GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Special Condition Events (Normal)

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Congratulations on finishing the Easy Special Conditions, now the pace gets picked up.

The beautiful thing about the Normal series is we start earning nice chunks of money: $10,000 per race. The prize cars also get sweeter. And if you don't want your prize, you can sell it....usually for lots and lots of money. 

And we have new Ai to battle against! Unlike the Easy series, the cars in the Normal series form very distinct classes. I've seperated them into 2 groups. Group A includes full-scale rally cars, while Group B includes production models (with one exception: the '74 Lancer). Obviously, racing against Group A vehicles will require more skill, power, and better parts.


Group A
Mitsubishi Starion 4WD Rally
'97 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV Rally Car
'92 Lancia Delta HF Integrale rally car
'99 Subaru Impreza rally car
'98 Ford Escort rally car
'95 Toyota Celica rally car

Group B
'04Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI TME
'02 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. VIII MR GSR 
'03 Subaru Impreza WRX STi spec C
'02 Renault Clio Sport V6 Phase 2
'96 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IV GSR
'94 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II GSR
'85 Peugeot 205 Turbo
'84 Ford RS200
'80 Renault 5 Turbo
'74 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR 1600


Racing against Group A vehicles

There are only a handful of places that feature Group A, most of the time we'll be competing against  Group B cars. When racing against Group A, use the following parts:

* Full custom suspension

* Soft sport tires (S3).
Or dirt or snow tires (duh).

* Full-Custom differential (if needed) and various drivetrain parts as needed.

* Full-custom transmission
(if needed in extreme cases, otherwise, stock, sports, or super-close can be used).

* Full brake parts including Balancer.

* A wing kit (at some tracks). Set the front to .13, the rear to .18 (this is what the opponents are set at when settings are maxed).


Racing against Group B vehicles

For the easier races run against Group B, use the following parts:

* Semi-racing suspension (full-custom for extreme cases) 

* S3 soft sport tires...
or dirt or snow tires if you happen to be off-road (duhhhh). 

* Fixed differential (1-way, 1.5-way, or 2-way) if needed for cars having problems with traction.

Racing brake kit (but no Balancer)

* Closer gears
(if needed) and various clutch, flywheel, and driveshaft parts. 

Some 4-wheel drives will need yaw control, VCD, and/or a fixed differential, especially at ice & snow tracks, but some will not.


Please note the following abbreviations that are used on this page:

FF= Front Engine / Front Drive
FR= Front Engine / Rear Drive
MR= Mid Engine / Rear Drive
RR= Rear Engine / Rear Drive
AWD= All Wheel Drive
4WD= Four Wheel Drive


The ratios for each race assume you're driving a production or concept vehicle (rather than a racing or pure rally vehicle) that handles relatively well. If you drive a muscle car, vintage auto, or something that doesn't handle as well, you'll probably need to add power. Ratios will be given for racing against both Group A and Group B opponents.




Citta di Aria
(Rally d' Umbria)

Group A
6.78 (2,700)

Group B--Front-Drive
7.89 (2,500) // 8.72 (3,000)

Group B--all other drivetrains
5.94 (1,100)
8.82 (2,100) 
8.94 (2,700) 
10.77 (3,500)


** Some lighter mid-engine cars (Tommykairas and Elises, for example) will need a further power reduction after calculating (25 to 30 hp less), since they have beyond-exceptional handling + traction at these narrow, twisty tracks.


Very tough racing indeed. 5-second penalties will seperate those who mean to win from those who will sadly admit defeat here at d'Aria.

A handful of front-drive models (Integra Type R, Ford Focus RS, VW Golf V) can win here if you're really on your game. Ironically, the Reverse direction is actually easier than the Normal direction for FF cars. Driving a front-drive is obviously the most challenging, but also the most adrenaline-pumpnig experience. Geez, i can't even spell!
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Costa d'Amalfi
(Capri Rally)

Normal direction
6.88 (1,100)
9.59 (2,100)
10.30 (2,700)
12.82 (3,500)


Reversed direction
5.95 (1,100)
8.57 (2,100)
9.25 (2,700)
10.54 (3,500)


* The above ratios are for racing in either a rear-drive or all-wheel drive. 

** Some lighter mid-engine cars (Tommykairas and Elises, for example) will need a further power reduction after calculating, since they have beyond-exceptional handling + traction. I'm guessing somewhere between 30 and 40 hp.

