How do you mean it gets a pass?
For the record, I left the difficulty setting for the AI cars on normal. Which is I found trivially easy to beat. The real metric for how I did on a stage was the online leaderboards, although they don’t distinguish who’s playing with which assists. I do find it interesting to note who’s driving which cars. Really, if this were a competitive game, they would break down times by car. I did set the damage model to severe because I like the damage system in this. I like having to drive more carefully. I like how it reflects that the more powerful and more complex cars are also more frail. On severe, once you get into the 80s, one good whack head-on into a tree can knock you out of a race.
But there’s really no reward system in Art of Rally, so I’m not sure what you think they should do. It’s simply not that kind of game.