Assetto Corsa Dream Pack 1 First Impressions

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Assetto Corsa‘s laser-scanned rendition of the Nurburgring Nordschleife is the first time I made a full lap my first time out without wrecking. No, it wasn’t because I had damage off. No, it wasn’t because I wasn’t driving hard enough (the McLaren F1 GTR’s lap in the “McLaren Shootout” is my first ever full lap of the track). I would say that the reason I didn’t wreck was that the track felt “right” to me.

Being from California and never leaving North America in my life, I have never had the opportunity to drive on the Nurburgring in real life. My experience with the track consists mainly of rFactor, GTR 2, and Gran Turismo’s versions of the Green Hell. While those are by no means criminally inaccurate, there are still nuances that can be a little jarring, when you compare them to videos you will see of the famed circuit.

Enter the laser-scanning era. In the last year and a half, we have had three announcements that the Nurburgring Nordschleife will be coming to PC racing titles. Assetto Corsa was first to drop the announcement, in December of 2013. Following suit were iRacing and RaceRoom Racing Experience. While their announcement was trumped by Forza Motorsport 5’s laser-scanned Nurburgring, that version of the circuit was a laser-scan “hybrid”, and not totally scanned.

 

Assetto Corsa’s release of the Nordschleife with the Dream Pack DLC marks the first time a laser-scanned rendition of the track has been released for a consumer racing title (rFactor Pro has a laser-scanned version that’s available to race teams). It is available now for $14.99, and features ten cars in addition to the circuit. I’d like to thank Kunos Simulazioni for bringing us this awesome pack, and allowing me to cover it (I will be doing a video impression on it as I put more time on the track).


Starting off on the circuit, I decided to do the standard “Nordschleife” layout, which is the version auto manufacturers use for bench marking their vehicles. I took the 1996 McLaren F1 GTR out, and my first impressions were “THE SOUNDS! THEY’RE AWESOME!”

Some of the vehicles in Assetto Corsa are admittedly weak, and Kunos Simulazioni is having some teething issues with the FMOD sound engine (they are working on resolving), so sounds are not the selling point of the sim at this point in time. However, I will say that Kunos did a great job putting that snarling V12 sound into Assetto Corsa, and gets me really excited to see hear how the car will sound when the kinks in the sound engine are sorted out.

The car also feels quite solid around the corners in the circuit, and felt particularly comfortable at high speeds. The car did a great job of communicating feel through my T500RS, allowing me to really put the car where I wanted it. The car really showed how it could have beat out prototypes to the overall win in the 1995 24 Hours of Le Mans (Le Mans for Dream Pack 2? hint hint 😉 )

However, as great as the McLaren F1 was, it almost felt like a slug in comparison to the P1. I took that to the track next, and my mind almost couldn’t even comprehend how much grip the car had available. The P1 felt smoother than the F1, but it was oh so much faster! It seemed like super glue was put on the tires, it was THAT good through corners. When I got finished with the lap (and even after a couple offs >.<), I finished almost thirty seconds ahead of the F1 GTR! It truly was a showcase of how far technology can advance.


I also took the Chevrolet Corvette C7.R around the Nurburgring’s Endurance layout. This configuration adds the Grand Prix circuit to the Nordschleife, making for a 16.123 mile course, with a staggering 170 corners! This is an incredible challenge, and the Vette took it like a champ. I was able to tackle each corner with confidence, and felt assured that it would stick. I think the car may be almost TOO easy to drive, but I’ve never driven a GTE car to compare. It is fun to drive, and that’s where it counts!

The sounds for the C7.R are also pretty amazing too, with the roar of the 5.5L V8 being clearly heard. In replay angles, the car is shockingly quiet though, with you being able to hear chirping birds over the engine at times. I’ve heard some race Corvettes at Sonoma Raceway, and you should NOT be able to hear birds over the engine! Regardless, it’s still quite an enjoyable car, and I highly recommend you check it out!


 

These are the three cars I took for my first outing to the Nurburgring Nordschleife in Assetto Corsa. I’m hoping to get some more videos out soon, and maybe even a race! What car would you like to see me take out? Let us know in the comments!