Car of the Week | Week 66: GG (Genesis G70 GR4)

Das hot lap:



YT review: "For the very first time in any GT, this is one of those "quircky" additions to the series. I mean yeah, this car DOES have cultural significance. How does it drive? Like a 33HP car on CH tyres from 1985 lol. The cornering speeds are shockingly bad and yeah, it's slow."

Verdict: quircky Beater :P
 
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This might be the first time in a long time that I'm refusing to drive a car in VR. This car does not have a tachometer in it, meaning that I have to shift by ear.

And I don't think I need to remind anyone on why that doesn't work for me. IMO the custom gauges from GT6 need to come back ASAP.
 
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It's more 2CV and less Mini. Cooler than Yugo, but not as cool as Beetle. More character than a Pao and on par with a Trabant and Niva. If GT7 had Autumn Ring it would be this car’s Nurburgring.
 
I've shared this video in our PS chat group before, but I feel is worth sharing again here now that the R4 is the Car of the Week...

Most of us here already have a good idea of what a regular Renault 4 drives like thanks to Gran Turismo, but did you know that there's a small company in France that does electric conversions for classic Renaults, officially endorsed by Renault?



Because French laws for conversions are reportedly very strict, the car can't stress out its original components, so it doesn't have super overkill power like modern EVs, and to help the small motor out, the car even retains its manual gearbox!

I don't know why, but the electric R4 and R5 has such a personality and charm that I just don't feel in modern cars. I love the small size. I love the simplicity. Maybe modern cars all feel too pretentious and gimmicky, but I really want to experience these EV classic converts!
 
Quick thoughts on the R4:

Not a fan of it. To elaborate on my initial post:

I play almost exclusively on GT7VR when I do play GT, so I am very used to relying on the information provided by the car instead of info provided by the game.

So imagine my frustration when I found out that the Renault 4 doesn't have a tachometer. I, a deaf driver, cannot drive without a tachometer or some other visual indicator because my ears lack the working parts needed in order to shift by hearing. Even with my hearing aids in and my speakers cranked (and engine at max gain), I can't hear the redline about 70% of the time.

It's a decent car in flatscreen mode, but my race just grinds to a halt when I go into VR. I'm not the only one with the issue, as our long term member McD apparently can't shift by ear very well either. Instrumentation is important, and I wish PD retained the custom gauges from GT6 as a feature.
 

The Renault 4 is slow—but only in a straight line.

In the corners, this thing has cornering speeds that are closely comparable to a modern day hatchback, like the Honda Fit, and that's all down to the R4's lightness instead of anything fancy or sophisticated. But, because it's such a barebones simple car, the cornering experience with it is so raw and engaging, demanding proper car control and cornering technique to get the most of its good cornering speeds, inadvertently becoming sporty because of that.

I've had a lot of fun—and even unexpected laughs!—with this 33HP classic FF hatch. About the only complaint I can levy against it is that it doesn't have a tachometer. It's a sleeper in my book :)

And here's a hint as to what next week's car is: it has a tachometer :lol:
 
So @XSquareStickIt and I got into a fairly heated debate about VR vs flat screen racing in GT (particularly with regards to race craft) and decided to settle it with a couple of short races. I decided to do a quick write up on the problems you run into with VR.

So first off, the races! Square and I agreed to three races - one on Streets of Willow, two on Tsukuba - in the Fiat 500 Lounge. They were all very closely contested races with some ridiculous moments.



The transition to VR from flatscreen can be pretty rough, mostly because you lose a lot of vital information in the switch. The things you end up losing in VR are:

  1. The timing board (delta to leader, current race positions, deltas to cars ahead and behind, pit stop status)
  2. The track map and wind direction
  3. Proximity sensors / blind spot warnings
  4. The shift bar at the bottom of the HUD.
The track map essentially doesn't matter in a race, so you can ignore that - the pertinent track information is available in the MFD.

For the timing board, it doesn't really matter as much as you'd think. In VR, you only need to worry about the cars you can see around you - run your race, and the results will generally be fine.

The shift bar is the rough one since you have to rely on the car to give you that information, and a good portion of the cars in the game don't have tachometers (i.E. the R4 GTL in this past week's COTW). The other subset of problem cars are the ones that receive engine swaps (I.E. 2+4 Swap in Honda S660) or don't have a high enough tachometer to accommodate their engine mods (I.E. the Ferrari 500 Mondial), and the solution to those is to shift by ear. What I would strongly recommend for people learning or already versed in VR that struggle with this is to drive the car around in time trial to get acclimated to the sound of the engine at various speeds - that way you learn how it sounds at the shifting point and can at least semi-reliably get within 1-2,000 rpm of it when racing seriously in the car.

As for proximity sensors/blind spots... turn your head. The car will have at least one mirror you can use to check behind you. You have a Radar in the MFD (I personally always leave it set to the Radar unless otherwise necessary), and you can look out the windows quickly to see if a car is next to you. In the event that you crash or spin and need to rejoin the track, what I always do is toggle over to the track map to judge where the next car is and how long it'll take to get to where I am. It can save your race and a lot of frustration if you end up off track near a hairpin or blind corner.

And of course - practice, practice, practice. Run as much as you can offline against the AI and even Sophy. They're incredibly frustrating to deal with in Hard races when you're in an equal car, which forces you to develop good awareness habits.

I did this with my leagues over in SRC, and that had the same effect.

TL;DR: Racing in VR requires a really good game sense and getting there requires sucking at VR for a bit. Once you get to that point though, it is an absolutely transformative experience.

Square also pointed out some issues he had racing against me, namely that he couldn't see the apexes of certain corners on flatscreen mode (which is obvious in a few places - I gain a huge amount of time on the final corner of Tsukuba for example).

The upshot of VR is the immersion and the ability to look through the corners, both of which can dramatically improve your performance if you really lean into it.

I hope that the races last night prove that VR is not as much of an objective disadvantage like you seemed to think it was. Sure, it has a lot of major downsides, but those downsides are also learning tools.

I've heard that this week's car has a tach, so I'm already more interested in driving it than I was with the R4. :lol:
 
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The winner of last week's ~Special Challenge!~ is... common sense! No one did it!



Week 55

Didn't choose the LM55

I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

This week on Car of the Week, we're going to get a big upgrade from the R4 in every aspect—technology, luxury, and power—but not the brakes.

Chosen by @Baron Blitz Red , the Maserati MC20 '20 is under the spotlight this week on COTW!

Gran Turismo® 7_20240427181421.png


Edited from MC20 Italy Plate Fangio by Spicy_Nikorasu
#fangio #italy #f1

BaronBlitzRed
First thought, goes to the Maserati MC20 because I've never had much of a reason to try it... Until now 😏
Known in recent times for their mesmerising engine notes, the MC20 looks to follow in the Alfa 4C's footsteps by revitalising a brand known for their racing pedigree in times long past by releasing a 2 door rear mid engined sports car, picking up the torch from the MC12 that was discontinued in 2005. The MC20 has gotten the looks department down pat, but can it drive like a racing machine?

We'll be racing bone stock MC20s under BoP conditions in our weekly lobbies to help us find out!



Weekly Lobbies


Our weekly lobbies are ongoing as usual, and anyone (not a dick) is welcome to join us in racing bone stock MC20s under BoP conditions!

Click on the hyperlinks to convert the times to your time zone, and feel free to add the hosts as friends on PSN to make searching for the lobbies easier!

The Americas Lobby


The Asia/Oceania also kinda European Lobby​


BoP/Settings Disabled: On (temporarily reverts cars to bone stock; WIDE BODIED AND ENGINE SWAPPED CARS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE!)
Tracks: Randomly selected by lobby participants (~10 mins practice, ~10 mins sprint)
PP Limit: 636PP
Car: No Limit
Tyres: No Limit



~Special Challenge!~

Baron challenges anyone to take a bone stock MC20 and enter a custom 5 lap race around the full Monza Circuit to achieve the most consistent lap times!

  • Laps: 5
  • Grid Size: 10
  • Starting Position: P10
  • Difficulty: Hard/Professional
  • Start Type: Rolling Start
  • Rolling Start Interval: Default
  • Opponents: Random
  • Shortcut Penalty: Weak

As usual, save a replay in case I need to verify your run. Post your times here on the thread, or send me a PM via GTP or PSN to submit your entry. The person with the smallest difference between the fastest and slowest laps wins!



Of course, we always welcome opinions, tunes, liveries, photos, videos, or stories about the car here on the thread!
 
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Nice, the MC20. Managed a 07.08.692. Gotta say I'm pretty proud of this lap!



YT review: "First time in a GT ever, this is a VERY welcome addition. As you might have noticed, supercars are my favourite type of car, so this one is right my alley obviously. There seems to be quite a bit of "hype" surrounding this car in the car world, and I wondered if it was deserved. Hm, well, I think partially. While it is seriously fast indeed, I did not really enjoy driving/pushing it. Sure, there have been worse supercars (looking at you F8), but yeah, the MC20 isn't that great to drive. LOTS of snap oversteer, often pronounced understeer under braking and just overall somewhat slidy just doesn't make it an exactly pleasurable drive. Is it still a good car? Well it's a fast one at least, and a decent one at least in general. But I DO get, why it has its fans."

Tsukuba battle:



Verdict: difficult to handle slight sleeper
 
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SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 54 - Renault R4 GTL


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Blue jeans can come in differing colors and trims, just so you know. Just like this one!

Before anyone accuses me of jebaiting that this is the MC20's writeup.. that's coming in the middle of next week. Now, back to the.. boring slow hatchback that I also called CORN by Dr. Weird that comprise of those shorts from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. I'm going to be reusing this joke again, so expect another set of pictures of a bunch of cars impaling me repeatedly the next time.

Ahh. Old tiny car. We sure have a good collection of these in GT world.

Dubbed the original hot hatch, the Renault R4's success stemmed from all the way back in 1956, which the president of Renault then, Pierre Dreyfus, wanted to make a car that he would call the blue jeans. Now, while it isn't in any form a car made of denim, or styled to look like trendy legwear, it was in the ideal that the car would be like jeans that it would adapt with societal needs as the 60's would come. And like jeans: he wants everyone, poor or rich, to be able to wear them. Meaning economical.

5 years later, badged to succeed a previous 4CV, the Renault R4 would be presented in the Paris Motor Show, with a few interesting quirks. Not only would it be the first FWD car with 4 doors and 4 seats, it would come with a few variants that included a proper saloon and van. The R4 also made use of the tailgate: being the first car that carried this honor used in many more today. And to bring in the masses it's eventually to get, Renault brought 200 of these outside said motorshow and asked people to go ham with it. That's what I call peak marketing.

Going through every detail of the R4 will turn this thread into a library, so we skip straight to the R4 GTL. Now, the words I'm sure you can figure out, meaning they combined a top performing GT variant with the most dashing of luxuries of an L. It also means biggest power of a measly 33 horsepower carrying 720 kilos. Not so much, but you don't buy these to go break the sound barrier.

Ending in 1992, Renault finished production of the R4 with the Bye Bye edition. Quirky, and cute, if you ask me. But all this history caused Renault to claim the R4 as the third most popular car sold to the public, behind the Ford Model T and the 1200, selling 8.1 million of these cuties about. And it's rather popular still today, with people collecting, tuning and restoring these.

Let's say I'm the only one with the balls to write on this forum of a car so unremarkable today but is otherwise in the history books and perhaps to many French personnel..

Well, I like to claim such, but.. there's a..
a..
A..
you gotta segue straight to the story title, okay?


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Episode 54: A Small Problem


Tokyo Expressway
Inner Tokyo, Japan
Late Morning



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Freedom To Win
Masahiro Andoh
Gran Turismo: The Real Driving Simulator (JP)

No time to discuss the state of current Tokyo traffic and weather, a less crowded segment finds itself rumbling thanks to two supercars coming on board..


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After her brutal attack last week, Candy, now accompanied by the killer of killers, makes good use of the warming Tokyo morning to measure her quick recovery..


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As they agreed, the women instead drive opposing cars, with Candy not patient to have another rumble in what might be the greatest Ferrari ever made.


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But the rumbling of midships Ferraris don't reside with them alone..


The Sentinel
Judas Priest
Defenders Of The Faith


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Badged 'Nemesis' by the man inside: the Asian-American Badass that needs no introduction, the Group B Ferrari too takes to the speedy Tokyo road with all its might.


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And not far behind..


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A small brown Renault too tries to make mince meat of peace and quiet on the morning commute, though that kind of imagination is left only to the driver to experience..


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Candy's house
Ginza, Tokyo, Japan
Afternoon



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The morning progresses back as the women return to their abode..

Parked and the cars put to rest, they exit their respective machines..

Candy, however, was feeling like the world belongs to her, flexing and rotating her shoulders..



Candy: "That was exciting!"


Her pain now in almost all ways gone, she then looks towards her maid dressed assassin, as they start walking towards the front door..


Candy: "And intense.. enough that I can say.. think I'm healed quite nicely. That Helwalker drug really hit the spot!"


She then noticed a newly minted, warmly blonded Minori continuing without emotion, questioning..


Candy: "Minori-chan?"


Hearing her call, she instantly turns and replies, with a smile and semi-closed eyes.


Minori: "Is there anything you want, Candy-san?"


It might be a while they have been together, but Candy can't help but feel unusual of the situation..


Candy: "Oh, nothing. I.. umm.. can we go inside?"


Without a word, Minori turned back and opened the door, though she then hears another remark just as soon as she puts off her shoes.


Candy: "I'm not okay with treating you like this, Ginnie.. it's not like you to act like this."


Noted Candy with a hint of sorrow in her tone.

Taking this suggestion, Minori momentarily swaps face to her usual self and explains..



Minori: "Oh, bebe.. well.. The strongest woman on this planet, now delegated to serve. It does seem ironic, no? Even you are fooled, hehe.. strength isn't everything, bebe. I've been taking lessons, see?"

Candy: "Lessons? In fooling others, you mean?"

Minori: "You can say that. There's a huge favor somewhere I need from you for supplying the Helwalker's favorite painkiller, you know."

Candy: "I.. uhh.. thank you, Minori-chan. Looks like I have an idea should the human race be needing the secret to immortality, huh."


Now inside, Candy crashes onto the nearest cushion in her lounge room, and lies flat, until..


Minori: "One more thing.."

Candy: "Hmm?"


She turns around, seeing Minori standing in watch.


Minori: "You seem fairly.. familiar with having a maid around."

Candy: "I grew up with one. Means I know how to deal with one, treat one, and.. not f[BLEEP] with one."

Minori: "Ohh.. I better make sure you and our guests get a good lunch before our trip to Tsukuba later."


While Minori leaves, Candy repositions herself to a proper sitting position, asking to herself..


Candy: "Guests? As if.. plural? I know of.. that one guy.."


Still in thought, the roars of a Ferrari's V8 put that aside..


The Sentinel
Judas Priest
Defenders Of The Faith


Knowing that YouTube links just appearing attributing to a certain someone, she comments in a curious tone..


Candy: "Exactly, this one with the song coming in hot, but.. today, umm.. it's not Bohemian Like You. Hmm.."


She then turns to the outside view and sees the intruder entering her home driveway..


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Candy: "And one's not enough?! It's another Ferrari?!"


Immediately rushing out, she puts on her slippers, and greets the Singaporean asswipe that comes..



Candy: "I swear.. after Ginnie's F40, you'd go get another Ferrari to go along?"

Sonny: "You'd be right, Candy baby. You'd be darned right. Thing is, I had my eyes on something else. The masterpiece that came before the F40."


She takes a look around Nemesis, knowing well this Ferrari being the..


Candy: "GTO.. enthuse me, then.."


With an unbreakable grin so wide, he began to lecture with great enthusiasm..


Sonny: "Absolutely, lahh. Bought it off some poor old fool who's dying. I mean.. well. not a fool, lor, but pretty much a guy who's got no heir but got families to feed. That kind of crap."


However, Candy didn't like the tone that screams 'narcissistic ass' and proceeds with a quick leaping smack, breaking his grin..


Sonny: "WALAO!"


Rubbing clean her palms, she comments grumpily..


Candy: "You are a piece of s[BLEEP], you know?!"


He regains composure, but flinches as Candy brings a more physical form of a jawbreaker ready..


Sonny: "That was that phase, don't hit me any more!"

Candy: "Or what?"

Sonny: "Or.. umm.. rawr!"


He shouted, as he raised his hands, and curled them like a tiger's claws, summoning the presence of a man who's just arrived.


Carlyle: "panting huff.. you's a called? Whew?"


Having being jumped one too many times, Candy, not surprised by his arrival, exclaims..


Candy: "Big deal, what's he going to do?"

Sonny: "Lyle, German suplex!"


As if his sweat and fatigue mysteriously disappeared, Carlyle adhered, quickly spitting aside his wheat chewed.


Carlyle: "Roger wilco!"


And at blazing speed he grabs the little lady's lower body from behind..


Candy: "KWAH! Heyy! LET ME GO!"


And bends backwards, crashing her upper body into the floor.

Showing his inner athelete, Carlyle remained in position, allowing Sonny to observe, and note..



Sonny: "Ahh? You got played, lah, girl! I can see your panties from here. I think Little Luce buys this brand too.. could it be??"

Candy: "ARGHH!"


She starts to struggle and try to let go, but Carlyle's athlete trained body didn't budge.

As much as he's enthused, observing with grim intent, Sonny then changed his mind..



Sonny: "Oh all right. Let her go."


He lets go and bends back front to a standing position.

Candy however lay straight on the floor, realizing the elements on her..

She jolted back up, growing even more infuriated as she feels her head..



Candy: "You ruined my hair! That goes so far up the list of people to kill!"

Carlyle: "Might I be's the one to suggest not taking that offer, Son?"

Sonny: "Yeah, let's be friends. I mean.. there's a whole list of people you've betrayed that day, Candy baby. And they're more gruesome than us hot dudes."


She might be scanning the two men for ways to beat them down, but not feeling it, she can only retort with aggression..


Candy: "Hot?! Hah! Don't amuse me."

Carlyle: "Though you got yourself a contract mean's you's be fine, I reckon."

Candy: "Don't remind me, again. By the way.. why are you here, Carlyle?"

Carlyle: "Pardon me's for a moment, lady and gent.. but it's because of THIS!"


He hopes to the side and points to the two racers of..


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As if he was selling, he then pitched in..


Carlyle: "A genuine Renault 4! GTL, slow, small, but a fan favorite from the French within us! And going around like cookies on a girl scout's bazaar! Trust me, they's be going AROUND!!"


Taking out a small slip of paper from his trouser pocket, he reads..


Carlyle: "And today, I got an order here from a My-nawr-eeh.."


While Sonny remained amused of this obvious poor choice of pronounciation, Candy, with a mood settled, corrected..


Candy: "It's pronounced Me-noh-ree.."

Carlyle: "Ehh, well, gist is.. she needs a low profile rider and I got just the thing for her. 25 thousand credits, please."

Sonny: "It's on me, big L. Let's head in to seal the deal, bro."


Expressed Sonny as he wrapped his arm around Carlyle, thinking like a businessman.

The men then walked towards the home, while Candy, after quickly looking around the car, remembered, then warned..



Candy: "Guests, wasn't it? I'm thinking our Minori-chan's expecting you lot?"

Sonny: "You think, but it's not Sonny Meng if he doesn't KNOW, because.. One Step Ahead! Now, you remember: boots off.."


And while they get their footwear sorted, Candy, showing a slight frown, comments to herself under the sun..


Candy: "I like him, but again I admit it's true: he be the ass of all the asses.."

Huddling the men to a well prepared dinner table, the men take their seats.

Following suit, Candy takes her chair and asks..



Candy: "So, you've been handling the List in a certain.. form?"

Sonny: "You got that right. While Jake's got ahold of the veterans that list of Murph, big Fred, Lena, and even my bro Lee, I'm managing the likes of the new blood. Will, Lyle, Adachi.. The Guts, even. And not forgetting that freak bitch Nirvana!"

Carlyle: "That shady ass hoss apparently knews this all gonna happen, y'know. Her and Son here doing the hard carrying eventually, she meant.."

Sonny: "I'm not even sure why I'm okay with it, honest, lor.. I know! This is your fault, Candy."


It's a challenge, but while it's all in jest, she played it straight.


Candy: "As if!"

Sonny: "You gave her the idea that we're couples slowly falling in love with each other."

Candy: "It's not my fault she rolled with it."

Sonny: "If she is, it means it's a good idea."

Candy: "You thought that far, huh?"


Twirling with his spoon, Carlyle boringly asks..


Carlyle: "Remind me what's screwed her social capacity to the weirdo sunglasses gal?"

Sonny: "Found Cierra. Disobeyed orders to return her to The Big 3, and also give her up to Augur. Who, if you've been following proper, are the bad guys of this little episode."


Knowing her friends are now apart of it, Candy objected..


Candy: "Bad guys? Suure, but I have a hunch it's more than that."

Sonny: "Even though we got pals like Little Luce in it, I still feel bad guys are the most accurate description they're gonna get."

Carlyle: "Don't take it funny like, doll, but you's and yer little book club are just much too cute to be bad guy material. No offense."

Candy: "None taken."


From the other side of the room, Minori arrives, carrying a tray filled with plates..


Minori: "And everyone's here! Make way!"


Unsure what to expect, Candy slowly begins to inspect the food presented..

A whole roster of sushi, she then notices..



Candy: "This.. is grade A sushi! Uhh.. how?"

Minori: "Would you believe.. him?"


She then pointed to Sonny, who makes the face that prompts the imaginary destruction of whatever's behind him.

Candy, having not seen this in a long time, quotes while disturbed..



Candy: "Did I just see my decor exploding, or.."

Minori: "You better say something, before something else explodes."


His grin growing, he then cracks his neck and spoke..


Sonny: "I taught her."


But what follows is the most obvious response to anyone with any hint of the arduous process in sushi making.


Candy: "Bull. S[BLEEP]! Don't even try! I know it's bu[BLEEP]it!"

Minori: "No, wait, it's sort of true. That penthouse is rife with people with great chef skills. Please observe.."


Picking up a pair of prepared chopsticks handed to him, he began to explain a small chapter of his past..


Sonny: "It all started when I met Adachi for the first time. We had a race, called it a draw, and got along in some high end sushi joint, says something to the line of: I bet if you make sushi, it's going to suck, and, me being this amazing, all skilled individual of no equal, took that personally. Bought knives, took classes, and guess what: I never gave up from then, and that was years ago."


It sounded like it was made up, but Candy recalls Sonny's general honesty despite who he is.


Candy: "I'm asking him the next time I see him.. I can't believe there's no way he's lying with that attitude."


And he knows enough..


Sonny: "Keep them coming. [teeth shines]"

Carlyle: "Being truthful ain't to brag about."

Sonny: "You can't ruin my moment. I have to show my mastery of a top tier culinary skill."


As they start choosing and collecting on their plates, she thought of Minori and Sonny sitting next to each other..


Candy: "Anyways.. you really can take being missing a maid for the foreseaable future?"

Sonny: "That's where you're wrong. Andrea's back at home base, Gin."

Minori: "Oh, magnifique! Tell her I said bonjour."

Sonny: "Gotcha, darling. I hope you didn't poison any of this stuff like the last time."

Minori: "The more you say, the more tempting it is."

Sonny: "I'll make sure I won't get the first bite next time."


While Candy can't help being ware of Sonny and Minori's chemistry, she turned to Carlyle, drooling while admiring his newly built, stack of sushi..


Candy: "Those eyes. I know you're like vision impaired, Lyle-san, but.. it seems you're not hiding that you like sushi?"

Carlyle: "Doll, I LOVE sushi! My first date with Miss Miranda was in this WONDERFUL sushi spot by Newport Beach. I celebrate birthdays with sushi. I've got a hard on for these fish.. when done right. And now I mention it, so does Miss Miranda."

