcements that explain the stark contrast between what the press articles say about Josh’s alleged racing career, versus what’s actually happening. I am confused as to why none of the parties would make an effort to clear up any discrepancies given how much media attention their story initially received. People are going to start asking questions at some point, why not just get it out of the way?

Sponsorship and financial issues which would keep a driver sidelined are not problems that arise the week before an event, they are learned of several months in advance – especially considering the 2017 racing season just began over in Europe and you have all the time in the world to figure shit out during the winter months and announce if things aren’t going according to plan. Therefore, it is to the best of my knowledge that Josh Martin and Craig Harper appear to have been aggressively self-promoting their endeavor while knowing full well Josh would probably not be racing in the first place due to a lack of sponsors. This makes the pair look dishonest, despicable, and is a black eye to our hobby in particular when a sim racer is at the center of it all, in part using dishonest, now-debunked accolades to get this far in the first place.

I do not place the blame on Craig, as typically it is the driver’s responsibility to bring sponsors to an operation. After investigating Josh’s previous sim racing exploits, in which he forges emails to bait sponsors into supporting him, and greatly misleads others with exaggerated eSports statistics that operate on technicalities and clever wording while embarrassing himself in legitimate events, I am under the belief he promised ProRace UK he could bring sponsors to the operation, but of course, wasn’t telling the truth, and nobody at the organization was well-versed in the world of sim racing to figure out they were dealing with a bullshit artist.

In 1996, an amateur soccer player by the name of Ali Dia prank called Southampton manager Graeme Souness, and disguising his voice as 1995’s World Player of the Year, recommended himself to the Southampton club before being outed as a fraud during his first and only appearance with the team. In 2017, a low-level sim racer by the name of Josh Martin fabricated an entire website dubbing him to be the #1 sim racer in Scotland despite no such global ranking system existing, and used these fabricated, misleading accomplishments to land a partnership with a real race team before being outed as a bust thanks to his tall tales failing to materialize because race cars cost money to operate, and a couple sim racers taking a serious look at his few publicized eSports results. Josh Martin is sim racing’s Ali Dia.

Since the story first went live over the weekend, all of Martin’s seventeen world records have been snatched by random sim racers in pursuit of a hearty giggle, while the home screen of Josh’s official webpage has been drastically altered in what many will no doubt see as an admission of guilt, though his Twitter page claims the article was fake news, and the tagline on his web page still lists him as a “professional racing driver.” Comments have been disabled on select videos seen on his primary YouTube channel, and while to his credit Josh has attempted to provide us with “proof” of the Caterham F1 team being genuinely interested in his eSports accomplishments…

…it’s hard to believe a the message was little more than a polite response to a superfan, as Mercedes AMG Petronas can be seen publicly joking about receiving such an email on their own Twitter feed – indicating the source of the lighthearted tweet may have been rooted in reality, and we’ve merely figured out the original inspiration.

The entire saga is as unfortunate as it is incredibly absurd. Though we only tend to highlight the bad apples here on PRC.net, the sim racing community is full of stand-out individuals who could act as phenomenal ambassadors for our hobby on a much larger scale, and it is incredibly disappointing to see someone giving sim racers an incredibly bad name to the world of auto racing by actively working to deceive the press, sponsors, and even real world motorsports personnel. It is frustrating to be made aware of such an individual wreaking havoc in two distinct communities, but now that the story is out there, hopefully steps can be made to rectify any behind-the-scenes destruction & deception.

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Sim Racing’s Ali Dia

On the surface, Josh Martin’s rise to eSports prominence – and eventually a shot in a real car – is a story for the sim racing landscape that’s nothing short of meteoric; a preview of sorts as to the role sim racing might play in the motorsports landscape not too far from present day. After becoming infatuated with Kunos Simulazioni’s Assetto Corsa racing simulator as a teenager, the Scottish lad – who according to news clippings does not own a passenger car for day to day transportation – progressed through the Assetto Corsa world rankings in such an absurdly quick fashion, major auto racing teams took a profound interest in the twenty-year-old’s virtual career, with Martin’s online exploits helping him to secure vital sponsorship that eventually landed him the job title of “professional race car driver” at twenty years old. With fifteen championships, seventeen world records, and over five hundred wins to his name, Martin’s online prowess is the stuff of legends – feats even more impressive when you consider this has all been accomplished in just the three years since Assetto Corsa’s release.

His personal website lists an abundance of high profile sponsors, his publicized sim racing statistics are simply mind-boggling, many news articles list him as an up-and-coming phenom recruited from an unlikely environment, and the kid indeed seemed to get a real world ride out of his virtual accomplishments – with ProRaceUK preparing a formal press event to announce Josh’s transition into a real car, the ultimate goal for any sim racer wishing to turn their dreams into reality. Move over Greger Huttu, there’s a new kid on the block, and his name is Josh Martin.

