ACC’s recently announced USA track pack made us think about some tracks we’d love to see in Kunos’ GT3 sim. Do you agree with our choices?
Earlier this week, (14th June 2022) a brand new USA track pack was teased for Assetto Corsa Competizione, bringing Watkins Glen, Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Road Course and the Circuit of the Americas to the official game of the GT World Challenge.
With Assetto Corsa 2 set to be released in 2024, Asetto Corsa Competizione seems like it could be at the forefront of Kunos Simulazioni’s efforts for at least another 18 months, and with that in mind, we hope even more tracks are released as DLC before the platform is put out for pasture.
Therefore, we thought it would be fun to speculate on which tracks we’d love to see join Watkins, Indy and COTA in the near and distant future – licencing agreements notwithstanding.
There is just one caveat though – to appear in Asetto Corsa Competizione, the venues must be used in real-world SRO Motorsports Group-run championships. Before you ask, unequivocally, that means no Nürburgring Nordschleife!
Road America is a leafy, high-speed road course situated near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and has been part of the SRO Fanatec GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS series since its inception in 2020.
Road America has also featured heavily on the calendars of most of America’s top single-seater, stockcar and sportscar racing series, hosting IndyCar, Champ Car, the American Le Mans Series, NASCAR and Can-Am, among others.
Throughout its history, the layout of Road America has remained largely unchanged, with scant run-off areas and notable turns like the everlasting right-hander Carousel providing a stern challenge to drivers through the generations.
Officially licensed versions of Road America can be found in RaceRoom Racing Experience, iRacing and Forza Motorsport 7, but all are a little long in the tooth nowadays, so an Asetto Corsa Competizione incarnation is sure to look great thanks to Unreal Engine 4 tech.
The wide-open corners and long straights would provide excellent overtaking opportunities for a huge pack of GT3 cars, so this ranks particularly high on our ACC track wish list.
The lap record of the 4.048-mile circuit is still held by legendary Italian driver Alex Zanardi, who set a 1min 41.874s benchmark in 1998 driving a Reynard 98I IndyCar. With modern IndyCars around four seconds per lap slower even today, this record looks like it’ll stand for some time yet. Until we use the Bentley in ACC to flatten and shortcut the barriers that is…
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours
Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours (commonly shortened to Magny-Cours) formerly hosted the French Formula 1 Grand Prix from 1991 to 2008, but now supports the World Superbike Championship and the SRO-organised FFSA GT Championship and GTWC Europe series.
The GTWC Europe Sprint Cup raced here last month (May 2022), with the weekend dominated by the AKKODIS ASP Team AMG GT3 of Timur Boguslavskiy and Raffaele Marciello.
The Adelaide hairpin provides a great overtaking opportunity for GT3 cars, while the Nürburgring chicane sees them in all their kerb-hopping glory; made even more spectacular with the addition of darkness! (See above).
Not only has the circuit appeared in many older sim racing titles like GTR Evolution and Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix series. More recently, however, Magny-Cours has recently been announced for iRacing, which should prove to be the most accurate rendition of the French track in sim racing thus far.
Could this fresh license be an indication the circuit will come to ACC soon? With Magny-Cours and Valencia being the only missing tracks in ACC from the 2021-22 GTWC Europe seasons, we certainly hope so.
Philip Island. Need I say more? I have to? Oh, ok then.
The Philip Island Grand Prix Circuit is a fast and flowing ribbon of tarmac situated on an island south of Melbourne off the south coast of Australia. Philip Island is accessible from the mainland by the aptly motorsport-themed San Remo bridge.
The track has been used in the past by MotoGP, the World Superbike Championship and Australia’s top domestic touring car series, V8 Supercars – now known as simply ‘Supercars’. Covid-19 outbreaks in Victoria have precluded the running of large motorsport events in recent times, with a full return to normality predicted for 2023.
The track played host to the first two rounds of the 2022 GTWC Australia championship, with the GT3 cars able to stretch their legs on the wide-open expanses of the coastal venue.
The track also features in MotoGP 22, iRacing and the lesser-known GP Bikes, and unusually runs in an anti-clockwise direction – featuring more left-hand turns than right-hand. ACC only has two anti-clockwise tracks currently: Laguna Seca and Kyalami.
The outright lap record is held by a Brabham BT62 track car with a 1m:24.060s, but rumour has it the World Sportscar Championship Nissan team were able to set 1m:18s in an unofficial test session in 1990, using their frankly insane 1,100bhp R90C.
Ozarks International Raceway
Ozarks International Raceway is a bit of a left-field choice, seeing as it hasn’t actually featured in an SRO-backed series as of yet. However, it was slated to host rounds three and four of the 2022 GTWC America series, later replaced by NOLA Motorsports Park.
The circuit was opened this year – it’s so new in fact that it hasn’t had time to be featured in any racing sim as of yet. The official reason for its GTWC America cancellation was due to “challenges related to infrastructure and supply chain.”
Unfortunate yet understandable considering worldwide Covid-19-related materials shortages.
Ozarks features three layouts, with the 19-corner, 3.970 miles Main Course the proposed configuration for the GTWC America race. The circuit is notable for its huge elevation changes. It’s a bit like Knockhill on steroids…
It’s a long shot, but to see this track in Assetto Corsa Competizione would be utterly amazing. The blind corners and crests would provide a huge challenge for drivers, although overtaking would be pretty tricky given that most of the corners have a single, narrow racing line. The barriers lining the whole track can also easily catch out the unwary.
As an extra positive point, Ozarks International Raceway has absolutely nothing to do with Marty and Wendy Byrde…
The Bend Motorsport Park
Also known simply as ‘The Bend,’ The Bend Motorsport Park is in the town of Tailem Bend, South Australia, 60 miles east of Adelaide.
The track was opened in 2018, featuring eight layouts including the 4.8-mile-long GT Circuit – the second-longest permanent racetrack in the world after the Nordschleife. Crikey!
The tack hosted the SRO GTWC Australia series in 2021 and regularly receives visits from the Supercars series and Australian Superbike Championship. It also hosted the Asian Le Mans Series in 2021, so is beginning to build some international endurance racing pedigree.
However, it has never featured in a racing sim before (excluding mods).
The Bend is an FIA Grade 2-listed track so is eligible to host any four-wheel racing series except Formula 1. Safety is a prominent feature – The Bend has masses of run-off areas, but these tend to be grass rather than ashphalt, so still punishes small driving mistakes.
The mix of high and low-speed corners plus elevation changes make this a challenging track to drive. Although thanks to the vastness of the site, spectating can be an issue.
Interestingly, the three-mile-long International Circuit’s GT3 and Supercars lap records are almost identical. Garth Tander’s 1m 49.031s set in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo in 2021 just edges David Reynolds’ 2019 lap of 1m:49.404s set in a Holden ZB Commodore.
Are there any SRO tracks you’d like to see in ACC? What do you think of our selection? Let us know in the comments below.