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GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Extreme Hall

The races may be treacherous, but glory awaits...

Parnelli's GT4 rating system

These ratings vary from 1 to 4 stars and are an attempt to describe the amount of close-racing you may face, as well as how dramatic each race series is and the amount of skill you may need. They are not a measure of skill (or speed) alone.

For instance, a race in which 2 or more Ai cars battle it out for first place with you will get your blood flowing and your senses focused. How will you tackle corners when all these other cars are fighting with you for track space? This sort of event will rate higher than one in which a single car "jackrabbits" ahead of everyone else, leaving you competing with that single car.

Often in GT4 it is possible to create some challenge if you pay attention to the starting grid (the way the 5 Ai cars are arranged at the start). Sometimes you may need to reset the race to find such a grid but it willl be worth it!


(*) = A very uncompetitive, pointless, or boring event.

(**) = Typically, a 2 star race is one in which the 5 Ai vehicles follow each other like robots, with rare passes and few moments of true drama.

(***) = An average GT4 event. A 3-star race often has some unpredictability & drama. Reset race for a mixture of good opponents and maximum playability.

(****) = 4-star race. The best GT4 has to offer. Lots of interplay between you and the Ai. Multiple lead changes, mid-race dueling and pumped adrenaline guaranteed. You may still need to reset the starting grid, though.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Gran Turismo All Stars

rating: ****


Racing against LeMans Prototypes
High Speed Ring II, Fuji '80s, Autumn Ring II, Test Course
3.21 (2,500)

Laguna Seca:
4.19 (2,500)

Grand Valley II, Suzuka, Sarthe, Nurburgring:
3.06 (2,500)

Infineon:
3.21 (2,500)


* You can use the ratios above whether or not you choose to qualify. The Ai tends to drive softer thru the first 2 or 3 laps as their tires warm, giving you a chance to get ahead early if you're skilled at dodging traffic.

** Notice there are several sets of ratios. Yes, this means you'll be changing power at various tracks.

*** This series will eventually feature several different classes to race against. Currently, I've used a Dodge Viper Team Oreca to go against LMP (LeMans Prototype) cars only. See the table below for more details.



Now's the moment of truth....the antithesis of the lowly Sunday Cup...bla bla bla. The Gran Turismo All Stars lives on!!! Other than the fact that the Ai sometimes drives uber-stoopid like a game of high-speed bumper-cars, this event truely lives up to the hype.

As mentioned earlier, the opponents tend to drive a bit softer during the first couple laps. Now's your chance to skillfully get ahead if you can. It won't matter, they'll typically catch up during the race's later laps.

Below are a couple of racing lists featuring the  enemy cars that can show up. They are listed from strongest to weakest (so far as horsepower goes) but this doesn't necessarily make a car with more horses better than another. Please note that I've seperated these cars into two groups. Below are the fastest: FIA/Group C and LeMans Prototypes (FIA/GT1). For convenience, it's easy to tell them apart since Group C cars are usually the ones that have over 900 BHP, although this isn't always set in stone. It is possible to do a race with several Group C cars present, and it is also possible to find a grid that includes just the LMPs. It is NOT possible to find a grid that contains neither group, however.

GROUP C & LeMans Prototypes

CAR
BHP
WEIGHT (pounds)
Weight to Pwr. Ratio

Top speed & general comments

'92 Nissan R92-CP
939
1,984
2.11

233 mph tops

'89 Sauber Mercedes C9
927
1,968
2.12

`

'88 Jaguar XJR-9
914
1,970
2.15

240 mph max. one of the slower cars from the Group C era, despite the fact that it has all the right stuff. gets clumsy at some tracks 

'89 Nissan R89C
908
1,984
2.18

230-240 mph tops. fast and dangerous like its CP cousin.

'89 Minolta Toyota 88C-V
906
1,873
2.06

233-ish mph tops. fast as hell.

'92 Peugeot 905
799
1,653
2.07

high redline, lots of power, but just 211 mph tops

'04 Playstation Pescarolo C60
794
1,984
2.50

despite its status as the most powerful LMP, I have yet to see it win anything. drives some courses well but makes some big mistakes at others. 245 mph max.   

'91 Mazda 787B
791
1,829
2.31

Patient driver makes few mistakes. 216 mph tops.`

'98 Nissan R-390
789
2,204
2.79

`

'99 BMW V12 LM-R
787
1,984
2.52

fast, steady driver. gets clumsy at some slower tracks. 242 mph max.

'92 Bentley Speed 8
785
1,984
2.53

`

'04 Audi R8
783
2,204
2.53

one of the best. this car drives all courses well. @243 mph max.

'99 Toyota GT-One
765
1,984
2.59

this used to be the fastest LMP in GT2, but is now the slowest. the GT-1 can still overtake others at various tracks, however, and drives with better skill. 237 mph max

Now in this list are groups of cars that probably won't be anything you'll need to worry about, with the exception of the superlight 1970 Toyota 7 and the sucky (ha ha, get it?) Chapparral 2J. This next chart is devoted to the...

Can Am, FIA/Group 7, LM, and FIA/GTR

'04 Gillet Vertigo
888
1,719
1.93

proof that power means nothing without control. not a bad car, but the WORST driver of the GTAS. 202 mph max.

'70 Toyota 7
788
1,366
1.73

the lightest car. just because it's old, don't assume it can't out-boogie others occasionally.

'98 AMG/Mercedes CLK-"GTR" (LM)
785
2,204
2.81

faster than some LMPs at some tracks. does some courses well, screws up at others. @245 mph while drafting, @235 w/o draft.

'70 Chapparal 2J
684
1,809
2.64

watch out. this one can claim the lead from faster LMPs & Group Cs at technical courses.

'01 Pagani Zonda LM
651
N/A
N/A

`

'02 Nissan GTR Concept LM
616
2,450
3.97

`

'04 Ford GT LM
608
2,512
4.13

slow, poor braking, and occasionally gets clumsy with understeer & bad driving. 208 mph max

'04 Ford GT LM Spec II
606
2,512
4.14

as above...

'94 BMW/McLaren F1-GTR
603
N/A
N/A

205 mph. this FIA/GT2 auto can occasionally beat its superior prototype rivals at some tracks

'01 Chevrolet Camaro LM
592
N/A
N/A

197 mph max. steady driver, but soooo slow...`

'01 Mazda RX-7 LM

501

2,380

4.75

steady driver but slow. 190 mph max

'67 Chaparral 2D
420 y'all
2,036
4.85

super slow. never a threat.