But what if I told you the feel-good sim racing success story – the story of a nerdy sim racer going out and getting it done to legitimize the hobby as a valid training tool – was the exact opposite; a sham that will make individuals involved in the motorsports world wince at the mere mention of sim racers?

At first glance, Josh Martin’s personal web page appears to resemble that of many fellow amateur racing drivers who are slowly making their way up the motor racing ladder. Sections dedicated to biographies, supporting sponsors, and photos of both Martin’s real life exploits, as well as his simulation endeavors, have all been carefully crafted to convey an air of professionalism – in some cases surpassing the often ragged, unfinished mess of amateur North American auto racing teams. To the untrained eye, he is a budding Jann Mardenborough or Lucas Ordonez – a young driver walking the planet as living proof that video games are a legitimate path to a professional racing gig, he just hasn’t landed the sweet GT3 ride as the aforementioned drivers, but most would have the impression that he’s on the way there.

Martin’s Press & Media section also weaves an extremely compelling tale to potential advertisers and rival team owners as well. A marketing machine away from the race track, Martin’s face has been spread around several different media outlets big and small as the world’s first virtual driver turned pro, with links to a bundle of articles depicting him to be a phenom that has been scouted by a variety of professional teams, and his rise to international fame is said to begin in a hobbyist BMW class – which by all accounts is a reasonable entrance into the world of auto racing for a sim racer who doesn’t even own his own car, and that in turn makes the story all the more believable. He’s not getting a shot at Formula One, he’s being thrown into an entry level car to partake in a sort of driver development program.

Listing nine different sponsors on his dedicated sponsor page, Martin is said to have backing from both Thrustmaster and Aird Motors – a local Subaru dealership – indicating there are a lot of people in this for the long haul, hoping to one-up the highly popular, Nissan-backed Gran Turismo Academy process by basically funding the whole goddamn thing themselves, and praying their investment in Josh will pay off in the long run. Up to this point, it seems like a pretty admirable story – an independent spin-off of GT Academy, where all sorts of little companies, individuals, and businesses have placed their faith into one prominent sim racer to “make history”, as his own website suggests.

But this is where the party stops.

Basic fact checking and inconsistencies with reality on Josh’s own website indicate many, many people, have failed to ask this guy rudimentary questions that would raise obvious red flags about the entire operation, and therefore prevent their names from being dragged through the mud in such a profoundly absurd manner – whether it be as sponsors, business partners, or third party journalists reporting on the story. It appears Josh is not a massively talented eSports superstar on the path to a professional auto racing career as his website suggests, but merely another delusional sim racer with far too much time on his hands, and far too many enablers around him to put a stop to it.

Inconsistencies and downright wishful thinking begin on Martin’s eSports page, in which he claims that Thrustmaster had sponsored him after his incredible performance in a private Codemasters Formula One series online championship just for Northern Scottish Players, despite these games not traditionally holding broadcasted tournaments of any sort, his own YouTube videos from those races reeling in less than a hundred views – and thus exponentially lessening the chance of brands like Thrustmaster hearing of him to begin with. Martin then claims this sponsorship, the authenticity of which is already doubtful (though I’m not opposed to be proven wrong on this front), allowed him to develop a “working relationship” with both Sauber and Force India – two mid-pack Formula One teams who are far more interested in phenomenal real life GP3 and GP2 drivers than a guy playing Assetto Corsa or a Codemasters F1 game.

Martin then makes a massive error by mentioning that the Caterham F1 team had been scouting his online performance at the time of being signed by ProRaceUK. Formula One fans will note that the Caterham Formula One entity only existed for three seasons – 2012 to 2014 – missing the final three events of the 2014 Formula One calendar altogether. I find it hard to believe that an F1 team we haven’t seen on the grid in three years and whose assets were liquidated is actively monitoring the driver development of a random sim racer, but I guess there’s a first time for everything.

We now move into discussing Martin’s online racing prowess, as his promotional material (above) claims he is in possession of seventeen world records on Assetto Corsa – no small feat for any sim racer, considering the application used to track world hot lap records is traditionally downloaded by a small fraction of the userbase intent on competing against the very best, as opposed to casual Assetto Corsa players. However, upon closer inspection, all of Josh’s seventeen world records are absurd car/track combinations that are completely meaningless from a competitive standpoint – he is intentionally taking the game’s open wheel race cars to drift tracks, drag strips, and layouts not typically used by Formula One machinery, such as the GT3 layout of the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit, which essentially means many of these “world records” are anything but, as in some cases he is the only person to register a time on that combination to begin with.

