Assetto Corsa Competizione’s previous DLC was the Challengers Pack. Although it contained five new cars, the Challengers Pack did not include any new tracks. The last ACC track content was released way back in February 2021, with the British GT Pack – including Snetterton, Oulton Park and Donington Park.
ACC players have been fortunate enough to experience other highly detailed and competitively priced track content in the past, including the Intercontinental GT Pack – containing Kyalami, Mount Panorama, Suzuka and Laguna Seca – and the GT World Challenge Pack, containing Imola.
It’s therefore been a long wait for new ACC tracks, so the question is, does the new American Track Pack live up to the lofty standards already set by developers Kunos Simulazioni?
Situated in Upstate New York, Watkins Glen has played host to America’s biggest motorsport championships, including NASCAR, IndyCar and the American Le Mans Series. It was also the venue for the United States Formula 1 Grand Prix from 1961 until 1980 when financial difficulties put paid to any hope of a return.
The layout included in ACC is the International configuration. This is the full-length version of Watkins Glen and incorporates the famous ‘Boot’ section, made up of suitably motorsport-themed corners, ‘Heel’ and ‘Toe’.
Measuring 3.45 miles in length, the track features high-speed banked turns interspersed by the Bus Stop (or Inner Loop) chicane – a quick right-left, left-right that rewards kerb-cutting with a clean run into the banked right-hander, Outer Loop.
In ACC, Watkins is faithfully reproduced and is easily the finest re-creation of the circuit in any racing game. The bermed corners are an absolute joy to throw your car into and the wide-open straights make slipstream battling an enticing prospect.
The kerbs at the Bus Stop chicane aren’t too brutal in GT3 cars either – Watkins has mainly flat kerbing throughout – and it can sometimes be too easy to stretch track limits too far owing to the generous cut threshold.
My most enjoyable ACC Watkins experience so far is driving a little TCX class BMW M2 CS Racing against a mixed AI grid of GT3, GT4 and other TCX cars in a wet race. I could hang onto the GT4s through the twisty stuff but would get blown away on the straights.
Holding off one of the GT4s at the chequered flag felt like an achievement, the dynamic drying line seeing lap times falling every lap – along with my slim advantage in the slower sections.
I can see Watkins Glen becoming an instant ACC classic.
Circuit of the Americas
The Circuit of the Americas – or COTA, for short – has hosted Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix from 2012 to the present, only missing 2020 due to Covid. Located in Austin, Texas, the track enjoys an elevation change of around 41 metres – best exemplified by the steep braking zone into Turn 1.
Measuring 3.43 miles in length, the Grand Prix Circuit has an opening sector featuring a huge elevation change as you climb up to Turn 1. The track immediately falls away into high-speed esses, where speeds in GT3 machinery can hit 120mph.
Dropping a gear or two towards the end of the sector you get your first introduction to COTA’s biggest disappointment – the yellow anti-cuts. Named ‘the yellow anit-cuts of doom’ (not really), these strips of hardened sadness sit perpendicular to the generous flat kerbs that normally litter the course, in a juxtaposition that can easily spook your average sim racer into a mistake.
The anti-cuts can easily launch a GT3 car in the air, so are to be avoided at all costs, even if that means driving even further off the track to avoid them completely. ACC players will have had similar experiences with this kind of anti-cut on the exit of Turn 6 at Misano. Or, Misery-ano, as I prefer to call it.
In my opinion, however, COTA more than makes up for it with its mixture of high-speed and low-speed corners. The track layout in the middle of the lap lends itself to multiple racing lines, for example, making close racing possible – and hopefully safe racing too, thanks to the generous run-off areas.
Turns 16 through 18 are to be treated as one tyre-shredding constant radius corner, but with COTA running anti-clockwise players can at least expect balanced tyre wear overall. No doubt, COTA is a huge challenge but it’s all the more rewarding when you master its intricacies (and avoid the anti-cuts).
A quick comparison with iRacing’s version of COTA confirms that the track has never looked better than it does in ACC, with the observation tower and moving spotlights bringing a ton of atmosphere during night-time running especially.
The first two tracks in the American Track Pack DLC appear to be absolute belters, then.
Indy, it’s over to you…
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Better known as the home of the Indy 500, Indianapolis Motor Speedway also has Road Course variations, including the 2.44-mile track used by IndyCar. In ACC, however, the 2.59-mile version of the Grand Prix track is used, with an inner loop employed instead of a narrow, fast chicane to take players onto the backstretch.
Heading out for my first laps at Indy, one can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness that it isn’t possible to drive the full oval layout. The whole of the speedway has been rendered beautifully, even the infield golf course is there, resplendently green and leafy.
The track is perhaps less well-known than Watkins Glen, so it takes me quite a few laps to get into the flow of the snake-like mid-section of the course. Late apexes and flat kerbs are the main features of this track – if you ignore the yard of bricks on the start/finish straight – so feels less characterful as a result.