High Speed Ring II & Fuji '80s:
7 and 6 laps, respectively. Here, those 900 horsepower Group C monsters are in their prime. They have a tendency to brake extremely late, using YOU as a brake if they need to. Fuji is harder than HSR, only because it's not banked.

Laguna Seca & Autumn Ring II:
7 and 9 laps, respectively. Shorten up your gearing. Soften & raise those suspensions. Some heavier cars may need hard-grade (R2) tires at Autumn Ring, since it's a 9-lap mini-enduro. Some of the fastest Ai can't handle these two "technical" courses, and you'll occasionally see them drive into the sand like inexerienced newbs. But those that DO drive well here are as dangerous as ever. Some Ai will actually take a pitstop at Autumn Ring II!

Test Course
Ugh. At least in GT4, there aren't very many Test Course races like there were in GT3, and this one is only 3 laps instead of 20.

It's time to lower & stiffen your suspensions (if your cars starts bouncing on those banks, you've lowered too far), but raise the final gear in your transmission. Minimize downforce (you finally won't need it). Get a car wash, too....it's been proven that clean bodywork=slightly more speed. With my power restriction, you'll probably be forced to draft another car just to keep up. In some cases, GT2 or LM-type cars will need a lot more power than I've suggested. 

* Interestingly, the Toyota GT-One in my first GTAS Test Course race did better than the BMW V12 at this track, even tho the BMW is technically faster (242 mph versus 237 mph). Why? The Toyota had a habit of cutting back its fuel just before the RPM limit, therby keeping its pace more consistent at about 233 mph. The BMW kept maxing out its speed (hitting the RPM limit) which kept knocking it back to 227 mph.

Grand Valley II:
6 laps. Heavier cars like the Oreca Viper I drove will need hard-grade (R2) tires here, but lighter cars can still go with R3s. You'll need to lessen power if you go with R3s, though.

Suzuka Circuit:
5 laps. Those who wondered why they had to slave thru all those "retarded" license tests, and who have so far cheated GT4's Beginner and Professional leagues won't get far here. Suzuka will eat them alive. The good news is, R3 tires can be used on any car you enter here since this race is only 5 laps.

Sears Point aka Infineon Stock Car Course
8 laps...but they go by quickly. The suspension setup that you used at Laguna Seca and Autumn Ring benefits here at this bumpy course, assuming you saved it or wrote the settings down. Sears Point is kinda like Laguna Seca, since it doesn't take top power to win. Matter of fact, you can remove up to 100 horses from what I have posted if you want a closer race. Problem is, the Ai gets very agro here. If you're sick of them bumping into you, it's okay to just start over with more power. Note that some of those faster Ai start getting very clumsy, and seem to think it's fine to drive off into the grass or clamber over one of those huge corner grids. Somehow they do so without losing much speed, which really sucks.

Circuit de la Sarthe I & Nürburgring
2 laps each. Jeez, anybody else remember those Gran Turismo 2 days when you could finish the entire GTAS within an hour? Sheesh.

Both Circuit de la Sarthe and the 'Ring can be run with a similar suspension & limited-slip set-up as used at Infineon, but don't forget to make your gears taller and increase power. At Sarthe, the opponents obviously can fly down those straights and larger curve areas (especially the Porsche curves), but aren't so good at the super-slow chicanes. Interestingly, we can kill some major time to get an edge at these chicanes, and I've actually won races with mere seconds to spare just by tackling these with greater success than the opponents.

At Nürburgring, heavier cars like the Viper GTS-R I drove will need R2 (hard grade) tires, but lighter cars can still use R3s. The Ai are at a disadvantage here and at Sarthe. Since their suspensions are lowered... springs nice & tense, they have a tendency to bounce around alot during long, bumpy straight areas. Since downforce is also probably maxed for these supercars, you'll find them actually LOSING speed in straight areas. This is one of the reasons why I recommend a raised suspension with softer springs & stabilizers.



͸ Needless to say, it's best enter a car with good aerodynamics...at least .38 of downforce minimal. Putting a wing kit on most regular showroom-bought cars won't cut it.

͸ And you'll need full-custom everything you can think of, of course. Your trusty Nissan Micra must now be left behind ha ha.

͸ The Ai runs on medium-grade racing tires (R3), but I've seen people use a vast mixture of tire combinations (R2 front/R3 rear, R3 front, R2 rear, etc.). At Autumn Ring, some heavier cars (over 2,300 pounds) will need to be on R2 tires all around since this race is 9 laps.

͸ Don't feel bad equipping a bottle of nitrous oxide. Normally, I would never recommend this as I feel nitrous=cheating, but there are those moments when the Ai will knock you way off-course (which is cheating), and nitrous can be used to catch up again. It's either that, or restart the entire race from scratch.  
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Dream Car Championship

rating: **1/2


Paris/Opera
6.42 (3,100)

Tokyo Route 246 II
5.46 (3,100)

Deep Forest
6.60 (3,100)

Seoul Central II
5.93 (3,100)

Hong Kong
6.47 (3,100)

Test Course
4.78 (3,100)

Driving Park--Beginner Course
6.04 (3,100)

Circuit de la Sarthe II
5.02 (3,100)

El Capitan II
6.47 (3,100)

Cote d'Azur
6.04 (3,100)


* The ratios above assume Pole Position was made at all tracks except the Test Course. It is possible to start from 6th at the Test Course, yet still win if you manage to catch a great set of drafts.

** The ratios above also assume the Nissan GT-R Concept LM and/or Pagani Zonda LM are NOT in the race. If they are, add 50 to 70 hp at some tracks. 

*** I used the same tires (mostly R3s) for both qualifying and the race itself. Some heavier cars will require R2s at two or three tracks.



Description:
The Dream Car Championship first showed up during GT3, and to put it succinctly, it pretty much sucked! So is the DCC in GT4 any different?

Well there is a similar variety of automobiles that can possibly show up, but PD has played with the rules a bit, since there's also a single RV (the Toyota RSC) which tries its best. Other than the RSC, most of the autos which appear in the DCC are PD-fantasy LM machines that aren't found in real-life. In any case, it's possible any of these could exist in real-life, and that's good enough for me I guess.

