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GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

GT6 Novice Series

gt6_novicehallmini.jpg

Sunday Cup
 
rating: *** 
Opponents: 5
 
-Modern Class-
High Speed Ring
(1,500) 21.12 -- 71 hp
(2,000) 25.00 -- 80 hp
(3,500) 27.34 -- 128 hp 
 
Autumn Ring Mini
(1,500) 22.89 -- 63 hp
(2,000) 28.57 -- 70 hp
(3,500) 29.16 -- 120 hp 
 
-Historic Class-
High Speed Ring
(1,500) 21.12 -- 71 hp
(2,000) 24.07 -- 83 hp
(4,200) 29.58 -- 142 hp
 
Autumn Ring Mini
(1,500) 31.25 --  48 hp
(2,000) 30.76 -- 65 hp
(4,200) 30.00 -- 140 hp
 
The above ratios work with any car starting any position, including Mazda Roadsters. Only the Toyota MR2 should be watched. Sometimes this car jumps ahead of the others, sometimes not. To be safe, start it no higher than 3rd place, or add up to 5 horses per position, especially at High Speed Ring.
 
The Honda Element in the Modern Class might someday be part of s separate class for trucks, SUVs, and MPVs.    
 
There are two classes being structured for the GT6 Sunday Cup: Historic Class and Modern Class. Generally, Historics include those older vehicles which do not use ABS braking, while Moderns always do. Older cars also typically have tires & chassis technology which is not as capable as what is to be found from the 1990s into the 2000s.
 
B-Spec: use the Modern Class, and also give B-spec drivers cars which are closer to modern times  for best results. Add 20 to 30 horsepower at High Speed Ring and add 50 to 60 at Autumn Ring Mini.       
 
Description
As usual, the Sunday Cup is what starts off the bulk of the game. Oddly though, PD has provided a couple twists right from the beginning, twists not seen In any previous GT so far.
 
Firstly, players are seated into a Peugeot hatch so they can do a lap around Brands Hatch. Driving Line is turned on for the n00bs. And if that's not strange, the game then forces the player to BUY a car: a 2010 Honda Fit. Go ahead and try to purchase something else; it's simply not possible!  I think PD starts the game off this way so that the absolute beginners to the series get some guidance right from the start.   
 
But for the rest of us who didn't want a Fit, chances are there won't be enough money left to buy the car you really wanted to start the game with. In my case, my first choice would have been the 1988 Volvo 240 wagon.
 
It is possible to use the Fit to do a few races at High Speed Ring to earn some quick money. For those who are already experienced, that Fit won't need any modifications at all to earn some wins. Before long, the Fit can be sold (if desired) for something else.
 
There are lots of cool features in this game, one of my favorites: PD has attempted to provide some limitations again. During the Sunday Cup for instance, PD's Performance Point system is already utilized, as we can see there is a limit of 430 pp. Tires are also limited to hard sports. Though both of these limitations are laughable to those drivers who are experienced, at least PD has tried.
 
B-spec: a quick note on B-spec. This racing mode has drastically changed from GT4 and 5. The entire B-spec experience has become a lot more direct and intuitive. Tell a driver to Brake and he WILL brake, at that moment. Tell him to Overtake and he will do his best. A lot of the vagueness from previous games is gone; in fact, I have seen my driver doing some rather aggressive things.  
 
Drivers also don't get fatigued (not that I've noticed) and if one gets a strong lead, he won't just start slacking off, allowing others to catch up. Despite all this, B-spec still can't do as well as we can. So extra power is still often needed.     
 
 
Opponents
I have done dozens of Sunday Cups already, in preparation of this guide, taking .... .like.... notes, and stuff. A lot of the same faces we've seen at this level of racing (such as the Opel Tigra, Mazda MX-5, Volkswagen Lupo, an assortment of Peugeot compacts, and so on), still make an appearance. In general, none of these cars really destroys anybody else, with one exception: the Toyota MR2, but only If it starts any higher than 3rd place. And even if it starts on Pole, it doesn't always kill.
 