*** Sometimes when competing against the Subaru Impreza Spec C, you will need to add a few horses. This goes for AWD cars as well as mediocre-handling rear-drives, but top-handling rear-drives (like a BMW M3) won't need this power upgrade. 



Group A cars do not make appearances here, but the Ai drives the normal direction alot more cautiously than it does the reversed direction. As you're going down the big, fast hill in the normal direction, the enemy will brake too much, giving us a shot to make a pass near the hairpin cafe area.

Does anybody else think it's weird that at Citta d'Aria Reversed, the same drivers were doing the giant downhill section flawlessly without excessive braking? But now they're seemingly afraid to do the same thing in the Capri Rally?


------------------------------------------------------------------  
Grand Canyon

FR Cars
5.75 (3,200)

AWD Cars

7.10 (2,700) // 8.86 (3,500)

4WD Trucks & SUVs
8.03 (3,350) // 10.30 (4,500)

If you aren't feeling very confident here, it's a good idea to try and get ahead early...before that first major corner if you can, or at least in those first few corners. Don't soft-pedal the Ai. They're much harder to catch later on if you're limiting your power. Even if you get ahead early, one or two major mistakes and you'll have your ass handed to you quicker than you can say "spin cycle". Those who are more confident at Grand Canyon can wait to find a later time to pass, but waiting creates a possible difficulty....

The Ai drives extremely well off-road; at Grand Canyon and other dirt races. They will also (i swear) hit you at exactly the right moment, near the front of your fender, which is their way of causing you to have a dreaded 5-second penalty.

Only if the Renault Clio Sport shows up should you lower your power by 15 to 20 horses, assuming you're driving an all-wheel drive car and can zip around better. The rear-drive Clio doesn't corner as well as AWD opponents.  


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Ice Arena
(Whistler Ice Race)

Normal Direction--AWD Cars
7.16 (2,700) // 10.00 (3,500)

Reversed Direction--AWD Cars
6.44 (2,700) // 9.00 (3,500)

Normal direction--4x4 Trucks & SUVs
8.23 (3,350) // 10.97 (4,500)

Reversed direction--4x4 Trucks & SUVs
8.01 (3,350) // 10.61 (4,500)

* Group A or B cars can show up. The ratios above are currently for competing against Group B.


Dang. My least favorite track in the entire game. In the reversed direction, winning this race is damn near impossible. I did it once, i'm not sure i'll ever try it again. Naw, just kidding. They aint that bad once you get the hang of it..

But again, the Ai seems keenly aware that you've got a serious handicap, and tries to award you as many 5-second penalties as it can by bashing into you at just the right moment. 

Big hint if you're having trouble: it is possible to throttle it heavily in some curves, letting your car drive up on the snow banks on the side of the track while you gain extra speed, without getting a penalty. As long as you don't drive too aggressively towards the banks (don't slam into them...), you can use these areas to your advantage. Once you start getting good and learn Ice Arena, you won't need to do this. The best control can be attained if you keep tight, proper racing lines thru curves, just like at any other track.

 Sometimes, you can live with a 5-second penalty or two at this track since portions of it are so slow, but most of the time, you'll want to reset the race if you get hit. 

 ͸ Some all-wheel drive or 4-wheel drives can benefit massively from a VCD device here, along with a fixed limited-slip differential. Some won't need these parts, however.  
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Chamonix

Normal direction--AWD cars
9.18 (2,700) // 12.41 (3,500)

Reversed Direction-AWD cars
7.71 (2,700) // 11.07 (3,500)

Normal direction--4x4 Trucks & SUVs
11.55 (3,350) // 13.58 (4,700)

Reversed direction--4x4 Trucks & SUVs
10.70 (3,350) // 11.30 (4,700)

Ah Chamonix. White snow, a relatively fun, drifty race. Much better than the Ice track. Blecch. You'll notice it doesn't take nearly as much power to win at Chamonix like it does at Ice Arena. Chamonix also offers more opportunities to make a clean pass, and have a good time.

Again, if the Clio Sport V6 shows up, use about 20 horses less.


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George V Paris

Normal direction
6.28 (1,100) // 9.95 (2,700) // 10.27 (3,800)

Reversed direction
6.63 (1,100) // 10.59 (2,700) // 10.59 (3,800)

*If the '74 Lancer shows up, use 10 hp less.