To answer the previous question: YES, there is an improvement between the Dream Car Championships of GT3 and GT4. I've rated the DCC two-and-a-half stars, because some races are extremely close between several cars, with the final winner (including yourself) being "up in the air"; but others are the typical GT4 event, in which all five Ai quickly wind up following one another. No drama. And you're only battling one other car while the others fade far behind.

GT4's Dream Car Championship demands alot more concentration, and alot more tuning work should be done to get your car performing its absolute best. GT3 featured several cars which took pit stops right in the middle of the race (we're talking in the middle of a seven lap race, for instance), which means the GT3/DCC was quite the walkover, since all one needed to do was eqiup hard enough tires to guarantee pitstops weren't needed. Well, no more of this nonsense!

Notice the chart below. It is the list of cars that can possibly show up, how much power they have, how much weight, their weight-to-power ratio, and what tires they are shod with.

Notice most cars have racing medium tires (R3), but there are a couple which deviate from this. This is interesting because it's always been my theory that the Dream Cars of GT3 had crews which equip different types of tires from car to car. It explains the imbalance of pit timing mentioned above; some  cars could go the entire race without a pitstop, whereas others would need to come in after only (let's say) three laps!

The list below shows those with the lowest weight-to-power ratio at the top, and those with the highest ratio at the bottom. This does not necessarily mean best to worst, however.

Vehicle
BHP
Weight (LBs.)
Weight to Power ratio
Tires

Comments

'01 Pagani Zonda LM
651
2,530
3.88
R3

A weaking during GTAS but The Dominator here.

'02 Nissan GTR Concept LM
616
2,420
3.92
R3

Godzilla. 188 mph max, 204 max w/draft

'02 Ford GT LM
606
2,512
4.14
R3

also dominates at some tracks. 208 mph max

'02 Ford LM Spec II
606
2,512
4.14
R3

^...ditto...^

'01 Chevrolet Camaro LM
592
2,556
4.31
R3

usually falls behind the top 4, but can beat 'em occasionally. 197 mph tops

'01 Mazda RX-7 LM

501
2,380
4.75
R3

190 mph max.

Jaguar XJ220 LM
542
2,600
4.80
R3

Too big, too heavy, usually in last or 5th place. Can rarely position higher than this.

'02 Honda NSX-R Prototype
512
2,469
4.82
R3

.

'02 Mazda RX-8 Concept
501
2,664
5.28
R3

Sits at the back of the class most of the time

'02 Toyota RSC Rally Raid Car
417
2,204
5.28
R1

Got its certification papers screwed up. Wrong car in the wrong race.

'02 Nissan 350Z Concept
500
2,464
4.93
R3

Usually a loser, but can do well at short, technical trax

'01 Subaru Impreza Super Touring
415
2,266
5.46
R3

never a threat

'97 Mitsubishi FTO Super Touring

423

2,156

5.10

R1

Very light 4WD. Could potentially be a threat at some tracks. Not sure yet.

Hint: after studying the list above, it's possible to modify power further after qualifying. In other words, let's say the fastest cars in your grid are Ford GT LMs. Let's say after qualifying is done, that somebody slower (a Camaro LM perhaps) has made 2nd place, and the Ford happens to be starting in 4th or 5th. It's possible to sometimes remove a small amount of power to make a closer race. Be careful with this, though...no  more than 5 to 10 horses should be hacked at a time.

Towards the bottom of the DCC list are three cars which I couldn't find weight specs for. It's reasonable to assume all three of these (350Z Concept LM, FTO Super Touring Car, and Impreza Super Touring Car) fall somewhere in the middle of the grid, so far as weight-to-power ratios go.


Here's a quick play-by guide for each track.

Paris/Opera--7 laps
What a way to start the DCC, eh? It's one of GT4's most-hated tracks! Heavier cars like the 3,100 pound Viper I initially drove the first time doing the DCC will munch their medium-grade tires, so beware. Hard tires aren't recommended with the power I'm recommending.

Tokyo Route 246--4 laps
It's recommended you create two different tuning setups before attempting R246: save the one you just used at Paris for short, twisty tracks (if it worked okay), and create a new one for longer, higher-paced tracks like Route 246. It's also possible to borrow one from one of the virtual tuning shops at GT Planet or some other site. Now you can switch between these two tunes easily. ;-)

Tokyo Route 246 is just as intense as I remember from GT3. Very fast-paced. Beware in that very first sharp left...the Ai has a habit of punting us here, and they won't stop 'til they've got you in a spin. It's happened several times to me. Other than this, they drive the first couple laps somewhat conservatively. They pick up the pace in laps 3 and 4, so get ahead early and stay ahead if you can. Any car (even heavier ones) should be okay on R3 tires.

Deep Forest--5 laps
An easier track than Paris or Route 246, a bit of a walkover if you're not discriminating power. R3 tires okay for any car here. The Ai has a habit of driving most of this track way too conservatively, then going all-out down the backstretch and straightaway. Again, watch out for laps 4 and 5. Stragglers can suddenly take a keen interest in debunking your comfortable lead.

Seoul Central II--7 laps
I personally like starting a third tuning set-up for tracks like this. Deep Forest is a bumpy track. Paris and R246 require us to clamber over those rumble strips. So I like using a softer setup for those three tracks. At Seoul, I like lowering my car & stiffening it alot more. It's your call, tho. Again, medium racing tires (R3) should be fine for most cars. The Ai (for whatever reason) can't seem to figure this track out, despite the fact that there's only five turns. Lol. I wound up using 100 horsepower less than I thought I'd need!  

Hong Kong--7 laps
Everybody loves Hong Kong, right? (sarcasm) The advantage here is: if you make pole position and can stay ahead during the race, the Ai hasn't got as many chances to make a clean pass. They also don't seem as eager to punt at Hong Kong. Medium racing tires should do the trick for most cars, and the same tune used at Paris (assuming you saved it) can be used here, since HK requires short bursts of acceleration with lots of curbs to clamber over.

Test Course--2 Laps
Oh jeez. Soon as I saw this one, I feared we'd be in for a 10 or 20 lap race, just like in GT3. Fortunately, this is not the case. The Seoul Central tune can be used here, with possible modifications. Downforce isn't needed, and it's possible to just lower most cars as far as you can (without excessive bouncing). Gears may also obviously need to be made taller. You'll need to be doing somewhere between 208 and 212 mph when not drafting to be sucessful here.

