GT4 B-License Guide

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License B-1

Track: Test Course

Car: '99 Mazda Demio

My Time: 9.99

This is by far the easiest test Polyphony Digital has ever devised. I've seen veteran GT players complain online about what a waste of time this test is. But in my opinion, B1 is great for newbs. That's who it's designed for--those players who are just entering the game from Day 1 (literally). Can you go? And can you stop???

1). Before the test starts, you can rev the engine near redline, or rev near idle, it doesn't matter. You can even push the accelerator fully, bouncing off the RPM limiter without a care. But if you want a super-low time you can brag about, it's best to modulate the throttle.

2). As the test starts, take off in 1st gear carefully, giving just enough throttle so the front tires don't slip. Let the tachometer go a bit into the redline area, then shift into 2nd.

3). Drive about halfway into the giant ZERO (on the ground), then start braking. Downshift from 2nd to 1st as you brake. As you near the finish area, you can even slam the e-brake for a shorter stop.

4). Your car may be about halfway past the finish line. This is fine, the clock should stop.


License B2

Track: Test Course

Car: '95 Mitsubishi 3000 GT VR-4 Turbo

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 10.965

1). Rev the engine at about 2,000 rpms. When the test starts, you can safely hit the gas fully. As all four tires slip a tad, the car launches perfectly.

2). Shift into 2nd at redline. Shift into 3rd when necessary.

3). About halfway thru the 100 and 200 meter marks is a white line on the ground. Just after you drive across it, use the brakes partially. This is a judgement call; you want to give the 3000 GT some time to slow without stopping too early.

4). As the car nears the finish line, stomp on the brakes more fully.

5). You can also use the e-brake just in the last few tenths to bring this heavy car to a halt.

License B3

Track: Deep Forest, turn 1

Car: '92 Honda del Sol SiR

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 30.852

Now we're about to do what pro-racers call an 'out-in-out'. We'll need to take this corner from the outside, work our way inwards, and leave by driving towards the outside of the track. During races (where other cars are on the track), it's not always possible to make an out-in-out, but doing so often makes for the best lap times.

This test is a cruel joke to those of us who did license tests in Gran Turismo 1. B3 in this first game (del Sol at Deep Forest Turn 1) is exactly the same in GT4; and many have said B3 was one of the toughest tests of GT1. Fortunately, GT4/B3 is shockingly easy.

1). So I forgot to tell you this earlier. It's best to be using a manual transmission, rather than an automatic, because with a manual you'll have more control. Go into the OPTIONS menu and change from AT to MT. Matter of fact, now that you've got manual selected, it's best to keep it that way. Some tests are impossible to gold with an automatic.

2). Before the test starts, rev the engine high.  During the demo, the driver starts at 7,000 rpms, which is fine. The del Sol has its traction controls (TCS) activated, so you can safely nail the gas full-on as the test starts, even tho it's a front-drive car.

3). Shift to 2nd at redline. And 3rd. Make your way over to the right-hand side of the track.

4). Do NOT shift into 4th. The del Sol will start to redline, but do not shift up...

• An automatic transmission will shift into 4th just before the del Sol approaches the turn, costing time and making things a bit awkward. Although it is possible to attain gold with an automatic, it's easier to control (and saves time) if a manual is used.

5). You will pass 3 red & white signs on the right: 100m, 50m, and 25m. Just before you pass 25m, carefully start steering to the left. Do not brake yet.

6). Make your way inwards as tight as possible without necessarily touching the red & white curb on the car's left. Fully nail the brakes, shift into 2nd as the car nears the inside.

7). You may need to coast for about a half-second after braking. Don't nail the gas too early or this car will wind up understeering into the grass on the far side of Turn 1.

8). Nail the gas fully as you leave this turn and it feels safe to do so. The TCS activates, keeping the del Sol out of trouble (unlike the del Sol of GT1). As you're able to leave the turn and straighten those front wheels, notice how acceleration picks up dramatically! This is the side-effect once TCS shuts off.

9). Climb the hill, upshifting into 3rd when necessary. The test ends at the top of the hill.