Sonny: "Just don't mention fugu to Candy."

Carlyle: "Oh, hahah! Why's that? Had a bad episode?"

Candy: "Yessir. Bad is an understatement."

Carlyle: "Wanna hear something scary? Murph's been going into fugu, ya heard? He be juggling that with his usual bacon in his system."

Sonny: "Beh, it runs in his daredevil blood, Lyle. He'll be fine."


As they prepared to eat, Sonny raised yet another point, as he skillfully plays around with his chopsticks..


Sonny: "Ginnie, I thought you hated the maid outfit."

Minori: "That I do. You barely buy me new ones when the set you provide me are.. not to my body's fitting."

Sonny: "Just that.. it's tough when you're not sharing your measurements."


Naughtily he looked on his associate's body, but Minori glanced back, embarassed..


Minori: "I-I don't have to remind you who I really am!"

Sonny: "Nahh. With certainty I know this new one's from the Guild, I wager?"


She returns to form after seeing Sonny's suave speech..


Minori: "Oh, you! Well, it is. Same guy who makes the Outlaw's armor."

Sonny: "Ginnie, my dear, frankly, Jake's power armor.."


Everyone recoiled back as Candy reacted with a sudden stand.


Candy: "P-POWER ARMOR!"

Carlyle: "Jumping jellybeans!"


Minori then explained, intrigued..


Minori: "Power armor? Oh, Kate did mention it one time.."

Candy: "It's about time I get one, and you're all going to help me!"


Rubbing his stubble, Sonny explains..


Sonny: "That kind of tech's screams military grade. You don't look like the military type, Candy baby."

Carlyle: "Don't take it the wrong way, cutie pie, but even someone as jacked up like Miss Minori here too wouldn't be able to handle it."


And to top it off, she responded..


Minori: "More metal on metal is asking for more internal injuries. So you're good."


Ganged up, Candy sat back down, looking down in defeat as she muttered..


Candy: "Why you all have to start saying no.."

Sonny: "Because, trust me on this one beh, it's not only ridiculously expensive, but I'm risking my ass to some underworld gangster like bro who are going to ask questions. Especially when they ask for why it's gotta be your size."


He then however noticed as Candy stooped down, her neck is in full show, and saw a faint red mark..


Sonny: "But.. I guess I'll make an exception. I still see those cigar burns on you, baby.. You really ticked her off, and that's a win in the bible of Sonny Meng!"

Candy: "You're joking, right?"

Sonny: "What? It's not April Fools, right? What do you say?"


He's honest as always, she thought, so she didn't relent..


Candy: "Uhh.. I really was giving up inside so.. I.. thanks!"

Sonny: "Thank me later when you get it. I'll DM you the little things, since it's a girl thing to be SO particular, lor."

Carlyle: "And a.. was it around 100 thousand credit bill?"

Minori: "I'm guessing more. Like a lot more."


He knew the numbers, but Sonny thought it wasn't nice to peeve and shifted the conversation to another wavelength, asking..


Sonny: "How much did you pay for your cyborg upholstery overhaul, Gin?"

Minori: "To be honest.. I don't remember. As long as I know Kirk can maintain my body, I'm good."


In the middle of chewing, Candy then swallows and inquires.


Candy: "Peculiar.. you know, Son: I haven't heard mention of Kirk for quite some time.."

Sonny: "Oh no? Let fatso be as obscure as he wants, baby. He's at home base because he wants to. If I had to guess.. if he's not in culinary school.. I wager he's binge playing Street Fighter 6. Don't you play games, Candy baby? Back I come here again and again, I do see that high end PC of yours.."

Candy: "I.. need to find out what's right for me."

Sonny: "Hmm.. you tell that to your big sis Jess. If she's not doing computer work, she games."

Candy: "Peculiar. What's she into?"

Sonny: "RPGs. West, east, as long it pulls her to a fantasy world, lor."


Lower face smothered with puddles of soy, Carlyle then adds..


Carlyle: "Her hubby's into games too, y'know. I know, out of character, don't you think?"

Candy: "I wonder what he's into. Oh wait, you're here."

Sonny: "You know it. He's into.. would you believe racing and fighting game e-sports? Must be his family's competitive nature seeping into that, lor."


Feeling the talk carrying on and the lack of movement on table, Minori exclaimed, slightly disturbed.


Minori: "Enough talk! I fear the food's getting cold if we keep the talk going!"

Candy: "Sushi? Cold? Umm.. did we sit here for a millenium, or.."

Sonny: "I get that a lot. Kirk and I.. we never shut up on the table. I dig your open house table, Candy baby. You got a knack for having guests around."

Carlyle: "Not to mention I's be wanting 3 more rounds!!"

one hour later.jpg



With all four exit the home, the cool breeze blows as they close in the miniature Renault..


Candy: "So, there's a Sunday Cup Classic in Tsukuba later, and.. we're bringing Minori-chan to race?"

Sonny: "It's to get her familiar with the R4. She keeps all the winnings, and we get to be special guests!"

Minori: "Lesson 4: money's always a sealed deal for me, bebe."

Carlyle: "I was thinking why she needs another car? Japan's good for walking at most times."


As Carlyle gave that idea, her thoughts then triggered..


Minori: "Umm.. I was shopping, and an Interpol agent recognized me even under all this makeup and radical blonde hairdo."


As she enters the back of the Renault, Candy remembers better of the situation..


Candy: "No, Minori-chan, your Ferrari's on their most wanted list. And they saw it."

Minori: "Oh, that too. You're lucky I know how to drive!"


The men watch the women from a short distance, soon after they comment..


Sonny: "She's confident to fit all their stuff on the front of the F40?"

Carlyle: "I.. don't knows how to answer that. I'm pressing X to doubt on this 'un."


Checking the rear, Minori then looks to the men..


Minori: "Shall we get going, then?"


And as Candy settles in..


Candy: "I'm not sure who's idea is it to fit us all in this.."


And on the outside, Sonny blasts his way to the passenger entrance, declaring..


Sonny: "I call shotgun!"

Carlyle: "D'aww shucks.."

Candy: "I knew this was going to happen."

Sonny: "What, it's in the Sonny Meng corporate slogan! Sorry, hotshot, but that's the rule of nature."


later.jpg



With as much intensity as she took it, Minori brought the R4 out to the expressways..


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Minori: "Aww, is that true? I just noticed there's no tacho inside."

Sonny: "Yeah? You gotta deal with it, beh. My real trouble now is that.. it feels like a kei car in here."

Carlyle: "Ya think?! They be handling me like Jess's Copen back here. Least I'm in good company."

Candy: "Hands. Off!"


With empty roads, Minori looks behind..


Minori: "Must be tight for you two back there."

Candy: "What are you talking about? Oh wait. Now I get the perks of being small."

Carlyle: "That smug face.. WHY YOU LITTLE-"


Still watching Carlyle about to make a pretend choke, Minori didn't take heed of the amusement factor..


Minori: "You touch her and there's a bullet with your name on it, fat ass."

Sonny: "Whoa."

Carlyle: "She really got you shielded up good, doll."

Candy: "I'm not paying you to do that, Ginnie, but if it's bodyguard wages you want.."


She turned around and focused her augmented sights back on the road..


Minori: "Well, you better have some form of gratification at the ready, bebe. For now.. enjoy the drive."


Just as Ginoa looks ahead, Sonny places a cassette in the radio, playing..


In The Real World
The Alan Parsons Project
Stereotomy


With something this pathetically slow, there's only one spoiler for analysis and tuning. This is the norm for this, don't raise those pitchforks yet. You know, if I have something to say about the Renault 4, it's that there's very little it has to offer in terms of a car's character. So the eyes have to not only come out, but they have to be looking for the little things that has to be noted. It made me wonder: how did I end up writing paragraphs for the Willy's MB and the 595 Esseesse?


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What do I have? Well, we do have the hullabaloo that is the car coming without a tachometer makes it hard to measure when to shift. You had to be thinking: what were the French into to think this being missing is a good idea? It would be if the car's an auto, or an electric, but we'e much too far in the past for that to be considered. More realistically, in the 10 years I've driven in various cars, I wouldn't be looking at the tacho as vigilantly as the road up front and the speedo, so maybe that's where the mindset came from? I dunno, you don't have to take my experience at full brunt, y'know.

Aside the pace, maybe something else to talk about is the handling. It's an old FWD hatchback, and if we looked back some nominees in weeks prior, the gimmick of FWD cars being slow thanks to their handling is slowly being creeped away. The Swift Group 4 being a econobox crammed with bliss then put on bliss, and the FK8 being a real ripper to take out no matter how many horsepower it doesn't have.. it's just examples of the future of hot hatches being bright. Coming to where it started, it might be what makes the R4 terrible to drive.. if it was. It sold 8 million units, and I know word of mouth is a powerful way to tell if it sucks or not. And you don't need a 3 figure IQ to tell the R4 doesn't suck. The only way I can compound this is to just.. drive it! It turns, while hanging out 175 mm high, and when it turns, the understeer it produces is underpronounced, so much you swear if you take it out the corner correctly, you're driving the precursor to the mentioned Swift Gr.4.


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I'm going to stay away from speed and acceleration, because while there's none of that in good amounts, the R4 has a powerband with poor torque past the 2500 RPM mark, meaning short shift? There's two issues with that. It's too slow to get a benefit out of it unless we're at Route X, and.. no tacho. It's going to be the Achilles' heel of the thing, isn't it? There is the skinny tires which should mean grip sucks, but at this speed and drivetrain, it doesn't admit to that kind of smack talk. And keeping in line with grip, you're not going to lose this by spinning the wheels, because no matter how bumpy or uneven the road may be, the front wheel will still keep rolling properly. With those thin rubber, this is a plus.

You know I can't talk much else about this kind of performance and character, so tuning it is! The R4 sadly, as of writing, carries no engine swap. It'd be a win already if it can claim the Clio RS powerplant, and we're already promised to not get the EK8 Civic Abarth experience thanks to it having a non-issue slipping out even when fully kitted out, and of course being FWD to begin with. That might arise a whole different issue, but we don't quite know what that might be.. yet?

On to the car itself: while there's a whole menagerie of things you can do in GT Auto, you can't make it look like it's cursed without livery, of course. On to Understeer, and it has a turbo option. Take it. And High-RPM to me is the only option, as it settles nicely with the torque being much better at late RPMs. Not to mention while all the RPMs don't do anything to it in the big picture to warrant deciding another. So, high it is!

What's nice about the R4 is in the suspension options.. the R4 has dabbled in rally, after all, so it comes in tall, and you can make it taller. Or you can keep it slung low for those perfect Goodwood moments. Stiffen everything while you're at it, of course at your own discretion. A fully churned out R4 with sports tires can reach to the levels of the 276 agreement lot, but don't expect to compete with that bunch at all with this car. Not until it gets an engine swap, of course.


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And that's it. I'm at a loss for words, y'know? And you know what: the French knew what they were doing. It's slow, but not everyone cares about speed.

I was thinking of a haiku, but what does make sense instead of something about cherry blossoms or the winter night is that.. Do you buy jeans to run on track?


Candy: "I've driven that 595 Abarth that time, Lyle.. this felt a whole lot quicker than that."

Carlyle: "Thinkin' this one's refurbished from a Group A rally racer. Hey, there be like upwards of 50 of them's I sold the past month, doll. Man's mind don't remember everything."

Tsukuba Circuit
Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture
Afternoon



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Nothing but perfect conditions thanks to the sun and the enthusiastic roster of drivers and spectators for today's small brawl.

The bronze R4 from earlier makes its appearance, now idle in the pits..



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As the people inside exit its tight insides, Carlyle extends his limbs and pats his warmed shoulders, then inhaling the great clean airs present outside the crowded cities..


Carlyle: "Ahh, Tsukuba. Remember our last outing here, Son?"

Sonny: "Where Fred slaughtered us all with that truck of his, oh hell yea."


As Sonny joins in on the view of Tsukuba's famed start line, the ladies..


Candy: "I-interesting, yes, but I need to have a trip to the washing room. Minori-chan, if you please?"

Minori: "Alright. I do fancy me a wash myself. If you'd excuse us."


..leave the scene just as quickly the cars would travel past the final turn..

The men then take a quick look at the Renault, with its keys left inside.



Carlyle: "We should be the good gentlemen's we's are and fill up."

Sonny: "A-to the-G to the-REEEEE! Let's get to work! This runs unleaded, right?"


And as they get to work, Carlyle frees the hood latches and inspects the inner workings, as Sonny grabs and heaves a can full of petrol.

As their work go on idly..



Carlyle: "Muh.. I guess you're right."

Sonny: "On what? Because I'm always right."

Carlyle: "Those two make up a pretty fine duo."

Sonny: "I know better combinations. Just that it's the occassion that forces this pairing, lor."


Securing back the hood, Carlyle intends to check on the refuelling, but instead notices..


Carlyle: "Hang on a minute, is that?"


He sees a small group of well suited individuals, but also noticed the one lone member that's smaller than her contemporaries.


Carlyle: "Yeah, I know that bod from a mile away. What says you's, Son? Uhh, Son?"


He turns to see the fuel can all settled and sealed, with Sonny already on the prowl towards the group earlier was.


Sonny: "Follow them? Good idea! Try to keep up, slowpoke!"

Carlyle: "Oh. My. GOD!"


Shouted the chubby man in frustration..


Sonny: "Hehey! You'll get used to it, my favorite little hotshot."


uhhh.jpg



Exiting the wash rooms, Candy steps out, hoping for a pleasant day..


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

Izumi: "FREEZE!"


sigh, never mind..

Now with a pair of guns in front of her face, she reacts accordingly, hands high above in an instant..



Candy: "UWAAAHH!! I AM SO NOT READY TO GO BACK TO JAIL!!"


However, a quick look at her assailants got her thinking a way out is more than possible.


Candy: "W-wait! Ch-Chunhua! Izumi-san!"

Izumi: "HAHAHAAAH!! She remembers! I'm flattered. How's it been?"

Candy: "Put down the gun.. and I'll tell, honest!"


She, and the man beside her, then put their guns back in the holsters, bringing back the calm of the situation.

Izumi, adjusting her cheongsam, then explains..



Izumi: "I will, but this was all my partner's idea."

Candy: "Partner! You mean Rin-san?!"


The two agents step aside, revealing a petite Japanese woman, ready to greet..


Rin: "Little sis!"

Candy: "B-big sis!"


As everyone steps aside, they make a sisterly embrace.

From Izumi's side, Minori comes over..



Minori: "Oh, this is cute."

Izumi: "Ahahah, kage-san! I know it's you from a mile away."


And the man helping her then joins in..


Bernardo: "No, signora, it's because Rin told you."

Izumi: "Hehehe.. shutupbern."


Then from another angle comes a pair of pursuees..


Carlyle: "Jessiebelle? I didn't recall you's coming over here."

Rin: "Lyle-san, you know I don't tell anyone about work."

Carlyle: "Gosh, why'd I forget that?"


And the other man enters, facing an old friend..


Bernardo: "Sonny!"

Sonny: "Bern!"


The two men would spin, kick and jig, as if a pair of hot dogs on the opposite side of a swimming pool would..


Bernardo: "Hot dog!"

Sonny: "Jumping frog!"

Both: "Albuquerque!"


..before hugging it out like old friends would.

Carlyle then came to the other reunited women watching in great concern..



Carlyle: "Sure is a coincidink to run in to you this day, Jessie-mama. You working like usual, or.."

Rin: "Interpol got on their high horses hearing a high profile criminal being around in Tokyo.. after we meet with Son-son here, we're here to investigate.."


Candy though, with the piece to this jigsaw, explained..


Candy: "Hmm.. I think I have an idea how that happened.. it's our department store hijinks, Minori-chan."

Minori: "[whistles]"


As she began to distance a little, Rin then raised her brows and realized..


Rin: "Hooohh! And looks to me we got us out answer, teehee. Well, I guess we can use this time to keep up with my little sis!"

Bernardo: "And not arrest anyone? Ufufu.. I wonder what Lance will say about that?"


Bernardo might be a joker in heart, but a hard worker as well, which prompted the squad lead of today to recollect her excuses..


Rin: "Umm.. err.. just say it was all a.. prank?"

Bernardo: "To be using hundreds of dollars flying us here is in no way a prank, Signora."


Leaping to the side of her partner, Izumi chimes in.. not quietly, at least..


Izumi: "AHAHAHAA! We'll figure something out.. pfft.."

Now split apart, Candy admires the views of Tsukuba's start finish line from an elevated position.

The men by her however didn't leave any moment for an automotive lover's exhaust sounding peace.



Sonny: "Tell me, Bern: I see you're knee deep in this predicament between Augur and just about us dudes involved?"

Bernardo: "After that delivery, I figure it needs no explaining, vecchio."

Candy: "Is she okay? I mean Cierra.. don't tell me you didn't forget being the one that facilitate taking her to Augur, right?"

Bernardo: "She's doing excellently. With her good friend at her side, I fear something even bigger might manifest, ahaha! That much Bernardo can only share, I'm afraid."


Sonny now thought it's time to tease..


Sonny: "The Bern I know's always on the straight and narrow! Has someone been taking undercover lessons?"

Bernardo: "Why are you asking??"


A pause came, but Bernardo then suddenly broke it..


Bernardo: "AHAHA! Just a joke. I took to heart of Agent Maiden's teachings. I mean.. Izzy. She's got a talent for spy work."

Sonny: "It's in her history of achievements. I wouldn't mind getting super spy on to mine, ehehe [teeth gleam]."


This led to Candy quickly smacking his back with a leap.

It wasn't hard, but it was definitely uncalled for.



Sonny: "Oi! For what, eh?"

Candy: "I'd apologize, but trust me: if Lulu was here, it's much much worse!"

Sonny: "Ehh.. that's fair, that's fair.."


As Candy then went back into position, she then saw an empty bench, and delved back to a past time..


Candy: "Strange."

Bernardo: "What?"

Candy: "This is where I first.."


And as she imagined, echoes of a voice she once felt estranged towards..


"Yes, Nirvana hears you quite clear.."


She then came back, mellowed by the trauma of Nirvana's unbridled rage..



Candy: "Met Nirvana."


He then also remembered..


Sonny: "That was your first meet? Just so you know, I didn't mean to barge in, beh."

Candy: "She had such an unnatural aura. One that I've grown accustomed to in recent days."


Feeling her neck, she then came to her still visible burn mark, which prompted Bernardo..


Bernardo: "Dio, are those burn marks on your neck, vecchia?"

Candy: "Healing burn marks.. but looks like you saw, huh?"

Sonny: "She must be like 'how dare you' or something."


The mystery lady still strong in thought, Candy wondered, towards to her arch-nemesis..


Candy: "You ever.. had her crack before?"

Sonny: "I heard enough stories of it. I figure I'd be the last person she wants to lose her composure in front of, beh."


It's a bitter enemy, but recently that's not the case.

He then thought this isn't what I want to discuss, and had to escape..



Sonny: "Well, it's nice being around you all, but Ginnie needs some pointers before her cute little race. Who else better than to share that but myself.. SONNY MENG, OUT!"


He left, feeling suave like he always is.

The two that remain make use of the emptied bench, and sat.



Bernardo: "Charming, isn't he?"

Candy: "After the hordes of explosions, general annoying vibes and intrusive musical entries, I'm already used to it."

Bernardo: "I've known him for more than 10 years. He's not always like this, you know. Money and fame can corrupt a man."

Candy: "You tell me. Lulu told me you're not a slouch in money yourself."


Candy then went to thought, crawling a maze in her head until she reaches one of the many ends..


Candy: "Actually, Bernardo.."

Bernardo: "Si? You seek me help?"

Candy: "Yes, and no tricks now, okay."

Bernardo: "Alright."

Candy: "I'm in heat."


Hearing that, Bernardo comes off it feeling like a cucumber in a fruit aisle..


Bernardo: "Umm.. Alright. You're asking the wrong man for advice on period.."

Candy: "No, not in heat in terms of.. I mean, heat when it comes to giving Cierra up to Augur."


Understanding after a quick think, Bernardo speaks out..


Bernardo: "Ahhh.. pressured, is it? Don't say Bernardo wasn't ready for this, but vecchia, tell me: is that how you perceive it?"

Candy: "Huh?"

Bernardo: "From what I saw that day, that young beret wearing girl showed a smile for what I assume is the first time in months. I don't need to clue you further, si?"


He spinning the tale, but there's no reason he had to spin it this much, she thought..

Candy then saw what he meant, readjusting her view on what she did..



Candy: "So.. instead of.. saying they got her.. she got what she wanted?"

Bernardo: "Magnifico! You got it! Which is why you won't get no arguments from me and from Sophia."


And as Candy realized, she then got on her feet as the sound of classic cars surround them..


Candy: "I'll have to stand up then. The Big 3 needs to know they can't hold Cierra hostage no longer."

Bernardo: "Is that what you're seeing? I assure you they are just worried about this timid little talent of yours."


Thinking she needs more to work with, Bernardo explains..


Bernardo: "Bernardo parts with wisdom, vecchia: the Big 3.. I'm confident they aren't going to kill you. So relax! Maybe you can discuss over a cup of coffee. You'd be surprised how smooth things go over lunch."


And with that idea in mind..


Candy: "Huh. I'll give it a shot. Umm.. thanks, Bernardo."

Bernardo: "Happy to help, mia cara."


After that, Candy had just enough height to notice..


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Candy: "Minori-chan? There she goes.."


He then follows, noticing the R4..


Bernardo: "Why, that is a small car. A Renault, was it?"

Candy: "They said it was the car that brought the hot hatch idea first."

Bernardo: "Is that so? I prefer the likes of a 500 over it regardless."


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Candy: "What's your take on this, then?"

Bernardo: "Considering the one who drives is a.. umm.. talent for taming an F40, her chances are pretty nice."


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Candy: "Do you think Lulu knows of her?"

Bernardo: "Perhaps they met, perhaps they have not. Vecchia, this I do not know how to answer."


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later that same evening.jpg



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Just arriving back, the ladies start unfurling and lighting up the dark home..


Candy: "Phew.. home at last. I gotta say.. that car was built for you, Minori-chan."

Minori: "Why.. thank you! Don't mind me taking advantage of these Sunday Cup events all over this country."

Candy: "Only that it comes with no more department store hijinks. Now, I'm headed for the nearby onsen for a bath. You're welcome to join if.."

Minori: "That won't be needed. Remember.."


Minori places her point by taking out one of her arm blades and knocking her metal plated chest//


Candy: "Ohh.. right. I forgot. I expect my big sis to come over though, so if she's here.."

Minori: "I know. I'll take care of it, Candy-sama."


And as Candy readies to exit, she thought..


Candy: "That's efficient. I mean REAL efficient. Her perfectionist really shows, huh?"


later.jpg



Done with her refreshing experience, Candy walks back to her home, noting the lack of additional cars.

She walks in the relieving joy of being under her roof, greeted by Minori..



Candy: "I'm back."

Minori: "Ehe. Welcome back, l-miss!"

Candy: "Thank you, Minori-chan. Well.. any sign of Rin-san?"

Minori: "Khe-no.. not at all. Or rather.. she's not here yet."

Candy: "Hmm.. odd. I suppose they have something else to deal with. I'll leave you to it then.."

Minori: "O-kay!"


However, as Candy moved to her room, she had a hunch something was amiss..


Candy: "Is it just me, or did Minori-chan get.. small? Must be the soothing bath salts.."


a little longer than a few minutes later.jpg



Now dressed for bed, Candy heads out of her room and heads for her kitchen, while brushing her hair..

She notices her maid cleaning her coffee set..



Candy: "Minori-chan?"

Minori: "Eh? Heh-how can I be of s-service?"


As Minori turns and stands tall, Candy then saw something even stranger as she puts her brush aside..


