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ACC: An Introduction to Blancpain GT Racing

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Staff
Premium
ACC Blancpain Post - Image kouki46.jpg

Check out this interesting Assetto Corsa Competizione post about the real world Blancpain GT Series, and how it is simulated in Assetto Corsa Competizione.


Written by Kunos staff member @pankykapus for the regular ACC team blog, this is an interesting look at how the real world Blancpain GT Series is configured, and how these details are replicated in Assetto Corsa Competizione. Enjoy the read!

….

Allow us to introduce you to the world of GT3 racing and provide some information about how this specific racing series is built up and organized, in order to make sure you get the most realistic experience in Assetto Corsa Competizione.

About the real-world series

About GT3 racing

GT3 cars are FIA-homologated racing cars that offer close racing with a large number of manufacturers (10 in 2019) with vastly different chassis and engine layouts.

This class of racing cars is required to share certain components with their road equivalents, but feature a much higher amount of bespoke aero and suspension and chassis components than lower classes, such as the entry-level GT4 class.

ACC Blancpain Brands.png

Considering these cars are also designed for gentlemen drivers, ABS and Traction Control are allowed as driver aids for various track conditions.

To find the complete list of homologated cars in the year 2019, see the following document:
https://www.fia.com/file/79127/download/25108

For more information about FIA homologation, visit the following website:
https://www.fia.com/homologations

Blancpain GT Series

The Blancpain GT series is divided up into two cups, and a combined championship. These include the Blancpain GT World Challenge (formerly known as Sprint Cup) and the Blancpain GT Endurance Cup. Although they belong to the same championship, both cups have significantly different rulesets and can be considered as two different championships within one.

Teams can register for individual cups, as well as the full-season championship, which combines the results of the two.

The European Blancpain GT series also features the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps, one of the stages of the Intercontinental GT Series, which is the largest GT racing event in Europe. In the Blancpain GT championship, it is part of the Endurance Cup, and awards a higher amount of points than regular Endurance races.

The Blancpain GT series is a customer series, meaning that all teams are privately owned, manufacturers cannot run their own works teams such as in other top-tier racing series. However, certain teams receive factory support, and thus can be considered as the manufacturers’ own teams, where many works drivers are employed.

ACC Blancpain Teams.png

The Blancpain GT series uses its own BOP (balance of performance) to equalize cars across racing venues. This includes weight penalties, engine restrictions and a locked set of gear ratios.

Due to the same reason, driver changes are a common sight between and during seasons, making car entries the absolute protagonists of the series.

To find out more about the European Blancpain GT series, participating competitors, drivers and look up race results or the schedule of past and current championships, visit their website at:
https://www.blancpain-gt-series.com/

To find out more information about the regulations, visit the relevant section of the SRO website on the following link:
https://www.blancpain-gt-series.com/about/regulations

The official tyre supplier of the series is Pirelli, who produce two types of tyres, one slick compound and one wet compound. Teams are to use a restricted number of tyre sets each weekend. Detailed information on that can be found later in the tyre set section.

Driver Licence and Class

Licences

A driver’s initial categorisation is established primarily based on their record of achievements (age + career record). Continuing categorisation is determined on the assessment of their average times during the races and also on their standings.

Gold and Platinum are both professional drivers, paid by manufacturers, with the exception that for Platinum you have to have held a superlicence and won or performed well in at least two different top-tier racing series.

Silver drivers are amateurs but their requirement is to be under 30, be faster throughout the season than the average and having won non-professional series (Ferrari Challenge etc.)

Bronze drivers are gentlemen drivers who usually also run the teams and make it possible financially for the entry to qualify, but often some of these entries get factory support and they make deals with manufacturers to employ factory drivers.

Age is also a factor, professional drivers above a certain age automatically get demoted by one, and 60+ automatically gets demoted to Bronze. This is how established drivers such as Chris Goodwin and Riccardo Patrese fall under the Bronze category.

To find out more about FIA driver categorisation, visit the following link:
https://www.fia.com/fia-driver-categorisation


Classes

The class an entry is eligible to compete in is defined by the drivers who are registered for the car.

PRO or Overall entries consist of professional drivers and they do not have their own class. Points are scored based on the overall finishing positions.

PRO-AM entries consist of both professional and amateur drivers, creating an interesting mix of both fast and slower drivers, where the advantages play out in long-distance racing. PRO-AM entries have their own class, meaning that points are also scored in their own standings.