License B4

Track: Deep Forest, Turn 1

Car: '96 Nissan Silvia Q's Aero

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 29.727

Again, B4 is pretty much the same test in both GT1 and GT4. Now we're driving a rear-drive (RWD) car instead of a front-drive. RWD cars are more prone to oversteer than FWD, but (again) this Nissan has TCS activated, so oversteeris not a problem.

1). Rev the engine anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 rpms before the test starts. This is the proper torque area for the Silvia Q's.

2). As the clock tolls down (3...2...1...BEEP!) jam the gas on fully on the beep. Shift up in gears (2nd and 3rd) just at the redline. Work your way over to the right side of the track.

3). This time, you want to start steering left earlier than you did in B3. So just as the car passes 100m, carefully steer into the turn. Again, you don't have to drive over the red & white curbing on the inside of the turn. It's possible to do so and still strike gold, but driving onto the curb too aggressively causes the Silvia to lose stability, which can possibly cost time.

4). This part is a bit intuitive. Nail the brakes just before the car reaches the inside of the turn. You'll eventually get a feel for when to do this--there is some leeway here...watching & pausing the demo helps. Shift down into 2nd after you've slowed the Silvia, and it's rolling towards the inside. You've now gone from roughly 87 mph to about 43.

5). Stay in 2nd gear. Hammer the gasoline when safe, but keep that steering tight so the car doesn't drive off into the grass.

6). Again, drive up the hill...upshift...bla bla bla.


License B5

Track: Tsukuba (full course)

Car: '02 Mini ONE

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 1:26.981

Any skilled GT player will have cruised thru those first 4 tests, earning gold gold gold gold in minutes. Now we're thrown for a loop.

In this test, you'll be driving a heavily-understeering Mini on crappy N2 tires with TCS on. This makes the Mini incredibly difficult to steer & maneuver. TCS will slow us down to a crawl as the car leaves corners. Oh, and you'll be following a Nissan Skyline GTR pace car. :) In all GT4 tests, you don't wanna hit the pace car or they'll get mad and immediately FAIL the test.

• I highly recommend you watch the demo over and over, using either the "bumper" view or the "hood" view--as these are the views you'll be using (most likely) as you drive. It helps to know how to steer into corners, when to brake, and how fast you'll need to be going. GT4 is trying to teach us a bunch of valuable lessons in the B5 test that you'll use again and again during later tests.

1). Rev the engine between 6,000 to 7,000 rpms at the start. TCS will help launch the Mini. I mean MINI.

2). As you shift to 2nd, jerk the steering so the MINI starts working its way to the left side of the track. Get as far left as you can without rolling onto grass.

3). You're about to approach Turn #1--a tight hairpin. There's a pattern Polyphony Digital requires for hairpin turns we must follow to save time: again, it's that out-in-out pattern. Tests B3 and B4 taught us the preliminaries, and hopefully you watched the B5 demo to learn further. The MINI is trickier to maneuver than the del Sol or Silvia.

3a). Turn-in first...DO NOT immediately brake. Nose the MINI towards the inside of the turn. Don't steer too hard or you'll wind up too far inside, rolling over the rumble strip, which (again) often costs time. But you do want to be as far inwards as possible without rolling over the strip.

3b). When the red brake indicator starts to flash, ignore it. Again, this is intuitive, you'll eventually "know" when it's time to brake, and it won't always be when the indicator tells us.

3c). When you finally brake, you don't need to hit the brakes fully for multiple seconds...usually a half-second of braking will do. Slamming the brakes can possibly slow the car too much; ruining the flow that's needed to attain thru the three Tsukuba hairpins. Instead, use your intuition to know just how much brakes to give. After braking, the MINI will coast thru the rest of the hairpin, its front tires catching the brunt of inertia safely.

3d). DO NOT shift down into 1st gear. Instead, leave it in 2nd. Carefully let the gas back in as you pass the inside of the hairpin; too much will cause understeer so be careful.

