Car of the Week | Week 57: Ferrari's Challenge (Ferrari 458 Italia GT3 '13)

Just another day at COTW, browsing through social media and seeing what people are pretending to be outraged at today.

“Another Youtuber buying a wrecked supercar, oh it’s a flood damaged P1, that’s actually neat.”
“Another article twisting what F1 drivers are saying for the DTS crowd, lame.”
“Ah another video on Project Binky, they still working on that?”


(Airhorn)

“Ah, Sonova 🤬!”
(Laughter)

“Now we’re even.”:lol: the familiar voice of one of our resident Canucks rings out.

“Suppose that’s fair Baron, but then again you don’t leave your office unless it’s a meeting so you had the element of surprise.” :P

“Touché, anyways Esh wants us all in the meeting room in 5 mins, says it’s about a potential pick for this week.”

“Sure, be down in a minute.”

-A few minutes later-

There we were, Me, Baron, Obe, Rick, Yard, Racer, Rob, RX8 and Square all relaxing waiting on Esh to get things started.

“Gentleman, I take it you all saw the old military vehicles on the way in today?”

“How could we not?” Said Obe, “Thought there was some discount insurrection going on.” Couple of chuckles slip out.

“Yes, it’s all part of a parade celebrating Americas past, in WW2 specifically.”

“Presumedly leaving out the occasional war crimes?” I asked with a degree of rhetorical sarcasm.

“Vic please, the organisers have contacted us and they want COTW to help out with the parade.”

“And how does this get us to our next pick Esh?” Rick inquires.

“In exchange for our help, they’ll loan us enough Willys for this week.”

(Cue half the guys trying not to laugh at the double entendre)

(Exhales)”Jeeps, Willys Jeeps you manchildren.” :rolleyes:

“Goddamn how does she decide not to go postal with dealing us lot?” I wondered whilst chuckling.

“So we’re testing the Willys Jeep and they want us to help them how exactly? Yard asks.

“They want Vic, Baron and me talking about COTW’s history with testing WW2 vehicles, Obe’s assisting with some of the firearms safety folks, Yard is working alongside the fire crews with the vintage fire trucks and any heavy vehicles and the rest of you will be giving rides in the Jeeps to the spectators.”

“You sure it’s a good idea to let Yard help out with the heavy machinery?” I say.

“Would you prefer he assist with the firearms experts Vic?” Esh retorted

I open my mouth to reply and realise she’s actually made a compelling point, “That IS the lesser of two evils.” I thought.

I raise my hands in defeat to her point.

“Ok Esh, you made your point.” I concede.

“Well then, let’s not keep them waiting shall we?”

-Hours Later-

The Parade went down rather well, We all got to showcase our skills and show some historic WW2 cars pushed to their limits, no issues reported on our side so we met up for a cold one while there was a break.


“I quite enjoyed today Esh.” I say, “This is the sort of team bonding experience I can get behind.”

“Certainly breaks up the routine of the odd office pranks, like the glitter bomb in Square’s office.” Esh replied with a smug smile in saying the last part.

“Can’t believe Sarah did me dirty like that.” Square still annoyed by the mess that made, “I’m still finding glitter in that office even now.”

“Just be thankful she didn’t swap the salt and sugar around for your coffee.” Rick said, “Nearly redecorated my desk with that salty coffee because Someone thought they’d be cute and do just that.”

“I’m gonna take the fifth on that one.” Rob simply stated.

“Suppose Yards attempted prank on me seems rather tame.” RX8 mentioned.

“Actually that’s a good point, Where is Yard?” I ask.

“He was last with me about 5 mins ago.” Obe pointed out,”We had just passed where the tanks.. were.. Parked.” Obe’s eyes go wide at the realisation.

And right on cue, Yard blasts through a nearby concession stand in a tank, laughing like a drunk goblin all the while.

We all look at each other.


All:”Aww 🤬.”

So much for us going one week without catching another lawsuit. 💵

(And Cut 🎞️)

So, the Willys Jeep MB

Packing a 2.2 litre “Go Devil” Inline 4, it makes 60hp which goes to all 4 wheels via a 3 speed manual gearbox.

Visually there’s quite a few options for the Jeep, some exclusive depending on if you widebody’d it or not.

Mine on race day had a wire cutter pole upfront and the roof down, but there’s quite a few other options too. ;)

A Widebody Jeep with custom rims gives you some extra thicc tyres, which is perfect if you decide over 200hp from a fully tuned stock motor isn’t enough for you and decide to drop a Hellcat V8 into it. :D

Now it came stock with Comfort Hards, which combined with the early forms of 4wd systems, meant understeer was a common sight, but because we were barely cracking the British Motorway Speed Limit (70mph) it wasn’t a massive issue for us. :)

But for racing, this is a pure momentum car, more than the Copen, even minor slip ups punish you as every mph counts.

And while you can win a fresh Jeep from the first set of missions by Golding them all, when it shows up in the LCD you can pick one up for just over 30k, the cheapest offering in LCD so far.

Don’t buy this if you want an out the box racer(unless you have a Hellcat crate engine on standby.:sly:), but as a collectors piece and something you and the guys can race together with for the hell of it, it’s worth every penny.

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
 
Damned nice choice with that DTM Audi. Managed with a stock one a 05.54.865. One of my best laps for sure, so make sure to check it out, when it gets released around 12 hours before tuesday's/wednesday's race. I pushed that beast HARD.

Review: "A new DTM entry to the GT series, nice! But why a '19 model, and not '22 or '23? Anyway, it's cool to have at least ONE DTM car in the game finally, and it is a pretty damned nice one I think. Speed wise, it sits RIGHT between the '08 and '16 JGTCs/Super GTs, but is A LOT harder to push compared to them. It really likes to snap the moment you JUST overstep its limit. It simply doesn't have the same grip/controllability of the JGTC's. Nonetheless, it is a VERY quick race car, almost as quick, as end of the 90's GT1/GR.1 LeMans race cars. On Tsukuba, it manged a 0.49.076 min compared to the 0.48.798 of the Super GT R35 '16, making it slower, than all three '16 Super GT models, but quicker, than all three '08 models. It was able to beat the R35 in a 1km acceleration test though with a time of 18.550sec compared to the 18.621 of the R35."

Verdict: somewhat of a sleeper I guess?

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SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 5 - Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM


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First racecar, and I guess it's finally time I can set myself some bases around here.


Saying its fond farewells with 2 years of dominating DTM performance, the DTM built Audi RS 5's maiden voyage makes its way into Gran Turismo 7 with one goal: make that unification of engine usage between DTM and Super GT mean something in video game form. Formerly carrying a Volkswagen Audi joint developed V8, the old engine now has to exit the 2019 racecar for a, you guessed it: Volkswagen Audi joint developed also, turbo powered 2 liter inline 4 dubbed the RC8 with gasoline direct injection (TFSI), which explains the weird mismatch of sound if I had my German grand tourer earphones on.

This swap of engine's purpose was to conform to 'Class 1' regulations, allowing it to go along with Super GT standards. This allows the car to race along similarly regulated Super GT cars. The engine's overall performance gave the car significant improvement in its performance due to its boosted fuel efficiency, lighter weight, increased power, and a better weight balance. The gist of this is that Audi made a superb rework of their older car that pretty much took over the sport for the 2 year duration it ran.

And when COVID-19 hit, the car would have a final race year of 2020 before Audi Sport made a historic nope out of DTM after being a long time contributor to the sport's competitive nature, and focused on the FEYUTURRE that is Formula E. Along with its DTM dreams cut off, so is the Super GT regulated 'Class 1' ruleset. And as I quote the in game script of the car:

'The Audi RS 5 was a car that truly embodied the ambition and sparkle of the short-lived Class 1 series, and it has undoubtedly left its mark in motorsports history.'

That's what I call a way to go. Aside the 2nd gen Audi R8 and the Group B homologated Audi Quattro.. yes, leak list cars, the next Audi I'd like to see in the game is the base RS 5, with its V8, of course.

Story time? Just how does SPD pump these out anyways? Not important. What's important is that this chapter's PACKED. If you're actually reading: sit tight. If not, well, you can always find the Audi's set of analyses in quote boxes. You just gotta scroll down till you see the car I'm afraid.


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Episode 5: Foundations


Suzuka Circuit
Suzuka, Mie Prefecture
Dawn



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With the Western end not open at the time, a familiar blue MINI storms what remains of the famed racing roads as the sun bares itself to the day's start.

But Candy wasn't alone today.. she has a friend.



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Involved in a chase with a tuned FD RX-7, Candy stays behind, treating said Mazda as if it was a pace car for time trials.


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There wasn't much else reason for her to do this all other to bond with the Fuji based tuner Ayumi who she last met in Kyoto.

But the majority of this run had Candy think mainly of last week's lesson.



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Said lesson involves her American counterpart mentioning a Mark of Zen: the place also known as, by his definition of the word: the sweet spot of racing nirvana..

The idea was there for her, but the execution remains a mystery. She presses on, pushing the car for her mysterious client..


But not all the fun resides there.


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A tamed racing animal stands at a peculiar spot on the 130R..

Arms crossed and posture straight, whatever thoughts this animal has for this place remains a mystery.

Some say he's giving respect for the drivers that forgot the brakes do exist for the 130R.

And some say a spirit moved on from this plane of existence with great relevance of this one spot on the track.

But it's not for anyone to judge whether or not he truly is something more than human.



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Without really giving any hint why, he takes off as soon as he's finished whatever he's done.


The morning came, and day breaks.

Sitting alone in the lounge of the nearby hotel, Candy snacks away some mochi as she reads a few articles.

The article covers a certain individual..



Candy: "Dull, uninviting and forced upon.. This looks like opinion, not fact! He's more than that.."


Said individual was a flatcap wearing Scotsman, and while she has reason to bring that up, she peeked out seeing her target: Ayumi with her crop top and cut-off denim shorts.

The chairs swallowing her small body, she had to climb and shout..



Candy: "H-h-HOI!! Y-yumi-san! I'm right here!"


Her attention taken, Ayumi makes haste and gets comfortable with the chairs..


Candy: "How can you not see me?"

Ayumi: "Teehee, I apologize. I forget you are such a discrete character. You're so petit and tiny. TINY."


Gesturing with her fingers, they come close to her eye to give an embiggening illusion. They then come close slowly, giving Ayumi the idea she's seeing a Candy crushed.


Ayumi: "I could crush you with my fingers from here.."

Candy: "I.. uhh.. that's out of my control. I figured wearing the pink dress today might help.."

Ayumi: "The dress isn't important if I can't see it."


Deprived of sleep, Ayumi shows an unusual show of energy as she flaps around, pointing away at the surroundings..


Ayumi: "Not to mention you fail to stand out! Look at the decor of this new hotel. You stayed?"

Candy: "Of course.. It's a hassle getting here from Tokyo. How about you, Kyoto native?"

Ayumi: "I can make the 2 hour drives in the dead of night. Don't underestimate the power of taking an FD at peak performance. Especially mine."

Candy: "Agreed, completely. It's impressive how in sync you are with that car."


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Ayumi: "The FD's been part of me since.. a time where racing cars was the only thing I had in mind. That's a long time ago."


An instant change in emotion gave Candy a hint of disappointment.


Ayumi: "I'd have more runs with it around Suzuka, honest, but the track's closure for the day just puts a wrench in my plans.. [sigh].."

Candy: "Ohh, sad! What do you plan to do? Leave Suzuka by noon?"

Ayumi: "No, of course not. I always get going by sunset. It's been a tradition for me and my fellow clubmates. I used to run a car owner's club when I was an undergrad. And I mainly did the behind the scenes activities. Things like planning, scheduling, organizing. The boring details, so nobody else had to get stressed out.."


Phone on one hand, she listens to her acquaintance as she's contacting an unknown number through a messaging app.


Candy: "In it for a good time. That's understandable. Really. Your selfless nature has to pay off in some form."

Ayumi: "That's what put Deki-san on high alert towards me then."

Candy: "Speaking of which, where is Deki-san? I suppose he too would like to be here."

Ayumi: "You suppose correctly, Candy-san. Unfortunately, trending media has once again taken grasp of his sleeping pattern. He won't even realize I'm gone till noon. And he might even check the shop first. That guy is clumsy.. but he is irreplaceable in my heart."


What came out came from the heart, and Candy pouts as she didn't want any of it.


Candy: "Uhh huh.."

Ayumi: "I hope you can find your own Deki-san someday, Candy-san."

Candy: "Uhh.. y-yes! I hope so too... [dishonestly] yes.."


Talking about her personal status is an attack to her privacy, she thought. So she decided to move to something else..


Candy: "Did you hear about.. my misadventures in the States?"

Ayumi: "Huh? Oh, not quite. OH WAIT: you met Jacob!"


What Candy didn't expect was the perking eyes of Ayumi as soon as that name came up..


Ayumi: "Well! How was he?! I-I haven't heard from him in very long! When social media has tags on him and thus to me.. It's amazing what he's done.."

Candy: "I figure.. you'd not blow it out of proportion. My advice: I'm keeping tabs on him if I were you."

Ayumi: "You seem to have a hard time trusting him. Something the matter? Let me guess.. he beat you in a race?"


That was how she met him the first time, but her ego outright denied it was a race, leading to..


Candy: "NO! I mean.. n-no, of course not, heh.. Something else. He did do wonders for me, but.. there is a nagging feeling things are just surfacing from a man who.. clues away his darker intentions when he's not afraid to use chemical warfare.."


Ayumi then settled down to a mellow level.


Ayumi: "This is.. news to me."

Candy: "When was the last he contacted you?"

Ayumi: "Recently. Here he says how's it been, update me on Deki-san, please watch Candy for me when you can, how has business been.. questions to no end, and I will comply the best I can!"

Candy: "You're too naive, Yumi-san."

Ayumi: "Am I? I don't feel he's harming you, or that would already be done. Trust me on that. If not, has he touched your heart? In a good way, I mean."


She couldn't help but remember the first Race of Champions exhibition event, especially how he left her in a dark, yet heartfelt way.


Candy: "He gave such a somber but powerful farewell that day.."


It then phased back to the disastrous press conference, and what he did then..


Candy: "Ugh.. You're right. I'll let it slide for now. But I'm watching him closely.. How did he make his first impression to you?"

Ayumi: "Well, to put it shortly.. he's made rounds in Japanese street races. Weeks of scouting and searching.. and I found him, followed him after seeing him have trouble paying the highway toll. Then when he stopped for gas.. I gave chase, and he choked me to near death!! A fast racer, and one who would protect his name."

Candy: "N-near d-death?! Did I hear that (and how did all that translate to idol worship?!).. uhh, it appears the way we met with that dark one are a lot in common.."


She held back a small chuckle considering she wasn't the only victim.

But decided talking about him's never going to end with his self proclaimed number 1 fan, and decided to stop.



Candy: "I guess that's enough for now.. Don't you have work today?"

Ayumi: "They understand if the boss heads to Suzuka or Fuji for the day. It's very sparingly I do this, and this time around, everyone has their hands full.. thanks to you."

Candy: "I didn't think that brief visit a few days ago did something, no?"

Ayumi: "OH YES IT DID, Candy-san! I can't believe you didn't remember our first meet in Kyoto?"

Candy: "I.. uhh.. true. Clumsy me. I had my thoughts elsewhere, forgive me."


She watches on as Ayumi jigs left and right on the opposing chair.

Unsure how to move on, Candy brings forward her assortment of mochi..



Candy: "Want a bite?"

Ayumi: "Mochi? No thanks. I self packed some onigiri and a full chicken meal in bento for later."

Candy: "More for me."

Ayumi: "You! Taking that sweet toothed lone wolf name to the literal sense!! Don't you racers have to keep fit? Do you diet?"

Candy: "Dietting is overrated, Yumi-san. Do you see how tiny I am?"


She might be small, but Candy sees a shadow take the light from the nearby window.

The man that appears, wearing a flatcap and a polo shirt, speaks in his native accent..



???: "Pardon me, wee lassie. Will ya gimme a sit?"

Candy: "Oh, you! H-hi! Took your time, oh, umm.. Scotsman of the north?"

???: "Aye. Tis been a long time coming, but I finally get to meet the famed Le Glace Pacer, in full.. but a wee tiny body. It's what's been said back in Scotland."


Ayumi questions the space get slightly more crowded.


Ayumi: "Scotland? Who's he, Candy-san?"


Putting her phone aside, she was ready for the moment.


Candy: "You don't mind if I.."

???: "Go on ahead."


The foreigner Paul Henderson sits comfortably as Candy gets to introducing him..


Candy: "Uhh.. composure! 1, 2, 3.. Yumi-san.. he's a respected racer deserving of fanfare and praise: former brawling touring car racer, and now our face of FIA regulated Group 3 racing: Paul Henderson."


He's got red hints all over his face, even though some of it came as is.


Paul: "Aww.. them words. Dinna have to make me blush hard, lass."


None the wiser, Ayumi bursted with pep, requesting..


Ayumi: "WOAH.. you seem like big news. It's.. IT'S A COMPLETE HONOR, SIR!"

Candy: "Despite appearances with that unkempt hairdo, sure."

Paul: "Oi, it's poor choice to be messing with me, me lassie Candy."

Candy: "He wouldn't hit a girl, right?"

Paul: "No, that wasn't pleasant to think about. Stop asking, ach."


He shows a good level of patience as Candy assesses the situation.


Candy: "Oh, before I forget: welcome to Suzuka, Paul. How's the country doing you so far?"

Paul: "It's been crakin, lass. Should bring me wife and kids."

Ayumi: "Uhh, what? Cray king?"


Her confusion hesitantly gives him the idea to talk in a more known tone.


Paul: "Don't worry about me lingo. I'll cut down on the accent later on."

Ayumi: "I.. uhh.. alright. Umm.."


The two established racers see the superfan take out her phone, holds it in a perpendicular angle, and gets to work with it in hyper speed.


Candy: "Look out. She's doing a quick Google on you."

Paul: "I can take that crap. C'mon then. What you find?"


Lowering her phone, she sees what's on the web matching her target.

Then, the facts came pouring in..



Ayumi: "Paul Henderson, former touring car racer, great standing with the FIA leagues.. owns an expensive million dollar supercar? That last one, is it?"


She sees the picture of his car: a white Aston Martin, on full force in a racing tournament.

To say it excites her is to put it fairly lightly.



Ayumi: "TELL ME IT IS!"


He knew he had to answer, but he couldn't explain why it took him off guard.


Paul: "Wha? It is, it is, stop heckling me, lass."

Ayumi: "I have GOT to see it one day. What is it.. AHAH! A.. One-77? The uber rare unicorn of grand tourers.. HOW?!"


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Candy: "She didn't believe you? It's rare, but someone like you.. I've seen lesser people with rarer cars than an Aston One-77."

Paul: "Trust me. Am a modest keeper of cars. That's the only one worth a fortune. And don't get me started on howfur it came. I called it luck, but after further investigation.. Tis ridiculously long winded.."


If there was electricity in the air, Ayumi probably somehow absorbed all of it with a 20 meter radius.

Candy sees first hand the innocence of one whose leaning to hero worship being complete overkill.



Ayumi: "Eagerness.. rising.. You ARE a big shot on the track, aren't you?"

Paul: "Oi! Widen that scope a bit will ya? We're standing with the top scorer of all East Asia. Big shot's not the right word for it.. umm, curses, what's your name?"


She swoons and spins, raising her hand above her head in excitement, hearing that.


Ayumi: "A-Ayumi! Yes, that's right. I got it wrong that one time I first laid eyes on Sonny Meng that time.."


Ayumi didn't see it, but there was a slight hint of disgust from her mates.


Candy: "Ugh.. She decides it's time to bring THAT name up."

Paul: "You are also in this club, correct? Forgive me for damning our ears, lass, but I'm just glad he's not around to be bothering us."


Intentional, Paul's bait worked, as Candy would ask..


Candy: "You know him too?"

Paul: "Matter of fact I do. Too well, actually. Lil miss Ayumi. I applaud your enthusiasm, lass, but me and her.. we need a moment."

Ayumi: "Oh? Umm.. I mean, of course!"


She turned away and backed to the chairs for a moment of peace.


Candy: "We needed her away?"

Paul: "Aye. You know Sonny as the Soul Chimera, correct?"


Sounding like he made that up, Candy voiced out, while realizing..


Candy: "No, but that name.. such a dumb name, but rings a bell.. something so undeniably fake but iconic.. it's.."

Paul: "Getting warmer.. now it does rhyme with my favorite vocabulary for him: narcissistic.."


If a trap was set, she was caught.

Instructed by Jacob himself, Paul glees internally as Candy adds up the tally..



Candy: "Ic? Ic, ic, lick, sick.. mythic.."


She might see him in a new light, but nothing's changed her mood.


Candy: "You got me to say it. I take you're the last of the Mythic Initiative?"

Paul: "Last of the original lot, that is. What follows.. is for another time. But well, it's a pleasure meeting the person who got little Rin to come tearing up to her guidman. Ermm.. husband."

Candy: "I see the results glow, but you're.. not quite the character I had in mind."


He took off his flatcap as he replied, just as curious as well..


Paul: "Ya had the same line of thought when ye met Rin in person."

Candy: "I guess expectations are just an illusion now."

Paul: "Aye, I agree. By the way, I'm expecting Rin to be here today."

Candy: "Same. What'd she tell you? She sent me a rather cryptic text."


Grabbing her phone, she scrolled and tapped her way with Paul watching over her short shoulders, to see a chat room with..


Paul: "Thas.. a meme."

Candy: "The cat with that deadpan stare saying I am coming for you.. gets me every time."

Paul: "Ah.. okay.. Ach, you women are weird sometimes.."


Just on the other shoulder, Ayumi slides from under at a snail's pace..


Ayumi: "Forgive me for interrupting, but.. am I allowed back in the cool club now?"

Paul: "Lass, what're you-it's just being private, not a cool club. If there was a cool club, I say.."


At a loss for words, lucky for Paul a commotion happened just by the front.


And the star of the show was someone he knew..


Paul: "That one's the ticket in."


There were hoards of fans, but the one leading them in is yet another one of those characters with talent oozing out of him, should it possibly veil his overpowering self centered personality.

Evidently not Sonny Meng, Hayato Matsumoto makes his entrance as the hotel staff try to muffle the situation.

As if he knew where to go, he got towards the direction of where Paul and the two women stood, watching it all unfold.



Hayato: "Ahh what a hassle, hahahh.. Intensity.. INCREASE!"


Now with his volume boosted, Hayato has assert dominance in mind when approaching Paul.

He's once faced this threat before, but Paul didn't even hesitate to confront this time around..



Hayato: "HENDERSON-CHAN!"

Paul: "Moto-san.."

Hayato: "HENDERSON-CHAN.."

Paul: "M-moto-san.."

Candy: "Is something going on here?!"


Concerned with Candy's objection, Hayato responds with less intensity.


Hayato: "NO NOT RE-INTENSITY.. decrease. Okay, no not really. Stalkers and fan girls, am I right? Speaking of which, this one looks rabid."


Gesturing towards Ayumi, they see her shaking out of control.


Ayumi: "Wow. First, Le Glace Pacer, then the FIA face. And now.. Super Formula superstar Moto-san! I must be d-dreaming!!"

Hayato: "Heyyy.. hah hah [clapping slowly], you're a familiar sight! You're that art graduate Fuji tuner Yumi-chan.. It's been a long time since the last we clashed eyes.."

Ayumi: "HE REMEMBERED! AHHHH~"


After a quick spin, she fell back towards Paul already there.


Candy: "She's out.."

Hayato: "Nyeehhh.. let's get her comfortable first, then we talk."

Paul: "Aye, sounds good, lad."


Placing her unconscious body to the comfort of the chair, the talks then begin anew.


Hayato: "Well well. Long time no see, Candy-chan."

Candy: "A long time indeed, Moto-san. Nothing has changed, it seems on your end. How's the Formula driving going?"

Hayato: "Heh heh. There has been no peace with me and the competition, but I'm still able to eke out a championship victory. Oh, wait. I apologize, didn't the sports news say I wasted the competition?! Nyeeheehee!"


They knew what kind of person he is.

He's no Sonny Meng, but he can be just as bad.



Candy: "Moto-san, Moto-san.. Just another one of those good racers, always full of themselves.."

Paul: "Being honest lass, you look the kind too."

Hayato: "And what keeps you out of that, Paul?"

Paul: "Not being daddy's boy is just for starters."


Getting roasted wasn't part of the ordeal today, with Hayato taking out a katana and striking a guard pose in no time.


Hayato: "Being good at making today's sashimi is also a consideration for those words.."

Candy: "Huhh.., not you too, Moto-san? I thought I'm already away and protected from these prospective cannibals.."


Now confident, Paul reassured..


Paul: "Don't you worry a wee bit, lass. He don't cut up nobody in public places. It don't look cool when the superstar's got a record for bloody murder."


And there's more than enough reason for Hayato to restrain himself, putting his weapon back where it came.


Hayato: "Hahahaha [clapping slowly]. He speaks the truth. To be frank, he speaks from experience. But then again.. bloody murder's always been on my.. resume.."


She may know him in a past era, but the katana act seems to be new to her, prompting..


Candy: "You carry that around so proudly. If I know you, it looks way too good to be a fake, Moto-san."

Hayato: "No. I thought you knew about it! But.. It's a handicrafted blade, polished refined and folded by a master of the art. I named it after my last love.. whom I gutted by my own hand."


This side of Moto-san unknown, Candy reacts with hands held on her mouth.


Candy: "Ahh! That's some cruel twist! It wouldn't happen when there's no reason."

Hayato: "Long story short, she started working for the wrong Yakuza family and decided my death was worth more than our 8 years of love."

Candy: "I'll not ask further. But I have bad blood with a few families one time. Prison is not nice to be apart of.."


The Japanese superstar soon then focuses on the foreigner..


Hayato: "By the way, Paul. You've steeled up considerably since the incidents with those French fries.. You didn't flinch when you knew Yoko was going to end you."

Paul: "From fiber wires to me throat, to a freaking tank. Aye.. sounds like I've been in worse."

Hayato: "And that also means you've met worse killers. Those who tried and eventually failed.. by the way.. Hmmm..."


He peeked left and right, searching for something, and it got those around him curious..


Paul: "Eh? Something on your mind, lad?"


They got curious, so he had to spill what's up..


Hayato: "Candy-chan. Your recently discovered, unofficial but yet still official sister Rin-chan.. Have you seen her?"

Candy: "Not yet, I'm afraid."

Hayato: "Nyehh.. I noticed her Copen on the outside. It doesn't take long when you know how much she loves playing dress up. Like a spy. Only that she's not."

Candy: "She does that? How odd. I think the dark one.. Jacob I mean, mentioned that once.."


But as if he knew, Paul spoke up, self assured he has the answer.


Paul: "You know what, I have a hunch, lads. Just behind you, Moto-san.."


Towards that direction was the reception area, and they see a few of the hotel staff mingling about.

There was one who had the same uniform, the same manners, and possibly was just as ready to even blend in with the crew.

But there isn't a reason to explain why..



All 3 in unison:
"That's her."


Candy:
"Dressed like one of the staff, but I can't help her standing out like a sore thumb."

Paul: "Dinna take long to root that.. Agent 47 wardrobe game out."

Hayato: "Her disguise game is nowhere her.. other sporting skills. So, how will you want to play this?"


They huddled up together. As the air starts to feel vile, the scheming began..


Candy: "After the last time, it's easy to disarm her a quick distraction, then with holding the right limbs.."

Hayato: "I can distract her by being playful old Moto-san. A personal game, in which failure leads to my beautiful blade getting a good cut out of her.."

Paul: "Get her to arrest me, and I could fake the lassie's perception, and my heavy arse go be sitting on her, again.."


No surprise Rin is in for a nasty surprise, they all then realize..


Hayato: "Curse it all.. our plans are all too good."

Candy: "Irritating. We all have good ideas, but they don't meld well together.."


No warning at all, Sim Gear's tamed racing animal enter the scene and walks towards their target.

And not unlike a certain celebrity hearing his wife getting the brunt of the jokes, he hit her with a thwacking.

Her body now briefly taking flight then with a hard crash, a crowd develops fast, as The Guts walks back towards Sophia who got in and analyzed the damages..



Sophia: "Mamma mia!! Too hard, Signore! You're here to make a statement, not kill her!"


Intentional or not with the timing, Sophia greets the group of racers..


Sophia: "Oh! Eh, buongiorno, Candy and company, just in time!"

Candy: "When were people like us ever not, Sophia? When did you-that's timing is just right, really.."


Gesturing to follow, she starts to leave with The Guts in tow.


Sophia: "Perhaps you three should get to comforting that poor soul. We will be in the conference room. Do make your way there shortly, amica."


With Sophia's involvment now faded, the men share their thoughts..


Hayato: "Man, I'm disappointed. That's the kind of thing Rin-chan is known for dodging when we do in house fights.."

Paul: "Ach.. Sophia and The Guts are here too for this formality.."


But Candy was against the idea of having an idea..


Candy: "Boys! Focus! We just saw straight up man to woman abuse from a freak of nature!"


The impromptu trio of racers barged through the crowd to see..


Candy: "Rin-san?"


And at the apex of it all, Rin finds herself already up and dusting it off..


Candy: "Not a single bruise??"

Rin: "Ehh? Look what we have here?"


From where she stands, she found herself standing in front of good company.

Gleefully holding her hands together, she smiled, saying..



Rin: "This is like the greatest family reunion ever.. Sister, brother and cousin all in one spot."


Already suspect of Moto-san's concern, Paul's relation on the other hand came to her completely out of left field..


Candy: "C-cousin?!"

Paul: "Uhh.. blast! Hard to explain really is the surface of this all.."


Half brother Moto-san goes on to say hello his way.


Hayato: "Hah hah hah! [slow clapping] You sold that slap like a Hollywood actor, Rin-chan."

Rin: "Eheh. Jake taught me selling like a on television wrestler lessons."


And then show brotherly concern for these actions..


Hayato: "But I had enough of you saying this is work, Rin-chan. Ease up a little. We don't have to punch in the clock at all times!"

Rin: "[sarcastic] Spoken like a true big brother. How about a 'it's nice to see you, Rin-chan' for once??"


Unable to counter at the time, Hayato felt a sting upon receipt of the rebuttal.


Hayato: "Urk!"


The unconcerning Scotsman observes..


Paul: "Lad's got a case of sliced in two by the looks of it."

Rin: "At any case.. there goes my subtle infiltration mission."


But the one person left has the same idea with Hayato, and explains..


Candy: "Enough acting dumb, Rin-san. You've come to see us do our thing. It's a wonder how you haven't been invited to these special FIA related special events. Haven't you remembered those words??"


Even though they're past that, Rin jests about it, and mischievously decides to play victim.


Rin: "UWAAA! Little sister's being tough on me!"


And she knew Hayato must answer the call like he always does, standing in between the women like an enforcer.


Hayato: "Don't worry, Rin-chan. Nii-san's got you!"


The sword came out fast, and the small crowd gasped in shock.

Knowing the intentions, Candy didn't give a single [BLEEP] that moment and..



Candy: "AARGH, enough is enough!! I've had it, with these mother[BLEEP]ing swords on this mother[BLEEP]ing face!!"


Her lack of a wanted reaction means for Hayato it's time to put his sword back in the scabbard while showing mild disappointment.


Hayato: "Hisss, don't you hate it when this happens? When someone's gotta die, they gotta die. Can't you fix the script for once?!"


I don't feel your personal emotions are justified enough. Besides, I have to keep the main character alive.


Hayato: "And why not?!"


Careful, everyone around is looking at you weird for talking to the ceiling. You should move on.


Hayato: "Nyeehh.. I think it's time we go find that Guts individual and get this day over with."


After that unusual scene, Hayato exits, and Paul plans to follow..


Paul: "He's right, ya know? I'm going."

Candy: "Go on then. Let me have a minute.."


With the men gone, the crowd has cleared too..

Candy then sees Rin picking what's left of her disguise around her.

There wasn't much left to gather, but Candy comes in to help.



Candy: "Rin-san, we'll catch up later, okay? I know a good place for ice cream later.."

Rin: "You might look the part, but I'm not 16 anymore.."


With her sweet tooth self offended, Candy was going to attack, but she's done it once before.

Instead, she thought of leaving the scene to ease the air.



Candy: "Oh. Of course. Darn it. Umm.. Yumi-san?"


The instant reminder of Ayumi still being nearby has her turn to look by the spot where she was left.

Without a solid confirmation if she remains, Candy just assumes..



Candy: "She's probably still out from all this star power.."

Ayumi: "THINK AGAIN!"


Already awake, it's a wonder she still has her pep.

Candy decides its time to use it.



Ayumi: "I knew you were going to say that!"

Candy: "You were? Well, did you know you're going to be stuck with Rin-san for the next hour or so. Get comfortable!"


As they became in position like chess pieces, it came to light that if a young literal form of energy meets a chaotic, young paranoid but good hearted lady..

Actually, it's a reunion, as the response went like..



Ayumi: "Urr.. RIN-SAN!!"

Rin: "YUMI-SAN!!"


She might've had enough of the surprises, but this is one surprise she wasn't prepared for..


Candy: "They knew each other?? I should've seen this coming!"


Not a moment later, the quick meeting begins.

Sophia stands by a small projected screen, with The Guts handling logistics on a nearby laptop.

Everyone sits comfortably by the chairs around a long table. Everyone except Candy who just entered after knocking twice..



Candy: "Hello again, everyone.."


While she's been on a whole rainbow of emotions, Hayato had to intervene when the current one is sadness, albeit just a mild one.


Hayato: "Candy-chan? Is something the matter?"

Candy: "Oh nothing. Just the start of my lone wolf mannerisms showing its weight on me.. Sophia, shall we get started?"

Sophia: "Of course. Guts? I need slides now."


A moment was made for the screen to light up and show a quick presentation.


Sophia: "Well, a good morning to all. You all know me: I'm Sophia, and as you know, I handle a lot more than just this tamed racing animal, you see. But I like to know a little bit more about you: my guests. Please?"


Gestured at him, Paul got up and got to his introductions..


Paul: "Aye. G'morning. I'm Paul Henderson. ETCC racing personality, supercar driving extraordinare. A lot of names come and go. I'm a.. uhh, to put lightly: a ruthless racer in the car, but am a genteel fellow, really."


And leaping off his chair in excitement and rule of cool, Hayato knew he's next and didn't waste time.


Hayato: "You all know me. Matsumoto Hayato, but please: call me Moto-san. 4 times Super Formula champion. Heir to the fortunes of one Kirkham Foundation. And above all.. the superstar escaping his.. bloody past. I'm copyrighting that story."

Sophia: "Ohh, fantastic! Well, Candy.. it's your turn."


Having seen it personally, Candy once again struggles..


Candy: "I think I'll.. urgh.."


A past client in trouble, Sophia rushes to the occasion and personally stands by her..


Sophia: "Oh, don't be shy. When was the last time you were asked to break the ice?"

Candy: "It's.. more recent than you can imagine.."


Sophia gets Candy off her chair gradually, with the latter not realizing what she's done.


Sophia: "Humm.. sooner or later amica.. we have to get over this discomfort of yours."


Heart beating fast, face riddled with sweat, and breathing out of control..

