First let me say, I love racing games and played all WRC games (from 3 until 9, which I started today). I had no problems with any of the WRC games, found them easy, 3 or 4/10 difficulty.
I came here in the forums to read about the game (which I like to do when I start a new game on my profile) and I saw your posts.
I started WRC 9 today, JWRC season, won Sweden and Italy without problems. Nothing different from the other games of the series as far as I played.
So, I'd like to give you advices which may solve the problem you're having with this game:
- Did you check your PS4 controller? Maybe it could be the R2 button which is not working well, affecting your car's throttle. I had this problem with Dirt Rally 1, changed the controller, then saw it made a huge difference. Maybe try playing WRC 9 with a different controller.
- Are you using any driving assists in the game? In the WRC it's ok to use them, put the difficulty down to 50% and turn on ALL the driving assists, you will still be able to get a good time advantage from the other drivers.
- Try deleting your save data (not your game data, save data), making a backup beforehand of course, and starting a new career and comparing if the difficulty spikes are still happening.
- If you want, we could do this: I'll try to race in a specific country and place (for example, Sweden, track X, with Y settings) and post my time here, and you do the same, so we can compare our times. In this way, we can see if you are driving in a similar way to me (& the others in the thread), or if the difficulty spikes in the career mode you wrote are actually happening.
I'll be happy to help. Just quote my posts so I can see the notifications in my profile. Thanks and good luck.