Rennsport was exposed to many people for the first time by ESL R1. Many sim racers are forming opinions based on what they saw from the event, but is that really all Rennsport will have to offer?
Image credit: Porsche / Competition Company
Sim racers everywhere got their first proper look at the upcoming racing platform Rennsport from the season opener of ESL R1. This is the esports championship which utilises the game and sees twelve teams of four drivers each do battle in GT3 cars from Porsche, Audi, Mercedes and BMW.
Whilst many were stunned with the game’s graphics as a result of Rennsport running on Unreal Engine 5, many were left disappointed. Namely by the fact that Rennsport isn’t even available to the public yet. But another common complaint is that there only seem to be GT3 cars available.
Why GT3 Cars?
GT3 cars have been the go-to car class for many racing fans over the years for many reasons. However, one reason stands clear from the rest. Whilst they can never be made to perform identically, the cars will often be balanced by the organisers to keep them as close as possible.
In sim racing, players can usually pick their favourite manufacturer and, more often than not, be semi-competitive. It’s true that there would be no differences in spec races, but seeing the same car over and over again is nowhere near as interesting.
Everyone loves the high performance cars from luxury automotive manufacturers. Therefore, it makes sense that a balanced, but still varied, selection of cars would appeal to the average sim racer.
The Rennsport developers have partnered up with manufacturers. Understandably, since esports is a form of marketing, they want their cars on screen. ESL R1, as a result of the connections to the bigger mainstream esports audience, is subsequently introducing many new people to the world of racing.
Of course, when it concerns marketing, it’s not that believable that the average esports fan would see the racing and have the money to run to the nearest dealership and buy a 911, R8, AMG GT or M4. But they wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t see the return on investment, it is a business, after all.
But is this a bit of an oversight on Rennsport‘s part? Advertising their game that hasn’t even been released to the public yet for the whole of 2023 using only GT3 cars?
We have already discussed at length about the overexposure of GT3 cars in sim racing. Most iRacing, rFactor 2 and RaceRoom organised online races feature GT3 cars in some capacity, but there are many other types of cars on those platforms. The problem arises when GT3 cars become ubiquitous.
If only having GT3 cars for the most part was a crime, Assetto Corsa Competizione is so guilty that it would be prosecuted at the highest order, sent to solitary confinement and the key would be thrown away. Of course, it also has GT4 cars and even a few spec series cars like the Porsche Cup, Lamborghini Super Trofeo and Ferrari Challenge cars.
But, the game is predominantly centred around SRO-sanctioned championships as it is the officially licenced game of the GT World Challenge, which is GT3-based.
Of course, ACC is a solid racing sim in spite of its limited selection of content. However, since its debut in 2018, that restricted scope has left many long-time players feeling frustrated. The upcoming GT2 pack is supposedly the last bit of new content that new players can expect before the release of the new Assetto Corsa game in 2024.
This would be a relief for those who love the original game with its extensive variety, but who also want a level of refinement that ACC delivers in spades. They just want more types of cars available to them such as open wheelers or sports prototypes. Is Rennsport just playing it unbelievably safe by being essentially a German ACC?
Rennsport was unveiled to the public for the first time at the Rennsport Summit in May 2022. Both esports drivers and content creators were invited to participate in an onsite tournament. The initial racing made use of the Porsche and BMW GT3 cars on the Hockenheimring that we have come to expect from R1.
But the third car available to drive in that event was not a GT3 car, it wasn’t even anything like one. It was the Porsche Mission R electric concept car, which has twice the power of a typical GT3 car. There is also the Goodwood Hillclimb, not a track that sees any GT3 racing. In fact, it hosts all types of cars during the Festival of Speed.
There’s even further proof of the sim focusing on more than just the oversaturated GT3 cars, as indicated by this poll on the Rennsport Discord server.
The development team often runs polls to get an impression of what the community would like from Rennsport when it eventually releases.
Polls are run on a variety of subject matters. These include whether the playerbase prefers fixed or open setup racing, whether they want to have collisions enabled in the pitlane, and whether or not safety cars should be an option.
But, as seen in the poll above, the Discord server members voted on which car classes they prefer to drive. Admittedly, Modern GT cars got the most votes by a fair margin, but that didn’t mean that nobody else voted for the other categories. Others that got a lot of love were Modern Prototype, Open Wheel and Touring Car, whilst surprisingly few people seemed to care for Historic Prototypes.
In conclusion, if you had fears of Rennsport being just another GT3 heavy simulator based on watching ESL R1, you need not have those fears any longer. Rennsport aims to cater to every motorsport enthusiast.
Hopefully, as the R1 season goes on, there will be some more reveals for a wider variety of cars. Plus, with the beta being available any day, more types of cars may well be available to drive soon.
What type of cars do you want to drive on Rennsport? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!