When tasked with a normal leaderboard challenge, Josh struggles to crack the top one hundred – a lowly 104th place at Spa-Francorchamps in the Ferrari F138, and 39th at Imola in the Formula Abarth, directly contradict his claims of being one of the top sim racers in the world.

Now personally, I cannot track down all of Josh’s league results to confirm the authenticity of his five hundred race wins and fifteen league championships given that his leaderboard records have been called into question, but what I have discovered is that he is listed as a driver in Eurogamer’s Assetto Corsa Championship, which is put on with help from Sparco, nVidia, and Thrustmaster. Those results are available, and they paint a picture drastically different from Josh’s personal website – despite being paired on a team with race winner Hany Al-Sabti, Josh is statistically the worst driver in the championship, qualifying some four seconds off pace for each round, and even being disqualified for reckless driving at the Montreal event.

The more you dig, an increasing amount of discrepancies slowly float to the surface. News articles of Josh Martin being invited to drive a Formula Ford for the 2015 season are proudly displayed on the Codemasters community blog, yet in other articles, this Formula Ford gig is referred to as merely a pit pass, with a team owner inviting him out to the track as a special paddock guest.

Across his personal website, there are many shots of Martin in a paddock area that depict him to be an amateur racing driver, wearing undergarments and a racing suit loaded with sponsors, but upon closer inspection, they appear to be part of a $170 USD karting suit designed after the Caterham F1 team. While some might see this as giving a bit of weight to Caterham allegedly monitoring Josh’s eSports “career”, these karting shots were uploaded to Facebook in 2016 – two years after Caterham’s departure from Formula One, and this is also a suit that anybody can go out and buy on eBay. Most photos of Josh in the paddock appear to come from one 24-hour karting event put on for teams of university students.

Info supplied to us by a third party has revealed that while some of his sponsorships are indeed legitimate, they have been seemingly attained under false pretenses; in this example, a group of sim racers can be seen discussing a way to fabricate emails that would convey to Thrustmaster – who was initially unwilling to spend money on sponsoring Martin – that Josh was a highly sought-after eSports personality being pursued by a rival company.

But the biggest contradiction of them all comes from ProRaceUK’s own Instagram page. At the top of this article, I displayed a picture and links to several articles talking about Martin supposedly signing to drive an entry level BMW touring car as part of a driver development program with ProRaceUK – which again, sounds reasonable on paper, and was actually covered by a fair amount of media outlets – enough to give the story some credibility. However, ProRaceUK have uploaded a photo two weeks ago of Josh’s car – with his name still on the window – advertised as being for sale.

Another shot has been uploaded just one week ago, displaying the car undergoing a “for sale wash”, implying the car has been sold.

The BMW Compact Cup that Martin was advertised to be competing in does not hold their first event until April 9th, 2017, though these photos indicate the car he was alleged to drive under the ProRaceUK banner was sold from the team to a private individual sometime in March – meaning the media frenzy appears to have been all for nothing, as it was for the Formula Ford arrangement a few years earlier. It seems the meteoric rise of Josh Martin from bedroom Assetto Corsa fanatic to professional racing driver – one which actually managed to dupe quite a few news outlets into running the story – has been built on the back of a delusional sim racer far too intelligent for anyone in contact with him to figure out that none of it was real to begin with.

First of all, there is no such thing as an international Assetto Corsa ranking system, meaning Josh’s title of #1 sim racer in Scotland is completely made up based on a hotlapping app that only a fraction of the community uses, but I cannot fault news outlets for not picking up on that. Second, Josh’s seventeen world records are largely the result of him cherry-picking tracks that have never been driven on before with a specific car, meaning he isn’t a world record holder in a traditional sense, he’s just the very first dude to ever race that track with that car, and it’s often nonsensical layouts, such as a Ferrari Formula One entry on a circuit intended for drift competitions, making his lap times beyond meaningless. Third, while I can’t find extensive history of his online racing exploits, for a sim racer with over fifteen online championships, his performance in the Eurogamer Assetto Corsa Championship – a collection of the best sim racers Europe has to offer – is astonishingly poor and directly contradicts his alleged credentials. These are all portions of Martin’s story that nobody aside from a fellow sim racing autist would ever be able to piece together.