Candy: "(Now she's taller?!) Umm.. it's getting late. You don't have to clean the counters anymore.."

Minori: "Uhh, but, yes.. well, there's no rest for the w-wicked! Pfft.."

Candy: "You got that right, but I do want you up first thing tomorrow, you know?"

Minori: "R-right! Sorry.. I like your coffee grinder is all. Yes!"


Candy then thought it odd as she walks back out..


Candy: "Oh.. (Ginnie actually HATES cleaning the coffee grinder.. something is going on, or my name's President Richard John Clinton Washington the Third, and it's not!)"


Unaware, she then runs into Minori carrying clothes..


Candy: "Oh, you get around rather fast."

Minori: "You sure like to wander off into the mind scape, Candy-san."

Candy: "You got that right.. actually.."


She then backs to the kitchen to see her brush on the counter..


Candy: "I knew I left it here!"

Minori: "Heehee.. this calls for the vacuum cleaner."

Candy: "Still on the counter, Minori-chan?"


She then realized..

..and quickly looked back, to see Minori closing in with the laundry.



Candy: "Wait, isn't she? Wait, I know she's there, and now here?! Why am I seeing double?!"


She exclaimed with her hair messed and her eyes shrunk in manic confusion.

Minori then, putting her finger on her face, wondered what's going on, asking..



Minori: "Something up, bebe?"

Candy: "Oh, it's nothing, Minori-chan. Just that.. wait."


The Minoris then got in the same room, assuring Candy that she indeed is..


Candy: "I AM SEEING DOUBLE!"


The Minori handling the coffee then snapped..


Minori?: "KHHH-HEEEHEEHEEHAAHAAHAA!!"

Candy: "I know the one person that can't help hold their laughter like that!"


Taking off her fake blonde hairdo, the coffee working Minori is none other than..


Izumi: "Would you look at-at that?! Fooled like a rat being led to a mouse trap!"

Candy: "This Minori-chan's much too.. umm.. flat and not artificially enhanced in any way."

Minori: "You got that right."


Candy then turned to the Minori handling the clothes, and saw the slots that hide her hidden blades, deducing at least this is the real Minori.

She also deduces that..



Candy: "This is yet one of big sis's funny little schemes, is it?"

Izumi: "HAHA! Oh yes! Yes indeed. Bernardo actually was going to be a part of this, but oh he is such a MAN!"


As Izumi takes off the eerily similar maid outfit, Candy then remembered of the smaller Minori..


Candy: "Where's Rin-san now?"

Minori: "On your computer. She's a tech wiz and couldn't stop working her way through your, as she says, messed up software."

Candy: "I'm going to dock your pay for going along with this, Minori-chan.."

Minori: "Oh no.. anyways, to the TV room?"


A quick intermission comes and goes as the ladies gather at the now crowded TV room to see the last impostor maid having a time on the PC..

However, the owner of said PC..



Candy: "BIG SIS!"

Rin (as Minori): "Big who, now?"

Minori: "It's over, Kate, back to normal for you."


Amused by this whole issue, Rin then tossed aside the blonde hairdo..


Rin: "About time! Our disguises were on point this night."

Candy: "Don't tell me the dark one told you I'm the lab rat again?!"


Thinking for a moment, she then replied, as if it was perfectly destined..


Rin: "Oh snap, my little sis is quite bright."

Izumi: "Pfft.. b-bright is not what I had in.. in.. hehe.."

Minori: "Regardless, an idiot is not what I can describe madame Candy, so you know.."


Candy then comes close, querying on why her friend's rummaging her computer..


Candy: "Rin-san, since when is it okay for you to just.. go through my virtual stuff?"

Rin: "I'm not just doing that, little sis.. I'm setting it up for cyber protective reasons. There are red flags EVERYWHERE! What if there was a virus from some dark forces out there, ehh?"


Understanding her digital paranoia, Candy takes great advantage of Rin's presence..


Candy: "I suppose now that you're here.. I need to know if Jake's told you anything I might want to hear."

Rin: "In Augur? Umm.. my partner can help with that."


Like a wolf to their prey, Izumi leaped onto the other Asian women.


Izumi: "Did somebody say.. say.. HELP?!"

Rin: "WAA!! H-heyyy!!"

Candy: "I-IIIITAAA!! Y-yes.."


She got off quickly, then after, asked..


Izumi: "To be honest this is more Bernardo's thing, you know. Where is he anyways?"

Rin: "Probably getting drunk somewhere nearby."

Izumi: "I figured as much.."


Thinking of the three men and a good time drinking away the sorrows of life, Rin then remembered..


Rin: "Which is strange.. I know Son-son doesn't drink. I'm guessing they're at one of those non-alcoholic bars."

Candy: "There's one a couple blocks away.. I wonder if they've planned for this, because.. I didn't say a thing."

Rin: "You make me SO jealous of your real estate luck, little sis!"

Candy: "Hey, focus! That's my desktop you're trying to fix!"


Minori then asked as she entered and repositioned the cushions for her slumber..


Minori: "What about Jacob?"

Izumi: "Last I hear.. he's doing dirty work. When I mean dirty.. I mean.. teehee.."


Izumi points towards Rin, and Minori got the hint with the shadowy tone she gives out..


Minori: "This will be good, oui? Outside?"

Izumi: "Ohh hoho! Kage-san, I didn't know you were so.. so.. khkk.. EAGER!!"


The two left the room, leaving the unofficial siblings to remain..


Rin: "And there we go!"

Candy: "Huh?"


Gestured to point towards the desktop, Candy sees the desktop clear of clutter, but with a caveat: a picture of Rin squeezing her, then newly met little sister from Week 2..


Candy: "GWAAH! Rin-san!!"

Rin: "I know, you like it, right?!"


She's fuming from the inside, but it quickly quells as soon as she sees that smile..


Candy: "Hrr.. huhh... (that damned smile) well.. lay it on me, big sis."

Rin: "Gave it network and virus protections. Updated your software drivers. Optimized its storage usage. How's a test?"

Candy: "Oh? A test?!"


Rin went straight and double clicked on a desktop shortcut.

The screen darkens, which Candy didn't hesitate to question of..



Candy: "Now what did you do.."

Rin: "Installed Baldur's Gate 3."

Candy: "Did you just hand me an illegal copy of some fantasy nerd game?"

Rin: "Nah. If I was pitching, I'll just mention I bought it DRM free."

Candy: "I don't care what you said, but.. well.. at least I'm morally sound.."


She might've been given yet another favor from a friend she didn't deserve, but then..


Candy: "I don't know why but I feel like crying.."

Rin: "Ohh, I know why! I heard of your little threatening assault last week.."

Candy: "M-maybe. I just.. realized how I don't want to be alone anymore."

Rin: "Don't you worry, little sis. After my quick mission, I-I was going to surprise you.."

Candy: "Like you did with appearing in Tsukuba and dressing up like Minori-chan?"

Rin: "Ehh.. sort of. Okaa-san's back here with Alan and they might need some extra company. I'll be transiting from my place in Tochigi to Moto-san's pitiful excuse of a home in Tokyo Bay."


However hard she tried to keep it dry and happy, a lone tear did drip out..


Candy: "Why.. I appreciate all this, big sis!"


After another quick sister to sister hug, Rin had something else to share..


Rin: "Also.. Nash-san wants us in France next week. Just a friendly meet with the Initiative, all paid for. As for my Jake.. he doesn't mean well when it comes to what he does in Augur, but.. I will keep him in check for our sakes. I promise."


And done with her work, Rin gets up, not quietly, however..


Rin: "But for the next couple days, Moto-san wants my company. I'm not too familiar with Ginza, so.."

Candy: "Shop till we drop?"

Rin: "You read my mind, little sis! How's tomorrow sound?"

Candy: "Sure! Sure! Don't forget to bring Moto-san."


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It's a Sleeper alright. Just.. very very limited in usefulness on the whole. So it's not there for me. Not yet, I guess.

But to call it a Beater is unfair. Now, while the Esseesse I say is a Beater, it's because.. I didn't enjoy it as much as this one. Not to mention its only saving grace aims to put you in the ER as badly as your wallet.

Like the MB, I suppose Neutral is fair. Maybe I'll see if a swap will reinvigorate this idea.


Booriing.

This is mainly exposition the episode. Mainly because this has been a busy busy week for me in real life.

I hope if next week's car is exciting, it'll reflect on the writing.


As the main character, Candy Lam is bound to appear in every segment, be it either as the lead role, or as a small mention.

The infamous Sweet Toothed Lone Wolf of Asia, or known worldwide as Le Glace Pacer. While her social presence is significantly poor, her presence on the track hasn't been short of perfection, now under the pressures of being a monetary source of higher powers, as well as her role being the most prime form of woman racers.. But don't let her hear that.

Theme Song: Def Leppard - Bad Actress
Racing Duel Music: Def Leppard - Nine Lives
Gender: Female
Nationality: Hong Kongese
Age: 30
Current occupation: Professional racecar driver
Distinct features: Long, clean, straight ashen hair tied to a ponytail via traditional red braids. A stiff, stoic Asian beauty that starts to show sign of wrinkling, covered by heavy layers of makeup. Thin, rounded diamond face, with various beauty signs of it being worked on unnaturally, especially her unblemished small snub nose, heavily lipsticked mouth and thin brown Asian eyes. Short body with small proportions.
Choice of clothing: Typical modern glossy sleveless Hong Kong dress, but 90% she will have her favorite on, that's in blood red with a white bauhinia pattern on, with matching sandals. Most of her clothes and themes come in red or white.
Cars: Toyota GR Yaris 1st Edition RZ "High Performance", MINI Cooper S, Honda NSX Type R '02, Mazda Demio XD Touring

Even though she's a proud Hong Kongese, Candy is actually born in high society Tokyo, and more exposed to living in a usual Japanese lifestyle. An only child, it was easy to find herself spoiled rotten from a young age, getting what she wants and not caring how it got there, thanks to wealth she inherits strongly. Her father notably was an executive in Toyota's racing division.

A target in her younger ages, Candy's early life was full of trouble from others that are against her being a Hong Kong native in Japan. She never made any friends as a result, and this loner habit of hers remained even after changing schools, going so far to even give her a new alias. While her parents have a strong standing in the society she lived in, she remained in their shadow, because she couldn't find comfort out of it.

Upon reaching her adult days, Candy's first 'milestone' would come when an incident in a high class event caused her to run, leading to a manic police car chase spanning several weeks before she was arrested. The victim of these events would have deep ties with various Yakuza families. While her parents retreated to Hong Kong, Candy stayed in Japanese prison, learning that if nothing needs to come her way, she needs to learn something she initially dreaded to do: manipulate the human mind, a state of thought she was once a victim of.

After her sentence, she regained her freedom, and it didn't take long that was noticed by the city's largest street racing community. Still with her inherited wealth, she started off strong in the streets. Years then pass, in which she eventually proves herself as a top competitor for racing in many top endurance races worldwide.

While her fans are out there in many parts around for being a woman dominating a man's sport, she's not exactly a great social interactor, and is a nobody outside the racing community. With many questions still left unanswered, maybe there are more ulterior motives with the unsanctioned blue MINI project..

Tech savvy geek with a forte in extreme sports. While her chaotic nature always gets her into situations unwanted, her overall innocent and kind upbringing gets her to be responsible of being the only one capable of lighting up the complete darkness in her husband's inner struggles for a final identity.

Theme Song: Muse - Guiding Light
Racing Duel Music: Eurythmics - Would I Lie To You?
Gender: Female
Nationality: Japanese
Age: 29
Current occupation: Interpol special operative
Distinct features: Medium, layered bob burgundy hair. Athletic, slightly wide diamond face. Brown hooded eyes, thin almond nose and a small mouth. A natural beauty with a small layer of makeup that exists only to hide her eyebags. Thin profile with an average height, and above average proportions.
Choice of clothing: Always wears a bespoke pair of sporty earphones. Never with a distinct fashion style due to her clinging as a master of disguise, even though she's more of a master of imitation. Most of a time she's with a sporty crop top, denim skirt with tight sporty arm socks, leggings and sports shoes.
Cars: Lexus LFA, Lexus RC F, Daihatsu Copen

Rin started off life in Tochigi. Not even years in, she has been diagnosed with a minor mental defect which hampered her thought processes. While it didn't get in the way of her everyday living, it prompted her parents to remain her a single child. It did get her to do the occasional odd and unusual behaviour. Aspiring to be the family's model child, she didn't let her setbacks bring her down. A top grading student with impressive feats in athleticism, and to remain incredibly pretty; you can say all these good things about her, it's supposedly impossible.

With her mother, love was unconditional, but her father seems held back. Further on in her teen life, she would find out aside his day job that he's a well known, on and off street racer. The relationship would sour further, but that changed in the aftermath of when she decided it's time to see if she can do better. Acing her driver's test was one thing, but immediately sneaking out and winning a Clubman Cup event in Motegi was the next.

Rin would head to the UK instead of local institutes for higher education, but it was a guise as her father wanted to protect her from local troubles stirred by his actions. Away from home, this would be a pivotal era for her development. An old friend became her starting point in racing. She would meet certain individuals, including her husband to be. But also came a criminal group that wanted to exploit her near perfect genetics, with these events causing mental damage, and giving way to her chaotic shifts in mood.

She would make her escape in marriage, prompting her to stay in California. The paranoia didn't stop there. On the first chance she could, she started working as a police officer, even deciding to adopt identities and learn imitation. But her fears did arrive. They staged an accident, and before she got taken away, she escaped, leaving everything behind for a long 7 years. This time was used for her to anonymously hone her racing to a whole new high, protected by Interpol.

And gladly, that time is over. But a lot has changed. Most importantly: her father has died. Initially succeeding him by joining FIA GT racing, she failed to inquire an investigation on how he left a legacy behind in the form of Candy..

The newest member of infamous street racers The List so happens to be one country bumpkin that puts his charm above all else to any sweet talking, pretty lady he finds, whether they like it or not.

Theme Song: The Alan Parsons Project - Psychobabble
Racing Duel Music: Cinderella - The More Things Change
Gender: Male
Nationality: American
Age: 28
Current occupation: Stunt actor
Distinct features: Blonde hair, often slicked upwards to a folded twirl, revealing his charmed, rugged diamond face. Small green eyes behind medical sunglasses, with a chubby hook nose and a wide mouth that drastically puts a nasty idea to his often showing grin. Average height, with slightly wide profile. Skin is blemished in many places. Always chewing wheat.
Choice of clothing: Never consistent, but it's always action oriented. He can be wearing a tank top, to army fatigues. His lower body usually has khakis and combat boots. Has an affinity for orange. Wears special sunglasses due to an incident that damaged his eyesight.
Cars: Plymouth Superbird, DeTomaso Mangusta, Maserati Merak SS

This ravishing, but honest down to earth lover was born from a long line of the first Dutch immigrants to America of the 19th Century. Being a rural countryman of Illinois descent, Carlyle hasn't been of note in the racing world. But everyone around him know this man can get into the career without issue, as he's got the moves thanks to his long experience as a prime stunt actor of a small Los Angeles movie studio: Aurea Signum Studios. And one mantra that follows would be how that studio never fakes their stunts. Carlyle specializes in the vehicular aspect of this, notably, aside from women, he gets his arousing fix through high speed chases.

How Carlyle manages this is due to his family's ties with the classic car communities all over America. He's never without his Superbird ever since he turned 16, and it's always seen nearing 200 MPH. No doubt this would lead to how he's a frequenter to the police stations all over the nation, taking chances to just woo at just about any woman he sees within. Most commonly, that would be in central Los Angeles, where his own mother works at, and he would meet a significant link: a Japanese officer living in America, who has ties with the most infamous street racer in the nation.

A night stint of The List was interfered when Carlyle made their legendary speedster sweat with nitrous behind them. Not only did it get him a spot on The List, codenamed "Hot Shot" as per their rules, but he would prove invalauble as team support, along with being a creative thinker stemming from his army cadet youth, especially if he'd be deluded to say women were on the line.

In fact: a figure such as he somehow carries major weight in the underworld, particularly being the man to go to procure older cars, be it a used car or a Hagerty appraised classic. There are strong suggestions his role in the classic car communities are just a front for smuggling, but rumors remain as rumors.

Bohemian Like You plays

Once part of the greatest street racing crew in the UK, Sonny's now a key player in The List's day to day finances. While these days, he's started a long running racing career, leading to a gigantic bounty of success. This egotistical, proven all around badass comes forward as the most divisive top racing figure in the USA.


Theme Song: Rush - Vapor Trail, The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You
Racing Duel Music: A Silent Truth - Chariot (Daycore)
Gender: Male
Nationality: Half Singaporean, half American
Age: 32
Current occupation: As he would state it: a mother[BLEEP]ing racing celebrity
Distinct features: Curled, black medium long hair, always semi-shiny. Handsome, diamond Asian like face and skin tone, with a long stubble combined with a Zappa. Narrow angled grey eyes that shine when he wants to, subtle upturned nose, and hair surrounded mouth. Overcompensating perfect teeth that glares when he wants to. Slightly taller, semi slim build, with mild developed muscle.. also that gleam when he wants to.
Choice of clothing: Usually in biker style clothing, including leather all around with an undershirt.
Cars: Dodge SRT Viper GTS, Chevrolet Camaro Z28, Ferrari 288 GTO, GT By Citroen Road Car

While he might have a Singaporean father, his work as a presidential bodyguard means Sonny's an all American citizen. Birthed in Washington, he moved to California when he was still very young. There, he would meet the eventual leader of The List, and befriend him, being his social contact that would relate with him as that man would darken. On the contrary, Sonny remained as optimistic as he always has been.

But his optimism didn't carry over to his education, where he was often the main culprit of racism as an issue there. It was then he would learn, then utilize his famous mantra of always being one step ahead. By using his birthday gift: a 69 Camaro, he would cause what he would dub as the best graduation day ever: getting just about every nemeses in his school driver license suspensions, while he gets away scot free. Due to this epic win, his egoist side would rise from then onwards, possibly never reaching a ceiling.

It wouldn't stop there. Applying to study in London found itself to be a costly move, and he would bring said Camaro over the Atlantic to begin street racing in those streets just to break even. And past that, UK's top street racing crew known as the Prophecy would take attention, and adopt him as the first ever mentored student, known as a Chosen. Even though Sonny did graduate with middling honours and is ready for adult life, he chose to spend his earnings to chase his hobbies, and to everyone's surprise: it would end up being his life's work, with his unshakeable ego and skill would put him in the podium spot of any racing field he touches.

In addition to his successful racing career, he took on the role as The List's main income source, internally codenamed "Chimera". In recent years, Sonny's momentum has been halted when his mother passed, and now has a mission to find the Mrs. Meng to succeed even further than just his wealth and fame. These days, while he might be the badass he claims, he's also bound to lure in all sorts of trouble, such as the bad luck he's known for among his divisive peers, alongside his, what he dubs: 'favorite hostile secret admirer' in Nirvana.

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.

A.K.A. Jing Mei Chunhua. An Interpol agent who's once a disgraced worker, now looking to regain what honor she has lost. A sassy, habitually laughing clown who keeps together a thin line on keeping apart the worldwide authorities and the underworld she once made her name with.

Theme Song: Nero - My Eyes
Racing Duel Music: Pendulum - Plastic Eyes (feat. Fats and TC)
Gender: Female
Nationality: Half Japanese, half Chinese
Age: 30
Current occupation: Interpol agent
Distinct features: Yellowish pale skin. Black, medium well kept hairdo with hair buns. Thin triangular face, with angled, unnerving asian brown eyes, small nose, and a large, curved mouth that can expand greater than it looks. Small beauty mark on her chin. Slightly taller height, with a slim, thin build.
Choice of clothing: Always with a cheongsam, but what color it is depends on her mood, with matching hair bun ribbons, chinese makeup, embroidered slippers/sandals and dark leg high stockings.
Cars: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X Final Edition Gr. B Road Car

Izumi's started off being born as Jing Mei Chunhua within the many wards of Yokohama. She might've grown up with a brother, but their differences set them apart, most notably in terms of their ancestry. Naturally Izumi would be more towards her mother's side, who's a Japanese industry worker in the growing electronics market. While despite their differences in skin, the family's managed to keep together well.

Up until their parents moved on to retire, Izumi would end up studying to become a politician. However, upon realizing the desk work wasn't for her, like her brother, she would instead go for policework. However, after years of work and sacrifice paying off, Izumi became one of the best undercover policewomen within the Tokyo region. As she moves ahead that step and goes international, she then found of her brother's growings as the Vulture of infamy, who built a gigantic financing corporation that usually plays a dangerous game with the large Yakuza families within Tokyo.

She's never thought of him as someone to love, but while she thought to protect her brother, she would often find herself in that stressful divide of being an upstanding officer, and a loving family member of her small family. As it goes on, she would develop pseudobulbar affect with the many risks and pulls she has to manage, causing her to laugh in random and violent tendencies. This would continue until one day her greatest fears would come true: her arrest is due, and also reveals that she's been in contact with larger criminal players around the world as an accomplice within Interpol: particularly the Assassin's Guild before their hostile takeover.

While her brother serves in prison, Izumi was granted a special kind of parole in which she would continue her work, but would face life in prison should that she's found to return to her roots. Thanks to a man she's met dealing with a Yakuza family before, she would move on and mentor a small Interpol team, of which includes her savior's wife. That was 2 years ago, and while not much has changed in terms of her personality, she believes going the straight and narrow is the way to reforge the binds of family with her brother.

A technological marvel with a sharp finesse in her life ending work that got her the moniker of the Killer of Killers. Formerly the most sought out assassin for hire, she now lives in refuge under a guise, hoping nobody would find her unless you have a problem and no one else can help..

Theme Song: KMFDM - Professional Killer
Racing Duel Music: KMFDM - Virus (Pestilence Mix)
Gender: Female
Nationality: French
Age: 30
Current occupation: Maid? (obviously in disguise, she's actually the self proclaimed greatest assassin in the world)
Distinct features: Black, medium well combed right side bob, aggressively blonde when portraying her maid Minori personality. Smooth triangular face. Thin green almond eyes, thin tall nose with wide tip, and narrow mouth. Slight perky, blemished cheeks. Shiny white teeth that seem unnatural (actually bombs). Bright caucasian skin, with average height, weight and proportions. Small creases over arms and legs (actually hidden blades).
Choice of clothing: Your usual frilly maid outfit (definitely not intended). Outside, she's usually wearing a dark colored halterneck blouse/tank top, with black jeans and comfort slippers. Wears a red butterfly clip (actually a hidden knife), a golden set of bangles on her left hand (actually a hidden taser), and a large banded watch on her right (hiding the barrel of a hidden gun in her arm)
Cars: Ferrari F40

Perhaps the most well known member of the Assassin's Guild that serves as the example to not follow for any prospective killer due to her actions of infamy. Taking on a rural upbringing just out in the hillsides of the Pyrenees, this killer to be had a name, and being the only child of a family. Taken by an unknown sickness, her father left the family, forcing her to migrate with her mother to find better pastures. While they found refuge within a millionaire's estate, the man was a predator by the definition, taking his mother to satisfy his pleasures while the lone child would run away finding that truth out with intents to exploit it. Being on the lam by child police and this richman's associates, she learned to not only hate men, but also to hide and survive.

She would then meet one of the very few men she can respect: a Catholic priest who took her in. Informing him of her farmland origins, the christened Gino would come through living on and off the sanctified church grounds, using this time to hone her athletic and martial skills. However, as she came to adulthood, the men in pursuit of her finally caught up, and further her hatred of these people by not only destroying anything she comes to contact with, but also using their influence and wealth to frame her for that act. To get back at these people, Gino would conduct the perfect crime: one she's been planning ever since her arrival. To get this near impossible task done is to help kindle her inner perfectionist, but put her on the most wanted list in the country.