Driving Park: Beginner Course--27 laps
Wow, is PD kidding? We're really back in the Beginner's League driving a pro-machine??? And for 27 laps!?! WTF, man. The amazing thing about this race is the Ai really takes it seriously. I figured I'd just blow them away here, which is actually not the case. Heavier cars will need hard (R2) racing tires, yet that left-front tires will still be worn by the end of the race. Some Ai will take pitstops here.

Circuit de la Sarthe--2 Laps
It's probably going to be necessary to create a brand-new set-up for this race and the next one, possibly by modifying the one you've used at Deep Forest and Route 246. Tall gears are needed (obviously) but most cars will need suspension, brake, and LSD tweaks to handle the mixture of bumps, chicanes, and high-speed curves. Any car can do this on medium racing slicks, and still have green tire indicators after two laps. I kinda wish this race was longer.

El Capitan II--4 Laps
The Ai seems to be getting tired, and starts making small mistakes...occasionally banging into guardrail barricades and getting confused in some areas. Hence, it don't take much power to dominate here. Out of all the DCCs, I'd say El Cappy is the most fun. :)

Cote d'Azur--7 Laps
The final Dream Car Championship event is held at this festive town of Monaco. Or is Monaco a country? I think Monaco is a country or principality or something. Whatever. I'm not writing a tour guide. :-/ Anyways, time to shorten up those gearboxes again. The same tune used at Hong Kong, Paris, and Deep Forest can be used here as well. This assumes, of course, that you've saved or written down those settings. Heavier cars will need hard (R2) racing slicks.

Parts Requirements & Recommendations
͸ It's a good idea to buy three sets of racing tires (R1 thru R3), a wing kit, racing brake kit and full-customizable suspension for all cars.

͸ Some cars may also need the following: brake balancer, close or full-custom transmission, an assortment of drivetrain parts, full-custom differential, VTD, weight reductions, and chassis rigidity refreshing service. 


* A '99 Dodge Viper GTS and Ford Mustang Cobra R were used for the heavyweight (3,100) class.


----------------------------------------------------------------------
Polyphony Digital Cup

rating: ***

Front-Drive
Twin Ring Motegi Road Course (6 laps)
11.11 (2,500)

Seattle II (7 laps)
11.57 (2,500)

Sears Point - Stock Car Course (8 laps)
11.36 (2,500)

Tokyo Route 246 (5 laps)
9.02 (2,500)

Fuji Speedway (6 laps)
9.96 (2,500) 

Motorland II (19 laps)
11.80 (2,500)

Circuit de la Sarthe I (2 laps)
9.40 (2,500)

El Capitan II (6 laps)
11.80 (2,500)

Suzuka Circuit (5 laps)
9.09 (2,500)

Nurburgring Nordschleife
9.61 (2,500)



*front-drive cars weighing over 2,500 pounds might have probs with their front tires wearing out too early since the PD Cup races are long enough for this to happen. I've used S1 tires for all ratios above so far.

**it's impossible for an FF car to win at Motorland. Ratios here were calculated to merely beat other front-drives.



Description

This set of events first emerged in GT3, and was interesting because tuning was not allowed, with the exception of tire and oil changes. Each race was basically a mini-endurance: 20 laps or so if I remember correct. The top car one could face was the NSX, with an FD generation RX-7 being 2nd fastest. I think. 

Now in GT4, PD ups the ante. We can tune to our liking, and there are several top competitors which can possibly show up. Sound cool? The problem with this series of races is the competition we'll face is apparently all stock (judging by the amount of power they're using), but we don't have to be. So in GT3, they were stock but so were we...now they're still stock, but we don't have this restriction. What the hell???

This makes the GT4 PD Cup quite possibly a walkover, not really an "EXtReMe" sort of deal. The original spirit from GT3 (of which one had to actually prepare for each event, hoping their car would last lots of laps without tuning, weight reductions, or power upgrades) could now be possibly destroyed with the PD Cup of GT4. All one has to do is enter a car with over 500 horsepower (doesn't matter if it's a full racing machine or not), and survive a bunch of laps. It's even very possible to enter something with lots of power, and then just let Bob handle the entire set of events! 

Despite all this, it is possible to find some good racin' in the PD Cup at certain tracks, if you include certain cars in the line-up. Infineon, Route 246, and a couple other races can be intense. Motorland can be oddly challenging, tire wear must be considered if you've entered a tire-munching auto at this go-kart track.

So for those of you who are not interested in cheating with a 500+ horsepower machine, please study the chart below.

'05 Ford GT
550 BHP
3,198
5.81
'02 AMG-Benz SL55
492
4,309
8.76
'98 Lotus Esprit V8
353
3,041
8.62
'04 BMW M3
339
3,460
10.21
'01 Subaru Impreza WRX STi Prodrive
305
2,710
8.89
'69 Chevrolet Camaro SS
300
3,089
10.29
'97 Toyota Supra RZ
295
3,328
11.28
'02 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type A
293
2,800
9.55
'03 Nismo Fairlady Z-tune Concept
273
3,196
11.71
'01 Honda S2000 V
243
2,777
11.43
'97 Toyota Supra SZ-R
222
3,196
14.31
'03 Honda Integra Type R
221
2,579
11.66
'02 Audi S3
210
3,130
14.90
'98 Alfa Romeo 156 2.5 V6 24v
190
2,909
15.31
'02 Toyota Corolla RUNX Z Aerotourer
186
2,557
13.74
'85 Mazda RX-7 GT limited
182
2,821
15.50
'90 Honda CR-X SiR
157
2,173
13.84
'03 Peugeot 206 cc
134
2,623
19.57
'00 Fiat Barchetta Giovane Duo
128
2,402
18.77
'89 Mazda Miata
118
2,160
18.30

*Note: Tripod only gives the option of 20 rows at max, therefore I could only fit 20 cars on the above table. Ultimately, this doesn't matter. The five slowest cars that got eliminated are too slow and won't make a difference during the PD Cup anyways.

Notice there are front-drive Ai, rear-drive Ai, all-wheel drive Ai, etc. I have yet to see an entirely FWD PD Cup grid, so we can immediatly rule them out as competitors. RWD and AWD cars will eventually pass the front-drives without question, since each race happens to be long enough for this to happen.

Cirque de Sarthe (which is 2 laps, and not so many turns) is the only possible exception to this rule if the Integra is on the grid, and only the weakest RWD or AWD cars are also present.