Fourth, I find his statements about being scouted by the Caterham F1 team to be ludicrous, as that particular Formula One entity ceased operation before the conclusion of the 2014 season & liquidated their assets in February of 2015, whereas Martin has implied the team was paying attention to his journey up until he was signed by ProRaceUK in late 2016. Fifth, the team he was said to have signed with in October of 2016 can be seen selling the exact vehicle he posed with as of one week ago on Instagram, and in a similar fashion, nothing appears to have materialized with the Formula Ford arrangement he announced many years ago – using the exact same story line of a sim racer transitioning into reality after being noticed for climbing a non-existent world ranking leaderboard. Oops.

The whole thing is absolutely mind blowing; how nobody asked very specific questions and allowed this level of delusion to progress to this point is beyond words, and once again, we all look like retards lost in childish fantasies to the real life motorsports community.

Reader Submission #139 – The Official Mazda 787B

You’ve probably heard much rejoicing as of late from the Assetto Corsa community, as the PC version of the game has recently received a substantial software update that has been long-overdue for what has otherwise been a very incomplete racing simulator. Bringing with it proper pit stop strategy configuration screen as opposed to a Mario Party-like pit stall mini-game, the rudimentary implementation of driver swaps, and even a couple of new free cars from completely opposite ends of the spectrum – Mazda’s Miata and 787B Prototype, it appears the sim racing community have finally won out in the end. After years of staff members from Kunos Simulazioni angrily berating their users for “expecting too much” and “not understanding the purpose of Assetto Corsa” the team from Vallelunga are now slowly beginning to insert specific features and functionality sim racers have been requesting for years on end, indicating individuals the developers at one point labeled incessant whiners may have had actually had legitimate complaints about the direction of the simulator.

Regardless of how we’ve gotten here, I’d like to extend a thank you to all Assetto Corsa owners who risked multiple forum bans and being blacklisted by rabid fanboys for being very vocal about what the simulator lacked; it took a while, but Kunos’ recent additions to the simulator confirmed you guys were much more than just “trolls” and “haters.” Because of your diligence, Kunos are actually getting to work on making Assetto Corsa a much more feature complete piece of software. Good job!

However, with every twist, a turn. We have heard for several years that Kunos Simulazioni build cars within their simulator using an abundance of real data, often times pushing this element of Assetto Corsa to the forefront as a way to compensate for the shortcomings of the simulator – sure, there’s not been a lot to do until recently, but at least the cars are incredibly accurate, right?

Today’s Reader Submission notes that is not the case.

Hey PRC. There have been some posts on various forums about issues with Assetto’s quality of physics, or more specifically, the quality of the work pushed out by Aris under the Kunos banner. The fanboy army led by Stefano and his buttlickers seem to jump and try to dismiss legitimate discussions or questions. We have seen with many people, from banned users to the guy trying to find information for his mod based on his real life car. Having read a few of those hammered posts, I picked up on some aspects of what to look for thanks to the detailed info provided by the gurus and the nagging questioning brought up by certain users, including guys who DO release mods for Assetto. 

The Porsche from DLC pack 3 got postponed due to Kunos needing info, stuff missing, real life correlation, etc. Their words paraphrased. Well, how much of it is actually true? Do they really have the manufacturers go through everything and actually inspect the car? I call bullshit. That’s some yellow propaganda. Then to see them acquire mods and re-release them as holy grail content, as if the original mod wasn’t good or even superior, seems unfair. So with that information, the recent update and the possible flame coming up from the questions on the Porsche and the Mazda, I checked the following on the Mazda since it was freely available before. Note that all measures of CL and Downforce are in KG at 200km/h.

What you see in the picture above is the 787b with highest downforce achievable before the stupid loss that takes place. I’ve no idea how Aristotelis comes up with his stuff.

Next, we have the maximum downforce achievable while maintaining less shitty balance (still rubbish), so theoretically this is roughly the max downforce possible with 35% forward aero balance.

Third, I will compare everything to the other official prototype car, theCc9 they made which is Le Mans-specification. And remember, the 787B is supposed to NOT be Le Mans. Roughly this is the max downforce in a straight line.

Lastly, I will do the same as with the 787b, giving it a more functional 35% balance. The car actually makes a corner like Eau Rouge instead of just understeering off like a wooden box.

The value we have to look at is TOT CL: x.xx in the bottom of the app on the screen (I left the HUDs to be informative). The max for the 787b (1st image) is 2.8, the usable max is just 2.5cl. The C9 is 2.54 and the usable max is 2.39cl, so the range between the two cars (one Le Mans spec and one supposedly not) is 0.4CL at 200kmh, which equates to roughly 154kg of downforce.

