URD, or United Racing Design is a name many sim racing fans will know. But what is this modding group all about? Here’s all you need to know.
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Assetto Corsa and rFactor 2 are certainly the two most active mod-friendly sim racing titles around today. They allow a great deal of access to third party content creators. The former has even evolved to unrecognisable levels solely through the power of modding.
One of the many teams leading this charge is United Racing Design. This is a modding group that has spent the past decade creating third party content for both AC and rF2. In the process, it has become one of the most high profile teams of developers aside from true game studios.
Creating mods ranging from officially licensed sports cars to historic racers and even dabbling in circuits, these are all within the team’s wheelhouse. URD may be known by name, but very few sim racers truly know what the team is all about. After a brief chat with one of the main team members, here’s a look into this infamous group and all it has achieved so far.
Practice makes Perfect
United Racing Design has been creating third party content for rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa for almost ten years. So it’s fair to say the team has a large portfolio.
According to Bonny, one of URD’s main modders, the team has always had a passion for GT machinery. While the likes of VRC and RSS seem to step from niche to niche, URD appears to stick to what it does best.
The oldest creations on its store page feature mid-2010’s DTM packs and Le Mans GT machinery. These are very much still the bread and butter of this crew. The most recent additions to the website are the current GT500 cars from Super GT, whilst upcoming drops teased on the group’s discord appear to feature brand new machines set to compete at Le Mans next year.
With so much time and effort going into tin top race cars, United Racing Design is surely the go-to in GT machinery. But that’s not all it does.
URD and its Diverse Content
Whilst GT machinery is what URD does best, it has certainly shown that it can spread its wings at times. With such expertise and proof of quality in its previous mods, real-world manufacturers have begun to work in collaboration with this little modding group.
For both Assetto Corsa and rFactor 2, an officially licensed Glickenhaus SCG007 Hypercar came out a year ago. Furthermore, at the end of 2022, RaceDepartment visitors will have seen an official Radical racer arrive on the scene. This too was a mod created by the United Racing Design team and is now ranked as one of the most popular third party creations for AC.
It’s not just official content that puts URD among the best in the business. Alongside the team’s Glickenhaus recreation in the Hypercar class sits a renamed Toyota GR010. This, as well as the crew’s PX cars from 2015, show off its capabilities with hybrid powertrains. The so-called Moyoda drives like a dream, as do the LMP1 recreations despite their age.
Stepping further outside the box, URD has also been seen creating old GT1 and LMGTP models from the late-1990s. The Darche EGT1 Evo and Maures GTR EGT1 are a pair of GT1 cars representing the Porsche 996 GT1 and Mercedes CLK GTR. Most recently, an update to the free-to-download Mercedes CLR has brought this trio back into popularity among AC players.
When asked how the team decides what cars to recreate, Bonny said, “Cars decided for next is basically the team leader’s preference.” So it seems someone with great taste in race cars is to thank for all the amazing diversity in content AC and rF2 now revel in.
Experimenting with Tracks
United Racing Design’s strong suit is certainly its cars. But that didn’t hold it back when it decided to create a track. Tochigi Racing Ring is a recreation of the Twin Ring Motegi circuit available for Assetto Corsa and rFactor 2. It features all the layouts one would expect from the venue including the oval.
Great surface texture and excellent track-side furniture, the circuit feels alive whilst driving around. Furthermore, the AI certainly races as it should making the whole project come together.
Throughout its history, United Racing Design is a group that has grown in notoriety and is today among the big three in sim racing third party content creation. It makes some of the best cars for rFactor 2 and Assetto Corsa, covering a diverse selection of niches in motorsport. If you enjoy sports cars and endurance racing, it’s worth checking out what URD has to offer.
What is your favourite United Racing Design creation? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!