--All Ai are running S2 tires, I believe.

--Unfortunately, the grid WILL reset to the fastest car sitting on first position if you go to save your game before qualifying at that first race. The grid will REMAIN in the reset position, although sometimes the fastest cars trade pole position after you've saved.

Among the rear-drives, there are a few extreme jackrabbits (the Ford GT, AMG-Benz SL55, and Lotus Esprit V8). Keep these guys off the grid, or enter something which competes against them. Even if all three of these cars enters, the Ford will blow away the AMG, which will blow away the Lotus, and the PD Cup will be completely one-sided. If these doofuses are kept off the grid, there are several lesser RWD and AWD cars which can show up, and make for a fairer fight.

Some halfway-decent battles can occur if you include these:

1> Nismo 350Z Concept with Mazda RX-7 Spirit A. The BMW M3 and Subaru Impreza WRX STi Prodrive might provide competition with the 350Z and Spirit A, although I haven't found any races with this entire group present. The '69 Chevy Camaro SS might also be able to keep up at smaller tracks, but its stock 4-speed will make it lag at tracks with long straights.

2> '85 Mazda RX-7 with '97 Toyota Supra SZ-R is another good choice...both these cars running a very tight race with one another. They are slower than the ones listed in #1, though. It may be possible that the Integra and Audi A3 might also be good to include with this group.
 

Overall, the Ai doesn't try very hard (not to the level it pushed during the All Stars and Dream Cup, anyways) which makes me wonder why these are EXTREME HALL events. The PD Cup's premise is also kinda stupid. What other set of races pits a MINI or a Toyota Vitz up against a 550 horsepower Ford GT? What's the point supposed to be? Why not just offer grids with everybody on the same level? No wonder so many people say GT4 is boring. 


͸ Parts depend on whatever car you've entered, and what level of competition you've included. Some situations will call for cheapie tuning (or even stock parts), while others will require more expensive parts.    

͸ Front-drives should use S1 tires, racing suspension, racing brake kit, and full-custom limited slip (if needed). Any other parts are optional.

Only the best FF cars should be used (Integra, Golf, Focus RS, Civic Type R, etc) if you're interested in winning as many races as possible. Lesser FF cars can also be used, but I'm not guaranteeing they'll come close to winning with this page's ratios. Motorland is pretty much the only race an FF can't become a victor at, since front tire wear is just too great at this track.


** Smallhorses at GTP has provided a useful guide for the PD Cup. It's  supposed to be used for maxing A-spec points (which have no interest for me), but it also can be used to see which Ai show up and where they show up on the grid. Here's the link:

http://www.gtplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=80837 

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Like The Wind

rating: *

Full-body racing cars (with wings)
3.05 (2,500)

Production/concepts (no added downforce)
3.42 (2,500) //



Description:
Gran Turismo 1 and 2 both held one of their Turbo Cup races at the Test Track. Many gamers became infatuated with these events, flooding website message boards with plenty of boasting of how fast they were able to go, especially after drafting some other car(s).

For this reason, PD decided to create a Test Course race called "Like the Wind" for GT3. This seemed like a perfect situation for all the speed freaks; problem was this particular race was 20 LAPS!!! During this epic battle, many Ai vehicles actually wound up taking pitstops as their tires would wind up going bad. Even some of the speed freaks were apparently bored, because now there were thousands complaining about all the Test Course races found in GT3.

For GT4, PD has obviously toned it down, as Like the Wind is now 5 laps instead of 20. Many of the same cars we saw during the Gran Turismo World Champion and GT All Stars are here again to battle it out. Matter of fact, you can use the All Stars table to strategize each car's approximate top speed after viewing which ones show up for Like the Wind.  

...Oh, and we don't need to bring a GT1 prototype or Group C racer to compete here. I've used a Saleen S7 

The thing that sucks about Like the Wind (the reason I rated it one star) is PD (as usual) didn't bother to play with the Ai's gearing or power, so eventually some cars wind up falling far behind. Most of these top-world autos wind up redlining heavily, unable to go any faster. And sometimes, the ones that do manage to keep up with us need to take a pit!!!

For instance, I was involved in a 3-way battle with the Sauber Mercedes and MINOLTA Toyota. For the first 4 laps of LTW, we traded places back and forth. I'd catch a draft and get ahead, but then they'd pass me and so on. Suddenly, it was over! Just before Lap 5, the Toyota pulled into the pits, needing tires and its fuel tank topped-off. What the hell???? This effectively made me the automatic winner. The question mark of who might out-draft whom was essentially zeroed.


͸ The Ai uses medium-grade racing tires (R3) which is fine for us to use as well.

͸ For most situations, downforce can be minimized, which helps cars mainain a higher top speed. Get a Car Wash, too, it can actually make a small difference in speed here. 

͸ Don't forget to make that gearbox TALL, too. Tall enough so that your car can comfortably cruise at about 230 mph without crushing its RPM limiter. 


Cars I used to get ratios:

Middleweight (2,500): Team Oreca Dodge Viper, Saleen S7 

----------------------------------------------------------------
Formula GT

--------------------------------------------------------------
REAL CIRCUIT TOURS

rating: ***

Racing against IMSA/Group C (900+ hp)

Suzuka
2.47 (1,800) // 3.06 (2,500)

Twin Ring
(2,500)

Tsukuba
2.47 (1,800)

Laguna Seca
2.47 (1,800) // 2.61 (2,500)

Infineon Raceway (Sports Car Course)
2.53 (1,800) // 3.06 (2,500)

Fuji Speedway 2005 GT
(1,800)

Circuit de Sarthe I


Nürburgring
(2,500)

Racing against FIA/GT1 Prototypes

Suzuka
2.86 (2500)

Twin Ring
2.47 (1,800) // 3.06 (2,500)

Tsukuba
3.18 (2,500)

Laguna Seca
3.06 (2,500)

Infineon Raceway (Sports Car Course)
2.53 (1,800) // 3.06 (2,500)

Fuji Speedway 2005 GT
(1,800 // 2.86 (2,500)

Circuit de la Sarthe I
2.86 (2,500)

Nürburgring
3.06 (2,500)

The above ratios are a bit incomplete at the moment, and several different cars will probably be needed to complete them, which may or may not be possible. In some situations, lighter cars I've driven wind up blowing away the competition, which varies in power, while heavier ones simply can't keep up.