3e). If you're like me and use analog sticks on the DS2 to steer, you can gain slight bits of time by switching to the D-pad momentarily as you leave corners. Tap the d-pad as the front-end is straightened up. Acceleration returns in full as the TCS shuts off. As you leave this first turn, it's okay if you wind up on the far (left) side of the track...just don't drive into the grass.

• So for Turn 1, you don't wanna be going any slower than 38 or 39 mph.

4). Turns 2 and 3 are slight S-turns that weave left and then right. Just cruise thru at full speed in as straight a line as possible, going from the left to the right side of the track.

5). As you approach turn 4 (the 2nd hairpin) DO NOT shift into 3rd. Instead, leave it in 2nd. Consult steps 3a thru 3e and (again) use your intuition to get thru this turn. Cruise thru this turn at a minimum of 33 mph.

6). Turn 5 is approaching, which is a sharp bend. You won't need brakes; instead, release the gas momentarily as you drive over the red & white curb on the inside of the bend. Turn 5 is one of the rare times that we can safely drive over a rumble strip. The idea is to preserve as much speed as possible. You'll be doing about 55 mph at the slowest. Mash the gas when safe.

7). Turns 6 and 7 are lazy bends. Steer as little as possible to avoid activating TCS. Keep the gas on full. Shift into 3rd gear briefly.

8. Turn 8. Another hairpin. Steer-in, brake, and downshift into 2nd just as you did in the other hairpins. Go no slower than 31 mph.

9). Turn 9/the final turn. As the pace car enters this turn, it brakes immediately. However, you can wait almost a full second after the MINI's brake indicator starts to flash.

10). Matter of fact, steer inwards from the left side of the track, and then start to brake when the MINI is approximately in the middle of the track.

11). Bring it down to about 75 mph. As you drive thru this final, long curve, modulate the car's steering and fuel so it's somewhere between 65 and 70 mph; averaging about 68.

• You don't wanna steer too hard and wind up "gripping" towards the inside of the track...the red & white rumble strip on the inside will screw up  speed and/or steering if you drive on it even slightly. It's possible to run over it inadvertantly and still make gold, but it should not be our aim to include the strip (or most any strip) as we drive.

12). You don't wanna give too much gas in this final curve. Towards the end, it sharpens up. If you're giving too much, you'll wind up in the grass. :)


License B6

Track: Test Course

Car: '03 Renault Megane 2.0 16v

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 22.682

Now we're back at the Test Curse...I mean Course, for yet another braking scenario. This time we'll need to stop at 500 meters.

1). This front-drive Renault is not equipped with TCS, so launch carefully. Rev the engine lowish--I start at about 2,000 rpms and carefully build acceleration. Too much gas too early will cause massive wheelspin (you'll see what I mean), which costs time.

2). Shift into 2nd and 3rd, both shifts can be struck near redline. There's a white line halfway between the 400 and 500 meter marks. Start to brake fully before this line. Watch & pause the demo to get a clue when you'll need to start braking.

3). Again, I like to downshift into 2nd, and then 1st as I brake, and use the e-brake just as the car pulls into the finish area.


License B7

Track: Test Course

Car: '99 Dodge Viper GTS

Tires: All-season radials

My Time: 26.925

Still at the Test Course. *sigh* This time we've got a super-car to manage.

1). The demo guy launches in 1st gear and bounces the RPM limiter with wild abandon, which is tricky and actually costs time. I recommend starting this test in 2nd gear instead if you want a wheelspin-free launch. Launching in 1st can get us a slightly lower time if it's done than 2nd, but it's trickier. You'll need to start at low RPMs, and feed gas carefully if you drive off in 1st.

2). If you're using 2nd gear, rev the engine near redline, and drop the hammer fully (give full gas) as the clock goes BEEP! The Viper has so much torque, it will safely pull in 2nd with no drama.

3). Shift up to 3rd, then 4th gear. Peak horsepower in a GTS is at 5,200 rpms, and the engine can be shifted at about 5,500--which is 500 rpms before the redline. The V10 engine will propel this car a tad faster if you shift early; waiting for redline costs small amounts of time...yet another reason it's best to use a manual gearbox.

