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GT4 European Events

GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Let's take a trip to the olde country...

Parnelli's GT4 rating system

(*) = A very uncompetitive & boring event.

(**) = Typically, a 2 star race is one in which the 5 Ai vehicles follow each other like robots with no passing and few moments of true drama.

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

(****) = A 4-star race is 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.



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Pan Euro Championship

rating: ****

* There are two different ratios below....one is for "sporty" cars (mostly modern coupes, sedans, and wagons which can handle reasonably well), and the other set is for "good-handling sports cars". The good-handling sports cars group mostly includes 2-door/2-seater types which tackle these courses with ease, but you may be able to include a few coupes (like the BMW M3) which have stellar handling.

** The ratios below are designed to include "Group 2" cars in the line-up, not Group 1. see below.

*** The ratios below also assume the driver qualified and made Pole position. If you didn't make pole, or if you want to simply start in 6th place, power will need to be added.


coupes, sedans & wagons
Opera / Paris = ``````8.94 (2,700) /// 9.62 (4,100)

Grand Valley = ``````8.18 (2,700) /// 8.74 (4,100)

Cirque de la Sarthe I: 6.40 (2,700) /// 6.81 (4,100) 

Cóte d'Azur ```````````` 8.52 (2,700) /// 9.53 (4,100)

Nürburgring ````````` 8.52 (2,700) /// 7.07 (4,100)

good-handling sports cars & roadsters
Opera / Paris: ```````9.50 (1,900) /// 13.40 (4,100)

Grand Valley: ```````8.75 (1,900) /// 12.27 (4,100)

Cirque de Sarthe I: 6.11 (1,900) /// 8.32 (4,100)

Cóte d' Azur`````````9.40 (1,900) /// 11.91 (4,100)

Nürburgring````````6.62 (1,900) /// 9.42 (4,100)


*note: if the Jaguar XJ220 is not included at Sarthe or Nürburgring (and other Grp 2 cars are present) remove some horsepower. I'm guessing 20 to 30 horses. This applies to both  lists of ratios above.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
*the following are a list a cars which can show up in the Pan Euro series. I've delegated three different groups below.

Group 1
'03 Audi Nuvolori Quattro 594 HP, ? weight ? W2P

'99 Lotus Motorsport Elise 483 hp, ? weight, ? W2P

'86 RUF Porsche BTR: 473 hp, 2,600 lbs. =5.50

'03 Mercedes SLR McLaren: 601 hp, 3,897 lbs.= 6.48

Group 2
'00 Pagani Zonda C12: ? hp, 2,755 lbs. = ? W2p

'94 TVR Griffith: 478 hp, 2,336 lbs. = 4.89

'02 TVR Tamora: 478 hp, 2,336 lbs. = 4.89

'00 TVR Tuscan sp.6: 474 hp, 2,424 lbs. = 5.11 

'97 TVR Cerbera sp.6: 476 hp, 2490 lbs. = 5.23

'03 TVR 350C: 476 hp, 2,616 lbs. = 5.50

Note: 350C is the slowest TVR--often lagging behind the others. But don't count it out...it can surprise occasionally.

'92 Jaguar XJ220: 516 hp, 3,024 lbs. = 5.86

Note: The Jag sometimes has problems at the slower tracks, but really shines at Sarthe & the 'Ring, where its bulky, heavy shape isn't such a burden.

'97 Lotus Esprit 350: 487 hp, 2,865 lbs. 5.88

Group 3 
Cizetta V16T: ? hp, 3,614 lbs, ? Wp2

Note: The Cizetta is actually fast and should be a Group 1 car. Often qualifies well, but the driver can't handle worth a damn. Think of this car as comic relief. You'll see what I mean. ;)

'03 BMW M3 CSL: 476 hp, 3,052 lbs.= 6.41

'04 Mercedes Benz SL65 (AMG): 616 hp, 4,470 lbs.= 7.26

'05 BMW M5: 506 hp, 3,780 lbs.= 7.47

'04 Aston Martin Vanquish: 478 hp, 4,044 lbs.= 8.46

'02 Mercedes Benz SL55 (AMG): 497 hp, 4,408 lbs.= 8.67

'04 Mercedes Benz SL600: 507 hp, 4,463 lbs.= 8.80


Description
This is the race-series that finally got my palms sweating. Some cars ...actually make that most cars in the Pan Euro drive like PROS, and do not let up!

Qualifying seemed easy at first. The Ai is easily smoked in these sessions if you just do a lap or 2. It took several attempts and restarts before I understood the Ai means bizzness. They tend to drive harder once they're actually racing than they do while qualifying.

Try this experiment: do 6 laps of qualifying at Opera (for instance). You may make pole easily with 2 or 3 seconds to spare in early laps, but in the 4 or 5 laps after you've gained pole watch closely... the Ai may bump your spot back to 2nd or 3rd as their tires warm and they get more confident. I've done some qualifying sessions (particularly at the 'ring) where I've had 6 or 7 seconds over my opponents, yet the race itself turned out to be tougher than expected.