Description
:
Obviously, all of these are held at tracks that exist in real-life...so there's no Grand Valley, no Seoul Central, no Apricot Hill, etc. There are eight events in all.

Many of the same Ai which showed up during the Gran Turismo All Stars and Dream Car Championship are back, with identical power to what they had before; therefore you can use the same tables (found above) used during those respective events to determine who you're up against, how much power they have, etc.

It's possible to play with the grid as usual (by re-setting it over and over) in a search for the weakest or strongest villians to place against. There are no grids which don't have at least some FIA/GT1 material. This means the weakest Ai will be those full racing prototypes with anywhere from 765 horses on up.

This kinda sucks. I was hoping there would be a grid with just FIA/GT2 and LMs, to create some lower-powered races. Instead, there are two choices we can make: race against the top Group Cs which rate over 900 hp, or compete against lesser-powered cars...the ones which rate from 765 to 799 horses (see Gran Turismo All Stars table near top of this page).

Some of these cars take a pit stop. In some cases, we can take a pitstop ourselves, but in cases, it's not necessary. It all depends what sort of auto we race, how heavy it is, which sort of tires are needed to make it win with or without a pit, and finally, who we allow to show up at the race. Let's meet the enemy.


1). Racing against top Group C cars (the MINOLTA Toyota, Jaguar XJR-9, etc). These guys are extremely fast since they possess over 900 horsies, and they drive well 90% of the time. Rare slips and no slides. Despite this, they'll need to pit at some point even though these races are only a few laps. There are no exceptions to this rule. They always take a pit. Why? BECAUSE THEY'RE ALL ON SOFT-GRADE TIRES! This odd bit of PD programming causes dilemmas during the RCT which normally would never occur.

2). Racing against the lesser GT1 class (there's also a few lesser Group Cs too, like the Peugeot 905 and Mazda 787B, and the FIA/Group 7 Toyota 7). This can actually wind up being a tougher scenario than racing against Group Cs because these guys are also on soft tires, yet they won't always be needing a pit stop.   

It is also possible to place the stronger Group Cs behind weaker Group Cs, GT1s, or the GT2/LM class (Camaro LM, Gillet Vertigo, etc.) Doing so (as usual) can create a more spectacular event because the faster cars won't get as much chance to jackrabbit ahead. Many grids feature several classes, while other grids include only lesser-powered cars, or only top-power Group Cs. Hunting for the grid that's best usually doesn't take too long.

Now for a track-by-track tour of...uh...the REAL CIRCUIT TOURS.

Suzuka (6 Laps)
Top Group Cs takes a pitstop either on Lap 4/5 or 5/6. There are several ways to tackle this (and subsequent) RCT events, depending on which type of car we choose to enter.

Some heavier GT2, Concept, or LM types (like the Oreca Viper I drove, which weighs just over 2,500 pounds) will have eaten their tires on that last lap if they're on R3s, but lighter cars should be okay. Racing against lower-powered GT1s and Group Cs is advisable for the best challenge if you've got a lighter car, since the fastest Group Cs take a pit and can be eliminated as true competition at Suzuka. 

But if your car is heavier and kills its tires, you have a choice: keep the best lesser-powered Ai GT1s OFF the grid, or allow them to race. This includes the Audi R8, Mazda 787B, Pescarolo, BMW V12 LM-R, and sometimes the Peugeot 905). The Toyota 7 winds up being the wild card at Suzuka (and several other events) because it's older than everyone else, yet can keep up and not need a pitstop. Harder tires (probably R2s) and extra power will be needed if you're driving a GT2 or LM, and allow any of these to enter. On the other hand, you choose to keep these lighter, slower cars OFF the grid, it's okay. Top-power Group Cs will show up, but they will need a pitstop. They can jackrabbit up to 20 seconds ahead, yet still be passed while they're in the pits! 


Twin Ring Motegi Road Course (8 Laps)
Almost all the Ai takes a pit here, including most GT1s. The Pescarolo is an exception, but it also happens to be one of the slower GT1s. The situation here is the opposite of Suzuka: Lighter cars can go against anybody with a choice to use softer tires and take a pitstop (since everyone else does) or go on harder tires and not take one. 

If you're driving a heavier car it's best to NOT take a stop if the best cars (Group C or GT1) are on the grid. For an easier time, keep top Group Cs OFF the grid. If they're allowed on it, extra power will be needed. Either way, it's best to go on R2 tires and never make a stop. 

Even with a pitstop, Group C Ai sometimes manages to catch up quick and slay us at Twin Ring, since they have a few straights to plunder. Sometimes, it's possible to start a 900 hp Group C in 5th place behind a field of GT1s, which limits the stronger car's ability to jackrabbit, but this doesn't always work. Sometimes that Group C monster will still manage to get ahead early, and then wind up way too far in front.


Tsukuba (15 Laps)
Everybody takes a pit here except the Toyota 7. Again, lighter vehicles that can last all 15 laps on one set of tires (R1s or R2s) have the choice to do so, but it's also possible to run them on softer tires (R3 or R4) and take a pitstop. Sometimes, it's more dramatic to choose option 2 (run softer tires)...option 1 can make for some dull events. These lighter cars are welcome to compete against anybody, including the Toyota 7. Matter of fact, I recommend getting the fastest of the fast to show up at Tsukuba. Just beware, because that Toyota 7 won't take a pit.

Heavier cars? Keep the fastest Group Cs out of the race for most cases. Even with extra horsepower, heavier GT2s and LMs can wind up not being able to keep up with these guys. Pitstops will be mandatory for any heavier GT2 or LMs we may race, so it's okay to run R4 (soft racing slicks), and take a pit just as the left tires are turning from yellow to orange. Try to find a grid with one or two GT2s or LMs on or near pole, or at least one of the slower GT1s. This limits the ability of faster cars to jackrabbit.


Laguna Seca (10 Laps)
Most of the Ai take a pit here, sometimes even taking it just before Lap 10! WTF? There are a few exceptions to this: the Toyota 7 and a couple slower vehicles like the Peugeot 905 and Pescarolo teams will not take a pitstop.

So far as what we drive: Lighter GT1s, Can Ams, et cetera can mostly go the distance on harder tires without a pit, or they can be driven on softer tires and make a stop. Some heavier GT2 and LMs will need a pit, unless they can go all 10 laps without one. R2s will be needed if no pit is taken, while R4s are better if one is taken. I find it best to make a pit if I'm racing a heavier GT class or LM car with only faster Group Cs in the mix. But be careful who shows up, because (as mentioned) not all slower GT1s and Group Cs take pitstops.