It wasn't instant, but the time passes calms her..



Candy: "Irritating.. It pains me to say you're right."

Sophia: "One step at a time. We can work this out! And if you're having confidence issues, you can talk to me, or these gentlemen."


As past clients, they went along with Sophia's game, knowing it's the best course of action.


Paul: "It doesn't have to be her, but if she's offering, no bleeding way I won't take her counsel."

Hayato: "Like he said. There's a.. mysticism in you, Sophia-chan.."


Hands around Candy's shoulders, Sophia then lands the coup de grace..


Sophia: "Just a name.. and a general gist. We all know your origin story, but.. this is for your future, Candy, amica."


She can't escape it, and with how things are looking, she must face her anti-social issues..


Candy: "I.. umm.. Candy! Candy Lam.. Hong Kong born, raised here in Nippon.."


It felt terrible for her, thus leading her to crash down to her chair in dread.

Sophia was however happy for her..



Candy: "That.. was hard.."

Sophia: "Don't doubt that idea. The first step will always be the hardest. Self introduction gets easier afterwards."


She makes her way back to the original position.

Not long after, Candy spoke up after a significant de-escalation of her emotional stress..



Candy: "Those men were right. You do have a way with words."


With a smile, Sophia then gets back to it.


Sophia: "Thanks for your time, gentlemen. And you too, for that show of courage, Candy."


And the presentation starts, with The Guts dimming the lights..

The title slide is shown..



Sophia: "I believe being race car drivers we all know the sacrifice to get around the world out of our comfort zones to.. visualize and enjoy the beauty of what makes the industry we work for.. special. But we're here for a more intricate matter: a test run. Next slide."


The following slide shows logos of various racing bodies, including DTM, Super GT and the FIA.

Other pictures include some racing cars and the Group 2 logo..



Sophia: "After today, calculations and adjustments will begin. It's a new BOP for Group 2 racing. We will be the first step into making the bases, then the days of competition will bear fruit further developments.. Next slide."


The next slide covers information..


Sophia: "For this, our main sponsor: the Kirkham Foundation, has arranged a quick, 10 lap race around Suzuka. Weather and conditions subject to change. Before you ask: no points are at stake.. what you see is what you get for competition and it doesn't even go past the minimum, even though it's all a test."


Her glasses glow with the eerie attitude she sometimes carry while working overtime..


Sophia: "Race time is 2 PM. You get the rest of the morning to sort yourselves out and find your cars.. details to be shared through message, OK? Any questions? Actually, just text me if something is amiss, alright? Forgive the quick meeting.. I've got another online meeting to get ready for. Ciao!"


And with that note, Sophia makes a mad dash to the exit, confirming to the rest she's working overtime like she's known for.


Paul: "Left in a hurry. She did leave behind the animal."

Candy: "It's not forgetfulness, I suspect.."


He's sitting there, menacingly with his arms crossed.

Hayato speeds his way to close proximity.

The lack of a reaction has Hayato snap his fingers by the carbon fibre helmet. And as the second snap is made, it leans to the side.



Hayato: "Heh heh, that's asleep alright."


Hayato takes out his katana once again and this time plays it in front of the tamed racing hibernating animal.

Paul and Candy had themselves to look for, off their chairs and having a quick talk..



Paul: "So, it looks like Suzuka's ours for conquering. I'm going to find me the given car and get on for quick practice as soon as able."


Readjusting his flatcap, Paul makes his fast exit just after..


Candy: "He's gone quick too."


He's asleep alright still in mind, Hayato disarms and heads towards an approaching Candy.


Candy: "So, tell me this.. Moto-san.. he's supposedly Rin's cousin? The skin nor hair matches any direct connection! This family is surely one ridiculous web of facts.."

Hayato: "Nyeehh.. you tell me. All I know it's Rin-chan's mother married another, and that's all I know, swear! I'm just here to get paid."


Money in mind, Candy remembers hearing about the Kirkham Foundation from her late master's dabbling with them..


Candy: "Don't you think the sponsor strikes you as odd."

Hayato: "No, not for me. It's my adoptive father pulling the strings."

Candy: "Father? I should stop with the sudden reveals today.. Got any idea why, ninja boy?"

Hayato: "Heh. I say he's trying to insert his organization within the FIA. Money talks, Candy-chan, and when they talk, nothing else can override the volume."


Needing a clearer picture, she knows Hayato knows more than anyone..


Candy: "I'm inquiring more about this organization, considering Nishimura-Sensei's connection.."

Hayato: "You're looking at the right man! I know tons, but I can't promise the right answer."


He's confident with the non-stop snickering, so Candy gets going..


Candy: "The Foundation started off as.. complete this sentence for me, Moto-san."

Hayato: "Pioneers of medicine since World War 2. So happens the latest heir: Nash Kirkham, genius racing economist suffering from a rare case of severe albinism, is an enthusiast of motorcar racing. He's become a self made legend in the late 90's era. But don't get this from me: rumor has it the Foundation was once the front for something large and illegal, but it's a rumor after all."

Candy: "This only sates a part of my growing curiosity, Moto-san. You know too well for something out of your league."

Hayato: "For you.. I'll bite. Nash so happens to adopt me and give me his blessings. I suspect it's out of pity since Shinzo-sama left this world. Due to his albinism and other medical malfunctions, Nash is sterile, thus also handed me a sizeable portion of his inheritance.. something I'm pretty good at for claiming a good portion of Shinzo-sama's own. I'm going to be rich, b[BLEEP]h!"

Candy: "We're related.. don't I get a stake too?"

Hayato: "Ohh.. It explains why that happened! Heh heh.. I thought I was fleeced out, but all along the answer was you. Don't hide it.. I knew since the day I dropped it off to you personally. Oh yeah, that day.."


Just as she heard that tone, she knew it was bad news..


Candy: "Okay, shut up, just shut up!"


In a fit of rage, she left.


Hayato: "Ohh, Candy-chan. I guess if nobody's here, I'll just meditate.."


Skipping ahead an hour, Candy and Hayato walks along the famed Suzuka pit lane.

Aside the general cleaning staff and the lone pit crew working today, there's nobody of note from where the eye can see..



Candy: "Sure is odd to see an emptier than usual Suzuka pit lane.."

Hayato: "It's usually full of color. We know that. But I understand. I've been here, alone, more than you think."


Not without a clue on what to follow with, Candy swipes across the private messaging board for those involved today.


Candy: "Sophia must be so busy.. or having a bit of fun.. She only left emojis for colors in the chat.. How unnecessarily cryptic! Mine is red."

Hayato: "I'm black, Guts is white, Paul is green. I saw, I know."


This know it all attitude demands one response..


Candy: "Don't make me hit you!"

Hayato: "As tempting as that sounds, I'll pass.. You remember the last time you tried to 'hit' me? Oh, right: that was the day I dropped off your share of Shinzo-sama's inheritance!"


flashback.jpg


It was years back.

Candy has heard of her master's recent death, and sat in her small home's living quarters, mourning away in black clothing..

But what she hasn't realized is the small army of Yakuza enforcers staging an ambush outside her home.

Hearing the noise outside, she peeked from her door window after locking it. Not caring from what family they represent, she ignored them, until steel clashed with steel.

Observing more closely, she sees a younger Hayato, wearing a bloody suit, still fresh from what seemed like his betrayal phase.

But as he cuts off the vital organs of his enemies, Candy watches on, enjoying the bloodshed.

It didn't take long for Moto-san to finish off the last of the crew. He approached the door, and it opened just before he could knock..



Candy: "...."

Hayato: "Hmm, cute, petite Chinese woman. This is the one.. Matsumoto Hayato, but I always go with Moto-san. You must be the sweet little Candy, corect? This is.. for our recent loss.."


He hands over a small bag, filled with money.
Receiving with both her hands, she stared at it without emotion to show.



Candy: "...."

Hayato: "The silent treatment? Nyeehh, are you okay? I'm not, as you see. If it's about your street.. I'm sure more men are on the way to bloody it up more until I go."

Candy: "....thank you."

Hayato: "Just stay calm until the police get here, alright? How is it you live all alone, eh?"


But the next wave arrived too soon, and Hayato barely dodged a slice with a quick turn.

With his sword on the other hand, it mistakenly nearly hit Candy, but that caused it to instead hit the top of her head, slicing most of it clean..



Hayato: "ARGH!! THAT'S WHAT I GET FOR PLAYING AT A HIGHER FRAMERATE, RIGHT?! DOES THIS GAME HAVE TO BE SO BUGGY?! DIDN'T THE TIMER ON THE SCREEN ABOVE SAY 5 SECONDS LEFT, YOU DOGS?! THE WAVE START MESSAGE HASN'T EVEN APPEARED!!"

Candy: "UUWAAAHH! M-M-MY BEAUTIFUL HAIR!! HOW DARE YOU!!"


Younger Hayato did get to see one thing: complete shut in Candy in full blown emotion.


While Hayato personally saw what was written above, he looked back in fondness..


Hayato: "It's still a fresh memory for me, Candy-chan.. It's all not intended, but you looked awfully attractive when the top of your head looks similar to a western monk, heh heh.."


But the other one held her head for a moment in fear it might happen again..


Candy: "GAH! Okay, fine, we'll not discuss that! Back to the colors.."

Hayato: "Hmm.."


Again interrupting the conversation, Hayato closed his eyes to feel with his ears what's coming..


Candy: "What are you looking for on track?"

Hayato: "The inline 4 coming over.. sounds like.. a Super GT tuned piece of engineering, coming over to show its glory."


full



Candy: "I don't know if you're either blind or deaf, but an Audi is not Super GT."

Hayato: "Humm... that inline engine.. that is not the sound of any normal Audi.. I might have to investigate."

Candy: "Anyways.. about the colors.."


And as if it was ready to again mess with the topic at hand, an awe inspiring machine came into view.


full



Hayato: "Wow, is that a classic Mercedes CLK-GTR? No, wait. The livery suggests it's the CLK-LM.."

Candy: "Don't rub your eyes, Moto-san. I see it clear as day too. I see The Guts is inside. You mean to tell me.."

Hayato: "Guts is white, right? This isn't exactly white, but maybe it's the clue for what car we race later."


As they went to admire it more, The Guts exits the scene with the car.


Candy: "Off he goes.."

Hayato: "Let's end this riddle, Candy-chan. Our cars must be close."


And not even a moment after, the next car is..


full



Candy: "Black is you, right? Moto-san, that must be what you're driving."

Hayato: "Ahh, of course. She knows. Nash-sama knows.. I am NSX bound no matter where I go, and this is a fate I do not mind being part of, heh heh.."


Even though he's closely related to Honda, he never got a shot at their Super GT representative, so he hunched down and rubbed his hands, excited in a shady way..


Hayato: "A day in Suzuka with a Super GT car is more than I bargained for, heh. Candy-chan, I will bid you farewell for now.. Nyeeheehee.."


And he leaves her party, jumping around and excited. Candy notes quietly..


Candy: "It's like he found a new toy to play."


And moving further ahead is yet another Super GT car.. but a classic.


full



Candy: "Red is.. that Lexus. The Supra based Lexus SC430.. Hattori and Dumbreck's.."


Never been this close to this kind of racecar, Candy analyzes and found herself interested in what's to come for her.


Candy: "Interesting to see I'm technically driving a convertible today. That won't bode well for my hair.."


Unexpectedly, Hayato's ridicule intending laughter echoes from the distance, as if he knew that line was coming from the flashback witnessed earlier..

Realizing the situation, Candy knew how to feel, while unable to control it..



Candy: "URGH, THAT MOTO-SAN! HOW DARE HE DO THAT TO ME?! WHAT'S A WOMAN WITHOUT HER HAIR?! NO, STOP LAUGHING! IT'S NOT FUNNY! HAVE YOU EVER BEEN BALD BEFORE?! HOW IS IT THAT THIS IS THE THIRD WEEK I LOSE MY COOL! URGH!!"


Later 2.jpg



Coming back to the pit lane, no car but the SC430 was in sight.

With racing suit on and hair buns in check (totally not related to the paranoia established earlier), Candy looks towards the designated SC430 in joy..



Candy: "I am so ready for this day."


But as she closens in to the car, there are people.. People that she knew.


Candy: "Ehh?! I am so NOT READY for those two!!"


Dressed as racing staff, the Japanese duo return, obviously not where they should be.

But familiar on this part of the track, they walk by with care of where, while chatting..



Rin: "Hmm.. to be honest, you can feel the darkness surrounding him these days. I'm afraid even if it's me opposing that form of him.. it might hurt us.."

Ayumi: "Your fear is documented.. But we shouldn't worry much. He is a man built to kill!"


Distressed, Rin disapproves of this opinion toward her husband's violence..


Rin: "Yumi-san, that is exactly what I think and why I worry!"

Ayumi: "Aaahh! My advice hasn't been helping with this dilemma, huh?"


Their volume is loud enough for the hiding Candy to overhear clearly..


Candy: "They're obviously talking about the dark one.."


Low enough to be unseen behind a mechanic's toolbox, Candy doesn't feel like revealing herself, and thinks to leave.


Candy: "I should go before.."


But her path to exit was then put to light..


Rin: "Peter Dumbreck and Naoki Hattori's SC430?!"

Ayumi: "Oh. My. GOSH! It's not a Mazda, but oh, how can this car even be here?!"


Causing her plans to change, Candy thought..


Candy: "I'm not seen, so if I head out this way.."


She went another route, but knocked over a few tools, causing some noise and a mess.


Rin: "Eh? Dare da? Is someone there?"


Rin looked to see nobody. Candy's low profile makes it easy for her to make an escape, but she looked closer to see her walking off..


Candy: "Ignore that and keep walking.."


And from the other side of the building, she hears and then sees something else come in..


full



Candy: "Phew.. thank goodness for that Audi."


The driver inside, wearing a white race suit with plaid decor, reveals himself to be the lone European on track, not counting whatever The Guts could be..

Considering the privacy of this event, he had some words for the intruders.



Paul: "Oi, lassies. Track's off limits. I'm not the one responsible, but don't make me call them. I'll sit on you again if it had to be."

Rin: "Gee, Paul-san, your mood sure has dulled, significantly."

Paul: "Aye, umm, I'm not exactly in the mood to get me morning's run disrupted in any way. Don't take it personally. I might not get the chance to race another Audi, at another sacred battleground like this.."

Rin: "None taken."

Ayumi: "So, this must be your first time around Suzuka?"

Paul: "Yeah. Can't say I dreamed for the day to come, but those are dreams I should've had. Enough of me. I hope you're allowed to be here."

Rin: "Well, we showed the track keeper our FIA licenses and that's more than enough."

Ayumi: "No, it's not. We sweetened the deal with her Interpol badge and an excuse to keep me around. You hear that?! I'm a witness to a crime! It's official!"


A facepalm was his response..


Paul: "Argh, Jesus.."


Hoping this won't continue, Rin had something interesting to mention..


Rin: "By the way, we ran into that Sophia earlier. She's actually a person of interest in my newest FIA related investigation."

Paul: "Ohh? Interesting development. Anything I should know?"

Rin: "That's as far as I go on that. Sorry, this is all confidential stuff I can't even share to Jake-san."


Paul often saw Sophia in a good light until that came, but he remained understanding of the given situation.


Paul: "No worries. Completely understandable."

Ayumi: "Any idea who's driving the BANDAI DIREZZA SC430? It's a real blast to the past! When I see it, 5OUL ON D!SPLAY just plays."

Paul: "Aye, that Sophia lassie shared names and colors, and Le Glace Pacer's one is red, so I'll assume that's her's to drive."


The revelation of color gave Rin something to notice, about Paul..


Rin: "Heehee, Green's YOUR Mythic color."

Paul: "You knew it. In more than one way it is.."


Back to her original hiding spot, Candy overheard everything. The waiting game is over, she thought..


Candy: "I suppose I've had enough.."


And decided to show herself, more comforted now that Paul is around.


Candy: "Alright, you're hogging my lane, people. I appreciate giving some way.."


Seeing someone shorter in that form excited Rin in the way she didn't want to handle earlier..


Rin: "[gasps] Little sis! Looking good!"

Candy: "Umm, thanks? How is she even here?"


As Rin bat out her tongue, Paul reacted obviously differently.


Paul: "That's not important. Speaking of she.. Can I have you for 2 minutes?"

Candy: "Sure thing."


Heading one way, Candy went for it as well. The two other women remained, with their attention to the Audi.


Not too far away, Paul got to business, again.


Candy: "It's the second time now, is something wrong?"

Paul: "No. Nothing of that. It's just.. something I've been meaning to say. About Jacob."


And she knew enough to point out..


Candy: "Why lay it to me? The wife's just right there!"

Paul: "It's not for her to know. Rather.. she probably already knows, actually."


Scratching his head, he gave out what he knows to the newest person he can deem trusted.


Paul: "The man's received a radical shift in character. It's unheard of.. You heard of the gassing and the threatening.. God forbid I have to mention the killing.."

Candy: "Killing? So he really has done the.. machete act for real?"

Paul: "I'm in contact with one of his pals, so yes, I know a lot. It's driving me mad, lass. How someone I looked up towards for his.. past heroism can dwell so deep in the shadows. Looked to me, he adopted the dark.. but way I seeing, I say he was born in it. And he's molding them, his favor for what looks to be so far an unknown variable.."


Aside references to a powerful figure, Candy suggested..


Candy: "Are you saying he was.. once pure?"

Paul: "Pure is not the right word for it, but it was miles better than today, morality wise."


Giving thought with her fist on her cheek, Candy voices her opinion..


Candy: "I say.. he's not too far gone yet. Yumi-san and I.. talked about it earlier."

Paul: "What'd you reckon, lass?"

Candy: "I say.. uhh.. look up the day he.. hijacked my press conference. They're calling it the Blue Moon Landing of Jacob Ross.."


Strangely, Paul had his phone with him, and went straight to a video covering it.


Paul: "Hmm. hmm.. oh!"

Candy: "Socials were ablaze on this, and it seemed to me you.. didn't know?"

Paul: "We only cared about The Guts on that interview. As Europeans, anyways. Your debacle was.. more towards the Japanese racing scene."


Candy needed a point proven, and it led her to the past, back to facing a tower of potential evil..


Candy: "You want a recollection? He said.."


Listen to me:
..that question is unquestionably bul[BLEEP]t and..
..your team has approved of my intervention.


I.
Will.
Handle.

This.


The imitation had 'Paul ready to object' written all over them, but more importantly Paul got the message.


Paul: "He's.. stood up for ya? A stranger?"

Candy: "Don't you think only days after meeting him, he would go so far to scan and take advantage of the opportunity? The long story is suspect, but if you change the perspective.."


With those words in mind, Paul's whole opinion turned around slowly.


Paul: "The method remains.. honest.. and gallant. Not to mention he had no real reason to help you."


He brought out a small chuckle, impressed with how things looked now.


Paul: "It's a long shot, but you convinced me there is still good in him. Nash WILL want to know. He touched your heart in person.."


And something else was coming..


Paul: "Aye, I'll be confessing: Nash got an eye on you, and I had to see it for meself. You should head for Europe when you can. I'll make sure you got some chums to lean over if required. And maybe sneak in some funding from the Kirkham Foundation."


She hated dishonesty.

But Candy couldn't feel bad about it after the reveal that she has a reason for a European visa.



Candy: "Oh! Great! I hardly get the chance to leave Nippon at my own leisure. I've my eyes on a few venues there."


And Paul too felt the meeting was to his liking.


Paul: "Let's keep in contact. I mean, more directly. And I've got another favor for you, if you in?"

Candy: "I'm in alright. What hunch needs scratching now?"

Paul: "No, lass. No hunch. Think you can warm up that Audi a bit more? Good chunk of laps in. We'd want to wear it out before this afternoon's action."


While she's okay with the GT500 Lexus, she's never driven something faster like the Audi, so the nerves kicked in a little.


Candy: "Huh, okay, I'm your girl. What's stopping you?"

Paul: "I want to make a few late night calls. I'll just say it out: family, then Nash, then me old Frenchie rival who would LOVE to hear I got to Suzuka before he did."

Candy: "Umm.. quick history lesson? What'd you know about the car?"

Paul: "Last of Audi's DTM developed efforts in touring cars. Put a baby engine in to be apart of some Super GT agreement so they race together. Last I hear, it don't work out, but it's got marks for season dominating performance. Tip top performance is something you can't bat an eye on for the car."


And she decided to try something Paul was used to from his racer connections: banter.


Candy: "Alluring. Hearing that from a former touring car driver makes me feel tingly inside.."

Paul: "Stow it."


Candy: "Great Kami, ruler of heaven and earth above, lend me an openness of heart for this opportunity.."


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First racecar of the thread, and it's a very recent addition. Like Week 3's Corvette, it's yet another car with tons of firsts. Most notably first DTM car on a recent Gran Turismo game.

Interestingly, what can you say about Group 2? Unlike the complete mess that is Group 1, it's much more balanced. The way I see it, you can split the whole thing into 3 different subclasses. There's the meta dominating 2016 Super GT models that can take on any track just fine, thanks to their great balance on speed and handling. The older GT500 cars cover as an inbetween between that lot and the late 90's GT1 racers.

So where does the Audi fit in this? My guess goes towards the 2016 Super GT bunch, but it seems to have made another subclass entirely. Okay, nice. So I was thinking it's a newer car, so it'll be more on the handling. And surprise to me again, it's not. As noted by Alex above, based on his words, it's smack dab in the middle of the 2016 Super GT squad and the late 2000s GT500 machinery.


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Before tackling what the car offers in characterisation, I want to mention the most important part of its wardrobe: DRS. This is something you only see in this game when driving certain cars. The P1 GTR, the Isle of Man WRX and the Super Formula cars come to mind. But this is a Grouped car, meaning you can take it to serious competition. You can say here's why the car's a bit lacking if you don't use it. I personally am unsure if this is allowed when BOP is on. But I'm sure Formula 1 rules on DRS aren't enforced here. And after observation, it's free reign to be used anywhere on track that's not a slow corner.

Which leads me to how I think it was implemented. I had a moment to think about this. Don't get me wrong: DRS helps make the racing incredible, but there's a couple of issues I have with it in the game. One: it doesn't feel.. particularly strong. Of course, this could be realism at play, so it's not too loaded. Two is where it's at: we have a button. I'm unsure what that button looks like.

Yes, that's it. A button. If I'm looking at the other cars in this class, they don't have buttons to be the best they can be, and we have one here, and we gotta exploit it to the fullest if we're going to be competitive. Taking extra steps just to reach the same power level is the exemplary case of inefficiency if you think like a gamer.

Coming from a team with decades of race engineering, there's nothing to laugh about. Braking is superb. Handling, also superb, but a little mid corner understeer can be observed, even with the DRS off. That's one thing to note for later.

Want something else to note? The early gear traction is nastily low. Even on the 2nd best compound for grip, it's poor enough for me that I ended up having traction control on when I need to push the car. I've pretty much sworn against using traction control, so if this is the case, you can tell how serious the whole situation is. On top of that, top end is not super duper, but that's the norm for group racing unless you're in Group 1.

It's been quite an episode with me and the DRS. Don't let my criticisms with it deter you from what you're getting your million credit expenditure for. It's so far worth the money, and I don't say that to every race car. Maybe a lot of them, but nah, not all of them for sure.


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Candy: "It's the freak of nature.. How can I have caught up to him? Perhaps trouble with the car?"


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Candy: "The CLK-LM. That is some mean looking car."


later.jpg



The morning moves on, and after getting laps in, Candy moved on towards the Lexus.

On the whole, her getting comfortable with the Audi's increased pace transitioned towards the Lexus as well.

And later on, Candy heads for the pits, and exits her designated Lexus.

Now more familiar with a taste of an elevated class from her usual set, she curiously finds the pit lane still mostly empty.



Candy: "This is starting to look like a ghost town."


As she sees a pit crew working on getting the cars analyzed and ready for later, Candy ran into something with crossed arms..


Candy: "Oh, it's you, alone with me. Again. You remember the last time that happened, right? The more I think it, the more I want to rip that helmet off you and feed you to the vultures!"


Even with Candy posturing and ready to strike should a chase happen, The Guts reveals she's not today's victim of..


Candy: "That's not my phone. Is there a reason you're telling me you've snatched yet another poor sap's device?"


Not an honest fellow, Candy slips to the animal's side to see him swipe to unlock the device.

Gladly not using retina, fingerprint or face recognition, she sees a pattern has to be entered..



Candy: "I'm sure I don't know the pattern. My hope is that it's not one that'll erase itself after many failed attempts.."


Thinking of what other jokes to say, Candy's plans to infuriate The Guts came to a halt as the tamed racing infiltrator has entered the belly of the beast, if said smartphone was a beast.


Candy: "Are you for real? Don't tell me: first go?!"


As the two move on with the phone's front end screen, The Guts slid away to find the right app..


Candy: "Curious, but.. sort of guilty.. Ahh what the hell! Whose phone is this anyways?"


But as she wanted to stay in the perpetration of someone's privacy, she noticed a nearby barrel shake.

Now inspecting the barrel, the lid comes off, to see a pair of hands and..



Hayato: "Got you now.. CANDY-CHAN!"


He leaped out and smelled of oil, not that he minded.

But Candy had other thoughts, and checked the barrel he came out of to see..



Candy: "Moto-san, everywhere? How did you even fit in that.. oh never mind."

Hayato: "What do you say? Did you like my Majima impression?! Nyeehheeheeheee!"


She can't quite figure out who he meant as he dances a jig that questions if zombies could even do.


Candy: "Who now?"


He got back to normal position as soon as he saw The Guts using a phone he's familiar with..


Hayato: "Never mind. I see The Guts going ham on Rin-chan's phone."


He laughed internally as he observes the moment..


Hayato: "She still has the same phone for years, and kept on the same case perhaps just as long."


With that in mind, Candy came back to the infiltration of the stolen phone.


Candy: "So, Guts. What kind of secret Interpol shindig do you have for us?"

Hayato: "Talking like a rule breaking delinquent. I approve."

Candy: "Prison teaches you these things, Moto-san. Someone I met earlier taught me.. information has value."


Hayato looks up to the sky..

He wants to talk to me. What's up, kid?



Hayato: "Narrator-chan! What's taking him so long? Think you can.. speed him up and tell us direct what's coming?"


This isn't Hades, Moto-san. I can't indirectly reveal to you what's to come. There are rules I need to keep wary of..


Hayato: "Okay okay. Let's see how it goes, then. Come on, show us something juicy."


Well thank goodness, [clears throat].

And The Guts went through a secure Interpol database using the phone, revealing something notable.



Candy: "Interpol is investigating the identities of Trinitia L'Assassina.. top of the line serial killers.. most wanted.. this is relevant.. how?"


Lucky for Candy, Hayato does think this is notable.


Hayato: "Heyy.. there's something familiar."

Candy: "You sound invested in whatever that was."

Hayato: "Was it? I actually survived a fight with one of them. She's under close contact. Who knows? You might meet her someday.."

Candy: "I hope not as a target!"


The thought of not just your regular old assassin, but THE world's best assassins shook Candy to her sweet core..


Candy: "This is all too cryptic. I'm too young to die, you know. How did you survive, anyways? What do you know?"

Hayato: "Heh heh, easy now, Candy-chan. With friends like Rin-chan, she'll be the first to let you know if that time comes. The only thing I know is that it's a trinity, so there's three of them. And they're all women. Sounds cliche, I know."


Back on like mobile addiction is on full assault, the owner of said smartphone makes a quick appearance from the distance.


Rin: "THAT RASCAL! GIVE ME BACK MY PHONE!"


And The Guts didn't think twice to take off in a sprinter's pace.


Hayato: "He can drive as fast as he can escape."


Not thinking of helping out, Hayato only had one job..


Hayato: "RIN-CHAN, FORGOT YOUR ROLLERBLADES?!"

Candy: "If I was her, I'd turn to you and do all I can to cool that head."

Hayato: "Why? I'm giving her some slipstream to work with, nothing malicious here."

Candy: "Not dirty air, correct?"

Hayato: "No way!"


Just as the chase gets out of view, another pair enters in a more calm manner.

Ayumi shows her phone to Paul, and the screen plays out a small online store..



Ayumi: "And that's how that man has a fan club. Here."

Paul: "A fan club.. and so far away. Hard to believe it, but.."


His eyes glow in interest, Paul saw what looked like fan art of Jacob on t-shirts.


Paul: "THAT is some fine art on them shirts, lassie! I would love to get something like that going. For me, I mean."

Ayumi: "It's not rocket science, but maybe you have to look hard enough. I'm positive you have one somewhere! And if you need art, Deki-san.. my husband to be, can help with that, for a handsome sum. Don't worry, he's legit."


It wasn't one, nor two, but THREE racing savants surrounding Ayumi at the moment.

Like earlier, it's causing her systems to go haywire.. if she was a robot.



Ayumi: "HWOOH! GT racing Candy and Super Formula superstar Ha-HAYATO! Must not pass out.. MUST NOT PASS OUT.."

Candy: "My goodness, calm yourself!"


Ignoring what happened, Hayato has yet another flashback in mind when combining the energetic girl and the surroundings.


Hayato: "Yumi-chan! Remember I told you my life's story one time on this very garage?"

Ayumi: "Oh yes yes YES! And you mentioned never to recall any of it ever again. My mouth is zipped, TIGHT!"

Hayato: "Good dog. I'd hand you a bone, but an autograph later for your garage should do you better. Remind me, okay?"


With those two busy, Paul has thoughts on what ran through earlier..


Paul: "So, how be the chase going on?"

Candy: "Whoa, you knew? Don't you know how LONG it's been going on?"

Paul: "Aye, okay it's far too long, then. In fact, I have this lucky hunch Guts be coming over the corner in.. 7 to 9 seconds. Watch me."


Paul moves on to a spot so random, it's not so random anymore as soon as the group sees one tamed racing velociraptor charge in.

And Paul finds himself to be on path.



Candy: "And there he comes, on cue!"

Hayato: "Ehh? That is some lucky guess!"

Ayumi: "Ohh, this is going to be good.."


Cracking his fingers, Paul's guessing game was on point.

The Guts ran and ran, with plans to plow through the Scottish icon.

But instead of cowering, Paul held his legs wide, and positioned his hands, setting up a discus thrower's posture.

And after a quick spin, he struck with a spinning lariat.

There was great pain felt on the upper body of the tamed racing victim, backflipping to the floor.

Up in the air, Paul manages to make his way up from a kneel and grab the phone floating then falling before it hits the floor.



Paul: "Oaah.. that felt great. There you go, Rin."


And not far behind, Rin, sweating and panting in exhaustion, appears, and received her lost article..


Rin: "Oh, phone! What dirty secrets did you leak out this time? I'll never never let you go, ever!"


With one party hurt, Ayumi had to ask..


Ayumi: "Is he alright to race later?"


As a response, nobody was sure, until The Guts slowly rolled to the side, then raised his right arm up, showing a thumbs up, shaking in pain.


Paul: "That's a confident yes, I hope."

Hayato: "Okay, let's move on to the next scene!"

The Four Horsemen
Aphrodite's Child
666


And then, the time came for the Group 2 machines to duke it out..


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The host taunts me saying I can't figure out what to write here. How dare you.


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To be honest, he's not wrong. There's not much I can say when it comes to upgrade advice. But how about tuning advice?

Race cars come with customizable parts on default, so the budget only now goes to the lone aspiration option if it even gets one. And tires too. That's where the money goes.. GT world tires are some real premium parts. I'm guessing it's because they are unlimited in amount, and it won't cost you to replace a set after getting them. In that regard, it makes sense, sort of..

Let's begin with cornering. Now, of course you can adjust suspension to favor some oversteer to accomodate the gradual understeer the car has, but if you're either doing Sport Mode Dailies, or if the BOP is on, you might want to put the brake bias a little to the rear. And that's it?


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I suppose we ignore that. I have to write something here. How do I fill an AI ran 5 lap shootout anyways??

So, umm.. we need oversteer. Get the nose pointing down. Raise rear roll bar stiffness. Suspension rate also needs to be adjusted. At stock, it's super hard up front. I bet the right way to adjust this is to just make the values super hard to the rear now. We're going to need some.. firmness right in the back now.. heh, okay, enough innuendo. The LSD will also need a check. Lowering the deceleration (braking sensitivity) can do you some good.

Okay, with understeer checked out, another issue is the car loving to skid it's wheels out on early gears. This is where I hesitate on adding an aftermarket turbo, since they make the powerband spike nasty on the critical portions. I say you don't need it, but for whatever reason you need an extra 200 horsepower, you are welcome to try. Also since it's a racecar, you should have the racing transmission ready. And with that on, you want to have a sizeable boost to the height of the car's 1st 2nd and 3rd. How large, well, we all know enough not to muck up the transmission flow, right?

If you're still not willing to use TC like I am, you can do what most tuners do when the car has nasty wheelspin: raise the front so the rear gets more grip (decide between rear grip and turning angle), adjust the LSD's acceleration down a chunk, and like I said about the transmission: raise the first few gears. How extreme of this you want gone is really user dependent. I can't give you whole numbers, just a quick overlook.

I'm coming to the DRS and wonder if you adjusted the rear downforce, would DRS be just as affected? If I put it at a software developer's perspective.. yes, this is my career choice I hope to get into, would pressing the DRS button reduce the downforce by a flat value, or just sets the value to a preset. My prediction that it's the latter, and if so, then maybe you can get some extra sneaky PP by having maximum downforce at the rear, essentially making the DRS more effective. This really makes me wonder. It's the kind of situation due a test or 2.

Not so much variables to play, but there's still a lot of depth. As it's a racecar, I'm sure it's tuned okay as is at least, so don't go too far in the values.

Now, what's left to deal is if we get a VGT or a concept car with even more limited options. Candy is doing my 'HOW DARE YOU' venting for the time being, so I guess I'll have to write here to be more irate (no, it's not serious anger, don't worry) should that time comes.


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Hayato: "You hit me! Sophia-chan!! Where are the stewards?!"

Paul: "Ach, I'm sorry you are such a wee pansy.. in touring cars, this is child's play!!"


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Candy: "He's having trouble going around the S curves.. and yet.. I still can't catch him.."


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Sophia: "Ohh? A sizeable gap? There are too many variables to consider this.. it needs some analysis.."


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Candy: "And after Spoon, he's just.. gone.. what is Group 2 intending to achieve here?"


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Sophia: "Everybody did their best, but.. I feel more testing is needed. No overtakes or anything.. mamma mia.. this is all so peculiar."


Sophia: "There wasn't a hint of Signore Guts holding back. It's to be expected of him to hunt like this... but it's as if.. he's hunting something. Yet I do not see it. If only he could be more.. straight of a human being to say.."


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Well hi there. That's me. I just love how when you're in front, the AI just leans forwards on its good ass gaming chair. Wait till Sophy gets in, that's going to be something.
The car in question

The next day.jpg



Ryukoji Temple
Tochigi Prefecture
Sunrise



Sitting on the nearby stone benches, Hayato and Rin await a certain someone now in sight.

Wearing formal clothing, Hayato is at unease with his kimono. Rin, also carrying a small bag, has no such issue..

As is the now arriving Candy also sporting a kimono. Hayato decides his frustrations now must leave his own..