Lots of Ai can take the spotlite. The 3 Ai groups listed above give some examples. I'll leave some mystery here because it's difficult to predict who will be the best. Suffice it to say you should never assume you've got it easy. Practice practice practice if you need to (I sure did).

As mentioned twice now, there are 3 different Groups which can appear as Ai: Groups 1, 2, and 3, as found above. This took alot of research on my part to determine. Nothing is written in stone, of course...there will be the occasional race where a Group 3 may fight strongly in a race where Group 2 is dominant, but these moments are rare. Please note that including Group 1 will stagger the race series, meaning one car will jackrabbit far ahead of everyone else, so I don't recommend racing against Group 1. It's just not as fun. If you wanna try including Group 1, go ahead, but you'll need more power than I've posted in the ratios section above.

The RUF BTR for some odd reason is on S3 tires, even tho all other Ai are on S2s. The McLaren Benz and Audi Nuvoloatari (however you spell it) just have waaay too much power. The Lotus Motorsport Elise drives Paris very poorly, but rocks at most other tracks. So like I said, all the ratios above were made while racing against Group 2 cars.


͸ For best results, make sure any TVRs, the Pagani, and/or the Lotus Esprit show up. You can go for a Group 3 line-up as well, which means you'll need less power than I've posted, and unfortunately I don't have ratios for this, yet. I'm suspecting it may be possible to race some front-drives against Group 3, tho. We shall see...


• Semi-racing suspension with S2 medium sport tires recommended.

͸  Some cars may need these parts, too: fixed or full-custom limited-slip, close gears at Paris and Monaco, twin or triple-plate clutch, carbon shaft. Full brake upgrades (sport brakes and balancer) for all cars unless they're from the "good handling" group, then you can just get the sport brake package. And don't forget you may possibly need a full-custom gearbox at Sarthe and Nubürgring for some cars.

You get the picture. It's time to get serious!

*A Lotus 111R was driven for the flyweight (1,900 pound) category for good-handling sports cars. A Mercedes Benz SL500 was used for the good-handling sport cars category. Not sure what i drove for the middle & heavy weight sedan/wagon/coupe categories. 