Her escape all the way to the southernmost side of the country got the attention of the Richelieu family, who would massively profit of these crimes indirectly, and thus led to their favor for her. Befriending the profit minded alpha and her wine loving little brother, the once again renamed Ginoa had revenge in her heart, now striking anyone who would exploit the poor, declaring herself a self serving assassin based by the Richelieu's turf. Her most pivotal moment in this career came when she was to bring to the end of an experimental surgeon: the man who would grant her artificial augmentations of her body who apparently was a high ranking member of the Assassin's Guild. This eventual clashing would lead to her joining, as well as the birth of the Trinitia L'Assassina that stemmed from their efficient, effective service.

Within this organization and thanks to the jealousy of the Richelieu matriarch, Ginoa finds herself travelling all over the world, even mastering a roster of languages, but these days finds herself hiding away in the center of Los Angeles, unwilling to step out of this shadow for the amounts of deathly gazes awaiting to end her. She did however learn two more important life lessons thanks to a few close friends, inclusive of The Black Flash, her short gang leader lover and an angry fellow known as The Messiah: vengeance is a strong motivator, and similarly so is love.
 
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Last week's ~Special Challenge!~ tasked drivers to set the most consistent lap times across five laps around Monza with AI traffic. Here are the results!

Baron Blitz Red​

Vic Reign93​

Fastest Lap1:58.3061:55.582
Slowest Lap1:58.9521:56.092
Differential0.646s0.510s

Congratulations for taking yet another Special Challenge, Vic! Dare I say this one's the closest you've ever won a Special Challenge by? :)



Remember the Renault 4 we tested two weeks ago? @Pickle_Rick74 more than remembered it; it seemed to have left quite the impression on him! And so he's chosen the Renault 5 Turbo '80 to feature for Week 56 of Car of the Week!

Gran Turismo® 7_20240505170919.png

Pickle_Rick74​

Let's have a go in the Renault 5 turbo!! I had a LeCar as they were called here and always wanted to try out the big brother!
Fat fenders, rear mid engine, rear drive, five speed gearbox, a racing heritage, and sleeper looks, what's not to like about the Renault 5 Turbo? According to racing driver Jean Ragnotti, plenty, actually! He apparently complained about the nervousness of the R5, citing that the rear fender would hit a wall if the driver made any mistake, owing to the fact that the rear end of the car is wider than the front! Will said nervousness and that big boot prove to be an issue on paved racetracks, though...?

Anyone (not a dick) interested in finding out together with us can grab a Renault 5 Turbo from the Used Car Dealer right now for 147,400 Credits!



Weekly Lobbies


Our weekly lobbies are ongoing as usual, and anyone is welcome to join us in racing bone stock R5s under BoP conditions!

Click on the hyperlinks to convert the times to your time zone, and feel free to add the hosts as friends on PSN to make searching for the lobbies easier!

The Americas Lobby


The Asia/Oceania also kinda European Lobby​


BoP/Settings Disabled: On (temporarily reverts cars to bone stock; WIDE BODIED AND ENGINE SWAPPED CARS ARE NOT ELIGIBLE!)
Tracks: Randomly selected by lobby participants (~10 mins practice, ~10 mins sprint)
PP Limit: 415PP
Car: No Limit
Tyres: No Limit



~Special Challenge!~

So, according to Wikipedia, the R5 was originally planned to be homologated into FIA Groups 3 and 4 as well, but ultimately never happened... until now ;)

Taking terms out of their original context, this week's ~Special Challenge!~ tasks interested parties into finding out whether a mad 80s hatchback has the chops to hang with modern, bona fide Group 4 racecars! Grab an R4 and tune it however you like, with the goal of winning any WTC700 event in the game. Feel free to share your tunes, strategies, stories, or what have you if you manage to do it! Bonus points if you can manage it on Hard difficulty!



Of course, we always welcome opinions, tunes, liveries, photos, videos, or stories about the car here on the thread!
 
Nice choice. Managed an 08.52.444 on the Nords. Very good time back then, today not so much. It was driven on some of the first physics models, maybe the very first actually.

YT review: "Welp, this thing is a handful! Very fun nonetheless! :) Sports some great looks as well!"



1km drag race:



Verdict: nice and fun to throw around sleeper
 
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A great little car. WTC700 at Le Mans can be won with a 1-stop strategy, at fuel map 6 it runs a similar pace as the rest of the field, while fuel map 1 gives a little boost for overtaking. With some LSD tuning you can give it superb cornering characteristics.

I also quite like the design. Glad that Renault decided to bring it back with the 5 E-Tech electric car.

IMG_5808.jpeg



 
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SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 55 - Maserati MC20


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Once upon a time, everyone complained: there's not enough modern supercars..

Do you REALLY want to know how well those squirrels in Polyphony Digital are fed?


When the Maserati MC20 was revealed in 2020, I'm sure there were many responses to how outrageous the year already was that it remained low key until the car came out.

That's a shame.. yes: thanks past SPD, it freaking is.

Because thanks to the pandemic, there's very little that can come out of that era that stands out greater. The MC20, being a beacon that will pave the way for the newly reformed Maserati, comes with the tagline to succeed the well known Ferrari Enzo derived MC12. And while I'm sure there's no way this is faster than the Enzo, I'm surprised with every detail I see that there is just little to no Ferrari in what I'm seeing. I'm okay with this body giving a sound like their V8s.

With a newly designed, Dallara penned aerodynamic sports carbon body, the MC20's other secret weapon would be its Formula 1 styled pre-chambered internal combustion V6 twin turbo designated as the Nettuno. I know it means Neptune: the god of Water in Roman myth, and.. umm.. there are two top neps that needs to be mentioned because I said so: the repeatedly mentioned deity figure in SpongeBob Squarepants, and.. umm.. I'm never open with revealing my interests in the Neptunia series.

To not derail, it sounds fancy, because it is, and it being a brand new engine that carries a patent from Maserati themselves, you're going to expect this thing to be fast. Why would I say it isn't? This isn't the DeLorean.

While we're not going to get a taste on how much of a success this car is for Maserati, it's already spawned fans and various different trims, including a GT2 race car. Even in the gaming spectrum, GT and The Crew 2 are the only mainstream titles with this car around.. sort of glad it's not in Forza Motorsport for its Nettuno to get butchered (no connection to my darling Mini Mexico, of course).

To answer the question that this is the start of Maserati. Are these Modena based sports icons back? I can't say they are, but they're definitely leaning away from 'hell no'.

A supercar can only make me think one thing for story: the rag tag gang of supercar driving protagonists.. why do I have this around? I blame my Need For Speed upbringing, alright? It's where I got the Carrera GT love (and repeated addiction to driving when I can).


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Episode 55: The Mythic Symphony of Black and White


Circuit de Sainte-Croix
Lac de Sainte-Croix-Du-Verdon, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Marseilles, France
Morning



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The lakeside forests find no respite with the likes of a white dragon shaking the elements that define this land..


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A white One-77: a definition of a gleaming diamond that unleashes 750 horsepower at 7500 RPMs, powers on hassle-free in thanks to its experienced driver.


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Paul: "Yessir! We're in full force today!"


Screams the driver behind the helm of the drake..


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Just as he arrives by the pit lane, he quickly stops his car, noting a person by the pit wall..


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Paul: "Ach, what?! Is the lassie contemplating suicide?!"


As he moves in close and parks, he hops out, and goes towards the women sitting by the pit wall.


Candy: "Umm.."

Rin: "Candy??"


He dashes on, sweating for nothing as he reassures..


Paul: "Aye, don't worry, lassie. Round us, you'd not be in a spot of trouble, aye? Phew.."

Candy: "Ugh, no, no trouble at all, Paul. Just that.. my last time here.."


She looked around the empty forest track, but recalled the congregation of the lucid morning air, and her memories..


Candy: "I'm still feeling the bitter sting of.. loss."


She hopped off and showed a more positive face as she shook free of that bittersweet moment..


Candy: "I know better to count my wins and losses today, but on that day I learned winning isn't everything if you wish to achieve something. Though, feels to me I'm still longing for victory at all costs."

Rin: "I mean, that race in the Red Bull Ring was awe inspiring."


Keeping up with the past memories flowing in, Candy explained, calm and proud..


Candy: "Cierra was on track with me then.. I told myself she has to look at my best! Who knew it was enough to keep up with The Guts and that pompous ass, like I always know how."


Suddenly, everyone remained startled as the song that defines a self-seeing man begins to override the picture..


Candy: "No, no no no.."


As the imaginary drums pound, everyone scatters their sights for the presence of the man..

The myth..

The one who's still doing anything he can in an ethereal, undescribable way to hijack this brief commentary..

Anyways, it's Sonny Meng, and he appears from the main pit building, walking in with his ego's foul wind blurring those out of focus.. talk about making an entrance for nothing, jeez..



Sonny: "Did someone call for me?"


Not happy of this, Paul replies..


Paul: "Well, good bloody morning to you, Son."

Sonny: "Yeah yeah, spare me that crap, bro."


Candy sees a good share of a small crew, then thinking..


Candy: "Don't get me wrong. I'm thrilled to see you all healthy and happy. Just that I hope I'm getting a much better explanation for why I'm here today other than hang out with Mythic. Leaving my home with Minori-chan alone isn't right."


Out of this picture, Paul then asks, scratching his plaid hat..


Paul: "Minori who now?"


Sonny slides in and replies..


Sonny: "That's the alias Ginnie's took up under her."

Paul: "Ginnie? Oh, Ginnie! Right. Under her, you say?"

Sonny: "Yeah. Bro, bro, you thinking.. watching TV.."


They both lean at each other, describing a scene familiar to them..


Paul: "Then, by the telly she be stark naked, crisps or whatever junk food all over, turning into her own Roger Ebert watching s[BLEEP]y movies. Aye, not me first rodeo with the likes of her at home."


The women watch with concern, but Sonny tries to mess up their disturbing thoughts..


Sonny: "Excuse us for that moment, sis. Nash told me it was all just a Mythic meet up too, so we're not in the loop if there's any hush hush intention, beh. We'll see if he feels like explaining, maa."


Remembering this is about the Mythic Initiative, Candy then mutters..


Candy: "It's been forever since I've been involved in anything involving Mythic.."

Sonny: "Me too. I wager he's still interested in you coming along our ranks. Thing is.. sad to say we're short someone. I can fill in 3 places, but they won't replace the special kind of place held by our own little Luce.."

Rin: "Ciya-kun."


Also remembering Lucia's current predicament with Augur, Candy remarks, thinking realistically..


Candy: "Honestly, are you expecting her to be here today?"

Paul: "That'd be all wishful thinking, lassie. Trust us."


The earth cannot shake due to one man, but in her head, it did as another man enters the scene, boots quaking the moment..


Jake Ross: "He has spoken."


He comes in, and greets..


Jake Ross: "Y'all planning on leaving me out like always? I'd be disappointed, but.."


While his modus operandi rides with fear, everyone around, with all honesty, greets cordially..


Rin: "Hiya, lovely!"

Sonny: "Jake, my bro!"

Paul: "Top of the morning, pal."


Candy though remembered him as the man who potentially nearly died using the Wolfmother drug.

Shaken by that recollection, she nervously..



Candy: "Looking.. looking good, Jake. You better, or?"

Jake Ross: "Much better. I appreciate the concern of my well-being."


Spoke Jacob with his gruff tone, smiling mildly.

The smile then turns to a neutral look as he asks..



Jake Ross: "I suppose your presence of trust still is in shambles after what you've done to Clark's greatest protege."

Candy: "My doing? Well.. a most observant Bernardo thought otherwise."


Hearing the name of his old friend, Sonny questioned with a light tone..


Sonny: "You don't say, lor.. Recap, darling!"

Candy: "He clued to me that she willingly went into the hands of Augur. I.. wonder why?"


Knowing he's working with Augur, Rin challenged..


Rin: "I also wonder why you have no idea that's the case, JAAKE!!"


She shifted to a furious gear that would scare nobody, but Jacob strangely..


Jake Ross: "Whoa! Easy! Trust me when I say I remain out of the loop these days."


..panicked and showed various signs of him being unprepared.

At a distance, Candy stepped towards the two other men as the couple then began to cause a ruckus, with Rin trying to climb her husband for the heck of it.



Candy: "When I can't find somebody who can boss the likes of Jacob freaking Ross, I can't be wronger.."

Sonny: "It's going to get worse, sis. Step back a little bit.."

Paul: "Aye, we're here if it gets rowdy. But looks to me.."


And it all eventually settles as Rin sits on his shoulder..


Rin: "HI-HO! Silver! Tally ho!"


Not in a spot of trouble, Jacob inquires..


Jake Ross: "Right! Where we headed for, love?"


As Rin took to pause for a moment, she then saw Candy, impressed, and thought..


Rin: "You're supposed to do your horsey sounds! Ah well. Back to the garages! Bring my little sis!"

Candy: "Wait, what?"


Muttered Candy as she began to back off..


Candy: "I know you're the dark one and all, but you don't have to be the strong one.. HUWAAA!"


She gets lifted by his lumbering arms, as Rin laughs, laying on his shoulders.


Jake Ross: "You.. DARE doubt me?!"

Candy: "WHAA! Easy there, oh dark one.. Easy.."


Panicking while being held by his arms, Jacob begins to march..


Rin: "This is the big one, Jake! You didn't happen to take your pills today, have you?"

Jake Ross: "Time to.. level up!"

Candy: "It's creepy how powerful one such as you are.. dear meee!!"


And the two men that remain..


Sonny: "You know, Paul.. I wonder even with all the work I do to my muscles, will I ever carry two beautiful damsels hassle free like Jake here?"

Paul: "Honest, lad, I can't fathom carrying two of me own kin, y'know. Consider the risk of dropping.."

Sonny: "Pussy."

Not long later, the three make their way towards the garages..


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Rin: "Was that a hundred.. or two hundred.. I don't know. Way to go, Jake-san!"


He then lets the women down, one by one..

Just after, he rubs off some sweat as he pounds his biceps..



Jake Ross: "Heh.. all that hard labour's paid off."

Candy: "Labour? Don't tell me.. Augur?"


She said with concern, which Jacob replies..


Jake Ross: "Nah. They ain't into me doing strength training. Think about it.. so has it been me doing any work for those fools. I know it's a long shot, but you're not going to tell me how much you weigh?"

Candy: "Haha. Oh you. Don't count on it."


Rin decided it's time to add fuel to this stoked flame..


Rin: "Since you did have a feel.. tell me.. who's heavier? Is little sis really big??"

Jake Ross: "Do I have an answer for that? Perhaps. But do I want to tell that answer? A-"


She slid across quickly and raised her hands, signalling to stop..


Candy: "We're going to stop, right there."

Jake Ross: "You heard her."

Rin: "Hahahah!"


Turning around to have a quick look around, Jacob then recalled their last trip here..


Jake Ross: "I trust your Initiation days netted you more than you've worked?"

Candy: "Had some episodes with the likes of the Big 3's inner circles. I'm glad we're past that, hehe."


He showed a smile, and continued..


Jake Ross: "Good, good. Thing is, we're not likely getting another chance should Luce want further respect from the tight knit street racing crews."

Candy: "You're talking about your super thief taking another one of those slates?"

Jake Ross: "After the first, I predict well that bridge has burned."


She then remembered their earlier conversation, referring to Cierra..


Candy: "I'm also wondering about how, umm.. me putting in Cierra got The List put apart."

Jake Ross: "Normally I'd say that's none of your concern, but.. word came that I'm working for Augur, and thus I need to keep safe my greener bunch. So yes: it ain't any of your concern."


Remembering Nirvana saying it was more of a seperation than an added organization, Candy then spoke in relief..


Candy: "It sounded way more ominous in the last few weeks, but.."


Not going to keep quiet, the other woman in the scene then..


Rin: "Is it me, or does it look like my darling Jake-san's cheating on me with my own little sis??"

Jake Ross: "You know that ain't my style, Jess."

Rin: "Or is it? Don't tell me you're doing this kind of work behind my back?"


SHe spoke up, but Jacob calmly puts down her attack..


Jake Ross: "You'd be the first to know, and I know you ain't going to say s[BLEEP] about it."

Candy: "I support you, big man. After Minori-chan's cybernetic augments received all kinds of interference caused by recently planted spy cameras all over my home.."


The one aside them then chuckled a little, smiling as she declared..


Rin: "Ehe. Guiltyy~"


As she anounces the admission of her crime, a pair of shadowy supercars skulk by..


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Rin: "Yatta! Moto-san IS here!"


However for Rin, the man in the McLaren settles in quicker, coming out as the main patriarch of one Kirkham Foundation.

Jacob then shook his hand, held hard..



Jake Ross: "Old man, you're really going to up the ante any chance you get."

Nash: "Oh, verily so, but.. well.. I would've brought my brother. Due to recent events, you know why I abstained."


And the girls aside them..


Rin: "Okay, Candy-san: like we practiced.. guilt-"

Candy: "NO! No! Enough. I am NOT guilty, big sis."

Rin: "Teehee.."


The man in the NSX then exits, revealing to be the girls' big brother.

He took a quick breathe as he felt for his katana behind him, as he comments..



Hayato: "Ahh, the sight of a fresh pair of Rin-chan and Candy-chan. Sensei would've loved to see this happening, nyeehee.."


His current father however butted in..


Nash: "That's not the tone I'd use for perhaps the most potent women on the racetrack."

Hayato: "Jiji, I'm only excited that we finally go all out at this.. forest in the south of France. Wouldn't you agree Nishimura-sensei too would relish at this sight?"


Nash, upon mention of his late friend, moves back and mutters..


Nash: "Curses, you thought of that quite nicely, Moto-san."

Rin: "Yeah! I can't believe I'd forget too!"


Oh boy.

Upon remembering her late father, she then, without any sign, broke as her emotional signs shout sorrow, and immediately dashed off, crying a deluge..

Concerned, her husband shouted..



Jake Ross: "J-Jess!"

Nash: "Oh for the love of.."

Jake Ross: "That sudden, right? I'm on it."


He then takes flight and exits the scene, leaving Candy to deal with a most unusual father son pairing..


Candy: "She's soft. But you're not wrong. Her father's memory really fuels her passion for racing, more so than both of us, Moto-san."

Hayato: "I refuse to believe she's on your level, Candy-chan."


Hopping in, Nash decides..


Nash: "Let's agree to disagree, Moto-san."

Hayato: "Nyeehh.. no."


He then focuses on the lone lady, looking at her from above..


Nash: "At any case, much as your mind's all over trying to get the good graces of The Messiah and other unspecified people, consider today the official tryouts for you to be in the Mythic Initiative. Wouldn't Shinzo like that too?"


She didn't take a moment to answer..


Candy: "Hmmm... he has his reservations.."

Nash: "How well do you know my good friend Shinzo, miss Candy?"

Candy: "In recent times, not great.. but great enough for him to consider me another parent in a past time."


Hayato, not satisfied with this, interfered..


Hayato: "NGAAAHH!! That's an oxymoron if I ever hear one."


She saw her half brother shake his head, stating..


Candy: "Odd, right? Don't educate me."

Hayato: "Nyeeheehee.."


Nash however remained stoic, feeling the air around him as he sees cars..


Nash: "Moto-san, I'm thinking a quick look around for what kind of cars we're going to be facing off later."

Candy: "You mind if I tag along?"

Hayato: "No objections here."

Falling to the nearest garage, the group of three visit a pair of V10 engineered beauties.


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Not a quick gaze later, she relived the moment Sonny and Kirk taught to her on what might be the greatest Viper she's ever drove, so far..

The bliss and zen inside a well tamed V10 gave Candy a thought with trouble at the side..



Candy: "THE BEAST.. I'm not comfortable going up against it."

Hayato: "I've heard tall tales about its prowess on any paved surface. We're going to get spanked at worst."

Nash: "Verily so."

Candy: "It's also one of the best American cars I've ever had my hands behind the wheel of. Any serious racers here are in deep trouble, right?"

Hayato: "Nyeeheehee.. since I'm in such a good mood, I beg to differ."


It was nearby, but Rin's LFA was conveniently the next car they covered, as her brother comments..


Hayato: "I'm sure you remember Rin-chan's LFA. Yet another V10 sports car, side-by-side with another of its kind. But oh they are such different beasts."


Nash took note of his casual face compared to describing THE BEAST, remarking..


Nash: "You're saying as if it's not a threat."

Hayato: "If she's still a crybaby, it's not. But let her flourish in her zone, and she will have YOU and everyone on this track cry to mama! Hehehe."

Candy: "I can relate. Though.."


Recalling a friend's wedding, she remembered a fact stated by Keith..


Candy: "I've been told this is her second LFA.."

Nash: "Yes. This second one's a gift from The List. A Nurburgring edition, paid for with what Jake calls the 24 hours of funding."


They moved on to another pairing, this time being two completely different cars, with different roles, while born under the same flag.


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Eager, Hayato steps up and squats on the hood of his NSX..


Hayato: "HAI-HAA! You remember my NSX, Candy-chan?"

Candy: "How can I not? There's nobody else with those words on the side of their NSX."


Hayato then held his sword's scabbard, describing as he plays about his hands..


Hayato: "It's not seen track action for years, so.. today's either your lucky day, or unlucky day."

Candy: "How is the weather today?"


Nash, already on his phone, makes a quick look on the weather app, noting..


Nash: "Rain is expected.. after sunset."

Hayato: "I don't care how badly I do with jiji's lapdogs, but if I can make an impression, that's already a win in my book, Candy-chan. I hope you think similar thoughts."

Candy: "I feel so too, Moto-san. Now, can we skip my car, because.. because.. you know why!"


Candy couldn't help feel her inner nerd start to burst like a bubble ready to pop as the car nearby being..


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Candy: "[shrieks], this had better come to my driveway eventually! But.. umm.. calm.. calm.. let's just say I'm impressed, white locked man."

Nash: "Of?"

Candy: "Your confidence."


Confused, he replies, with arms crossed..


Nash: "I'm confident that while I am pulling out all the stops, we're not going to put a scratch on my 20 million dollar piece of engineering."

Hayato: "Trust me, I won't dive on turn 1, jiji."


He might be his son, but he can't trust those eyebrows moving up and down rapidly..


Nash: "Bother.. I can trust as much for you, but should we now finally head to.."


He then retreats back towards the GR Yaris, known mainly as Candy's own Signature Car, but to Nash, he remains indifferent as he points..


Nash: "This specimen.."

Candy: "How dare you call it a specimen. It's a well tuned master of all roads, made perfect for the likes of me."

Nash: "******re for a moment, Candy? I'm having trouble convincing myself it can keep up. Don't come crying for us if you need a handicap."


He's pushing it, she thought, and soon follows while she frowns..


Candy: "Oh yeah! I'll have you know your good friend Hamza actually overhauled the car. It'll keep up with the likes of that piece of perfection, I promise you that!"

Nash: "Big words from a little lady."


Not liking where this is going, Hayato steps in..


Hayato: "Save your guts for later, Candy-chan. I'm looking forwards to see his smug face turn upside down."

Nash: "I can hear you perfectly fine, Moto-san."


A moment of calm follows, of which they then move further on to a certain V8 American legend..


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Knowing the legacy it etched for many, Hayato rubbed his palms, excitedly describing..


Hayato: "Ahh yes. Jacob brought his greatest asset. Tell me, jiji.. do you like your chances now?"

Nash: "I told him to bring it. So if you thought I'm unprepared, you've got it all wrong."


She remembered her earliest days with Jacob back in Week 3, but her mind went to something else, as she peeked inside to notice..


Candy: "That's a CarsenTech console alright.."

Nash: "A what now?"

Candy: "Nothing. I just noticed something, emm.. unimportant is all. Yes! Not important!"

Nash: "Hmm.."


He remembered that, but he moved ahead, followed as he hears the idle sound of an Aston Martin..


