Creativity is running strong in the sim racing community. The latest example is the Assetto Corsa TRD DRW12 mod that expands the Group C grid.
Sports car racing is seeing a new high in 2023. The introduction of the LMH and LMDh regulations for top-class Hypercar prototypes in WEC and IMSA made interest skyrocket again, with numerous manufacturers trying their hand at the premier endurance series in the world.
“Golden Ages” coming and going are a constant in endurance racing. The recent LMP1 age and the GT1 (and then LMP900) era in the late 1990s and early 2000s come to mind – but before that, another class reigned supreme. Group C enjoyed immense popularity from its introduction in 1982 until the early 1990s, ultimately meeting its demise with the introduction of engine rules that were identical to that of Formula One at the time.
While the big players of the era were Porsche, Lancia, Sauber-Mercedes, Jaguar and Peugeot, among others, numerous smaller efforts were on the grids as well. In fact, many Porsche 962Cs were modified so extensively by privateer teams that they hardly resembled the base car. Privateer cars were also present. For instance, the 1989 season saw the Cougar C22S of Courage Compétition and the Spice SE89C by drivers Gordon Spice and Raymond Bellm trying to run with the big dogs.
Assetto Corsa TRD DRW12 Mod: The Group C Privateer Spirit
It is this spirit that RaceDepartment user iballobar13 channeled for their Assetto Corsa TRD DRW12 mod – their first-ever mod, actually. Only released on November 10, the fictional Group C car fully leans into the mechanical variety found in the era, sporting a twin-turbo W12 engine instead of a more common V8, V10 or V12. At full boost, it chucks out close to 900 hp.
The car’s body is unique but fits in with other cars of the era. It follows the design philosophy of the time. That means a big rear wing, ground-effect bodywork and a closed cockpit – with rather small side windows. A longtail Le Mans-spec version is also available as part of the mod.
According to the mod’s description, the DRW12 has been desgined “to race toe to toe against Sauber’s mighty C9”. As a result, iballobar13 has conducted extensive testing so the car is a match to its competitors AC.
Good Match & Unique Characteristics
But how well does the DRW12 get along with the other kids on the Group C playground? Well, it is a good match for the C9, the 962C and the Mazda 787B. While the Sauber-Mercedes has the upper hand on top speed, the TRD is a bit more agile in the corners. iballobar13 claims that their creation is “within 1s of the Sauber”.
The car also has its unique characteristics when it comes to driving it. As the W12 engine produces a lot of torque at low RPM, careful application of the throttle pedal is crucial when accelerating out of slower corners. As a result, the first few laps can be quite tricky. Some setup work can mitigate this, however. Plus, the car does inspire decent confidence once the downforce really kicks in.
Assetto Corsa TRD DRW12 Mod: Mechanical Engineering Study Project
Despite being fictional, the DRW12 mod features detailed car specs. These include its suspension layout, chassis material and even its valve train. This is not by coincidence, though. iballobar13 claims to be studying Mechanical Engineering and intending to use the car as a test bed for different rear wing configurations. They could later find their way into the mod. The attention to detail even extends to the twin-turbo W12 having been constructed in Automation, a very intricate car-building simulator that allows for creations to be exported and driven in BeamNG.drive.
Currently, the car comes with three liveries each for both the standard and Le Mans versions. Unfortunately, the engine sound is still a placeholder for now, though a proper W12 sound is going to be added later, according to the mod’s author.
If the TRD DRW12 has piqued your interest, head over to the RaceDepartment download section. There, you can also leave a rating and feedback for iballobar13’s creation. For another mod spotlight, check out our article on the Crystal Palace Circuit for AC!
What are your thoughts on the Assetto Corsa TRD DRW12 mod? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg and in the comments below!