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British GT Series

rating: **1/2 (w/o qualifying)
````````````* (with qualifying)


All weight-to-power ratios below were derived without qualifying rounds.

Grand Valley Speedway
7.73 (1,500) // 9.63 (3,700)

Fuji Speedway '90s
6.35 (1,500) // 9.30 (3,700)

El Capitan
9.67 (1,500) // 10.63 (3,700)

Infineon (Sports Car Course)
7.54 (1,500) // 9.25 (3,700)

Midfield II
6.05 (1,500) // 8.75 (3,700)




Let's meet the Ai...:-D


'94 TVR Griffith 500: 494 hp, 2,336 lbs. = 4.73

'02 TVR Tamora: 487 hp, 2,336 lbs. = 4.80

'00 TVR Tuscan Speed6: 487 hp, 2,424 lbs. = 4.98

'03 TVR T350C: 489 hp, 2,616 lbs. = 5.35

'00 Lotus Esprit Sport 350: 494 hp, 2,865 lbs. = 5.80

'92 Jaguar XJ220 = 516 hp, 3,024 lbs. = 5.86

'98 Lotus Esprit GT = 494 hp, 2,920 lbs. = 5.91

'97 TVR Cerbera Speed Six: 494 hp, 2,940 lbs. = 6.01

'02 Lotus Esprit V8: 494 hp, 3,041 lbs. = 6.16

'98 Lotus Esprit V8-SE: 494 hp, 3,042 lbs. = 6.16

'99 Aston Martin DB9 Coupe: 494 hp, 3,769 lbs. = 7.63

'99 Aston Martin V8 Vantage: 559 hp, 4,342 lbs. = 7.76



Description
:
Let's have a spot of tea, shall we?...while we suss  these events....

We'll require an International A license, which is a bit odd. I don't find the British GT Series to be so demanding. Not that there's no challenge...certainly there is plenty if you severely limit power. But I-A? >:-/ Hmmmm....

One HUGE criticism to make right off is: our opponents are lacking a bit of fire. I looked at the power these guys were putting down...all of it hovering around 500 horses, and was disappointed because they drive so conservatively during the race. This is why I DON'T recommend qualifying. Qualifying is actually a waste of time during the British GT Series. Qualifying will guarantee each race can become a blow-away session if you've got any sort of skill. By not qualifying, the British GT comes alive, and you can also save yourself some time. I mean, use qualifying runs to test your car if you absolutely have to, but otherwise...you get the point.

Here's the good part. Unlike the Pan/Euro Series up above, it won't take a long time to find a good grid for the British GT Series. A lot of the cars are on the same page (or at least within the same chapter) so far as power & weight are concerned, and at times they do compete with one another. But there are other races in which one driver will jackrabbit far ahead of everyone else. 

There are some Ai which will do well, and there are those which won't be much of a threat. The Jaguar XJ220 seems to be the main jackrabbit-type. Same goes with the Lotus Esprit Sport 350. Both of these car feature modifyable downforce, which could have something to do with thier ability to get away from the pack. So far, any other jackrabbits I've seen run ahead only mildly, if at all. There are always exceptions of course, but usually the only ones to worry about are the Jag and the Sport 350. If you include these guys in your events, you may need more power than I've recommended.

Obviously, the heavier ones towards the bottom of the above list (Astons and such) shall toil immediately towards the rear. Oddly, it is these heavier GTs (Astons and Jags) which make the best cars for us to drive more competitively. A TVR or an Elise is just overkill material, even if they're hundreds of HP less than the Ai.

͸  Use medium sport tires (S2) with semi-racing suspension. Racing brake package as well, but no controller.

͸  If you find yourself blowing the competition away at El Capitan with the ratios above, use S1 or N3 tires to get the truest challenge. S1 for heavier grand tourers, and N3s for those which handle better, like TVRs and such. 

͸  Most cars will be fine with either stock or close-gearing, only some older models (or 5-speed Elises) may need full-custom gearing, especially at Fuji.

͸ Drivetrain parts can vary. I tend to soup up the heavier models (Jaguars and Astons) with heavier clutches, lighter flywheels (depends on track & situation), and the carbon driveshaft. Don't always need all this for the typical purer sports car, though. Many of those lighter British cars (TVRs, Lotuses, etc) can go nearly stock for many of these events.

͸ Elises and other super-lightweights may need a fixed limited slip differential (1.5 or 2-way), as they can be quite a handful without them at the speeds you'll be going. This is truest at Midfield than it is at other tracks.


* I used a '00 Lotus Elise for the flyweight (1,500 pound) category, and a '99 Jaguar XJR Coupe for the  heavyweight category (3,700 pounds). Weight was reduced and/or added to create exact poundage.   

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Deutche Touring Car Masterschaft

rating: * (with qualifying), *** (without, possibly)

And here we have the Deutche Touring Car Masterschaft, otherwise known as the DTM. Although I haven't tried all the cars which can possibly compete, I have taken a gander at some of their specs. It seems in all cases they've already got the power necessary to tackle the DTM because they're all from a race series which was heavily-monitored in real-life. Kinda like the JGTC. So those of us who are skilled won't have to tweak our power at all, and I won't have to spend an entire set of days trying to calculate ratios for this portion of the page. ;)