Nowhere is an interesting thing that seems to relate to what the people are moaning about. The drag coefficient (CD) is much higher on the 787b than the C9 BUT the difference is the same as the downforce difference at ~0.4 CD (which = the .4cl range of downforce difference). With this drag you can say the car is not the LM-spec but if you go HERE and HERE (one of them was a link posted in the forums, I found the other from there. Great site!), the story looks wrong. There you find the downforce levels of comparable sprint-spec cars of the time. The C9 has cl of 4.47 @ 241km/h in 1989, the C11 has a cl of 5.36 at 241km/h in 1990. So the issue that follows is how the hell is the Kunos 787B, from 1991, performing at less than half of a car from the year before and much less than a car first developed 3 years prior?

So the main problem highlighted here is the downforce. The 787 is within .4cl of the Kunos C9 Le Mans specification but it is listed as a standard, non Le-Mans spec. So it is much closer to the C9 Le Mans spec than it is to the data suggested by the websites linked above showing the C9 Sprint (non-Le Mans) and C11 Sprint. Do they really pursue and get the information for the cars? If they do, why is it off in the game? What the hell are they doing to the cars to recreate them this way? I wrote all this for the Mazda but imagine the can of worms from the 2017 Porsche, being so different to real life according to mclarenf1papa? How can we trust that developer when they are consistently caught out with “alternative facts”?”

Kunos, in my opinion, likes to spin their information around with support from their fanboy army to portray an image that their content is always better, including the free mods they acquired. Their stance on waiting for data and a data sheet appears to be bullshit because you can right away check the downforce levels of the cars and how the diffuser makes no sense. Often the ratio varies wildly with higher ride heights generating over 100% of downforce. So when you feel the car understeer weirdly it’s because it went below the magic ride height number.

I personally doubt they have numbers for the latest Porsche as they made the claim. They probably had the company give the green light on the model and maybe engine, nothing beyond that. Meanwhile, modders get access to team manuals with legitimate air tunnel data and measurements. They are actually able to recreate the aero map very well (credit where it’s due) but Aris has no clue (modders words) about what he is doing. I don’t have time right now but if you extract the ACD from the cars, you’ll see the optimum heights and how it makes no sense how the downforce relates. Aris makes the diffuser have the wrong impact and instead of letting it stall at some point, it makes it not work.

People are circle-jerking over the latest update but I’d not doubt the 787B is much worse now than before IF they actually went over the original numbers made by the best guys. The Le Mans C9 had that issue of going below the magic ride height and losing nearly 100% of downforce. Now, the main thing we all know is you want the car as low to the ground as possible, just before scraping…. Not in Assetto.

Thank you for your very in-depth research, I must admit I’m a bit over my head here, but what you’re saying, as well as the data (and real-world tables) makes sense. I’d like to know as well how Kunos are claiming to have real data for cars, but the sprint variant Mazda 787b inserted into Assetto Corsa with the recent update has roughly the same downforce levels as the Le Mans spec Sauber C9. Obviously, it’s not right, and I hope it gets rectified. It also calls into question what other phantom numbers have been thrown into other cars, but we knew they did that already.

Another Month Without Custom Lobbies for Console Version of Assetto Corsa

The current generation console version of Assetto Corsa needs no introduction at this point. Horribly un-optimized, and lacking in basic features & functionalities seen in games dating back to the PlayStation 2 era, the popular PC simulator’s jump to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hardware has been anything but a wise decision for Kunos Simulazioni, with the vast majority of customers exposed to the Italian team’s ineptitude and lack of foresight – traits that PC owners were at least able to sweep under the rug, distracted by an abundance of third party mods to extend the lifespan of the game.

Establishing itself as the peak of the metaphorical mountain of problems and omissions plaguing the console renditions of Assetto Corsa would be the game’s complete lack of custom lobbies. Unlike basically every online racing game ever, which would let you open a private or public lobby under your own rules with the specific cars and tracks you’d selected, Assetto Corsa instead takes an approach reminiscent of modern first-person shooters, and forces sim racers to join already established servers with preset combinations. Obviously, this has not sat well with the userbase – on top of being unable to conduct proper league races and dirty/inexperienced drivers commonly creating mass chaos on the grid, many cars available on the vehicle roster, including DLC cars some had paid extra for, are not available to be driven in online sessions. Given that the game’s artificial intelligence is a bit of a mess, and the Career mode offers the depth of an iPad game, people have every right to be choked.

Customers raised hell upon the launch of the game, as many took to Facebook blasting Kunos Simulazioni for leaving out what is objectively a very basic feature that almost every video game with online functionalities comes bundled with by default. To combat the wave of negativity, the community manager for 505 Games released a very generic statement to try and keep the terrible reception from getting out of hand, but it instead read like a whole lot of hot air – as one forum user puts it, “all I get from that is that they’ve heard the complaints, but aren’t going to do anything about it.”

