GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

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GT4 Endurance Events

Strategy is important! Be Patient! Aim for the WIN!!! 

Parnelli's GT4 rating system

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

(**) = Typically, a 2 star race is one in which the five 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 some unpredictability & drama. Reset race for a mixture of good opponents and maximum playability.

During endurances, a 3-star race can mean unpredictable moments well into the event, though this isn't always guaranteed.

(****) = The best GT4 has to offer. Lots of interplay between you and the Ai. Multiple lead changes, mid-race dueling and pumped adrenaline guaranteed. 

For Endurance events, there may be some unpredictability during a 4-star race, even during those latest laps. A late-race showdown usually arises. If it doesn't, it's typically because some rules aren't being followed (like you've included a jackrabbit-type of auto).

First tip. It is possible to learn how many laps Ai cars generally will do in any GT4 race because Smallhorses over at GTP has made a page detailing this. This can be important when creating an endurance race in which you need to go an excessive amount of laps, yet there happens to be an Ai that does significantly less, or if you're trying to strategize your own pit stops.

Here is the link:

GT4 AI LAP STRATEGY--CLICK HERE

SECOND TIP: Be aware of how many laps your car is capable of before you race. If you have a car that requires a pitstop every 10 laps at Grand Valley 300km, for instance, you're probably wasting your time trying to race it since many Ai make a stop every 15 laps. That's 5 stops versus 3 stops. It is still possible to do such a race, but you'll need to make sure your car is significantly faster than the Ai.

Third Tip: NO OIL CHANGES! Getting an oil change sounds like a great idea since it's a cheap way to boost power. However, this extra power will start to vanish within a matter of laps as the oil starts to break down. This means you'll be losing power and (therefore) speed.

Fourth Tip: It's possible to make tires last longer by not driving as aggressively. Not every lap has to be tops. I've gotten anywhere from one to three extra laps on a set of tires before they finally started turning red. Driving less aggressively means taking turns with as little tire-squeal as possible. This is especially recommended for those times during which you've gotten a fairly good lead over the opponents. 

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Grand Valley 300 KM

rating: ***

The W2P ratios below do not include B-spec help.

Problem-handling
5.03 (1,675) /// 5.53 (2,800)

Superior-handling
6.31 (2,400)


Cars with problem-handling tend to have some sort of massive difficulty(ies) during the GV 300KM. Excessive understeer, long brake distances, uneven tire wear, etc. This category doesn't necessarily mean these cars have bad handling...instead, they have problems when raced lots of laps. I have used these cars to calculate:

Flyweight (1,675): Lotus Elise
Heavyweight (2,800): Dodge Viper SRT-10

Those with superior handling tend to exhibit neutral behavior most of the time, and tend to wear their tires somewhat evenly front to back. In other words, in a front-engine car, the left-front tire will be turning red while the left-rear will be dark orange as the car nears pit-time, rather than red front and green rear. So far, I've included this car, but eventually there will be a couple others:

Middleweight (2,400): '04 Honda S2000  


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GV 300 KM Ai cars, power, weight, & W2P ratio

'01 Mazda RX-8 LM: 501 / ? / ?

'01 Mazda RX-7 LM: 501 / ? / ?

'02 Honda NSX prototype: 512 / ? / ?

'00 Opel Astra TC: 454 / 2,204 / 4.85

'94 Opel Calibra TC: / 2,336 /

'03 Woodone Tom's Supra: 495 / 2,424 / 4.90

'03 Xanavi NISMO Skyline GTR: 485 / 2,380 / 4.91

'00 Ford Falcoln XR8: 600 / 2,975 / 4.96

'00 Mercedes CLK TC: 443 / 2,204 / 4.98

'04 Motul Pitwork Nissan Z: 478 / 2,380 / 4.98

'01 Pennzoil Nissan Skyline GT-R: 474 / 2,424 / 5.11

'01 Xanavi Hiroto Skyline GT-R: 474 / 2,380 / 5.11

'93 Calsonic Nissan Skyline GT-R: 542 / ? / ?