For instance, I've got the '92 AMG/Mercedes 190 E Touring Car. While it's stock, it's got 382 hp (track hp, not garage hp) and that's without an oil change. I'm leaving this alone for these races, even though power can be added to this car in the form of oil change or a Stage 3 or 4 turbo. Using anything more than absolute stock power is just overkill. The only reason to add more than this is if I want B-spec to do a race, and with no qualifying.

While I applaud PD for finally including a set of races which don't feature any jackrabbits (theoretically), and the prize car for winning the DTM is GREAT, there are some problems...

One criticism is the limited amount of cars which can be driven here. I'm not even talking about putting an American or Japanese vehicle in the DTM, I'm talking of the fact that a street-version AMG, BMW, or Alfa (or whatever European auto) can't be entered. Kinda sucks. The reason it sucks is that it's harder to create truely challenging races. That isn't to say the DTM isn't possibly tough; all I'm saying is people discuss such races as the Opel Speedster championships more than they discuss GT4's DTM. Ever wonder why?

To get more challenge, we have just a couple options: skip qualifying or use harder tires.

I just started that first race at Paris in my AMG in 6th place, and it did take all 6 laps until I finally passed the leading Opel Astra. Such races aren't always the case, unfortunately. Sometimes the DTM is too easy for us skilled drivers, even when skipping those qualifying rounds. *sigh* At the following race (Mid-field Raceway) I was ahead of the same Opel by the end of Lap 2! Why on Earth does it take an I-A license to enter these?

Of course, those who aren't as skilled may find these challenging. I understand PD is trying to keep the DTM true to its root-cars (rather than having "outsiders" also compete), so that some people reading this may...question my ethics. But my opinion is PD could have done better.   

Parts needed: they're already installed! Some cars may need harder tires (if you desire), but everything else is already bolted onto any car which can possibly perform the DTM.

  


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La Festa Italiano
rating: ***

Classic Cars (pre-70s)
11.05 (2,100)

B-Spec: add 40 horsepower

Three sprints, each just 2 laps. These races are most heavily populated by front-drive cars, but the all-wheel drive Lancia Delta HF Integrale can also show up. Obviously, front-drive cars don't do as well, so have them start in front of other drivetrain types. Another trick (if all cars that show up are front-drives) is to have 4-doors start ahead of lighter 2-door models. In any case, there is some unpredictability here. Rules aren't set in stone.

In some cases, these races can be comical..everyone gets feisty, drives off-course and into each other at Autumn Ring, for instance. At Infineon Raceway, it won't matter if the Ai gets a healthy lead on you, they always blow it at this track! There can be plenty of mid-race sparring at Le Festa Italiano events. I would rate these race 4 stars if the Ai didn't drive so poorly!

͸ Race on S2 {medium sport tires} and sport or semi-racing suspension. Newer, spiffy cars can go all stock.

͸ B-spec should have S3 (soft sports).

͸ Racing brakes and light drivetrain parts are good. Many cars can use their stock or close-ratio gearing


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Tous France Championnat

rating: ***

Opera / Paris Reverse:
16.98 (1,900) /// 19.09 (2,450) /// 18.27 (3,850)

Circuit de la Sarthe I:
10.69 †(1,900) /// 11.92 (2,450) /// 13.85 (3,850)

Special Stage Route 5:
13.68 (1,900) /// 16.62 (2,450) /// 17.61 (3,850)

Grand Valley Reverse:
11.46 (1,900) /// 13.14 (2,450) /// 15.66 (3,850)

Côte d' Azur:
14.19 (1,900) /// 16.97 (2,450) /// 17.61 (3,850)

B-spec: Use an AWD, mid, or rear-engine car. After finding the correct weight/power ratio, add 20-30 hp to a modern car like a Clio Sport V6. Use 20 for tracks with standing-starts, and 30 for those with rolling starts. Older models and/or those which handle poorly will need more than this...usually about +50 horses.

** all ratios above were developed with qualifying runs included. Add 40 horsepower if you choose not to qualify. Do not qualify B-spec races if you choose to keep the faster cars off the Ai grid.


Welcome to the only French Euro-league races. As I expected, this batch is a bit of a walkover, hence the A-license requirement. All the French automobiles in the Tous France Championnat (including sportier models) are relatively low-powered, averaging around 220 hp. The Clio Phase 2 has the most at 249 bhp, but it is also the heaviest car (I think). But the good news is: you'll be driving a variety of landscapes, the competition is somewhat motivated, and these events also pay handsomely at $10,000 a shot.

Many cars show their faces in the Ai grid...Renaults, Peugeots, Citroëns, and Hommels. To create a 3-star group of races, it is best to try and get the Hommel Berlinette R/S Coupe, 1980 Renault 5 Turbo, Renault Clio Sport 24v, and/or Renault Clio Sport V6 Stage 2, or as many of these as you can on the grid.


͸  If you choose not to qualify, you can include front-drives such as the Peugeot 106 and Renault Clio Sport 16v, but you must find a grid that has them sitting in pole position while the mid-engine cars start in 4th or 5th place.

Pay attention to your Clios..the front-drive Clio Sport 16v is not on the list above so ignore it if it shows.