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Just getting out to stretch, Paul then saw this small group, approaching with a gentle wave.


Paul: "Whew.. Morning, Nash."

Nash: "Verily, of course.. Morning there. You alright, Paul?"

Paul: "I've been in tough skiffs, but is alright so far, mate."


Moving ahead, Candy asks with interest..


Candy: "Woahh... if not for earlier, I've never gotten this close to your car, Paul."


She was eager to have a feel for its well made carbon fibre body, of which Paul got in the way of quick..


Paul: "Any closer, and I'll kill ya for touching my prize ride, lassie."

Candy: "You don't scare me, you know?"

Paul: "I'm no Jake, y'know. Don't need fear to prosper."


As the rolling for threatening has failed, Candy backed off..


Candy: "But it's interesting you know.. you two.. having such an expensive car and willing to take it out."

Nash: "It defeats the purpose of being a car if it remains in storage for all eternity."

Paul: "Not to mention the blokes at GT Auto not minding repairing our cars with little hassle."


A new fact arose for GT Auto customers, Candy hopped a little..


Candy: "Oh?"

Nash: "Oh is right, miss Candy. Too bad we said too much about it."

Hayato: "They're being gentlemen about us being not so fortunate in wealth, Candy-chan."

Candy: "I think I got the memo, Moto-san."


Nash then noticed, as he counted with his fingers of the cars, that..


Nash: "Though, there is one thing.."

Paul: "What's on your mind?"

Nash: "Your rival, Henderson."


Forgetting of the Count of Sainte-Croix, Paul stammered as he panicked a little..


Paul: "Achh! There ya go! My God, THAT'S what's missing. Aye, alright.. Candy, you hear if Bon's around or?"

Candy: "Huh? Oh! No.. wait.."


Immediately grabbing her phone out her bag, she read a notification..


Candy: "I did get a notification, oh bother.. Having issues with the KTM.. that was an hour ago."


Hayato, hearing this, replies, being an owner of his own X-BOW..


Hayato: "Aww, what a shame. I really want to show fancy pants how to win with that car."


Nash then followed inquisitively..


Nash: "Anything else of note?"

Candy: "Not really, no."

Paul: "Still doesn't rule out if he's coming over for a race."

Nash: "I wager he's going to bring his sister's Porsche."


Hayato, in thought and looking elsewhere, mumbled..


Hayato: "An electric car? Nyeehhh.. ahh! I doubt it."

Nash: "Why's that, my son?"

Hayato: "I predict there's your Bon-Bon right on schedule."


He then points to the car entryway, witnessing a white sports car roll in loudly..


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The car arrived, leaving the group to quietly admire the car as it parks and remains idle.


Paul: "Bloke's got an MC20. Proper fine piece of kit you got there, Bon."


The man known as the Count then came out, visibly exhausted.

She knew he needs a tune up, so she stepped ahead, however unprepared..



Candy: "B-bon.. ehe.. hello.."

Boniface: "Bonjour, ma cheri. Long time no see."

Candy: "Umm.."


Paul, with his eyes, then saw on her face..


Paul: "She's redder than a chilli, Bon. Ye better do something about it?"


Being Paul Henderson gave him ample reason for a cross reply.


Boniface: "Relax, you oaf: I'm on it."

Paul: "Might I suggest we give them some space, aye?"

Nash: "Yay, verily. Come on, Moto-san."


The three men leave the prospective couple alone, though not quietly..


Nash: "Question of the day, Paul: weren't you with Sonny?"

Paul: "Umm.. the fan club caught up to the poor bloke and he's gotta scram.."

Nash: "The poor muppet. Moto-san, don't you have this kind of treatment?"

Hayato: "NYEEHEE! I'm lucky they aren't so persistent to go international!"


And back to the lovey love show, Boniface kneels down, as Candy tries to calm herself..


Candy: "Get it together, Candy.. it's just Bon. Why am I soo flustered about seeing you again?! Uhh.."

Boniface: "Do you need a safe space? You might like my idea.."


He then got up and headed straight for the MC20's door, opening it upwards..


Boniface: "How about a quick drive?"

Candy: "Certainly!"

She might still have her blood in her head, but behind the wheel, she knows enough it's not that time for her to be that way, and gets into her sports car taming rhythm..


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Shifting up, she then discusses..


Candy: "Great.. response! Bon, I didn't know you owned an MC20?"

Boniface: "It's a recent acquisition. And today will be the day it shows its colors."

Candy: "My.. it's quite the car.."

Boniface: "Quite indeed. It will serve me well in The Prophecy."

Candy: "They don't like you in your X-BOW?"


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Boniface: "Yes and no. It's not quite that simple, cheri. In this perfect world, I strive to be among clean racing folk, but then, the world is not perfect, thus we have the brutes that refuse to go clean at all times. The Messiah prefers I retain my limbs should the unfortunate happen."

Candy: "How wise of him.."

Boniface: "I heard he's not happy with your shenanigans.."

Candy: "Shenanigans? That's what he thinks it is?"

Boniface: "He isn't so dumb to assume it is. I sense there's something behind this facade that requires explanation."

Candy: "Recently.. I think so too!"


A brief quiet follows, putting the beats of the Nettuno V6 in play.

Still in casual pace, Candy then asks..



Candy: "I've been meaning to ask.. how did you get in the sights of The Prophecy?"

Boniface: "Hmm.. To begin, there was a round of the Supercar Festival in Spa an era ago.."


flashback.jpg



Action
Def Leppard
Retro Active


It's not recent, but fresh in memory as he revisits Spa in his head..



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The finals of a Supercar Festival elimination series sees recurring champion Boniface face off a surprise contender in Cierra Mercer..


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What set the competition to new heights was the sudden retirement of the aristocrat's X-BOW, forcing him to play another hand he takes opportunity of.


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Known in many street racing circles as The Dark Horse, Boniface takes the reins of Jacob Ross's Ford GT.



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The crowds at Spa were treated to the rainy chills balanced by the intensity of these American V8s.



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He might be only familiar with lightweight track bred roadsters, but Boniface adapted quickly..


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And soon took the win in a stacked championship.



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Marking his amends with a once hostile Jacob Ross, the day also marked his interest within the UK's elite street racing scenes.


As if she went through that episode personally, Candy expressed in eagerness..


Candy: "Impressive! Was that Def Leppard on the flashback?!"

Boniface: "(How did she??) Our friend.. the one you call the dark one.. well, he loaned me his car, I battled one of his Chosen, and the rest is history."

Candy: "Your KTM gone bust that day?"

Boniface: "You guessed right. Fate is indeed cruel, cheri. So I suppose it's time I get a proper supercar, and after months of deliberation, a choice is made."

Candy: "I'd say it's a good choice."

Boniface: "I know, or else Mirielle will rat me out on it."

Candy: "Hehehe.. That is very much a Mirielle act."

Boniface: "You milady are asking for another ride with Andre.."


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Boniface: "Let's get you in the zone.. aha!"


Back of Your Neck
Howler
America Give Up


Candy: "It's no Joe Elliott, but the song has nice vibes to it.."


The MC20, being a 600 horsepower, mid engine supercar shaped from carbon fibre, doesn't need to tell you this is a car for those who like to live in the fast lane. It's just a mere suggestion.


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The easy first impression given to the MC20 is that.. it doesn't seem to be a part of any past experience offered by Maserati. You're not going to get any bases to work from. And thus.. there aren't any expectations. With that in mind, you're going to find the MC20 to be.. rather tough on you. It's a lot of power, and as it stands, it's not given a lot of sophisticated know how or engineering you'd get from any supercar company around. Maseratis are known to be pure in heart and pure in what they do. You're not going to find that statement any different here.

Checking out its beating heart, you'll see it's a V6, so you're not going to get any sort of meat like with the GranTurismo. But of course, with above 600 horsepower brought with it's twin turbo nep nep, it does mean a bit of discipline is warranted with the throttle, though not so much in later revs. This is, upon quick inspection of the car's powerband, the torque peaks at low to mid RPM. So while I often try to short shift this kind of car, it's going to still be a hazard doing so. And speaking of short shift: you're very welcome to do so if you use the in game hud's shifter light to measure when to shift up, because if it reaches that blinking point, there's no leeway past that to get more revs.

By the way, in contrast to last week, the MC20's driver display gets a thumbs up from me. The car has a power and braking input percentage shown on the right end, and should you turn on traction control, it will show you the amount the traction control limits your power, while showing your input through the percentage. That's quite nice. Knowing PD, this might be how it works in the real car, or, y'know, we can raise our own imaginary pitchforks, right?


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So, you got a supercar with a nervous, twitchy low rev experience, but has all the stability in the world when in high revs. Quite normal man-killing experience on a turbo. This all means you have to take it in a specific way around a corner: gradually grow to a middling power input, then when it's straight enough you push it. Too early, and you're going to feel that power oversteer and get your bum a midge kissed by Barry R. While it's got an okay stability feeling at turning these usual low speeds, assuming traction is okay, it's a bit twitchy at high speeds. Though, if you can play your gears right, you can have a mild power oversteer-ish exit in a mostly straight way that benefits if your line requires it.. Parabolica comes to mind.

I should address the brakes.. on the whole, they're your run of the mill supercar brakes. They're alright, no major flaws or lack of functionality. However, the car has a tendency to lose its rear if you engine brake heavily. Strict case of one gear at a time in this car, especially in high speeds. Bringing this car to a stop at high speeds itself is an experience akin to.. that James May moment when he tries to stop his lorry via the secret, unrecorded third way. It's scary, but not impossible. I can also suggest using a little dab of throttle braking: something I adapt when handling nervous mid engined cars along hard brake zones or sweeping bends.

While it's not.. BVLGARI Vision Gran Turismo low, the MC20 rides 80mm above the ground equally. Take the angle funny, and you are going to get some stability problems going down places like the Corkscrew, or the tricky 3 part turn on Gardens. Curbs on the whole are a danger zone, so be on your guard when needing their use, especially on its stock Sports Hards on. It does mean that, like the BVLGARI, handling is crisp, and you can feel the weight shift about.


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There's a sense of importance for the MC20 to be good. As a supercar, it looks good, handles good, but acts a little iffy on the traction.. something you find in the early 2000s of killer supercars akin to Koenigsegg. Though, I've been repeatedly saying it in the lobby that while the MC20 is great, the Ford GT '17 is in almost all ways the better car. Being a tiny bit ahead, the Ford GT has a better top end. It's length means it can take angles better. And its automatic rear wing gives it aerodynamics and braking assistance. The MC20 is more traditional than that, but we don't get anywhere by remaining in the past. We learn from it.


A short sigh later, Boniface, reading from his phone, reveals some news..


Boniface: "I suppose all good things have to end."

Candy: "What's wrong?"

Boniface: "Nash wants us in."

Candy: "Shame."

Boniface: "Shame indeed. How was the car?"

Candy: "It screams power. I wonder if you can tame it as well as I do?"

Boniface: "Oh, you don't know what the brutes are expecting from me, non?"


Dressed in her casual racing suit, Candy finds the soothing locale an opportune moment to rest her eyes on a cushioned sofa.



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She didn't have a sense of time, but she did however have a sense of someone approaching..



Sonny: "Walao.. Curse that fan club. Can't this badass take a break? Oh wait.. vibe check.."


Pretending to take a nap, she notices Sonny using the nearby Maserati as a mirror..


Sonny: "Teeth, shinable. Muscles.. still rocking it clean. And eyes.. do I hear Medusa go jealous for me, lorr! Hahahaa.."


Feeling this all is too much, she couldn't hide a quick giggle, but, hidden or not, Sonny acts as if he knew she wasn't dozing off at all.


Sonny: "Ahh. Candy baby. Looks to me you're ready to rumble with the Mythic bunch, beh."

Candy: "Ohh.. you.. that I am."

Sonny: "Got room for another?"


She scooched to the side, and he crashed like a bachelor would.

However, he had a thought ready..



Sonny: "Though.. I've been meaning to pry a little: Nirvana told me.."

Candy: "Hold on: why didn't we talk about this last week?"

Sonny: "It wasn't important. And to be honest: it slipped my mind too."

Candy: "What, is having two certified sushi chefs in one house not good enough for you?"


Remembering that ridiculous moment, he took advantage..


Sonny: "Make that three. [teeth shines]"

Candy: "This is just so hard to believe.."

Sonny: "Now back to the point: Nirvana told me.. you've finally had a sense on the Mark of Zen."

Candy: "Ohh.. I.. umm.. did."


Visiting again that moment she rode a Diablo through Tokyo traffic, she mumbled, sorrowful.


Candy: "I was pushed to ride or die.."

Sonny: "You put your heart where it belongs: to be ahead of everyone else, and never look behind."


Out of moping, she looked at Sonny, responding..


Candy: "Is that how you define it?"

Sonny: "Maybe.. but you of all people know it's how I piss off you-know-who."

Candy: "Remind me never to be you."


Laying back, he smiled as he further continued..



Sonny: "What, a badass always strives to lure in all kinds of trouble!"

Candy: "You weren't there when she burned my neck."

Sonny: "How was that feeling?"

Candy: "Uhh?"


His smile swiftly turned to scorn, as he put on a no-nonsense look..


Sonny: "Having Nirvana crack on you?"

Candy: "I don't want to talk about it."

Sonny: "I know. But it's unnatural of her. I'm not going to pay you for reliving a nightmare, Candy baby, but I have to be One Step Ahead.."


Pulling another string, she asked..



Candy: "If it's a thousand credits.."

Sonny: "F[BLEEP] off, baby."

Candy: "Hey, I tried. What are friends for?"


She then stood up, and before she leaves through the front, she then gets a call from behind..


Sonny: "I was thinking that: are you really a friend? The things I keep hearing include pompous ass and other undesirable calls."

Candy: "Why don't you figure that out?"


Exiting with a question, Sonny quickly used his brain..


Sonny: "If she's okay, and I'm okay.. then it means we are! Bad ass.."


..unfortunately for his own ego, of course.

one hour later.jpg



At long last to the locals that these people then execute their planned, small friendly race.



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In her head Candy had questions on why the white cars had to lead the pack, but decided it'll be a good opportunity to earn some momentum before the big players kick into gear.



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The track stewards and staff then put out the countdown, leading to the start.


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Back of Your Neck
Howler
America Give Up


To be honest, I'm just going to keep mentioning how much more confused I am on why I have this section every week. It's the same sort of advice every time, right? The rant might start, but every week we do get different rides, so that means there might be the little things I notice that might help out.


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The MC20 has luck enough to garner a full aero kit and a spoiler upgrade for those who want to live its GT2 racing days. But if not for cosplay or love of this general trim, there are already tuner and coachbuilding brands working on MC20s, so you're not part of the unkewl kidz if you put some extra fins and wings around. But the benefit is definitely the added downforce values. The faster you're going to go, you want a more definite emphasis on the rear than the current 80-120 setting it has on stock. It will really help.

Being turbocharged means that the change of a turbo can adjust the powerband, right.. about that: the turbos in general are used to give the car a meaningful boost of power, not change behaviour like it would for a slower car or one without. Which is kind of a shame. You can of course put the anti-lag for some flames, but realistically it's so you don't spike your low RPMs so badly.


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In a car with issues in traction, tires and a fully custom LSD are god tier upgrades you want to add. Now, while a better compound helps with grip, say you want to stick with its stock rubber (you're madder than me to put a compound or two down) instead.. With acceleration at 5, you can get a good chunk of confidence with your throttle improved. While you're at it, slap on that fully custom race transmission because this is a car with an 8-speed automatic. Since we do want to stick with higher RPMs, it means a longer than stock first, then with gradually shorter gears up to.. I didn't check how much gears its' got, so ehh. This does eliminate the importance for short shifting, but this is your 300 thousand credit expenditure you're messing with, not mine.

Would you like a secret? We all do, oh how curious! The race is set with tuned cars at the ready, and all I did with the MC20 was NOT look up someone else's tune and call it a day. It was just a power restrictor detune. And the AI seems to have no issue in taking the car around, meaning the car's handling is not one of its faults. Don't say Boniface is a good driver, because in the context of the story, sure, he is the Count of Sainte-Croix after all. But in the context of what the game gave me, he's your usual AI driver. And repeating with the use of but, what this does mean is that there's nothing too super specific you want done to the suspension. Usual rules apply, you know, you know.


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Daww, with this level of confidence, I'm at risk of abolishing this segment entirely. It feels more pointless than that time I moped about thinking I'm selfishly unhappy being around here for being a wacko or writing for nothing (don't worry, we're WAY past that).

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Nash: "Now.. that's what I call clean cut."


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Sonny: "Lookie here! Ha ha haa, I knew it was a good idea to start at the back!"

Nash: "B-blast, it's quick. Seven hundred horsepower, was it?"


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Sonny: "Still on me? Good! Jake's put that ninja boy out of his league, and I'm going to have to apologize to him.."

Rin: "It's just an American muscle car.."


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Boniface: "Look at this view? Ahhh.. like old times."

Paul: "Nothing like a hint of the old deja vu, eh Bon?!"


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Sonny: "Phoenix? You wanna hear what Sonny Meng: Asian-American Badass, should say. You should've remained in BED! KA-POW!"

Rin: "I-I knew I should've tuned for top speed."


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Jake Ross: "They ain't gonna believe me if I said it.. so I better prove I'm better than you, my little Asian flower."

Candy: "My heart.. accelerates.. b-but how? AND WHY?!"


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Candy: "No way I want him behind me, ever! Just go!"

Sonny: "Jake's took out the sweet Hong Konger.. but as we monkeys see.."


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Sonny: "Monkey.. KILL."

Hayato: "Ehh? Narrator-chan? Hello! Vocabulary check: why did that say 'kill' instead of the usual 'do'?"


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Nash: "After I take care of Rin, then I'll be back where I started. Alan would say something to the likes of 'Rin'se and repeat. Great, thanks Nash you muppet, that's not coming off my head."


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Sonny: "She hasn't mastered that sensation of Zen yet.."

Candy: "This.. has happened too many times for me to care.."


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Rin: "UWAAAHH THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED!!"

Nash: "That's her car, correct, because I swear my ears hear crying in there.."


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Hayato: "Nyeehh.. this isn't our race, Candy-chan. How do I tell her to cool off.."


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Boniface: "If I would make this easier, I wouldn't be the Count, messieurs."


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Sonny: "Knock knock, my politically incorrect racial epithets."

Jake Ross: "He's asking me if he can come up in this top 3 spot.. F[BLEEP] you, I'll see you later, Son."


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Rin: "No.. not like this."


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Hayato: "Go, jiji.. I need to check my hybrid power when I get home."

Nash: "Moto-san might be cocky, sure, but even with all this effort, I can see him accepting defeat.."


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Hayato: "Psst.. don't tell anyone, narrator-chan, but I just want my little sisters happy, alright."

Rin: "Moto-san's slowing down, or is he?"


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Rin: "And little sis?"

Candy: "You didn't give up, huh? Good.. he wouldn't like that, wouldn't you, Nishimura-sensei?"


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Jake Ross: "This is his victory, driving his discipline, on his home turf. I wonder if he used his phone again?"

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Insert Nothing From You (Redanka Remix) here.
Yes, I snuck in with a Carrera GT. As I did in weeks prior with races. That also includes the Jimny..
Since these cars lay in the same PP region, I'm sure there are questions asking if the Carrera GT is harder to drive than the MC20.

I know that answer, but let's wait for Halloween first, mmkay?

later.jpg



The race came to a close, and the track became available for public use once again.


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While a few of these cast members remain on track for more thrills, some others remain on the vicinity, just not in an intense way.


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Back on the same cushioned chairs she's napped on earlier, Candy however isn't weary, but feeling devious to the man approaching her.


Nash: "I'm not one who can read the dead, miss Candy, but.. I'm sure Shinzo is smiling in the spirit realm.."


That scheming evil facade of hers then fails to keep hidden, as Nash gasped..


Nash: "J-Jesus! W-what's with the face?"


She stands up, and turns back, explaining with glee..


Candy: "You of all people would know! Motherf[BLEEP]er! [imitating] Ohh, ohh, I say that specimen couldn't keep up. Guess what: It did! Not even a second behind against a McLaren F1. Say it to me."

Nash: "What kind of buffoonery do you think I.."


Quickly leaping towards Nash's white locks, she grabs them and drags them down to her height.



Candy: "SAY IT!"

Nash: "I.. concede. You don't need a handicap."


Intensely glad by the outcome, despite race results, Candy lets go and heads back to her spot.



Candy: "Ha HA! Thank you! Do send my regards for the next time you see Hamza."

Nash: "Duly noted! G-glad to see things went your way, miss."


Checking his hair, he then went along the little lady for a sit, as he hears from her..


Candy: "In seriousness.. you've housed quite a roster of talents.. I think Boniface's an excellent addition to your arsenal."

Nash: "Oh, verily so! Did you know Paul actually talked to me about it at first?"

Candy: "Umm.. it sounded like I've heard it, but I don't remember if such a discussion came by me."

Nash: "At any case, there was this one race. On the Nurburgring, inclusive of an X-BOW and that One-77 we tried to keep up with earlier?"


Remembering the day she met Boniface on Week 7, she also recalled the televised replay from Lucia's apartment..



Candy: "That's Bon's big break. I know of that race."

Nash: "I'm not sure what he told you, but Paul got the idea then. Winning was one thing, but on the long run, what is one win going to do?"

Candy: "I feel that's really subjective. What's it to you?"

Nash: "Of all my victories in the past, every win is a milestone, but alas just a number as they keep piling up. Their importance begins to wane.."

Candy: "Peculiar. You imply we've hit an.. apex?"

Nash: "Not precisely. You've definitely gotten there when my friend Shinzo found you. But everything else that follows pale in comparison."


Leaning forwards, he then continues, out of mind..


Nash: "The journey we go through.. I'd say it's like a road leading to an end. It's not going to be smooth sailing on the way. After one turn, you're never sure what the next one's going to be like.."

Candy: "Creepy.. your inner TV show host is seeping."

Nash: "Goodness me, I sure as well didn't take heed. But I'm not really in the mood for philosophy."


A thought then occurred..


Candy: "You know I sort of realized.. Augur seems to have the Mythic Initiative as a target."

Nash: "That thought hasn't escaped me. Or my brother, even. With Jake as our mole, we're ready for it."

Candy: "I doubt that'll work out. Though.. I mean to ask about your brother."

Nash: "This is for sure coming. Should I just.. take a gander?"

Candy: "Ehh, go ahead."

Nash: "So, with what you inadvertently caused, we've managed to put Cierra in a spot of trouble. And don't you say a word."


She didn't understand why he objected, but he then stood up, mumbling..


Nash: "I know you had your reasons. I know you're not looking forward to meeting the likes of anyone in The Big 3 right now. But from what I understand.. she wanted to be in Augur?"

Candy: "News travels fast, huh?"

Nash: "Your, as you call it: big sister, told me. Just before our friendly race, actually. I think I have to get through my brother's thick skull like I always have been. He's a bit of a smart ass like I am, so don't expect the full Jesus Christ levels of forgiveness."


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Candy: "I'm not expecting that. But I appreciate every little thing."


They then turn to the Ford GT, watching the driver hop out and walk in, unfazed as if he's ignoring.


Nash: "Jake? Where are you off to?"


He stopped, then spoke..


Jake Ross: "Thinking of lunch. But looks to me there's a roundup going on here. Not a word from you: I'll hang around a bit."


As he turned back, he approached the small group, and Candy looked towards Nash with a face of wander..


Candy: "I've been thinking.. your brother told me about a mercenary outfit protecting you from the likes of HIM."

Nash: "Then I found with the world at wit's end.. I cut costs and hired one of Paul's friends, goes by the name of Engie. Far as I know, unlike some random mercenary outfit, he won't betray me."

