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Assetto Corsa – Alessandro Balzan Test Report

Kunos Simulazioni recently invited Italian racing ace Alessandro Balzan into their offices to try their Assetto Corsa title.

Kunos Simulazioni recently invited Italian racing ace Alessandro Balzan into their offices to try their Assetto Corsa title.

Balzan is an accomplished Italian racing driver, competing in the Italian GT Championshio as well as several other racing series.

Here’s his report:

Today, thanks to the staff of Assetto Corsa and Luca Casarotto, I had the opportunity to test their simulator.
I’d like to state that I’m not paid by Kunos Simulazione, except for the coffee, and indeed I’d like to thank them for their commitment and dedication. I’m looking forward to buy a copy immediately.

The impression, never had with other simulators, is the feeling of the car, the feel of the tyres / adhesion and especially not having to do “forced” trajectories where the grip is higher. I started at Imola, professional bias, with the 458 gt2, the car with which I won the 6h Vallelunga in real life.
In terms of graphics the combination of track/car give a staggering result, but I do not give that much importance to the beauty. I go out of the pits on cold tires and forcing immediately I can feel that the car is not ready .. taking it easy for 2-3 laps and apart than overshooting the braking point a couple of times, I never go in spin. It’s not me that is good but the fact that I finally feel so gradually the loss of grip on the gas. Counter steering gives an obvious waste of laptime, but also big satisfaction for having controlled oversteer in third and fourth gear.
I could never drive like this right out of the box with any simulator, 5-6 consecutive laps without crashing heavily somewhere. Sorry in advance for the long post, I will add details if anyone is interested.

Trying the 599xxEvo, that I’ve really driven, the admiration for Assetto Corsa increases. From the sound to the violence of the acceleration, to the active rear wing, stunning in the replays… and then a bit of vintage Lotus Senna (98T) where you are brainwashed… manual gearbox, locking the wheels, turbo lag… thank god for modern electronics! Beautiful and cursed at the same time.

Changing to the road car BMW M3 where Aris gave me a little lesson on drifting… you can appreciate the drive-ability and the sincerity of the steering wheel even more.. Watching the replay at Magione of car drifting, let you speechless, but not with me driving eh!!

I have one word to describe Assetto Corsa. SENSATIONAL CORSA! I’d like to thank all the guys at Assetto Corsa for the opportunity. Last thing, I wanted to write what I really think based on my real life experience, so it should be taken as a free personal thinking that you might agree or not! Ciao!

Assetto Corsa will be powered by a brand new DirectX 11 graphics engine and will come with advanced features such as blur & DOF. The title will offer extensive modding support as well as ten laser-scanned tracks and fully licensed cars as well as AI โ€“ A first for a Kunos title.

The title will be available in 2013, the title will feature licensed cars from manufacturers such as Ferrari, BMW & Lotus. Assetto Corsa recently got greenlit for Steam and will be available on Valveโ€™s popular platform as well.

  • Mike Cimuchowski

    Just makes me that much more anxious to get the full game!

  • kr1nz

    Wish we could at least have a release date or pre order button…

    • Anonymous

      +1 ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Mar Mar

      The server would’ve crashed by then.

  • Anonymous

    Would’ve liked more detail as this wasn’t much. Kunos, as usual, can’t seem to just give the fans what they want. Whatever. I’ll be buying it so I guess they don’t need to worry about me.

    • Hugo Stiglitz

      What? Read the first sentence, the guy who wrote this doesn’t work for Kunos. He’s a driver, not a game designer.

      • wajdi nujeidat

        Once, Hamilton has said the F12012 is a very good simulator!

      • Andrea Candini

        Back in time, Villeneuve said GP4 was a good simulator too. I seriously doubt that they were avid sim racer as Balzan is, though: he’s been participating in many online races with netKar Pro, so he has a clear idea of what a sim is.

      • Anonymous

        He’s a driver pulled in by Kunos to give them feedback and PR. That’s fine, I don’t have any issue with that. I just wish we’d get more detail, as I said.

  • Jardier

    Shut up and just take my money already!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • WaitingForAC

    I cant wait, this is amazing feed back from a real driver as it seems Kunos has taken note of what most of our complaints about other sims are.

  • Anonymous

    I usually take theese kind of testimonies with a huge pinch of salt but having tried the TP I definitely think Kunos are on the right track!

    • joe pineapples

      Shame its the only track ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Roger Wallentin

    Great feedback! I’ts rare to see real professional top ranked drivers try the exact car and track they have experience with in a simulator like this.

    It is also my personal experience that you feel more in control over the car in AC (tech preview), the traction limit on over and understeer as well as the transition between them is very well communicated to the driver.

    For people with real life experience but no sim racing experience, I have found that AC is much easier to start driving with.

    That said, pushing top lap times is extremely hard in AC even though keeping the car on the track is relatively easy (just like in real life).

  • Alexandre Martini

    good, but i would rather take the opinion of 20 high skilled sim racers than these real life drivers testimonials.