Infineon Raceway (9 Laps)
Interesting how the RCT series starts in Japan, moved to the United States, and now has stayed in the U.S. Anybody else notice this?

Everybody (with a few exceptions) takes a pitstop at Sears Point. I mean Infineon. Everybody takes a stop except those mentioned during the previous race at Laguna Seca: Toyota 7, Peugeot 905, and the Pesky. These three will forgo the pits. The Toyota 7 is usually not a threat at Infineon, though. It can make some early mistakes before its tires are warmed;  spinning way off-course and losing positions in some cases!  

Lighter cars can be up against anybody, and will not need to pit if you use R3 tires or whatever lasts all 9 laps. It's best to find a grid featuring a Pescarolo, Peugeot 905, and/or some faster Group Cs. The more drama the better. These faster cars can jackrabbit somewhat ahead and not be a huge threat (since they'll need to pit anyways), meanwhile, you may still be battling a slower GT1 that won't take a pit. Who will ultimately pass the finish line first?

It's possible to use less-than-usual horsepower in a GT2 or LM class if you don't take a pit stop, and are adept at keeping up. R2 tires best. Softer tires can be used if a pit is taken, but this can sometimes result in us become jackrabbits ourselves. Top horsepower Group Cs can be put in 3rd, 4th, or 5th place. As long as they don't wind up jackrabbiting too far ahead, our power can be kept lower than usual.

Note: Sears Point seems to be a bit of an equalizer track. I've seen races in which lesser GT1 class cars (like the Audi R8) keep ahead of more powerful Group Cs, even after both classes took a stop.


Fuji Speedway 2005 GT (8 Laps)
Whoops, back to Japan again. Fuji is tricky because it uses a standing-start rather than a rolling start. The rules change a bit again, as a greater number of GT1 Prototypes (and some slower Group Cs) will NOT take a pit. These guys will fall way behind the faster Group Cs, but it doesn't matter because all higher horsepower Group Cs will wind up needing a pit. I've seen some odd accidents at this race...once a Nissan R92CP got well ahead (like -8 seconds), yet wound up face-first in a wall after poorly navigating out of that final tight corner. The 888 hp Gillet Vertigo can become a rare jackrabbit from the GT2 class during the first 4 or 5 laps. But it eventually needs a pitstop and winds up being the typical loser that it is.

So far I haven't found a lighter car that'll compete here competively without blowing everyone else away. R3 tires can be used without a pit for the majority of cases. GT2 and LMs should also avoid the pits, since they'll be competing against a field which avoids them as well. Use R2 tires for these.


Circuit de la Sarthe I (3 Laps)
Off to Europe for the beginning of the end, held appropriately at Le Mans. The Ai makes a few minor mistakes here and there, but otherwise drives pretty well 90% of the race (if you don't count the times they punt us and each other). Top horsepower cars predictably take a pitstop, but the lesser-powered ones won't. The only exception to this rule is the Sauber Mercedes. It's the only 900+ hp car I've seen that doesn't pit. This winds up being a bad decision; in the final lap the Sauber will typically be spinning out all over the road!

** It's possible to use the table found up in the GT All Stars section for both Sarthe and the 'Ring to plan ahead and determine each car's top speed. During these 2 finals, some Ai actually can get this fast! 

So far, I haven't been successful with racing a lightweight. The Chaparral just can't handle this track without an impending spin, no matter what tuning I used, so something with better high-speed stability will be needed. Stay tuned.

The GT2 class Viper I drove did better. Such cars can go on R3 tires and not take a pit when racing against GT1s, lesser Group Cs, and the Toyota 7, all of which won't pit. Top horsepower Group Cs are a waste of time to race against. They can jackrabbit all they want! Since Sarthe is only 3 laps, the fact that the'll need a pitstop erases any chance they've got at winning! We can race against them with less horsepower than usual for an easier win. No prob. The only exception to this rule (as mentioned) is the Sauber Mercedes C9, but the Sauber is also not a threat since its tires turn to mush in Lap 3. 
 

Nürburgring (2 Laps)
Just 2 laps, but lots of turns. The Ai teams still haven't got a clue, and are still running R4 soft-grade slicks. The difference is: nobody takes a pitstop here at Nürburgring. Needless to say, the top horsepower cars really start having some problems, which can be downright comical during the replay! What's surprising (or perhaps expected at this point) is that finally some GT1s and lesser Group Cs also have a few problems, as there's enough corners for their tires to start wearing out. Somewhere after Adenaur Forst/Lap 2, their tires are moving on to tire heaven, and they'll sometimes start sliding around! In general, they perform damage control alot better than their higher-horsepower Group C cousins.  

The main exception happens to be (ta-dah) the ancient Toyota 7. Towards the end of Lap 2, it's still going strong, and can even pass other Ai which have gotten far ahead. Another fact of interest: GT2 & LMs can sometimes make a huge difference at the 'Ring, as faster, lighter cars bottleneck behind them, sometimes well into Lap 2.

Lighter cars can be on R3 tires (don't make the same mistake as the Ai teams!) while heavier ones can go on R2s.


͸ Parts? Same requirements as for the World Cup and GT All Stars: full-racing cars with modifyable downforce are needed, not production cars with a GT Wing kit. One exception is the Chaparral 2J. Full custom everything, basically.

Cars used to get ratios:
'70 Chaparral 2J (lightweight/1,800)

'00 Team Oreca Dodge Viper (middleweight/2,500)



------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Premium Sports Lounge

rating: *** 

< Tricky Handling Cars >

Cote d'Azur
6.71 (2,800)

Opera/Paris
6.78 (2,800)

Hong Kong Reverse
6.50 (2,800)

High Speed Ring Reverse
6.04 (2,800)

New York Reverse
5.82 (2,800)


Description:
The Premium Sports Lounge (PSL) is almost another series of duds, as the charts below shows just how mis-matched half the Ai is. There are two classes: the Exotic Sports Car Class (2-seaters) versus the Luxury Coupes, which are mostly an assortment of AMGs and Astons with a single BMW M3 thrown in.

Apparently, the PSL is all about money, as the cheapest car the Ai enters (Ford GT) costs about $150,000, with the exception of a few used Benzes, perhaps.