Hayato: "You look very fetching in a kimono, Candy-chan.."

Rin: "My thoughts exactly, heehee."


However, her face was enough to tell she's not feeling any good about it.


Candy: "Let's get this over with.."


She's grumpy, but Rin wants the moment to be the best it can be, so she wanted to keep Candy's spirits in check..


Rin: "Moto-san isn't joking around here, you know. Right?"

Hayato: "The spirits will HATE me if I'm being dishonest now."


It wasn't instant, but Candy finally took the point.


Candy: "I-I know.. thanks.."


The three move on towards the large cemetary, and Hayato once again takes his time to moan..


Hayato: "Which one was it.. I swear, this place keeps changing form with every visit!"

Rin: "Relax, Moto-san.. I know where.."


It didn't take long for them to arrive where they planned to be.


Rin: "This is it.."


They stop at a gravestone, dusty and barely engulfed in moss.

It might not be the cremated remains of their father, but it's the only place they can openly give their respects.



Hayato: "This.. is it? I.. I'm sorry.. it hasn't been maintained regularly it seems."

Rin: "Yes.. people are afraid of those who pursue him in body still remain in pursuit as a spirit as well."

Candy: "Creepy.."


Opening the bag, Rin reveals a bouquet of..


Hayato: "Yellow mums.."

Rin: "It's his favorite."


She placed it down gently, and scrubbed away some of the dirty remains.

Hayato found a nearby broom to clear some dust, but Candy, after staring for a moment, acted.



Candy: "My turn.."


She took a white orchid out of her kimono, and placed it gently by the chrysanthemums.


Hayato: "I'm not familiar with that flower.. Rin-chan?"

Rin: "Quiet, Moto-san.."

Candy: "A bauhinia.. the flower of the orchid tree. A symbol of who I am, and staying here now to symbolize.. you are a part of me, too."


They stood there in silence, then followed with a few prayers..


Later 2.jpg



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Those who were born or raised under the care of one man came out, glowing in emotion and spirit.

They return to where they left their cars.



Hayato: "So, what now? I'm not incredibly familiar with Tochigi in general for tourism, so unless you have some places to be, I'll just find somewhere to buy new clothes.."


The half sister didn't like his attitude, despite getting everything right earlier.


Rin: "Moto-san, we've talked about this again and again, and you pushing it aside means you don't really care!"

Candy: "Besides.. we have a guest to attend to.."


On the side of the road, Paul, sitting on a bench, saw his mates all done.


Paul: "Aye. Looks to me you fellas are done."


The only one with more general clothing, Paul closes the gap until he reaches the cars, saying..


Paul: "Where to? I suggest you lot need a change of garments."

Rin: "And after a quick stop to change.. Let me take point! We're going to a whole day's of what I do to help promote tourism around here. It's what I've been doing quite well since the great split."


Hayato and Paul knew this was the period where Rin had to endure a 7 year long separation with her husband. Candy didn't get to read her detailed biographies from Episode 2.

Thus leading to her searching for this fact in mind.



Candy: "The great split? You people have such.. strange terms.."


And Hayato gladly went along with the first act of the day.


Hayato: "Nyeehh.. okay. We do this. You're in my Honda, Rin-chan?"

Rin: "Just like old times.."


And as the V6 started to purr, Rin stayed outside, as she had to make sure..


Rin: "We're 2 cars a convoy, Candy-san. Nobody wants to sit in the behind of that Yaris.. no offense."

Candy: "You speak the truth, so no, there's no offense at all."


As she enters her brother's NSX, Candy gets in her personal Yaris, with the MINI taking a break going back to Tokyo from Mie in under 3 hours.

Paul followed just after, on the other side.



Paul: "Where we headed?"

Candy: "Rin-chan sent me a list of about every place she wants visiting.. museums, cultural centres.. I hope you don't bore easy. I too am subject to.. what she plans. I hope the food's good."


Paul felt blessed by luck, thinking this was the time to show his newfound line of thinking to her.


Paul: "Nah. Don't worry about me, lass. It's like I always say.. keep an open mind. I say it whenever something new, unexpected, or plain weird comes this way."


She didn't take it in immediately, but kept that advice to mind, maybe coming in handy.


Candy: "That's sound advice.. If you're not tired, maybe you'd like to drive the Yaris around?"

Paul: "Sounds good. I see the car a wee fair bit around the UK, and I'd take the chance."

Candy: "Hah, I'm just saying it so I can get some rest along the way."

Paul: "Honest or not, I'm taking that chance still."

Candy: "Alright.. you're the boss."


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


Just like with the DRS, I had my good time of thinking with the car. So how long will this take?

Hmm, let me get back to you.

Nah, I'm kidding. It's a Sleeper. That's very easy for me to declare when you drive an off-meta choice. And plus: it's got a gimmick, and you gotta use that gimmick to go play with the big boys. That makes it easily like the.. umm.. kid at school with a disability. If that sounded a bit harsh, you gotta know I don't plan to offend.

See, people with disabilities usually to me are the dudes with the best kind of hearts and behavior. Often seen as held back and not as good as most of the class, right? But when I hear these stories, it's about them standing up and being the best kind of human being. And if not, reaching the end goal with the other regular kids is cool by itself anyways.

Well, sorry if this all sounded real corny. These things happen. So, the RS 5 Turbo DTM: Easily the partially disabled but goes above and beyond to end up as the most awesome kid at school.


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I haven't had a taste of them all yet, but the RS 5 might not be the Group 2 car for me, but after long thoughts of the DRS and how it's the first of its kind, I'm definitely going in the Audi for the heck of it.


With Paul, that's now all my Gran Turismo 6 main characters taken care of. That list included him, Jacob, Rin and Sonny. And I finally get an excuse to head for Europe. And what can that mean? Well, we're out of Japan and US.. though I will want to find myself in the latter somehow.

Paul is meant to be the replacement protagonist when I swapped to Gran Turismo 6. But as a boring character going to a much more boring role, this I really feel needs to get scrapped. So I went and did a time skip since I pretty much stopped writing at that period. As a major player in my European region, I put him in a nice deep hole to climb out of.. follows with my internal keyword of him being the underdog.

Another one of those comedy characters? Hayato's definitely built as one of the greater enforcers for the good guys. Also has 4th wall breaking, and a sort of tribute to the Brazilian racing legend Ayrton Senna. He seems more Igor Fraga however, but with a lot more whining and moaning. And generally being a jerk.

For Ayumi Tanaka (5)
see Episode 1

For Rin Nishimura/Jessica Ross (5)
see Episode 2

For Sophia D'Antonio (Sport) and Tamed Racing Animal: The Guts (Sport)
see Episode 3

Once a troubled drunk whose success in touring cars was washed aside, Paul gained a new sense in life after dropping the bottle and working on his family. But a new inner Scottish bloodlust arises, and he's making troublesome dealings with it going uncontrolled as his spotlight shines being the current FIA figurehead.

Theme Song: U2 - Hawkmoon 269
Racing Duel Music: U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name, Alpine Stars - Jump Jet
Gender: Male
Nationality: Scottish
Age: 34
Current occupation: Race car driver
Distinct features: Scruffy medium brown hair parted at the center. Wide, slightly tall brown eyes. Thin nose with semi-thick, but narrow mouth. Non distinct marks of red all over face due to alcohol addiction in the past. Thin brown soul patch on the chin and a very discrete goatee. Oval triangular face. Thin, but with developing muscle on body, with average height over bright skin.
Choice of clothing: Always with a plaid design flatcap, but his favorite's a gray one with green accents. Attire varies, but the general look with him consists of a long sleeved polo shirt, thin jeans, and leather shoes.
Cars: Aston Martin One-77, Volkswagen Golf I GTI

Born the son of his professional golfer father, and his housewife mother, Paul was born a free spirit, the second of the family's Wembley born children. Notably in their childhood, Paul would represent the manly, more physical side of the new generation, while his older sister would pick up the books and become the brains of the family. That principle still remains today, where Paul would use his sister's advice to conquer any obstacle, and his sister would use him for her own goals.

Paul initially wanted to become a golfer like his dad, but as he grew up, the appeal of the sport didn't stick with him as he would eventually transition to racing karts in his teenage days. While various reasons came to mind such as the meeting of certain racing figures, and his interest in engineering grew, the real reason was, just like any growing man would do: impress a lady. The girl he fell in love with was into said go karting scene, and it so happens her father was The Bristol Harbinger: a famed Le Mans endurance racer from the mid 70s. Still, being close to his own father would mean his golfing skills are just as fine as his racing.

Becoming a family man at the height of his career would bring out the worst in him, as this era of Paul would end up being an overly aggressive competitor in touring cars. Worse, he went into drinking, and it would corrupt what's left of his good side, developing fits of rage and even moments where he would have a weakened spirit. But even if things got worse, the bottom of it all never seemed to develop. His family stayed, he's never gotten in big trouble, and even if he got his racing license suspended, he could still find ways to support his family. He believes in some form he's lucky, and that was exemplified when he became the lucky owner of an Aston One-77.

After a series of events involving a conspiracy, assassins, a nuclear heart, and his long time rival's heel face turn, Paul would start rooting out what was wrong with him, dropping the bottle and becoming what he calls a newer, better him. Having the most successful of comeback tours, Paul would become the face of the UK's GT racing scene, and become the standard of Group 3 racers on the whole. While this is a tall task, Paul now has a new catchphrase to keep an open mind, and so far it's not failed him yet.

Fourth wall breaking fan favorite racer of the current Super Formula era, Hayato's achievements haze the many dilemmas and twists he's found himself in. A former Yakuza enforcer that doubles as an just as silent and swift ninja wannabe with a unfavorable young personality to back up his race track talents.

Theme Song: The Crystal Method - Play For Real (feat. The Heavy)
Racing Duel Music: The Crystal Method - Play For Real (feat. The Heavy, Dirtyphonics Remix)
Gender: Male
Nationality: Half Japanese, half Brazilian
Age: 30
Current occupation: Race car driver
Distinct features: Dyed black hair in the shape of a ponytail. Wide, diamond shaped face with pale skin. White tinted eye contacts, flat thin nose and mouth exhuming a dangerous smirk. Average height, slightly thin build. Heavily tattooed body.
Choice of clothing: Dark colored, and always covering his skin. Commonly wears trendy clothing, nowaday's its a designer sweater hoodie with 3 quarter denim pants, tall shoes and a belt. Never seen without his traditional made ornamental katana and its sheath behind, presumed a fake to just about anyone who don't investigate.
Cars: Honda NSX, KTM X-BOW R

History was shady, but first records show Hayato was born in Nagoya with a mixed Japanese Brazilian bloodline. Notably, his family carries strong ties to the shinobi warriors of Sengoku Japan, giving him an idea on what kind of person he was going to grow as. However, he was a rebellious soul who could hardly get anything going in curriculum. That journey as a ninja would have to wait until one day, he would personally go on a journey to retrieve an old relic hidden in a deathtrap shaped like a home. He might have succeeded, but the problems started. Said relic was a priceless katana, and word got out, his family and clan were slain or went missing, including his family, who had an abrupt but heartfelt goodbye, not knowing where to go.

After reaching adulthood, Hayato made his way through life with a girl he met. It was thanks to her he got involved in Yakuza affairs, being the sole daughter of a top family enforcer. He would learn their ways, brandish their stripes and worked his way up the ladder. On the side, he applied for a junior Red Bull course in racing, again because his girlfriend said so. That eventually grew as he was noticed by two important individuals: an infamous street racing delinquent, and the head of the multi million organization known as the Kirkham Foundation. With their offers, Hayato had a new goal: to be deemed an icon, as someone significant.

Years pass, and Hayato leaned back to the criminal element strong. But as he grew in strength, that went to the test as the family he served was the same one that terrorized his teenage days. As his connections to the relic he used came to light, blood flooded rivers as he fought his way up to get the answers he needed. All was said and done, but one final test remained: the woman that lived with him all those years pledged her allegiance against him, and in a final struggle, he cut her where she stood. Past all the heartbreak, he would remember her by selling the relic katana to the government, then having a master blacksmith forge a whole new sword: the same one he carries at all times on his back. He branded the sword as 'Yoko': the girl he lived with all his adult life til then.

Now with those bloody ties severed, Hayato stands now a strong contender for the Honda Racing Corporation. While his focus lies on Super Formula nowadays, he's been seen testing out Honda's Group 3 division. And there's a good chance he might be travelling the world, eager to be showing his honed racing skills.
 
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It's @Jackattack-i 's turn to pick the car for Week 6 of Fic of the Week! Now, which variant of the RCZ will he subject us to?

The hybrid variant, apparently. Week 6 of FOTW will feature the Toyota Prius G '09!

Pit Lane_.jpeg


A Prius is a joke, but to add one to the game 10 years later? There were certainly better additions like maybe, a modern car?. Who am I kidding. But to the dev who put his car in, WooHoooooo- oh its topped out already

As usual, we will be racing bone stock Priuses (Prii?) on Tuesday, 10 P.M. CST and Saturday, 5 P.M. Singapore time, so ignore that big, sexy wide body Prius you see above, okay? I needed something to grab your attention before— HEY! COME BACK HERE! Haven't you heard that "slow car fast" is the most fun kind of fast?!

If racing isn't your cup of tea, you can still stick around to see what thrilling adventures and breathtaking dramas our talented and imaginative writers have in store for this fine stallion of a car :lol:

Oh, and also, sign ups for the SRC vs COTW event is still open! If you're willing and able to fly our colours on 20 May 2023 @ 1:30 PM EST, do let me know by the 13th, as that's when sign–ups close! We only have 4 drivers thus far, we wouldn't want the SRC guys laughing at us now, would we?

The full details of the races are in the quoted post below.

Sign ups are still open for this event between COTW and SRC! If you would like to be part of Team COTW, shoot me a message either here on GTPlanet or on PSN, and I'll add you into the list. So far, we have:

This post will be updated as I get more entrants.

I will need to give Obelisk a finalised headcount of Team COTW by May 13th, and so that's your deadline to register your interest as well.

The full race details are in the following spoiler.

Team Battle: Spec Racing Club vs. Car Of The Week

Races and Dates:
SRC v COTW Event @ Suzuka Circuit Full Course + Deep Forest Raceway Forward: 20 May 2023 @ - 1:30 PM EST / 6:30 PM UK

Vehicle: Radical SR3 SL

Required Parts:
Full Control Computer
Height-Adjustable Sports Suspension
Sports: Medium Tyres
[SRC Spec: 250 HP, 1709 lb / 775 kg]

Style:

Style Rules: All decals that are already present on the car may not be deleted or altered except the Door Number. You may add new decals to personalize the vehicle, but the base colour scheme of the car can't be changed.
Basically, keep the base the way it is and add stuff to make it yours.

vs COTW Event Format
There will be two 30 minute endurance events, following a Team Race scoring system based on the one from Forza Horizon 5.

Starting Grid:
Determined by team choice before Race 1. One team will start on odd numbers, and one team will start on even numbers. On Race 2, the teams will switch sides (Odd to Even and vice versa). Within each team, starting order will be randomized.

Before the races:
A 10 min qualifier will be run. The driver with the fastest lap is given the choice of odd or even positions for their team.

Race 1: COTW Rules

  • Suzuka Circuit Full Course
  • 30 Minute Endurance
  • BOP enabled (239 HP / 1709 lbs (775 kg)) - SRC spec'd cars will be reverted to default when entering the track, so no need to remove parts, tuning disabled.
  • Practice/Endurance
  • Sports: Hard Tyres
  • Tyre Wear: 1x
  • Fuel Consumption: 1x

Race 2: SRC Rules

  • Deep Forest Forward
  • 30 Minute Endurance
  • BoP Disabled; to use parts specified above.
  • Practice/Endurance
  • Sports: Medium Tyres
  • Tyre Wear: 10x
  • Fuel Consumption: 5x

Penalties/Restrictions:
TC- Off
ABS - On
Driving Line - Off
Breaking Indicator & Area - Off
Replace Car Leaving Track - Off
Stability Management - Off
Countersteering Assistance - Off
Shortcut Penalty -Strong
Wall Collision Penalty - None
Auto Correct Vehicle - Off
Car Collison Penalty - Off
Pitlane Cutting Penalty - On
Race Ghosting - None
Flag Rules - On

Scoring System
+10 points for every member of the opposing team you finish ahead of.
+5 points for pole/race winner
 
So, this scribble is all someone needs to become me, huh?

pit-garage_-jpeg.1252418


I had a meltdown last week and refused to do my job of reviewing a "car". Someone else stepped up to do it in my place, and caught a cold for her troubles. Instead of feeling thankful, I'm feeling... angry. Insecure. Guilty. Like I'm not really good for anything, and that anyone could just step up and do what I do if I disappeared the next day.

Throwing my spare racing suit into the insatiable abyss that is the rear storage of my FC RX-7, I got to work catching back up to the convoy of AMT trucks after my detour to the dry cleaners, wondering why I'm still having to work so hard for something I can't have.

********************​

This thing here's a 2019 Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM. It's a silhouette racecar, meaning that everything under that carbon sheet that roughly resembles an Audi RS 5 is identical to its competitors from Aston, BMW, and even GT500 racecars from the Japanese Super GT series.

Paul-Löbe-Haus_.jpeg


In other words, it's a mercenary without loyalty; a simple change of uniform away from being a friend or foe. Seems like a pretty efficient way to go about reviewing cars, this, because once I've driven and written about the RS 5, I have effectively experienced and reviewed 5 cars. So, instead of calling it the Audi RS 5 Turbo DTM, I'm just going to call this thing the "2019 DTM car".

Daytona Road Course__2.jpeg


The 2019 DTM cars produce 603HP from a turbocharged 2L Inline 4 engine mounted up front, going through a 6 speed sequential driving the rear wheels. I was immediately concerned when I saw that specific output figure: 301.5HP per litre is either an insane feat of engineering, or an unchecked madman left alone in his basement for way too long. With numbers like that, I was expecting the power curve to be high and sharp enough to stab through the bonnets that house them, but it turns out that I was right only about being high: Peak power happens only at 9,000rpm of 9,700, but peak torque of 650.3N⋅m (479.7lbf⋅ft) happens so low, it's unlikely to ever see track use: 4,000rpm! Considering that the car comes default with weak anti lag settings that idles it at around 2.3k, you can imagine how quickly this engine will get up and go from practically anywhere in its rev band, with the engine tapering off only nearing its 9,700rpm fuel cut, and I personally find best results with the engine shifting it around 9,2. The continuous shove of the turbocharger means that the 2019 DTM can be short shifted to save fuel while barely losing any pace, which allows it to do 8 laps of the ever–popular Sardegna A WTC 800 event with some simple and slight short shifting. Contrast this to the less powerful, less downforce Gr.3 cars that populate the event, which generally have to egregiously short shift with a Fuel Map setting of 4 to last that same 8 laps to make the event a 1 stop! Heck, within that 15 laps, the 2019 DTM car is liable to lap the entire field!
グランツーリスモ™ 7_20230503111304.png


Of course, a lot of that unethical speed and energy company bankrupting fuel efficiency is due to the fact that the 2019 DTM cars have a Push–To–Pass system—or P2P for short—activated from a red ring of death on the steering wheel. P2P temporarily increases the fuel flow rate to the engine to produce up to 30 more HP on demand, but also more crucially for an endurance event, it also levels out the towering rear wing of the car to reduce drag on the straights when the downforce is not needed. I have to confess, though, that I don't really feel that extra 30HP kicking in at all when the button is pressed; only a reduction in drag and downforce, making the P2P system more akin to a simplistic Drag Reduction System (DRS) instead. That's not necessarily a bad thing, as DRS doesn't expand any more resources on board to give that boost in straight line speed, which means that, absent any sanctioning body stipulating that a chasing car must be within a certain gap to the leading car, or designated DRS zones on a track, the DRS of the 2019 DTM can be used almost anywhere on the circuit and for however much the driver wishes... and it makes the car more fuel efficient! The only hardware limitation in place is that DRS is forcibly disabled when not using at least three quarters of the throttle pedal, and the car needs to be doing at least 140km/h (87mph) before the system can be activated. Of course, the obvious drawback to such a drawback free system is that you're basically forced to use it at all times in a competitive setting, forcing you to relearn how to hold the wheel in a way that lets you keep the DRS button held down for almost the entirety of the race, which is both painful and awkward, almost like learning to live with a fresh, crippling injury.

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps__2.jpeg



Even though DRS isn't supposed to be used in corners, more often than not I find myself taking high speed corners that rigorously test for downforce and richly reward speed, such as Blanchimont and Eau Rouge of Spa, with both the throttle pedal and P2P button fully pinned down. This is because the DRS button doesn't simply make vanish the expensive carbon wing of the car, instead only toning it down. According to a mysterious source who wishes only to be known as ddm, DRS on the 2019 DTM reduces drag and downforce from 580 drags and 650 downforces to 550 and 450 respectively. There might be some real units in there, but I'm not smart enough to figure them out. With a mere 70% of its rear downforce, the 2019 DTM feels properly alive in the corners, almost like it was set up specifically for running with that supposedly reduced downforce—it felt so much more able to rotate and turn, instead of being figuratively chained to the stakes of its wing stands. I could take corners faster and needed to slow down less because of one silly little button on the wheel, and the only way that quality of life feature gets any more zoomer is if the damn thing were on a touchscreen instead of a physical button, and played the oh no no song upon activation.

Reading this, you might be tempted to find some sort of hardware hack that can just keep the button glued down the whole race, but don't break out your plasma cutters and glue just yet!

Deep Forest Raceway_.jpeg


While the 2019 DTM feels much better to drive with DRS enabled, that's only because the car is more unstable in a corner, which crazy types like fighter pilots and racing drivers like to some extent. But, the 2019 DTM, even when driven like a "normal" racing car without DRS, naturally wears its rear tyres out more, especially at circuits with multiple low speed, 1st gear corners, necessitating slight wheelspin for the best corner exits. Not to mention, I like my 2019 DTM best with a full rearward brake bias of +5, as that insane rear wing that usually understeers the car for stability snaps back to its full downforce configuration upon braking, meaning that the rear tyres will have absurd grip that can more than fully utilise that +5 rear brake bias to massively shorten braking distances, while freeing up the front tyres for a sharper turn in. Under the short lived Class 1 regulations, these cars aren't allowed driver aids such as TCS and ABS, and even with a full rear bias, it's still the front inside tyre that skids first on hard braking zones after the downforce washes off the car, while the rears stay stable and quiet. I think the car can handle way, WAY more rearward brake biases of maybe +7 or +8 no problem if the brake controller could go that far back. With Brake Bias and Anti–Lag settings completely disabled and reverted under BoP settings, the car honestly feels crippled not being able to run a rear brake bias; you have to brake so much earlier not only because the car takes longer to slow, but it can't slice into a corner with the same razor sharpness as it otherwise could when unrestricted.

Daytona Road Course__3.jpeg


All that is to say that the fat Racing Medium tyres on the rear of the car is subject to a LOT of abuse in a sprint scenario, which might make one hesitate juuuust a teeny bit about smothering the P2P button on their wheel in corners that much as the event wears on, because the thing about high downforce cars is that, once they go, they're gone. As with all high–downforce cars, the car is set to scrape on its own shadow, and has rock hard suspension to withstand it all, both of which means that the 2019 DTM is completely destroyed by kerbs and road imperfections. Running the car without ABS, it genuinely makes me avoid kerbs as though a deathly allergy, which makes tracks that necessitates kerb abuse, most notably Dragon Trail: Seaside, especially torturous to navigate, as in addition to learning to hold the steering wheel differently, you'll also need to fight your instincts to avoid the kerbs. This holds doubly true for inside kerbs with a slight bit of elevation to them, such as Paul Frère of Spa. Holding down the DRS button when plowing through them will send the car off into a costly slide, at the bare minimum. Because of that painful first hand experience, I now comfort lift off the DRS button when clipping apexes of turns, and you might want to do the same if you ever find yourself behind the very many colourful rings of the steering wheel of a 2019 DTM one day.

GP Course, Home Straight_.jpeg


Being the only car in Gr.2 that has P2P, I had to know how it stacks up against the other cars in the category, and what better comparison to than the 2016 GT-R GT500? FR, 2L turbo Inline 4, and 6 speed gearbox, it even makes the exact same engine noise as the 2019 DTM despite not yet having adopted Class 1 regs fully at the time. As far as I can make out then, the only difference between the two cars is that one has DRS, and the other doesn't. How would Balance of Performance handle this peculiar situation, then?

Nürburgring GP_.jpeg


Seemingly, BoP balances out the P2P system of the RS 5 by assuming it's being used at all times, with no perceptible straight line difference between the DTM and the GT500 machine with DRS active. I had initially thought I'd much prefer driving the GT500 machines because they don't force me to learn how to hold the wheel awkwardly just to be on a level playing field with everyone else, but it took only about 2 corners of Nürburgring GP for me to spin out the GT500 GT-R during free practice, having lost it on the tame outside rumble strips of Turn 2, when the car was almost fully straightened out. The GT500 machines are set so much lower to the ground, it feels like their underbodies are as much tyres as the tyres themselves! Running the 2019 DTM and 2016 GT500 together in the same race, it was immediately evident that the 2016 cars were sparking constantly, whereas the 2019 cars did not, which could explain why the older cars are so much more nervous and easily upset by microscopic road imperfections, making the DTM car feel as plush and forgiving as a soft hotel bed. While the RS 5 also has a nasty torque bump somewhere around 5,000rpm when navigating out of tight, low speed turns, that same bump at the same rpm is much, much more violent in the GT500 car, and you'll never hear it coming with the engine being so quiet that far down the rev range. It got so bad that I had to swallow my pride and ask Ted from Technical to stick a TCS module into my GT500 GT-R, just to survive. At this point, I'm not even sure which of these two closely specced, but rather different cars is the easier to drive.

Tokyo Expressway - East Counterclockwise__1.jpeg


All things considered, though, the 2019 DTM car is properly mega. It may be the costliest yet we've tested under my watch in COTW, but I'm told by my editor to write that it'd easily turn a profit for under an hour of driving, making it perhaps the cheapest car we've tested in terms of time cost instead of financial cost. I have no idea what that means, don't ask me. The shenanigans with having to learn how to hold the steering wheel oddly is painful and irritating at first, but after a while, I began to really relish the control over the rear downforce it affords me, and in so doing, helps me really appreciate the downforce going over the car, just as driving a manual or without ABS helps me appreciate power and torque curves, how to gently and smoothly engage the clutch, or distribute front tyre loads. It's a bleeding raw racing car that affords its driver extremely pure and undiluted control, and it demands utmost dedication and concentration from its driver in return to tame it. I may have been throwing shade subtly at the car by calling it the "2019 DTM" and even putting a Honda Civic livery on it the whole week, but I think, over the many races I've had with the car, I've really grown to appreciate it a lot more. Rather than being disappointed that it has no real identity without its easily changeable clothes, I've now come to see that it's a brilliant racing car that looks good wearing anything. And isn't that true beauty? One that comes from within?

Sardegna - Road Track - A_.jpeg


It reminds me that I need to do and be better, not only so that I can wear other clothes and make them look good, but also so that no one else can simply scrawl a few words over my racing suit to become me.
 
This is a Nenkai News Special Report, Reports are coming in about suppliers for high end performance parts potentially branching out from their controversial ‘Lottery Roulette’ system and offering their parts to anyone that can afford them.

“While it’s not 100% confirmed if these reports are genuine or not, if true, it’s a huge step forward for enthusiasts who want the best for their rides, but were unlucky with their roulette tickets.

This has been a Nenkai News Special Report, I’m Nenkai, you stay classy out there folks.”

Vic: “Yeah I’ll believe it when I’m forking over the money for new Titanium Pistons for my Atenza.”
I say as I switch the radio off and climb out my car.

Vic: (Sighs) “Another day, another dol-“ My thought is interrupted by the arrival of a race team truck at COTW HQ.

The manufacturers name?

Audi.

Vic: “Huh, business just picked up.” I make my way inside the HQ.

???: “Ah Vic, Perfect Timing.” said the voice.

Vic: “And you are?


???: Just the guy dropping off a Modern DTM racer for COTW, as you do.” the voice responded with a hint of sarcasm.

Vic: “So a GT3 racer then?”

???: “
Not That Modern DTM, A Class One DTM, I was meant to meet Esther to sign it over to yourselfs.”

Vic: “Well we can both head up to the offices and get it all signed off up there, knowing her she’s still sorting out the fallout from a recent.. parade.”


We both head to the elevator, step in and start the long climb up.

Vic: “Todays your lucky day kid, you get to see a small inkling on how COTW does what it does best.”

???: “I’ve heard so much about you guys, for both good and controversial reasons.”

Vic: “We go about doing things our way, sometimes it’s smooth sailing and sometimes you hit the rocks, but that’s why Esther works for us, even if we sometimes make her question her sanity.”

???: Is it true she bailed out Yard for taking a cutter to the Sultan’s car collection?”

Vic: “He’s still writing for us ain’t he?
I say with a slight smug smile. “Esh is the main reason Yards antics haven’t gotten him jailed or bumped off so far.

???: “ And you don’t fire him because?”
he inquired.

Vic: “That’s a question best saved for Esh, but don’t expect the answer she’ll give you to satisfy your curiosity.”

(Bing)

Elevators doors open

Vic: “Word of advice, don’t sit in any chairs, trust me.”

???: “Why?”
Whilst looking at me like i’ve suddenly grew two heads.

(Bang!)

A body files across the room and slams into the drywall and putting a hole in it.

Followed by a chorus of “Wheeys” ring out.

Vic: “Thats why.”
I nonchalantly say. “Her Office is this way.”

We walk into the main office and observe the aftermath and laughter breaking out.

“Vic: “So who’s the poor bugger that copped it today lads?”

Rob: “Have a guess.”
He says while trying to regain his composure.

Square: “I’m fine, thanks for asking.” He says as he climbs back through the hole and dusts himself off.

???: “So what the heck happened?

Rick: “Baron rigged up a random chair with an airbag, sit on it and it’s ejecto seato for you.”

???: “And given he’s alright it wasn’t a Takata airbag?
he said with a slight grin.

Vic: “Ehh, Kid’s got our brand of dark humor.” I say while patting him on the shoulder. “Is Esh in her office?”

Rob: “Yep, still tidying up the recent Yardsuit.”


I thank Rob and we head to Esh’s office.

???: “Is that a common sight here?

Vic: “Kinda, the Airbag Roulette is a new addition to the set, though I may ask Baron to get some less potent ones, don’t want to have a plasterer coming in every other day fixing up Square holes.”

???: “How the hell do you guys get anything done around here, especially at the standards I’ve seen from COTW’s write ups?”

Vic: “It’s a balancing act, but it helps having folks who thrive with a little chaos.”


We arrive at Esh’s office, a courtesy knock later and we’re in.

Vic: “Hey Esh, got the guy here delivering what i’m guessing is this weeks car or has someone bought a weekend toy?”

Esther: That’s correct, Apologies for not meeting you in the lobby at the agreed time.”

???: “It’s all good, Vic showed up and we came up here to get it sorted and he’s given me the quick tour.”

Vic: “Quite the tour mind you, by the way Esh, you might want to call someone to come and plaster up a hole in the wall.”

Esther: Sighs “Who was the victim?”

???: “It was Square, he’s alright though.”

Vic: “And I’ll ask Baron to get less potent airbags going forward.”

Esther: Noted, let’s get this paperwork sorted out and you can be on your way.”


-5 Minutes Later-

The trailer is opened up and the car rolled out.

???: “There she is, 2019 Audi RS5 Turbo DTM, built to Class One regulations.

Vic: “I see the guys at the factory had a sense of humour and dressed it up like the recently unveiled Honda Civic SuperGT GT500.

Esther: It’s all in perfect order, Thanks for delivering it, I’ll make sure to commend you to your superiors on a job well done.”

???: “Thank you ma’am.”

“Vic: Just one last thing, I never caught your name Mr?”

???: “Don, Don Juan.”

Vic: “Well Juan, If you learnt anything from that brief office visit, is that there is more to COTW than just good write ups, it’s a group of good friends who decided to combine interests and turn it into something that somehow turns a profit despite our best efforts.”

Don: “It’s certainly been an education, I look forward to what you guys write on the Audi.”

Vic: “Thanks, you have a good day now Don.”

Don: “Same for you and the rest of COTW.”


(And Cut 🎞️)

So the Audi RS5 DTM.

The youngest car in Gr2 and is the first modern DTM racer for GT7. :cheers:

Built to the short lived Class One regulations, it was part of a collaboration with Super GT and competed against GT500 machines.

The engine layout is familiar to GT500 regs with it being a 2.0 Turbocharged Inline 4 chucking out over 600hp and weighing in just under a ton, 986kgs to be exact.

Power is sent to the rear via a 6 speed paddle shift sequential box, again familiar stuff if GT500’s are your thing, but the Audi does bring something new to Gr2.

DRS. :cool:

Now this poses an interesting question, does it make the Audi the choice for Gr2?

Well from our testing, it doesn’t appear to.

I noted at Daytona it clocked 180mph over the start line with the DRS open, but the 16’ GT-R GT500 also clocked 180mph and that doesn’t have DRS.

If the DRS has to be constantly open for it to be on pace, that’s just an extra button you have to constantly hold down while driving.

“But Vic, that must mean it’s packing more downforce and thus, quicker through the turns right?”

Well about that.

I felt in some turns like 130R, it was better to go through the turn with DRS ON and not off as the stock rear downforce made it feel understeery in high speed sections, but more forgiving in lower speed sections.

It feels like the middle ground between the old GT500’s and the new GT500’s, the PP levels reflect that too.

Now if you not interested in using it in ultra serious events like the Daily’s and just want a Gr2 racer that’s unique, yet still capable, it’s a Sleeper on its own merits.

Just make you have a button assigned for your Boost/DRS. :D

Verdict: Sleeper 😉👍
 
"Busy week, Obe?" rang out as I walked through the door. It's Vic, sitting there with an Alienware branded phone in hand.

"Busy doesn't even begin to describe it." I answer, throwing my hoodie over a nearby chair.

"No luck with the mower?"

"Yeah. No mower yet." I say, heading towards the breakroom.

"At least you'll be touching grass today. Heads up!" he replies, followed by the jingle of a keychain being thrown in my direction. I catch it in one hand and take a look. Toyota keys.

"Prius?"

"Prius."

I let out a deep sigh, but before I can open my mouth back up, Vic cuts me off.

"No, you can't put Yard in it with a plasma cutter."

At least Vic and I've got a pair of 250 GTOs waiting back at the Horizon Festival branch.



... Whoever chose the Prius, I hope you find pebbles in your shoe for the rest of your life. Or lose half of your horsepower in your Copen. :lol:

In all seriousness, it's great that the mundane and ordinary cars get their time in the limelight. As much of a joke as the Prius is in the GT games, it is a car that's been fairly successful in the real world. The first few were produced in 1997, and went on sale in 2001. Since then, the Prius and its associated variants have all sold a collective total of 6.1 million units, making up 61% of all of Toyota's hybrid sales since 1997.

Questionable visual designs aside, it's an effective compact hatchback with a hybrid system boasting an effective MPG of 58 city and 52 highway (as of the 2022 model) and riding on the coattails of Toyota's reputation for bulletproof engineering.