Try and get at least 3 of the above (Hommel Berlinette, Clio Sport V6, etc) to show up. This can take awhile...so be patient. These events can be a tad dull without multiple sparring partners. In many cases, you shouldn't need vast power upgrades. I even won these driving my minivan-ish Renault Avantime against both the Hommel and the Clio Phase 2, as demonstrated above in the heavyweight class (3,850 pounds). I also used a Citroën Xsara VTR for the middle-weight class, and a Peugeot 106 Rallye for the lightweight.

It is possible to do all front-wheel drive races, too. These require less power (TBD). If you go this route, it might be a good idea to include as many "hot hatch" types as Ai (Meganes, 206s, etc.), while you drive a heavier model like the Citroën Xantia.

• Use sports or semi-racing suspension for front-drive cars, as well as racing brake kit and S2 medium sport tires. Some FWDs may also benefit from a 1-way differential. Close gearing also recommended at some trakcs. Some cars may need a full-custom transmission at Circuit de la Sarthe. Cheaper drivetrain parts (single-plate clutch + sports flywheel) too.

• Notice that first race in Paris. You'll be severely underpowered here because the Ai sometimes has a habit of running into a wall before the race even starts, causing you to get a huge lead early on! The Opera/Paris ratio above was made after qualifying in 1st. It is possible to remove a few horses after qualifying to get a closer race, but it is also extremely risky because the Ai doesn't always strike that wall.

• If you gualify far ahead of the Ai at Grand Valley, don't change your power. This race features a standing-start. Rear and all-wheel drive Ai will get a better launch and you'll usually need to catch them as you understeer heavily thru GV's many curves.

I personally don't recommend using modern French mid-engine cars like the Clio Sport for the Tous France Championnat unless you're going B-spec, not if you want any sort of a challenge that is. Older cars like the '80s-era autos and rear-drive Alpines are okay, but you must keep them underpowered (to be determined).


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European Classic Car League
rating: ***

Racing against Jaguar E-type
12.83 (2,900)

Racing against Class A (see 1,000 Miles section below)
18.42 (2,100)

* Results can vary from track to track. At some tracks, you'll have too much advantage, at others, you'll be struggling for a win. To compensate, save your game between races. If you blow its doors off and want more of a challenge, restart the game & the race on crappier N tires. Or remove some parts.


Description:
The European Classic Car League (ECCL) an interesting set of races, as long as you carefully structure the opponents that show up. Some races will rate 4 stars...up to 3 cars will be competeing for a win along with you! Other events will wind up being boring as hell.

Conveniently, alot of the opponents that show up in this series are the same ones that show up in the 1000 miles events (see 1000 Miles section below), minus those that are American or Japanese (so no Corvettes or Nissan, Honda, or Japanese roadsters ...no Mazda Cosmo, etc).

This lack of additional cars hurts the series somewhat, as there's a lack of interesting scenarios unless you HUNT. In fact, if you don't find a good grid, this is one of GT4's suckier race-series because you'll only be fighting one other car if the AC Cobra, Jaguar E-type, or Mercedes 300SL (in that order) show up.

It's best to hunt and hunt for a good, but slower, grid. Finding the Ginetta, Lotus Elan, and Alfa Romeo GTA is best. Even tho the Ginetta is faster than these others, it usually blows its cornering, after which it catches up down the straights. Exciting stuff. Other Alfas (the Spider and the Giulia Sprint) can sometimes keep up at tighter courses. You can use the 1,000 Miles Class A rules below to race against these any of these guys.


͸ Use semi-racing stock, sports, or semi-racing suspension (depends on what you need to get your car to corner better). Cars that corner well can go stock, while cars that need the most help will need semi-racing parts. 

Sports Hard (S1) tires as well. This is what the Ai are driving on. If you have too much advantage, it's possible to also use any of the N tires as well.  

͸ Racing Brakes as well as whatever transmission works best (without overkill). Some cars may need full-custom gearing at some tracks, but can have stock or close gears at some others. Sports clutch & flywheel can be used in some cars to enhance shifting (if they need it).  


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Euro Hot Hatch League

rating: **1/2

Front Engine/Front Drive


T. Ring Motegi East
11.96 (1,900) /// 14.33 (2,500) /// 15.87 (3,000)

Opera / Paris
13.88 (1,900) /// 13.17 (2,500) ///  16.22 (3,000)

Trail Mountain II
12.60 (1,900) /// 15.59 (2,500) /// 17.14 (3,000)

Suzuka East
11.67 (1,900) /// 13.77 (2,500) /// 15.15 (3,000)

SS Route 5 II
10.99 (1,900) /// 13.40 (2,500) /// 14.28 (3,000)

B-spec: Add @50-70 hp after qualifying

* please note the Ai is somewhat unpredictable. sometimes they drive well; other times they seem to be having "off" days. the ratios above include qualifying runs. calculate your power using the above numbers and do at least 3 laps of qualifying, or let the Ai do a couple laps before you qualify. then, modify the engine/exhaust accordingly but beware and try not to stray too far from the ratios above.

Description
Is the EHHL as hot as i'd hoped it would be? Well it is intense, and you never know which car you'll be up against from race to race. But unfortunately the Hot Hatch League is a bit unpredictable in a couple bad ways:

1. You might have a close race, but it's also sometimes possible to find faster Ai cars bottleneck behind slower ones, leaving you with a multi-second lead.

2. You might qualify 4 seconds faster than anyone else, yet during the race be confronted with a Renault Clio Sport that all a sudden drives well and jackrabbits far ahead. Also, be warned that the Clio Sport driver often seems to "decide" to drive harder in the last lap...almost as if he's thinking "enough with the games, now it's time to hand that driver his ass!"

The Clio Sport V6s (24v & Phase 2) generally dominate these about 75% of the time. It can take awhile, but finding a grid with both Clio Sports + the Renault 5 is best. Having the Ford Focus, BMW M Coupe, '80 Renault 5 Turbo, and/or '85 Peugeot 205 Turbo (but NO CLIO SPORT V6) is recommended for a closer race between multiple Ai. There may still be some spread, however, at some tracks. Remove 10 to 15 HP if you exclude the Clio Sport V6s.


• Use S2 medium sports and sport or semi-racing suspension. For cars that maneuver pooly or for B-spec, try using S3 soft sport tires. Skittish FWDs may need a 1-way differential to tame wheelspin.

• For front-drive cars, keep in mind that at Trail Mountain and Suzuka, you'll be doing a cold-start. Don't modify your power too much even if you've got a qualifying run that turns out to be several seconds too fast.

Cars I drove for above ratios:
Flyweight FWD (1,500 pounds): Fiat Panda 1000S
Lightweight FWD (1,900 pounds): Peugeot 106
Midweight FWD: (2,500 pounds): not sure what i drove
Heavyweight FWD (3,000 pnds): VW Golf GTi 5-door

All cars had weight redux or ballast to achieve exact weights.


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1,000 miles!

rating: ***

Nürburgring: `````10.31 (1,000) /// 15.54 (2,150)

Opera/Paris: ``````12.06 (1,000) /// 16.24 (2,150)

Côte d' Azur:`````` 12.06 (1,000) /// 16.24 (2,150)

Circuit de Sarthe: 11.00 (1,000) /// 13.93 (2,150)
 

• Please note the W2P ratios above represent strictly A-spec driving. It is possible (but not recommended) to give Bob or Beth a turn; but if the racing is close, i recommend letting them take an early driving shift...no later than the 1st or 2nd pit stop. With limited power, B-spec doesn't do so well, and you'll be playing a huge game of "catch-up" if you wait too long to let them take over.

....All of this assumes you haven't got a huge, double-digit lead of course. If you've begun a 1,000 Mile event and find yourself far ahead of everyone else, by all means feel free to let B-spec take a shot if you want a break...but pay attention to how things are going. You might be surprised how royally Bob can screw up!

• If you plan on racing with mostly B-spec driving (stepping in yourself occasionally as an A-specer), and your B-spec driver has some previous experience, find the W2P ratio of the greatest Ai car below and mimic it with a slightly higher ratio of your own. The '65 Alfa Romeo GTA Sprint, for instance, has a W2P ratio of 14.53. To combat against it with this method, i gave my '69 Nissan Bluebird 1600 a W2P ratio of 15.89, which resulted in lap after lap of close-racing fun for Bob, and some nail-biting moments for me. :)

• Rather than boosting power, another option might be to get creative and switch tires in B-spec (you race on S1's but put S2's on for Bob; or a combo of road tires {N3} and S1's might be appropriate). I've had mixed results with this, however.

• As i've gained more experience with GT4, i've found myself qualifying for some 1000 Miles! events, but then saving my game after the qualifying session is done. This ensures i'll start in 6th place (rather than the usual 1st) and guarantees early-race drama! Do this only if you feel confident, of course.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ai Opponents and how they drive the Ring

'66 AC Cobra 427 S/C = 478 hp
the fastest of the Ai. do not compete against this buddy unless you want to be far ahead of everyone else. a fast but ultimately unfair & boring fight.

'61 Jaguar E-type: 265 hp / 2,686 lbs. (10.14)
steady driver. fast. doesn't pit as often as other top-line sports cars.

'63 Chevrolet Corvette (C2) = 249 hp / 3,019 lbs. (12.13)
steady driver. fast. a tad sloppy as tires get worn.

'54 Mercedes Benz 300 SL: 212 hp / 2,854 (13.46)
steady driver, fast. pits every 6 laps

'68 Nissan Fairlady = 141 hp / 2,049 lbs. (14.53)
steady driver, faster than you may think at 140-ish mph. rarely takes pit. At Sarthe, the Fairlady sometimes begins to get overconfident & spins in the sand after 6 or 7 laps. but sometimes it will drive the entire race with no spins.

'62 Lotus Elan S1= 104 hp / 1,408 pounds (13.54)
steady driver, perfect cornering. 118 mph max. pits only once per race!

'67 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-B: 123 hp / 2,413 lbs. (19.62)
really slow, heavy, & disappointing. why can't we have the Skyline GTR instead?

'68 Isuzu 117 Coupe = 118 hp / 2,314 lbs. (19.61)
steady driver. good cornering but slow.

'69 Isuzu Bellet 1600 GT-R = 113 hp / 2,138 lbs. (18.92)
steady driver. good cornering but slow.

'65 Alfa Giulia Sprint GTA 1600 = 113 hp / 1,642 lbs. (14.53)
steady driver, great cornering. 125 mph. pits every 8 laps.

'63 Alfa Giulia Sprint Speciale: 112 hp / 2,094 lbs. (18.69)
2nd fastest Alfa. fishtails sometimes. 124 mph down straight.

'67 Mazda 110S = 109 hp / 2,116 lbs. (19.41)
steady. 120-ish down straight

'66 Alfa Spider = 108 hp / 2,116 lbs. (19.59)