We hear you! Our biggest priority with the console editions of Assetto Corsa was to release a stable game with great driving. Be rest assured, going forward, we are going to do our very best to take community feedback on board and build upon the foundations we’ve laid.

That was in August of 2016. Yet as the weeks clicked off and it became more and more apparent that the console version of Assetto Corsa was a total disaster compared to its already shaky PC counterpart, a core group of Assetto Corsa fans became very vocal about what the game did well, and said they would be willing to stick around for the long run if Kunos Simulazioni were able to implement custom lobbies, as the raw driving experience was enough to make people dismiss other concerns they had about the quality of the game.

Four months went by – September, October, November, and December – before Kunos Simulazioni actually addressed the topic of custom online lobbies directly, only coming after four months spent pushing out wave after wave of downloadable content package, some of which couldn’t even be used online, as the server rotation had not been updated to include DLC cars. According to the Assetto Corsa community blog published on January 27th of 2017, private lobbies would be coming to the console versions of Assetto Corsa, they were currently in quality assurance testing, and “the finish line is in sight!”

Console owners instead received more downloadable content instead, as well as single player events that should have came bundled with previous DLC packages that Kunos accidentally forgot to include in their respective DLC bundles several months earlier. RaceDepartment estimated a mid-to-late February release for custom lobbies, but to the disappointment of sim racers, Valentine’s Day brought with it more ways to spend money on Assetto Corsa, without any of the promised improvements. February came, February ended, and aside from an increase in DLC, no custom lobbies.

We’re halfway through March, It’s now 195 days after the release of Assetto Corsa for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and a feature that almost the entire community unanimously demanded Kunos Simulazioni to implement into the software from day one, a feature so basic it’s been in almost every online racing game dating back to their inception, is still nowhere to be found. Gaming is such a connected experience in 2017 there’s even a goddamn SHARE button on the controller, but yet Kunos Simulazioni won’t even let you race with your friends in the manner which you desire. Threads on the matter clog up the Console Forums, but at this point they’re acting as comic relief more than anything; the Kunos Simulazioni apologists attacking other users for daring to ask how such a preliminary set of options could be left out of a modern auto racing simulator with such vitriolic responses, you start to wonder if its the staff themselves attacking users under alternate accounts – it’s not like they have the greatest reputation to begin with.

Apparently wanting a product with industry-standard features is akin to kicking and screaming like a child for “not having his toy how he wants it, and when he wants it.” Never in my life have I seen such anti-consumer practices eaten up by a woefully delusional audience; modern passenger vehicles would be slaughtered for not including an air conditioning unit to keep passengers cool, or a radio of any sorts for in-car entertainment, but yet here we’ve got a guy basically saying you’re being a spoiled brat for merely pondering why industry standard online options have been left out of the base product and still have yet to materialize. This is insane, and only goes to show that Kunos are more talented at building a rabid fanbase whom defend their every move, no matter how bizarre or nonsensical they may be, than they are at creating competent auto racing simulators.

Will we ever see custom lobbies in the console version of Assetto Corsa? My prediction is yes, but they will be too little, too late, and people certainly won’t forget about this chaos if there’s a second iteration of the software.

Eurogamer’s Assetto Corsa Championship a Dud after Horrendous Opening Round

With lucrative brands such as nVidia, Sparco, and Thrustmaster footing the bill for what was supposed to be Assetto Corsa’s most important and prestigious online championship ever held in Kunos Simulazioni’s little simulator that could, today’s Eurogamer.it Assetto Corsa Championship race at Imola instead highlighted why the software itself has attained so many critics in the years since its arrival on Steam in the fall of 2013. Though the high-profile broadcast duo of Matteo Lorenzetti and Shaun Cole of The SimPit did their best to provide an entertaining auditory backdrop for the series’ first event on the calendar, exhibiting a very natural chemistry that was the lone highlight of the three hour livestream, we’re at the point where sim racing just isn’t working out as some sort of headline eSports event in the manner a lot of people expected, and on top of the numerous flubs of both technical and on-track varieties, the reasons many avoid using Assetto Corsa as a serious league platform were unfortunately on display this afternoon.

I was privileged enough to view this event in real time, but the Imola round of Eurogamer’s championship isn’t even worth a tape-delayed viewing for shits and giggles; this endeavor wasn’t bad in a comical sense, where a selection of memes will arise from the various oddities that popped up throughout the broadcast – it was instead a kind of XFL bad; nothing about the on-track product itself, nor the presentation, was enticing on any level. If this is the pinnacle of traditional online sim racing championships – none of this one-off Vegas eRacing stuff, but what we can expect to see from major sim competitions in the future not named iRacing – this simply isn’t going to ever catch on.