To be safe though, if the MR2 starts in first place, keep in mind this is as challenging as it gets, this early in the game.  
 
On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few laggards who show up, as well. The Toyota Voltz. Honda Element. Scion xB, and so on. These doofuses can immediately be counted out as competition, just as they were in earlier games. Ironically, it's these laggards that might make the best autos for us to drive!   
 
Amongst the rest of the crowd, there is a decent amount of competition, which is good because it means the Sunday Cup is fairly unpredictable. For instance, I saw a race in which a Mazda Eunos Roadster started second at High Speed Ring. Some racers would expect this rear-drive would simply slay all the front-drives, yet the Roadster competed on the front lines for awhile, and finally lost to a Honda Fit and Fiat Punto. I saw another race in which a Toyota Prius won against a group of lighter, less-dorky models.
 
This is one thing I liked a lot about the previous game, this level of uncertainty, so it's good to see PD has kept this going. Now let's talk about the two tracks we'll be racing at.  
 
High Speed Ring: 2 laps here. The competition still has that odd habit of taking the final turn too slow, and too low, which is a habit PD has been programming into the game since GT4. They should be driving into this final turn (which is banked) with full throttle. Instead, they always drop their fuel somewhere mid-turn, or they'll even use brakes! This makes it easy to get high up on that bank, keepi the gas pedal mostly flat-out, and get some faster exit speed onto the main straight.  
 
Autumn Ring Mini: 3 laps. This track is all about cornering, of course. Cornering, and wondering if the marshals who run this track ever consider doing races during any other season but fall. If you're new to Autumn Ring, the track's constant bends can seem daunting, so do some practice laps to really learn it well. Keep in mind that nearly half the time, you won't be accelerating at all, you'll be gritting your teeth, slipping past some idiot driver by mere millimeters.
 
One thing I have noticed about Autumn Ring in this game is that it's time-of-day sequences do change. And also, sometimes I have done races in which the sun was out, other times it'll be overcast. I have yet to see any rain / wet track-action though.       
 
 
Parts
Medium Comfort tires at both tracks. Soft comforts can be used for those which truly need them (some members of the Historic class, especially).
 
B-spec: Hard Sport tires for most cases, though wins on Soft Comforts are possible.
 
Sport Suspension (either kit) mostly for Historics, if needed. Most modern cars should be on standard parts, though.  
 
Close-ratio transmission for some in either class (especially at Autumn Ring Mini).
Full-Custom transmission for those that over-rev at High Speed Ring.
 
Assorted drivetrain parts, especially for those with low torque, poor aerodynamics, and/or wonky gearing scenarios. Twin-clutch + flywheel, and carbon driveshaft.
 
Limited-slip device for some historics (like the super-slippery Karmann-Ghia).
 
Most Modern Class won't need any help with drivetrain, braking, etc.   
 
No ABS braking for Historic Class, maybe a few Moderns out there, too. I am not entirely convinced that lack of ABS actually makes a difference; turning this off does not cause the drastic amount of sliding that it does in GT5. Just turn it off.  
 
Cars Used
''97 Daihatsu Mira TR-XX A (1,500 pounds)
03 Scion xA            (2,000 pounds, Modern Class
'03 Honda Odyssey (3,500 pounds, Modern Class)
 
'90 Fiat Panda Super (1,500 pounds, Historic Class)
'66 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia Coupe (1,800 pounds, Historic Class)
'88 Volvo 240 GLT Estate (4,200 pounds, Historic Class) 
 
 
 
 

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Amateur Cup
 
rating:
Opponents: 5
 
-Modern Class-
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
(1,500) 25.87 -- 65 hp
(2,000) 28.57 -- 70 hp
(3,500) 27.55 -- 127 hp
 
Grand Valley East
(1,500) 18.55 -- 81 hp
(2,000) 22.72 -- 88 hp
(3,500) 23.97 -- 146 hp
 
