Endurance Racing Stint Simulation: The Feature I Need in Sim Racing

GT3 Lamborghini Nurburgring 24.jpg
Endurance racing content is popular in sim racing at the moment, but fans of the sport do not have the features to fully immerse themselves. But Angus has an idea that could change that.

Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni

Hooray, everyone! Assetto Corsa Competizione is now about as close to the perfect VLN and Nürburgring 24 Hour simulator one can get. Following the release of the Nordschleife to the GT3 simulator, fans of the infamous race can finally experience what it is like to battle through traffic on the Green Hell at 3am.

But there is one issue with that: The Gesamstrecke, as the Germans call it, is over 25 kilometres long, so laps are not the matter of a minute. As a result, completing the dozen laps it takes the real Nürburgring 24H top class to close up on the lower classes requires a good hour and a half of driving in clean air.


The question to those looking to experience the true madness of the exciting enduro is, how would you go about setting up such a session?

In most games, putting together a practice session and waiting for the track to fill up would be the best solution. But in ACC, classes leave the pits at different times. So only at the end of each session will the circuit ever really fill up. Fear not though, here is my letter to racing game developers as I have the solution; a new game mode.

Sim Racing Endurance Stint Feature​

In sportscar and endurance racing, it is very rare that a single driver completes a race by themselves. Teams of up to a quintet of pilots will come together to get their car to the front of the field. So perhaps it is time sim racing reflected this aspect in offline modes.

ACC race start.jpg

Race starts are fun, but mid-race stints are where immersion lies. Image credit: Kunos Simulazioni

Sure, most games allow the player to take a step back, letting the AI take control for a stint or two. But when you want to simply jump behind the wheel and experience the traffic management of the middle of an endurance event, this will not do.

As you might know, I myself am a major enthusiast of watching cars racing for periods of time most will deem unhealthy. So, I have a lot of experience in trying to simulate the immersion of a mid-race stint. The simple solution would be a feature or game mode that allows you to load up exactly that, a mid-race stint.

Rather than loading a race and starting from the pits, this mode would show your car, driven by AI, come into the pits and park up. Decide what tyres you want, any potential setup tweaks such as brake bias, wing angles and pressures, and set on your way. All the while, opponent cars are flying down the pit straight driving cars of all different classes.

This game mode would bring new life to Le Mans Ultimate.

Imagine leaving the pits in Le Mans Ultimate to begin a double stint at Sebring. Image credit: Studio-397

Going deeper into the functionality, one could set this up to run at different points of a race, be it bang in the middle, or a final stint to the chequer. Settings such as the number of stints you want to do and weather conditions would also be adjustable.

Plenty of Potential​

You may be wondering where the gameplay of this mode would come in. In fact, standard quick races see players race for an end result. Furthermore, championships get you motivated to perform over the course of a season and battle regular opponents. In this theoretical mode, there is no true final result as the race continues after you stop racing.

But that does not mean that scoring or results are not relevant to the mode. In fact, many a time will a real life endurance racing driver complete a stint only to see their car crash out later on. They will nonetheless be happy with the way they drove. From comparing average lap times through traffic to tracking one's evolution through the field or even matching fuel usage targets. Much of this will sound boring to the online sprint racer. But for endurance fans, this is where we get to nerd out.

Aside from the basic tracking and sense of accomplishment, developers could use this format of game mode to create challenges. Much like EA WRC has the Moments game mode and F1 23 Replay sets events based on real-life races, Assetto Corsa Competizione could place the player at the start of a stint with real-life similarities.


For example, in 2021, Kevin Estre began the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring towards the back of the GT3 field. But in his first stint in the Grello Manthey car, he managed to climb up to the podium positions.

This sort of feature's functionality is far from limited to ACC. Sportscar racing is a popular sport for games at the moment with Le Mans Ultimate releasing as the official WEC game whilst Automobilista 2 recently signed a deal with IMSA. Both titles would benefit from the additional 'gameification' of a Moments rival.

Just imagine loading up a stint during the 2023 Le Mans 24 Hours, just as the early evening rain is setting in. You are about to hop into the yellow #3 Cadillac that spun out in the Porsche Curve puddles and your goal is to reclaim the lost time. Can you do it?

What do you make of this new endurance-focused sim racing game mode? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!
About author
Angus Martin
Motorsport gets my blood pumping more than anything else. Be it physical or virtual, I'm down to bang doors.

Comments

Yessssss, I'd love that! 1000% agreed.
Hopefully AC Evo will have such a feature coded into it. It can't be THAT much work, but of course even a few hours need to get paid etc, so I understand, why it's not there yet.
But I do think it would get more copies sold :)
 
I like the concept, let’s see if it ever happens.
My guess is that if it ever see the light of day it will be in CM/AC first.
If it does I will definitely try it.
I do my “endurance” racing using the save button, as an alternative to do many shorter races at different time of the day with different weather.
 
