Every real-world SRO GT World Challenge track not in Assetto Corsa Competizione

Avatar
As Valencia gets set to join Assetto Corsa Competizione, we consider other 2023 GT World Challenge tracks that could, in theory, join the sim in future.
Which real-world SRO GT World Challenge 2023 tracks could come to Assetto Corsa Competizione? 

The announcement that Circuit Ricardo Tormo (best known simply as Valencia) is coming to Assetto Corsa Competizione on the 19th of April got us thinking (a dangerous thing, I know). It will form a 2023 GT World Challenge DLC pack, alongside three new cars, and with a GT2 pack set for release later this year…

The popular sim racing platform is developed by Kunos Simulazioni and replicates the real-world GT World Challenge motorsport series, including the Intercontinental GT Challenge, the GT4 European Series, the British GT Championship and GT World Challenge Europe, Asia, America and Australia series. 

Naturally, however, bringing all these circuits to the game takes a lot of work, and Kunos has remarkably brought a total of 23 tracks (including Valencia) to ACC since it first hit Steam Early Access in 2018. 

Assetto Corsa Competizione, Valencia
The Circuit Ricardo Tormo is on its way to ACC on the 19th of April

Thinking ahead to the 2023 season, we’ve had a look at all the GT World Challenge (GTWC) series calendars and picked out which tracks aren’t in ACC yet. The key thing to remember is, all these series run to Balance of Performance protocols laid down by the FIA and the SRO (Stéphane Ratel Organisation Motorsports Group) to ensure parity among competing manufacturers.

If the SRO isn’t involved with a series then there’s zero chance we will see that championship’s cars or tracks in Assetto Corsa Competizione – this is, after all, an SRO-sanctioned title and any tracks outside of this agreement enter the potentially murky and expensive world of licencing.

So that means no Nordschleife!!!*

Assetto Corsa Competizione update reworks BoP and BMW M4 GT3 gear ratios 
ACC has nailed virtual GT3 racing in our opinion

GT World Challenge Europe 2023 

  • Hockenheim
  • Updated Zandvoort
  • Updated Spa-Francorchamps

With the release of Valencia, there’s only one track left required to complete the 2023 GTWC Europe season in ACC. Germany’s Hockenheim (officially called Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg) is the outlier here, being the seventh round of the Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe Powered by AWS Sprint Cup (quite the mouthful). 

Hockenheim is a historic racing venue, traditionally known for its epically fast forest straights and a long-running venue of the German Grand Prix. Its layout has undergone several changes since 1932, including the addition of two chicanes to reduce overall average speeds.  

These appeared after two-time Formula 1 World Champion Jim Clark – widely touted as the finest driver in F1 history – was tragically killed during a Formula 2 race in 1968. This also led to crash barriers being fitted around the track’s perimeter, providing drivers with some protection from the Hockenheim trees. 

Jim Clark, Hockenheim, 1968, F2
Jim Clark (Lotus 48 – Cosworth) action. The last picture of Clark before his fatal accident – LAT, Motorsport Images

The stadium section was added in 1965 with the long forest straights eventually phased out by 2002 when the track underwent significant redesign.  

This was instigated mostly by safety concerns after a disenfranchised Mercedes-Benz employee wandered onto the track via a relatively unguarded forest section, causing a safety car. The fact that the majority of overtaking took place out of sight of the grandstands also contributed to the rethink.

The new layout – as used in the 2023 GTWC Europe series – has remained largely unchanged in its 21-year history, creating some close GT and touring car racing. Regardless of the formula, the Hairpin remains the track’s flashpoint, seeing brave, late-braking manoeuvres and plenty of incidents. 

Madness

Zandvoort and Spa refresh?

Zandvoort and Spa-Francorchamps also feature on the 2023 calendar but remain in their older guises in the virtual world. ACC’s version of Zandvoort is the pre-2020 course, so it does without the heavily revised banked corners at Turns 3 and 14 (although other platforms have now added the revised bends). 

Similarly, ACC’s version of Spa still features the older asphalt run-off areas. These have since been superseded by the presence of gravel traps, adding more jeopardy for drivers when making mistakes. Whether Zandvoort and Spa’s new layouts will come to ACC remains to be seen, as Kunos is looking towards the development of a new Assetto Corsa title, currently slated for a Spring 2024 release.

Studio co-founder Marco Massarutto stated that the upcoming GT2 pack might be the last one “to say goodbye” in July last year, but it’s not clear if tracks are part of that sunsetting or if plans have changed since then.

The Zandvoort banking has been a hit with F1 drivers – Steven Tee, Motorsport Images

Fanatec GT World Challenge Asia 2023 

  • Fuji
  • Chang International Circuit
  • Okayama
  • Sepang
  • Mobility Resort Motegi

The GT World Challenge Asia calendar is very Japan-centric, with four of its six rounds located in the land of Nippon. 

