From November to February, Assetto Corsa Competizione drivers will tackle enduros with a spin on the Balance of Performance feature. Here’s all you need to know about VCOxLFM FLExTREME.
Image credit: VCO Esports
Balance of Performance is a phrase that is thrown around a lot in GT racing. Essentially, it refers to the means by which the organisers attempt to compensate for the strengths and weaknesses of different brands of cars. They achieve this by adding ballast or restricting the power of the car, and it’s all circuit-dependent.
However, a common gripe with BoP is that organisers don’t do a good enough job applying it. In competitive Assetto Corsa Competizione events, it’s no different with many competitors complaining that the game doesn’t do a good enough job actually balancing the cars. This series will seek to fix that by handing the power over to the competitors.
FLExTREME is a new championship run in partnership between the Virtual Competition Organisation and Low Fuel Motorsport – one of the largest sim racing communities in the world. The series will run six races between November and February, with four being nine hours in length using GT3 cars and the other two being six hours in length using spec cars, the Porsche 992 GT3 Cup and BMW M2 CS Racing.
How Does FLExTREME Work?
Each car was assigned an amount of BoP ballast by the organisers and then teams took part in a draft show on 18 November where they could decide which cars they wanted. However, the catch was that the cars were given extra weight depending on how many teams selected them.
If a team didn’t like the look of the car once the new ballast figure was factored in, they were allowed to change it. This was to ensure there wouldn’t be too many of the same car on the grid. Once the majority of the teams were satisfied with their choice, the draft ended.
This ballast figure has to be distributed across all four GT3 races. However, all teams can selectively split how much ballast they will apply in each individual race. They may run it very light in one race but will then have to compensate in another race. Thus, teams will have to prioritise certain races over others.
All entrants are made up of three drivers, with the grid set by a Grand Prix-style knockout format qualifying in which no driver can attempt to qualify the car in more than one session per race. There’s a €10,000 prize pool on offer. Unlike most competitions, though, it’s not distributed amongst the top placed teams in the standings.
Instead it’s awarded based on the achievement of special objectives. For instance, the fastest lap, best overtaking manoeuvre, and most positions gained in a race.
How to Follow
All rounds will be broadcast on VCO’s official Twitch and YouTube channels. The demand for the series is so high that it has warranted two additional splits. The top split is known as the Cash grid and that will be broadcast with commentary. The additional two splits are known as the Rivals and Challengers grids. They will also be broadcast, albeit without commentary, and can be viewed through VCO’s Twitch Command Center.
The Cash grid has some of the most prominent teams in ACC racing such as BS+COMPETITION, Unicorns of Love, FFS Racing, YAS HEAT, Williams, TRITON, Virtualdrivers by TX3 and GTWR Esports. There are even a few teams most known from other platforms venturing onto ACC racing outside of ERL for the first time though FLExTREME, such as Carbon Simsport and Burst Esport.
The opening round is this weekend, and the schedule for the FLExTREME season is as follows:
Rd 1: Circuit of the Americas (9 hours) – 26 November
Rd 2: Monza (9 hours) – 18 December
Rd 3: Barcelona / Paul Ricard (6 hours) – 7 January (Porsche Cup)
Rd 4: Spa-Francorchamps (9 hours) – 21 January
Rd 5: Barcelona / Paul Ricard (6 hours) – 4 February (BMW Cup)
Rd 6: Watkins Glen (9 hours) – 18 February
Whichever track out of Barcelona or Paul Ricard is decided on via a vote for the Porsche race. The track not voted for will be the circuit raced for the BMW race.
Will you be following the FLExTREME series? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!