Jake Ross: "Betray. Funny you mention that word. To me. At my state, I reassure you folk: it ain't what I desire, but it's an option.."

Candy: "Big sis's heart would break at the notion."


After a quick grumble of agreement, Jacob explains..



Jake Ross: "She catches on fast."

Nash: "I don't care if you were to start a blood fuelled revolution in the nearest dictatorial island nation, when Rin associates you with hero, she isn't wrong."

Jake Ross: "(How does he know about THOSE plans??) Umm.. indeed."


He confusingly replies as his eyes widen in shock of that great guess.

Turning to Candy..



Jake Ross: "I know the race didn't fare well for you, my sweet Asian flower."

Candy: "Oh, I know. So is he, actually. Safe to say this track's not one to look forwards to in the calendar.."

Nash: "About that.. I MIGHT have a look at some future races, and MIGHT find out that Sai-"

Candy: "Don't ruin the surprise."

Nash: "Alright. I won't."


Looking at the outside for a moment, Candy asked..


Candy: "I suppose everyone else has the enthusiasm to keep on practice, huh?"

Nash: "Oh, yes. Even Moto-san after finding a fault in his car. There is one exception: Paul had to head home. His sister's come for a sudden visit and he wants to be back by nightfall."


Liking the idea of siblings, Candy followed..


Candy: "Oh, he has a sister?"

Nash: "She's not in the racing game like he is, so I'm not shocked you don't know."

Jake Ross: "Ain't seen Fiona in a while. Do take care when you do meet her, Candy.. she's a hint racist."

Candy: "Oh boy. I gather she goes well in social gatherings?"


She's unfazed, Jacob thought, but didn't have a need to hide about Fiona Henderson..


Nash: "Umm.."

Jake Ross: "She does, actually. No bullcrap: get past the ice, and she WILL warm up."

Candy: "Interesting."


Curious, Nash questioned..


Nash: "One more thing: what are your immediate travel plans?"

Candy: "I'm with my big sis. So.. that means I'm unfortunately with him."

Nash: "You.. are?"

Jake Ross: "Got a problem with that?"


He spoke with authority, of which Nash calmly rebuts..


Nash: "Of course not."


A pause follows, then leaves as Jacob closes in, insisting an idea..


Jake Ross: "I was thinking.. you were at the back at our little friendly race. I thought you're bringing your A-game, chief."

Nash: "That I was. Until.. a new set of excuses started listing up that I refuse to admit.. alright: I was afraid of hurting my piece of motorsport perfection. I need a new car."

Jake Ross: "Your ACR?"

Nash: "It's in better hands with Gary."

Jake Ross: "You looking at anything right now, or do I redirect you to my favorite supplier Carlyle?"

Nash: "My eyes are fixed on Brand Central, but it won't hurt. Share me his number then, cheers."

Jake Ross: "No problem. And if you need testimonials.."


He points down towards the little lady, gaze on her phone, then now with her arms on her hips, exclaiming in joy.



Candy: "Umm.. oh! I'm not getting paid to say five stars, but even if I'm paying him.. I admit, he's five stars."


Getting off with a smile her big sister would be proud of, she then thought of Jacob's first words in this conversation..



Candy: "I think it's high time we get out of here. I'm hungry too, and I confess: Bon spoiled me, hinting me his favorite local eatery has a new desserts menu.."

Jake Ross: "Yeah, he told me to not tell you the presence of freshly baked sweet macarons.."

Candy: "M-MA-MACARONS!"


The sound of such delectable delights instigated her need to leave as she blazes out to the side of her car..

Those left behind thought, watching in slight concern..



Nash: "Damn it, Ross you muppet: you did this."

Jake Ross: "Like her big sis always says.. guilty."


A stark contrast to the way Rin does it, Nash replies, head shaking with a palm on his forehead..



Nash: "In your grit filled voice oozing with melancholy.. it doesn't rub me, or anyone reading the same way, you know?"


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


The technology behind the whole car, including the nep nep V6 was interesting and warrants the car to be driven more, but as it stands.. it's much too unwieldy to enjoy, and not quite quick enough to keep up with its contemporaries. Like the Challenger Demon, it's overrated, and I can't decide if I want to go fast in it, because it's either that, or I'm dead trying.

Much as I hoped to find an alternative, I'm sticking with the Ford GT '17 for a twin turbo V6 to have great high speed fun with. That car's a way better drive here than in Mini Mexico, and let's wait for my next turn to nominate for you all to feel that.

Beater, and I'm a bit sad about it too. But if you ask me, I would do so similarly with the F8 Tributo, only that I won't feel any remorse towards that choice.


Today's episode is sponsored by nostalgia. Particularly from when I had a brief stint writing when GT Sport came about.

If not the roster of main characters (+ that Senna tribute in Moto-san), the song choice alone is the biggest giveaway, really.

As the main character, Candy Lam is bound to appear in every segment, be it either as the lead role, or as a small mention.

The infamous Sweet Toothed Lone Wolf of Asia, or known worldwide as Le Glace Pacer. While her social presence is significantly poor, her presence on the track hasn't been short of perfection, now under the pressures of being a monetary source of higher powers, as well as her role being the most prime form of woman racers.. But don't let her hear that.

Theme Song: Def Leppard - Bad Actress
Racing Duel Music: Def Leppard - Nine Lives
Gender: Female
Nationality: Hong Kongese
Age: 30
Current occupation: Professional racecar driver
Distinct features: Long, clean, straight ashen hair tied to a ponytail via traditional red braids. A stiff, stoic Asian beauty that starts to show sign of wrinkling, covered by heavy layers of makeup. Thin, rounded diamond face, with various beauty signs of it being worked on unnaturally, especially her unblemished small snub nose, heavily lipsticked mouth and thin brown Asian eyes. Short body with small proportions.
Choice of clothing: Typical modern glossy sleveless Hong Kong dress, but 90% she will have her favorite on, that's in blood red with a white bauhinia pattern on, with matching sandals. Most of her clothes and themes come in red or white.
Cars: Toyota GR Yaris 1st Edition RZ "High Performance", MINI Cooper S, Honda NSX Type R '02, Mazda Demio XD Touring

Even though she's a proud Hong Kongese, Candy is actually born in high society Tokyo, and more exposed to living in a usual Japanese lifestyle. An only child, it was easy to find herself spoiled rotten from a young age, getting what she wants and not caring how it got there, thanks to wealth she inherits strongly. Her father notably was an executive in Toyota's racing division.

A target in her younger ages, Candy's early life was full of trouble from others that are against her being a Hong Kong native in Japan. She never made any friends as a result, and this loner habit of hers remained even after changing schools, going so far to even give her a new alias. While her parents have a strong standing in the society she lived in, she remained in their shadow, because she couldn't find comfort out of it.

Upon reaching her adult days, Candy's first 'milestone' would come when an incident in a high class event caused her to run, leading to a manic police car chase spanning several weeks before she was arrested. The victim of these events would have deep ties with various Yakuza families. While her parents retreated to Hong Kong, Candy stayed in Japanese prison, learning that if nothing needs to come her way, she needs to learn something she initially dreaded to do: manipulate the human mind, a state of thought she was once a victim of.

After her sentence, she regained her freedom, and it didn't take long that was noticed by the city's largest street racing community. Still with her inherited wealth, she started off strong in the streets. Years then pass, in which she eventually proves herself as a top competitor for racing in many top endurance races worldwide.

While her fans are out there in many parts around for being a woman dominating a man's sport, she's not exactly a great social interactor, and is a nobody outside the racing community. With many questions still left unanswered, maybe there are more ulterior motives with the unsanctioned blue MINI project..

Tech savvy geek with a forte in extreme sports. While her chaotic nature always gets her into situations unwanted, her overall innocent and kind upbringing gets her to be responsible of being the only one capable of lighting up the complete darkness in her husband's inner struggles for a final identity.

Theme Song: Muse - Guiding Light
Racing Duel Music: Eurythmics - Would I Lie To You?
Gender: Female
Nationality: Japanese
Age: 29
Current occupation: Interpol special operative
Distinct features: Medium, layered bob burgundy hair. Athletic, slightly wide diamond face. Brown hooded eyes, thin almond nose and a small mouth. A natural beauty with a small layer of makeup that exists only to hide her eyebags. Thin profile with an average height, and above average proportions.
Choice of clothing: Always wears a bespoke pair of sporty earphones. Never with a distinct fashion style due to her clinging as a master of disguise, even though she's more of a master of imitation. Most of a time she's with a sporty crop top, denim skirt with tight sporty arm socks, leggings and sports shoes.
Cars: Lexus LFA, Lexus RC F, Daihatsu Copen

Rin started off life in Tochigi. Not even years in, she has been diagnosed with a minor mental defect which hampered her thought processes. While it didn't get in the way of her everyday living, it prompted her parents to remain her a single child. It did get her to do the occasional odd and unusual behaviour. Aspiring to be the family's model child, she didn't let her setbacks bring her down. A top grading student with impressive feats in athleticism, and to remain incredibly pretty; you can say all these good things about her, it's supposedly impossible.

With her mother, love was unconditional, but her father seems held back. Further on in her teen life, she would find out aside his day job that he's a well known, on and off street racer. The relationship would sour further, but that changed in the aftermath of when she decided it's time to see if she can do better. Acing her driver's test was one thing, but immediately sneaking out and winning a Clubman Cup event in Motegi was the next.

Rin would head to the UK instead of local institutes for higher education, but it was a guise as her father wanted to protect her from local troubles stirred by his actions. Away from home, this would be a pivotal era for her development. An old friend became her starting point in racing. She would meet certain individuals, including her husband to be. But also came a criminal group that wanted to exploit her near perfect genetics, with these events causing mental damage, and giving way to her chaotic shifts in mood.

She would make her escape in marriage, prompting her to stay in California. The paranoia didn't stop there. On the first chance she could, she started working as a police officer, even deciding to adopt identities and learn imitation. But her fears did arrive. They staged an accident, and before she got taken away, she escaped, leaving everything behind for a long 7 years. This time was used for her to anonymously hone her racing to a whole new high, protected by Interpol.

And gladly, that time is over. But a lot has changed. Most importantly: her father has died. Initially succeeding him by joining FIA GT racing, she failed to inquire an investigation on how he left a legacy behind in the form of Candy..

They said if there was a God in the worldwide street racing scene, Jacob Ross' moniker as The Outlaw was the very thing He and anyone else in said scene would be unequivocally afraid of.

Theme Song: Metallica - Disposable Heroes (Remastered)
Racing Duel Music: Gary Numan - I Am Dust
Gender: Male
Nationality: American
Age: 33
Current occupation: Rookie racer, in guise of his top street racer moniker
Distinct features: Balding marked, medium swept up brown hair. Roughened up with a few cut scars, but smooth, thin chiseled, and somewhat attractive diamond face. Aggressive, azure down turned eyes, thick grecian nose and serious, semi-thick lips. Tall build, with a fit build carrying developed muscles. Those muscles would artificially expand further when he becomes The Outlaw.
Choice of clothing: Black is the name of the game, usually with a custom tailored suit vest under a dark long wool jacket. Never seen without a black bespoke pinch front cowboy hat, with an engraving: 'Oderint dum metuant'. As The Outlaw, he would add on a thick special bulletproof attire, and a breathing apparatus that steams out an unusual drug should he need it.
Cars: Ford GT '06, Ford Mustang Boss 429, Ford Mustang Gr. 3 Road Car (as The Outlaw)

As the firstborn of a rich Californian racing legend, racing was definitely in his blood and Jacob had that opportunity for succeeding his father, joyous and determined this is the future for him.

But in his youth, something happened to his young psyche, and to say it changed him would seriously put it mildly.

The details remain sketchy, and it remained a sensitive topic within his family even to today. It drove a wedge between him and his parents far enough that he wouldn't be the same after his teens. These events harbors the influence of him becoming a fearless, serious somber man with said fear as a weapon of his own.

Now that the weight of succession is beared to someone else, Jacob carved his own destiny. Mixing his passions of the past with his more darkened methods, he toughed through the many grueling years to become the self proclaimed, undisputed fastest street racer of the US, through being a founding member of The List, aliased as The Outlaw: a drug enhanced, nigh unbeatable driver with a penchant for deceit, destruction, disrespect and fire, usually all combined. It's said that there are unspeakable tales of terror that happens to those who oppose The Outlaw: the identity he protects dearly, so much that over time, he's developed a vengeance to those that threaten this visage and those close to him.

Eventually, he married someone: a youthful Japanese girl who would be the greatest ray of sunshine he could ever get. But even that was a marriage that wouldn't last, as both became a target from greater powers. After a long 7 years, that threat now extinguished, he resumed the bumpy, happy life, hoping to outrun the past he knew wouldn't catch up. These days, Jacob has recently registered as a rookie FIA racer, with initial plans in his head saying to take it slow. All seems dandy, until certain events including the rise of his wife's old enemies resurface, enveloping him in the darkness where he then believes is the only place he belongs.

And if his fans and followers are familiar with his talents that developed his legacy, know that his history with a clenching darkness has caught up to him. It's unsure whether his known heroic side has fallen, merged, or even co-exists with his persevering dark side.

Bohemian Like You plays

Once part of the greatest street racing crew in the UK, Sonny's now a key player in The List's day to day finances. While these days, he's started a long running racing career, leading to a gigantic bounty of success. This egotistical, proven all around badass comes forward as the most divisive top racing figure in the USA.


Theme Song: Rush - Vapor Trail, The Dandy Warhols - Bohemian Like You
Racing Duel Music: A Silent Truth - Chariot (Daycore)
Gender: Male
Nationality: Half Singaporean, half American
Age: 32
Current occupation: As he would state it: a mother[BLEEP]ing racing celebrity
Distinct features: Curled, black medium long hair, always semi-shiny. Handsome, diamond Asian like face and skin tone, with a long stubble combined with a Zappa. Narrow angled grey eyes that shine when he wants to, subtle upturned nose, and hair surrounded mouth. Overcompensating perfect teeth that glares when he wants to. Slightly taller, semi slim build, with mild developed muscle.. also that gleam when he wants to.
Choice of clothing: Usually in biker style clothing, including leather all around with an undershirt.
Cars: Dodge SRT Viper GTS, Chevrolet Camaro Z28, Ferrari 288 GTO, GT By Citroen Road Car

While he might have a Singaporean father, his work as a presidential bodyguard means Sonny's an all American citizen. Birthed in Washington, he moved to California when he was still very young. There, he would meet the eventual leader of The List, and befriend him, being his social contact that would relate with him as that man would darken. On the contrary, Sonny remained as optimistic as he always has been.

But his optimism didn't carry over to his education, where he was often the main culprit of racism as an issue there. It was then he would learn, then utilize his famous mantra of always being one step ahead. By using his birthday gift: a 69 Camaro, he would cause what he would dub as the best graduation day ever: getting just about every nemeses in his school driver license suspensions, while he gets away scot free. Due to this epic win, his egoist side would rise from then onwards, possibly never reaching a ceiling.

It wouldn't stop there. Applying to study in London found itself to be a costly move, and he would bring said Camaro over the Atlantic to begin street racing in those streets just to break even. And past that, UK's top street racing crew known as the Prophecy would take attention, and adopt him as the first ever mentored student, known as a Chosen. Even though Sonny did graduate with middling honours and is ready for adult life, he chose to spend his earnings to chase his hobbies, and to everyone's surprise: it would end up being his life's work, with his unshakeable ego and skill would put him in the podium spot of any racing field he touches.

In addition to his successful racing career, he took on the role as The List's main income source, internally codenamed "Chimera". In recent years, Sonny's momentum has been halted when his mother passed, and now has a mission to find the Mrs. Meng to succeed even further than just his wealth and fame. These days, while he might be the badass he claims, he's also bound to lure in all sorts of trouble, such as the bad luck he's known for among his divisive peers, alongside his, what he dubs: 'favorite hostile secret admirer' in Nirvana.

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 hooked 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 dark purple hair in the shape of a ponytail. Wide, diamond shaped face with pale skin. White tinted eye contacts, flat thin nose and a slim mouth exhuming a dangerous smirk. Average height, slightly thin build. Heavily tattooed body due to his past within the yakuza.
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.

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 upturned 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), Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT Veloce, Maserati MC20

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.

Once a youthful, late 90s racing powerhouse with family fortunes secured his good life as the strategic and composed mastermind behind the Kirkham Foundation of Medical Sciences. This Manchester native is settled for many lives worth of riches, racing world influence and overall standing in his many fields, but he requires the help of a few worthy others to achieve the goal of housing the fastest racers on the planet.

Theme Song: Coldplay - White Shadows, Coldplay - Paradise (Epic Orchestral Cover by Carl Abelgas & its_draconix)
Racing Duel Music: Electric Lights Orchestra - Prologue + Twilight
Gender: Male
Nationality: British
Age: 41
Current occupation: Corporate director
Distinct features: Medium sized, clean cut straight grey hair with white edges. Wide oblong oval face, with hints of wrinkling. Thick narrow nubian nose with often dried out mouth of average size. Slightly tall, very fit build covered by strongly pale skin.
Choice of clothing: No real preference outside of what's British. Functional is what matters. He's often with designer clothing that make him look and feel youthful, such as a puffy jacket over shirt and jeans, bright tracksuits and if anything is formal, it's brightly colored.
Cars: McLaren F1, Abarth 500

Nash was birthed in his current home turf of Manchester. A rich upper classman of Whalley Range, Nash might be born with wealth on his pocket from day 1 due to his father's role as the figurehead of long time pharmaceutical megacompany: the Kirkham Foundation. But he wasn't quite blessed in other ways. His mother passed from childbirth, and his father's not long for the world with a terminal illness. With connected family unwilling to support this dying cause, Nash was left with the family fortune from age 10. However, his father's advice never left him: he's to only trust himself, and never to let anyone give them a chance to take away the family riches.

With that advice in mind, he's left his lofty life of a giant mansion with servants on every whim to enroll himself to the best, with loyal corporate figures acting as his legal guardians, ensuring he would come up to grow as the future of the company. His trust issues would plague him until he would scuffle with a boy who would grow up to be the UK's street racing pioneer known as The Messiah. Said boy would change Nash for the better, being the first person he would open to, and declare as his brother: a role still going strong today. His bitterness towards others would end, as this period of comforting his always angry brother would give way to Nash's overall kind spiritedness coming out.

Reaching adulthood, Nash balanced out his new role as the Foundation director with the life he yearned to find, and he looked hard. Upon suggestion by his brother was track racing, and while his brother was unfortunate, Nash went on to be a GT racing icon after his debut years, meeting many others in this career. But the good times never last, as he was diagnosed by a rare form of albinism that caused his body to age quicker than usual. While his foundation went far to develop a cure, nothing fruitful arose. His undying dedication to this cure had him hit the books, so hard that it earned him great honors in medical sciences and economics. As he would take on an American protege to give his racing wisdom, he's uncertain of his fate, and adopted a successor to give down his company due to an old friend's promise.

These days, Nash's undiagnosed condition prevents him from racing in his name, despite being in peak physical form, but he's usually out and about racing various top racing fields as the Mysterious NZ. And if he's not co-hosting Sim Gear with his brother, he's scheming away his latest big dedicated project known as the Mythic Initiative. Now with six in tow, he's hoping to rid the discord caused by his own protege entering a dark chapter, hoping that the choice never has to come..
 
BUT I'M NOT DONE YET!


SPD Writes Gran Turismo 7's Car Of The Week: Week 56 - Renault R5 Turbo


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A homologated form of something marketed as Le Car. Now if you ask me, it's long overdue I get a most realistic taste of a certain Le MINI Countryman (F60) in one of these multiverse timelines.


At this rate, we're never going to forget the recent passing of Gandini. Yeah, he designed the car, but what exactly started off this super niche trend of a mid engined hatchback?

Once upon a time in the 70s, Renault was wondering if there's something they haven't touched upon in motorsport. While busy with Formula 1, they wanted to have a touch on rallying, and watching Lancia's success story in the Stratos, they got inspired. Making use of their recent purchase of Alpine, they got to work.

Bringing on their hot hatch at the time: the joint developed Renault 5 Alpine/Gordini, as a base, the car was sent to the geniuses that birthed the Stratos: Bertone. It's mainly there for a super sporty redesign, which is also where Gandini's involvment was marked on the car development. The bigwigs back in France took to the engineeering, redesigning various inner elements, such as the engine, to fit in the middle of the car where the seats would've been, and to detail this is finger related suicide.

Gist is: modifying their Gordini based Cleon-Fonte, they took out the base carburetor and swapped it to a transistor based fuel injection, and added a turbo plus intercooler. Power went up to 160 bringing a 970 kilo body. Perhaps inspired by the past Alpine A310 and the Stratos, the car's main components would head for the middle, but the hatchback shape remained, meaning it had a boot that doesn't work completely as a boot.

Now in the Brussels Motor Show of 1980, the Renault 5 Turbo came and shocked everyone with its mentioned mid engined layout and ridiculous arches. With a limited-run to satisfy homologation, Renault plans to get 400 of these out, but crowd demand says otherwise, and nearly 5000 of these were made.

In terms of motorsport, the car joined WRC in 1981 and won its first race thanks to some magic done by Jean Ragnotti.. But you know what else made its debut in 1981?

The Audi Sport Quattro.

And just like chewing gum: after a brief moment of joy, the taste is gone, and it's time to throw it away.

Throw away would be too harsh of an ending though, as the R5 would be the main inspiration for a whole roster of mid-engined hatch supersport wannabes.. again, I think wannabe is too harsh. A quick script redo later, I can confirm it is, because what came from this are other legends with a story to tell, such as the Peugeot 205 T16 and the MG Metro 6R4. It also brought Renault a retro electric drift car in the 5 Turbo 3E that would lead the company into the EV game like the ID.R did for Volkswagen.

Of course I have to mention this isn't their first homage, as the 5 Turbo became the starting point of a certain Renault Sport Clio V6, and since that car's also in the game, it means I gotta stop.

Okay, it's story time. I want to get some GT racing in someday, but what's in this week also intrigues me enough to write. Anyone who can see my paragraphs gather about them would hint on my love for classic cars. And just like how I'm somehow coping with an F60 MINI Countryman shaped hole in Gran Turismo 7, I hate how Night Moves isn't even in this story yet.. not that it's even as important as an oversized MINI ever will be.


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Episode 56: The Wicked Witches of Westminster


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The night's rainy sky coat the abyssal forests of Northern France.

Shrouded by her coat, Candy walks about the rapidly drying outside of a classic style French innhouse.

Skimming through photos of her big sister's social media, she angrily comments on the activity, being..



Candy: "Skiing.. why even?"


While they might be happy, Candy's concern of injury doesn't bode well with the faces she saw online.



Candy: "If it can happen to Schumacher, I.. don't want anything of it."


Eventually heading in, she takes off her coat, hangs it by her shoulder and steps through the warmed halls.

Heading in far enough to her room, she then overhears a discussion by a woman on her phone..


Daphne: "Sure sure.. did Lyle say natch about me being in France for the time being?!"

Candy: "That's an American accent in full force.."


Peeking around the corner, she then sees a dark skinned woman on a set of chairs, chattering loudly on her phone.


Candy: "Strange. That Shelby loving woman from Big Sur.."

Daphne: "Darling, you don't got any control of me! Nope. Uh uh.."


As Candy bores watching, she notices a few other people, concerned, joining her..



Daphne: "Besides.. daddy got me some off time so I can finally think more outta the diner. It's well earned, Missus, and don't you argue with me otherwise!"


As her voice grows, so does the crowd gather, strangely not in view from her eyes.



Daphne: "God damned, she can't shut up.."


Shouting to her phone, staff of the establishment begin to join in the party..


Daphne: "You raise your tone at me again, young lady, and I swear I can be as harsh as your mama! And you don't want that, don't you?!"