And the 5th generation model ain't too shabby looking.
2023-toyota-prius-front-three-quarters-in-motin-3-1670948359.jpg


But this isn't about the current Prius. We're looking at the one featured in GT7, the initial run of the third gen from 2009.
4239b337742f084ae7da924e02e51fe5_photo.webp

Doing the SPD thing of teasing my next car choice. Soon. Soon...
The 2009 Toyota Prius G is a super accessible car, being that it can be found in the Brand Central for a relatively humble 24,500 credits. You can also sometimes find it in the Used Car Dealership, so if you're patient, you can nab it for cheaper.

It comes with eight colors, four of which are a white to silver gradient, while the other four are two blues, a red and a black paint. I personally like the White Pearl, Dark Blue Mica and Black paints as they're really simple, inoffensive colors that work pretty well for the car.

What that 24k gets you is a 1.8 liter inline four (though it's officially a 1.5, i wonder if there were different versions?) producing 120 HP @ 5,000 RPM and 104.8 ft-lbs @ 4,500 rpm. The car comes in at a very modest 2,976 lbs (1350 kg) which is pretty light for a hatchback in this category. Some more recent hatchbacks such as the new Mazda3 come in a little heavier despite being a bit smaller in stature than the Prius.

The Prius' combustion engine is mated to a CVT transmission with only one drive gear. This was in the early era of modern CVTs where they did not have simulated gears, so you're stuck with the buzzing at peak power when going open throttle.

Performance wise, the Prius is nothing to write home about. The gearbox/CVT is geared at 1.000 gear ratio and 3.267 final drive, leaving it with a max gear speed of 201 kph @ 5500 RPM according to the adjustment chart in the tuning menu. The power curve is relatively straightforward too, with a linear increase in HP to peak, then a linear drop in power past peak. The torque curve starts very high (eyeballing it, I'd say around 90 ft-lbs?) and climbs to its peak, where it hovers until the engine asphyxiates after 5,000 RPM.

The car is relatively softly sprung, with 1.4 front and 1.55 rear springs, though I find it very interesting that the rear damper expansion is five points below the front damper expansion (35/30).

Differential wise, it looks to be a wide-open diff. Surprisingly, though, the Prius is capable of 0.9 Gs on the Comfort Medium tyres, up to 0.96 Gs at 150 MPH (as if it'd ever hit that speed). Other hatchbacks I've encountered tend to hover closer to 0.85 on equivalent tires both IRL and in-game, so this stands out to me right away.

At 373.35 PP, there is a lot of room to work with this car, but we'll get to that later. The first thing to do, logically, is to immediately take this consumer car to a track and thrash it mercilessly.

That is what Toyota would've wanted, right?

... right?

21302a4eb54382250f3f85bd86e77bcf_photo.webp

My money's on the Prius.

Remember how I mentioned this was an early CVT without the simulated gears?

It turns out that this CVT felt unnatural to people, due to how smoothly the car was accelerating, so Toyota changed that in later CVTs. My 2019 Corolla had nine simulated gears and one physical gear. Cheeky designers.

Anyways, this lack of ratios means your experience with the car is going to be a very on/off one. What do I mean by that?

On the throttle? All of the revs. Off the throttle? No revs.

Revving the car on a dead stop with the brakes on will cap it out at roughly 2750 RPM. Wide open throttle will see the engine rev up smoothly to 4800 RPM while it accelerates, and then hover at 5100 RPM past 65 MPH

Lifting off the throttle at any point will net you an immense amount of understeer as the CVT promptly decides that the user has given up spirited driving and attempts to grab the most fuel efficient ratio possible. You have to keep your foot in at least 75% to keep the engine at a high enough RPM for rotation mid-corner.

Ironically, the Prius is quick to oversteer if you left-foot brake, so it sort of encourages aggressive pedalwork (braking on full throttle for example) to get the most out of the car at stock form. It almost reminds me of the Copen with how much front grip it has available to it on WOT.

On Grand Valley Short, my test track for the occassion, I could not get the car past 90 MPH and I suspect not many places have straights long enough for the Prius to get its full speed out. ...Not that it has much speed to begin with.

The hybrid system definitely helps it accelerate and stay at speed, and the burn rate is pretty decent. Around GVS, I was seeing about 22% charge burn every two laps, so you could get up to 10 laps of full hybrid power. But on a slightly longer event like SRC's 15 minute races at Goodwood or Watkins Glen, it would definitely run out of juice and cripple the car immensely.

The fastest I was able to get around GVS (on controller) was a 1:39.096, and it was a tiny bit frustrating. As a comparison point, my cup Copen manages a 1:38.380 on a wheel. This is not a knock against the Prius, but just an observation.

But this did teach me something - every car has very specific requirements on how to drive it and a lot of them overlap due to similarities between themselves and peers. The Prius doesn't have many peers like it, so the specific driving style it demands is much harder to get the hang of due to lack of experience.

Not only that, but the car rewards the time invested into learning the specific driving style it needs to be successful. Long story short: Your inputs absolutely matter with this car, and mastering the precision of your inputs is how you maximize speed in the Prius.

But this is Gran Turismo, and you can do whatever you want to your car.

A full workover of the car, including aero and engine tuning, puts it right at 501 PP on Sports Hard tyres. It packs 149 HP and weighs 2489 lbs with weight reduction stage 2. It could be reduced further to 2321 lbs, but I'm keeping some mass on it to get more power out of the combustion engine.

Now the question is: How does it do when cranked to 10?

At Tsukuba for week 1, I ran a stock FC RX-7 on wheel as part of my testing and it ran a 1:08.834. This is roughly 460 PP vs the cranked Prius' 500 PP.

So how did the Prius do on a controller?

1:08.645.

Mind you, I am terrible on a controller these days. I severely handicapped myself on this one by 1) using the new-to-me DualSense controller that I am still not used to and 2) doing all of this over PS Remote Play.

And I still beat my best effort in a legendary sports car that should be outpowering the Prius in every single aspect.

This isn't the only time I've taken a Prius through some absurd stuff - back in my controller days on GT6, I won a very closely contested 375 PP race in a Prius despite my opponent being in a superior Fiat 500 Abarth. It's one of my fondest memories of my GT6 days.



In stock form, it's a Prius. It's not much, but it's an honest car that puts in honest work for everyday people. That all gets turned on its head when you build it up for low HP, low PP racing. Some upgrades later and you've suddenly got a lightweight, single-gear car with hybrid assistance (read: lots of instant torque) designed to stay at peak power and torque under open throttle. You're gonna struggle to keep up with it on circuits designed for lots of acceleration zones/corner exits. It can be hard to get the hang of, but when you do finally click with the Prius, people are going to think twice about laughing at you at the next 400/500 pp race.

eadf5915305b0faeb4d77bdd41e74d0e_photo.webp


Stock form is Neutral, upgraded is a Sleeper.

I miss the GT300 Prius. :(
 
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Hello all, just reading though the thread, shout out to the creative writers and the ones with the knowledgeable reviews. I'd love to join, as I've been looking for a way to keep motivated and have fun with the game instead of the usual frustration with Sport Mode, plus the COTW format highlights some of the lesser known and loved cars which is right up my alley. The Tuesday night Americas races work for me, love the main rule and can abide my them, and I'd love to just ramble a bit about the cars. That being said...

Baron represented his traditional black on red designs and I represented Team BLR from a Japan-only PS1 game which i’ve touched upon in the past, Racing Lagoon.

Think of it as classic Final Fantasy, but with cars.

And quite the remarkable level of customisation even by today standards.

You ever wondered what some JDM’s would look if they were a different drivetrain layout? :confused:

You ever wondered how something like the Supra or Skyline would look with a Bosozoku bodykit? :confused:

And have you ever wondered what an AE86 would look like in Group C form? :odd:

Then wonder no longer. :lol:



That 2 hour video shows all car bodies in FF, FR, MR, RR and 4wd configurations, plus how they look with all the body kits installed too.

On top of all that, you can swap ANY engine you get into ANY body you want. :cool:

Countach V12 in a classic Vette? yep.
Kei Car 3 Cylinder in a Mini Cooper? yep.
RB26 in a Suzuki Wagon R? go right ahead.
7.0 Diesel 6 cylinder from a bus in an RX-7? more than likely. :mischievous:

I’m not saying PD should go completely free reign on letting us swap engines into what we like, but throw us a fricken bone over here instead of us being left at the mercy of a luck based roulette ticket system. :crazy:

(clears throat)


...what in the world is this, holy crap, I need to get an emulator right the f now, thank you for showing this!
 
Hello all, just reading though the thread, shout out to the creative writers and the ones with the knowledgeable reviews. I'd love to join, as I've been looking for a way to keep motivated and have fun with the game instead of the usual frustration with Sport Mode, plus the COTW format highlights some of the lesser known and loved cars which is right up my alley. The Tuesday night Americas races work for me, love the main rule and can abide my them, and I'd love to just ramble a bit about the cars. That being said...



...what in the world is this, holy crap, I need to get an emulator right the f now, thank you for showing this!
Not a problem, if you do get one and Racing Lagoon, make sure you get the English Translation patch for it, because it originally was Japan exclusive and no english translation was needed for it. 😉

All the info you need to know on joining us is in the first post. 👍
 
Not a problem, if you do get one and Racing Lagoon, make sure you get the English Translation patch for it, because it originally was Japan exclusive and no english translation was needed for it. 😉

All the info you need to know on joining us is in the first post. 👍
Sent a friend request, PSN: CamGearz, for the weekly race
 
SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 6 - Toyota Prius G (XW30)


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I'm not Googling it, but I'm still at thoughts on whether it's called a Pry-uhs, or a Pree-yus. Kind of like that one time I can't decide ZZ Top is Zee-Zee Top, or Zehd-Zehd Top..

Come to think of it.. which is it?



In many ways, the Prius name has always been iconic. It's the first case of a mass produced go to hybrid for everyday people to buy and savor..

Wait, what? Whaddaya mean you don't buy a Prius to savor it?

In any case, the fact that now it's currently living with its fifth generation model, the Prius is a tried and tested product of the current generation of everyday cars, despite what its critics say about it until recent. Today we look at possibly the most well known of the bunch: the XW30 3rd generation model. This car's powered by an Atkinson type 1.8 liter inline 4 engine known as the 2ZR-FXE, working in tandem with a 60 kilowatt battery. With a combined power of 120 horsepower carrying a 1350 kilograms, the Prius will net you nil to sixty in 'whatever' but it's not too bad, up to a top speed of 112 MPH.

Obviously nobody buys a Prius to drag race, so what is its main selling factor other than being a step to being eco friendly? Well, they say this is the Prius that started off its niche of being an affordable, yet fun hybrid to drive. Umm.. I'm looking this from some angle, but I don't know if that kind of combination can be applied anywhere else. This is the Prius people start finding appeal towards in terms of its more aggressive looks, and decent drivable capabilities. There's also that center console I find with MINIs. Hey, it's so common around South East Asia, after all, so of course I've been in this car before, though probably not the G trim. Speaking of which..

If anyone's confused why this top level trim is called the G, it's that the letter G in Japanese media is used to refer to something being ridiculously extreme so that it sounds just as ridiculously more exciting. Sort of like umm.. video games telling you this is the ultimate final release edition, movies having a director's cut, fast food joints selling a burger with the more patties and have the best toppings? In the automobile world, one example I can probably think of is the Type R trim in Hondas. Yes, this is the Type R of Priuses. That also means the Generation 14 Toyota Crown S210 we got in this game is, yes, the Type R of the Toyota Crown. How I know this G thing not meaning GANGSTA or something very SPD related, well.. I'm a very passionate Monster Hunter player in its DS renaissance era.

Let's see the script.. Hmm.. nerd stuff, nerd stuff, unwanted nerd stuff.. The Prius is more of a technological marvel rather than a well performing one. One thing I can note that the Prius is no ways a failure. This generation of the Prius is an achiever. Awards it won include, uhh, let's see.. Japan's Car of the Year in 2009 and was selected for the shortlist of the following year's World Car of the Year. The sort of details ye olde Top Gear would scoff about. Like the Alphard we might end up laughing about when it gets nominated, the Prius is a top selling car in Japan.

If there's a piece of advice I can relate to with the Prius, it's that when you look at what makes a car great, always remember there's more than one way you can perceive what exactly they mean. The Prius, as ugly as sin, slow as molasses, and a subject of ridicule, you can't argue it is a winner in many other ways.

You know what's coming? I know you do. But do you know what specifically? How about.. domestic Japanese hybrid in Italy?!


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


Episode 6: Toyota's Tenacious Ternion


A small beach resort in Verbania
Piemonte, Italia
Early Morning



Discreetly under a tree's shade, Candy, now donning a discreet local outfit more suitable for the weather, lounges herself under one of the wooden benches while viewing away the beauty of the gigantic international lake.

Finishing her gelato, she sits in the middle of a loud crowd of locals and tourists, also taking advantage of the scenery.

While a local: Sophia sits next to her, taking a quick moment to make a long deep breath..



Sophia: "Ahh.. isn't this just specatacular, amica? The view is there for you to take in, and appreciate the beauty of nature.."


Now on her final scoop, Candy shares her honest opinion..


Candy: "I.. well.. nature isn't in my dictionary for.. interesting."


Sophia looked towards her side, figuring out that response before eventually asking..


Sophia: "You did tell me you were Hong Kongese, correct?"

Candy: "That I am. If my specially made dresses don't give it away enough.. But you know I'm based in Japan. It's home too. More home than you know.."


Now down on the seat, Sophia wipes her glasses clean as Candy aims for a nearby trash bin with her paper cup.

Gently, she tosses to make a score. Her only reaction was a smug face, following with a quick turn to Sophia done with her duty..



Candy: "So, what's your holiday plan? After this thing.."


With holiday not on her planner, Sophia startles, juggling her large round spectacles, then putting them on.


Sophia: "Holiday? Ahh, about that.. Today I have, say, one gig. Uno. Alora, then the rest of the week is free for you and me to enjoy.. wherever in Europe."

Candy: "Interesting. I wonder where Rin-san is."


Another repeated appearance this week, Rin however isn't in the scene.

Candy started looking around, but the crowds remain hard to find anyone stand out. Sophia inquisitively holds her chin, giving her thoughts..



Sophia: "Perhaps something took her fancy and she decided: souvenirs is something to kill for around here."

Candy: "Is it? You don't seem like you belong around here."

Sophia: "Candy, amica, I'm a city girl. A native of Milano. It's where the Euro rolls in Italia."

Candy: "It's always money, that's your end game, right?"


Happy, Sophia's smiling face didn't change, but Candy's not one to wait for a response and had other thoughts.


Candy: "Don't say it. How about our luggage?"


She confidently responds with a glow on her spectacles.


Sophia: "In my home turf, I know how to get that taken care of. And best of all: I get to ride mi Alfa."

Candy: "Fascinating.. About your Alfa. I hardly believe it looks road legal."


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Sophia: "It was built for my family's team in hillclimb. One nasty crash later, it was due a rebuild. But famiglia decided.. to go all wheel drive and adopted rally cars, eventually going to the classic touring car we handle today. Alora, Papa, God bless his soul, decided I keep the car: the symbol of our record profits and his love to me."


With said story given, Candy crossed arms and felt indifferent.


Candy: "You have a sentimental connection to it, huh?"

Sophia: "Don't you have a story for your cars, amica?"

Candy: "There's.. but.. I feel it's not worth mention."


Moving closer together, Sophia has her eyes on something else she wants to exploit..


Sophia: "Oohh, your introvert shows once again. In the future, you must promise me, Candy. Promise me to open yourselves more. Your heart cannot stay locked forever, mmhmm! And do tell me the story someday!"


Candy does have that story, but she felt it's not ready to be told, responding in hesitation..


Candy: "Umm.. alright."

Sophia: "No, not just 'alright'. You must PROMISE!"


Her strong words stand out, but Candy wasn't feeling honest about it.


Candy: "Argh.. umm.. okay. I p-promise.."


And Sophia saw this dishonesty as if she knew the lottery was won..


Sophia: "We'll have to work on your sincerity eventually. Maybe I can slot a time whenever I'm in Japan again.."

Candy: "If you're going to keep reading me, I'm going to say no with a capital N."


Sophia, now on the offensive, has to hold back as her phone makes noises around her skirt pocket.

Seeing the caller, she politely asks to leave..



Sophia: "Scusa mi. An important call."

Candy: "Hmm.."


And as she leaves the area, she talks in her native tongue..


Sophia: "Pronto.. Bernardo! Tu dove sei in questo momento?"


Candy listens, but only one word stood out: Bernardo.

With that in mind, she sits back again, but this time feeling stupefied as she waits.



Candy: "She moves on. I wonder what's taking Rin-san her sweet time.."


She wanted to get into thought, but she felt something else coming.

Thinking it was Sophia, she started looking around.



Candy: "S-Sophia? Where could she-How did she blend in with this crowd.."


As she further seeks out her advisor slash friend, she instead finds something probably worse.

A shadowy figure comes in, and she couldn't but feel a feeling in her spine: helpless and unwilling to act, as if it's happened before.



Candy: "BACK OFF!! I don't have anything of value! Oh goodness, he must not understand me.. umm.. how to tell him to f[BLEEP]k off in freaking Italian."


She's got a soft voice, but just as she was about to scream out in fear, the man's identity came to light.

It was the Californian man of fear, seeing what he know he's responsible for.



Jake Ross: "Settle down, missy. It's me."

Candy: "Jake? The dark one.. not in California?"


With this new knowledge of an old friend, Candy reduces her intensity and calms as she spoke up..


Candy: "Talk about unannounced. You scared the daylights out of me, Mister Ross.."

Jake Ross: "I did want to surprise you."

Candy: "I-I, umm.. well.. you've done that, quite well. A bit too well. But you're out of your league in Italy. What's the occassion?"

Jake Ross: "Lyle's making dealings with some.. what he calls shady groups in Switzerland. That was yesterday, and turns out he's being paranoid. Then I figure it's time to go around Europe with Jess. Today's the day that begins."

Candy: "Well.. Around the likes of you, I would feel the same!"


Just as Jacob finally gets to settle down, someone else enters..


Rin: "Jake!"


Sophia's prediction is proven as Rin carries a few bags into the shade as she catches her breath.

After a quick look, Jacob feels a need to ask..



Jake Ross: "Hi there, beloved. Got yourself a load of stuff to carry about.. Is everything okay?"


In a positive mood, Rin answers with a smile.


Rin: "Swell as swell can be, heehee. Well, how'd you find her?"

Jake Ross: "Chance."


Candy distracts herself from her thoughts as she questions that response eagerly..


Candy: "Hah! I seriously doubt that."

Jake Ross: "Jess told me you're having a quick stroll around the lakeside, so.. it's mostly chance, still."

Candy: "In this crowd.. fine, it's definitely chance."


As Rin stands low, she shows urgency to something as she questions..


Rin: "Any clue to where Sophia's gone?"

Candy: "She got a call. I assume she's expecting something.. from a Bernardo."

Rin: "[gasp] You heard that much?"


This sudden energy stumbled Candy's words, but she picked it back up, and calmly responds..


Candy: "It's all in Italian, I wager. Plus that being the only word I understand.."

Jake Ross: "With a crowd like this?! How'd you do it?"

Rin: "[imitating] Chance."


Not having heard her imitations for weeks, Jacob has an opinion to tell about them..


Jake Ross: "Jess.. I swear to Lord that's gotta go.."

Candy: "Tell me about it. She versus Moto-san was a hell of a scene."

Rin: "Heeheehee.."


And in the direction of Jacob was Sophia, with another handsome man by her.


Jake Ross: "There they are.. Let me.."


Jacob gets up from his position and starts walking in their path to take their attention. The man by Sophia: Bernardo Bellini, widens his eyes in surprise and joy, as if he's seen an old friend.

And to his delight, his eyesight was perfectly fine.



Jake Ross: "Bern."

Bern: "Ehh? Jacob? The one and only Jacob Ross! Amico! It's really you! Hahahh! Secret handshake, perhaps?"

Jake Ross: "That's the kind of crap that comes between you and Sonny.. or Big Red in occasion.."


Candy sees this man, and can't quite get why he's somehow familiar. Bernardo eventually opens up, talking with his more casual tone as he takes out his phone.


Bern: "Honest to God, amico, I was just expecting Rin, but.. this is a so much better. What do you say? Mi amore has to know!"


Knowing him, Sophia teases..


Sophia: "That is your decision, Bernardo, but.. I feel you know the answer to that."


Followed by Jacob with a more sinister, but friendly smirk.


Jake Ross: "The Bern I know just withholds anything that comes his way. You ungrateful weasel."


His phone now put aside. Bernardo sees another familiar face.


Bern: "Haha, alright. That all is true. She will get the news in a sudden, unwanted burst. A good morning to you too, Rin."

Rin: "Top of the morning to you too, fellow agent."


Now in sight of Candy, Sophia moves in..


Sophia: "And here's someone else for you to finally make your acquaintance, Bernardo."


Despite not really showing much, Bernardo can't hide from her fame.


Bern: "Oohh? Candy Lam? Sooner or later, after what Jake did.. you're bound to get included in his friend circle. It is a pleasure. Oh, where are my manners! I was born this world with the name.. Bernardo Bellini, but you can just call me Bern."

Candy: "B-Bellini.. That is a familiar name. You used to run in Super GT.."


He gathers his thoughts as he looks upward..


Bern: "Did I? Umm.. yes I quite did! That was.. quite a time ago.. si.."


And Sophia sees something else in front..


Sophia: "Candy! This is the perfect time to hone those social skills we've been practicing."


She was ready for it, but something in her soul says she isn't, leading to..


Candy: "Umm.. as you mention, the nerves DO return.."

Sophia: "It's expected. One of you two, please encourage her."

Rin: "On it!"


Rin had thought over the weeks on how this can be done, but she decides to go back to when they first met in Big Sur, adopting a more serious look..


Rin: "Well, looks like the tables have turned. I now know your weak spot, Candy-san. Don't make me say.. you're a joke."


Feeling taunted, Candy tries to control her temper as she agitates..


Candy: "What.. is.. THIS?!"

Rin: "You broke me, little sis. And now I must try to break you."


Sophia takes a mental note on what happened..


Sophia: "Unusual, but effective.."


And she goes back to her chipper self just as quickly.


Rin: "Done!"

Sophia: "Up and confident, there you are. This is the Candy Lam I wish to see. Now, you owe signore Bellini a proper introduction."


Now feeling differently, Candy spoke out, and unlike the last time, felt the need to continue more smoothly.


Candy: "Uhh.. right. Candy Lam. Hong Kong's fastest woman. You know the part where I'm.. the only Race of Champions qualified woman in the GT racing leagues, correct?"

Bern: "That is a fact that hasn't escaped me. Me and mia cara.. we are actually a fan of your exploits, signora Candy."


And eventually enters conversation with someone she's just met.


Candy: "Truly? You don't look the part."

Bern: "Ahh, I remain modest. But you must meet my wife. She's.. much more interested in you, to put it lightly.."


Outside that scene, Rin playfully nudges Sophia on the achievement.


Rin: "A little bit of agitation, and she's up and making conversation with him. How is that, Sophia-san?"

Sophia: "It's not perfect, but that is not important. What is, is that we're making progress!"


Unable to get any more happier, Sophia clapped in joy.


Sophia: "Bravo! Bravo! Good job!"

Candy: "Thank you.."


As he remains quiet for the whole moment, Jacob breaks his silence to reiterate today's activities..


Jake Ross: "Perhaps it's time we head off to your obligations at the local circuit."

Candy: "I agree. A little bird tells me a Sunday Cup event's happening in the morning. I hope we can catch that."

Sophia: "Then we depart."


Later 2.jpg



Now at the parking lot, Sophia sees everyone's parked quite close, and decided to make a quick head count.


Sophia: "How many cars are there?"


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Sophia: "Bernardo, that's your Delta? It's gotten some body work, I see."

Bern: "You noticed, Sophia? Heh, of course I did. So that makes.. 3?"

Sophia: "No. Let's count. Your Delta, my car, Candy has her MINI, and signore Ross?"

Jake Ross: "My.. Ford modular V8 orchestra.. it's not far."


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Upon mention of his signature supercar, Rin decides to share something..


Rin: "You mean Bertha?"

Jake Ross: "Ugh, how many times do I gotta correct you?! The GT is not a Bertha!"


And she's enjoying it as much as she's done it the first time.


Rin: "That fit of disapproval makes it more fitting to call her Bertha."

Jake Ross: "Missy, the GT's not a h.. There is no getting to her, is there?"


And Bernardo sees a familiar sight, deciding to add fuel to what can burn..


Bern: "I see a lot of you has changed, amico, but that.. didn't even phase out well."

Jake Ross: "F[BLEEP] off.."


Upon seeing that response, he's reminded of his own wife, noting..


Bern: "We should get going before my wife blows up.. quite literally."


Candy can't quite get the metaphor, so she asks curiously about..


Candy: "Blow up? Like, in a rage?"

Bern: "You heard me. I still can't figure out if it's her German blood, or if someone in Toyota caused this.."


It's not set up, but Candy concluded with those facts about her new acquaintance Bernardo's partner..


Candy: "Ehh? How a-awfully specific! Correct me, but.. You married the prodigy tuner?! Lucia Weiss?? Toyota's prized German girl?!"


Jacob chimes in with that correct prediction.


Jake Ross: "She's heard of her, Bern. Looks to me your idol of worship has a lure."

Bern: "Amico, it's not exactly worship, but I'll take this lure. Yes, she is my wife. Let's head off now, we can talk later, si?"


As everyone prepares to depart, Sophia sees Candy, feeling elated as she's deep ing thought.


Sophia: "You don't seem too at ease, Candy. Talk to me."

Candy: "I, umm.. may have been out of control with my emotions the past few weeks. A change of pace is required for Lulu.. Let's move forward."


Autodromo Lago Maggiore
Italia
Morning



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With the track finally clearing out, no cars remain on track as the circuit remains closed momentarily from the public.

The first to arrive, Bernardo finds the right garage, and enters, seeing nobody in sight.



Bern: "Lucia? Are you here?"


Visibly frustrated by something yet to be explained, Lucia Weiss jumps down from an elevated position and lands on her husband, feeling cross.


Bern: "ARGH."


Bernardo crawls as he tries to get back on his feet, but the moment he thought he could, a force fell on his shoulders and he remained on the floor.


Bern: "Who could it.. L-Lucia?! You're taking this a bit too harshly!"

Lucia: "Ohh, is it now? Keeping me here for hours, putting time towards me at NOTHING.. thinking how that means, you deserve the harshness!"


She didn't hesitate to start swinging her extended adjustable wrench, with signs it's personalized for her.

Not intending to injure, she aimed for the back, swinging back and forth as she binds her target.



Bern: "Ahia, ahia! No, please, no the wrench!"

Lucia: "Mann Bernardo! You better bring me something worth or I'm going to FIND OUT how many notches will this wrench have by this day's end."


Lucia still wasn't satisfied even after what might be an eternity of repeated strikes.

Just as with Bernardo earlier, Jacob lies in wait, remaining quiet as he observes the fairly violent scene.

And after a short while, he breaks the silence once again.



Jake Ross: "It's a complete conundrum.. how you two remain together."


She stops and looks to see a surprise appearance: a familiar face she's once been lived with.


Lucia: "R-ross?"

Bern: "Well, here's something, correct?"


Bernardo's quick reply gave him a quick kick to his nether regions.


Bern: "AHIA! Not down there..."

Lucia: "You should speak only when it's your turn.."


He's in pain, but Lucia moves closer to Jacob, noticing something was different about him, but unable to put it to words.


Lucia: "I.. uhh.. it's good to see you. Handsome as always. I was just expecting Rin today.."

Jake Ross: "Yeah, handsome. That word I don't use no more. Always into the blast from the past, eh?"


He noticed Lucia getting to a defensive posture, however.

Usually keeping his strong face in front of anyone, that isn't the case here, as he begins to lose his composure.



Jake Ross: "That wrench don't.. seem like it's going down.."


He wasn't ready for this, but so was Lucia as Rin enters the garage, oblivious to Bernardo's pain.


Rin: "Ciya-kun!"

Lucia: "Nishimura.. Quite a surprise you got for us, heh?"

Rin: "I'll do anything to keep you on your toes. Is your brother around?"

Lucia: "He has a Group 4 race in Monza today. We have plans afterwards."


She stands by her husband, but understands Lucia's holding back her rage.


Lucia: "I'm also expecting Sophia.."

Rin: "Ohhh! You should tell her?"

Jake Ross: "What nonsense do we got here this time?"


The question however triggered the demon in the German girl..


Lucia: "You are hiding SOMETHING ELSE?!"

Rin: "Umm.. no, I mean, yes, but no it's supposed to be a surprise!"

Lucia: "I'VE HAD ENOUGH TRICKS, NAYSAY, SURPRISES OR WHAT HAVE YOU THIS DAY!!"


Lucia closens in the couple, as Rin starts to lose her jolly phase shifting to fearful.


Rin: "Uhhh.. Jake? JAKE, SAVE ME!!"


Umm, sorry..

I mean, Lucia closens in to Rin, who's now all alone, as she.. just scroll up.



Rin: "Gyaah! H-how did he do that?!"

Lucia: "Don't think you're exempt from me! I'm not afraid to hit a girl, Frau Nishimura.."


Just as her husband's disappearing act needs explaining, he reappears, walking towards the scene with Sophia.


Jake Ross: "Here."

Sophia: "Why thank you, signore. I'll take it from here.."


Once helping Lucia hone her tuning skills, Sophia remains in control, until she sees what looks like Bernardo writhing in pain, and Rin thrown around as she over sells her hits..


Sophia: "..MAMMA MIA! What is all this?!"


With a fire in her eyes still not extinguished, Lucia has another target.


Lucia: "Sophia? I feel you calling me over while IN MY HOLIDAY would do wonders, nein? It's doing that juust fine.."

Sophia: "Please, I assure you there is no foul play on my part. Is Bernardo fine?"


As the kanji for menacing start to fly aside, Sophia knew there's no holding her emotions back this tie, as she prepares to move..


Lucia: "He can take it.. but you have a lack of discipline. I thought you Italians are all about getting on time, so this will be quick.."

Sophia: "Oh! Oh-kay.. I suggest we keep this c-cordial, amica. Aaahhh, NOO!"


With Lucia focused on someone else, Rin evades injury, and dashes straight for safe haven in the form of her husband..


Rin: "Oh, why did you escape from me like that? I swear, don't you remember I need backup when facing an intense Ciya-kun at all times, you hear me?!"

Jake Ross: "You had it in the bag. Have some faith."

Rin: "Yes, I had, only that if it was me in the bag, then tossed into Maggiore. You gotta have my back on this.. she looks up to you."

Jake Ross: "Perhaps.. but she's a truly special case. How can one who dwells in fear.. be able to stop someone as fearless such as her?"


Candy then makes her appearance as the last to arrive.


Candy: "I can hear the commotion a mile away! Hah! I, emm.. mean: did I miss anything?"


Sophia sees her newest client and spams the emote requesting assistance.


Sophia: "CANDY! I am needing some assistance, amica! I was not built for running!"


Candy calmly walks in to see a rabid animal, but remains calm despite what happened to Sophia.


Candy: "Hoo, wow. So there she is.. the rumors are true.. one of the worst cases of on track rage."


Jacob and Rin sees this and decides not to ruin the mood. They step back a little further.

Candy takes her time, but that wasn't long, as she readies to say hello to an old friend..



Candy: "Look at her.. She's practically taller than me now. Lulu!"


Lucia, not phased by the people coming in, now reacts.

She looks to see this short lady, taking a moment to process..



Candy: "Over here, Lulu! Recognize this voice?!"

Lucia: "C-Candy?"


Just like that, her fire inside gets snuffed clean. While wrench is still on hand, she approaches with no violent intent.


Lucia: "You.. hey.. it's been.. umm.. 5 years."

Candy: "I.. can't believe how you've grown, Lulu."

Lucia: "You haven't grown an inch!"


The situation defused, Rin closes in, and Bernardo gets back on his feet.


Rin: "Lulu? That's not in my dictionary for Ciya-kun, at all!"

Candy: "It's her in house TRD tuner name. Everyone called her Lulu or Lulu-kun, or whatever. It's Lulu to me."

Bern: "This is news, even for me."


Lucia, in disbelief on hearing that old nickname of hers, gives out a more sorrow feeling as she replies..


Lucia: "C-Candy knew it exists to spite me, so it.. stuck.."

Candy: "Okay, it's okay. We can hang out after we're done here. Catch up.. if only Cierra was here to complete the trio."


Cierra:
This name came out, but whoever this is isn't here yet. However, Lucia would start dropping tears.

Candy thought, mildly in surprise..



Candy: "(Mere mention of Cierra did that?!) d-don't hide those tears, Lulu. Your eyes are swelling up!"


Unable to carry this, the wrench finally fell to the floor, following by the irate holder now covered in sadness.

Even though Candy's joyed to see an old flame again, her master plan now goes to making this scene better by coming close and embracing the crying Lucia.



Candy: "I'm here now.. I've really missed you too.. Lulu."


With everyone else looking on, they knew Lucia was someone that needed help. Sophia voiced out what she thinks for the moment..


Sophia: "She has chosen you, amica, to comfort her inner stresses. I've faith.. you can do this, Candy."


This is my duty, Candy thought, as she sees the chaos earlier means that she's the one to get her to stability.


Candy: "Unusual.. I guess I will be slotting in sincerity in the future.. Sophia.."


As the two smaller women leave, Bernardo finds himself feeling remorse over the whole small incident.


Bern: "On my behalf and my amore.. amici, I would like to apologize for the violence."

Sophia: "Ohh Bernardo. If only Signore Guts were here to help us man handle her with his sign language again. We accept, don't we?"

Rin: "It's in her nature. It's also in our nature to forgive that.."

Jake Ross: "Things look like it might sour should we linger.. I suggest we make our exit.


And as everyone makes their exit, Jacob pauses with thought..


Jake Ross: "Luce is.. quite close to Candy? This is an interesting development.."


Thus, he turns around, back towards the women instead .


A garage isn't the place one would mingle and catch up, but Candy pushes a few chairs to get as close as it can to be that.

Lucia, still sniffling, sits on one positioned chair, with Candy following on another, looking on her old friend.



Candy: "It's once again my job to help get rid of whatever haunts you, Lulu.."

Lucia: "You're saying that.. knowing I won't beat you to a pulp.. Do you still get comments.. for being cute?"


As expected, Candy felt a little cross, but decided to only react without going too close to losing it.


Candy: "Back stabbing sausage head! Shut up.."

Lucia: "Schwein.. You shut up.."


The ice still stands strong, but the two laughed out their miniscule affront as it breaks down.


Candy: "We NEED to catch up. I don't know where she is, but I plan to find Cierra. How, well.."

Lucia: "I know where she is. She's become a street racer in the center of London. You remember she used to work chop shops before finding her way into Toyota? I think it was San Francisco."


New facts give Candy an idea, but the riddles began to pile up.


Candy: "London. The scene there is massive. I cannot be certain if there are more.. extremely timid beret wearing American mechanic extraordinares."

Lucia: "You make it sound easy, even though what they do is the opposite."

