Sportscar fans celebrate the history of the GTE class this weekend with its final race in the WEC. So what are the best GTE cars in sim racing that will help the class live on?
This weekend, the 2023 FIA World Endurance Championship comes to a close. The majority of media coverage will focus on the first Hypercar championship battle between Ferrari and Toyota. However, there is perhaps an even more heart wrenching story in the minds of sportscar fans.
With the LMGT3 category forming next year’s GT class, the amazing GTE machinery is fighting its last battle this weekend. These incredibly advanced GT racers that have provided over a decade of excitement will no longer feature in contemporary racing from this weekend onwards, and tributes to the class are rushing in.
One of the many benefits of sim racing however is that we get to experience models of the past. As a result, any fan missing the class will be able to experience the cars. But with so many options, where must one go? Here are just some of the best examples of GTE race cars in sim racing.
BMW M8 GTE in Automobilista 2
If there is one thing Automobilista 2 does incredibly, it is historic racing content. From classic Formula cars to old-school touring cars and GTs. But from this weekend forward, one can count the GTE category as historic racing. Furthermore, something we tend to forget about AMS 2 is that it does feature a great deal of GTE cars.
Thanks to the Racin’ USA DLC, the title features the most recent variant of Porsche 911 RSR and the Corvette C8.R. However, and this may be a controversial opinion, the best GTE car in the game may well be the BMW M8.
Whilst the mid-engine Corvette and Porsche are more dynamic and fun to drive, the game’s physics engine appear to lend itself to the heavier GT. In fact, driving this car in a smooth manner in Automobilista 2 is a satisfying experience.
In fact, this larger boat of a GTE racer forces drivers to adopt an endurance driving style. Rather than chucking it into corners, it is all about slowing the car down before a corner and turning it in off-throttle. This allows one to be far more consistent lap after lap. Of course, one’s opinion also comes down to their driving style and preference. But this perhaps overlooked car deserves more appreciation in AMS 2.
As we mentioned in our article on IMSA racing games a few weeks ago, the GTE class in Automobilista 2 makes for a fantastic simulation of the American series during the DPi days. Also featuring many GT3 cars and the Cadillac DPi, the multiclass opportunities are impressive.
Ford GT in iRacing
With a near-prototype design and incredible story behind it, one of the most popular GTE race cars is the Ford GT. Over five decades since its win against the might of Ferrari, the Blue Oval returned to Le Mans in 2016 with one goal, win the great race once again. On its first trip back to La Sarthe, the radical new Ford GT took another win for the brand.
Throughout the car’s lifespan, it remained competitive taking wins in both the FIA WEC and IMSA SportsCar Championship. However, it never truly made its presence in the sim racing world.
In fact, just one official version of the car exists in the virtual world, in iRacing. For that reason alone, it surely has to feature on this list of the best sim racing GTE cars. An older model, the car does not match the same graphical quality as the title’s most recent cars.
Furthermore, iRacing put an end to the category’s main series for this season, the European Sprint and Endurance Series. But one can still enjoy the whizzy V6 in the GTE Sprint Series as well as in offline sessions against the AI.
With plenty of high-speed grip and good mechanical flexibility, it is a rewarding car to drive. One just wonders why the GT never made it to other simulators as an official release.
rFactor 2: Full GTE grid in sim racing
Whilst it is great fun to drive these impressive cars by themselves, racing a full pack of them is even more entertaining. Sure, this is possible in most titles. But the most complete set of GTE race cars is in rFactor 2.
Thanks to the game’s ties to the ACO and FIA WEC, rFactor 2 features every current generation GTE car. If it raced as part of the category from 2017 onwards, it is in the game.
The staple models of the Porsche 911 RSR, Ferrari 488 and Corvette C8.R all feature. But the rarer GTE cars in sim racing are also present. One can jump aboard the likes of the older Corvette C7.R, Aston Martin Vantage and even the BMW M8. The only car missing from the official list is the eye-catching Ford GT. However, third party mods do exist to add this great racer.
Released in recent years, each of these cars exist in great quality in rF2. Each 3D model is visually impressive. The cars all have their own unique audible flavour. Their layouts provide stark contrast in driving experiences.
Using the rFactor 2 engine, driving these cars does of course involve some sideways action. One might point out that this is not how the cars drive in real life. Amateur friendly vehicles in real life, they are traditionally stable racers where time comes from being good on the brakes and remaining smooth.
So the rFactor 2 models may not be the most authentic to drive, but in race-spec, they are perhaps the most fun.
Porsche 911 RSR in Assetto Corsa
Much like the GT3 category, one of the main advantages to the GTE class in its hey day was the variety of models. Each car had its own distinct engine layout, in-turn producing a unique exhaust note. Anyone that saw these cars race in person will surely agree that the most jaw-dropping tune in GTE racing came from the Porsche 911 RSR.
The 4.2-litre flat-six revved to well over 9,000rpm making for an ear-piercing screech. In its RSR-19 form, with over a dozen examples on-track at Le Mans, this left many race fans crying out for ear plugs. As true race cars should do!
Unfortunately, very few sim racing games manage to capture the true aggression of this GTE car’s soundtrack. But with a little RaceDepartment mod by ACFAN, the Assetto Corsa version of the car gets about as close as possible.
With the mod is included a trio of sound packs, each representing the different versions of the car. This means fans can experience driving the loud bark of the original centre exhaust car, as well as the more recent screech of the RSR in its 2020 form. Simply for this sound mod, the Porsche 911 RSR in Assetto Corsa is the best GTE car in sim racing.
What is your favourite GTE car in sim racing? Let us know on Twitter @OverTake_gg or in the comments below!