'01 Castrol Tom's Supra: 464 / 2,424 / 5.22

'01 au Cerumo Toyota Supra: 464 / 2,24 / 5.22

'01 Loctite Mugen NSX: 484 / 2,535 / 5.24

'01 Mobil 1 Honda NSX: 484 / 2,535 / 5.24

'04 Redbull Audi A4 TC: 454 / 2,380 / 5.24

'02 Abt Audi TT-R TC: 463 / ? / ?

'03 Takata Dome Honda NSX: 486 / 2,579 / 5.30

'01 BMW M3 GT-R TC: 444 / 2,468 / 5.56

'93 Alfa Romeo 155 2.5 V6 Ti: 414 / 2,336 / 5.64


Description
In the world of Gran Turismo, many things change. In one game, tracks like SS Route 11, Red Rock Speedway, and Grindelwäld exist...in the next they're gone. We've seen cars like the first-gen Mazda RX7, '67 Plymouth GTX, and the famous blue Dodge Viper. In the next game they're gone.

But what's one event that's stayed the same? The Grand Valley 300 KM. This prestigious race has appeared in all four Gran Turismos to date and remains some of the most grueling 60 laps to participate in. Be warned--the Ai does not fool around any more.

In previous GV300s, we'd see occasional Ai screw-ups and collossal disasters, particularly wipe-outs into the sand of turn 1. Well, forget all that! In GT4, they now drive extremely well (a bit too well, actually) to the point that you really gotta have your game on all the time, especially if you're limiting power as I suggest. You might get away with a slip into the grass or a spin in the sand...but any more than one such accident, and you'd best reset your game, dude.......

So let's discuss our cast of characters. In the original GV300 there were a handful of Ai cars (less than ten). As you can see, up above I have included the long list of 22 Ai cars that can possibly appear--the most variety ever. In an effort to categorize and make for a long, close match, the cars above have been listed from the lowest to the highest pound to power ratio; although power and weight are not the only factors present. Aerodynamics, drivetrain layout, tire wear, and fuel consumption are four other factors to consider!

If a car appears at the top of the list, don't assume it'll baste its competition. I've seen an Opel Astra Tourer (which has a weight-to-power ratio of 4.85) fall far behind the Red Bull Audi (5.24) for instance.

͸ A good rule to keep in mind about the Ai: modern Skyline GTRs, some NSXs, and some German cars like the Audi TT and Opel Astra Touring Car will make a pit stop every 15 laps (which means they'll only make 3 stops per race). Most other cars make 4 stops per race. It is still possible to race against cars making 3 stops per race, but you'll need to be aware of how many laps you can go..

If you choose to use the ratios calculated from my racing guide, AVOID having these cars show up: Nissan Pitwork Z, Concept NSX, and any LM. These are in a different league. If you choose to race against them, you'll need to use more power than I'm suggesting.


͸͸ BE AWARE of how many laps your car is capable of doing during this or any other endurance, even if you have to do a "mock" race to test tire-wear. In most cases, pedestrian cars will need R1 (super-hard) racing tires here at Grand Valley. 

You'll need to make sure you can do at least 12 full laps before pit-stopping. This way, there will be a total of four stops. Just before pitstops, you should be in the lead by no more than 4 seconds (or therabouts) during that first pit stop. It doesn't have to be 4...it can be 2 or 3, or you can wind up slightly behind in 2nd place. This way, you know you're capable of staying near the top, but not overkilling the 300KM into a boring, submissive dirge.

Basically, if you're much farther ahead than 4 seconds during that first pit-stop, restart the race with less power.

I mean, ask yourself: would you rather have a boring race in which you get far ahead of everyone else?, or do you crave excitement lap after lap, hopefully right till the end? That's what we're aiming for here. Something with excitement till the very end. I've had several such GV300 races...lost a few, and won a few.


͸3: It is possible to do 11 full laps (making 5 stops) but it's risky, and you'll probably need to change tires to R3 (medium racing) for those last 5 laps. If your car can only go 11 laps, make sure it is at least somewhat faster than the Ai, but not overkillish fast.