Willow Springs international
(1,500) 20.27 -- 74 hp
(2,000) 24.35 -- 82 hp
(3,500) 25.36 -- 138 hp
 
-Historic Class-
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
(1,500) 26.31 -- 57 hp
(2,000) 28.18 -- 71 hp
(4,200) 27.09 -- 155 hp
 
Grand Valley East
(1,500) 20.27 -- 74 hp
(2,000) 21.73 -- 92 hp
(4,200) 25.30 -- 166 hp
 
Willow Springs international
(1,500) 23.80 -- 63 hp
(2,000) 24.10 -- 83 hp
(4,200) 24.70 -- 170 hp
 
B-spec: add 40 to 50 hp at Brands Hatch, add 50 to 60 at Grand Valley East and Willow Springs.
  
 
Description
We immediately get a new track during the second stretch of the Novice Cup, and then we get a track we're all familiar with, and then another new track!
 
The racing is slightly faster now, yet the competition is still somewhat sleepy. Take the time to learn the two newer tracks, of course.   
 
Opponents
There isn't much difference from the Sunday Cup, other than a few new faces. Everybody is pretty much on the same page (except heavier, dorkier models), and if the Toyota MR2 shows up, that's the car that'll maybe jackrabbit far ahead of the pack. Although even this possibility cannot be counted on 100%. I've won several races with an MR2 starting on Pole or 2nd place.  
 
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit is a classic short British track with sweeping curves, two tight hairpins, and rather strict passing areas. It can take about an hour to really learn Brands Hatch, and then another hour to figure out its passing zones. I try not to clamber all over the apron coming out of turn 3, but sometimes it's inevitable to get on there; it makes such a perfect area to get by!
 
Grand Valley East, a track most of us are well-familiar with. This track (unlike Brands Hatch) has some strict passing zones, but also some areas where passes come easier. In general though, it seems there's always somebody in my way just as I'm leaving the tunnel, moving toward that final tight right. Argh. Getting by that final car or two, without sacrificing speed, can become incredibly aggravating into this post-tunnel area.
 
Willow Springs - Big Willow: Now this is one tricky track, mostly because it's so vague. Its braking zones aren't very well defined; it's not like you can just look at some marker (or even a tree growing by the side of the track) and go "okay, braking starts NOW!" ... No, Big Willow's main difficulty is the way it doesn't give us many real clues. However, this track is also like Brands Hatch. Give yourself an hour to learn it, and another hour to really learn it, and by then you'll be better than the competition which shows up here.
 
They tend to take the first half of Big Willow a little too cautiously, so here is the main area to make some passes. By the time they're exiting Omega though, all the sudden they'll pick up lots of speed, all throughout that huge, final loop. By the time they're at the end of this loop however, they really slow down too much while getting onto the main straight, so here's another great area to pass a car or two, if you can keep yourself out of the sand, of course.   
 
 
Parts
Soft Comfort Tires
 
Sport Suspension (hard or soft, depending...) for Historics. Modern Class vehicles usually won't need these parts.
 
Close-ratio gearing for many. Some cars with super-tall / short / awkward gearing can opt for Full-Customizable Transmission at some tracks.   
 
Clutch / Flywheel Kit + carbon driveshaft for those that need it. Again, this is usually the Historics.
 
Racing Brake Package for those that need it.
   
 
Cars Used.
'02 Daihatsu Mira TR-XX Avanzato R (1,500, Modern Class)
'03 Scion xA                                  (2,000 pounds, Modern Class)
'03 Honda Odyssey             (3,500 pounds, Modern Class)
 
'90 Fiat Panda Super i.e.       (1,500 pounds, Historic Class)
'68 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia (1,800 pounds, Historic Class)
'88 Volvo 240 GLT Estate (4,200 pounds, Historic Class)
 

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Novice Championship
 
rating:
Opponents: 5 
 
-Modern Class- 
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
(1,500) 20.54 -- 73 hp
(2,000) 25.64 -- 78 hp
(3,500) 25.92 -- 135 hp   
 