The thing that really SUCKS is the limitation of cars we can enter. I tried entering an ordinary '05 Mustang GT, for instance. Nope. Can't do it. It doesn't cost enough, apparently; this isn't GT2 where we could play with the rules a bit. Tried a Viper GTS. Can't do it! Doesn't make any sense to me because it forces us to choose from a group of super-jackrabbits or slugs. The car we REALLY want to see become a champion might not even qualify for entering! I finally looked to Shelby (was wanting an American ride, you see). At last! The Cobra overkills sometimes, but the Mustang G.T. 350R feels perfect!

...But whatever. There is still some great racing to be had in the PSL. Now let's meet our villians.


EXOTIC SPORTS CARS

Make & Manufacturer
Horsepower
Weight (pounds)
Wgt/Pwr ratio

Comments

'00 TVR Cerbera Speed 12
798
2,248
2.82

serious jackrabbit.

'02 Saleen S7
550
2,755
5.01

fast & deadly. gets occasionally clumsy in twisty areas.

'02 Pagani Zonda C12-S 7.3
547
2,755
5.04

a top-runner at all tracks.

'02 Spyker C8 Laviolette

449
2,358
5.25

sucked during supercar challenge but is now one to watch for.

'00 Pagani Zonda C12-S
543
2,975
5.48

not as fast as 7.3, but still quick & dangerous

'05 Ford GT
550
3,198
5.81

another dangerous villian

'94 Cizeta V16-T
580
3,614
6.23

watch out...the Cizeta now does better than usual!

'03 Mercedes/AMG SLR McLaren

616
3,897
6.33

fast but heavy. can't always manage the curvier areas.

'00 Pagani Zonda C12
388
2,755
7.10

the weakest Pagani but still a threat at times

'03 Callaway Corvette C12
433
3,261
7.53

this car still sucks in GT4 as an Ai. gets passed by AMGs and Astons!  

'03 Shelby Series 1 Supercharged

319?

2,649

8.28

not quite as bad as Callaway, but still struggles to keep up with LCs

....We can mostly ignore anybody from the Luxury Coupe group, which is why I didn't bother to make a chart for them. They just haven't got the power or the power-to-weight ratio needed to make a difference, except for some rare cases where some of the weakest Exotics show up. 

In all races (without exception) there will be at least one Exotic present, which means it's impossible to start a race that's all from the Luxury Coupe class. So let's discuss the Exotics now...

Topping the jackrabbit list is (of course) the 800-horsepower TVR Cerbera Speed 12. It has problems actually becoming a jackrabbit at a couple tracks (Cote d'Azur and Paris), especially if there are other Exotics present which get an early lead, but otherwise we can assume that if the TVR shows up (even in 5th place), the race it's in will become a one-sided event.

The good news is: any car from the Exotic list other than the Speed 12 can run a closer race with us and one another. As usual, if these Exotics are started behind the Luxury Coupe class, the race will be closest overall, since the faster cars will need to contend with battling slower ones for a lap or two.
.   

....So the rules. Gotta pay attention to the cars above and where they wind up being started. If you start an Exotic higher than notated below, power will definately need to be added.


Cote d'Azur:
Start the faster Exotics (Saleen, Ford GT, the two stronger Paganis, etc) no higher than 3rd place. This pretty much guarantees they won't jackrabbit, although it still happens sometimes. This is the only race I'll allow the TVR to do, and only if it starts in 5th place with another top Exotic ahead of it. Otherwise, you can count on the TVR jackrabbiting way, way ahead of everyone else.

Opera/Paris:
Faster exotics can get a better lead early-on at Paris, so start them no higher than 4th. It's possible to start one in 3rd, but if one of these gets to the lead by the end of Lap 1 (and you're still back in traffic) it can be damn-near impossible to catch up with the power that's being suggested by this webpage. 

Lesser exotics (Callaway Corvette, Shelby Series 1, sometimes the weakest Pagani C12) can be placed on 2nd or 3rd place, which is fine, as long as they start ahead of the faster guys. Sometimes faster traffic bottlenecks behind a car from the Luxury Coupe group for several laps, so don't be surprised if (occasionally) YOU wind up becoming a jackrabbit!

Hong Kong II:
This is the least exciting race of the PSL in my opinion. Start fastest Exotics in position 4 or 5. The weakest exotics can be placed on or near pole. There is a great differential of power possibilities to take into account here. If the Saleen, Ford GT, or two faster Paganis show up for instance, full power will be needed as recommended. But if the top car is a Spyker, Cizeta, or AMG McLaren, and it's starting in position 3 or 4, 30-50 hp less will be needed, perhaps. Play around with this power to find the best results, basically.

Hong Kong is the only track so far that I've seen a grid full of Luxury Coupes show up along with one of the weakest Exotics (Callaway Corvette, for instance). It's possible to use a heck of a lot less power now (anywhere from 100 to 120 hp less, depending on how bad or good car handling is).

High Speed Ring II:
If Hong Kong was my least favorite, High Speed Ring is my very favorite! Top Exotics can be started in any position (even on Pole), with the power I'm recommending. It's fun trying to catch up to them. Despite the fact they jackrabbit, they don't drive the banks as skillfully as they could, so here's the chance to catch up and get a draft while following down HSR's long straight.

Again, if lesser cars show up, use less power, bla bla bla.

New Yawk II:
As the Exteme level comes to a close, it seems odd the final race is held at New York. Wouldn't  Nurburgring, Sarthe, or even Mid-field or El Capitan be more appropriate? Finishing the PSL on a bunch of city streets is kinda lame. 

On the other hand, this is the toughest race of the PSL, no doubt. Top Exotic makes (Saleen, either of the top two Paganis, Ford GT, sometimes the Cizeta) can get far ahead early, sometimes on the very first lap, which is why I recommend starting them in 5th place. Mid-ground Exotics (AMG McLaren, Spyker, sometimes the weakest Pagani) can be placed higher up on the grid, and power can be made less (somewhere in the neighborhood of -30 to -50 horses). There is also the possibility of finding a grid full of AMGs, Astons, and one or two of the weakest Exotics. Even if these Exotics starts on poll, it's possible to use up to 120+ horsepower less than calculated.

The final prize (a Ford GT one can buy any time) also seems lame. But the good news: the Extreme Hall is done! For some, this could wind up being their very last race of GT4 before completing the entire game, so congrats! :cheers:

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