The driving standards were poor, the presentation was limited by Assetto Corsa’s lack of live/replay/live functionality, numerous delays left viewers waiting around for several minutes at a time, the commercials lasted far longer than what would be considered reasonable for an online stream, and the race itself wasn’t competitive in the slighest – a winner had been determined only a handful of laps into the event.

It just didn’t work. Back to the drawing board.

What you see is the opening shot all five hundred viewers were greeted with at the start of the broadcast. Generic EuroTrash electronic music blared over Matteo Lorenzetti and Shaun Cole’s lengthy introduction for several minutes, with the Twitch chat aggressively demanding the music to be turned off, effectively neutering any sort of proper reveal the broadcast team had carefully planned out. Instead, users were forced to merely take in the static shot of Imola’s main grandstand section, which had been plastered with an obnoxious amount of nVidia ads. Given this was a 1988 version of the San Marino Grand Prix, seeing the entire location re-branded with Sparco, Thrustmaster, and nVidia ads, looked absolutely silly. I understand that there was this weird retro-modern vibe the series was trying to achieve, pairing the Lotus 98T with a collection of historic tracks that had been given a make-over to appease the numerous primary sponsors, but in execution it gave the whole event this really strange atmosphere.

Every team in the field had also been given extremely radical liveries that directly contrasted the simplistic designs seen on the actual 1986 Grand Prix grid, so it was difficult to understand what was supposed to be accomplished here with the Eurogamer championship from an aesthetic standpoint. Here you had historical cars on historical tracks, but re-imagined with modern liveries and intrusive sponsorship branding, which of course was then hastily plastered on the Stream’s overlay – the giant billboards giving out Sparco discount codes obviously weren’t enough.

There was also seemingly a massive push by event organizers to make the trackside landscape appear more populated than their original releases as free add-ons for Assetto Corsa, though upon closer inspection – as you can see in the shot above – this resulted in a ton of identical safety marshals sporting bright orange jumpsuits copied and pasted just a few feet from one another.

After an introduction period that dragged on for far too long, and numerous lengthy advertisement breaks that quite frankly weren’t necessary, Qualifying eventually did get underway well after the advertised start time, prominently displaying a major issue with the broadcast itself. The Eurogamer stream exhibited a single-digit framerate for the duration of Qualifying, which made the action impossible to follow. I’m not trying to embellish or make things out to be worse than they really were for dramatic effect; the stream was comparable to illegal hockey or football streams you can get at FirstRow Sports. Halfway through the session, the chat had turned into a frenzy of people taking shots at the framerate, because the footage was basically unwatchable.

What you could see if you were willing to put up with the poor quality of the stream, simply wasn’t compelling. The overlay was blocky and unorganized, the action on the track showcased Assetto Corsa’s spotty netcode, with cars warping all over the place like hovercrafts and repeatedly glitching into the ground prior to the Variante Alta chicane, and driver images came with poorly photoshopped fake fire suits over each picture. For a major championship, everything about the viewing experience was decidedly amateurish.

Shortly before qualifying ended, the Stream was taken offline, only to resurface with an absurdly long advertisement break featuring repetitive Thrustmaster product demonstrations aimed at the Flight Simulator crowd, as well as a recycle of the series’ long-winded promotional trailer, which at this point had been played four or five times throughout the broadcast as filler material.

Upon finally returning to Imola, the gap between the end of qualifying session and the start of the race itself had stretched to almost thirty minutes of non-stop adverts – as if we’d been sitting through a real-world weather delay. Alas, we were told the wait would be worth it, as these were the top sim racers in Europe hand-picked by series organizers to compete for very expensive prizes, such as a top-of-the-line nVidia graphics card, Thrustmaster racing wheel, and Sparco racing seat, among many other rewards. Despite the technical hiccups and other miscellaneous delays, the on-track product – what everybody was here for – would supposedly speak for itself.

Instead, we had to restart the event three separate times.

The first accident took out the field before a majority of the cars had even crossed the start finish line, warranting a complete restart. It was a virtual re-enactment of the U.S. 500, CART’s disaster at Michican in 1996 during their attempt to create a rival event to the Indy 500, which saw nearly the entire field involved in an incident on the pace lap.

The second restart produced a very similar accident playing out just after the start/finish line, with only five cars making it to the Tamburello curve within striking distance of the leader – the rest once again involved in a growing cluster of wrecked Lotus grand prix entries.