Last edited:
Nice article, and count me in as another person who'd love this feature. :)

"Sure, most games allow the player to take a step back, letting the AI take control for a stint or two."

Except the frustrating thing is that most sim racing games don't do this! All 3 games mentioned in the article do not have it: ACC doesn't, AMS 2 doesn't (EDIT: you can swap to a generic AI driver, but it seems it is not yet properly functional), and the most recent patch for LMU apparently removed the "AI control" key binding or made it non-functional (I haven't tested it yet). Note that ACC has a "hotstint" mode, but it disappointingly has no AI opponents on track.

Even rF1, Reiza rF1-derivatives like AMS 1, and rF2 only have a "press key to force AI to drive the car" keybinding, which automatically drives the car at 100% AI strength -- even if your AI is set to a lower or higher level, making the feature useless in many scenarios (the AI will be too slow or fast). To my knowledge, only GTR 2 and Sports Car GT have an AI driver swap in a meaningful sense, where an AI driver with a name and skill attributes can take over your car.
 
Last edited:
I'd definitely support this, sounds good, reminds me of the "moments" one can do in WRC, specific rally stages against AI sometimes with a "real" historic scenario, i.e. you get a battered car for a final stage and you need to stay in place 3 or you will lose the title. All the AI names are the real ones from some years back, your car is the real one, the weather fits. It's great fun!
 
Nice article, and count me in as another person who'd love this feature. :)

"Sure, most games allow the player to take a step back, letting the AI take control for a stint or two."

Except the frustrating thing is that most sim racing games don't do this! All 3 games mentioned in the article do not have it: ACC doesn't, AMS 2 doesn't (yet), and the most recent patch for LMU apparently removed the "AI control" key binding or made it non-functional (I haven't tested it yet). Note that ACC has a "hotstint" mode, but it disappointingly has no AI opponents on track.

Even rF1, Reiza rF1-derivatives like AMS 1, and rF2 only have a "press key to force AI to drive the car" keybinding, which automatically drives the car at 100% AI strength -- even if your AI is set to a lower or higher level, making the feature useless in many scenarios (the AI will be too slow or fast). To my knowledge, only GTR 2 and Sports Car GT have an AI driver swap in a meaningful sense, where an AI driver with a name and skill attributes can take over your car.
Ehhh, AMS2 does has a AI co driver? I just used it
 
This already exists in rF2...

Will be part of LMU in a hopefully more refined edition...

Other titles need to catch up to the venerable one...
 
Last edited:
Premium
Hello friends of fast cars.
Wasn't there the option to race with your AI crew in Gran Tourismo Sport?
Drivers were hired who had different skills and who then delivered corresponding results.
The AI drivers could improve these skills if you used them instead of yourself. Basically gave them the opportunity to train. You could also push them strategically or slow them down.It sometimes happened that you handed over your car to, for example, 4th place and then took it over to, for example, 9th or 2nd place when it was your turn again.
So this is once again a feature that fell behind and may then be rediscovered as a really big event to be celebrated by those who don't know.
Just like they rediscovered the drying ideal line, lasting skid marks before the corners, etc.
Sometimes I have the feeling that the programmers from “back then” were simply racing enthusiasts who placed a lot of value on the authenticity of the actual thing.
You are a racing driver, so immerse yourself in the universe of racing.
Screw videos, still images and all that mundane crap that seems to be so important today.
It was also possible to print out your telemetry data directly from the game, lap by lap that you drove in order to compare them with each other. Has the setup change achieved anything?
There was no need for any half-baked additional programs.
Another feature was that you could take your worn tire sets with you into the next session. Which gave you a certain advantage.
And that was before the turn of the millennium, multiprocessors and overpriced graphics cards.
Today there is a lot of emphasis on YT videos in which trivial things are teased.
Look guys, we implemented the seam behind the driver's seat. You can also see how the drinks can holder now bends due to G-forces and the spectators now even go and get a sausage during the race. It also includes the fact that the tire now changes by micropico millimeters when an ant is run over. My condolences for the ant.
We have now also added opening and closing calyxes. This changes depending on the time of day. Oh yes, no one understands our physics anymore because it is more physical than physicalist physics.
All things that have absolutely nothing to do with the actual purpose of a racing simulation.
Today's programmers would allow themselves a statue made of solid gold if they assembled a car like in Viper Racing back then, where every screw, every washer and even every seal could break because the car was built exactly as a 3D model. A penny article could really mean defeat.
Was it frustrating?
Yes that was it.
Would you want to throw your computer against the wall if your exhaust manifold broke while you were leading on the last lap?
Of course you wanted to. But you also knew how a real racing driver felt when something like that happened and that was exactly what it was about.
Cheers to Papyrus, Sierra, Microprose.
Instead flowers, bees, cows, butterflies, campfires.
Long live the absolute insignificance of mundane trivialities.
Since I remember such things clearly, I don't fall into dripping ecstasy when something is reported somewhere about a "new" racing game. Because nothing contained in it is really new.
At least not for someone as old as me who has been racing on the Amiga since Geoff Crammond's Grand Prix. I don't count the racing games on the C-64 as racing, but Pitstop was right at the forefront.
Of course, some things in my post are exaggerated, ironic or sarcastic.
But that doesn't change the facts.
Alphas, Betas, Gammas. Half-finished, soulless games that don't care about everything except the actual event. Instead, bling, bling off the track.
Until things change again, I won't buy any more racing games.
No matter how long, effective and spectacular promo videos are. A trizillion new videos from the Nordschleife in ACC or racing videos from LMU say everything that matters to people.
But not to me.How can you celebrate an unfinished game like LMU?
Nobody would celebrate buying a car if the seller said, "Here is your Porsche 911 GT3 but the engine will be delivered in 3 months. The windshield and wheels will come later when we have time."
Nobody would spend a single cent on it.
But for racing games it is now enough to just publish the cover image as a full-price version.
I'm not talking about DLC's here. These are accessories to enhance the game.
But if the core game is incomplete, that doesn't work at all.
 