It's possible to enter a very wide range of cars. Not only can we use a full-on race car like those listed above, but it's also possible to use a "street" machine, attach a wing kit and try for the best. Be careful, though. So far I've found that production cars weighing more than 2,800 pounds have a tendency to eat their tires, so it's recommended you modify only production cars (like the Viper GTS) with a wing kit after you determine how many laps they'll go before needing a pit stop.

• The pound/power ratios above are best for mostly A-spec racing...add xxx bhp if you want to have Bob help you (tba).

• R1 super-hard tires or R2 hard slicks (or a combo) can be used. Don't forget that in endurance races, you can also equip your car with softer tires during the final laps if you need to, but for the most part go with what's suggested.

Full-custom racing suspension, both brake upgrades, and downforce (wing) also needed for maximum playability. Many racing autos are already equipped with all the extras (FC transmission, limited-slip, brakes, etc) you'll need. If you enter a modified street car, you may or may not need all of this.

Finally, a couple tips for this and all other GT4 endurances:

1.  It has been proven that fuel=weight in your car. In other words, a car with less fuel in its tank actually weighs less, so if you keep a half-tank or so (rather than just fueling up all the way), your car will travel slightly faster around the track. Careful, tho. If you space out at the pits, don't blame me if you run out of gas!

2. I've already said this above but I'll say it again for those who missed it. DO NOT get an oil-change before an enduro. If you do so, you'll wind up with an early boost of horsepower, but after X amount of laps, this power starts to degrade, so that by the end of the race, you'll be slower because your car is now down on power.

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Laguna Seca 200 miles

rating: ***

Sports Cars:

Newer Cars (post 90s):
  7.88 (3,350) // 8.81 (4,000)--against G3 cars only.

Older Cars (pre 90s):
7.35 (3,450)--against G3 cars only.


• The W2P ratios above do not include B-spec help and are for racing against Group 3 (G3) cars, including both Vipers and the Corvette Z06 (see below). For both A and B-spec driving, try adding 50 hp. This is just a guess at the moment so experiment.

So when racing against Group 3 Ai, i prefer to drive production cars that don't handle at tops. The difference between "old" and "new" cars is that newer ones often have capabilities more suitable for racing on a full-circuit like Laguna Seca. 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ai cars, bhp, weight, and W2P ratios
Ford GT: 555 / ? / ?

Saleen S7: 550 / 2,755 / 5.01

Shelby Series 1: 500 / 2,649 / 5.30

Proto Motors SPIRRA 4.6: 491 / 2,655 / 5.41

Chevrolet Corvette Z06: 493 / 3,105 / 6.23

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport: 501 / 3,297 / 6.58

Callaway Corvette C12: 493 / 3,261 / 6.61

'90 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (C4) 493 / 3,297 / 6.69

Dodge Viper SRT-10: 504 / 3,378 / 6.70

Dodge Viper GTS: 499 / 3,374 / 6.76

Chevrolet Camaro SS: 494 / 3,438 / 6.96

Ford Mustang Cobra R: 500 / 3,588 / 7.18

Pontiac GTO 5.7: 497 / 3,724 / 7.49

Description:
Here's another one that's lived on: the Laguna Seca 200 Mile endurance. In GT2 and GT3, the LSE was a 90 lap borefest reserved for full racing cars. GT2 had an assortment of JGTC vehicles and GT3 included American, Japanese, and European models. But in GT4, the Laguna Seca endurance is stocked only with American cars (one exception being the Protomotors Spirra--an odd Korean choice). And guess what? It is STILL a borefest! ...But i personally like the fact that now strictly road cars are included in the Ai. I'd rather compete against road cars than full-racing machines here...it just seems more appropriate and fun at such a small, curvy track.

There are several ways to tackle the LSE. Below i have seperated the Ai into 3 groups:

Group 1 (G1) being the super-exotic sports cars
that are (in real life) produced in extremely low numbers. Saleen S7 and Ford GT are included.

Group 2 includes a couple of low-production sports cars. These are the Shelby Series 1 and Protomotors Spirra. These boast a lower weight to power ratio than...

G3 cars, which are heavier by several hundred pounds and produced in greater numbers.

You can keep resetting your game till the group you want shows up.