Candy: "Pfft. I know what I do good in, but the streets are.. a mess for me now. Too many variables. Going on track often does that to you."

Lucia: "But if I heard Sophia correct.. she's once again taken people off their holidays, and this is the only quick tune job."


Emotions checked, Lucia declares that something needs to be done..


Lucia: "After this gig, let's go find Cierra."

Candy: "No arguments whatsoever. London, was it? I even have an idea on how to start.."


With that set, Candy had thoughts on what her friend's been up to, starting with following up on what she knows.


Candy: "Answer me first: you're in GT racing too, Lulu?"

Lucia: "Ja, uhh, yes.."

Candy: "I know German, it works."

Lucia: "No you don't, schwein!"

Candy: "Fine. Speak English if you can. Heh. What's your manufacturer?"


She answered honestly, but held her head down.


Lucia: "BMW."

Candy: "The big Bees.. though, you don't seem so confident?"


She's in a good place, so she voiced out this opinion.


Lucia: "I'm thinking of dropping out."


Mildly shocked, Candy couldn't agree to this act.


Candy: "No.. you had this same idea! Quitting when you're in the game. That's you, back in Toyota! Don't tell me you forgot what me and Cierra kept going on to you about?"

Lucia: "Still remember, huh?"

Candy: "Lulu, it's not because I want to ridicule you. It's to remember you by. In a good way. Don't stray the path."


She can't control it, but the words kept pouring, perhaps due to Lucia's face slowly rising up and changing to a better emotion.


Candy: "You owe the success of that prestigious award thanks mainly to Cierra and myself, and I can't be prouder."

Lucia: "Says you. You're awfully much more talkative now then you were then."


And that note was something she hasn't realized, truly a sign of phasing out her lone wolf.

With a hearty smile, she responded from the bottom of her heart..



Candy: "I.. met some people.."

Lucia: "Oh, ja?"


The two heard steps coming from behind: sounded from a pair of heavy duty boots.

A black dressed man with his cowboy attire comes in, after hearing a good chunk of what's said.



Jake Ross: "Mind if I huddle in?"

Candy: "Uhh, sure. Here's exhibit A: The dark one."


Lucia was about to ask, but Jacob intervened about that new nickname.


Jake Ross: "I like that name, actually. Why's it now I hear it?"


Lucia thinks of another fact, as she rolls up Jacob's left sleeve, showing skin.


Lucia: "Dark? His skin says otherwise."

Candy: "That's you isn't it? Toying with me, Lulu?!"


Knowing Jacob didn't mind, Lucia found herself happy for the first time today.


Lucia: "Hah, I know."

Jake Ross: "Lulu, huh? When she's around my own bunch, she goes by Luce. Or in the words of Sonny: Little Luce. He's not wrong, but I refuse to use that reference."


And Lucia follows up with a fact she knows needs mention.


Lucia: "I can make even someone like him flinch, you know."

Candy: "Ehh? No bu[BLEEP]it?! Teach me that someday."


Trying to keep the insults away, Jacob follows up on his earlier quote..


Jake Ross: "By the way, if you're looking to see Sonny Meng whimper in pain, she's your gal. He's her favorite punching bag."

Candy: "Ohh! Fascinating! Naughty Lulu~"


She might be the curious one, but Jacob too wants answers, as he directs this request towards Candy..


Jake Ross: "Talk to me, Candy. What's your history with her? You ain't the type that gets along with others."


Candy knew it was coming, and readied the quick history from her mind..


Candy: "The gist: while we were in Toyota, us and some of the race development staff had a karaoke night. There was alcohol EVERYWHERE. Just the three of us didn't get intoxicated. We sent them home on our feets. It was a long night, but one work day afterwards, a round of applause came. It was 3 foreign women helping out the everyday engineers buff out the stresses of work, and none of them were left out in the streets.. all with their families or friends with a roof under their drunken heads! The three of us were known as Toyota's Tenacious Ternion from then onwards."


He however was relating more to the work that's done to create this team.


Jake Ross: "Doubt any of that feel any good."

Lucia: "You said it. I took 3 days off to rest my weary back."


Earlier mention of Sonny had Candy transition the discussion towards him..


Candy: "You know, I've been meeting that dastardly Asian American whatever's opposites these past few weeks.. knowing now with Lulu here, and that.. sunglasses wearing, tall brunette."

Jake Ross: "Nirvana? Her, eh? You know, she came to me finding out Sonny's got a BFF."

Lucia: "BFF?? Who is this Nirvana you speak of, Herr Ross?"


Considering who Nirvana is, Jacob decided to remain quiet about it, and quelled the conversation to something else..


Jake Ross: "For the time being.. a shady lady who's not important. What is.. is how you got to move on not hurting anyone in close proximity."

Lucia: "That is an incresingly more difficult statement to make work.."

Jake Ross: "Uh huh. Candy's scanned you left and right, ain't that right?"

Candy: "I'm sorry, Lulu.. I had the lengthiest talk with Bernardo before we got here. Your spark of aggression has really gone out of control."


Jacob prepares to depart and turns his back, unsure if this is how progress can be made.


Jake Ross: "I've done my role to make you feel alive and well. There are plenty of people I know that want you to be better. Your brother especially."


And he didn't need to see it to hear..


Jake Ross: "She's steaming up."

Candy: "I have the master plan worked for this.."


Looking back at what she did in Big Sur, Candy went for the same comforting embrace she did to Rin, but to the tall German.


Lucia: "Was ist?"

Candy: "We are not sisters, but we're bonded.."


Jacob stared at the distance, hearing a cry from the wind sounding like..


Rin: "HEY, THAT'S MY LINE!"

Bern: "Amica, back off! Now's not the time for arguing.."


Appearing that nobody else heard it, he turns back, seeing Lucia with a mellowed out face.


Lucia: "I.. umm, danke. Danke schon. It hurts to admit you both are right. I will do my best fix everything. And just like in Toyota.. I can count on you to help me."


Feeling calm again, Lucia now feels it's the time for something else.


Lucia: "But.. I wish to show you something, Candy."

Candy: "Ehh?"


Candy then finds out about Lucia's unusual strength through a quick drag by her blouse's neck..


Candy: "H-help! Arghaahh! I'm being taken somewhere.."


She saw the only people able to help her deciding only to wave back out of pity.


Not long after, the reunited duo stand in another garage, with a car present.


Lucia: "Have a look at what we have here.."


full



Candy: "This is Italy, why's there an SX30 Prius?"

Lucia: "What? That's strange. How do you not remember our first car we three used our talent on, together?"


As she rounds the car, observing its mint like condition, memories flow back.


Candy: "Me, on the wheel, Cierra on the side, and you nerding around at the back. That all was a past age."

Lucia: "And then that time when you.. broke out of the track limits onto public roads, racing it away like you were fresh out of prison."

Candy: "Hilarious, actually, I was fresh out of prison then."


But a stark realisation was made apparent.


Candy: "Curious. Why is there a Prius here?"

Lucia: "Sunday Cup. Beginner drivers and a set of low powered, easy to handle machinery."

Candy: "Oh, wait. I know.. You were in the Prius?"

Lucia: "...."

Candy: "That silence is proof enough."


Her reputation as a GT racer at stake, Lucia responds with aggression.


Lucia: "Shut up."

Candy: "Okay, but why is a GT racer going around doing this? Confidence issues?"

Lucia: "Just.. shut up.."


Knowing moving the conversation like this would escalate quick, Candy shifts her thinking..


Candy: "Lulu, looks to me I'm not doing so good at keeping the peace. Let's hop in the Prius. Keys?"


Grabbing the keys from a nearby key box, Lucia tosses it to Candy and they both make their way to the car.

Noticing her entering the rear, Candy questions this.



Candy: "At the back?"

Lucia: "You have a problem with that?"

Candy: "Come on! Be co-driver for me, Lulu!"


She would, but Lucia sees that illusion of the past: where Candy and Cierra at front, in a split second, causing her to deny that request.


Lucia: "I.. cannot. That is for Cierra, we both know that."


Even though it sounds implausible, Candy relates..


Candy: "We'll go find her.."

Candy: "So, what's your deal with the dark one? Jake, I mean."

Lucia: "Umm.. you might be the same Candy I knew years back, but.. that is.. p-personal history.."

Candy: "Not this again.. Lulu, I missed you! How about we do a swap?"


full



Lucia: "Cheeky today, aren't you? I'm not in the bargaining mood today."

Candy: "I'll give you two, more for you to digest. How about it?"

Lucia: "Fine."


full



Candy: "Go for me. Jacob Ross and Lulu Weiss. How did you come in contact?"

Lucia: "He.. rescued me one night from taking the wrong path. I was weak and.. foolish."

Candy: "Go on.."

Lucia: "Then I personally saw him and Rin, their first time crossing eyes, in love. I was just a passer by, but he insisted I be part of their bond. And it didn't stop there."

Candy: "That's.. awfully sweet for his type. That'll sate my appetite for the time being."


So, what exactly are we expecting on the Prius that got itself a touring car variant a few games back? Are we expecting some form of super car killing potential here? I'm afraid to say that's going to be the crowd that will find themselves thoroughly disappointed. But if you're still here, let's move on.

Anyone who's anyone would know the Prius is armed with a single speed automatic, known as a CVT (continuous variable transmission). Not your regular automatic, the CVT's main gimmick is to give the driver a smooth accelerating experience. We'd have it in all kinds of cars if this sounded too good to be true. Because it is. In terms of facts, while lighter, accessible and more fuel efficient, CVTs are notably noisier than an automatic, pricier to maintain, and come with its own share of issues. If we look at that in the Prius, the issue lies more in how it accelerates: it's adding an analog power response to an analog input scheme. It's analog squared. Which means if you're going to need precise acceleration with the Prius on stock, you need to be prepared squared. The Prius will only give out power if your power input is high enough, and the problems don't end there for the.. umm.. Prius racing enthusiast..

Unlike regular gas powered cars and electric cars, this means the car's inputs aren't immediate. It's completely evil, yes. You aren't going to see the end of it when I tell you this also applies to the handling thanks to its already super soft suspension setup. Based on what I see in the game, the car rides high and has a soft springs setup, with one notable oddity being the damping expansion to the rear being lower. That explains the gradual understeer after braking hard for the corners. But on high speed corners, the car's handling is nice, though having that turning all the way will mess up the pace.


full



Thanks to me never really lingering around these kind of cars, the Prius is easily an unremarkable, but not a complete wreck of a car for racing. You can see it in its race manners. It's got okay acceleration since it has no extra gears. The car's soft and tall springs mean there's going to be that front 62:38 ratio working to bring the car down quite a bit when braking, meaning the turn entries are not understeery, leaning more towards oversteer. It's that aforementioned damping expansion on the rear that mucks up that turning experience. We can't quite engine brake too, so we'll rely heavily on using trail braking, and keeping on partially through the throttle while turning to get past this. We have to use these advanced techniques so the car can turn? That's strange.

Hopping into power.. well, it's not powerful, nor does it contain any threat to take you out since it's going to the front tires. You're never going to reach its provided top speed of 112+ unless we're on the places where you don't want to take a Prius out. Weird enough, using TC with the Prius (hey, I tried, okay) gets it to get more control on the car's understeer on higher revs, while sacrificing acceleration.. just don't use it. There are no notable traction issues at this car on stock. At this level of performance, the smooth driving really isn't that notable. I wager the best thing for drivers to take advantage of the Prius is to get the smooth inputs in, and smooth out. No power means the precise inputs are more important than ever. Just like with 2 weeks ago in the MB.

Should you want to hate the stock Prius even more, you can take it to the dirt! While understeer issues are gone, the car's just way too stiff to even survive a lap around Colorado. But a rallying Prius isn't impossible to get working, unless you want it to compete with the Group B machines, which is a complete no no.


Lucia: "Your turn."

Candy: "Ahh.. umm.. did you know Rin's father: Nishimura-Sensei, was the secret to my success?"

Lucia: "She told me she has found another sibling the past weeks. A sister. So it's you?"

Candy: "Not blood bound, but Sensei didn't mind calling him father. So it counts."

Lucia: "Heh, the rules of family isn't that strict, right? It's the quality of the bond."

Candy: "You understand my meaning.. at least."

Lucia: "That was nice to know. But now you have one more to tell me."

Candy: "Uhmm.. a personal one.. when that time you thought Cierra feigned innocence on misplacing your favorite spanner, that was actually on me. I got 5,000 credits richer that day.."

Lucia: "WHAT?!"


full



Candy: "AUGH! LULU, NOO! I'M DRIVING HERE!!"

Lucia: "YOU'D THINK I FORGET?! HOW DARE YOU DO THAT TO ME?! WE WERE SET BACK FOR DAYS! DAYS!!"

Candy: "You're going to get that apology, just STOP IT!"

Lucia: "I'm going to make you stop! You're going to remember this!"


full



Lucia: "Es tut mir leid.. Candy. Ooohh.. That felt good."


Moments Later.jpg



Still on a stretcher, Candy awakes, slowly realizing she's arrived on the on track medical bay.


Candy: "..hh-huh?! It's the back of my head this time.."


She's lost conscsiousness an abnormal amount of times in the story, but she felt somewhat liable for this occasion.


Candy: "Ughh.. I must win the most frequent times fainted from someone else award.."


Seconds later, she sees Rin, settled down on one of the two empty chairs facing the stretcher.


Candy: "How long was I out??"

Rin: "Not long at all. You just got here."


Still dizzy, Candy rubs the back of her head as she gets her physical condition checked.


Candy: "She pretends to be nice for one second, and then I get properly struck in the back of the brain.. felt like a karate chop.."

Rin: "This looks to me it's something she learned from Bern-san, heehee."


Even though Rin isn't wrong, Candy reiterates, still feeling how she's in the wrong.


Candy: "Actually, I lied. Must've hit a nerve. An apology is warranted. Where is she?"

Rin: "Don't know. Maybe with Bern, or with Sophia. Something that I want to discuss.. [whistles]."


The shadow comes in and closes the door behind him, following with a walk to the other chair.


Candy: "Jake?"

Jake Ross: "Who else were you expecting? Sonny Meng?"

Candy: "I would rather stay in dreamland than see his kind again.."


Rin however was surrounded by loved ones, leading her to tease..


Rin: "Well, ot-to.. what were you up to again?"


He voiced out a response due to how off script that request is.


Jake Ross: "You speak to me as if you don't trust me."

Rin: "[imitating] You didn't answer my question."


Holding his hat's front edge and pointing it down a little, Jacob thinks the best way out is to answer.


Jake Ross: "There's an imitation I approve of.. I was with Bern. He wanted to catch up, like you and Luce."

Candy: "Enough pleasantries! Rin-san please: get to the point."

Rin: "You see, I wasn't at Suzuka last week by sheer coincidence. I was on a mission. It's about the one other person that's here today and in Suzuka as well.."


With that fact, Candy's shoulders slumped with betrayal, as initial thoughts suggest..


Candy: "You were spying on me, Rin-san? Uncool! After all the good times together?"


Since this wasn't the answer, Rin raised her eyes and had to correct that.


Rin: "Oh yikes, no. I should've worded this all better.."

Jake Ross: "It's Sophia."


She might be the only other answer that's not Rin, but considering Sophia's helpful nature, Candy questioned their suspicions.


Candy: "Umm.. I'm not sure how to put it, but.. how?"

Rin: "Well I was spying on you, but not as Candy Lam the sweet toothed lone wolf. No, I was spying on the MINI. You're my little sis.. all the spying's done back in Big Sur.. I said too much, correct?"


After hearing that, Candy's starting to channel the main emotion of her old friend she reunited with today.


Candy: "Eyes twitching, sense failing, morality ignoring, rage building.."

Rin: "Jake.. she's going to KILL ME! HEE~LPP!!"


After a quick sigh, Jacob pretends to rummage through his jacket pockets, toying with his beloved.


Jake Ross: "Oh, snap.. where did I put mix #4.. must be the OTHER jacket.."

Rin: "NO! No nonono, NO GAS!"


Seeing Rin quickly snap from afraid to furious was trigger enough for Candy to stop pretending.


Candy: "Relax. I can tell that's only a joke. Now, about Sophia."


As the situation goes back to normal, Rin carries on..


Rin: "She's involved in something, and it's based in the UK. A group of criminals is my guess, but I feel it's more than that."

Candy: "You should be calling backup."

Rin: "Well, Bern-san is backup. He's part of my small task force. We've got code names and all.."


She's passionate about her work, but Jacob..


Jake Ross: "FOCUS, Jess."

Rin: "Right! It so happens Sophia is his childhood sweetheart from youth to his late teens. He can sweet talk his way into her, but there's not much chance he's got to do so."


She might have heard the small hints, but now, facts about Bernardo is all adding up to Candy.


Candy: "Lulu's married an Interpol agent.. so, let me get this straight, Sophia is suspect, part of something large, and that might be related to the car I drive around, which raised a flag seen all over the underworld?"

Rin: "That's right. And.. how did you figure out that last part?"

Candy: "The mysterious Nirvana. Figured out who set that flag and.. says all their bases belong to her or something. She values me and is probably doing all she can to protect her assets."


Hearing that, Jacob understands she's protected, and possibly in contact.

Questions riddle his mind, but he was satisfied and got up, starting to leave.



Jake Ross: "Her.. I suppose will do."

Candy: "You're going?"


The dark man opened the door, but he turned for a small goodbye.


Jake Ross: "I am not needed here any more. I'm more useful elsewhere. Don't take it the wrong way, my.. little Asian flowers."


He went out as someone else comes in..


Candy: "Someone like Sophia's part of a conspiracy. I can see why she smiles so.. unusually great."

Rin: "For now, just treat the situation with her as normal. Info is shaky on this. She might be completely innocent, or our lead into something larger. No confirmations yet."


And that someone else sits on the vacant chair, gesturing a karate chop on her right arm as she greets calmly.


Lucia: "Candy! You didn't see that one coming, ja?"

Candy: "Lulu.. when did you get jiujitsu lessons?"

Lucia: "Not long after I met her. Meaning you had no clue I did self defense classes for a long while.."

Rin: "Hi!"

Lucia: "I told her how I met you two. In London, I mean."


That was a long time ago, and Rin knew finding Jacob was one of the best memories, so she visibly savors it.


Rin: "Mmhmm, it's nice to look back. Anything else?"

Lucia: "Uhh... No intention of any misfortune, but.. I noticed Jacob. I can't quite put it, but you can see he's not the same."


But that moment to savor didn't even last as Candy spoke up about the latest gossip.


Candy: "Umm.. can I? Another racer noticed. GT racing rep, goes by Paul. He took me to the side and talked to me concerning it."

Lucia: "Henderson?"

Candy: "Y-yes.. okay, you know, there's a lot I don't know about relationships. He's lashed it out to me: he sees the darkness growing."

Lucia: "The mann's wife is here, Candy.."


Sweating in worry, Rin shakes and tries to reassure everything isn't that bad..


Rin: "I KNOW! Losing him would mean the end of me and my purpose for him! But.. I heard enough. I believe he's right. Some good is left. I pray that's no sugar coat."


From Sophia being two faced, to Jacob back to being the star of the show as he's always been in the past, Candy can't process these in the tight confines of the medical bay..


Candy: "Urgh.. There's too many to think about now. I'll head off now, get some fresh air. And that gig on this track. I need to find Sophia."

Lucia: "The gig? Perhaps you mean you're asked by Sophia to do something. Believe it or not.. that's where I come in."


As she opens the door and exits the room, obviously not injured, Lucia follows.


Candy: "Oh? You want another car tested, Lulu? Is it your BMW?"

Lucia: "Ja, but not me or my BMW, but Sim Gear. They want another car tested, I'm just their representative. It's another Prius."


Considering the driving experiences earlier, Candy pouted in disappointment.


Candy: "Another Prius? You have 2 Priuses just laying about?"

Lucia: "That one earlier's a rental for the Sunday Cup. This other one.. I was lent for a specific purpose."


Candy had to ask so it's not a waste of her time..


Candy: "If this one's stock too, forget it.."

Lucia: "Candy! You're giving up? I didn't specify how this is tuned as a league racer."


And the lure works, prompting Candy to ask more about it.


Candy: "League racer. So, it's a race car? There's no way anyone on the outside knows what can be done to the inner machinations of a 2ZR Atkinson.."

Lucia: "The engine isn't where the spirit lies. It's in the other pieces I specifically made tweakings towards. Come, and let me show you, bitte!"


Seeing Lucia walk away in a more excited tone got Candy curious even more.


Candy: "Lulu's work? I didn't think I'd get to drive another one of those masterpieces."


And as she looked back to the past again, she understood the excitement and got along.


Candy: "Time for you to show me you're still the master tuner after all these years. I'll catch you later, Rin-san."

Rin: "Good luck!"


Candy: "Round 2 with this Prius.. I'm alone this time.."


Don't Change
INXS
Shabooh Shoobah


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Candy: "And with this helmet, not even the ghost of Lulu's past can whack me to another dreamland express.."

Lucia: "These state of the art comms are working, Frau.."

Candy: "R-right.."



I guess upgrading the Prius to 500PP isn't an original idea. This idea's why you saw 2 Priuses under my name as I practice my long lost art of shouting like Michael Townley waking up from some nightmare. I spent hours on making those liveries, yes even that street look one. Just look at the door handles, yo! They're a work of art!

Back to the show. So you wanna be a playa, but your wheels ain't fly? Yup, in this case, that song makes total sense. But if I could make this Prius not run on its CVT, I would. Because that's what's holding this back. And no, I didn't forget how it can't even reach past 180 horsepower. I daily drive cars with more power! But yeah: we're stuck with the 2ZR-FXE. And getting the car kitted out for power will net you more early RPM acceleration, like not just any kind of acceleration. Just look at that power band go sky high in early revs!

And if we go to the handling parts, just spend your money all on the adjustable parts that total about twice the car's value. And then, since we're not going to go overboard on power, it's oversteer settings for days! That's the case with the cars the past few weeks, is it? All understeer in some form. But to me, no matter how much more oversteer settings you like, you're going to want to harden the whole thing. Just put numbers on EVERYTHING, especially the back. The most important perhaps is overall higher spring rate and a lower ride height overall. Have a look at toe angles too, perhaps point the toe out a little on the rear. All this can do wonders for the car.

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Basic rule of thumb of FWD cars apply here when it comes to tuning. Oversteer suspension mentioned above, really high acceleration differential settings with minimal initial and deceleration, maybe add front aero so you can add some front downforce.. You get your usual set of power and weight reduction options, and that's it! No aspiration, no transmission changes, no engine swap. The best you can make your Prius is compete in some kind of low horsepower, cup car or FWD competition.

I'm unsure if you do need brakes, or oddly the clutch. Maybe you can save some PP with just keeping brakes stock. If you feel the brakes pose any issue, just get the brakes controller. Clutch, though.. we can't have a proper racing transmission, so if we don't go into the flywheel affecting response, this is kind of odd to mention.

But it seems there's not much to do with the Prius if you're trying to take it supercar slaying. That's not what its for. It could make a killing if we can swap the Lexus V8..


Lucia: "The line, the focus, the sheer will.. I can see you're enjoying it."

Candy: "This is.. what I'd expect from your handiwork, Lulu. I'm shaving a good 10 seconds from the stock car. You've.. as always: surpassed my expectations, Lulu."


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Lucia: "Danke schon. That means a lot to me, aft-[static]."

Candy: "Huh? The comms? Lulu?! These are brand new, right?! LULU?!"


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Already close to it, Candy's first instinct was to head on to the pit lane with the tuned Prius.

Nothing seems out of the ordinary, but when nobody is where they should be, she knows..



Candy: "Something is wrong."


She parks the Prius to the side, and watches a group of men walking to the side.

Unnoticed, Candy makes herself scarce and observes the 3 grouped men, one of them lifing a woman on his shoulder.

The woman struggles for dear life, as Candy quietly notes..



Candy: "Sophia! She's is being taken away.."


Coming from behind, Rin hops in and sits low by Candy..


Candy: "Rin-san! Is something happening?"

Rin: "Glad I caught you.. It seems an organized attack by a criminal group."

Candy: "Where is everyone??"


She knew that question was coming, and quickly replied..


Rin: "I can't find Ciya-kun. Jake and Bern-san are busy evacuating civilians."

Candy: "Should we leap into action and do something?"

Rin: "I like the way you think, but the danger is too high. These men might be armed."

Candy: "Urgghh.. even if she might be untrustworthy, I'm not letting them do what they want with Sophia! She is a friend!"


Even if she's not one to strategize, Rin thinks hard from what she's learned about it, and observes the scene.


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Rin: "That car has one immediate exit, and.. you can block it with the Prius."

Candy: "Shame.. it's going to end up being police evidence at best.."

Rin: "The priority is that we can get another Prius from Brand Central anyways! I prefer Sophia, alive, on our side and on good standing. Block that road! I'll distract them."

Candy: "Got it."


She didn't question the risk or the danger, but Candy hopped back in the modified Prius and got it going.


Candy: "This is a bad idea.. I'm too young to die!"


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As Candy laid low, she exits the Prius and makes a run for cover, overhearing..


"Hang on a minute, what the bloody devil's going on?!"

"Lads, I think we're being set up or something innit."


With an appreciation of her smaller stature, she's found a quick hiding spot, hoping they didn't notice her.


Candy: "That lingo.. British? But Peggy's not here to save me this time.."


"Right.. just in case this is what it is, I guess we'll have to stash both the assets on the second car."

"Get on the line with team 2."


Candy: "There's a team 2?"


Candy looked out from behind some cars, and was expecting the distraction.

It came, but in the form of a man getting tossed to the side by an angry German with her long adjustable wrench..



Lucia: "Guten tag, gentlemen. I know you want me alive, but you are welcome to COME AND GET IT, SCHWEINHUNDS!"


Unsure but reasonable, Candy assumes that was the distraction as Lucia makes a quick getaway.


Candy: "That's my cue.."


She makes a blast for it as the men were looking the other way, finding her back to the original hiding spot, with Rin unusually still there.


Candy: "Rin-san! I'm okay, right? I'm okay."

Rin: "Ciya-kun did the distracting for me, it seems."


As casual as he arrives, Bernardo appears fast, immediately went to a low profile while already holding a small firearm.


Bern: "Ladies! You are all alright. Keep your heads low while we a stall. We have a squad coming in at 10!"

Rin: "What's this sound like, Blaze.."

Bern: "Well, Pandora.. 2 teams of 4 men each. 2 cars present, both WRXs. Meaning they are to procure 2 hostages, then plan to escape through the backroads.."


Already with this in mind with the Mythic Initiative, Candy notes the names' similar purpose..


Candy: "Blaze? Pandora? Figures. Those must be the code names.."


The group peeks out to see the men still distracted towards the direction of where Lucia came from earlier.

Bernardo scans the scene, and notices the blue WRX blocked. He didn't take long to deduce.



Bern: "You've blocked that escape car's exit nicely. Bel lavoro, agent sweet tooth!"

Candy: "Oh.. it's her idea."

Rin: "We had to do something in a rush."


Another figure enters the scene, jumping down a storey from above, crashing the party as he lands on his weighted feet.

Glowing eyes, a thick dark set of armor, and a long coat surrounds him, hiding his identity.



Candy: "What in the blazes is that?"


One quick look has Rin frozen in place, as if her darkest fears came to be.


Rin: "No.. no, no NO!"


Nothing was adding up, until the figure takes out and wears a similarly designed cowboy hat worn by a certain someone else.


Candy: "The hat?! Can it be?!"

Rin: "The Outlaw.."

Bern: "In other words.. my good friend's.. completely evil guise. If there is any good left in Jacob, here he is with all that aside!"


Candy didn't quite take seriously why everyone's she's met worries so much about him, until this moment.


Candy: "This is the man everyone's worried about.."


Walking to the attention of the kidnappers, they too feel the pressure and witness him speak with his artificially boosted voice.


The Outlaw: "DARE TO STEP FORWARD, AND MEET YOUR DOOM?"


They all took out their pistols and aimed away, as he intended.

With understanding of the suit's weaponization, Rin sees The Outlaw's thumbs raised, predicting to push the buttons on his knuckles.



Rin: "He's going to use the chemical agent.."


And even though she's less familiar, being a victim of that once means Candy knows..


Candy: "Sophia needs to get out of there before he does!"

Rin: "I've seen how this works. He uses his hidden pressured cans, engulfs a thick smog in the zone, then takes out the catalyst, creating.. poison gas.."

Bern: "Then the window is a short. I must act! Bernardo... AWAY!!"


No hesitation, he leapt into action, with his high school sweetheart in the line of fire.


Candy: "Bernardo!"

Rin: "Down, Candy-san! You might see him as some walking joke, but in the line of work.."


The smog engulfs the area, and they can hear shots fire, following with some struggling.

And as soon as a moment passes, Bernardo gets out with Sophia in his arms, just as the smog turns into a deathly crimson.



Candy: "And there he is!"

Rin: "He's the greatest field agent I've ever known.."


Running towards the hiding spot, the gas behind him catches on, and he can't risk it, leading to..


Bern: "Inside, let's go!"


As they escape to a nearby garage interior, the doors are shut and locked by the women as Sophia gets to her senses.


Sophia: "W-what is happening? Mamma mia! Who is.. Bellini?"

Bern: "Sophia! Oh, grazie a Dio! I was worried sick! You are unharmed!"

Sophia: "Y-yes, I suppose I.. urhh.. They hit me good.. And I will be needing new glasses."


Back on her feet and unbound, Sophia however remains blinded.


Candy: "This is a nice reunion and all, but what about the man in black? Four against one is not favorable odds.."

Bern: "I wouldn't worry. His suit... is a technological marvel."


Looking outside, they see the four men struggling to stay on their feet as the armored villain takes them out, one after another.

Bernardo tries to calmly explains to Candy, but he can't hide his hesitation..



Bern: "You see? There isn't time to describe, but it's bulletproof, bomb proof, flexible, whatever. Any more advanced, and he's essentially Iron Man.


And he notes said hesitation with a fact he just figured out.


Bern: "And two cars mean.. two hostages.. We must go and find mia cara NOW!"


With Bernardo directing Sophia to a nearby safe spot, Candy tries to get Rin to stop watching.


Candy: "Rin?! Come on!"


Unsure on how she feels, Candy backed off as she gets a sorrowful response.


Rin: "Just.. go.."


Many many minutes later.jpg



Bern: "LUCIA?!"


They head towards the public lobby, finding bruised up, incapacitated bodies of what might be team 2.


Bern: "What a mess.. mia cara! Lucia!"


All the men aren't in any form to take immediate action, and Candy sees the damage done to both them and the surroundings.


Candy: "Whoa! Note to self: don't mess with Lulu.."


Further in, they find an office area, cleared out and with a lot of the furniture messed up.

The Bernardo led search group was to give up, until they hear fast breathing in the corner, revealing..



Bern: "There you are."

Lucia: "Bernardo.. What a rush. A few cuts and bruises isn't going to stop me.."

Bern: "You look better than the men we saw.. Can you stand?"


Surrounded by some cuts and a beat up eye, Lucia responds, voice drenched in air, while remaining down on the corner she leans towards..


Lucia: "Maybe not for another moment. This is an intense workout I've gotten into."

Bern: "We can get you back to pristine condition, don't you worry! Candy.. you don't mind getting her to medical?"


Candy lost her focus with the damage assessment, but she came back to her friend quick.


Candy: "Come on.. look at that! You really put the Tenacious in Toyota's Tenacious Ternion, Lulu."

Lucia: "Just be quiet.. You don't want another well placed chop to the rear of your head, don't you?"


And soon they realize Candy isn't the best shoulder to lean towards..


Lucia: "Is this it? My legs are dragging. Tsk.. come on, shortcake."

Candy: "..don't make me drop you, Lulu.."


Later in the Void.jpg



Incapacitated bodies lie around, the situation has calmed, but the man in armor stands by as he's embraced, still surrounded in his mostly dissipated chemical agent.


Rin: "[sobbing] Don't lose me.."

The Outlaw: "I KNOW THIS IS HARD FOR YOU.. I IMPLORE YOU STAND BY ME. THE MIASMA WILL PROTECT US, UNTIL IT'S TIME TO GO."


She holds strong, believing she's doing something by keeping him close.

As the sounds of sirens start crawling in, this established moment has to go.



Rin: "[sobbing] I.. must.. toughen myself.. to see you.. do this to.. become our hero.."

The Outlaw: "...I NEED TO GO. I AND THOU.. WE MUST DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE."


Using his enhanced strength, he breaks the hold and makes a quick exit.

Sophia, still at the spot she was left at, hears the whole exchange, and moves towards where she hears it happen.



Sophia: "Amica.. I may not be able to see clear, but are you all right?"

Rin: "[sobbing] This is the devil in him.."


a few moments later.jpg



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Sitting low by the Ford GT's side, Rin was still puzzled and emotionally unstable.

She can still hear an approach from her self declared little sister.



Rin: "I don't want to talk now.."

Candy: "I'm sure you don't, but someone's here to see you."


Confused, she saw her husband, in his usual getup now, questioning to herself why the boot steps weren't heard.

She got up, predictably and gets close..



Rin: "Jake! I.. saw it. All of it. They didn't hesitate to gun you down!"

Candy: "What's the damage report, dark one?"

Jake Ross: "A few shots in, but you know small arms ain't getting past 3 incredibly dense layers."


He spoke about it casually, as if it was all good, but Rin had other thoughts as she queried..


Rin: "You enjoyed that, didn't you? All the hurting."

Jake Ross: "I.. never want you to see what you saw.. You and your precious light.. obviously weren't ready. I'm.. sorry.."


She turned her back at her husband, obviously not willing to accept it, until Candy had something to say.


Candy: "To be honest, I disagree with how you think, Rin-san. We should be thanking the dark one."


He wasn't expecting an objection, but now he wanted to hear it.


Jake Ross: "Continue."

Candy: "I met the superfan last week. She believed you have an ounce of good. And despite all that fire and poison.. I now get what she's trying to sell."


And the intensity in the air moved away just like that, with Rin turning back to gaze upon the faces she refused to earlier.


Rin: "Honest, but still an opinion. I don't feel that's enough to persuade.."


He walked forwards, and put his hands on her shoulders, following with a kneel.


Jake Ross: "You saw what you saw. You guessed right of the intention. You heard what she says clear. It's up to you to judge it."


She had an answer in her head, and as she juggled it between that and the other, Rin knew this was how she felt.


Rin: "I.. urghh.. accept your apology, and thank you."


He let out one more of his patented rare smiles.


Jake Ross: "I'm real glad to hear that.."

Rin: "But the next time.. I only hope to be ready. That just now.. I was so shaken.."

Jake Ross: "...."


But now the dramatics are over, Candy had other ideas to progress conversation..


Candy: "By the way, I NEED that kind of power armor around. It's a complete behemoth! Who knows what I can do with it?!"


To which Jacob knows is a tall task, answering back grumpily.


Jake Ross: "Good luck finding anyone willing.. me being close to Sonny does that for me. Besides, the way I see it, it's YOU owe ME, not the other way round."

Candy: "Well, you seem like one who could accept a big paycheck, right? One or.. maybe 3 sets of power armor.. One against Lulu, one against Peggy, and one against YOU! We can have a Super Sentai.. or Kamen Rider showdown!"