SILVER is a relatively new class, and it is gaining more and more popularity in the Blancpain GT series. SILVER entries consist exclusively of Silver-category drivers, and they also have their own standings and points scoreboard.

AM entries consist exclusively of Bronze drivers, who also compete in their own class.

ACC Blancpain Standings.png

The current standings, including overall and class classifications, of the official SRO Blancpain GT Championship can be found in the following link:
https://www.blancpain-gt-series.com/standings


Race Formats

Sprint Race Weekend

Sprint Races are short time-based races that originally consist of two 1-hour races. It includes Free Practice 1, Free Practice 2 and Qualifying sessions. Each Free Practice session can last up to 90 minutes.

The Qualifying session is split into 2 parts (Q1 and Q2), and can last up to 60 minutes. Two drivers take part in both race sessions, with each driver participating in their corresponding Qualifying split (Driver 1 in Q1 and Driver 2 in Q2). The grid of Race 1 will be drawn up according to the results of Q1, while the grid of Race 2 will be drawn up according to the results of Q2.

Driver 1 will take the start of Race 1, while Driver 2 will take the start of Race 2.

In each race, there is a mandatory 10-minute pit window for changing drivers and tyres. No refuelling is allowed.

The mandatory pitstop is only considered complete if it included a driver swap as well as a complete tyre change.

3-Hour Endurance Weekend

The 3H Endurance race is a time-based race that originally lasts for 3 hours. It includes Free Practice, Pre-Qualifying and Qualifying sessions. Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying can last up to 90 minutes, and it is possible to modify the setup in both these sessions.

Qualifying is split into 3 parts (Q1, Q2, Q3), and can last up to 60 minutes. Minimum 2 and maximum 3 different drivers will drive the same car, with each participating in their corresponding Qualifying split (Driver 1 in Q1, Driver 2 in Q2, Driver 3 in Q3).

The resulting overall qualifying time will consist of the combined average time achieved by the drivers in Q1, Q2 and Q3. Depending on the number of splits completed, the qualified car will be marked with a QR number. QR=1 signalling that each split (Q1, Q2, Q3) were attended; while QR=2, 3, 4 marking 2, 1 or 0 qualifying split(s) attended, respectively. The results of the Qualifying session are determined first by the QR and then by the average time set by each car.

During the race, no single stint may exceed 65 minutes.

Two full-service pit stops are mandated where all four tyres must be replaced and the car must be refuelled.

6-Hour Endurance Weekend

The 6H Endurance race is a time-based race that originally lasts for 6 hours. It includes Free Practice, Pre-Qualifying and Qualifying sessions. Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying can last up to 90 minutes, and it is possible to modify the setup in both these sessions.

Qualifying is split into 3 parts (Q1, Q2, Q3), and can last up to 60 minutes. Minimum 2 and maximum 3 different drivers will drive the same car, with each participating in their corresponding Qualifying split (Driver 1 in Q1, Driver 2 in Q2, Driver 3 in Q3).

The resulting overall qualifying time will consist of the combined average time achieved by the drivers in Q1, Q2 and Q3. Depending on the number of splits completed, the qualified car will be marked with a QR number. QR=1 signalling that each split (Q1, Q2, Q3) were attended; while QR=2, 3, 4 marking 2, 1 or 0 qualifying split(s) attended, respectively. The results of the Qualifying session are determined first by the QR and then by the average time set by each car.

During the race, no single stint may exceed 65 minutes.

Five full-service pit stops are mandated where all four tyres must be replaced and the car must be refuelled.

24-Hour Endurance Weekend


The 24H Endurance race is a time-based race that originally lasts for 24 hours, and is traditionally held at Circuit du Spa Francorchamps. It includes Free Practice, Pre-Qualifying, Qualifying, Superpole and Warmup sessions. Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying can last up to 90 minutes, and it is possible to modify the setup in both these sessions.

Qualifying is split into 4 parts (Q1, Q2, Q3), and can last up to 60 minutes. The top 20 cars according to the combined Qualifying results are eligible for the Superpole session, in which they can complete 2 timed laps to decide the final starting order for the Race. With the exception of the Pro category, where the number of drivers is maximized at 3, minimum 3 and maximum 4 different drivers will drive the same car, with each participating in their corresponding Qualifying split (Driver 1 in Q1, Driver 2 in Q2, Driver 3 in Q3 and Driver 4 in Q4).