The Suzuka Circuit is a fan favourite in ACC but there are five more tracks in the real-world GTWC Asia series missing from Kunos’ GT3 simulator; including Fuji, the Chang International Circuit, Okayama, Sepang and Mobility Resort Motegi (yes, that’s what it’s called these days). 

Most of these tracks have appeared in racing games and sims over the years, (Gran Turismo has featured excellent versions of Motegi, Suzuka and Fuji throughout its history, for example) but perhaps the Chang International Circuit is least well-known in gaming (although it has appeared in both RaceRoom and the MotoGP series). 

MotoGP, Marc Marquez, Chang International Circuit
No beer commercials here, thankfully. Marc Marquez, MotoGP 2022. ID: 1019376461, Photographer: Gold and Goose, Motorsport Images

Based in Buriram, Thailand, the track is named after its circuit sponsor, Chang Beer. Irresponsible branding aside, it opened in 2015 and has hosted the aforementioned MotoGP, plus the World Superbike Championship, Super GT and the World Touring Car Championship. In theory, thanks to its FIA Grade 1 rating Chang can host Formula 1 races too.

It’s just what F1 needs: another race on its calendar…

Chang International has held plenty of GT3 race events in the past, making it an ideal candidate to join the circuit ranks of ACC. 

Honda NSX Evo GT3, Assetto Corsa Competizione, Suzuka
Suzuka is a drivers’ favourite in ACC

Fanatec GT World Challenge Australia 2023

  • CARCO.com.au Raceway (Wanneroo)
  • Philip Island  
  • Sydney Motorsport Park  
  • Queensland Raceway  
  • Adelaide Parklands Circuit 

GT World Challenge Australia has five tracks not currently in ACC, with Mount Panorama, Bathurst the country’s only representative. Australia is a hotbed of motorsport culture, with several top-class, international-grade tracks dotted all over the country, and GTWC Australia features some absolute rippers. 

Venues like Philip Island and the Adelaide Parklands Circuit will need no introduction, given their established history as MotoGP and F1 hosts in the past respectively, but Sydney Motorsport Park is less well-known and just as enjoyable to drive. 

Known previously as Eastern Creek International Raceway, the track boasts high-speed corners by the bucketload and a host of technical cambers to catch out the unwary.  

V8 Supercars, Philip Island, 2009
The view isn’t a patch on the Birmingham Superprix track… Philip Island, 2009 – Mark Horsburgh, Motorsport Images

Also receiving a re-brand was the CARCO.com.au Raceway, (formerly known as Wanneroo Raceway, formerly known as Barbagallo Raceway, formerly known as Wanneroo Park, phew) which is most famous for hosting the Australian Grand Prix in 1979 as well as regularly featuring on the Supercars calendar.  

Despite being widened in 2011, the track is still narrow by GTWC standards, much like Queensland Raceway and its combination of switchback hairpins and short straights, giving it the moniker of ‘the paperclip’. 

Naturally, of all the tracks from GTWC Australia in 2023 ACC fans would jump at the chance to race at Philip Island, Adelaide and Sydney Motorsport Park… Queensland and CARCO.com.au Raceway less so. Sorry.

A V8 Supercars onboard lap of Sydney Motorsport Park. Take a deep breath into Turn 1…

Fanatec Intercontinental GT Challenge 2023 

  • Yas Marina Circuit

The Intercontinental GT Challenge is a globally run SRO series for GT3 cars featuring five endurance races at Mount Panorama, Kyalami, Spa and Indianapolis; all of which are represented in ACC. 

However, the fifth and final round – the Gulf 12 Hours at the Yas Marina Circuit – is not currently in the game. Located in the United Arab Emirates, Yas Marina has hosted F1 since 2009, with the track undergoing a slight re-jig in 2021 to help improve racing. 

Playing regular host to sportscar and GT3 racing, Yas Marina has masses of run-off areas and long straights ideal for slipstreaming, replete with hard braking zones suitable for close, on-track battling. 

Michael Masi would approve. 

Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Yas Marina 2021
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen, Yas Marina 2021. Just before things got spicy. – Sam Bloxham, Motorsport Images

British GT Championship 2023 

  • Algarve International Circuit (Portimão)

The British GT Championship is perhaps the biggest and most prestigious national GT3 series in the world, with a capacity grid of 18 GT3 and 18 GT4 cars racing on a selection of Britain’s premier racing circuits.  

For 2023, the championship will also visit Portugal and its Autódromo Internacional do Algarve track (commonly referred to as the Portimão Circuit). Unfortunately, the venue for the 2020-21 Portuguese Grand Prix isn’t in ACC but its inclusion would be a real boon given its challenging nature. 