Ehhh, AMS2 does has a AI co driver? I just used it
:redface: Thanks for the correction! Fixed.

I don't own AMS 2, but I'd heard that driver swaps were not yet a feature in AMS 2, so I assumed that included AI swaps of all kinds. It may or may not be functioning well enough to be able to use in an endurance race, though (see this link). Also, it appears that swaps to an AI driver with a name and skill attributes (like in GTR 2) are not yet possible in AMS 2?
 
Until things change again, I won't buy any more racing games.

Well I just won't buy them anymore, I removed them all from Steam.
Let me cut tower storage in half to buy fastest 2TB pcie5 M2 for the same money as pcie4 4TB.
Not to mention heaps less bookkeeping.

I tired long ago of jumping sims to sim and have them behave like they from the multiverse.
There is only one thing will solve all possible issue for all studios.
Do you want sims physics tyres FFB to all behave differently forever.
There can be only one .
Engine :coffee:

No, I i did not just say all sims should use the same engine :geek:
Just the studios that honestly care about giving us the most realistic simulation.

For mine days of GTR GTL GTR2 PnG rFactor were best because of more consistency.

P.S.
On topic I was set to do some laps in other things today.
Had to have a look at YouTube first :rolleyes: and I see Fanatec Paul Ricard.
What a race so far, love this Mustang !
Makes me want to reinstall ACC :coffee: lol
 
Last edited:
Premium
:redface: Thanks for the correction! Fixed.

I don't own AMS 2, but I'd heard that driver swaps were not yet a feature in AMS 2, so I assumed that included AI swaps of all kinds. It may or may not be functioning well enough to be able to use in an endurance race, though (see this link). Also, it appears that swaps to an AI driver with a name and skill attributes (like in GTR 2) are not yet possible in AMS 2?
Not yet, but I think they are looking at improving this, possibly as part of the UI overhaul in 1.6.
 
Sims like RF2, AMS2, ACC, LMU that advertise "Endurance Racing" really need to get the AI co-driver stint working correctly AND a genuinely useable mid-race save feature. I know some of that is already there, to some degree, but it's not really seamless. What's the point in ACC of having multi-driver teams if *I* have to drive all of their stints!?!? I've come up with the perfect AI co-driver name and I'm dying to use it!

I know it's work in progress for AMS2 but last time I tried it, the AI drives for like 3 laps and then pits. I haven't tried it in RF2 in quite a while, but my recollection is when I gave control to AI it was like 5 seconds per lap slower than me and also didn't drive a full stint (I could be wrong, again it's been a minute.) I'm sure getting this to work correctly isn't easy, but I'd hope that if it's a "named" AI driver being given control they'd adhere to programmed attributes OR maybe be able to pace around something like the player's last 5 or 10 lap average, so you can't drive like trash and hand over to an AI Alien and let them take you to the podium. Although... maybe for some Pro-AM classes that could be realistic.

I know I'm not saying anything new, just adding to the chorus of "this would be great if...."
 

Latest News

Article information

Author
Angus Martin
Article read time
4 min read
Views
2,739
Comments
14
Last update

What is your next sim related purchase

  • DLC

    Votes: 47 25.1%
  • Full game

    Votes: 43 23.0%
  • CPU

    Votes: 22 11.8%
  • Graphics card

    Votes: 38 20.3%
  • Other PC related hardware

    Votes: 19 10.2%
  • Pedals

    Votes: 33 17.6%
  • Wheels

    Votes: 46 24.6%
  • Wheel base

    Votes: 30 16.0%
  • Monitors

    Votes: 17 9.1%
  • Something else?

    Votes: 20 10.7%
Back
Top