They all had the same idea, but also the same hesitation, leaving her to continue..


Daphne: "Thass right.. I'll be back at home base this time next week. We'll rip the boys a new one then. Right?"


But patience never was meant to linger, as the uneasy minds gathers.


Daphne: "Glad to see some understanding. I gotta go. No, it's not.. oh Lord, what you be thinking NOW?!"


As they were to get in her way, she suddenly leaps up and, out of frustration..


Daphne: "No.. it's not like.. not that I can't love a married man. BITCH, HE'S YO' COUSIN, GOD DAMN, WHAT THE DAMN HELL!! Uhh, I'm hanging up.. goodbye, Monica."


..broke the sound barrier, causing an uneasy, but just as wanted pause.


Daphne: "I swear that M.J.R is all kinds of wacky.. now where was I?"


The woman: Daphne Anders, looks around, just noticing the crowd deciding not to act and conversing with each other momentarily.

Not taking long to realize what happened..



Daphne: "Le whoops! I swear my volume's not in control. SORRY FELLAS! Argh, dang it!"


As the air begins to clear, people begin to return to their stations, as if that was just a dream.

The only exception however was Candy, confused greatly at the situation, and despite sizes, isn't hidden from the emptying scene.



Daphne: "Ah HA! You! Hong Kongese sweet pea with Nirvana that day!"


She comes up to her, towering her..


Candy: "It's.. Candy.. do I really have to write it for you?"

Daphne: "Oh, uh huh, yeah. Whatever. Sorry, girl. Truth is, I don't remember so well, unless you're in the scene. And I admit you ain't. Exception being.."


Those are the exact words in that ladies night in Big Sur, which Candy replies accordingly.



Candy: "S-Sonny Meng. Yes, this is deja vu."

Daphne: "You're obviously playing with me!"

Candy: "Yes, to you, I am. Now.. umm.. I'm a little lonely this evening, and.."


Intruding her words, Daphne has an idea that excites her.



Daphne: "Need someone to play with? Where are your supposed company then?"

Candy: "They went skiing, and won't be here until late tomorrow."


With a grasp of that picture, Daphne shoo'd off that doubt and replied..


Daphne: "Oh snap, there's the answer. Hmm.. I was wondering more on why you're not with them.. don't tell me: you don't want to go on the kiddy hill?"

Candy: "Stop it."


She didn't seem fazed, she thought, prompting her to continue..


Daphne: "No, really. Heart to heart, Nirvana's acquaintance. You got a short stature in tall people land, and it's bound to happen they mess you around cause you're sized like they's kid.."

Candy: "Stop it."


Not wanting to continue, she then has another idea..



Daphne: "Right right. I was thinking.. if you just want some company.. come help me unpack?"

Candy: "Uhh.. well, alright."


later 2.jpg



The women enter a newly cleaned bedroom, with the single large suitcase on the bed being the only out of place element.


Daphne: "Phew. I am exhausted!"


Standing behind her turns out to be Candy's biggest mistake, as Daphne takes off her large hat, exploding out her waves of hair, and colliding with the little racer behind at such speeds..


Candy: "WAAHH!!"


Startled by the roar, she turns around..


Daphne: "Whoops! My bad."


Getting up from her backside, she questions this oddity as she wipes the dust off her clothes..


Candy: "How do you stuff that much hair inside?"

Daphne: "Why's this a question? You ever wonder why you got muslim women wearing headscarves and possibly got a hairdo like mine? Trust me.. It ain't just Daphne that's got the problem going on."

Candy: "Yeah, well, umm.. you didn't quite answer it."


Feeling an explanation won't suffice, she grabbed her hair, and motioned her routine in a slowed pace, allowing one to mimic.


Daphne: "See, y'all just hold, twist, then stuff it all in a spiral. And.. poof! Instant clean head of hair! What, you race with your hair down?"

Candy: "Without a helmet, it's wrapped round."


One brow up, Daphne questioned..


Daphne: "You not see that choking hazard, girl?"

Candy: "Like that's going to happen."


She then walks in and has her focus on the lone luggage bag: styled and colored as if it came from the past..


Candy: "You got a fancy bag. It's round and.. puffy."

Daphne: "Didn't you mean 'cute'?"

Candy: "Don't say that word."

Daphne: "Aight. Never seen vintage luggage before?"

Candy: "That, and how it looks.. semi-pristine?"


As Daphne opens the key lock, she reveals..


Daphne: "I'm into restoration."

Candy: "You are? I mean.."

Daphne: "Don't sweat, darling. Just one of the many hobbies a girl's got. You should look in the Shelby, and you'll just go.. waw. Can't a girl go living the old life today when the future's a bit too much to handle?"

Candy: "I'm not judging."


And upon opening the suitcase, there were folds of clothes and other necessary travel objects, but still follow the classic theme Daphne adopts.



Candy: "The only modern thing you have is that smartphone.."

Daphne: "Ain't no way a girl can live without her smartphone."

Candy: "True.."


Despite her outgoing nature, she couldn't get Candy to open up, admitting..


Daphne: "We're not real good at this, huh?"

Candy: "I've never had a one on one time with.. you. So.."


But these two are girls that don't give up, as Daphne proceeds..


Daphne: "I'd get some small talk around, but I'd rather get to the point: why are you here in this remote bit of France anyhow? Let me guess."

Both: "Classic cars."


They came together, intrigued as they giggle..



Daphne: "Say what?! I'm in that show too. Not competing or anything, just bringing a bit of America to show. Europeans think they're hot. I'll show them HOT."

Candy: "I'm.. umm, quite looking forwards to that! Yes."


Unsure what else to do with her around, Daphne suggests..



Daphne: "Actually, I'll come find you tomorrow. We go around together, aight? Let's get to know more then. I'll just dismiss you, if that's fine?"

Candy: "Alright."


As Candy exits the room in a satisfied calm manner, Daphne then notices her packed clothes, and the furniture the inn provides..


Daphne: "I think.. that goes over there.."

Alsace-Village
Obersteinbach, France
Late Morning



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The breezy morning at Alsace brings a horde of classic car nuts, but the usual crowd of racing enthusiasts come along to spruce up the special event..



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Not saying there are classics too that want a piece of the action..


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Alongside a combination of the two.


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Now on the grassy side fields of the village, Candy, chewing a glazed croissant under the sun, stands around, as she sights all over, in search of familiar faces..

Pausing to remember the day she tried out a race spec EK Civic that time, she then gets jumped from a shouting figure in the distance.



Daphne: "There she is!"

Candy: "Huh?"


Daphne, donning a classy shirt dress, veiled under her giant brimmed hat, stumbles in to her view..

Candy often looks up when talking to anyone taller than her..



Candy: "Under all that, you sure.. stand out."


..but she was mistakenly thought to be interested in the floppy hat, giving Daphne the idea..


Daphne: "Thanks, I know. If you like it, I can get you a set."

Candy: "I'm not.. but.. we'll see."

Daphne: "If you're on the fence, I can start slow. How's about you.. get the hat for the day?"


Taking it off, she then stuffs the hat proper onto Candy's head.


Candy: "Ohh.. oof! A-alright."


Adjusting it to fit her hair proper, Candy then gets a quick move with her neck, having trouble moving about..


Daphne: "Tell me.. you like it?"

Candy: "It's a bit heavy.."

Daphne: "That's what she said! Hahahaa!"


Daphne then notices a suited aristocrat walking in close, and schemed, though not without interruption..


Candy: "What? Are you laughing, because it's hard to hear under this shade.."

Daphne: "SHHSHH.."


With the classy lady holding the hat down, Candy was unsure what's going on as she's effectively blinded by the shade.

The man then stopped, and asked.



Boniface: "Oh? Pardon me, madam. I'm looking for ma compagne. She's a famous racecar driver.. Just about this tall, actually."

Daphne: "Umm.. well.."

Boniface: "I suppose she must be elsewhere. Sorry for taking your time. You and your cute little daughter have fun now.."


Somehow, she heard that last sentence clear as day, and the rage that came would burn the Earth if it could..



Candy: "D-D-DAUGHTER?!!"


Said rage then erupted upwards, giving Daphne and Boniface a push from an unseen force.


Candy: "NOW I know how Lulu feels. Bon, how dare you not even recognize me?!"


They're on their backs this time, and Daphne gets up first, mentioning..



Daphne: "It's impressive how a simple hat can change one's view."

Boniface: "Oui! True to a T! You are indeed like a different person under that hat.."


Fuming, Candy frees her head, then hands the hat over..


Candy: "This is already the worst sales pitch. Here. You can have it back."


And as Candy gets some space..


Daphne: "W-wait! What's her name! Umm.. Candy! It's Candy, right?"

Candy: "What?!"


She turns to notice the hat she handed towards wasn't with Daphne, as he inspects..


Boniface: "This is a very fetching hat. So classic. And comfy.."

Daphne: "You see?! I think you helped me get another potential customer! Ohh f[BLEEP] yeah!"

Candy: "Uhh.."


Daphne then clarified..



Daphne: "You were in such a fuss that you didn't even notice who ya handed the hat to, nuh huh."

Candy: "If this is another trick, it's getting ripped in half.."


She comes back, standing by the aristocrat, feeling bad..



Candy: "B-Bon? I, uhh.. apologize for.."

Boniface: "No problem. I'd say that's quite explosive, ma cherie. But.. here.."


Properly holding it with both hands, he then slides it over her head, fitting it.

Not objecting this time, she can't help but blush..


Candy: "Ohh.."


But she wasn't the only one feeling a hint of red in their cranium, as Boniface smiles..


Boniface: "It really does give you quite a look. I feel.. so.. so.. enamored by this for reasons unknown, oui."


Daphne then enters the moment and comments with enthusiasm..



Daphne: "Girl, you're like redder than the freshest bunch of baked beans.."

Boniface: "I would say you've played a role in bringing her closer to me. Merci."


Explained Boniface as he bows with a smile.

Daphne then, at that moment, realizes who she's been talking with..



Daphne: "Ahh, it's.. just another satisfied customer, right? Say, you're that Richie Richardson guy. Umm.. pardon, it's Rick-kay-lieu or something. Supercar superstar?"

Boniface: "That I am. Perhaps I will fix that brutish attempt at my name later. Yourself?"

Daphne: "Y'see, I'm Daph. That's short for Daphne Anders. Top racing darling of the V8 Cafe and Grill in Big Sur. That's a couple minutes from Grand Valley, hashtag [REDACTED].."


Overhearing her promoting their family business, Candy realized..



Candy: "S-so.. Daphne, huh? I sort of forgot your name too."


She turned, then laughed as she replied..


Daphne: "Don't sweat it now, Candy. Since.. umm.. the moment came, how about you keep it?"

Candy: "R-really? I don't know.. I feel it's part of you.."


Despite her honest decline, Daphne felts a little enraged..


Daphne: "Girl, you did not just.. well, would you rather find out I packed like two more?"

Candy: "W-wh-what?"


Moving in after that small hop, Boniface then adds..


Boniface: "Your American friend is very much one that prepares. Besides, I wish to see the likes of Rin in that hat."

Daphne: "Me, not prepared?! Ya think??"

Boniface: "At any case.. there's a whole roster of classics waiting for us to admire."


With the hat firmly on, Candy steps forwards..


Candy: "I'm ready to go."

Boniface: "Fantastique. Madame Daphne, you might as well join us."

Daphne: "Oh? Can do, sir."

20 minutes later.jpg



Walking across the grass, this group of drivers head off to another section.

Daphne however browses her digital camera, checking on a set of taken pictures.



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The man nearby then peeves..


Boniface: "You're quite an avid photographer, huh?"

Daphne: "Avid? AVID?! Dude, I've got hard drives of them to sell on the web! Avid just isn't cutting it!"

Boniface: "Forgive me: is avid not to your liking? If not obsess, how about passionate?"

Daphne: "Passionate.. ahh, that word I like."


Candy then turns around, walking back as she queries..



Candy: "You sell pictures? You can do that? I mean.. you must do a lot of work out of hours.."

Daphne: "Trust me, I am filled to the brim of hats thanks to all these side hustles at the ready!"

Candy: "And you're still.. smiling? Impressive."

Daphne: "Why thank you!!"


They then find the first batch of cars in this part of the show area, being..



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Candy: "Wowww! A Datsun 240Z!! Z432!!"


Her inner nerd came out and she instantly started scanning, while the others..


Boniface: "Finally a Japanese classic."

Daphne: "Ya think?! Out of the damn way, Candy; these are coming in fresh!"


She then returns back, but her excitement still remains, shouting as hearts remain on her eyes..


Candy: "This might be the incredible unicorn.. the Z432R spec.. real or not, I'm just in love in how well kept you are!"

Daphne: "Uh uh. Not well kept. Rather: restored. I'd show you the whole paperwork, but trust me, aight?"


Now steps away from the cars, Candy asks Daphne, busy with her camera..


Candy: "You did mention restoration as just a hobby?"

Daphne: "I did? Trust me on this: that's a hobby big enough to become work too. But a little on the hush hush side of things. I'll just be cryptic and say.. I help the lion inspect his meat."


Despite its hidden intent, Candy did get this clue..



Candy: "Lion? By chance you mean Carlyle van Orrin?"


She backs out of taking pictures, and responded with intrigue..


Daphne: "You're absolutely right. It's a small world, huh? Well.. with my eyes, and him without his, we make a grand team! That is, if he ain't international. I work exclusively west coast.."


Boniface then returns, unknowingly missing even though he was just a few paces away..


Boniface: "Right, right. While you two were busy, I so happen to find something you might want to know.."

Candy: "What's up?"

Boniface: "From what I read of that sign, this car is property of the Crowden Automotive Museum."

Candy: "That sounds real familiar.."


In Candy's mind, Crowden by itself doesn't mean anything.

But it eventually grew when she remembers the ******re, fault-free Aston Martin Vulcan driver: The Spitfire Giles Crowden, and thus..



Candy: "The Big 3. They're here."

Boniface: "Oh, why did I not expect this? Are you sure you're confident that.."


She rushed him talking and mentioned..


Candy: "To face them? If it's not the Messiah, then.. I guess?"


Out of the loop, Daphne confusingly asks..


Daphne: "Hold up! What's got your panties up tight?"

Boniface: "Some of my associates are coming. The kind that, you see, come from much higher places."


Just then, A pair of women walks in: a museum keeper, and her associate for today: the fairy tale princess.


Samantha: "Hmm hmm hmmmm.. look who's come knocking?"


Samantha, with her paperback handy as always, waves calmly..



Candy: "Sam? What's that you're doodling?"

Samantha: "Morning. Oh, it's just a game of tic-tac-toe. We got a tad bored waiting for something interesting to come up, but.. I digress. Looks to me you win that wager."


The other lady then slinks in, acting like a peasant that earned her pay as she receives a tenner, proclaiming..


The Cinderella: "Proper get in!"

Candy: "She's brought that amnesiac wacko too.."


Nudging her wide brim glasses down, Samantha then revealed..



Samantha: "By the way, if you look over there, might I interest you in quite a sight?"


She points towards a direction, giving everyone in the scene the expectation of a car worth keeping their gaze like a genie about to appear.

But no said genie ever came, as The Cinderella realizes..


The Cinderella: "Look, Miss Samantha, I don't see nothing."

Samantha: "Exactly!"


Tossing up her paperback, she then spun her whole body, towards the short statured lady..

And then carressed her throat with her well built legs..



Candy: "W-w-whyy did I not see th-that co-ming?!"


Everyone else then turned to see the real intent of all that, with Boniface catching the paperback.


Boniface: "Zut alors.."

Daphne: "What the sam hill?!"

The Cinderella: "Easy now! She won't hurt a fly, promise!"

Samantha: "Don't you worry a darn thing, everyone.. it's just my way of saying.. HELLO!"


If there was a H20 meter draining right now, it would not only be shaking, but also draining quicker after that sentence ended.


Candy: "Waaa.."


He might have two eyes, but Boniface has to focus on two things: one being the aggressive Samantha's greeting..


Boniface: "Take it easy now, madame. The Messiah do punish carelessness as much as traitors.."


And the other finishing a quick match of tic tac toe with The Cinderella, placing an X to seal an easy win.

Now handed the paperback, the Cinderella grumpily comments..



The Cinderella: "Now that's just dodgy! It's like the bugger knew how to win!"


Samantha, while delaying as long she could to hear Candy's quick struggles for air, then cheekily reduces pressure.


Samantha: "Of that is.. certain. Okay, you're free to go.."


She's tough, but still fell to the grass, quickly tended to by Daphne.

Candy, feeling her neck as she gasped for air, questioned..


Candy: "Ugh.. I know you enjoy it, but.."

Samantha: "It's the first thing that come to mind for you. Congratulations, you mean something for me after all!"

Boniface: "Trust me, it's much worse if Ama was the responsible assailant, ma cherie."


She knows he's trying to cheer her up, but she remained on edge..


Candy: "Don't remind me."


Wanting to clear the air, Samantha then proves how bad she is at it..


Samantha: "As joyed we are to see you, well.. let's paint a picture: an angry Clark means an angry Giles, and if Giles is angry, it means, to me.. you know the math, correct?"


She showed the devil-like face she's known to have, as Candy panics for a moment..



Candy: "W-we're not going to talk this over some lunch, I hope?"

The Cinderella: "That depends.. I am kind of hungry.."


Amused, she replied..


Samantha: "Nice try, but words alone aren't our way of making peace with the air around the likes of me. I'm thinking.."


As she looks up and around, an idea then produces..


Samantha: "We have cars. I see a few more than usual.."


And seeing the signs of Alsace..



Samantha: "Let's throw it on the track!"


And everyone else thought of it as..



Boniface: "Oh magnifique!"

The Cinderella: "You cheeky little git! I do love me some race time!"

Daphne: "Race? I knew I brought the right digs."


Samantha however notes the odd one out, approaching her and asking..



Samantha: "Ahh. You're not part of The List. Who might you be?"

Daphne: "The details don't matter. We do it like in the States: name a time and place, and we can get this show on the road!"

Samantha: "Crikey, I see your passion, at least."


As Candy then gets back up, she's approached by the princess..


The Cinderella: "Your negro friend's quite a something, ain't she?"

Candy: "Friend's a.. loose term for someone like her.."

Boniface: "But I can see it coming there.."

The Cinderella: "Took the words right out of me mouth, Bonny boy.."


Pushing them aside, she approaches Daphne for another thought..


Candy: "Daphne.."

Daphne: "What? There's no slips or money at play! Plus they don't seem like bad folk at all! I'm game, but I want you to be game too!"


It didn't take long for Samantha to see it's all decided.



Samantha: "Alright. I like this. I'll get Alsace-Village to be ours by 7.30 PM. Afternoon's for practice. And.. how about.. classic cars only?!"

The Cinderella: "Wow! This'll be quite the challenge. The Z432's first race, by the way.."


She was going to say something to the likes of having no classic cars at the ready, until..


Boniface: "Not a word, Candy: I have just the car for you for such the occassion."

Candy: "Alright! I.. really don't deserve you, my Bon Bon. I'm sure it'll be a time to remember."

Daphne: "Damn right it will be!"

As the day moves on to past noon, Candy and the amnesiac one then meet in the track garage.


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While it's in the most part empty, it's being used for the many cars on practice today..


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These crowds can only give them a very limited selection of places to meet.

The two walk about the pit lane, hearing one another..



The Cinderella: "Sam's just being a tad too careful about it, but if it all comes swimmingly, you're going against it!"

Candy: "I'm going to be up against the Z432! Ohh.. how about a quick favor.. is that sparks coming out of your head?"


As The Cinderella experiences a mental pause, for Candy: it's all for play, which she then brings it full circle..


Candy: "Me.. drive.. Z432.. yes?"


Even though her past isn't clear to her, the princess comes back, and not amused is a reaction to put lightly from her facial expressions.


The Cinderella: "What, you think I'm THAT daft? Can't give me a time's lapse for thought? Ehhh.. tell you what: impress everyone, and you get a shot at it, love."


Sitting next to each other, they then wander, as cars pass by..


Candy: "Oh you. I wonder what Bon has for me to sweeten the pot?"

The Cinderella: "What are you thinking?"

Candy: "I'll take anything. I'll keep it safe and say it's something French, I guess.."


And at the nick of time..



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As the Cinderella stood, Candy followed, as she then announced..


The Cinderella: "Something's coming in.. it's Bonnie boy, and it's a.. that's Renault, right? A Renault hatchback!"

Candy: "Le Glace Pacer in Le Car.. It's a dumb pun, but at least I'm right about being French, alright."


It comes to a stop, and the ladies get a quick look at up close..



The Cinderella: "Why's it like proper aftermarket like?"

Candy: "Homologation specials do that to you."

The Cinderella: "Homo-what now?"


And the driver gets out, greeting them as he gestures to the car..


Boniface: "Ladies, I bring you.. French rallying star of the 80's: the Renault R5 Turbo."

The Cinderella: "Cor, what a car. WHy's it got fenders for days?"

Candy: "I'm not going to ask where you got this, Bon. Sunday Cup, right?"

Boniface: "Nowhere else but there, ma cherie. You remember my Giulia? It's coming in as we speak."


The little racer took to the car, and noticing the wide rear fenders..



Candy: "Oh, swell! Big sis would love to see me slip out at this kind of car."

The Cinderella: "Slip out? What's this supposed to be, some kind of midship, rear powered psycho? Any more far fetched, and I'll say it's a rally car!"


She turns around to see the two looking at her with mild concern.


The Cinderella: "The silence is messing with me, you know that?"

Boniface: "You just answered clearly of what you were asking, madame."


Not feeling for the humor, she moved away..


The Cinderella: "Don't say lucky me, alright? I'm done with saying all this be luck bollocks."


Mind away from the Renault, Candy then thought of..


Candy: "Now for our American invader Daphne.. did she bring the Shelby?"


Of which Boniface puts on his smile and replied coyly..



Boniface: "Ahh.. how do I put this? I saw her car, Candy.. it.. umm.. not quite the snake you described, but it stands out."

Candy: "It's a lowrider, isn't it? One with a mean V8 and blowers.."

The Cinderella: "HAH! If that be your definition of standing out, you've got it all wrong, bruv. Don't they, umm.. ride low?"


And while there are all kinds of V8s on track, Boniface took fancy to one that approaches.


Boniface: "Oh! Listen.."

The Cinderella: "Yea.. yeah.. that's a classic American V8 alright. That lowrider theory might not be bollocks after all."

Candy: "On second thought, I'm not buying that lowrider idea, just so you know.."


What came of that was on the money for Candy, as it arrives..


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Candy: "A hot rod?!"

Boniface: "Not just any hot rod.. a 32 Model B highboy. An elegant brute, that's.. blended with the classic car show, how?"

The Cinderella: "Look at you and your imaginary Sherlock Holmes glass on.. you're saying she's been driving around this thing all around Europe and nobody's bat an eye?"


As it crept in, the driver, now dressed properly to race, hopped out the side.

The lone man inspects at an instant, noting..


Boniface: "Up close now.. I must concede.. this is an incredible sight!"

Daphne: "Why thank you!!"

The Cinderella: "The showroom piece is a spectacle, but can it race?"

Candy: "I saw her handle an overpowered Shelby Mustang. It's not always the car, but the man.. or woman behind it."

Daphne: "Damn right you are! So.. let's get you comfortable in that.. an R5?!"


She puts her sights on the rallying homologation special..


Daphne: "Whoever you are, supercar superstar.. you a man of money.."

Boniface: "It's not even that costly."

Daphne: "Yeah, but I know people who'd sell their soul for this kind of kit."


While the only man of this episode, he thinks of the ladies, but more importantly to Candy who looks on the R5..


Boniface: "Ma cherie, you seem worried, I presume?"

Candy: "Worried? This is an experience. And a small step towards something. I'm ready for it."