Concern of her intentions grows as Rin even chimes in..


Rin: "Her inner otaku reveals.."

Jake Ross: "You're not going to get that kind of kit around without help. And trust me.. one set's more expensive than I can manage normally."


Running out of points to argue with, Candy has one last shot..


Candy: "But.. it's.. POWER ARMOR!"

Rin: "Candy-san!"


And it misses specatacularly, with Candy slumping down, fists clenched, and her eyes flushing out tears in disappointment.


Candy: "Urff, fine..."


With law enforcement busy clearing out the area, Sophia walks about in a private room, talking to another on the phone.


Sophia: "They launched an attack. ON ME! Something needs to be done, pronto!"


Unusually agitated, Sophia walks back with her calm demeanor dropped.


Sophia: "I cannot remain calm if these men would strike again! If I was alone, it'd be over, you hear?!"


Still blinded without her spectacles, she made sure to not hit anything as he paces around.


Sophia: "Their uniform? Looks to me they aren't wearing anything to bring out association. The police have them all, I'm afraid. My bet it is those despicable Fowler Boys."


And as the talk goes on, she looks around to ensure nobody's around to hear..


Sophia: "You can enthuse me if you think otherwise. But then again.. I know what I do, signore.. Infiltrating the Mythic Initiative's ranks hasn't been easy. Thank goodness Lucia's youth makes her easy pickings."


It sounded grim, but Sophia then turned optimistic.


Sophia: "Yes. A few setbacks, but everything's going as planned. I will do my best to keep them around."


And the last words she received were about..


Sophia: "The anomaly. You mean.. Candy Lam? She.. has her uses.. Un-understood.."


With the call closed, she now looks outside to attempt an observation towards the natural scenery, ruined with the local police, as she worryingly lets out a sigh.


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


To the normal racer, the Prius doesn't offer much to the table, and what character it has helps it stand out, but not for the better. However, it's a good starting spot for those willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money that should've gone to, say.. the base form of a Corvette, or a Scirocco, or an AMG. They shouldn't make us spend so much money on lower powered cars, really.

The b word is supposedly coming, but I feel there's more to it if the car can get a proper power plant or a much better transmission. Ignore those, and the analog squared gas pedal, and you can get a car with solid bases. Perhaps a Neutral, but it's just a step ahead of Beater.


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Once again we get another car limited by what's possible. It's a winner in many ways, but I doubt we can call that as such on the track.


'Lulu' and Toyota's Tenacious Ternion are incredibly new, but conceptualized plot point for months, by the way. I surprised myself by the development: they can materialize to get included within story in just 3 days. How this is executed.. well, I would like feedback on that.

So we have overall funny police officer who's an overblown prank, and his wife: the prodigious young German who's always mad.. That's her gimmick? Yeah.

For The Outlaw/Jacob Ross (5) and Rin Nishimura/Jessica Ross (5)
see Episode 2

For Sophia D'Antonio (Sport)
see Episode 3

Veteran racer of many fields, and a policing agent of a small investigation squad that studies the potential criminal element developing within the FIA. To the public, he's just an Italian funny man who enjoys pulling pranks and regularly teases his many peers and colleagues, with a similar enthusiasm in being the greatest of his policing work.

Theme Song: Santana - Everything's Coming Our Way
Racing Duel Music: Deep Purple - Burn
Gender: Male
Nationality: Italian
Age: 34
Current occupation: Interpol agent
Distinct features: Long gelled back dark brown hair. Macho rectangular face. Droopy green eyes, with a rigid shaped thick nose and well shaped thick lipped mouth. Lower face is covered in a thin layer of hair.
Choice of clothing: A buttoned up t-shirt, his smart watch and his tight but flexible jeans is what's consistent. His overall fashion style is simple and convenient, as he never overdresses.
Cars: Lamborghini Huracan, Lancia Delta HF Integrale

The runt of 4 children in a prominent Milanese family, Bernardo lived the high life from day one. However, that high life came with a price. His father and mother were capos of a large mafia family, and the children were raised to succeed them. Bernardo only wanted one wish: to live a normal life with all this wealth rather than fight it off on the streets. He even was unsure his family, sucked into the life of crime, was even part of being a family with him. Even though that fact remained as he learned along how this works, the family life was good for him.

He never really worried about that until he gotten into adulthood. Turns out his parents were using their power as capos to build their own wealth, but knew that they would eventually be found out. Instead of keeping it, Bernardo finds himself escaping with a hefty share to the UK, where his first move was to contact local police to assist. Taken in by his honesty and how he forsaken the inherited money, they decided he can be used to soften the mafia families. To do so, Bernardo eventually gotten himself into higher education so he can become a decorated officer. This period was a pivotal one, meeting a darkened man, his optimistic friend, and a pacifist military commander. This is where he believes his real family starts. The short 3 years with them got him his signature trait: to be a nasty cheerful prank.

Post graduation, Bernardo became a decorated soldier against crime. Promotion after promotion, he eventually got to Japan as part of Interpol, beginning an investigation between various Yakuza families making suspect safe bets to make hoards of money off various sources. Not only was this the time he met his future wife, this is where he gotten himself into GT racing, personally trained by select figures. He didn't make a huge success, but her eventually landed a position as a race manager for a new fledgling team with his wife. This effort would mainly be on and off, as his newly initiated role to investigate the FIA's events remain his focus.

Known by anyone who's anyone in the Nurburgring racing community, Lucia is known by many as a shining example of a prodigous talent of both the garage and the track. Know even more, and one can find wearing these ridiculously large shoes is a tomboyish short fuse, always ready to blow sky high.

Theme Song: Robbie Williams - Different
Racing Duel Music: Garbage - Control
Gender: Female
Nationality: German
Age: 23
Current occupation: Race car driver/team manager/racing mechanic
Distinct features: Blonde, straight shoulder length hair. Thin diamond face with small cheeks and sharp chin. Smooth shaped blue eyes with some thin make up under. Thin, average to tall body height with slender features.
Choice of clothing: Trendy and chic. Whatever she wears, it's always flexible, tight and revealing on her limbs. Common sightings include either a combo of t-shirt, puffy vest and shorts, or a mini dress, all with sandals. Reasoning is that she doesn't have to make drastic changes when needing to get in her mechanic or racer's getup.
Cars: BMW M4 Coupe, Nissan Fairlady Z (Z33)

Eifel born Lucia was never into the car game as she started off living. With her only sibling: a carefree cool and sporty brother, she came into the family when races around the Nurburgring was already a family tradition. And her family's also carrying deep ties, with a race commentator father, mechanic mother, and her sole uncle living in the family, racing for Porsche. Her relatives were also mostly male, toughening her masculine side unintentionally.

Unlike her brother, Lucia never got into the sport at her teenage days. Being forced fed this ideology initially has her rebel, but eventually develop into her mean streak she still carries today. Having a terrible time growing up, she was bitter, and often quite shy, never showing her face for her family in the times the spotlight came. That all changed as soon when her brother, a fledgling Nurburgring Taxi driver, brought her to a few taxi runs and showed the joys of the car as it reaches the limits. This would be moment she started getting along with her family and their racing traditions, starting with said brother.

Heading to the UK to reinforce her new found interests, she's become involved in the developments of the legendary Group C driver known as The Bristol Harbinger. With his ties still strong in the racing world, Lucia's tutoring and lessons brought her to Toyota for a few years to be a part of their apprentices in racing teams. Diversity wasn't an issue, and she wasn't alone in the female foreigner department. She would then bond with an extremely timid and awkward beret wearing American tuning genius, and a Hong Kongese lady who would eventually become the famous GT racing woman known as Le Glace Pacer.

Before they parted, Lucia promised these two women, them and her now formed a friendship together as Toyota's Tenacious Ternion, that she's going to be as good as they are. Those words these days are harder to reinforce, with troubles keeping pace in the workshop and on the race track. But she's still very young in her career; she knew giving up would let this ternion down, as well as her family and friends who would honestly back her efforts.

A new segment, but just mainly to keep track of notable names I've ended up mention. This is essentially the priority list for future entrants, depending on nominated cars of course. When they do appear, I'll remove them.

Nash Kirkham: current head honcho of the Kirkham Foundation
Keith Ross: Jacob's much younger brother.
Clark of Sim Gear
Sonny's friend known as Luce
Someone Peigi refers as 'Gilesie'
Someone Peigi refers as The Cinderella
The Messiah: Big 3 member, leader of UK street racing crew The Prophecy
Paul's Frenchie rival
3 women, part of the unbeatable Trinitia L'Assassina
The Bristol Harbinger
Toyota trained racing mechanic Cierra
 
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The 2009 Toyota Prius often feels like the fastest car I've ever driven in this game.


How often is that? Well, that depends on how many times I have to brake for a corner in the XW30 Prius. 100km/h can often feel like 100mph when you slam the left pedal down and the brakes and tyres do nothing. Its 195/65R15 economy Comfort Medium tyres aren't even fit for a spartan, lightweight sports car that evenly distributes its workload to all four wheels, let alone a 5 door, 1,350kg (2,976lbs) monstrosity of a thing that hinges only on its front wheels. You could argue that the Prius was made for fuel efficiency first in mind, and on–track performance a distant 86th or something on the list of priorities, but for all the effort that went into its Hybrid Synergy Drive, KERS, low drag coefficient, and economy tyres that are liable to hydroplane on a dry desert road, the boffins at Toyota balls deep in rocket science have seemingly forgotten something very, very basic: it's more economical to simply not have to brake for a corner.

Autodrome Lago Maggiore - East End_.jpeg


Instead, the Prius demands of its driver to leave all momentum, pride, joy, will to live, and any chance of wooing a partner not named Greta Thunberg around 3 million light years before a corner, because all that baggage is extra mass and that destroys fuel economy, I guess. Even after you've shed all that extra evil mass on corner entry, though, the car won't trail brake at all; you're either slowing, or you're making a feeble attempt to turn. Try to do both at once, and the fronts simply wash out wide doing a constant speed, while the unladen, sky scraping rears look to dance to some Eurobeat. Assuming your mortal body and pride both live long enough to see the day when you can finally get on the power, you'll also need to drive this modern NA Hybrid CVT technological marvel of a car like a lazy 1980s turbocharged clunker: give it much more throttle way sooner than you intend to put down any power, as the engine has to wake back up from hibernation, rev up to its oh so fanshay optimal rpm, and reengage with the CVT before you get anything more than the piddling nudge from the electric motor. This makes throttle modulation out of a corner an extreme pain, as you'll often have to stab the throttle hard just to "wake" the car up, before having to ease off immediately to prevent the car from careening off a cliff with "power" understeer. At least there's no worry of overwhelming the spiteful economy tyres with torque despite the electric motor, open diff and all. I'm not even sure if that's supposed to be a compliment or not.

Grand Valley - South__1.jpeg


Oddly, the game quotes the Prius at a max power output of 120HP (89kW) @ 5,000rpm, with a max torque of 142.1N⋅m (104.8lbf⋅ft) @ 4,500rpm. Quite frankly, I'm having a lot of trouble understanding these numbers, because the car's brochure quotes the max output for the ICE and motor at 99PS (73kW) and 82PS (60kW) respectively, which adds up to a combined output of 181PS (133kW). This confuses me as, not only is 181PS WAY more than 120HP, but said 120HP is nowhere near the numbers I got from the engine or motor. One possible explanation for this discrepancy I had, courtesy of Vic, is that the engine and motor make peak power at different speed ranges, and hence why we can't just add their peak powers up. Still, most real world reports peg the 2009 Prius to be able to do 0–100km/h sprint in around 10.4 seconds, yet, my own testing got me a mere 12.2 seconds instead, which is, again, a big difference I can't explain. It seems most likely to me that the Prius in this game is a little underpowered compared to the real thing.

Osaka University of Arts_ Art Science Department_.jpeg


What's worse, the Prius seems to have an overly inflated PP relative to its performance level as well. At 373.35PP bone stock, it's going up against the likes of the NA Roadster, AE86 Corollas, and GJ Atenza; a good mix of the light and sporty with the heavier and more luxurious cars, and all of them not only are a lot more joy to drive, but they will also at the same time unapologetically whoop the Prius' very transparent rear end by several seconds even around a sub 1:40 lap like Streets of Willow. Hell, even the 2011 Aqua, the Prius' younger, lighter sibling producing the same exact 120HP and still coming in somehow with ~20 less PP, would outrun the Prius both in the straights and corners in a hot lap scenario. Tune it? There's no forced induction options available for the internal combustion engine, electric motors are completely untouchable in this game, you can't even put a tank of Nitrous Oxide into the car's ample boot, nor can it get a conventional gearbox of any kind to give it some proper response. Of course, there are no engine swaps available for it, either, not unless PD one day goes insane and lets us swap in the TS050's hybrid V4 engine into the car. What this leaves us with is a car that, even with all the money in the world thrown at it, can't even achieve 150HP, and yet somehow has a hulking 585PP to show for it. Needless to say, it's pretty freaking useless stock or tuned. If this car had any more knockout punches levied against it, I'm liable to start calling my Prius Candy, and my Aqua Cindy or Rin.

Tokyo Expressway - Central Clockwise_.jpeg


And yet, despite all that, I don't hate the Prius. Quite the opposite, in fact—I think it's one of the coolest cars ever made, full stop.

Manufacturers often showcase wild concepts at auto shows, as "proof of concept". As a way to "gauge interest". A "look at what we can do, and if it incidentally shows how big our wangs are, then that's just a happy coincidence" kind of thing. These concept cars range from something mildly plausible like a V12 XJ220 for example, right down to a car with a wagging tail, or even a freaking suitcase with a steering wheel. I like to tell myself I'm a sane, rational person, and every time I take a look at these concept cars, the first thought that comes to my mind is, "who could possibly have a use for this?!" Yet, the Prius has a purpose. Toyota took a wild concept of a hybrid and mass produced it for a reasonable price, with ample seating, storage, and maintenance not very unlike a typical car, making it not just a game changer, but a world changer. I literally owe my day job to the pioneering Prius: I drive for my country's version of Uber, and I cannot even begin to fathom how much money having a hybrid drivetrain has saved me in petrol costs, despite not driving a Toyota. The holy trinity of LaFerrari, the 918, and the P1 might not have existed if not for the Prius. And until we can figure out an electric infrastructure and agree on it as a species, a hybrid powertrain I believe makes the most sense in a car for the here and now.

20230511_104315.jpg


I vividly remember the moment my opinion on the Prius 180ed, actually. At my previous job as a tyre technical engineer, I had the chance to take a peek under a Prius on a hydraulic lift, and there, I saw that the XW30 had a freaking rear diffuser! In an econobox! Even my dream sports car, the FD RX-7, didn't have that! The Prius won me over because it spoke my young, fiery language. It showed me that Prii^ are engineered and built with the same laser focus as I revered in spartan sports cars, only towards a different goal. And hey, crazy people slung a V8 where its rear seats would've been, and raced this thing in perhaps the most varied and exciting racing series in the world: GT300! I mean, it's already got a body engineered for low drag, so why not build on it?

^Also, yes, apparently "Prii" is the official plural form of "Prius" now. The things COTW research end up teaching me!


Quick pop quiz time: do you know when the first generation Toyota Prius hit the market? It debuted exclusively in its home market of Japan in 1997. Now, do you know when Formula 1 adopted Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems, or KERS for short? Spoiler alert: the answer is 2009, the same year the third generation of Prius was unleashed worldwide. In other words, the Prius was quicker to adopt a technology than the supposed technological showcase that is Formula 1 by more than a decade! If you grossly oversimplify that previous sentence, it could even be read as, "The Prius is faster than Formula 1". If that's not a cool thing to say about a road car, I don't know what is!


One of my favourite features in my Honda Fit and Shuttle hybrid models is the drive mode selector stalk: In a right hand drive model, you shift the stalk right for Neutral, right up for Reverse, and right down for Drive, with Park being its own button. This setup is so intuitive as someone who's learned driving in a manual, and still retain some muscle memory for it even in an automatic, because shifting the stalk sideways in both results in neutral, allowing the entire drivetrain to disconnect from the wheels when slowing for a smooth stop. I deeply despise the traditional, Inline PRND setup, because when drivers want to go from Drive to Park when sitting at a red, they'll have to move the stalk past Reverse, which causes their reverse lights to light up for an instant. Despite knowing this, seeing the car I'm stopped behind of lighting up its reverse lights just gives me a small scare every time. Not to mention, there's no feel at all when you're in Neutral or Reverse, somewhere between Park and Drive—not so with Honda's hybrid gear selector; you know EXACTLY where each mode is, and you never have to look for confirmation. It genuinely baffles me how this design hasn't been made standard across all cars, because it's just better in every regard.

Now imagine my surprise when I watched an early Prius commercial, and found out this design originated there!

Gran Turismo® 7_20230513180041.png


In real life, the stalks of both cars spring back to the default position if you aren't holding it, to ensure that it's always in the same place when you reach for it, regardless of which drive mode you're in, and also that the first right shift is necessary to get into any mode; otherwise, it'd just be an Inline mode selector I just complained about. Unfortunately, this is where Polyphony Digital made a small mistake with the modeling of the car, as the stalk is stuck in the D position when on the move. It's truly baffling how PD can get some of the tiniest details of a car so spot on, and yet somehow they can make me question if anyone in the team ever sat in the car or drove it at all to begin with.

Gran Turismo® 7_20230514104544.png


That aside, the Prius is, in my eyes, one of the coolest cars ever mass produced, if not ever. Its innovation can be had by the masses for a modest asking price and inspires competition in a way that puts F1 to shame. Yes, the on–track driving experience of the 2009 Prius made me want to hurl. It's completely irrelevant and useless in this game, even with 3.0L Supra money to throw at it on top of its 24,500 Credit cost. It's a Beater, no two ways about it, but it's the coolest Beater in the world, and I very seriously want the latest generation model for myself in the real world. I will even hold Greta Thunberg's hand for about 300 milliseconds if it meant that we can finally have a GT300 Prius in the game.
 
So, the Prius.

It's a popular car to hate in car culture, particularly by truck owners. Even though I am a truck owner myself, I can't help but appreciate the Prius for what it is. In every GT it's been in, it's always been a choice for a starter car or a near starter car. In GT7, it's a fun little thing to drive especially on shorter tracks like Tsukuba, where I have my ranking board spreadsheet set at. It's not as fast there as it's slightly younger sibling, the Aqua S, however it still felt good to drive.

On Tsukuba, with SH tires:

Toyota Sprinter Trueno 1600GT APEX (AE86) '83: 1:10.074
Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 T Sport '09: 1:10.133
Toyota Aqua S '11: 1:11.800
Abarth 500 '09: 1:12.372
Toyota Prius G '09: 1:12.687
Citroën DS 21 Pallas '70: 1:13.853

Overall, the Prius belongs in a game like GT where the focus isn't only on sports cars, vintage race cars, or even supercars. But also the more "family friendly" ones as well. Hopefully cars like the Nissan Leaf and the Honda Insight can return in the future as well to give the slower hybrids their own in-house competition.

Hakkoda Mountains_.jpeg
 
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So, the Prius.

It's a popular car to hate in car culture, particularly by truck owners. Even though I am a truck owner myself, I can't help but appreciate the Prius for what it is. In every GT it's been in, it's always been a choice for a starter car or a near starter car. In GT7, it's a fun little thing to drive especially on shorter tracks like Tsukuba, where I have my ranking board spreadsheet set at. It's not as fast there as it's slightly younger sibling, the Aqua S, however it still felt good to drive.

On Tsukuba, with SH tires:

Toyota Sprinter Trueno 1600GT APEX (AE86) '83: 1:10.074
Alfa Romeo MiTo 1.4 T Sport '09: 1:10.133
Toyota Aqua S '11: 1:11.800
Abarth 500 '09: 1:12.372
Toyota Prius G '09: 1:12.687
Citroën DS 21 Pallas '70: 1:13.853

Overall, the Prius belongs in a game like GT where the focus isn't only on sports cars, vintage race cars, or even supercars. But also the more "family friendly" ones as well. Hopefully cars like the Nissan Leaf and the Honda Insight can return in the future as well to give the slower hybrids their own in-house competition.

View attachment 1256360

Nice spread sheet. Love those. Not to make any advertisement for my channel, but if you enjoy Tsukuba times, you should check out my two Tsukuba playlists. I'll update the GT7 list until the end of 2024 btw. :)



 
So, what do the US Army, German cars and Jason Bateman have in common???

Well now, they all have been mentioned in the GT7 COTW thread...

The Zero to Sixty Files... COTW #004



Ahhh, the Jeep... Lots can be said about its service. And its importance in history... where it should have stayed. But nooooo, somebody had to include it within GT7, and then of course, here in the COTW museum of memories. So why is it in a racing game? Simply put, it shouldn't be... at all. But, Gran Turismo has had a history of bringing all sorts of "vehicles" into its ranks, including other war-time vehicles from the other side of that story before. If they were all together, then I could see an excuse to have it around. As it stands however, it's in a class of its own... and alone in that class to boot.

The group here at COTW has a long standing history of racing basically anything and everything, and making it fun to do so. Yet, I'm struggling to remember the last time we had a victim that had no rivals to compare it to. Usually, someone has something else to bring to the track... nope, not this time. So why call it the "Zero to Sixty Files" you ask? Well that's questioning what will come first... 60 mph or when I will turn the age of 60. The jury's still out on that one... :mischievous: :lol:

The one good thing that I can say about it, is this...



A rare win, and even more rare for me, a fastest lap in the same sentence. Thanks for making this Beater and Forgetter fun at least COTW people!!!


The Push to Pass Files... COTW #005



When Xmarksthespot asked me to pick, it took me all of half a second to choose the Audi. That's how much this car impressed me, after jumping in on the action after its release to the world of Gran Turismo. I wanted a brand new to the series car, and of course, something that we can actually race. Check and Check.

At least now, this category of race cars is getting a little more diverse. But admittedly, with this Audi, it's still alone in its class. Hopefully, that will change... please please please. I'm calling it a Sleeper and a Keeper, but hey, I may be a bit biased...

The Horrible Bosses Files... COTW #006





Enough said... Beater and Forgetter
 
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Do you know what special day the 20th of May is? Your birthday? Your mom's? The birthday of a close mutual friend of the woman I fell for two heartbreaks ago? Your mom's brother's boss' friends' grandfather's marriage anniversary?

It could be all or neither of that, but we also happen to be racing the folks of Spec Racing Club in a double header event, featuring the Radical SR3 SL '13, and hence, that's also this week's car!

Bernina Pass_.jpeg


Fret not, though—for the majority of us, it's business as usual on the 16th of May, 10 P.M. CST, where we will race these Radicals... radically, in bone stock guise. However, I'm calling off the Saturday lobby for this week, as I'll have to get up at 1 A.M. the night after for the race.

See you on Tuesday night, where we'll find out if the Radical is rad or bad!
 
Managed a 07.36.874 in it stock.



Review: "After having driven it on Brands Hatch in its corresponding track experience challenge, I was sure this is gonna be (one of) the worst drive(s) on the Nordschleife yet. The result? It was the BEST drive yet. Yep, this is how much wrong you can be about a car concerning your expectations lol. I mean it really was a wonderful, rather direct and ENGAGING drive! The cornering abilty of this thing is just off the charts! Pretty amazing really! So this is definatly the biggest positive surprise yet to me. :)
Driven stock on its stock SH tyres without any driving aids, except ABS. All 3 laps are the same driven lap."

Verdict: sleeper.
 
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“And that was “Everything Must Go” by the Manic Street Preachers, if that song sounded familiar to some of you out there, then you were there when the world of driving games was changed forever.
“Quick commercial break coming up and then we’ll be back to the music, I’m Jackson Ryan and you’re listening to VGNostalgia on 97.7FM.”

Vic: “Ahh, can’t beat a classic.”
The thought brings a small smile to my face.

A smile which was quickly removed upon seeing the COTW parking lot nearly full of cars which certainly looked a bit second hand.

All of them being Toyota Prius’s.

Vic: “Da 🤬 is this all about?! I say out loud with a mix of confusion and annoyance.

‘Phone Buzzes’ 1 new text message from Esther.

Esther: “Meet me in the office ASAP.”

Vic: I swear she’s either got a security live feed on her phone or impeccable timing.. or both.”
I think as I park up and get out, noticing the others haven’t arrived yet.

Vic: “Just parked up, be there in less than 5.” I reply.

(A few minutes later)

Vic: “So let me get this straight Esh, Protesters got into our parking section overnight, dumped it full of second hand Prii’s and sent you messages saying that COTW does environmental damage driving all these cars and they’ll be protesting at our races because of that?”

Esh: “In a nutshell, yep.”

Vic: “You did tell them the fuel we run in our cars is fully synthetic right?

Esh: “ Till I was blue in the face.”

Vic: “Not to mention that the Nickel Battery packs in Prii’s are not exactly environmentally friendly, especially if they’re old ones like those parked out there.”

Esh: “I told them that too, they said it was our problem now.”

Vic: (Frustrated grunt) “Aren’t these the same folks who tried to track invade a Formula E Race, a series with fully electric cars for crying out loud?!”

Esh: “The very same, we understand the message they’re trying to get out.”

Vic: “But the 🤬 methods they use do the polar opposite of getting support, I mean we’ll have the guys all arriving soon and they are gonna raise absolute hell over this.”

Esh: “I agree, but what can we do?” “Launching them all off a cliff is what they want us to do so they can say they were right about us.”


I pace the room whilst trying to brainstorm ideas and then the lightbulb comes on.

Vic: “They said they’ll be protesting our races right?

Esh: “Yeah?”

Vic: “Then let’s flip the script on them, we race the Prii’s using our suppliers synthetic fuel, have a few laughs and then we do what they didn’t, we get them properly recycled.”

Esh: “And make it clear to those who attend about the groups “generous” donation to us and what we intend to do with them.”
A devious grin forming on her face.

Vic: “Exactly, we look good and they look like even bigger jackasses.”

Esh: “I’ll get all the legal paperwork in place to cover COTW, you go and ensure the guys are on board with this deal, ok?”


I nod in agreement.

Esh: “Take this box of car keys and the Intern and go move the cars outta their spots.”

Vic: “Got it.”
I step out her office. (Whistles) “Hey Jack, we got a quick parking job to do, Don’t need to be clean with it, just help me get them out of the guys spots.”

Jack: “You got it.”


(Sometime much later)

Vic: “So are we all clear on the plan?”

Baron: “Yes, but do we have to really race the Prius?”

Vic: “Look I know some of you would rather french kiss an angle grinder than drive a Prius, but by actually practicing what they preach by getting them properly recycled and making it explicitly clear that they dumped them on us hoping that we’ll yeet them off a cliff, they’ll look worse for it and we look like ‘Forkkin Rockstars’, plus letting folks know about the fuel we use too.”

Baron: “Fine, but I’m not driving it in ‘Karen’ spec, It’s getting a livery.”

Vic: “Oh I’ve got plans for this one too.”

(Days later at the race meet)

We all rock up with the Prii’s on the transporters, Esther made sure security near the protesters spot was constant and I had one little thing for the protesters just incase they decided to try and jump the barriers.

Vic: “Just incase you get the temptation to invade the track folks, here’s what happened to a F1 driver and a Marshall back in 1977.”
The side of my service van opens to show a large TV with a certain.. Incident playing on repeat.

Vic: “And let’s be honest, do you really want to be remembered as the Darwin Award winner who got mown down by a Prius on a racetrack?”

That made them hesitate.

The days racing went off without a hitch, no invasions, racing was still liked by the fans and the wind was taken out of the protester sails.

As we drove out and I went to get in the service van, the lead protester approached me.

LP: “Did you really have to show that on repeat?

Vic: “Would you or someone else liked to have experienced it firsthand?
I retort. “We race and review cars, We prefer not to have people invading an active racetrack and ending up as a Jackson Pollock painting on the asphalt and If I have to traumatise folks into Not doing that, then thems the brakes i’m afraid.”


LP: “Why do you hate us?” “Our message is one everyone should listen for our planet’s sake.”

Vic: “Let me be clear to you, I don’t hate you or your message as I do agree with it, But I DO hate your methods in trying to get it out there, actively interfering with events does nothing but piss people off and makes them do the opposite outta spite to you.”

LP: “Then what do you propose?”

Vic: “Buy adverting space on TV, do huge banners that can be seen without getting in peoples way, protest peacefully and respectfully and let me reiterate, Don’t actively interfere with events and definitely don’t run out on to an active racetrack, because otherwise what i’ve shown you today Will happen again for real and it won’t be a dignified or cinematic death either.”


I climb in the van to leave, but give one last warning.

Vic: “This van travels with us, so if we hear you folks acting up and invading again, You’ll be seeing that clip again, we clear?”

A reluctant nod of the head is LP’s response.

Vic: “Now if you would excuse me, I’ve got some cars that need properly recycling, cheers.”

(And Cut 🎞️)


So the Prius G, 1.8 litres of Eco friendliness.

With a quoted HP of 120hp in a 1,350kgs body, driving the front Comfort Medium shod tyres through a CVT gearbox, it’s got everything to make it one of the performance cars of all time. :lol:

Now to be fair, the Prius does have race and rally versions out in the wild so it does actually have some racing pedigree.

And while the Prius is definitely no corner monster or straight line demon, the wackiness of racing stock Prii’s means that close racing is actually more common than you think.

It’s definitely a Beater on its own merits, but as beaters go, it’s the sort that see all the jokes that get made about it and decides to roll with the punches and ends up being a good time for all. :D

Verdict: Beater 👎(But get one for the giggles.:P)
 
Unfortunately, this is where Polyphony Digital made a small mistake with the modeling of the car, as the stalk is stuck in the D position when on the move. It's truly baffling how PD can get some of the tiniest details of a car so spot on, and yet somehow they can make me question if anyone in the team ever sat in the car or drove it at all to begin with.
Counter-argument for this... Reality is unrealistic, and I think people would complain more if the gearbox selector on the Prius behaved correctly; imagine a kid who think he knows everything about cars putting on his PSVR2 in a Prius, then looking down and seeing the gearbox be in what looks like Park while the engine is groaning away at full tilt. And admittedly, I would've questioned that detail had it been correctly modelled before I learned a bit more about how Prii work.
 
Counter-argument for this... Reality is unrealistic, and I think people would complain more if the gearbox selector on the Prius behaved correctly; imagine a kid who think he knows everything about cars putting on his PSVR2 in a Prius, then looking down and seeing the gearbox be in what looks like Park while the engine is groaning away at full tilt. And admittedly, I would've questioned that detail had it been correctly modelled before I learned a bit more about how Prii work.
I see where you're coming from, but reality doesn't demand belief; things simply are the way they are. I personally don't like the idea of making things LOOK realistic while being further away from the truth. After all, Kaz does love his realism, doesn't he?

Besides, the team that model the cars seem entirely seperate from the team that captures driving dynamics and sounds, and they don't seem to talk to each other at all. There are many interior behaviour inaccuracies I've noted since GTS, like the R32's torque split gauge acting as a turbo boost gauge, the Epson NSX's tach reading 1,000rpm higher than the actual engine speed, and the 787B not having a dog leg shift pattern. You'd think that someone who's even done parking lot speeds in these cars would notice these things right away, but the errors are still in the game.

I genuinely think the shifter stalk in the Prius is someone not having ever driven a Prius making an assumption about its behaviour.
 
SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 7 - Radical SR3 SL


full

[wears glasses]

No, I don't think so.



Radical Cars, well known for being a straight up British name for lightweight performance, usually puts their mark on the motoring world by making track only cars that ooze a smaller, but just as exciting essence you'd get from the track racing scene. Starting off when founders Phil Abbott and Mick Hyde put in a Kawasaki engine in a low cost open cockpit body, and the 1100 Clubsport was born.

With enough models produced, the car went into it's own one make races, getting the company some money to begin work in producing future models. The name with the biggest success would be the SR3. SR3s were initially built for track racing like its predecessors, but there exists street legal conversions for the cars. The one we got in Gran Turismo 7 is the first case of the SR3 that's made street legal from the get go: the SR3 SL based off the Generation 2 SR3 RS. It's probably obvious the SL on the car's name means Street Legal.

Usually fitted with a tuned Suzuki Hayabusa engine, the SR3 SL had to conform to regulations, ones based on the Euro-5 series (because then, what is Brexit). To make sure that happens, the SR3 had a revised spoiler to prevent unwanted decapitations, more clearance to handle speed bumps, revised controls for driver ease, and various other additions such as a small heater. The SL would get its power from Ford's turbocharged 2 liter inline 4 EcoBoost engine, the same one we got with the the lesser Ford Focus ST in game.

But carrying about half a Ford Focus, the car's performance was definitely way ahead. With the Radical know how, you got downforce values beating out the KTMs, Caterhams and others of its kind, a six speed sequential gearbox, and street legal performance parts galore. While the dust settles over how this car's been chastised over its Brand Hatch Circuit Experience role, it's still a fine example of a grippy handling car that shows in the technical circuits.

So, how about I continue the journey to finding that last woman in this Toyota based trio I made up? Yes, it might not be one of my.. 60+ character's signature cars, but this week's car is once again, like week 2, an excellent tertiary car I can write around.

Which reminds me: if it so happens that a certain week's car is a character's signature car/racecar, I will forcibly insert them into the week's entry. I'm not giving that list, but the car in question would usually be the first mentioned in that spoiler biography. Racecars? Well, you're on your own on that.


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


Episode 7: The fangs of Count Richelieu


Lucia's apartment
Ahrweiler, Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Eifel, Germany
Dawn



It's been a few days since her fateful meeting in Maggiore..

Scratching her eyes and shutting down an alarm echoing around the small room, Candy gets out of the small bed, shuffling towards the living area at a snail's pace.

She thought of coffee or whatever German people do to wake up, but Lucia's not your usual German girl, watching some motorsport in the wee hours.

Eyes glued to what's on screen, a concerned Candy came close to observe her friend, greeting her..



Candy: "Lulu? Up already?"

Lucia: "Morgen to you too, Candy."


She's obviously not going to respond with that focus, Candy thought, as she notices the lack of a certain man's habits in the environment or noise.


Candy: "I.. don't see Bernardo, where do you suppose he.."

Lucia: "Was on call. There was an emergency in Paris, so he went with Frau Nishimura."

Candy: "Huh?"

Lucia: "Such is life, I'm afraid."


Lucia's eyes still remaining on watch, Candy thought first of her half-sister..

But peeved on Lucia's current actions, Candy asked, curiously..



Candy: "You're not angry at him, are you, Lulu?"

Lucia: "It's dumb and selfish of me should I object. Don't worry, I've gotten used to it."

Candy: "Truly? What gets you pumped up to kill him, huh?"


Lucia puts her show aside, turning to Candy's general direction, and starts gesturing with her hands, one by one.


Lucia: "Let's see. Lack of punctuality, drifting the M4, trying a prank he deems harmless, bringing animals.. the list goes on."

Candy: "Goes.. on?"


But if Candy's mission was to take her away from the TV, a familiar sound to Lucia brings her back, putting her efforts to naught.


Lucia: "Ohh, quiet now.. this is the exciting bit."


Giving in, Candy heads towards the small lounge and sits to see a race event unfolding.


full



Two cars, paced well ahead of the rest, and distinguishable in every sense.