Cars competing with only 3 drivers will participate in Q2, Q3 and Q4 only. The resulting overall qualifying time will consist of the combined average time achieved by the drivers in Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4. Depending on the number of splits completed, the qualified car will be marked with a QR number. QR=1 signalling that each split (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4) were attended; while QR=2, 3, 4, 5 marking 3, 2, 1 or 0 qualifying split(s) attended, respectively.

The results of the Qualifying session are determined first by the QR and then by the average time set by each car. The Race session is preceded by a 20-minute Warmup session.

During the Race, no single driver stint may exceed 65 minutes.

There are no additional rules related to pitstops, teams are free to change tyres and refuel the car as many times as possible, as long as drivers comply with the 65-minute stint rule.

About Assetto Corsa Competizione

In Assetto Corsa Competizione, you can experience all types of official race weekends, as well as a number of individual and customized game modes that combine the various elements of the real-life series.

Individual game modes
Individual game modes are single-car sessions where the objective is to achieve results based on the conditions and requirements.

Practice
Practice is a free-roam game mode, where lap times are stored but there are no results at the end of the session. It allows you to practice in any car on any track in any weather conditions you set.

Hotlap
Hotlap mode allows you to set lap times in a static environment, where track and weather conditions are reset lap after lap to allow you set comparable lap times as long as you wish. In this game mode there is only one aim: set the fastest lap time in a laboratory-like environment.

Hotstint
Hotstint mode introduces you to the world of endurance racing. A stint is the duration while the driver is in the car in between pit stops. With this mode, you can practice long-distance driving and build consistency. Contrary to Hotlap mode, here the track is not static, it evolves and reacts to both weather and your driving. This mode requires to be fast and consistent. The best time is the most amount of laps driven in the shortest time possible.

Superpole
This game mode is based on the superpole session of the 24 Hours of Spa race, where the top 20 qualifiers are put in a short two-lap shootout for the best grid position. Your aim here is to set the fastest lap time in the duration of just two fast laps.

Multi-car game modes
These game modes are all race-oriented and build up to one thing: finish in the best position you can.

Quickrace
This game mode allows you to experience a single race session with no Free Practice or Qualifying session, with no mandatory pitstop or driver stint time limit.

Sprint Race Weekend
This game mode allows you to experience a full weekend of the Blancpain World Challenge Series (formerly known as the Sprint Cup).

The main characteristic of a Sprint weekend is that it consists of two independent races where cars of two drivers compete, and where there is a mandatory tyre change and driver swap in a pre-defined 10-minute pit window. The mandatory pitstop must include a driver swap (done automatically by the game if the player pits within the pit window for the first time) and tyre change.

Individual driver performance is important, since each qualifying session determines the starting grid of the corresponding race. Each race is started by a different driver.

NOTE: selecting a shorter race duration will adjust the pit window accordingly. Selecting the shortest race duration (10 minutes) will change the pit window time to 6 minutes.

3H/6H Endurance Race Weekend
This game mode allows you to experience a full weekend of the Blancpain Endurance Cup.

In these game modes, there is only one long-distance race session, where teamplay is key. The entries consist of three drivers.

The race starting grid is defined by the combination of each driver’s laptime in the three qualifying sessions. Two (3H) or five (6H) driver swaps are required after maximum 60+5 minutes of driving that must be performed with tyre change and refuelling.

NOTE: selecting a shorter race duration will adjust the driver stint times accordingly. Remaining driver stint time is displayed on the racing HUD. The player will always have extra 5 minutes to perform the pitstop, regardless of the stint time.

24H Endurance Race Weekend
This game mode allows you to experience a full weekend of the gemstone of the Blancpain GT Series, the 24-hour endurance race.

The difference from “regular” Endurance race weekends is the length of the race (full 24 hours), and the presence of an additional qualifying session (Superpole), which is a 2-lap shootout of the fastest 20 cars from the regular qualifying sessions. Consequently, the top-20 positions of the final race grid is decided by the Superpole session. Pitstop rules only specify the requirement of driver swaps after a maximum stint time of 60+5 minutes.

Custom Race Weekend
This game mode allows you to experience a full race weekend with the rules you set. You can combine both Sprint and Endurance cup rules to tailor it with your preferred game features.

Custom race weekend lets you choose between pit window and driver stint as the pitstop rule. The description of these rules can be found above.

Special game modes
Special game modes are available that move away from individual sessions or race weekends. These game modes allow the player to play a sequence of sessions.

Career

The career mode allows the player to follow a storyline and be introduced to the world of GT3 racing.

