Going back to the good old days has to be one of the most prevalent notions in racing. Back then, everything was better after all, says almost every motorsports fan ever. While this is often not even the case if things are looked at somewhat subjectively, feelings of nostalgia can evoke strong emotions, and sim racing is in a unique position regarding these feelings - it can be a great way to travel back in time a little and experience long-gone periods in the history of the sport once again.

This mostly means being able to drive historic cars that would never be driven in anger in real life again, or to race at tracks that no longer exist - just immersing oneself in the sport's past. I recently wrote an article over at SimRacing Unlimited about this type of time travel, having raced a Maserati 250F at the spectacular Bremgarten by Fat Alfie.

It was in the following days and weeks that I found out about another way sim racing allows you to go back in time. The catalyst: Finally driving the RSS GT pack cars in Assetto Corsa for the first time.

I know, I was late to the party. The pack was finished in 2018, yet I never got around to trying them as I was racing on console for quite a while. I had seen videos on the cars however, and sometimes you just get that itch to drive a certain car or track. So I did. And it was amazing.

The quality of the cars is astounding, which makes for a very pleasant experience. The time travel aspect is a result of the choice of car class, however: The RSS GT pack features six GT1 vehicles from circa 2004 - the same ones that were the main focus in GTR2 back in the day.

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A very popular title in sim racing after its release in 2006, GTR2 was a substantial part of my sim racing career for years. A full day/night cycle, changeable weather, full FIA GT endurance rules and even the ability to drive a full 24-hour race including mid-session saves made the sim truly special and ahead of its time.

A Teenage Sim Racer Again​


Firing up the RSS cars in AC for the first time immediately took me back to being a teenager and playing GTR2 for hours on end - on a gamepad no less, because being able to afford a wheel was a long way off back then. Memories of countless attempts at the 24 Hours of Spa and trying to complete a full season came back, as did the seemingly endless number of mods I had installed. It was an unexpected journey, but very much one I appreciated.

Thinking about it, being taken back to an older sim via another sim is a bit of a curious case. It does show the unique capabilities of sim racing if you want to go back in time, though.

Would playing GTR2 today have the same effect? I am honestly not sure. While the sim has aged relatively well, there is no denying that it is 15 years old at the time of writing - at least visually. The driving and its physics are still up to par today, though, which speaks volumes about the quality of the sim. Meanwhile, AC works wonders for bringing back the same joy of those days when GTR2 was the sim to race in. And now, if you will excuse me, I will be busy trying to thread a Lister Storm through the insane chicanes at Enna Pergusa for a bit while listening to its glorious V12 soundtrack.