*If the Impreza Spec C shows up, you may need to add 10 horses or more.

*some rear-drive cars (and those that aren't as prone to understeer) should use 15 horses less. Or even less.

*it is sometimes possible to use a front-drive, assuming you've got the right car. Add 15 to 25 horsepower. Cars with good traction should have +15, cars with shoddier traction can have up to +25. You'll have to add even
more power if you race an FF against the Spec C.

Description:
For good reason, many people hate Paris/George V. It's cramped. It's narrow. It doesn't flow the way other street courses do. But once you learn all its weird angles and kinks, it can be just like any other track. But it seems most choose simply not to learn this track, and wind up using the walls & guardrails as safety nets; which is not good. Doing so can actually slow them down.

I've seen the opponents get clumsy at this track in the reverse direction...particularly as they exit from the Arc de Triomphe 270 degree circle before the final straight where the Start/Finish line is. Sometimes, they'll exit the circle, and take that hard left turn onto the straight too fast, smacking into a banner. On the other hand, i've seen the same Ai take this turn well, and not hit anything...3 laps in a row. When they drive well, they're much harder to catch. Usually, they screw up, though.

Obviously, it's hard to predict how they'll drive, but the ratio for the reverse direction above is geared for those Ai who don't take this corner like they should.

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Swiss Alps Rally

*the ratios below are for the reverse direction. in some cases, you may need to remove a few horses (no more than 20) to compete in the normal direction because it's easier.

Group A--AWD Cars
8.88 (2,700)

Group A--FR Cars
8.08 (2,700) // 11.21 (3,800)

Group B--FF Cars
8.47 (2,500) // 7.75 (3,000)

Group B--AWD Cars

11.54 (2,700) // 13.72 (3,500)

Group B--FR Cars
8.62 (2,000) // 10.19 (2,700)

Group B--Trucks & SUVs  see ** below
12.88 (3,350) // 12.98 (5,000)


** for the trucks class, this includes weaker all-wheel drive SUVs. I also included full-size rear-drive trucks, but NOT the Dodge Ram. The Dodge is a 4x4 and kills this course unless you race against Group A.



Two classes of cars can show up here. There's not much challenge at the Alps if you're facing Group B (see the top of this page for a full list of each group), and power can be very lowish, especially for all-wheel drives that handle well off-road. You can even race a few front-drives against Group B!  When racing against Group A, the ante is upped but still quite easy and you shouldn't need much power. A bit disappointing, actually.

 The Lancia Delta, Lancer Evo IV, Subie Impreza, or Ford Escort rally cars can all possibly show up as Group A. The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VI TME, Renault Clio Sport V6, '84 Ford RS200, and a few others can show up as Group B.


͸ Front-drive cars can use a full-custom racing suspension, because it helps if you can manipulate rear toe out (to make them turn in sharper and understeer less). Usually about +2 of rear toe works. All other parts can be what's listed near the top of this page for racing against Group B.

͸ There may be various other cars here and there that have low ground clearance, and can therefore benefit from the extra height a racing suspension provides, but otherwise these parts=overkill.

̉ When racing against either Group A or B in some cars (all-wheel drives especially) you can actually use lesser parts than what i've listed at the top of this page if you find Swiss Alps too easy. In some cases, stock suspension & brake parts can be used, with no limited slip, VCD, or any other exotic parts!  

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Tahiti Maze
Tour of Tahiti

FR Cars (with no C-Spec Impreza opponent)
7.05 (2,700) // 9.29 (3,800)

AWD Cars
7.34 (2,700) // 9.46 (3,500)

Trucks & SUVs
8.84 (3,350) //10.39 (4,500)

* the Subaru Impreza Spec C drives this course faster than other Ai. If anyone else but the Subey shows, remove 10 horsepower or more.

* I've tried and tried to beat the Spec C with a front-engine/rear-drive car, so far it's just not been possible. so currently, the FR class is against AWD cars other than the C-spec.


Not much to say about this track except lots and lots of practice is in your future if you're new to it. Many typical cars people use in rallies (Evos, STis, etc) have super-close gearing that is set perfectly for Tahiti Maze. In some other cars, you'll want to get full-custom gears. Gearing makes all the difference at this crazy track.
------------------------------------------------------------------------Tsukuba Wet Race

front engine / rear drive
7.12 (2,700) // 10.50 (3,800)

mid engine / rear-drive

10.67 (2,400) // 12.00 (2,700)

all-wheel drive
10.15 (2,700) // 11.51 (3,800)


If you're after 200 A-spec points, this race is a dream come true.