That’s not the fault of Kunos, however, as they can only model the track as it is. Although many of the kerbs appear level and cuttable, I still managed to pick up punctures owing to my ‘over-enthusiastic’ choice of racing line.
In online racing, I can see Indy having a couple of pinch points where incidents will be rife. Turn 1 – naturally, since it’s commonly chaotic in real-world racing – and Turn 7. The track tightens at these corners – both 90-degree right and left-handers respectively – so multi-class events will be interesting, to say the least.
This configuration of Indy was used in the 2021 GTWC America/Intercontinental GT (IGTC) Indianapolis 8 Hour race, so could in theory be used as part of an IGTC 2021/2022 championship in-game, seeing as all circuits are now present. The track will again feature on the calendars of both championships in October this year.
Although Indy’s road course layout is arguably less fun to drive than Watkins Glen, it’s still a huge technical challenge whichever class of car you run.
Assetto Corsa Competizione V1.8.15 update: free liveries and Acura
Not only does the American Track Pack DLC contain three laser-scanned tracks, but the accompanying v1.8.15 patch also includes liveries of the cars competing in the 2022 GT World Challenge America series.
For example, players can jump into the hot seat of the #12 Aston Martin AMR Vantage GT3 of Frank Gannet/Drew Stavely, the #1 Lamborghini Huracán Evo GT3 Evo of championship leader Andrea Caldarelli and the #94 BimmerWorld BMW M4 GT3 of Bill Auberlen/Chandler Hull. Could we be any more excited?
Another aspect to the latest DLC content is the addition of a new manufacturer. Normally this is big news, but in this case the new manufacturer is Acura – North America’s version of Honda. Essentially, the Honda NSX GT3 Evo22 has been re-branded separately in-game as the Acura NSX GT3 Evo22.
The new Acura appears under Honda in the car selection menu – so isn’t officially an extra manufacturer in ACC per se. Two more liveries appear in-game thanks to Acura’s appearance – the #43 of Erin Vogel/Dominic Cooper and the #93 of Mario Farnbacher/Ashton Harrison.
As an added bonus, more 2022 GTWC Europe liveries also arrive as a free download with the v1.8.15 patch. Both championships’ liveries feature under ‘Open Series’ in ACC currently, so the question is can we expect to see both full series appear in-game in future?
In the case of GTWC America 2022, it’s unlikely at this stage, as five of the series’ seven tracks are not in ACC. GTWC Europe 2022 also requires Magny-Cours, Hockenheim and Valencia to be considered ‘complete’ in-game, so in the short-term the odds of seeing both championships in ACC are slim.
With Kunos working towards Assetto Corsa 2’s release in 2024, does that mean there may be a chance of more track DLC in the next 18 months? We’d certainly hope so.
All in all, Kunos have given us three superbly made tracks. My favourite is undoubtedly Watkins Glen – it’s one of the finest circuits in the world, so no surprises there. However, I was pleasantly surprised by COTA.
The fast and flowing opening sector is delightful when you get it right and the multiple right-handers of Turns 16, 17 and 18 are a proper challenge for the right foot. Even its chunky anti-cuts don’t detract from how entertainingly raceable the Grand Prix layout is.
Although Indy lacks the same character – not a sentence I thought I’d write – I simply cannot argue with how well the track has been modelled.
Assetto Corsa Competizione American Track Pack price
The American Track Pack DLC is available now for Assetto Corsa Competizione on Steam, costing £14.99/$17.99. For reference, the British GT Pack, which also featured three tracks, normally costs £11.99 (although it’s currently on sale as part of Steam’s Summer Sale for £4.79).
Is Assetto Corsa Competizione’s American Track Pack available on console?
Unfortunately, the American Track Pack DLC will only be available at launch for the PC version of ACC for the moment. Next-gen console users need to wait for the port of the extensive v1.8 update before new DLC can be released. The v1.8 console update is expected in September.
Do you have a favourite track from the three new additions? Have you had a chance to drive them yet? Let us know in the comments below.
Assetto Corsa Competizione V1.8.15 changelog
- Added Circuit of the Americas as DLC content.
- Added Indianapolis Motor Speedway as DLC content.
- Added Watkins Glen International as DLC content.
- Added bonus liveries from the 2022 GTWCHAM season for all players (via Open Series).
- Added all full-season liveries from the 2022 GTWCHEU season for all players (via Open Series).
- Added support for new DLC tracks in custom championship (via Open Series).
- Fixed mass driver duplication when playing against the Lamborghini Huracán ST EVO2.
- Fixed ever-increasing memory usage when refreshing unfiltered server list.
- Added new nationality options.
- Tweaks in GT4 slick tyres rolling resistance, camber simulation, combined grip.
- Tweaks in Wet tyres.
- Fuel consumption tweaks for Bentley, Porsche 992 Cup, Ferrari 488 GT3 EVO, Porsche 991.2 GT3 and more.
- BOP tweaks for Bentley, Aston Martin V8.