G1. Race the super-exotics. Make sure both the Saleen S7 and Ford GT show up. These 2 get far ahead of everyone else yet run a close race against one another (for awhile, anyways). Their body-shape creates natural downforce which helps them stay glued to the road so if you attack these two you'll need a wing or some extra power (to be determined).

G2. Race the semi-exotics. This group includes the Shelby Series 1 and Proto Motors Spirra, and again it's recommended you reset till both of them are present. These are lighter sports cars.

G3.
Include only contemporary sports cars and coupes. If you go this route, it's best to get as many cars as possible within a close range (see the Ai list above). In other words, if you can get the 5 Ai cars to be everything from a Corvette Z06 to both Dodge Vipers, you'll have a closer enduro with late-race surprises than if there's a Shelby, a Corvette, a Camaro, Mustang, and the Pontiac GTO (which will create lots of spread, each car on a different lap and far ahead of each other).

For best results, I find that including both Vipers and the Corvette Z06 creates the best race in the long term. I've also tried to find an all-Chevy & Ford race (Camaros, Mustangs, & Corvettes) but so far it hasn't happened without some faster cars showing up.


--Ultimately, the closely matched group you have so carefully chosen will begin to stray from one another no matter what groups you choose to race, but at least the first 30 laps or so will be close so far as the Ai is concerned. Still, late-race duels between you and 2 or 3 others can happen. Don't get too comfortable in those final laps when you're trying to decide when to pit and how much gas to fill your car with if you need it.

• Use a semi-racing suspension with R1 and/or R2 tires if racing against the Group 2 or 3 cars listed above, unless you're driving a muscle-car or other poor-handler, then you can step up to a full-custom suspension to try to dial out anything too unpleasant.

Some cars will also require close or full-custom gears at this tight, technical course, as well as a fixed limited-slip device (1-way, 1.5 or 2-way).

• If you're driving a G2 or G3 car yourself against the exotics (Group 1) use a full-custom suspension.
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Miata Endurance
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Tokyo R246 300 km

rating: ***

6.21 (2,330)


This race features many of the same Ai that appear in the Grand Valley 300 KM with a few new faces.. the cars in Tokyo use the same power & have the same W2P ratios as those found in the GV300, so consult the GV300 list above for grid placement strategy.


...Now we're in Japan, about to drive the actual streets near where the Polyphony Digital headquarters are supposed to be located. Keep in mind that at Route 246, you'll need to practice driving inches (or cm for you metric users) from the walls and guardrails, using as much cornering area as possible to keep ahead. Understeer is going to become your worst nightmare! Your mind will need to be extremely focused on the game for the next couple hours if you are to survive.

• It is best to include as many NSX's, Supras, Audis, and Skylines as you can.

• The Nissan Pitwork Z, RX-7 LM's, and any prototypes that show up are not recommended for a close race; these guys will tend to jackrabbit way ahead of everyone else.

• If you're driving a production car with a wing kit, use R1 super-hard tires with a racing suspension, and other full-custom parts. Try and make sure you can go about 15 laps before needing a pitstop.

• Actual race cars may be better on R2 tires, but watch that you don't give these too much power.
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Suzuka 1,000 km

rating: ***

Note: As far as power goes, it's possible to just use the same ratios which appeared in the Grand Valley 300 km up above if you're just gonna do the entire race A-spec.

A and B-Spec: It's possible to do a race here switching off with our B-spec driver. Though this sounds like cheating, if you do it right it's actually quite fair. It can also bring a new level of (ahem) excitement to the game!  

In real-life, it's possible to have a racing team. There's nothing wrong with having a virtual team in our game as well. I am 44 years old. My wrists and fingers start going numb sometimes if I spend more than an hour racing these days, so having a team-mate (so I can rest my hands/wrists/fingers) makes perfect sense. Anyways, here's how to do it.


1). We should enter with a full range of tires from R1 thru R4. We can use Racing Super Hard tires (R1) to get the maximum amount of laps, while Bob might be better using R2 (Racing Hard). B-spec has a habit of driving more cautiously, which means the car's tires will actually last as long as the Ai's sometimes. I have yet to get a set of R2 tires to last this long (10-12 laps) when I drive.

