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Impossibly Difficult Dirt 4

Penders1Penders1 Member New Car Smell
I'm unsure as to how difficulty works on this game, so I'd like some clarification if anyone can provide.
I'm playing with a standard xbox one controller.
I played through the tutorial portion of the game, and it decided that I was put onto champion difficulty. Not a problem, I enjoy racing games and happily went along. I played the standard rally events first and from the beginning it seemed pretty easy. I assumed it was just for the first few events to get people into it, they're easy stages and quite short so not much time to be lost unless you mess up somewhere. It stayed RELATIVELY easy for most of the career though, I made it all the way to the last 3 events and maybe lost 2 or 3 stages overall? Some were close but I was never in danger of not coming first in a championship.
I cruised the intercontinental series comfortably, but when I got onto  the "Continental Group A Rally" it was all of a sudden impossible. I was losing stages by 20 seconds despite not having any huge failings. I thought right, well this is now impossible. I came 2nd overall in the championship through going all out on every track and fortunately the racers beating me changed every race.
Cruised global rally series, came 2nd in one event won the rest but they were all close. I was winning overall by less than 10 seconds every single time which over 6 stage events for me was pretty close.
Did landrush, good new challenge, same with rally cross. They were even, I was never miles ahead but never getting hammered by the AI for no reason.
I've just moved onto the historic rally series and it is impossible. and I mean impossible. I'm not winning any events and the last stage I did which was "Bosque Bonastra - Ascenso" I came last with a time of 4:43, a minute and 9 seconds behind the guy in first. 
I then youtubed the stage to see what target times other people had on this stage. and the top video is a guy claiming to have gotten the world record and literally being top of his leaderboard (it was 3 months ago and in German) with 4:39. That time STILL would've been last in my game because the guy in 16th was on 4:31.

Tl;DR Does the difficult in this game curve? Does it just randomly assign times to the AI with them sometimes being impossible? Obviously in Rallys you don't see you opponent so is the game just making it up?

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