As Candy watches on, Lucia looks back upon that moment, remembering the words and mood the One-77's driver said to her as Last of The Mohicans overrides the background..



full



But Candy isn't able to hear that backing track, instead hearing the German commentary.


Candy: "Someone brought the Aston One-77 racing?"

Lucia: "Ja, like, if you can, why wouldn't you?"

Candy: "Imagine the insurance on totalling it.."

Lucia: "It has to be insured, you cannot be that dumb.."


They watched on silently, until..


full



Lucia puts a light smile, pleased with the result as she recalls what happens after, quoting calmly..


Lucia: "We all know.."

Candy: "You were really rooting for that much nicer car to win it, huh?"

Lucia: "Winning isn't everything.. both those men came out of those roads with a whole load more than just the glory of winning.."

Candy: "I.. can't say I agree."


As the program closes, the television moves to the intermission just as Lucia heads off to her room.


Candy: "The greatest road racing rivalry.. a full hour documentary??"


Now alone, Candy makes a search for the remote, checking every angle she can from inside the apartment complex.

Just as she finds it on the nearby chic dining table, a cleaned and all dressed up Lucia grabs it, and turns off the television.



Lucia: "Unless you're fine with that, I'm thinking breakfast in 10 minutes. Go and get ready."


Eleven Minutes later.png



The ladies exit the building, with now their cars in view as the sun moves to start the day.


full



Now dressed in something more loose than her sleeping attire, Candy queries on what's to come..


Candy: "Who's driving?"

Lucia: "No need. We don't need to walk far. Let's head that way.."


As Candy leads on, she turns back to see Lucia having a small moment into the cars they leave behind.

Finishing up, she quotes her opinion in uncertainty to her approaching friend.



Lucia: "I hate to break it to you, but.. you and the MINI are a poor match."

Candy: "Is it? That's not my car, actually."

Lucia: "Oh? Care to elaborate, Candy?"

Candy: "Some unknown group hired me to test run the car around the world. I'd complain, but money's coming in, and you'd agree it's very lucrative.."

Lucia: "The more I ask, the more I feel there would be many questions to add on."

Candy: "There were questions, and a bounty, but last I heard, nothing else's come up."


They continue back onto the path laid out, with Lucia leading the walk with Candy by her side.


Lucia: "So, what is your car, should you even have one?"

Candy: "GR Yaris."


Seeing the connection, Lucia responds in satisfaction of that fact.


Lucia: "Still in it for Toyota? Not bad."

Candy: "You think? It's my reward from my efforts in the Toyota GR GT Cup. I bet it can take on your M4.."

Lucia: "You challenge me already? What good is your driving if you can't outpace years of perfecting my craft?"

Candy: "The dark one agrees my driving in the MINI is fairly equal to his GT.. And I'm much faster in the Yaris."

Lucia: "Dark one.. Jacob, you mean?"


Delving further back from the KTM and Aston Martin duel earlier, Lucia sees the past and explains..


Lucia: "I haven't raced with him in years."

Candy: "You keep score?"

Lucia: "We only did shootouts. Nothing direct. Not yet."


Not long later, the women head to a tight alleyway with many small food establishments starting off the day with breakfast menus.


full



Lucia stops by a set in front of a certain restaurant, allowing Candy to ask..


Candy: "Here?"

Lucia: "The chill wind combined with the sky, nice and sunny, so ja, here."


With the staff still busy opening up, Lucia thinks to take action rather than wait, leading to the question..


Lucia: "So, Candy.. do you like it sweet or savoury?"


Distracted by the area around her seat, Candy had to reiterate.


Candy: "Pardon me, but.."

Lucia: "Breakfast. Sweet or savoury?"


And to her, she answered back, quickly and obviously..


Candy: "Sweet, of course. It's in my name."

Lucia: "Perfect. I take it you have no allergies?"

Candy: "Not that I know of.. what are you thinking?"

Lucia: "Pancakes and waffles."

Candy: "Double the toppings."

Lucia: "Alright."


Now with Lucia heading in, Candy gets back to what distracts her: the town's styling.

As the sounds of the townsfolk flood the ears, Candy remembers a quote from weeks back..



Candy: "Keep an open mind.. Paul.."


She then recalled her energetic friend in assault mode, and Paul being a sport about his signature car.

Adding up, she recalled the rerun back in Lucia's apartment.. a man she admired was on TV.



Candy: "Mmmmhmmm.."


She might have lost track of time, as Lucia returns to sit by the table.


Candy: "Back already?"

Lucia: "Well, the owner knows me."

Candy: "For what?! Don't tell me it was physical.."

Lucia: "No, of course not.. he's a fan of motorsport, especially a local like me."


She fumed just as she guessed Candy's game.


Lucia: "You assume everyone's afraid of me, right?!"

Candy: "Why'd you think so?"


A response so casual, Lucia softens back down to her usual calm mood.


Lucia: "Not important.. actually."


later.jpg



Ensuring nothing edible remains, a now satisifed Candy now sees the dawn breaking and feeling she's ready for the challenges that await.


Candy: "That's that.. what next?"

Lucia: "We could have a quick run around the Ring again.."


Despite the approving response, Candy didn't like it.


Candy: "I'd agree, but Lulu, we did that yesterday."


Prepared for this, Lucia blasts back with a fact..


Lucia: "So? Since it's your holiday, shouldn't it be your planning, not mine?"


Not really in the mood for plain sightseeing or cultural learning, Candy feels it's time..


Candy: "Okay, fine. I was thinking we get to work on finding Cierra. What you thinking?"

Lucia: "All I know is that she's in the UK league of street racing. Words coming from a friend, who knew this guy.. who knew this guy.."


Seeing Lucia in a perplexing daze, Candy deduces in disappointment..


Candy: "You can just say it's a dead end anyways, right?"

Lucia: "Afraid so."

Candy: "Then my best bet is to head for London and take my chances.."


Not liking her odds, Candy begins to get up, but something else distracts her to remain.


Candy: "Sounds like that's th-.. Look behind, Lulu."

Lucia: "Why's that?"


Scruffy brown hair, red markings on his face and the tartan flat cap. He might be donning a sweater and breeches, but Candy knows enough..


Candy: "That's Paul Henderson, right? You know him, did you expect this?"

Lucia: "He didn't announce anything to me."

Candy: "Well, it seems he's coming this way, so.."


Just as he closes the distance, his attention to the women was put aside as he turned sharply to his right..

While not ready for that, Candy did overhear his thick accent made apparent through the town noise.



Paul: "I'll be back by the evening, perhaps the dark of night, darling. Aye.. Amelia wants what now? Might not have the time, actually.. unless.."


He walks away from the women, giving Lucia ample reason to feel irked about it.


Lucia: "He didn't come to even say hi.. the nerve!"

Candy: "Lulu! You can keep quiet for like 20 seconds, why don't you?!"

Lucia: "Urm.. fine.. I'll forgive that old drunk, for now.."


Not far away, he stands as he views a few locals doing their work, allowing the women to overhear again..


Paul: "Just helping out with logistics. Aye, that one. That big Euro street racer's meet."


He leans by the stone wall, continuing..


Paul: "Just about everyone, really.. Ehh? Calm down, it's not even illegal. It's just a glorified car themed carnival.. popcorn, music, cars in place of rides. Aye, there's gonna be racing on official FIA grounds."


And just as the women got off their chairs to confront, he started walking away, as if he knew.


Paul: "You can call up some of my on track contacts. Or even me race manager. You know, Giles.. aye, the very same one! Uh.. uhhuhh.. bless your heart for understanding. I'll see you tomorrow, alright? Love you, bye."


He puts aside his phone and leaves the area, not knowing what lies in pursuit feeling a whiff of betrayal.


Candy: "I just met him that time, and he was.. down to earth, no nonsense kind of person. Honest.. I even looked up to the fellow. And now: how can he act THIS shady anyways?!"

Lucia: "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"

Candy: "Is it seconds, Lulu? I think I want to try out savoury now.."

Lucia: "Idiot, no! Let's tail him."


Despite the allure of what they now know, Candy was feeling more like a lazy tourist and turns around.


Candy: "You go ahead."

Lucia: "Right, perhaps you'd like a beating. Remember: everyone in this little town knows me.."


And as Candy begins her steps back to the cafe..


Candy: "Heh, don't worry! I'll be ri-eeep!"


..the resentful Lucia grabs the neck of her blouse and drags her along to this stalking mission.


Candy: "Help! Help! Lulu, these are nice shoes!! I'm being taken somewhere.. again! WU-WHY IS NOBODY COMING TO HELP?!"


Just like days ago in Maggiore, she saw the only people able to help her deciding only to wave back out of pity.


Not long after, the women find themselves in a less crowded area of the town.


Candy: "What part of town is this? It's not as good looking as the last scene.."

Lucia: "Industrial area. Also the place where visiting racers do certain things to their cars. Such as park, load up a truck.. what anyone does to their more expensive cars.."


As they move on, Lucia hunts like the wolf and follows the trail of one out of place Scotsman.

She moves through a security gate, with the guard ignoring her and Candy as they pass with no issue.



Candy: "That guard moved aside.."

Lucia: "Like I said, people know me. I have a bet we're going to see.."


And as she heads to the first storage space, something very expensive appears..


full



Candy: "The plates.. wasn't this car on TV earlier?"

Lucia: "Henderson's One-77.. Ja, yes, the very one."


Remembering Ayumi, Candy brings out her phone from her bag and swiftly swipes her way to the camera app, getting a few pictures as they go around..


Lucia: "Taking pictures?"

Candy: "Lulu! Tell me: when's the next time I ever get that done for a car like this?"

Lucia: "Urmm.. carry on."


Lucia may have followed her friend, but couldn't understand why he's not around.

A nearby door opens to find the man walking in to answer that, locking behind him.



Paul: "What's this? Didn't the sign say secure? Utter ba[BLEEP]rds.."


Not pleased with having to deal with 2 young women again, a fed up Paul speaks up.


Paul: "OI! Don't you be minding someone's property, lassie?"


The accent remains strong, but Candy disregards..


Candy: "Lulu, I know a friend who'll pay loads of money for these shots!"

Lucia: "I.. uhh.. she's truly in the zone. By the way.."


A quick shoulder tackle follows with Paul getting binded on the wall via Lucia's knowledge of self defense..


Lucia: "Fancy meeting YOU here.. Henderson!"

Paul: "Woah! Achh.. you have a way with.. this pinning me by the wall.. thas a new one, aye."

Lucia: "Well, it's what you get for not saying hi, Henderson. In. Front. Of. My. FACE!"

Paul: "H-hey, y'know I rang the bell at your place, perhaps by the time you lassies be out, but.. alright. You got me, lassies. Candy, think you can gimme a hand?"


Lucia didn't notice Candy was now standing on the side, disappointed that her violent streak came back soon again.


Candy: "Arhhh.. Lulu.. I think that's enough."


Lucia wisens up and lets the man go to feel his attacked skin.


Lucia: "Fine."


Despite the assault, Paul makes his introductions in his usual merry self.


Paul: "Good seeing you lassies again, however these consequences. When did you get together like?"

Candy: "That's a long story."

Paul: "Fair enough. Speaking of which.. I was hoping you'd not notice me being around because.. it's just f[BLEEP]ed what's coming.."


The only door in shuts, and a crimson mist seeps in from the ceiling.

Whoever inside that remains not in the know makes their replies quite loudly in panic.



Candy: "What the-GAS?!"

Lucia: "Paul?! What's this about?!"


With a filtration mask out of nowhere, Paul responds, feeling a hint of anxiety with what's come.


Paul: "Ach, sorry lassies. This all just a complete f[BLEEP]ery, but it be over quick, trust me.."


And as the gas engulfs the room on the whole, Candy recognizes the stench.. feeling that tranquil sensation once again.


Candy: "T-this feeling.. it's.. I know this!"


She's not able to act, but can figure out this all came from one man..


Candy: "The dark one! Jacob!"


She turned her head, and talked to the only other person who's not coughing for air.


Candy: "Where is he?!"

Paul: "Over to yer right.."


Coming in where they came from, Jacob opens the door, masked up, and now with his machete out.

She's much braver now facing him, but the hint of fear still remains strong with this guise of his.



Candy: "M-machete! You can't do this, Jacob!"


The dark man decides to put aside his weapon and observe Candy, unusually moving slowly while standing strong.


Jake Ross: "Developed an immunity, have you.. but not fully.. I wouldn't worry about yourself.. but.."


He points to the young German woman still gasping for air, now on her knees.


Candy: "L-Lulu!"


A mental note made in his head for prolonged exposure, Jacob has had enough.


Jake Ross: "Great.. Shut it down."

Paul: "Aye.."


In full control of his actions, Paul unlocks the door and the windows, then opens up the garage's ventilation.

The gas escapes, and the men remove their face masks..

But Candy has worry all over as she checks on Lucia, appearing weakened on the floor.



Candy: "She's taken so much.. Lulu, LULU!"


He knows enough of this concoction of gas that it shouldn't be able to weaken or hurt.

Closing in, he readies his muscles with a quick stretch as he crouches down.



Jake Ross: "Alright, now.. Luce is a much more physically adept individual.. so.."

Lucia: "SIKE!"


Using her legs, she binds the man's neck as she lets out a flurry of blows to his head.


Jake Ross: "Exactly.."


She let it all out as he takes it all in, even standing as she sits on his shoulders, still on assault.


Lucia: "What Mann Bernardo spoke is true! Resorting to chemical warfare! On your own friends, no doubt! BETRAYAL! PUNISHABLE BY DEATH!!"


She started assaulting his armored hat with elbow strikes, but he drops her down softly, not reacting to the hits at all.

The other two make note of this incredibly high fortitude in bewilderment.



Paul: "How could you just.. get up from that so.."

Candy: "That's a kind of hold that could.. knock a gorilla out."

Paul: "I-uhh, agreed."


She kept on pummeling his body, eventually slowing to a halt in exhaustion as she knows he's wearing, what Candy dubs: The Outlaw's power armor torso.

Tearing up in exhaustion and anger, Lucia droops to her knees.



Lucia: "This isn't your thing, Herr Ross! This deception.."

Jake Ross: "Even if I asked nicely or even compensate greatly, I still expected a no. Back on your feet, Luce."


He lifted her arm, putting her back up.

As everyone tenses down, Jacob grabs a light object in his hat's band and hands it out to whoever present..



Jake Ross: "Here.."

Paul: "1, no.. 200 Euros.."


The sight of money calms the situation slightly, but Candy has a question instead of rage.


Candy: "Talk about hazard pay. What gas was that one?"

Jake Ross: "That was a debilitating concoction. Same one I got you with that day on Big Sur, Candy."

Paul: "Explains why the lassie's resisting. Prolonged exposure.."

Candy: "Perhaps by the end of the day, I might grow another limb."


Displeased with the sarcasm, Jacob remarks


Jake Ross: "And she's making jokes.."


And as he checks around for any other lingering effects, he shares further disappointment on..


Jake Ross: "It saddens me to hear the perfect mix can only be used effectively once."

Paul: "There be a load more variables to consider, Jake. Climate, area of effectiveness... the list keep growing."

Jake Ross: "Yes.. do know a small deviation of the chemicals can lead to undesirable results, however.."


He puts aside his sad face to his usual serious self, looking at everyone still displeased.


Jake Ross: "That was about a month ago since the last exposure.. Luce, you've been quiet, like always.."


She was in this trance of thought, and had to point out what's obvious..


Lucia: "Was all this set up?"

Jake Ross: "Yes. Even Paul did his thing to lure you two to perfection."


He blushed and scratched his hair in slight embarrassment upon hearing that.


Paul: "Heh. That's some grade A acting, right?"

Jake Ross: "We needed to discuss, and perhaps not out there with all the riff raff. We intended to use your place, Luce, but.. you were out."


Candy's first thoughts was the assumed intentional lure.


Candy: "So, that street racer's conference was.."


But Paul came back to it flustered rather than confident.


Paul: "Achh, that? That's nae part of the act. Had to improvise. What's up? Got your ears hooked? Being honest, I'm unsure how that's all legal.."


And Lucia follows up with their objective in mind.


Lucia: "For being your guinea pigs.. we want more than money. We'd want more info on that."

Jake Ross: "Why? You don't look the type that street races."


Candy then had to spill what's on her thoughts..


Candy: "We're looking for a friend. I told you about the Ternion, right?"


Jacob recalls that recent finding and adds these facts up..


Jake Ross: "I see.. You suspect your third's going to be there?"

Paul: "The heck's a ternion?"


She decides he's the punching bag for today's episode, following that with a quick slap behind his head.


Lucia: "It's a trio, you meathead!"


Unknown if it's real or just to make her feel good, Paul blows his pained reaction out of proportion.


Paul: "ARGH, bloody hell!"

Candy: "..moving on.. what do you know?"

Jake Ross: "I know for sure the event's invite only.. tonight's when they're finalizing RSVPs and invites."

Candy: "And you know, how? Invited?"

Jake Ross: "Not me, but The Outlaw. Paul.."

Paul: "Aye.. Been helping out behind the scenes, so I'm in too."


As Jacob walks about, he notes to Candy, as if it's intentional..


Jake Ross: "I'm expecting a LOT of faces to come up. New.. old.."


These exclusivity rights got Lucia feeling a need for help, leading her to ask in a more desperate tone..


Lucia: "Herr Ross.. I.. am unsure but I am practically begging you to help us get in."

Candy: "Me too! You're not going to leave us ladies hanging, right? This is for the Ternion!"

Lucia: "You weren't even interested in tailing them."

Candy: "Don't ruin the moment, Lulu.."


The men stand aside seeing the comedic scene turn to Lucia holding her hands and look as if she's ready to pray..


Lucia: "Can't you see.. the desperation in front of you?"


Paul nudged Jacob to ask..


Paul: "Uhh.. two minutes."


They both turned around, talking to each other in slight privacy.


Paul: "Lucia is.. desperate? Ain't something I be expecting to see, lad."

Jake Ross: "Honestly.. can something be arranged so.. suddenly?"


A brief pause follows with Paul having an idea he hesitates to take out.


Paul: "Tell me if not, but I think.. at such short notice, we're enough qualified to do an Initiation."


Considering her height, Candy slips between the men and asks..


Candy: "Ini-what now?"


Not reacting, Jacob brings out what he knows on said topic in his usual rough tone..


Jake Ross: "Initiation. However.. the thing is about an Initiation is that.. we need a certain object only kept by certain people. As well as a high standing member of The Prophecy. Resourceful that I am, but my only ticket for that remains unavailable."

Paul: "Mate, leave that to me. Sounds like this be a job for the Count of Sainte-Croix."


A name that silly, he thought, but it occurred to him that he knows who this is.


Jake Ross: "Count? Oh, of course.. He'll have to make do. And we'll need someone to co-ordinate these actions. A certain object in the UK needs to be here.. and my only way of its acquisition can only come from a certain man.. also in the UK.. if he's willing to get to Sainte-Croix in 7 hours. It's not about if he can't make it, but if it will satisfy him.."


A tall task, but this other person: someone Jacob also knows but better, has proven himself in this dark soul's mind.

Paul takes out his smartphone, and gets to his quick dial menu.



Paul: "Me speed dial's ready to go, cowboy."

Jake Ross: "It's showtime.. time to make the call."


As the men remain fixated on each other, Candy comes from under the view like a mole, and continues her questioning.


Candy: "Seriously, you guys.. what the f[BLEEP]'s an Initiation?"

Both Men: "Not now!"

Candy: "Jerks.."


Up first, Paul makes his call to his recipient, busy reviewing wine in a French chateau.


full



???: "I approve. It's.. a coarse flavor. The sweetness is.. a bit less, but I feel everything else is in order. 4 stars."


Sounds of clapping surround the area as he leaves the desk, but the nagging vibrations of his phone has him pick up in mild annoyance.


???: "Oui, allo?"

Paul: "What's up, count?"

???: "You have some nerve calling me at this time."

Paul: "Nerve? On what? I can smell you through this phone. You in some wine tasting contest or whatever bollocks?!"

???: "That's.. right.. but I am better to not ignore you, rather entertain you barbarians for a quick moment."

Paul: "Quick. Oh, ye best be ready, lad.."

???: "Well?"

Paul: "Sorting out Initiation at that Saint's Cross road circuit. Today, at around 7 hours. Guess who's driving.. You are!"

???: "Intriguing.. very well. Lucky for you my schedule's free then. I shall see you there, Paul.. You better be there.."


The call ends with Paul satisfied with the result, thinking the words carefully..


Paul: "Count up the count coming to the track.."


And for Jacob, his call takes him all the way to a private airfield just outside of London..


full



A man lies snoring loudly in his McLaren, even to push the button on his phone assuming it was one of his alarm.


Jake Ross: "Murph.."

??? 2: "[SNORING]"

Jake Ross: "It's a wonder how you have this instinct.. to answer calls during nap time.. [clears throat]"

??? 2: "B-buh.. buh.. Boss?! I presume this ain't social, ay?"

Jake Ross: "No.. not at all. High speed acquisition."

??? 2: "Yeah.. yeah.. alright. Ay. I'll need a few minutes to prepare. What needs filching now, boss?"

Jake Ross: "I need you to pick up a Prophecy's Tablet. We're up to performing a quick Initiation today."

??? 2: "Right.. [sounds] bollocks! Whuzzat? Oh yes. Prophecy Tablet.. right.. Tablet's going to be sorted out, no problem. How about the racer?"

Jake Ross: "His newest Chosen: The Count himself.. which brings me to.. bring something fast to ride in for a street race. Something that can take on a street legal track car."

??? 2: "Ohh.. I got something special for just this occassion. Where to?"

Jake Ross: "Head for.. Circuit de Sainte-Croix. 8 hours. You in?"

??? 2: "Gotcha. I'll be there in 7, or your money back! Wait, this ain't a wager."


And while Paul pampers his expensive supercar, Jacob turns to the women who were left ignored five minutes ago.


Jake Ross: "Consider these events my apologies for your role in this earlier experiment."


Lucia felt she wanted to bargain more than just money and a day trip to Sainte-Croix.


Lucia: "Add in one punch stuck to your nether regions.. and we're square!"

Candy: "I'm not satisfied unless we shave him bald!"


Out of his normal tone, Jacob shook in horror as he makes his exit..


Jake Ross: "D-don't think I g-got the time for this n-n-nonsense.."


That strange sight had Candy also feeling uneasy, getting her to ask Lucia..


Candy: "He left with hesitation on his words. Context please, Lulu?!"

Lucia: "There was a time where he was bald, and just about everyone mentioned it was his.. signature feature. That time's past.."


Circuit de Sainte-Croix
Lac de Sainte-Croix-Du-Verdon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Marseilles, France
Afternoon



full



Nestled deep in the forests of Marseilles, Sainte Croix shines brightly as the summer sun can't stop its gleam.

However, today, the track remains empty, and essential staff make their ways around the pit building with duties in mind.

Now entering the track, Candy's MINI parks next to a black Ford they already find themselves familiar with.



full



And Candy can't help but notice a very convenient, while unwanted trend these past weeks.


Candy: "I'm starting to think these tracks being empty every time I get here is more than a coincidence.."


Exiting the car, the ladies stretch their legs over a long drive to the south of France.

Candy looks around, and notes a well dressed man reading a thick novel, while penning down notes on a book sat on a table.

A glass of wine was present too, but seeing it's just his refreshment, it didn't bother her.

While Lucia looks towards the pit wall, she sees a figure from this morning's events..



Lucia: "Herr Ross?"


He hears her loud and clear, and hops down from above, greeting the women.


Jake Ross: "You're here.. did the border control get you any trouble?"

Lucia: "I've dealt with it before, but you should see Candy's face when they thought she was a teenage girl.."


That tease got Candy to come up in a storm of mild hostility.


Candy: "You promised that never comes out! This is how you want to play, huh?"

Lucia: "I guess I let it slip.. my mistake."

Candy: "LULU!! HOW DARE YOU!!"


Despite a small playful chase happening, Jacob stood as he sees the book reading man taking notes as they watch.

And before it might escalate further, Jacob steps in.



Jake Ross: "May I suggest you don't risk breaking your arms with Luce being a considerable step up to you in the body strength department.."


After weeks of her getting heated, getting Candy to cool off isn't so easy, usually bringing her confidence to speak up.


Candy: "Well, are we going to get going, Jake? Before I really show you MY body strength?!"

Jake Ross: "Patience.. or rather.. I just hope he isn't lost."

Lucia: "Who?"

Jake Ross: "The man bringing you the car you're racing. The MINI of yours isn't capable of taking on that.."


Jacob points towards the wine holding man enjoying a sip, but his intentions were to the car just next to him.


full



Candy: "X-BOW R? Moto-san's Austrian motorbike car. But that paint scheme.. isn't that the same car from the TV show?!"


Jacob responded by getting her attention, arms crossed in his usual cool serious manner.


Jake Ross: "You have questions?"

Candy: "Yes! Hello! Dark one! Forgive me if I'm agitated by SOMEONE who chose not to keep a secret.. but what is this Initiation?"


He didn't realize she's still in the dark until then, so he figures this is the right time, explaining..


Jake Ross: "One quick but difficult way the racers in the UK accept more into the fold. A careful way to say if someone's qualified to run in their street racing underground leagues."

Candy: "Must be a test. With a capital T?"

Jake Ross: "Perhaps.. the main thing is that they want to see the quality of your driving."

Candy: "I'm guessing a good result once again pays off.. don't you think so, Lulu? Lulu?"


Said Lulu finds herself on the pit wall screens, with the cameras showing many familiar angles..


Lucia: "Just like on TV.."


And just like on the TV earlier, they see a car from earlier now in the zone.


full



Candy joins her friend with Jacob following, with the track beholding a show to watch.


Candy: "Fascinating. The One-77 making rounds.. as if it's in a video game."

Jake Ross: "Paul wanted a few runs.. the track is actually open, just that.. its reputation isn't exactly spotless."

Lucia: "I heard.. walls with paint, and trees with body parts still embedded. The controversial air remains.."

Candy: "Inspiring.. he's driving like he's all in.."


The man from earlier decides hearing Paul getting praise wasn't on his calendar for today, and steps up.


???: "Perhaps you would like to see a more refined driver on the wheel, non?"


Hoping to attract attention, the aristocratic Boniface Richelieu makes his way onto the group's radar.

Candy, being the only unknown to him, asks..



Candy: "You seem.. interesting. Forgive me, who are you?"


Boniface watches Jacob step forward and make a quick gist of facts for him..


Jake Ross: "To evaluate your Initiation, you're going against a certain driver.. you're up for a tall task, Candy.."

Boniface: "The barbarians arrive at the gate.. I do all I can to protect my fort."

Candy: "My, aren't you just.. posh? How.. d-do you do?"


But Boniface decides to make his gentlemanly presence apparent as he makes his introductions.


Boniface: "Bonjour! A pleasure to finally meet Le Glace Pacer.. Candy Lam. The woman everyone is talking about. I am Boniface Richelieu, of the Richelieu family industries. And please: you are welcome to call me sir, or Bon."


At first he thinks it would be too much, but he presses on and gives a small sweet kiss to Candy's cheek as he leans low.


Lucia: "She's blushing.."

Jake Ross: "Anything else you'd like to point out to the audience at home, Luce?"


Actually, Candy's got more than just blushing red like an allergic attack. Shaking nervously and acting with a puzzled mood, she tries to speak back..


Candy: "I-Incredible... I... am flattered. Your driving.. on TV.. ulp!"


Remaining poised, Boniface thinks momentarily to realize she means..


Boniface: "I am? That can't be.. Perhaps.. That must be a rerun of our star defining moment, non?"

Candy: "W-what could that mean?"

Boniface: "Well, that would be the Supercar Festival. I may mingle along the savages of GT racing, but racing street cars is where I prosper in appropriate fashion."


To where Jacob and Lucia stands, nothing has changed in terms of the potential romance in the air.


Candy: "Well.. my my am I.. quite flustered.. but.. am I, by definition, a savage?"


With no will to hear it, Boniface quickly defuses that perception with an intervention.


Boniface: "Non non! How can I even think that, ma cherie?! Stop your nervous face, I beg of you."


The crowd afar notes these new changes.


Jake Ross: "Perhaps you should inform Sophia of these.. changes to her client."

Lucia: "I.. will. But I am positive the MINI isn't going to match up to this KTM driving champion."

Jake Ross: "No.. in regards to that situation, I'm waiting for Murph."

Lucia: "Murph? If he's from his home turf, there's no way he'll be here until nightfall.."


But those words would bite her back as another, much smaller but angrier engine sound gets its voice heard.


Jake Ross: "Looks to me you're wrong, Luce. Look.. Paul's not alone."


They look to the screens to see the source of that mentioned voice.


full



Lucia: "A Radical?"

Boniface: "Qu'est-ce que c'est?"


A Radical SR3 charges down the straights, then makes a quick right turn towards the pits..


full



The on track staff makes a small panic as it charges in the wrong way, with Jacob watches his underling with a warm interest.


Jake Ross: "Nothing to fear.. it's his thing."


He takes off the belts, jumps out the seat and steps out, nearly tripping.

As he gets his composure back, the man known as Murphy Barrington greets his good friend with a reassuring shout.



Murph: "Oi oi! I'm here, boss! On time and request 100 percent completed, ay!"


Everyone else watching from the pit wall, Jacob comes to inspect the car..


Jake Ross: "You've brought quite the something, Murph. Radical SR3. The wing says it's an SL.. perfect."

Murph: "That I have. Not cheap, but if you want to take the best of a baby Ford EcoBoost.. can't go wrong with this beauty."

Jake Ross: "How was the trip? I feel.. you took your sweet time."


flashback.jpg



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Murph: "Crikey, it's the frog eating rozzers!!"


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Murph: "Whoops. Nearly blew it there."


CRASHING SOUNDS


Murph:
"Ughh.. that's them taken care of! Score one up for Murph!"

Murph: "You can say that again, ay? High revving an EcoBoost with an intent for top speed on certain places with speed cameras can rile up all sorts.."

Jake Ross: "You still have the plates on?"


Murph jigs his way to the rear, holding on the license plates and shaking them..


Murph: "See here.. Classic flippable plate holder."

Jake Ross: "What's on the other side?"

Murph: "Uhh.. what was it?"


And he peeks to see.. what shouldn't need explaining, but to put it lightly it's something incredibly racist dating back to a past era of national hatred and preferably shouldn't warrant a mention.


Murph: "Oh! That's.. not safe for work."


Not feeling curious, Jacob asks sternly for the other important task at hand.


Jake Ross: "How about the Prophecy Tablet?"

Murph: "Yup."


Heading over to the passenger seat, Murph brings out a rucksack tied by the seatbelts.

Looking in, Murph takes out an expensive high performance tablet device, backed with a specially made cover with the Prophecy's logo on top.



Jake Ross: "Interesting.. there's a long waiting list for this.. but here it is.. ready to use. What did you do, Murph??"

Murph: "The usual."



flashback.jpg



ALERT SOUND

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Murph: "Classic snatch and grab!"


Murph: "The usual bit of filching. Though, I do have this here feeling the G-Dog's going to come have a visit, then point his.. things at me noggin.. same old same old!"


Lucia now comes close to see the Radical up close, but has interest in what she just heard, asking..


Lucia: "The logo.. Barrington has stolen it from under The Prophecy's noses?"

Murph: "I'm not gonna sugarcoat it, ay."


As Murph was still energized for all the ruckus he caused, Jacob hasn't the patience to hear more of it.


Jake Ross: "Enough distraction. We get Paul back here, and Candy can get started. Bon?"

Boniface: "Jacob.. you will find her still petrified right over there.."


With Candy's situation still active, Lucia receives the tablet and observes from her hands..


Lucia: "What's the point of this tablet, anyhow?"

Jake Ross: "Just a way The Prophecy handles officiating this business."

Boniface: "May I?"


Receiving the tablet, Boniface unlocks it and the device automatically boots an app..


Lucia: "You seem familiar with it."

Boniface: "My sister led the team that developed the software. So what you do is press here, then here.. then when we're to begin, you press this big red one. Should I not be around, perhaps it's wise to remember the sequence, but you barbarians must know I am required for this to progress."

Jake Ross: "What'll happen then?"


Satisfied, Boniface hands the tablet back to Lucia, and walks towards his car, where he sees a white Aston Martin intruding his territory.


Boniface: "You barbarians will see for yourself. In the mean time.."


He drops his gentlemanly composure for a slightly more playful one upon approaching Paul..


Boniface: "You owe me, you brutish oaf."

Paul: "Achh, I'm sorry, but.. the Asian champion lassie is desperate for your wee Initiation thingy."


That final word broke the camel's back, but Boniface's more flexible than that.


Boniface: "It's not 'wee'.. it's just.. the set of rules I follow and respect. They're both a bore, but incredibly detailed. Not to mention it is, as you say, fun.. did it myself, you know."

Paul: "Oh?? What's your opponent then? Don't tell me it's Gary. That's one lad with a considerable perk up."

Boniface: "Wrong. This.. timid mademoiselle, goes with the name of Cierra."

Paul: "Ahh.."


And metres away was Candy, now with confidence to move, with Lucia by her side.


Candy: "Interesting. You don't see this kind of intel on TV. Lulu, you heard that, right?!"

Lucia: "Ja, clear as the sky is bright.."


She cracks her fingers, wanting to get more out of the two. But instead of rage, she went with a more flirty composure.


Candy: "So, my sweet little Bon Bon.."


Emotions ran rampant just the second that final word gets out.

Boniface displays a disgust mixed with surprise, while Paul slowly but surely goes out of control with a great big laughter.



Candy: "What's so funny??"

Paul: "Jesus! Not even a teeny hint, and AYE JESUS, SHE NAILED IT! [wheezing].."


As Paul exits and enters the scene from a short range perspective, Boniface hold his mouth, shaking his head as he forces his way through child trauma to explain..


Boniface: "Little.. Bon Bon is my.. endearment name.. to be used at my expense, thus only some stone age barbarian like Paul would know.."


Seeing such a sweet gentleman feeling destroyed, Candy didn't hesitate to admit her fault with a quick bow.


Candy: "I.. uhh.. F-FORGIVE ME!!"

Boniface: "Don't mention it.. just.. head over to that red shirt over there while I cool off with whatever expletive that comes around.."


As Candy makes her leave, Lucia notices Boniface gesturing to keep her around.


Boniface: "This is the howls of a savege dog, yearning for pain.. Lucia. If you would please silence that beast.. I will be indebted to you."

Lucia: "Oh, that hyena laughter annoys me very much, so I'll do you for free, Herr Reich.. [cracks fingers]"


Unaware of the boxing bell ringing behind her, Candy heads back to Jacob and Murph who were just about done catching up.


Candy: "Uhh, where was I with this Initiation thing?"

Jake Ross: "At last. Firstly: this is Murph.. the closest thing I have to a.. companion dog."

Murph: "Might sound insulting.. but.. at least I'm not a pig.. mmm... bacon..."


After a brief break on Murph dreaming about his favorite snack like he always does, he makes his introductions.


Murph: "At any case.. I'm Murph. Need to spell it? That is Murphy without the y. Pleasure's all mine."

Candy: "Well.. dog? Someone like you under the dark one must mean you're useful. What kind of tricks do you do?"