Autumn Ring
(1,500) 19.43 -- 77 hp
(2,000) 24.10 -- 83 hp
(3,500) 25.00 -- 140 hp
 
Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit
(1,500) 21.42 -- 70 hp
(2,000) 27.02 -- 74 hp
(3,500) 26.31 -- 133 hp 
 
-Historic Class- 
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
(1,500) 21.79 -- 69 hp 
(2,000) 23.88 -- 84 hp
(4,200) 25.92 -- 162 hp   
 
Autumn Ring
(1,500) 20.27 -- 74 hp
(2,000) 22.72 -- 88 hp
(4,200) 24.70 -- 170 hp
 
Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit
(1,500) 22.05 -- 68 hp
(2,000) 25.00 -- 80 hp
(4,200) 26.31 -- 133 hp 
 
The ratios set above were made with typically faster cars starting no higher than 2nd place, with a slower car starting on Pole. So add +5 horsepower if a traditionally faster car starts on first place. See Opponents section for more detail.  
 
B-spec: add 60 to 70 hp at Brands Hatch Indy and Autumn Ring. Add 50 to 60 at the final Brands Hatch track.
 
Description
Gran Turismo 6 lets us now do our very first championship, which is three races long, and then the Novice Series is over. The few races we get to participate in do present some challenge, as long as power is kept super-low, and so far the experience of GT6 has been downright addictive for me.
 
The good news is two of the tracks are new to us, in this game. What I mean is, yes, many of us have raced at the full Autumn Ring track since the '90s, but this will be our first instance to try Autumn Ring's full course in this game.  
 
And though it might seem like "hey, we just raced at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit!" and some might wonder why we're here again, this time, the cars do seem to be moving slightly faster. Or maybe they're spaced further apart at the beginning of the race. Because a little bit more power is needed now.
 
The third track (Brands Hatch Grand Prix) is a longer version of the Indy Circuit. So unless you've raced this track in some other game, go ahead and take the time to practice in Arcade Mode, since we still can't do any practicing once we enter this series.    
 
Opponents
There really is nothing new going on here. The same cars we've raced against during earlier portions of the Novice hall are back again: Honda Fit, Mazda MX-5, Pontiac Vibe, Honda Element, Peugeot 1 and 2-series hatches, etc.
 
I have noticed that 2-seater sports cars (such as the Mazda Roadster), which were typically faster in earlier games, finally do show more aggression sometimes. They are still well-matched against most front-drive hot hatches and coupes though, so it's still uncertain who we'll be trying to beat, race after race.
 
For the most drama, it's a good idea to start somebody slower on Pole position. Those which are known to be laggards can be started on first, which is the best way to ensure some in-fighting between various vehicles as these events commence. Here is a short list of slower cars to shove up there. 
 
'91 Honda Civic SiR-II
'92 Honda CR-X del Sol SiR
Mazda Atenza
'83 Mitsubishi Lancer
Pontiac Vibe
Renault Avantime
Toyota Celica
Toyota Voltz 
 
Try to avoid grids which have one of these cars starting on both first AND second!  Such a race won't offer much challenge, after all.    
 
Parts
Soft Comfort tires
 
Sport Suspension (hard or soft) for some members of the Historic Class. Modern Class cars will mostly be on default parts, of course.
 
Close-ratio gearing for many, at all three tracks. This will be the most popular gearbox choice of all. Some others will require factory gearing. Full-customized gearing is the rarest choice of all.
 
Assorted drivetrain parts, mostly for those in the Historic Class, including limited-slip differential for some with slippery traction. Modern Class cars mostly won't require any help here.
 
No ABS brakes for Historic Class.     
 
Cars
'97 Daihatsu Mira TR9XX Avanzato R (1,500, Modern)
'03 Scion xA                      (2,000 / Modern)
'03 Honda Element (3,500 / Modern)
 
''90 Fiat Panda Super 1000S   (1,500 / Historic
'68 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia (1,800 / Historic)
'88 Volvo 240 GLT Estate         (4,200 / Historic)


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