It’s an incredible track, Algarve International Circuit near Portimão

Fanatec GT2 European Series 2023

  • Dijon-Prenois
  • Red Bull Ring

Also challenging, and equally as fast and flowing, is the Dijon-Prenois circuit in central France. The track will evoke waves of nostalgia for fans of the classic SimBin title GT Legends, as it featured prominently in the game’s early stages. It isn’t in Asetto Corsa Competizione, however. 

Although once the venue for the French Grand Prix, the track is more accustomed to French club and GT racing, which brings us to something fresh and exciting in terms of the future of ACC…  

Yes, the GT2 European Series is coming to ACC in 2023 (revealed at the SRO Motorsports Annual Press Conference at Spa-Francorchamps last year), bringing seven new GT2 cars to the game. 

And just like the British GT Championship, the GT2 European Series package is set to visit the Portimão Circuit, as well as further races at Monza, Paul-Ricard and Valencia (which are either already in ACC or coming soon).  

Francois Cevert, Dijon-Prenois, 1973
Francois Cevert in the Matra MS670B at Dijon-Prenois, 1973. ID: 1018485207, Photographer: Rainer Schlegelmilch, Motorsport Images

In fact, the GT2s head to Dijon-Prenois twice in the season (with pre-season testing also taking place here, creating a Gallic hat trick), with a further trip to the Red Bull Ring on the 26th-27th of May. 

Interestingly, the Red Bull Ring round runs in support of the ADAC GT Masters series – a Pro-Am championship for GT3 cars. What’s so remarkable about that, I hear you ask? Well, the ADAC GT Masters championship runs to SRO BoP protocols (but isn’t organised by SRO itself).

The DTM also runs under SRO BoP these days too, but that’s a whole other story, and unfortunately, one that doesn’t involve either of these championships appearing in ACC. Entschuldigung.

GT2 cars are rather insane

Fanatec GT World Challenge America 2023

  • Sonoma Raceway
  • NOLA Motorsports Park
  • VIRginia International Raceway
  • Road America
  • Sebring International Raceway

ACC’s American Track Pack DLC added three classic circuits to the sim in 2022, including Indianapolis, Watkins Glen and the Circuit of the Americas (COTA). 

However, to complete this year’s GTWC America series calendar, ACC requires Sonoma Raceway, NOLA Motorsports Park, VIRginia International Raceway, Road America and Sebring International Raceway, with the COTA (Rounds 5 & 6, 19th-21st May) and Indianapolis (Round 13, 5th-7th October) events represented in-game. 

It’s a thrilling rise at Sonoma

Of the outliers, Road America and Sebring appear to be the most popular candidates for inclusion in ACC (judging by the many Twitter replies we’ve seen concerning Assetto Corsa DLC), but we’d argue that Sonoma and VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) are way more interesting. 

In terms of a driving challenge, both tracks feature decent elevation changes (Sonoma especially) alongside diverse landscapes. Sonoma’s sandy outlook is characterful and challenging, thanks to a blend of high-speed and low-speed corners, including the fearsome downhill left-hander at Turn 6. 

Likewise, VIR is a real driver’s track, with just narrow grassy run-offs separating drivers from the asphalt and a huge repair bill. Who can forget when Top Gear’s Richard Hammond binned a Porsche 911 during a track day? I bet his dry cleaner can’t.

Hammond doing Hammond things

And on that bombshell, which SRO-based tracks would you like to see in Assetto Corsa Competizione in future? 

And before you say “Nordschelife,” please take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror and decide if you want to be that guy. Don’t be that guy, please.

Tracks used in 2023 SRO GT World Challenge championships not currently in Assetto Corsa Competizione

  • Hockenheim 
  • Chang International Circuit 
  • Fuji International Raceway 
  • Okayama 
  • Motegi 
  • Sepang 
  • CARCO.com.au Raceway 
  • Philip Island  
  • Sydney Motorsport Park  
  • Queensland Raceway  
  • Adelaide Parklands Circuit 
  • Yas Marina Circuit 
  • Autódromo Internacional do Algarve 
  • Red Bull Ring 
  • Dijon-Prenois 
  • Sonoma Raceway 
  • NOLA Motosports Park 
  • VIRginia International Raceway 
  • Road America 
  • Sebring International Raceway 

* GT3 racing at the Nordschleife is organised by the Nürburgring Langstrecken (NLS) series, with a custom Balance of Performance (BoP) calculation set by ADAC Nordrhein for the SP9 class (essentially the NLS version of GT3). ADAC Nordrhein is a regional version of Germany’s (and Europe’s) largest automobile association, ADAC, which represents, promotes and advocates motoring and motorsport across the country. 

Add a Comment
Previous Post
NASCAR Heat 5 cover

How do Stages work in NASCAR Heat 5?

Next Post
Revised tyre model set for Assetto Corsa Competizione version 1.9

Revised tyre model set for Assetto Corsa Competizione version 1.9

Related Posts