great cornering but too slow

'64 Ginetta G4 = 99 hp / 1,001 lbs. (10.10)
fast but sometimes bad (sometimes okay) driver. 130 mph max. may pit erratically.

'70 Mini Marcos GT= ?
the fastest front-drive car. pits every 6 laps, unfortunately, as its front tires wear out

'65 Honda S800: 99 hp / 1,586 lbs. (16.03)
zippy in those corners, but short gearing limits this one to 111 mph. pits erratically

'62 Nissan Skyline Sport Coupe = 97 hp /
boy Skylines were slow back in the day....

'63 Nissan Skyline 1500Deluxe = 96 hp /
again, nothing to worry about here....

'65 Nissan Silvia ? hp
slow & steady. not very confident

'65 Toyota Sport 800: 96 hp / 1,278 lbs. (13.31)
slow. 96 mph down straights. makes stupid decisions on track and rarely pits.

'68 VW Karmann Ghia = 87 hp
slow. 103-105 mph max. this car coulda been a dynamo if it wasn't limited by its sloppy rear-engine layout and short gearing.

'65 Fiat 500 R = 78 hp
struggles with corners and never tops 65 mph unless another Ai rams it. no threat to anyone


......You don't need a license, you don't need alot of money, and you aren't limited to entering just European cars in these European events. You don't even need to be sufficiently skilled; many have let Mr. B-spec do the work matter of fact. But if you're not a lazy dolt, read on.

Here we have an interesting batch of tracks, cars, and events. Be willing to put alot of time here (for adults with jobs like myself this could mean up to a week) and the payout is sweet....but lots of driving is in your near future. For many folks, these 4 events will be their first experience with endurance racing so winning here is important cuz you won't be able to do all 4 races in a few minutes or even hours.

• Pay attention to your opponents before you start lapping at Nürburgring. It is very possible to wind up against an over-powered car like the AC Cobra. Up above, I've typed a good portion of the cars that you may face, with their respective horsepower, weight, and W2P ratio, and a description of how the car/drivers take on Nürburgring and Circuit de Sarthe (the most demanding tracks here). I have done this in an effort to try and get several Ai cars on the same page. Below i have mapped out a few classes of Ai and they correspond to the W2P ratios above.

CLASS A

For a low-power challenge, look for races that have the '62 Lotus Elan S1 and '68 Nissan Fairlady 2000. I've seen the Ginetta take the front too, but this car sometimes drives well, and other times extremely sloppy.

CLASS B

For a lower-power challenge, include the '70 Mini Marcos, '65 Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GTA or the , '68 Honda S800, VW Karmann Ghia, and '65 Toyota Sports 800. The front-drive Mini will put up a great fight early on but unfortunately it will pit earlier than the Alfa. The other 3 (Toyota, Honda, and VW) will fight more evenly. Sometimes. Sometimes not.

• If you race against the first 2 Class B cars (Alfa and Mini), use the W2P ratios above, but remove 20 hp. If the Toyota & Honda are present, remove 30 hp.

CLASS C

Finally, there are the '63 Alfa Giulia Speciale, '67 Isuzu Bellet GT-S, '68 Isuzu 117 Coupe, and '68 Mazda 110S.

• When racing against these, use the W2P ratios above but remove 35 hp. You may also need to install N3 (road tires), or use a stock suspension. The "Class C" list of Ai is probably larger than the 4 cars i have listed presently, so stay tuned....

• A high-powered race that involves a good match between multiple cars unfortunately does not exist. You can choose such a race, but in just a few laps, there will be way too much spread between the AC, Jaguar, Corvette, and Mercedes (in that order). Which really sucks and bummed me out for awhile. On the other hand, i've seen the Lotus Elan S1 (with its extremely rare pit-stops) take command of the race at the shorter Paris and Monaco tracks...beating both the Corvette and the Mercedes!


S1 hard sport tires or N3 road tires recommended. Stock, sport or semi-racing suspension. Many of these older cars will need limited-slip devices and or racing gears (only if absolutely necessary--like if your car over-revs down the long straights of Nürburgring and Sarthe).

• Racing brakes
(but no controller) needed, too. Single-plate clutch at best, but no carbon shafts, twin clutch or other "modern" type parts should be installed. Try and think of what was available to drivers in the 1960's....you kinda want to keep your baby sporty without being "overkill-sporty".


---------------------------------------------------------------
Schwarzwäld Liga A

rating: *

Front-Drive
Trail Moutain: 13.54 (1,950) // 16.38 (2,900)

Paris:``````````````13.00 (1,950) // 16.96 (2,900)

Autumn Ring II: 10.83 (1,950) // 15.18 (2,900)


Rear-Drive
All tracks: 18.07 (3,000)


Volkswagens! Audis! Beemers! OH MY!

These are 3 races (3 or 4 laps each) in which the sims will be racing German cars only (durrrr), with power just north of 200 bhp. Against my better judgement, I ported the V6 in my Audi S4 and wound up smoking the AI a bit too easily on sports tires. Later I took an Audi S3 hatchback, kept the power stock with just an oil change (231 bhp), and still won, even on a stock suspension and N3 tires, tho the races finally were a bit closer. 

...So basically, I've been letting Bob handle these. Hell, he needs the Battle Points anyways. :-D I'm kidding! Sort of....

If you want to race A-spec fairly, you'll need to seriously hold back. A baby 1-series BMW or a used Mercedes SLK 230 Kompressor can do it. So can some front-drives. Golfs are perfect. But no matter what: it won't take much power to win these.