Jake Ross: "The street racing, car thieving, quick snatch and grab type of tricks. He's not only my right hand man.. but my own procurement specialist. A thief."

Murph: "Them's the bag of tricks alright. How about you? What's FIA's premier racing lady doing here wanting a piece of UK's street racing club?"


The Englishman seemed odd asking a request so soon, but Candy trusts him enough to tell him..


Candy: "There's someone I want to meet.. goes by the name of Cierra."

Murph: "Cierra, eh? With an S or C? If it's the latter.. I wager this be the Prophecy's own prized diamond, ay."

Candy: "The Prophecy? What's your take on her?"

Murph: "Take? Met her meself. She's the kind of person that wouldn't want 5 seconds of attention when she's got a minute to talk."


That incredibly timid behaviour tips away Murph's knowledge to be quite true, as Candy herself confirms happily.


Candy: "That's her alright. Anyhow, isn't it just better if I just get her number rather than these hoops I have to jump through.."

Murph: "Am afraid her timid nature comes into play. Far as I hear, only people she's in close contact with would be with the Messiah himself. Even Bon being one of the Chosen like her got zero contact."


As Candy's queries come to a halt, Jacob gets to moving the conversation along.


Jake Ross: "By the way, rules of the Initiation means you're going to be racing with said Chosen.. Looks to me you're getting one of Murph's more race worthy cars to go with."

Murph: "Yup. Let Murph show you around this here fine machine.."


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Candy: "In all my years, this is the first I got close to a Radical. It's much more.. impressive than I thought."

Murph: "That so? I was hoping you didn't notice the amount of shredded bacon in the cockpit."


That last blurb got Jacob feeling extra bitter, but he steps in without that emotion.


Jake Ross: "Before we scar her senses of hygiene, you'll need to address mine. We should clean up.. are you in?"

Murph: "No worries, Boss. Get Candy to wear the appropriate attire, and I'll have this Radical cleaned up like it's factory fresh."


While being indirectly referred to, Candy walks towards her car to get her things ready.


Candy: "I'm leaving now.."


She exits, while Murph was due a berating nag.


Jake Ross: "This is unacceptable, especially if it was a woman. Or God forbid you let our Queenie in a car with that levels of filth."

Murph: "Well, you gave no hint it was a little up and up lady that's going to drive the car, let alone get someone else to drive something like the Radical."

Jake Ross: "Ugh. Plausible. Should've mentioned it."

Murph: "Boss, you can't beat yourself over the little details! Speaking of which, seems to me.."


The looked towards the direction of where Boniface would be, and they see Lucia getting her stress accumulated taken on a certain Scotsman.


Jake Ross: "Luce.. this is that side of her where I admit can be.. terrifying. Let's get to work.."

Murph: "Much agreed. I'm right behind you, Boss.."


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Before anyone asks: yes, it is road legal, even though it's not shaped like it is. I mean, I even said it in that intro I'm sure is much more readable than what I pull out of my mind every week. But for a road legal track car, it carries an abnormally high amount of downforce, rivalling that of your usual sporty road cars if you put the whole shebang from GT Auto to it. This downforce may rival Group 4 machinery, but you're not going to find it competing with that kind of car with the compound it's on, and the parts it holds.

First things first to understand this Radical is to look at the little details on the settings sheet. Bored already. That's fine, this is where I spend MY time for YOUR pleasure.. am I being too passive aggressive? Umm, yeah. First thing is that the EcoBoost engine is quite torque heavy, with 250 foot pounds. This is okay for a heavier car, but in the Radical, weighing at 1700 pounds, you're going to feel that in the corners, particularly when you accelerate suddenly out of it with this 40:60 weight ratio favoring in its rear. But the massive unadjustable downforce means this issue is, while still present, much more easier to manage as it's not an instant pace killing snap to your nearest off track hazard. Smooth out from 80% throttle is the key, but it's something that needs practice.


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Another thing is the turbo. Why's there a turbo? Why are you asking me? Well, the turbo's very peculiar, because the power gets injected very early into the powerband, not even past 2000 RPM, if my eyes can see correctly. This means you're probably not getting the issues of what a turbo offers, but also means the benefits of one is quite small. You still get to hear it blow nicely if you drive a car like this from the cockpit. This is a habit I do with open top or single seat cars, if you read my Forza Horizon 5 reviews with the nominee being an open top, that is..

Analyzing the powerband further, and you'll notice at the latter end, you're seeing a significant drop in both power and torque. To me, this data looks like the Radical wants you to short shift like the Copen in Week 2 to get the most of it. I can't quite see how low you have to go, but my sweet spot is when the shifting light fills up to the end of the gear number.. about 70-75%, which is about barely 6000 RPM: Vic's suggested shift point. And when you combine this short shifting, and how none of the aero is adjustable, you're never going to get a meaningful top end with this car.


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Nothing else to report in the numbers other than what's mentioned, so if we bring the car out to drive, you'll see it's in the PP range of most well performing sports cars. While the Radical will break their axles on more technical places like obvious Tsukuba or not as obvious any of the Kyoto Parks, places leaning to straights like Sainte-Croix, Maggiore and Bathurst will tell you another story on your car choice. But what you're getting is something on the handling speed scale that's edged all the way to the left.

Amazing as its turning will be for a road car, prospective tuners should go and address its notable flaws in handling. These include, for me anyways, the early turn understeer, and the rear slowly going out on a long sweeping turn. Other flaws? Umm.. a track car must have high handling and low speed, and as I look around.. what's not covered, oh yes: braking. Nah, nothing wrong. It's not the top end Brembos, but the car brakes excellently as is.

By the way Snake, did you like my sunglasses? I rode a different, certain Jim Clark tribute liveried SR3 for the weekly meetups than this Gulf themed replica for the story. Don't know what I mean.. well it's the header picture. Here's another closer angle.


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I'm not sharing it since I don't think there's a demand for the Lotus Cortina to come in Gran Turismo. And to Vic: no, I still don't know why it matches so well, nor why did I even make it in terribly short notice too. But I'm glad I did.


She couldn't count how much laps has passed, but Candy feels the need to have a break.


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Speaking of break, she comes in to see her MINI getting broken into by just about everyone present today.

Lucia lay underneath the jacked up car, Paul observing the chassis from the side, Boniface making sketches and notes on his book, and Murph having a feel for what's inside.



Candy: "NOW what the hell's going on??"


Leaping out of the car and tossing aside her helmet, she can already confirm the mastermind being the lone person watching it unfurl, and his name is..


Candy: "JACOB!!"

Jake Ross: "[sighs] spunky brat.."


Everyone peeked to see how Candy reacted, expecting the rage.


Paul: "Look at that lassie.. she's got some nerve."

Boniface: "To be fair.. it was barbaric of us to even suggest this action."


She arrives, aware the man might be carrying another chemical to debilitate her should she strike, so she doesn't.

But it didn't stop her from expressing..



Candy: "Why I'd aught to beat you senseless! Prying open that MINI without my word! How did you even do all this?!"

Jake Ross: "Murph. Took your keys without notice."


Out of nowhere, Murph appears on the side as if he knows instant transmission, prompting Candy to react suddenly and defensively.


Murph: "Whozzat?! I mean.. right here boss."

Candy: "WHUAAH!"

Jake Ross: "I wasn't calling for you.. So happens you were the answer for that question."

Candy: "Either way, you're breaching all kinds of rules here!!"

Jake Ross: "We know.. Luce, what's under the hood?"


Lucia, rolls out from underneath sharing her findings in amazement.


Lucia: "Phew.. I'm seeing aftermarket EVERYTHING, Herr Ross.."


And the others too have something to say about this unusual MINI.


Boniface: "It doesn't take a genius to tell there's chassis reinforcement. Nothing in this cheap hatchback's flimsy.."

Murph: "Flimsy? All this looks to me the thing's built for at least.. touring car racing. Paul?"

Paul: "Blooming heck, that's some tough roll bars innit."


Paul might have some bruising around, but it didn't stop him pushing the car around with his shoulder.


Candy: "Stop tackling!! Why are you dismantling the car?!"


Candy's objection didn't slow down Boniface, happily doodling the car and putting quick notes with arrows around it.


Boniface: "Lightweight seats.. heavily modified BMW engine.. custom rims.. I am getting the bigger picture of quite the something.. c'est magnifique.."


Seeing nobody's budging, Candy gets to Jacob, slowly rising to her limits broken..


Candy: "You better have a reason before.."

Jake Ross: "Funny.. for such a momentuous occasion, I did pack mix number 3.."


record scratches

Now everyone on the car stares back worried at Jacob upon hearing that latest statement.


Murph: "Boss? You having a laugh? Jesus, them's not kidding eyes!"

Lucia: "MEIN GOTTT!!"

Paul: "Ach, away! Get me out of here!"

Boniface: "Now I believe is the time to PANIC!!"


And it doesn't take a moment to see the MINI now deserted as the people around escape the scene in haste, afraid.

Emotionless, Jacob watches the events unfold and then turns to Candy, looking more confused than ever.



Jake Ross: "Well, looks to me you got your wish, missy."

Candy: "Fear really is your game. What's that mix number 3 got everyone so riled up on?"


It's incredibly rare for Jacob to let out a playful chuckle, and at his rough tone, it's more sinister than usual.

He follows, still feeling that smug satisfaction of a successful antic.



Jake Ross: "You can say it's a red herring. Only Sonny and Bernardo know of this falsified malicious intent."

Candy: "Crafty.. what's everyone's take on it?"

Jake Ross: "Slow anaesthetic capable of long term brain damage.. like I said, just a ruse.. all that's completely fake."


But he turns back to his usual no nonsense self once again, as he walks away from the MINI, to which Candy follows.


Jake Ross: "Looks to me your practice session's done. I'd apologize about your MINI, but.. like you heard in Maggiore, Jess is investigating the car. She called."

Candy: "How is she?"

Jake Ross: "Whatever she's doing, it's all going to be settled soon. I am ashamed to say.. that's what she said."


They run into Boniface, finishing up a phone call while on hold of the tablet.

He requests Jacob's attention while skittish.



Boniface: "Monsieur. If I may have a word.."

Jake Ross: "Go ahead."

Boniface: "Merci.. so.. the Prophecy's on high alert from your little clown's heist. We might not have much time."

Jake Ross: "Noted.."


Again with not being the center of attention, Candy raises her hand as if she's in a classroom.


Candy: "Yes, umm.. teacher.. I don't understand why we have to rush."


He might not be the teacher, but Boniface had an explanation for this hostile reaction.


Boniface: "Well, you see.. Jacob's own The List actually waged war against The Messiah, by proxy the combined efforts of what we call The Big 3.."

Jake Ross: "She knows what the List.. and the Big 3 are.. in layman's terms, I mean. Continue.."

Boniface: "And from what I hear.. Murph was chased by a skeleton crew of exotic supercar racers within the Prophecy from London, tracking him to France."

Jake Ross: "There's hardly a thing that can catch Murph working for his boss. Alright, Candy. I see your confused look still retaining."


Irked she's still put aside, she responds..


Candy: "Uhh.. yeah!"

Boniface: "As the only member of The Prophecy outside of the UK.. I propose we get started, but these Prophecy brutes will be fixated to the tablet's signal as soon as I activate the software."

Jake Ross: "I hope they take the riviera path then."


As explained earlier, Boniface takes the tablet out, and continues the bespoke software's procedure up to pressing the red button.


Candy: "That's unnaturally cryptic."

Boniface: "Alright.. first.. fill your name and signature.."


A keyboard and a touch input fields come up, and Candy didn't hesitate.


Candy: "This is just.. ahh whatever. Done."


Handing it back to Boniface, he too fills his share of information.


Boniface: "Now it is my turn.. fini."

Jake Ross: "Then??"

Boniface: "Let me hold it for the moment.. The Messiah himself must approve. Monsieur Ross.. I expect you to step in."


The French gentleman turns away with the tablet..


Jake Ross: "Very well. This whole procedure is blown out of proportion."

Candy: "I'm beyond understanding what's going on, truly.."


The tablet then makes a secure video call to a certain person, answered, with a loud engine sound in the background playing.


Boniface: "Camera on. Why.. allo!"


And while Boniface is on his camera, the ominous grouchy voice behind the tablet speaks..


The Messiah: "I knew you'd be the source of my woes today, Boniface."

Boniface: "Hmmhmm, how cute.. by the end of this small talk, I will have you authorize this Initiation."

The Messiah: "Come and try me.. what do you have that will change my mind of a crime, punishable by fire?"


Signalling it's time, Boniface waves in Jacob to enter the call, walking in the camera's view.


Boniface: "This is it, Jacob.."


Knowing who the Messiah is, Jacob gives him a hostile greeting..


Jake Ross: "Max.."

The Messiah: "Ross.."


Briefly pausing, The Messiah compiles his words with this new finding.


The Messiah: "To what do I owe you f[BLEEP]ing pleasure?"

Jake Ross: "You saw Murph. You don't need to go about like a headless chicken on who's to blame."

The Messiah: "Hmm.. aren't all your fellow List punks worthy enough racers?"

Jake Ross: "The List not need know on why I have your treasure on hand."

The Messiah: "Get to the point, before I send someone to pierce that f[BLEEP]ing dark heart of yours with it.."


She wasn't to be in the call, but Jacob had to bring her in with a small wave.

Entering slowly and with nerves all over, Candy makes her face visible to a man she knew by proxy.



Candy: "Ulp.."

The Messiah: "Candy Lam? A fine example.. of all track racing scum.."


It wasn't his rival Jacob or his underling Boniface, but Candy, that got the Messiah's mind to change about the situation.


The Messiah: "Very well.. do know I personally will be there to see your crew tangle with mine.. I may have said something that'll.. bring out their guns. Best you hurry. I'll approve. And Boniface.."

Boniface: "Oui, you asked?"

The Messiah: "I know where you are.. do show her why you're the Count of Sainte-Croix. Fare thee well."


Love Will Find A Way
Yes
Big Generator


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And now: A cow pretending to be a man.

With that quick random feature done, let's see what can be done to spruce up your SR3.


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Even though it's got sports parts all over it, it's just a fancy way to say you shouldn't just upgrade it step by step. You want to tune it, you gotta have to go full monty. What good is a tune if you don't put the best, and only suitable parts at all? I'm trying my best to just straight up fill this because the SR3 isn't the right car if you're going to go deep into tuning. It shows how good it is at stock. But of course you too can make different adjustments to suit your needs.

First of all, let's mention the turbo. It's the only part that'll change the behavior of how it will drive aside power adjustment and ballast. While I would keep this stock, you can go ahead and install one if you need a kick ahead in class. This is a very stable and race worthy car, so if you have the guts, go for it. It does mean your shifting has to change so that your RPMs don't go any lower than when that turbo enters RPM range usage, or you might bin it.


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There's a case that some people would love to take the Radical out to use slicks straight away. I'm not sure by how much, but having a harder spring rate will compensate for this added grip. But while I'm not fully sure, you'd want the oversteer setups when the tires of the car are higher. That means the numbers on the rear are definitely higher with slicks on.

The differential is the next place to look at. My advice is to just lower that acceleration sensitivity. That's it really, the others need little adjusting, unless of course it's to your taste.

The last thing I do want to look at is the gears. The car's inherent downforce values and low power means you want short gears. But especially if you swapped the turbo, I would love tall first, then drastically shorter follow ups. Of course you have to test this at a track's longest straight and change the final gear accordingly.

I'm frustrated at this segment for this week, because like I said.. kids are cruel, Jack, and I'm very in touch.. with my inner child! Wait, where did that inner Sundowner come from? Well, the real reason is this Radical is a very solid base that needs little to no adjustments, and the adjustments I suggested here are definitely from my findings of the car. It's another car where you don't want to go too wild with the numbers.. What weeks do we have which needs drastic changes? Umm.. Week 1? Oh yeah, and Week 6.


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Umm, yeah, short one? I'm just unsure on the whole, alright. This car is just that nice to drive as is if you're not a total beginner.


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Candy: "Excellent. He should be feeling the pressure from here."

Boniface: "[melodic] Donna Donna, Donna.. Doh-nna~"


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Boniface: "Ahh, if we only had Initiations here near MY home turf. The Messiah should feel the serenity around here.."


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Boniface: "Oooh la la! Like a flea! She sure is lagging behind.."


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Candy: "I'm pressured from behind.. it's tempting to just cut that road.. no!"


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Boniface: "I don't slow down for anybody, especially with my Chosen reputation on the table, ma cherie."


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Boniface: "Alexa.. ap-umm, how is it in Anglais? Call Paul.. the savage oaf galore."


DIALLING TONE


Boniface:
"Allo!"

Paul "Bon.. Nobody's going to freaking believe me that you're calling me on a high stakes race?"

Boniface: "Oui, that is exactly what's happening now. It should be me driving the Radical to make it more fair.."

Paul "Well, you're a few seconds ahead, so I start to understand yer boredom. But anything you need? Some celebratory booze?"

Boniface: "No, do not buy me any of your cheap liquor! And yes.. I do need something: Since I do not have fellow Prophecy watching on each bend, I need your deluded eyes. Use the screens and watch that Radical for me."

Paul "Roger."


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Candy: "He's just.. disappeared.."


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Boniface: "And then fwoosh! Revealing that the man was a woman all along.. Paul? Are you still here? Paull??"

Paul "YAAAARGH! What's this nonsense you babbling about, lad? Jesus, you sure are bored."

Boniface: "Focus, you barbarian. Have you noticed any odd behaviour in her times of desperation?"

Paul "Honestly, lad.. her line's good, pace is just a wee behind of yours, but.. she's kept her composure all the way. Steward me says she's a good clean driver."

Boniface: "That's what you said to me that day. Not a single fault in my driving, while all the faults go straight to the heart. I predict she's going to come in devastated."

Paul "That's a bold suggestion."


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Boniface: "Well, we're done here. Let's give her the news.."

Just as the sun begins to set, no more cars run around the circuit de Sainte-Croix.

Putting another dent on her helmet in frustration, Candy sits by the side of the Radical, unsatisfied with what happened.

But the small crowd spectating the whole affair came to her in high spirits.



Lucia: "Candy!"


She thought she was there to make her feel better, as Candy began to hold back her tears.


Candy: "Lulu.. I've failed you."

Lucia: "But the race.. it's much more intense than I imagined!"

Paul: "I second that. Now I know how it's like to be seeing meself on that telly, lass."

Lucia: "Ja, you mention it now.. I can relate."

Candy: "What does it matter.. the ternion reunion plans are gone for the time being.. Let's make our exit before the Prophecy shows up."


As Candy gets back on her feet, the way to her car has the French gentleman in the way..


Boniface: "That was an excellent race, Candy."


As he raised his hand expecting a handshake, she walked past him, giving him concern.


Boniface: "Is something the matter?"

Candy: "I've put my heart and soul into that excellent car. But I still failed."

Lucia: "That's not true."

Candy: "In my heart, that's very much true."


He let the ladies go, but Paul instead stopped, giving Boniface a reminder of something past..


Boniface: "Paul.. as I predicted, this is all a splitting image of your full on barbaric self that day. But do you see what differs?"

Paul: "Aye.. it's YOU feeling all glum like she, and you be the winner of that championship."

Boniface: "Now it turns on its head. It's my turn for encouragement. Time to see if I've learned from that day, partner."

Paul: "Alright."


The men move forwards to get in the women's way once again, but Boniface hurried to explain..


Boniface: "Please, Candy. As ahead I was later on, the early phase was easily one of my best races in a long long time. I understand your loss of pace comes from the nerves. But from me.. I can't lie: you have earned a place in the upper echelons of Europe's elite street racing communities."


Lucia knows him enough to know when he's lying, and she can't seem to find that.


Lucia: "Ja, that's not a lie. That is the tone of truth."

Candy: "Enough! Don't make me feel better."


He then notices how much similarity there is between her and him.

Boniface thought she's going to hide away and withdraw: something he's bound to do should he be in her shoes.

A quick thought to change his angle leads to another point he wants to convey..



Boniface: "Tut tut.. The Messiah himself is coming over with hostile intentions, and I will be the one to inform him of your value. Tell me.. you are familiar with the rules of racing?"


She's still down in spirit, but she knew these rules by heart, replying with what earnest remains.


Candy: "Of course. Keep it clean, be positive, open minded and don't ruin it for anyone else. The rules of sportsmanship.."

Boniface: "Ah, but don't you agree those beautiful rules work no matter the situation, illegal or sanctioned?"


He takes out his notebook, and scribbled away some notes, unknown to anyone else that it's about Candy.


Boniface: "You showed me a good time on track, and you have sportsmanship ingrained in that heart of yours. That is what we as a community of rule breaking scum of the public are looking for, not the perfect human being who cares only for egos or straight up victory. But one more thing about sportsmanship, you see.. I request a certain.. sign of goodwill. Between two. You know what it is."


He lends out his hand once again, but his wanted response, while not immediate, came with a firm handshake.


Candy: "I.. that was a good race."

Boniface: "Merci. This is the behavior that keeps me mingling with the barbarians.. I have faith there will always be good ones like yourselves. Keep me on contact. Imperative for what's coming, oui?"


While good news awaits, Lucia tries her best to get Candy back up to speed, considering what happened at Maggiore earlier..


Lucia: "Candy.. chin up! We've finally come closer!"

Candy: "You're right, but.. Lulu.. I want to apologize. Ever since that day on Blue Moon.. My perception on losing from others I meet.. they HAVE to change."


And as they let the women go, Paul and Boniface look back to this moment in relation to their past.


Paul: "Interesting choice you bringing that up, laddie."

Boniface: "What truly happened behind the curtains of that event.. to this day I cannot forgive what's done."

Paul: "Lad, what's done is done. I've found me a new stride to move along after that championship. And you are.. before you joined us.. sort of like her. A lone wolf."

Boniface: "True. But she's.. interesting.. she's openly admit that her efforts to the top are her own, that alone I cannot do.."

Paul: "Sounds to me she'll make a fine Mythic."

Boniface: "I'm afraid it's better for someone else to approve her involvment in Las Mythique Initiative."

Paul: "When I laid eyes on her in Suzuka that day.. I thought.. bloody hell, she's cut from your cloth or whatever s[BLEEP]te."

Boniface: "Mon Dieu, have some respect. Placing your gaze at another woman.. You call yourself married with two offspring. Barbarian!"

Paul: "Oi! Freaking tosser.."


They nudge each other aside in casual fun: something that wouldn't happen if it was a year ago.


Paul: "Ohh.. I'm glad the bad blood's not here to stay."

Boniface: "Hmmhmm.. let's be off before it does."

Paul: "That's why you're my worthy rival, Bon."


The ladies arrive to the MINI, now different in sense of cleanliness.

With his other cleaning tools just put aside, Murph finishes cleaning the windscreen, then notices the women..



Lucia: "Barrington.."


Wiping some sweat aside, Murph replies with his usual energetic gruff self.


Murph: "Oi oi. You seem to have made great progress in that there car. Maybe you head over to London, I'll point you to the right places should you like your own."

Candy: "Curious. You know a deal better than what Brand Central offers?"

Murph: "Perhaps if old Murph looks hard enough, you'd be amazed.."

Candy: "Where's the dark one?"

Lucia: "That's her special way of saying Herr Ross.."

Murph: "Boss? He's went early. Not willing to risk his hide for the incoming Prophecy lot."


But then, sounds of birds flying and engines roaring mean..


Candy: "Speaking of which, I feel nature getting a head start means they're imminent."

Murph: "Have no fear, love. Murph's found a quick way out, ay. Let's get cracking."


Not long after, a small group of supercars intrudes the French nature's peace as they charge their way into Sainte-Croix.


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Now the area emptied of those not affiliated to them, the top of their hierarchy moves on to a small dock, where Boniface awaits alone.


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A masked up man with a cap exits the center car, and speaks with authority, followed by two younger individuals from the Dodges.


The Messiah: "Well.. it's hard to find new talent these days. Did you hold back?"

Boniface: "Not at all. Here."


He's handed the Prophecy's Tablet, and inspects, concluding that nothing's been tampered.


The Messiah: "Hmmhh.. I must commend that Ross once again for being ahead of us.. as he's always been."

Boniface: "You suspect something is amiss?"

The Messiah: "He's plotting. Not enough exposure however for me to f[BLEEP]ing figure out what, though. Any thoughts, Gary? You've ran with him one time.."


A young man leans on his Viper, his head supported by his arms, then responds with a casual flair.


Gary D: "Eehhh.. you got me, dog. Rumor has it.. my homie JR's just getting shadier after each mention."


The Messiah turns back to the Count..


The Messiah: "Aside that sniveling thief and The Outlaw himself.. who else was around?"

Boniface: "Some of our.. old friends. Cierra.. how prepared are you? You're not exempt from that former statement, mademoiselle. That Lucia told me everything.. about your trio and their big plans."


All eyes head to a young woman, nervously replying as she poses indecently in front of the blue Charger.


Cierra: "Candy.. she.. y-you don't h-have t-to.."


Struggling to finish up her words, Boniface takes his time to doodle one last piece of art on his page that says Candy.

He notes Cierra, but also drew an arrow to the center of her sketched body, and notes down:


"A sweet sister, flawed and shrouded.. but virtuous, must ask!"


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You know how I think about this car? It's the exact same way I thought of that VUHL.. stop, it's another Mini Mexico reference.

I'll keep this short: easy to drive, hard to master, and in all the ways satisfying. Plus with the bad rep it's got in a certain Circuit Experience when the game came out, this SR3 is a very nice Sleeper. Because it will surprise you especially if you're not well opinionated with personal tunes. It might be the perfect way to get started in them, actually! The Radical is a medium that reveals show of character, translating to the track.


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They're Radical alright. Not for the faint of heart, but also not for the masochists. To me, it's so far the only excellent in between street legal and track only. Definitely looking back at this one quite gladly.


I was wondering.. that small part in the biographies that cover duel music is for my upcoming Gran Turismo 7 writing, which music is actually a major focus in how I will present it. Unsure if it's related, but it's about time I get to use one today.. It's a song themed around love, but it's really a coincidence, that Yes song is Boniface's duel music.

What do we have.. my GT5 era classic in my insa-not so insane take on Jason Statham in Murph. A frequenter in my GTA album in Media, all you need to know about Murph is that he lives on the edge as much as he can.

And a GT6 era antagonist repackaged as a potential.. yeah.. When he's made that heel face turn that I didn't write about, there has to be some way I'm going to make him memorable. How about a down to earth charmer?

And you guessed it: Episode 8 will feature a Forza Horizon styled festival site. Guess it's hard to really escape Mini Mexico. And maybe the largest cast returning and introduced.

For The Outlaw/Jacob Ross (5)
see Episode 2

For Paul Henderson (5)
see Episode 5

For Lucia Weiss (5)
see Episode 6

One of the founding members of the infamous, vastly exclusive American street crew with an international cast known mainly as The List. This gruff in general, semi Irishman is never seen slow thanks to his all-around sense, reliance, and secret sixth sense on insa-not so insane stunts.

Theme Song: Ash - Arcadia, Dropkick Murphys - The Last Letter Home
Racing Duel Music: Dropkick Murphys - The Battle Rages On
Gender: Male
Nationality: Half British, half Irish
Age: 30
Current occupation: Car thief
Distinct features: Buzz shaved blonde hair. Chubby, rounded diamond face, surrounded by reddish tinted pale skin. Narrow droopy green eyes, freckles under the eyes, short pointed nose, and wide dried mouth. Notably carries a badass baritone. Average build and height.
Choice of clothing: Casual looks incline towards his love of British sports. Frequently with a sports shirt, slim slacks and sneakers. You're either going to see him in colors of Aston Villa FC, colors of the English white and red, or just red all over.
Cars: Many due to his ever growing collection, but he's often seen with either McLaren 12C or Radical SR3

A high value serviceman of petty American crime. UK born Murph was born in a smaller town: Milton-Keynes and grew up raised, then raising a church after his parents disowned him. The way he sees it, it's just another way to break free of the chains that bind him. The crazy driving of his started there, where he usually finds himself in a pinch upon doing some robbery work. In relation to the illegal duties he carries out, his overall goal is to ensure the clergy and the children they keep will never go hungry or sad. After years of this activity, Murph moved on while keeping his donations steady from the shadows. While he's never been caught entirely, getaway seems to be his forte, and that fact slowly cements itself over time.

However, his notable rise to fame would come in his penchant for using risk for massive rewards. He would find himself using lightweight sports cars in contact heavy street races, using every trick he learned in his mental book. This in turn would help him gain international infamy on the streets. With intent of clearing his heat, he lays low in America, meeting a giant and his superior in form of The Outlaw. This chance meet, also with being ahead of the pack in general racing got him a spot in The List as one of its founders, even though ulterior motives arose revealing he's to stop this uprising altogether. That suspect allegiance changed as soon as he knew the pain of a machete's deep cut to the gut, but this change of heart got him to become the official right hand man of the big boss.

Now, with his newly christened nickname as "Murph", he revels as everyone who's anyone in the worldwide street racing scene calls him insane, but he's not dumb, and so far nothing's going to stop him. Murph usually finds himself doing his racing and general thief work in the States, but he often makes his way back to the UK to catch up on the local news, check on his old stomping grounds, keep track of his car smuggling connections with his growing car collection in Surrey, or test his mettle in the growing street scenes that's been clamoring a chance at a truly insane racing machine.

An aristocratic, but overall simplistic French gentleman, carrying awards in literature as well as a well versed connoisseur of wine. But his biggest achievement is none of those, but of racing in the GT leagues, most notably being a dominating recurring champion of the Supercar Festival Leagues.

Theme Song: Yes - It Can Happen (Cinema Version)
Racing Duel Music: Yes - Love Will Find A Way
Gender: Male
Nationality: French
Age: 28
Current occupation: Race car driver
Distinct features: Clean combed back black hair, with a large white stripe in the center. Baby blue eyes, almost always seem closed. Thin mustache, wide nose and mouth with regular skin tone. Slightly thin build with average height.
Choice of clothing: Fine suits are his wardrobe's modus operandi. Comes in many forms, but his favorite combine a silver slim fit suit vest and matching pants. Expensive accessories from a Rolex watch, fountain pens in his pockets, golden pins of various fancy shapes, and a pinned handcrafted gold trimmed rose (doubles as a hidden knife).
Cars: KTM X-BOW R, Alpine A110 (2017)

Secretly referred to the as the family's little Bon Bon, Boniface is the last of 3 current generation of the infamous Richelieu of Sainte-Croix-du-Verdon: a family whose wealth surpasses many that of just about anyone in Europe thanks to their stake in developing nuclear products, particularly electrical power and energy developments worldwide. While the middle child handles this business without remorse, and the eldest sister being a very well known bounty hunter for the Assassin's Guild, Boniface himself gets his family name famous in sport, notably in race cars.

Unlike his Paris born sisters, Boniface was born when they've already retreated to Sainte-Croix. But from a young age, he was often sent to the capital to be raised by relatives, schooled in the most lofty of education institutions. As he grew up, he didn't get along with others of his age well, but rather preferred to be among other adults, eventually acting and getting along with them. While his maturity rised, his manners remained sloppy and smug, thus why he usually calls similarly aged persons barbarians, brutes, or whatever synonym he can figure out.

These connections would eventually lead to two of his life's greatest passions. Race car driving, and wine. After high school, he went on to quickly pursue them. Eventually, he would become a famed touring car racer, notably as the sport's purely clean racer with a near perfect clean race record. His interest in wine would lead them to his other life as a wine connoisseur, releasing weekly reviews to his online website. An open learner whose recently graduated with a Major in English Literature, Boniface's current focus is to help his family's financial issues, with its problems stemming from his sister's newly diagnosed complications in her heart.

Thanks to burying the hatchet with his long time Scottish rival, he's found yet another path to take in being the recurring champion of the Supercar Festival. But those skills are put to the test as he inadvertently made his way into the ranks of The Prophecy as their newest Chosen.

Nash Kirkham: current head honcho of the Kirkham Foundation
Keith Ross: Jacob's much younger brother.
Clark of Sim Gear
Someone Peigi refers as 'Gilesie', also referred by Paul
Isamu Adachi: Japan's Street Racing Oni
Someone Peigi refers as The Cinderella
The Messiah: Big 3 member, leader of UK street racing crew The Prophecy
Paul's Frenchie rival
3 women, part of the unbeatable Trinitia L'Assassina
The Bristol Harbinger
Toyota trained racing mechanic Cierra
Someone Murph refers as the G-Dog
 

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COTW finally back on the current title, and with a healthy few years left on the game's lifespan! Yay!

So anyway, given I don't have the ability or the time to write an entire novel like some of you folks, let me give you a brief run down of my thoughts on the cars covered thus far...

RX7 FC - Light, zippy, and much cheaper than its FD kin. Definitely a lot of fun, but gets a bit pushy when you ask too much of it.

Copen - We wreck these cars for sport in the Monkey Motorsport Club. Seriously. You guys should try gauntlet racing, it's SO much fun!
*If you have no clue what gauntlet racing is, I'll put it here.
Drivers pair up. One driver is in a Copen, the other is in a much bigger, stronger and more powerful car. We find the BMW M4 Safety Car works well.

The Copen's job is to race. They're the ones actuallly racing, they're the ones whos results at the finish line matter. The M4's job is two fold. They have to protect their own Copen, while making life difficult for all the other Copens. It's great fun and easy to get the hang of once you see it actually in action!

P.S. For maximum enjoyment, small and compact tracks with very little run off work best. BB Raceway is the main track we use, but Northern Isle, Blue Moon Bay B, Alsace Test and the small Kyoto track are also good!

C8 Corvette - (Insert tired joke about Chevrolet just trying to copy modern supercars, while ignoring the fact that a mid engined Corvette was a thing back in the 60's)

Willy's Jeep - One of those cars that's actually pretty fun to hoon around on the dirt. Mine now has a hellcat engine in it. Because reasons.

RS5 Turbo DTM - I really love that we're getting some more modern race cars, however slowly. It has the looks, the speed, and for a while it had that glorious inline-5 engine noise, until PD realized they got that wrong. Might have hinted at a future engine swap?

Prius - My lawyers have advised me not to make the joke I planned to regarding the 2009 Toyota Prius G.

Radical - Track day dream. Being a featherweight seems like a great thing until you realize that in most cars, the weight also aids with stability. Of course, you can get used to it, but it takes a bit of time to shift your thinking appropriately.
 
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Sorry, but there'll be no Radical review this week from me. I caught COVID at the worst time, and isolation meant that I had to miss both the weekly COTW lobby and the SRC race on Saturday.

Onto something you might actually care about though, it's time for a former figurehead of GT6 COTW to pick a car here on GT7! What will the current Hooncorp Head Honcho have in store for us this week?

Provided people have it, cos I know it's in the used car dealer, I'd love to pick the Civic Touring Car! It's the closest thing we have to my real life endurance racer.

@Nismonath5 has chosen the Honda Civic Type R (EK) Touring Car from GT6!

Manawatu_.jpeg



If you're lucky enough to have snagged one in the UCD, feel free to meet us on Tuesday, 10 P.M. CST or Saturday, 5 P.M. Singapore time to see how much of a hoot the Honda is to hoon! If not, you're always free to hoon on your own and share your thoughts, regardless :)
 
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