2). R3 and R4 tires should be kept reserved, just in case we need them towards the end of this event. Some may feel this is cheating, so ignore this one if you do feel this way. 

3). You'll also need a car that's good-handling. TVR Cerbera, Honda S2000, Shelby Series 1, FD-series Mazda, BMW M3, etc. Something of this caliber. Cars that have questionable handling (even though we can pilot them) might not do well in B-spec's hands over the long run. It's best to play it safe, and give Bob or Beth something easier to drive.

4). If requirement #2 is met, make sure your car is at about the same power-to-weight ratio as the Ai (usually in the 5.0-5.1 range). Using less power might feel perfect for us, but Bob will have problems.

5). I find that as I'm driving, I'll try to jackrabbit ahead, giving my team-mate plenty of leeway when he comes out of the pits. It takes skill to keep this far ahead, doing near-flawless laps one after the other! There's a lot of laps to finish. The Ai invariably will sometimes catch Bob when he takes over, and then it's my job to rectify the situation.

6). There may be times when B-spec simply starts to get overwhelmed, and starts falling behind. Assuming this ever happens, you should take a double shift, or whatever is necessary if the race needs to be saved.    

7). Better-handling cars can handle a #4 Speed rating (FAST) for most of this track. Pay attention, though. Don't just hand the wheel over to B-spec and walk away for half an hour! B-spec does great with FAST/#4 as long as the car he or she's in handles well, but there's three areas (entering Turn #1, Degner Curve, and the Spoon Curves) where an initial switch to "Steady" (#3) is taken  just in case, especially while the car's tires are cold!

8). It's also a good idea to start monitoring B-spec towards the end of its run. Bob/Beth have a habit of cooking rear tires (assuming all tire types are the same), so watch carefully and make sure to take the speed down from "4" to "3" or even "2", just as a precaution so the car doesn't start slipping about.  

9). Observe how B-spec is doing once it has an open lead ahead of the competition, and is not in traffic. If Bob is handling those curves on "4", then it's okay to leave him on "4" and do housework or whatever. But, don't walk away entirely!


Opponents:
All the Grand Valley 300 km opponents are here....the JGTC autos (Au Cerumo Supra, Mobil 1 NSX, etc), the Europeans who compete in the DTM (Opel Astra Touring Car, Red Bull Audi TT, etc), Australian V8 Supercars (Ford Falcoln XR8), and a few LM autos. As usual, these guys drive flawlessly turn after turn...lap after lap, so we also need to be ON OUR GAME.

Just like in the GV300 km, Tokyo R246, and several other races, keep LMs and the '04 Motul Pitwork Nissan Z off the grid, as these cars will simply jackrabbit and overkill everyone else. Most of the remaining cars (NSXes, Supras, Skylines, Astras, etc) will put up a good fight with you and one another, late into the Suzuka 1,000 km. You never know who you're gonna have in your mirror or in front of you next; it changes with just about every pit stop!

Parts needed:
Since this is a very long endurance featuring some top racing autos, it's equally important to make sure you've got a full selection of racing tire types. I'd buy all of them except Super Softs (R5), which can barely make a lap before they're toast.

And of course, all the typical racing parts (suspension, brakes, wing kit) will be needed. Limited slips, transmissions, drivetrain, and anything else your car will need.

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El Capitan 200 miles

rating: **

7.82 (3,400)


* The above ratios were created using A-spec mode only.

*The above ratios were created by keeping the Lotus Elise Motor Sport and Pagani Zonda C12 off the grid. More power (or possibly a better car which lasts longer on tires) will be needed to keep up with these. 

Description
I was looking forward to this one, as El Capitan is looking unique to GT4/does not appear (so far) in GT5. I've also heard lots about this particular enduro, from cheaters and fair-racing drivers alike. The prize car for this race (1988 Minolta Toyota 88C-V) is one of the fastest in the game, one we would probably pay 2,000,000 credits for if it weren't a prize.  

El Capitan is one of my favorite tracks of the fourth game. The race itself is also not as intense as the GV 300KM, Tokyo, and a few others so far. It's more fun/less frustrating overall. The same basic rules apply, though. Try to conserve your tires, try to strategize pit stops, et cetera.  