The Ai drives with what I'll describe as a lack of passion, rarely will there be a mid-race battle for instance, despite the fact that they are all similarly powered. They drive with horribly safe, generic cornering lines and take few risks. Schwarzwald Liga A makes the K-cup races look exciting in comparison.

The biggest, baddest Ai to have on the grid are the Audi S3, Audi TT 3.2, and the VW Golf R32. Start these behind others or they'll jackrabbit, especially at Trail Mountain. Actually never mind that. Anyone can wind up jackrabbiting at any track (except maybe a heavier car like a BMW 330i or a front-drive). In some caces, I think it's OKAY to have a jackrabbit car take off! At least it'll give you something to chase for the next 3 or 4 laps. The few close Liga A races you'll find will feel way too easy.

All-wheel drives have a strong advantage at Trail Mountain since this course features a standing-start, but I've also seen lighter rear-drive BMWs win over Audis at Trail Mountain, if they start on pole position. Other than these small tads of unpredictability, there's little to get excited about.   

 S2 medium sport tires and a sports suspension are good. S3 sports (for B-spec) with sports suspension are recommended here for Bob.

͸ If your car is off the chart and has too much power (as many German autos in this game are), you can try driving on N2 or N3 tires. A-spec driving in cars that have had significant weight reductions call for even more drastic measures as you see fit (use a stock suspension instead a sports, for instance). Sometimes, you'll get a good lead on the Ai even if you follow all my guidelines.

͸ If you drive a front-drive, feel free to add some better parts as needed (particularly a close-ratio gearbox, twin clutch, and lighter flywheel. Sports brakes are also good, but a controller is overkill. 

• Give B-spec cars a close transmission with an assortment of drivetrain & brake upgrades if needed.

I used a Opel Corsa Comfort with stage 3 weight and 7 kg (15 pounds) of ballast added for the 1,950 front-drive category, an '01 VW Golf with some ballast for the 2,900 pound front-drive category, and a BMW 135 for the 3,000 pound rear-drive.

------------------------------------------------------------------
Schwarzwäld Liga B

rating: ***


Nürburgring:
8.90 (2,900) // 9.59 (3,500) // 10.13 (4,000)

Route 246:
8.48 (2,900) // 8.79 (3,500) // 9.45 (4,000) 


Fuji Speedway 90s
10.00 (2,900) // 9.69 (3,500) // 10.93 (4,000)

High Speed Ring II: 
10.00 {N3 tires} (2,900) // 10.29 (3,500) // 11.23 (4,000)

Suzuka Circuit:
9.66 (2,900) // 9.89 (3,500) // 11.23 (4,000)

B-spec:

Nürburgring: 6.11 (2700)
Route 246:````6.34 (2700)
Fuji 90s: ````` 7.01 (2700)
HSR & Suzuka: 7.10 (2700)


Now we have the races featuring Germany's heavyweights--the AMGs, the Ms, and the RSes. This batch is better than Liga A. The Ai is powered up to 600 bhp at the most, but you won't need anywhere near this much if you're good. 

We're only allowed cars from a pre-approved list (M3, SLR McLaren, RUF RGT, etc), which really SUCKS. You CAN'T bring a lesser car like the BMW 330i or a used Audi S4 and race, even if you boost power above 300 hp before you enter, because the STUPID rules only allow cars that have over 300 when stock... But this is okay. It is possible to create a good set of races, so the main thing you'll have to worry about is what car to enter.

A good rule is to have a grid where 4-wheel drives start in front of rear-wheel drives at any track except High Speed Ring. In other words, have Audis start in a better spot than BMWs and Benzes. If you get sick of looking for such a grid, just find one that starts Benzes in front of BMWs, but keep in mind you might have to add a few horses. At High Speed Ring, all the Ai seem to have taken a dose of Sominex, and they don't drive nearly as aggressively as they do at other tracks, so have BMW M3s start on pole if it makes your race more challenging.

͸  If there are no BMW M3s or late-model 2-door AMGs, remove 10 to 50 horsepower. Cars which are lighter and handle more nimbly should have more power removed than those which are heavy/handle poorly, but this is not an exact science.  

͸  At horsepower-hungry Route 246, some Benzes (other than the 2-doors) can put on a good showing, and you can remove power only if both Ms and late-model AMGs  are absent here.

͸ Use S2 medium slicks or a combo of S2 and S1s. Sport or semi-racing suspension. An assortment of drivetrain parts can be used, like close gearing and twin clutches. 

͸ The Ai drives High Speed Ring poorly, not taking advantage or laying down full power in those banked curves, and even braking into them! If you find yourself getting too much advantage here, you can try using N3 tires instead of S2s.


͸ Some cars you may race (like M-series BMWs and newer RUFs) have such fantastic stock brakes, and all around great cornering. You'll be giving yourself an unfair advantage with a brake kit when racing these cars. So as a rare limit, go with stock brakes in one of these. And DON'T use a brake controller on any cars you race. Again, this is overkill. 


I used an RUF 3400S with 35 pounds (16 kg) of ballast to get the 2,900 pound category, a BMW M3 with 40 pounds (18 kg) of ballast to get the 3,500 pound category. I think i used an M5 for the 4,000 pound category, but I'm not sure.  

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