    • David Wright

      I’m guessing you are joking.

      • Alexandre Martini

        no, i’m not… if you look at the history of real life drivers extremely vague opinions of simulators, you see that they rarely put detail into their explanations of how the force feedback feels, how the physics relate to the experience they had with iracing, rfactor, gtr, gpl etc. it’s just a way to make a sell, not really helpful for people who race simulators every day.

      • Ghoults

        While I agree with you that real driver opinion has never been any kind of reliable source of how a sim drives at the same time that really applies to almost everyone else’s opinion as well but not your own. Somebody will like the artificial style of driving in pcars for example, some think gt5 is realistic while for someone else unrecoverable spins like in gtr1/2 are the real deal.

        In the end the only opinion that matters is your own. Testimonials are nothing more than pr and opinions on forum are just other peoples’ opinions.

      • Alexandre Martini

        yep, and i tend to put more value on opinions than PR. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • David Wright

        Well I value the opinion of someone who has driven and raced a 458GT2 over someone who hasn’t.

        10 or 15 years ago, racing drivers lack of experience with sims did mean you had to take any comments in that context. But today’s generation of drivers are familiar with sims as Alessandro is. So you are not choosing between the opinion of a simracer over a racing driver, but between a simracer with no real life racing experience and a simracer with real life racing experience.

        The problem with simracers without real life experience is they tend to judge sims by previous sims. Previous sims tended to be hard to drive on the limit, and if a new sim is easier to control on the limit, the usual reaction was/is to condemn the new sim as arcade.

      • Alexandre Martini

        lewis hamilton drove that mclaren for years before he said f1 2012 was a great sim, so no, i don’t fall for that anymore.

      • WaitingForAC

        Not really, I have heard people like Dale Jr say in public that iRacing is amazing(he got paid and was involved with the start up) Hot rumor across the various teamspeaks I frequent is that behind the scenes he has been league racing NR2003 under an alias becuase he cant stand iRacing.

        Cale Gale (Nascar winner and a hot shoe in late models across the south east) said that iRacing can “keep it” if this is what they think a car drives like.

        There are no vague opinions, either you get paid to say its awesome or you dont and most real drivers will tell you what they really think if you are fortunate to share a session with them.

      • Anonymous

        i totally agree…..but this guy has talked about the way the car drives in a pretty detailed way, they aren’t vague comments. you can clearly see the point hes trying to make.

    • Michael Hornbuckle

      You do know that there are highly skilled sim racers that don’t even have a drivers license, right? Knowing how to work the physics of any given sim doesn’t have anything to do with how a car drives in real life.

      Aris told me this was a case of a driver wanting to try the sim, no money or marketing bs going on here. He loved it and played it for 3 hours.

      • Alexandre Martini

        my mom has a driver’s license. i don’t get your point.

        also, i’m not saying that Balzan is not to be trusted… i’m just saying that this is what you read from any real world driver… they will never spot anything bad in the physics and will always say this is the next step, regardless of what they really think while trying the sim.

        a more experienced sim racer, one that does it daily and knows a lot about the subject, sometimes even having the best hardware to try the sim with, instead of a plastic wheel, gives me a better view and makes me more confident of what i’m reading.

        for example, if i rear that Huttu likes a sim and i see him describe it as good, that will have more value to me because he knows a lot about this genre… i hope you understand what i’m talking about here. see ya! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Marcel

        Huttu knows nothing about real phyics

      • Alexandre Martini

        yeah you don’t get my point. ok.

      • Anonymous

        yes but you can clearly see from the WAY hes written the piece that he knows what hes talking about when it comes to simulators. He describes very specific details about the way the car handles, and then goes on to say things like:

        “I could never drive like this right out of the box with any simulator, 5-6 consecutive laps without crashing heavily somewhere.”

        I agree, normally an argument from authority isn’t in itself good enough, just because someone is a racing driver doesn’t mean he knows what hes on about – i agree,

        but thats where you have to use your own judgement and actually read what the person has said – clearly this guy isn’t saying the usual BS you here when you read comments from drivers who have tried sim rigs.

    • WaitingForAC

      Please tell me you arent serious.

      • Alexandre Martini


    • Jay Ekkel

      We used Balzan for feedback when we did the WTCC games, and he is a pretty skilled simracer. Back in the day at least he had a simulator at home and spend plenty of time in the (virtual) seat crafting his skill.

      So the guy knows what he is talking about.

      • Alexandre Martini

        that’s better then. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Anonymous

    “The impression, never had with other simulators, is the feeling of the car, the feel of the tyres / adhesion and especially not having to do โ€œforcedโ€ trajectories where the grip is higher”

    i’ll repeat it.

    “The impression, never had with other simulators, is the feeling of the car, the feel of the tyres / adhesion and especially not having to do โ€œforcedโ€ trajectories where the grip is higher”.

    and this is exactly what i’ve been banging on about, when talking about Netkar Pro or AC, versus rfactor/iracing.

    but no one understands or listens. fine.

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