The player has to complete test sessions, which gauge his driving abilities in various racing conditions, including dry, night and rain. The player is then invited to participate in a select number of race weekends, which consist of Sprint and Endurance type races.

During the career, the player receives scores based on how successfully he completes each session, where bonus points are awarded for various skills, such as racecraft.

Championship

The championship allows the player to compete in the official Blancpain GT series. Sprint, Endurance and Full season options are available, which allow the player to participate in 5-10 race weekends and score point with his entry of choice in the championship. In the official Sprint and Endurance and Full season modes, the player’s entry choices are restricted to real-life competitors.

A custom championship mode is available, where the player can define the race type of each weekend independently from the official championship. In addition, here the player has a free choice of car entry that is free from the official entrants.

Points are awarded in top 10 positions in each round of the championship. In Sprint race weekend, both races receive points. The championship also awards points on a per-class basis, introducing competitions within competition.

Special Events

Special Events are seasonal single-event game modes that allow players to compete on an online leaderboard. Event types vary from Hotlap, Hotstint to Superpole, and pose different challenges on various track and car combinations.

Special Event results are stored online and the events rotate on a seasonal basis.
To see the current roster of online special events, visit the following link:
https://www.assettocorsa.net/forum/...events-season-1-results-season-2-opens.59014/

Image credit at head of article: kouki46

Assetto Corsa Competizione is available now on PC.

For more from the world of ACC, why not head over to our Assetto Corsa Competizione sub forum and get yourself into the thick of the action? We have a great and knowledgeable community, plus some pretty epic League and Club Racing events, if I do say so myself. Go on, treat yourself!

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The Introduction is useful information for sure, it's just a shame this has to be explained in text format rather than having been made an integral part of the game. There is a career mode, this would have been an ideal way to introduce all these aspects. A few more short video clips explaining the main aspects would also have been far more interactive and immersive - I'm sure there is a friendly race team out there with a team principle and engineer who'd have explained the ideas in a set of 1-3 minute clips (& yes skippable for the experienced).

I want to balance this because there is so much to enjoy about ACC from the car handling, wheel feedback, the difference between the feel of the cars, weather transition, graphics (4k on a high-end system) and superb sound. As a tech demo GT3 driving experience it is, for me, awesome, turning a few laps in the hot lap and hot stint modes gives a real-world feeling of being on track with the element of risk and reward (risk in terms of invalid laps if not instant death as requested earlier in the thread ;) )

I've had over 90 hours of fun from the game so it's good enough from a cost/play perspective. It's just a shame the player is left to find the best experience.

What really surprises me is that Kunos had the basis for a superb career with the Driver Rating system. The career could so easily have walked the player through each aspect of Blancpain GT3 racing and tracked the various elements of the driver rating system. It still looks to me within career mentions of 'brake tests' and 'engine map tests' that this was the intention but it was never finished.

The comparison with F1 2017/18/19 has to be made. F1 leads the player through the key elements in practice sessions and tests. The player is walked through smooth laps, tyre saving, fuel-saving, hot laps etc. The F1 online in-game driver rating system also works well, it's simplified but it works. In ACC the player is left to work out that the consistency and cornering rating systems can be used to help improve lap times. No laptime boards per car and track seem like a serious oversight in 2019, leaderboard time chasing is a big part of the fun.

I see so much potential for how the career mode and single-player elements of ACC could have been. What has been delivered in terms of the single-player experience so far disappoints. It's the usual mix of Kunos genius in the car handling but wrapped up in an odd online racing solution that is as chaotic as any other and a career mode that is out of date and looks unfinished.

I see this as pretty much the Kunos way since the console versions of AC, a superb technical driving experience is almost guaranteed and in many ways genius. On the other hand, the gameplay is an afterthought and mostly for the player to find for themselves. As with reading this article, enjoying ACC requires some effort.
 
Why have there been features in EA that are not anymore in the released version?
- where are(is?) the pit crew?
- where is the mid-session save?
- has the driverswap feature been implemented by now?
- I haven't seen the spectator mode working yet. If it's working by now, any introduction to the feature ingame would have been nice.

- Where do I find the schedule for the competition server? Will I have to write down the times, when the server tells me join is available or is there any way to find out times? for me it's currently try and error.

- Why is it so hard in ACC for people to install proper running servers? Did they change so much in Setup und explain so little?

I'm just confused, sad about hard to find information about how this game is working and deeply disappointed...
 
But they really have to update the tracklimits, Coz in the reallity they drive in some corners sooooo wide... In ACC you simple cant drive like them :(
 
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