Unfortuantely, it is (in my and several other's opinions) one of the duller endurances of GT4. The first 20 laps are so are usually action-packed and somewhat intense at times. If this race were just 20 or 30 laps, it would be one of the better ones. But after that second pitstop, the party starts to die.

Every Ai car is in its alloted position after this, and rarely will there be any further position changes or dueling. I'm thinking the Lotus Esprit versus TVR Cerbera Speed 6 might make a pretty good match up, but so far haven't been able to try this. If it weren't for the awesome scenery at El Capitan, plus the complexities of driving the track itself, some of us might seriously start to doze off!     

The majority of cars which enter the EC200 are the same ones we've seen during the Pan Euro, Stars & Stripes, Laguna Seca 200, and a few others. The difference is they've sometimes got a bit more power than they had in those series, so consult the chart below for grid strategies.  

Some recommendations now:

1). The Lotus Elise Motor Sport should be kept off the grid, unless you've got a car which can keep up with it and don't mind that the two of you will possibly get far ahead of everyone else. The Elise is more of a tuner car than a regular sport car. It is super-lightweight, and takes pitstops rarely.

2). Same goes for the Pagani Zonda C12. Even though it is much heavier, for some reason it doesn't pit as often as the others. Your car will need to last at least 18 laps on its tires for you to be competitive against the Zonda.  

3). The majority of other cars so far that matter  (TVRs, Lotus Esprit, and Shelby Series 1) usually last anwhere from 12 to 16 laps.

4). Once you've got a good lead, try and take left turns a less aggressively if you want to conserve your tire life. Tires on the right side of the car will wear out the fastest.
 
5). I've calculated so that heavier cars will seem "overkillish" at first. They basically have more power than they would during sprint races because they wear their tires faster. Make sure you can do at least before needing a pitstop in a heavier car weighing over 3,000 pounds.

6). Lighter/medium-weights are calculated for more of a closer, competitive race overall.

7). Our opponents tend to drive the hill area (after the tunnel) way too conservatively. They don't ever lose control or spin, but this area is also the best one to pass them if you can control your car. Minimal (if any) braking is needed here. Careful with downshifts, though. Some cars can become very unstable if a forced downshift causes them to start sliding.

 

 

Automobile
HP
Weight (lbs.)
wgt./pwr ratio
'99 Lotus Motor Sport Elise
493
1,540
3.12
'97 TVR Cerbera Sp. 6
493
2,486
5.04
'03 Shelby Series 1
492
2,644
5.37

'00 Pagani Zonda C12

493
2,750
5.57
'00 Lotus Esprit Sport 350
493
2,860
5.80
'00 Chevrolet Corvette Z06
493
3,101
6.29
'96 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport
496
3,291
6.63
'03 TVR 350C
Add your content here
2,426
Add your content here
'90 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Add your content here
3,520
.
'99 Dodge Viper GTS
494
3,452
6.98
'03 Dodge Viper SRT-10
.
3,373
Add your content here
'05 BMW M5
.
3,773
.
'04 Protomotor Spirra 4.6
.
2,652
Add your content here

'03 Callaway Corvette C12

Add your content here
3,258
Add your content here
'00 Ford Mustang Cobra R
495
3,588
7.24
'04 Mercedes Benz SL65 AMG
604
4,462
7.39



Parts:
Hard Sport tires for the majority of cars, although Medium and Softs can be reserved for portions of the race if you're needing to catch up. The Ai is on Medium Sports.

Suspension can vary. I use semi-racing for most cars to maximize tire life versus handling issues. Some cars with super-great handling which can last a long time on their tires can probably go stock or with a sports suspension.

Racing Brake Kit (no controller needed).

Transmission can vary. Most classics can go stock or with a full-custom unit, while some newer cars can use close gears. Stock gears are usually an option for newer cars (well, anything from the '90s until 2005) as well, if we don't wanna listen to

Assorted drivetrain parts can be used as well. I'm typically using a single or twin clutch + sport flywheel. Carbon driveshaft for FRs, as well. 

Limited-slip units only for emergencies.

Cars used
'03 Infiniti G35 Sedan (3,400/heavyweight)

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