By now, you should have either a well-stocked assortment of prize cars, or lots and lots of money from selling them. Nice, eh?

The opponents that show up here are all of a different breed than previously seen before. Instead of the typical Evos, French econoturbos, and other assorted Group B cars, Tsukuba has us up against a list of SUPER-cars as seen below.

Ford GT
Saleen S7
Callway Corvette C12
Mercedes SLR McLaren
Mercedes Benz SL 600 

Despite this frightening list, you won't need to hop into one of the rally cars you've won so far, nor does it take 600 horsepower to win. All you gotta do is be careful. Leave corners at 1/2 to 3/4 throttle instead of full. Brake early, etc. Stuff like that.

͸ The Mercedes SL600 and Callaway C12 are the worst cars of the bunch. If they show up, remove 40 horsepower or more.

The Ai brakes super early, which makes it best to simply out-brake them into some hairpins. The enemy also drives super-cautiously (no slipping whatsoever) which means it's possible to gain speed if you know how to mildly slip & slide around.

And the best part? It's fun to beat any of these so-called "super" cars in a cheapie from the used lot! You won't typically need additional parts other than those recommended for a Group B car (see top of page for parts list). Unless, of course, your car is one that handles difficult to begin with. Many front engine/rear-drive autos can often benefit from a full-custom limited slip, but mid-engine, rear-engine, or AWD cars should mostly be fine with whatever you've been typically using so far.

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Cathedral Rocks Trail I & II
(Yosemite Trail I & II)

FR Cars
6.60 (2,000) // 8.26 (2,700)

AWD Cars
10.59 (2,700) // 12.19 (3,500)
 
Trucks & SUVs
10.15 (3,350) // 13.00 (4,500)


*If the Clio Sport V6 shows up, remove 15 horsepower.

*I've also found that the Cathedral Rocks II course (the one that's entirely off-road) might require an additional 10 to 20 horsepower for the AWD car & truck classes.


If Ice Arena is my least favorite Special Condition track, Yosemite is my favorite. This track has it all: uphill sections, downhill sections, pavement, gritty dirt, tight corners and looser ones, several jumps, drifting/sliding opportunities, great scenery, and the option to take alternate routes thru many turns. If it weren't for the damn 5-second penalties, I'd be in heaven.

On the other hand, I feel Cathedral Rocks (now that I've gotten to know it in detail) is still too easy. To get a good challenge for the All-Wheel Drive class, I had to go find a car from the used lot, which needed an oil change, but I didn't change its oil so power would be kept low. My usual stage 1 & 2 turbo-powered Evos & Stis were too good!
 
Be careful..particularly when crossing the bridge, and also when going from off-road to pavement. Too much steering input, which is okay when you're off-road, will lead the front wheels to grip too much once you're on the bridge or pavement, causing you to spin (or lose control) as your car regains full traction.

͸ This is one of those tracks (like Swiss Alps) that if you find yourself overkilling the enemy and can't remove more power, you can try using lesser parts or removing various parts.    
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Various cars were used to make these ratios including: a Ginetta G4, Lotus Elise, '01 Acura Integra type R, '71 Datsun 240Z-G, '90 Mazda RX-7 GT-X, '92 Mitsubishi Lancer GSR and '94 Mitsubishi Lancer Evo II GSR, and a Mitsubishi Airtrek as an off-road SUV. For the 2,700-pound class, I also used a '97 Supra SZ-R, Toyota MR2 GT-S, '94 Subaru Impreza WRX STi, and a '95 Subaru Impreza WRX STi version II for on-road tracks. In all cases, weight was removed or ballast added so that each car weighed exactly 2,700 pounds. Only the Supra SZ-R weighed slightly more than 2,700...I couldn't make it lighter. For the 3,400 pound front-drive class (on and off-road) there's the Ford Taurus SHO. For the 3,800 on-road class, I used a '95 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 and a '98 Nissan 300 ZX 2-seater, as well as a 300 ZX 2+2....all 3 cars had ballast added. I used an Audi TT (both the 1.8 and 3.2 liter cars) for the heavyweight off-road class (3,500 pounds).

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