4). Pass the 800 meter mark. About halfway between 800 meters and the white line up ahead (which indicates 850 meters), start braking fully. In other words, start braking at about 825 meters.

• The Viper is a heavy car, and it's on crappy N2 tires. Normally you wouldn't need so much space to bring it to a full stop. Again, slam the e-brake just as you pull into the Finish area.


License B8

Track: Twin Ring Motegi, final turn

Car: '91 Mazda Miata J-limited

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 15.365

B8 can be surprisingly difficult, even though it's just one turn. Another hairpin approach/departure, yet PD lowered the Gold time to make sure only good players will accomplish B8 with gold. If you're having problems, just remember: it IS possible to gold this test, many have golded it before you, so it's possible YOU can do it too. Get into a zen-like mode if you can, where nothing bothers you. All of this has helped me in the past with tests like this one.

1). The computer automatically starts the Miata heading towards this corner on the left side of the track. Rolling in 3rd gear.

2). Pass 50 meters. The brake indicator will start to flash. Ignore it for now and start turning inwards towards the right. We're gonna use the same lessons we've learned during previous tests here at B8.

3). Brake fully as you approach this turn, but not too early. Again, it's desirable to preserve as much speed as possible without understeer ruining everything. You want to wind up in the middle of the track, not too far inwards. It's very easy to wind up running over the rumble strip, or thru the grass on the inside of this corner if the Miata is steered too aggro, so be intuitive about this.

4). Brake till you're down to no less than 35 mph. Downshift into 2nd. You should now be about halfway thru the hairpin.

5). Modulate throttle while leaving this turn. Keep the steering cranked, letting it out slowly. The Miata only has about 118 horses, so you can safely mash the gas with no wheelspin as the leaves B8.



You don't actually need to even attempt this test, so for now I'll skip it. I suck at coffee breaks, anyways.

License B9

Track: Twin Ring Motegi, final turn

Car: '03 BMW M3 CSL

Tires: N3 summer radials

My Time: 12.532

Same test, same corner as B8. Only difference: now we've got a more powerful car to navigate. Also, PD equipped it with N3 tires, rather than the usual (and crappier) N2s. The BMW weighs quite a bit, though, and is not comfortable being shod with these road tires under so much pressure...which I believe are supposed to be the equivalent to the sort of radials used during warm weather.

1). Again, the test starts already rolling. The computer automatically heads the Beemer towards the left side of the track as the test begins.

2). Nearing the hairpin, ignore the brake indicator. But this time, slam the brakes earlier than you did in the Miata. Brake just after passing 50 meters.

3). Steer-in carefully as you brake. Downshift into 2nd. You wanna be going no slower than 35 mph. The BMW (unlike the Mazda MX5 we just drove) wants to understeer and oversteer as it leaves this corner, so feed the gas more carefully, and keep steering tight till it's safe to floor the accelerator.


License B10

Track: Laguna Seca, full course

Car: '02 CitroŽn C3 1.6L

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 2:13.776

If you're a GT warrior and have driven thousands of laps at Laguna Seca ever since GT2 was released, then B10 actually won't be too difficult. For newer players, the trickiest thing about this test is (again) we're driving a front-drive weakling on cheap tires, with traction controls ON. So the key is to watch the demo, follow the pace car, and corner as carefully as you can without activating the TCS.

I won't give a step-by-step thru the track this time because as I said, this test isn't very hard. If you're having trouble, a great thing to do is...

1). Buy or use a front-drive hatchback that weighs about 2,400 pounds and has about 110 horsepower. It doesn't have to be a CitroŽn C3. Put N2 tires on it, and leave the car otherwise stock. Turn the ASC off, but leave TCS in the default setting (usually 5).

3). Drive around Laguna Seca again and again, lap after lap, till you learn this course like the back of your hand. Your lap times should fall as you master. Focus on driving out-in-out for most of Laguna's bends. Not all turns require brakes. Matter of fact:

Turn 1: hard braking before turn. Downshift into 2nd.

Turn 2: A right. Brakes are needed sparingly. Downshift into 2nd again.