The third and final restart produced similar results, though a decision was made by race control to continue with attempt number three of the event despite a car in the top five completely blowing the Tamburello curve, ping-ponging off the external concrete barrier, and flying back onto the racing surface before taking out a number of cars, which you can see behind the pause menu in the picture below (look just under the word Corsa in Assetto Corsa).

Instead of being granted a slew of hilarious replays depicting the opening lap chaos, the commentary team of Matteo Lorenzetti and Shaun Cole instead had to awkwardly tell viewers that limitations of Assetto Corsa simply did not allow them to show replays to the audience and then snap back to real-time as they would in a simulator like iRacing or rFactor 2, basically admitting that the software they were using for the Championship was inadequate for online broadcasting purposes.

Not only were there no replays to speak of, the pair also had to make quite clear that any on-board footage – where dashboard gauges were clearly visible – were not representative of the actual car’s performance at that very moment; limitations in Assetto Corsa do not accurately transmit rev counter, turbo dial, or speed indicator data when spectating an opponents’ vehicle, so those watching the feed in an effort to learn how to take a certain corner like the best sim racers in Europe, couldn’t actually learn anything.

Two laps in, another wreck takes place, this time among some of the front runners. The best sim racers Europe had to offer – hand-picked to partake in the series – were mostly incapable of driving these cars, instead opting to just monster truck over the massive kerbs and simply hope for the best – which became increasingly apparent as the laps clicked off and more drivers fell victim to their own lack of talent. Many drivers would run wide in certain corners or make what appeared to be very amateurish mistakes, with competitors often embarking on impromptu lawnmower impersonations, which led viewers in the Twitch feed chat began to make comparisons to public lobby racing.

The continuous mess playing out behind him allowed notable Assetto Corsa personality Hany Al-Sabti to literally walk away from the field, building an enormous gap between himself and second place while lapping everyone up to sixth throughout the sixty lap affair. Polesitter Tuomas Tahtela was a non-factor in the event and crashed multiple times, unable to keep the Lotus 98T under him, while Jakub Charkot – who qualified just behind Al-Sabti in third – spent the majority of the Grand Prix trailing Al-Sabti by several seconds, never once coming within striking distance.

With Hany Al-Sabti seemingly the only entry on the grid who could click off multiple competitive laps in a row, the snoozer of a race became even more insufferable when it was revealed that Al-Sabti’s decision to select medium compound tires had allowed him to complete the full race distance without a pit stop, as opposed to the majority of his opponents who were pitting for fresh rubber. I’m not trying to take away from Al-Sabti’s victory here, as he obviously came prepared and absolutely deserved to win the event with his performance and strategy today, but as a viewer, I would have liked to seen a race of some sorts. This was not a race in the slightest; it was a parade of virtual cars that was over well before the contest had reached the half-way mark.

And I can’t say I’m the only one who feels this way, either. When the Eurogamer Twitch feed suddenly cut out at lap 24 of 60 and was offline for about thirty seconds, the live audience dwindled to just 289 viewers once we got going again. nVidia, Thrustmaster, and Sparco have a non-existent return on investment in sponsoring this championship – those are horrible numbers for any sort of online event broadcast.

In the coming days, Eurogamer – which seems to be a major European gaming outlet – will obviously talk up their Assetto Corsa Championship as some resounding success with “a few first-timer issues”, but as you can see from the recap above, the event itself was anything but. There were plans to have weekly round-table discussion shows, massive sponsorship participation from high-profile companies, and an ultra-competitive group of sim racers helping to push the series forward into the realm of eSports, but today’s Grand Prix of San Marino was honestly brutal.

The massive sponsor banners were far too intrusive for what little purpose they served. The race itself needed to be restarted three times because the best sim racers in Europe could not drive straight for more than a hundred feet without wrecking. One guy walked away from the rest of the pack and nearly lapped the whole field. The commentary duo had to explain on several occasions that shortcomings of Assetto Corsa didn’t let them present the race in a manner that would be appealing to viewers, despite the website giving a glowing score of 90 to the PC version of Assetto Corsa. Technical issues created major delays in programming, with the longest reaching an elapsed time of almost thirty minutes, on top of several smaller breaks with excruciatingly long advertisements that simply weren’t justified given the audience of around five hundred at its absolute peak. Does this sound like something a vast array of gamers would willingly watch in their free time? Of course not.

We’re running out of attempts to get these endeavors right, as companies like nVidia, Thrustmaster, Visa, Peak Anti-Freeze, and Sparco aren’t going to stick around for long if they continue to throw a whole bunch of money at people to organize this stuff, only for the result to be so underwhelming and downright boring.