Turn 3: Another sharp right. Brakes aren't needed at all, and it's okay to leave the car in 3rd gear without a downshift. Carefully release the throttle instead. While turning-in, rolling over the rumble strip is okay here.

Turn 4: Sharp lefty. Brake hard before turn, downshift, etc.

Turn 5: Approximately 70 degree left. Brakes aren't needed here, but if you do use them, it's usually just a tap and no more.

Turn 6: The corkscrew at the top of the hill, which is a combination right/left. Brake fully while downshifting from 4th to 3rd to 2nd, turning-in carefully, and aiming for the 2nd part of the corkscrew. This 2nd kink (unlike all the other turns so far) will be taken out-in-in. You don't need to get all the way to the left as you leave.  

Turn 7: Fast downhill lefty. Brakes are definately needed, mostly in a straight line, before turning-in. The pace car takes it too hot, driving a little into the sand off-track. Try not to do this.

Turn 8: another left. Again, brake fully before turning-in.

Turn 9: Final turn. Brake fully in a straight line before turning-in, downshifting to 2nd, and leaving. Even tho this is a super-slow turn, gas must be very carefully monitored as the CitroŽn leaves this final kink to avoid the outside sand-trap.

Final tip: in this test, the brake indicator acts more reliably. As it flashes, you'll want to pay attention and start braking right away.

.....It is amazing how easy you'll dish some Gold with a few laps of practice. You don't need to be perfect for B10--I've attained gold with semi-sloppy driving.

License B11

Track: Grand Canyon Course.

Car: '86 Toyota Celica 2000GT-4

Tires: off-road

My Time: 17.417

Those of us who did license tests in GT2 and 3 might remember how easy some of the off-road tests were. Well no more! Although B11 doesn't require precise maneuvering, it's still a tricky one to tackle.

1). Rev the engine at or just past redline without bouncing off the RPM limiter. As the test starts, hammer the throttle.

2). You're immediately up down a curve. Stay near the right-hand side.

3). Shift into 2nd as the Celica climbs the hill.

4). The brake indicator starts to flash. Let it go for about a half-second, then brake & start turning-in towards the left. Don't turn so much that you're bouncing into the red mesh on the inside of this hairpin.

• Unlike pavement driving, you'll want to turn rather aggressively here on the dirt road to initiate a controlled slide. This helps maintain speed. On the other hand, I've also golded this test with typical out-in-out driving....but sliding is more fun! 

5). As the Celica gets sideways, kick down into 1st gear. 2nd will bog-down too much, slowing our revs & speed. Hammer the throttle when the path is clear.


License B12

Track: Swiss Alps

Car: '85 Peugeot 205 Turbo 16

Tires: off-road

My Time: 17.466

This one is deceptive; even tho it's only one turn, B12 is tricky.

1). B12 is a rolling-start test, so drive and shift into 3rd when you can. The Peugeot can be on the left-hand side of the track, but you don't have to be all the way left. There is some leeway here since Swiss Alps is such a wide track.

2). DO NOT brake or downshift as you enter the turn. As you approach, notice the two orange utility trucks parked towards the right on the inside of the turn.

3). Just before the orange trucks go off-screen (in other words, just before you can't see them on your TV screen) crank the steering hard to the right. Don't turn too roughly (which can cause a spin), but don't turn too mildly (which might cause the Pug to slam the opposite barrier).

4). The Peugeot should now be in a mild slide, going about 77 mph. Modulate gas while  carefully steering/sliding into this turn.

5). The Peugeot is going to want to oversteer into a spin if you turn or accelerate too harshly. So carefully straighten the steering--give a flick of countersteer if you have to, release the throttle momentarily if you have to. When the car is steady, rush onward.


License B13

Track: Tsukuba Circuit, final turn

Car: '00 Fiat Barchetta Giovani

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time 22.638

Now we're back in Japan at Tsukuba. This test was quite a toughie for me when I was starting GT4 license tests, but now it's not so tough.

1). The Fiat starts-off rolling. Shift into 3rd gear.

2). I find it's best to inch slightly to the left while the track is still straight. Just give a couple left nudges. Otherwise, the car'll wind up somewhat in the middle of the track once the turn starts--not where we want to be.

3). In case you don't know it, if you press the R3 button (press your right analog stick straight down) a "cheater line" will trace itself onto the track. For this particular test, I admit I needed this cheat when I was first attempting B13. Nothing wrong with this if you're having probs. The line tells us where we need to be in this vague turn. It also tells us not to brake too heavily, and maintain our speed by releasing the throttle several times. † Modulating throttle is VERY necessary to avoid understeer during this test.

4. You don't wanna steer too hard (don't touch the inside red & white curbing....this will bounce the Fiat and destroy its cornering path). And you don't wanna steer too little, or give too much gas. Either action will guarantee understeer. Maintain a speed between 64 and 68 mph.

(†) You can also "feather" the throttle thru this turn. I find this very effective; better than just backing-off altogether. What this means is you're rapidly tapping the gas on and off so that a constant speed is maintained.


License B14

Track: El Capitan, turns 1, 2, and 3

Car:'03 Infiniti G35 coupe

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 18.001

An easy test in my opinion.

1). As the test starts, the Infiniti is already rolling. Shift into 3rd and drive thru Turn 1 flat-out, staying to the (Turn 1 is little more than a kink in the road).

2). If you're using a manual transmission, don't shift up, instead leave it in 3rd.

3). As you cross the bridge, you should be on the right side of the track. The brake indicator will start to flash. Ignore it for now and turn in to the left carefully.

4). You're nearing the inside of the 2nd turn. Brake fully to about 57 mph. Carefully give some gas.

5). The G20 wants to understeer. Although the track is wide, you need to be careful as you leave turn 2. Turn 3 is (again) little more than a kink in the road, but if you're understeering too much, you'll wind up smacking into the dirt on the right side. Back off the throttle if you need to.


License B15

Track: Infineon Raceway, full course

Car: '00 Chryser PT Cruiser

Tires: N2 all-season radials

My Time: 2:17.707

This test is similar to B10. If you're having trouble, best medicine is to purchase a PT Cruiser, equip it with N2 tires, turn ASC off but leave TCS on default. And then do multiple laps around the Infinion Road Course. This test isn't too difficult once you learn the track. I'd rate it a 2 out of 5 so far as difficulty goes. Like the Laguna Seca test, some curves can be taken with no (or little) braking.


License B16

Track: Tsukuba Circuit, turns 5 thru 7

Car: '04 BMW 120d

Tires: N2 all season radials

My Time: 23.675

Everyone's got a test that they really HATE. This is one of mine. Grrrr.

1). We're already rolling in 3rd gear. Immediately inch a tad over to the left side of the course.

2. Notice there's a small area of dirt where the left side of the track ends. You want to be as near to this area (without driving into the dirt) as you can be.

3). As soon as the brake indicator starts flashing, make a hard right. DO NOT BRAKE. Drive across the track using about half-throttle. It's okay to drive over the curbing on the inside of this hard turn. You don't wanna be going any slower than 60 mph. As you leave this turn, you'll also wind up driving partially on the red & white curb on your left because it takes as much cornering-path as possible to maintain speed and make some gold.

4). That was the hard part. Now, take the gentle left sweeper that's coming up flat-out. Which is race-driver speak for no brakes or reduced throttle.

6). Okay here's where it gets hard-er. As the BMW approaches turn 7 (final Tsukuba hairpin) notice there's another patch of dirt on the left side of the track. As you pass it, the brake indicator begins to flash. Ignore it.

7). Drive towards the hairpin and gently turn-in to the right. Brake hard. There's no reliable indicator that tells us where to start braking, so if you need help, use the cheater line (R3).

8). Downshift into 2nd only as the car nears the inside of the hairpin. Give as much gas as you can while keeping the steering tight to the right. The 120d is rear-drive and won't suffer from acceleration loss as it leaves this turn, but it might still understeer.

Congratulations! You have now acheived all Golds. Fun Times. Notice you win three cars (one for bronze, one for silver, and one for gold) instead of just one. That rocks.

Now....let's try the A licenses. heh heh heh...






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