And then the group comes together..


The Cinderella: "No pressure, love."

Daphne: "Yeah, I want to see that thing go!"


later 3.jpg



Leaving behind the two lesser Big 3 persons, Candy takes a quick trip with the famed retro Renault hatchback.



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Trailing her was the hot rod, intent on watching the little lady drive about in a whole new car to play around for the day..


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We've been taking on hatchbacks all shapes and sizes on the long life in Car Of The Week, but this one's a naturally oversteering one?


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It's a famous case of a small car with a deceptively large rear, which means supposedly the large rear jokes are coming in. But I don't see this car as in any form feminine like most of Renault today. It's MANLY, and it's made for a MANLY sport, after all. Any more manly, and it'll have a V8 powerplant. I would like that, but in terms of the visual and perceptive stimulus this is going to put out, this might not be a sound idea. Not to mention it might have way more power. What's a V8 under 200 horsepower, anyways? (nudge nudge dark ages America nudge nudge)

I'm taking a book out of Mini Mexico and begin proper the analysis with brakes. Because there I always seem to start with it strong, just after interior view. I'm not too qualified for interior view review here because I'm missing a PSVR for this, and much as that's why it's not here, I'm still sort of doing it for open top cars. But for the R5, the braking is just perfect for its PP range of low 400. You never feel like it's not enough, and you when you direct it to stop within reason, it will. And unlike any mid engined car from this era, turning while braking isn't going to force the car to fishtail. And so does engine braking, actually.

Let's get this out of the way: you never feel like you're going to die in the Renault 5 Turbo. If I actually reviewed this car in Mini Mexico, there might be differing opinions there compared to here. But try as you might, you're never going to get the car's rear out, mainly because of the two elements you see. First being the fenders that usually won't work if the car has a lot more power going around, and the second is.. get this: the small size. When your car is as long as a.. insert male genitalia joke here, it means the shift of weight is going to be more pronounced. Look how tiny this thing is compared to a Countach! Even with a 40:60 balance, it won't go out.. unless..


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There are ways to get the car to get its rear out, and the most commonly known way is by putting power wholeheartedly during cornering, and that's barely getting it done. Properly, this means when it comes to handling, this is what you're getting: slight cases of oversteer, with all intents controlled only by you: the driver. I say, put out at most 85% of the throttle (number definitely made up), and you'll be flying around that corner with a profile more settled than going straight ahead with what we got last week. Thing is with the R5 is that it's issues are in the same field with the R4: they're muted.

And we didn't test this together, but I obviously had to take it rallying. Gist is.. well, good job on the Stratos inspired design, Bertone. Big rear fenders and wider rear tires means power is manageable. I was never afraid to decide how much throttle I had to put. It's all or nothing here on the dirt (and probably snow). Not all is perfect, since the car can't handle jumps so well in here, which makes sense as this is the road car, after all. Speaking of throttle, the R5 never seems to be a strange car with quirks aside that bare case of power oversteer. Shift at usual shift points, no much need or avoidance for certain techniques. That kind of stuff.

The thing is with the R5 Turbo is that while it's not got power on the whole, it never feels slow to drive. The acceleration is out of this world, and this is in the ranges of a low 400 PP area. In Mini Mexico, this car is rated at 521 PI, which is a low C-Class: just shy of that middling C-Class I frequent. You want a recent nominated comparison, that would be with the Ford Raptor. Both cars are at this performance range in both games, and while the Raptor is a mixed bag of whether it's sort of quick or not, this car is unmistakably peppy, and I would say miles ahead of the Raptor in giving you the illusion of speed, and general fun factor. Now, we can't compare it in the lobbies, but since this is Friday I'm writing this analysis at, that means I have an evil scheme ready. To see if it came to be is.. to be seen!


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What a feeble, but still overall amazing, fun, and quite a friendly little car. When you're in its strange, red blue themed universe in its doors, the car never stops to tell you that in it's beating heart, there's always a hint of excitement there! Not in a 'I want him... dead' sort of way, but more of a 'We can play up here without damaging the merchandise' kind of fun.

Yes, I am well aware of my poor progress of getting that inner Sundowner out of me.

later that same evening.jpg



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While it might be a race, unlike last week, a casual air engulfs this one.

Moreover, a group call is organized as the lights remain red..



Candy: "Does my phone's microphone works at this range? Umm, hello, test, 1, 2, 3.."

Daphne: "I hear you, loud and clear! Ain't that right, superstar?"

Boniface: "No complaints from me, madame. I trust your practice has helped."


Keeping quiet for the moment, she then ekes out an opinion.


Candy: "It's a trip, but this is a car I can race. Look at this.. what are we seeing, Samantha?"

Samantha: "Mille Miglia.. some rally cars.. a Japanese legend.. and a hot rod. A clash bound by history. The kind you read within automotive museums.. my speciality."

The Cinderella: "Don't be such a debbie downer, Sam! Think of it as.. we doing them a favor. Warm up the grease and rip up the rubber!"


Enthused by her gusto, Samantha smiles, calmly noting..


Samantha: "Cindy, Cindy, Cindy.. She can't remember, but she sure can think.."


As Candy watches the lights unlit, she gets a private ask..



Daphne: "Mother Goose to Candy! You remember my street name, right?"


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Candy: "What was it? I remember something of a queen?"

Daphne: "Close.. not just some old queen! The Outrun Queen! Check me around Cali, and you won't see me the same way, sister, for sure! Don't you have a street name?"

Candy: "That was a time ago.. win the race, and I'll tell you."

Daphne: "Deal!"


While everyone readies for the green light, The Cinderella places on her crown.. or rather not one but a gold trimmed pair of headphones.



Nobody's Fool
Haircut 100
Pelican West


After a few taps from her phone, music then plays, getting her into the groove as the red builds up, then turns green..



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You know you can't feel it, but Nobody's Fool is one of my best racing songs that's not horrendously unknown; also a song I reserved for Tales of Cinderella. She being here means I should use it. I'm a bit sad because I realize I'm not going to use it most likely outside of here.


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Okay, with that out of the way, it's time to see what you want to do with your R5. Again, I must mention if you're going to rally it, this isn't what this is for. Besides.. I'm already afraid to bring the power up if you want to put it on the dirt. Take it from me: the main motherf[BLEEP]er who rallied a Challenger Demon on the ice and lived.

Now with the car. Pumping all things street legal can reach you at around the 600-610 PP area with sports tires. This however is a recipe for disaster without things like learning what the car is like to drive out from the used car lot, and also just putting power in general without helping the car adapt to it. Don't worry.. the usual fixes are here. With a wide kit, GT Auto's got aero that can get you a maximum of 100-150 units of downforce that, if you don't mind the look, you should go for if you're skipping 100 PP ahead of stock, especially the back.

To add, sports tires are already fine for 500 and above, but if you need grip like a condom (intensely: ok SPD, enough innuendo), you also can slap on race tires at this level, which will get you sort of Group 4 levels of performance. Just that we do have another mid engined hatchback Renault here.. YEAH, I KNOW, THESE GUYS REALLY WERE ROLLING WITH THIS MID ENGINED HATCHBACK IDEA.


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Now here's what I like.. since there's like no stability issues with shifting up and down, you can cut down on your fuel economy or PP and just instead opt for a manual rather than the sequential. This is more personal, since I never put the race transmission on these classics unless I need the PP, and cars in this jurisdiction usually have a death sentence going up through the roof. I know, I too am surprised by this development.

Given that this car has a turbo built in, the turbo options fortunately have some weight in terms of what they do to the powerband. The golden rule for turbos applies here: low for more consistent power above a forgiving threshold, mid if you just want no change in behaviour and just want an extra oomph, high for a better late RPM push for top end. While high beats mid this time around for power, you might sacrifice the car's driving style for a preference towards high revs. I opted for mid unless you need the high, like the gearbox.

You remember that the oversteering issue comes mainly from throttle input? That's right. Time to put in one customizable LSD in the cart. You probably have the idea to get acceleration down to 5 already, but if you didn't put any rear support like downforce, you want braking to be more than 10. No buts: I don't want to see you flying into the backrooms because you let go of your accelerator.


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Aside from having a more balanced values for front and back (on stock, the rear's tougher), I don't have anything much to say for suspension, honest, but make sure to harden the spring rate when you pump up the rubber.

I did try this week's challenge, but on Le Mans, meaning the effort's more than just slapping the softest slicks on. I couldn't manage it yet, but I feel it didn't need address this week. Before you say it's skill issue, well.. it's impossible when the 3 attempts I did were not wet in any degree. Not to mention I used my own tune, and the driving on slicks was just.. straight up chef's kiss: the car is NOT hard to tune at all. You don't have to follow my advice other than make a quick check for power oversteer.

And that's it. Generally, unless you skyrocket the PP, the R5's not a hard car to tune due to its gentle, but fun stock form.

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Daphne: "So clean!! Ladies and gent, this is a-ma-ziiingggg!!"


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The Cinderella: "NGGGHHH!! You! Stop faffing about and keep away from the glass slipper!!"

Daphne: "Yiiikes! She's really fired up."

Samantha: "Trust me, she's way more normal than our other regulars, wouldn't you say, Bon?"

Boniface: "You'd be surprised."


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Boniface: "Mon dieu, this hill's a bit slippy."

Samantha: "You don't say.."

Candy: "Are we doing a drift train?"

The Cinderella: "DRIFT TRAIN!"

Daphne: "Whoo-whooo! Burning rubber junction!"


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Samantha: "I will take the helm, thank you very much."

Boniface: "And she flies.."


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Daphne: "Damn.. you all don't mess around."


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The Cinderella: "Whoo. I'm fired up now! You're really missing out, Peggy."


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Boniface: "Hisss.."

Candy: "You're out of your realm, my darling Count!"


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Boniface: "The barbarians are at the gate.."


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The Cinderella: "Sod off, Frenchie!"

Boniface: "My my.. how brutish!"


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Boniface: "You're paying for that scrape, princess."

The Cinderella: "Send the bill over to Peggy, Bonny boy!"


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Samantha: "Ooohh.. I'm pretty lonely up 'ere. If only someone would alleviate this.."

Candy: "Challenge accepted."


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The Cinderella: "Hiya, sweet thing!"

Samantha: "Princess.. you're really kicking it up a level!"

The Cinderella: "They don't call me the triple trouble for nothing!"

Candy: "Triple what now? What kind of name is that?"


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Daphne: "Superstar! We're coming up the last round! Want a push?"

Boniface: "I propose we just let the ladies do their magic, madame."


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The Cinderella: "GET. IINN!! This is for Deep Forest!"

Candy: "Hooohh.. the wacko and that Z432.."


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Samantha: "Wait till Giles hears of my victory, and then he'll be like.. oh Samantha, you've done the Big 3 and me a proper solid! I might kiss you at this moment! Ohh [kissing sounds].."

Candy: "Ughh.."

The Cinderella: "Sam! Enough fetishes! We can hear you!"

Samantha: "C-cor what?! Completely slipped the mind.."


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Samantha: "Slippy hill, AAAAHHH!"

The Cinderella: "She's done choked! Push, pushh!"

Candy: "Come on then, Princess Cockneypants!"


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The Cinderella: "Yeahh, we're near the end. Told you I'd win it, Candy!"

Candy: "Oh.. Cindy.. Congrats! That was an impressive comeback."

Boniface: "Nice to hear this side of you, ma cherie."

Candy: "Oh stow it."


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Samantha: "This is a steep improvement from the last time, miss Cinderella. I've taken note of this for further analysis."

The Cinderella: "You're a pal, Sam."

Samantha: "Not so fast. We're still a ways to go before your big race.."

The Cinderella: "Yup.. no need to remind me. Still not ready for that yet."

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The real question is.. when would I not be in one?
I don't think this segment will last, so I'll just say from here on out: if there's a race, and it's not Grouped or rally, look for a Carrera GT on the Notable Race Events. I probably won't remember I did it too, so, good luck!


Running its victory laps, Candy now takes a ride in the race winner's Z432, as the track's extended public use time comes to a close.



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Candy: "WAHOO!!"


She's not alone, as the car's driver too hops on the side saddle..


The Cinderella: "BOMBS AWAY!! HAHAHAA!!"


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The Cinderella: "Look at you. On my first time, I nearly crashed a bunch. But you got a knack for classic sports cars and their dodgy arse, don't ya?"

Candy: "Oh, well.. there was this lion.. a wise guy who let me drive his Mongoose.."


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The Cinderella: "Ohhh.. let the bloke know I'd like some of that wisdom."

Candy: "We'll see. He's got a certain.. way with us ladies."

The Cinderella: "Duly noted.. RIGHT TURN!"


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Candy: "EYAAAHH!!"


meanwhile 2.jpg



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Back in the pit lane, what remains of the small roster for today gets together on chairs by their cars..


Daphne: "This the first I raced against the European bunch of racers. Nice to see a clean crowd. Real breath of fresh air."

Boniface: "Don't assume racing with millions worth of credits on the track forces our hand, madame. Clean has always been the first rule."

Daphne: "Plus that classic car rule.. I sure as heck don't want to be touching any of that, nuh huh!"


Samantha, jotting notes as she always has, then questions..



Samantha: "How's your kind end up on this part of France?"

Daphne: "Actually going around with a friend. And you know.. classic car show. Not really much else to say about it."


As Samantha continues to scribble on, she thought to get more out of her..


Samantha: "Oh keep going.. Anders, was it?"

Daphne: "Yep."

Samantha: "I rather enjoyed our company together. Perhaps you'd like to come to the UK for some more.."

Daphne: "Thanks but.. after all this, I'm keeping my ass home. I hardly get out of the country, and I really keep it that way!"


Boniface, with a thought of her interest, then proceeds..


Boniface: "Ahh, so what's with this lure you are playing?"

Samantha: "I want someone else to handle his Grace's great interest for classic American."

Daphne: "Grace? That sounds like a lady's name! What's he drive?"

Samantha: "A refurbished Ford Coupe."


The works of another hot rod has Daphne interested, as she replies with a smile..



Daphne: "[whistles]. Tell you what: keep me in contact. You Big 3 people was it? Thinking.. I know someone from in there.."


Looking at each other, the Big 3 persons then think..


Boniface: "Oh?"

Samantha: "Interesting. If my notes don't lie, I propose we make a guess?"

Boniface: "Parfait. I had that thought too. Let's see.. she wears a beret?"

Samantha: "And has a love for messing with, and handling with Mopar?"


Impressed by the quick answer, she recoiled briefly and admitted..


Daphne: "Damn, you guys know your stuff. Give it to me."

Boniface and Samantha: "Cierra."


Snapping her fingers, she declared..


Daphne: "That's the one. I wonder why she's holed up in the UK for?"

Samantha: "Well now. I propose we fill her in."

Boniface: "Agreed.."


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


After taking it against many comers under soak or dry, the Renault 5 took us all by surprise in such an incredulous way, akin to the building sized blade of a modified Metal Gear Ray being parried by a tiny man in a cybernetically enhanced body.

If you can excuse the RULES OF NATURE that already played in your head, from me this is more than enough to say Top Sleeper. It harkens back to the BMW M3 Sport Evolution: just a pleasant car to drive that's doubly well performing and a really pleasure to give it a go and have a whole bucketful of fun along with.

If last week taught me you can refine metals to make it work, this week's a straight up diamond tinted in red and blue. It's only missing an engine swap to bring it up to the big boys, so fingers crossed we can bring it to a whole new level. However much of my vitals are left of me when this testing happens, I eagerly await how much further can we harvest this bountiful orchard.


A collective of classic cars without Night Moves, and also without resident classic car smuggler Carlyle. He gets a mention, but that's kind of unusual for me to write old fashioned cars without him around.

Another race so soon? You know, for some reason, I finished writing this week's whole story bit in under a day. More accurately: 2 and a half hours. This car really rubbed on me that well.

While she was slated for Week 39 as someone to introduce as 2024 came to a start, Daphne Anders gets her first shot in my story writing. Yes sir, that (6) is real; she was slated to appear after that long of remaining dormant. Her main gimmick hasn't changed: African-American with a leaning towards the 60's. For some reason, introducing her reinvigorated my want to write this week's entry. It must be the fact I retooled and rebooted her to a good effect: living the simple, but happy good adult life. Her original character still retains in the Guns N Roses theme songs that I gave her AGES ago. I was really looking for something from the 60's for this reboot.

As the main character, Candy Lam is bound to appear in every segment, be it either as the lead role, or as a small mention.

The infamous Sweet Toothed Lone Wolf of Asia, or known worldwide as Le Glace Pacer. While her social presence is significantly poor, her presence on the track hasn't been short of perfection, now under the pressures of being a monetary source of higher powers, as well as her role being the most prime form of woman racers.. But don't let her hear that.

Theme Song: Def Leppard - Bad Actress
Racing Duel Music: Def Leppard - Nine Lives
Gender: Female
Nationality: Hong Kongese
Age: 30
Current occupation: Professional racecar driver
Distinct features: Long, clean, straight ashen hair tied to a ponytail via traditional red braids. A stiff, stoic Asian beauty that starts to show sign of wrinkling, covered by heavy layers of makeup. Thin, rounded diamond face, with various beauty signs of it being worked on unnaturally, especially her unblemished small snub nose, heavily lipsticked mouth and thin brown Asian eyes. Short body with small proportions.
Choice of clothing: Typical modern glossy sleveless Hong Kong dress, but 90% she will have her favorite on, that's in blood red with a white bauhinia pattern on, with matching sandals. Most of her clothes and themes come in red or white.
Cars: Toyota GR Yaris 1st Edition RZ "High Performance", MINI Cooper S, Honda NSX Type R '02, Mazda Demio XD Touring

Even though she's a proud Hong Kongese, Candy is actually born in high society Tokyo, and more exposed to living in a usual Japanese lifestyle. An only child, it was easy to find herself spoiled rotten from a young age, getting what she wants and not caring how it got there, thanks to wealth she inherits strongly. Her father notably was an executive in Toyota's racing division.

A target in her younger ages, Candy's early life was full of trouble from others that are against her being a Hong Kong native in Japan. She never made any friends as a result, and this loner habit of hers remained even after changing schools, going so far to even give her a new alias. While her parents have a strong standing in the society she lived in, she remained in their shadow, because she couldn't find comfort out of it.

Upon reaching her adult days, Candy's first 'milestone' would come when an incident in a high class event caused her to run, leading to a manic police car chase spanning several weeks before she was arrested. The victim of these events would have deep ties with various Yakuza families. While her parents retreated to Hong Kong, Candy stayed in Japanese prison, learning that if nothing needs to come her way, she needs to learn something she initially dreaded to do: manipulate the human mind, a state of thought she was once a victim of.

After her sentence, she regained her freedom, and it didn't take long that was noticed by the city's largest street racing community. Still with her inherited wealth, she started off strong in the streets. Years then pass, in which she eventually proves herself as a top competitor for racing in many top endurance races worldwide.

While her fans are out there in many parts around for being a woman dominating a man's sport, she's not exactly a great social interactor, and is a nobody outside the racing community. With many questions still left unanswered, maybe there are more ulterior motives with the unsanctioned blue MINI project..

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 upturned 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), Alfa Romeo Giulia Sprint GT Veloce, Maserati MC20

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.

She might look like your usual office worker, but behind this thick skinned devil is a self serving, unfaltering genius that put Crown Jewels to the top of the street racing food chain.

Theme Song: Nightwish - Devil & the Deep Dark Ocean
Racing Duel Music: Nightwish - The Poet and the Pendulum: Part 2 - Home
Gender: Female
Nationality: British
Age: 29
Current occupation: Museum secretary
Distinct features: Bunned up long orange hair. Thin triangle shaped face with sensual deep blue eyes and thin aquiline nose. Wears large wide brim glasses with a holder, often shining sinisterly. Notable shine on lips due to her addiction to reapplying lipstick. Has a few beauty marks: one under her lip, another next to her left eye. Bright pale skin surrounds this tall, slender figure with thickened limbs, even moreso her lower half.
Choice of clothing: Usually with office wear on, such as a tailored suit jacket, a blazer with matching skirt, and heels with stockings. She cares immensely towards her presentation, and keeps these clean to the best of her ability.
Cars: Mercedes-AMG GT R

Carrying double award degrees in administration, Samantha's life started off as a rustic farmhand off the lands in East Anglia. While handling potatoes, both figuratively and literally, she found herself to be the perfect duo of brawn and brains of the family, and thought well enough to pursue a higher education. A dark, pressure exhuming entrepreneur, and a bit of a self developed genius, but she assumes all this be only natural.

Her post educatIon life however hasn't been smooth. She's always a top performer in any work she finds herself into, so much so that she's never in the same job for more than a year. That's changed when she decides slowing down is the way to go, and finds herself as the top dog within the Crowden Automotive Museum, representing as an ambassador for Legend Cars, posed behind only Giles himself. Her work by day involve managing auctions and transfer of cars, with the aim of getting record profits for the museum flipping prices on expensive antiques.

However, finding out that the museum is a staging ground for Giles' desire of something more illicit, Samantha's honest views start to falter due to the amounts of money she's offered to maintain both day to day museum activities, and the logistics behind the Crown Jewels. Not to mention she's being taught how to drive, and develops a like for good racing every now and then. But all in all, she's a self reserved, dominating figure with a penchant for hard work and knowledge. But to say new age Samantha as suspicious is not unheard of.

As the clock struck 12, her past became a mystery, and what's left of has been shrouded by her persistent pursuees. But as she becomes an integral member of the Big 3, she ventures on to find her hazed past, or perhaps start anew?

Theme Song: Eddie Vedder - Invincible
Racing Duel Music: not yet found
Gender: Female
Nationality: Presumably British
Age: Presumably in her mid 20s
Current occupation: Unknown
Distinct features: Medium, slightly curled burgundy red hair. Straight, angular brows. Diamond shaped face, with an attractive look consisting of a subtle aquiline nose, thin rounded eyes and small mouth. Thin application of makeup, with a notably strong appication of pale red lipstick. While pleasant to look at, her facial expressions are notably exaggerated. Average height and build over pale caucasian skin, but notably fit.
Choice of clothing: Always today's fashion. If she would wear anything usual, they would be locally sourced or given a much fancier look than usual. Normally with a blouse and long pants, wearing raised sandals.
Cars: Nissan Z Performance, Nissan Z 432

The Tales of Cinderella intends to help open her to the world as she dedicates herself to search for her past.. thus this segment is intentionally redacted.

She might be, by day, a happy go lucky waitress on her family's retro themed diner in Big Sur, but by night, she's known to be a lot more in the coastal Californian street racing crews she's ran with and against.

Theme Song: Guns N' Roses - Nightrain
Racing Duel Music: Guns N' Roses - Anything Goes
Gender: Female
Nationality: American
Age: 34
Current occupation: Diner waitress
Distinct features: Dark brown medium curled afro with brighter accents. Heart shaped face. Blue hooded eyes, flat, narrow hooked nose and medium sized thin lips. Mildly freckled. Awlays with thick blue hued eye makeup and amber lipstick. Brown skin. Semi-tall height with average build and weight.
Choice of clothing: Has a taste for classical 60's American fashion. If not working with her 60's styled waitress outfit, she has on a 60's fashion shirt dress with tight socks and arm socks, and heeled shoes. Also with a large, bright brimmed hat, various jewelleries such as large golden hoop earrings and bangles.
Cars: Shelby G.T.350, Ford Shelby GT350R, Ford Roadster

Michigan based Daphne grew most of her life in the coastal regions of California, exposed to the sun more times that she's used to the sunburn should she ever suffer it. Being a sole daughter, she succeeds her festival roadie father, and a high octane mother who's famed as a dirt oval racer all over the US. While this is where she was exposed to the racing world from, her main influence growing up was from her grandparents: old people with a taste for modified American racing in the 60s. Somehow able to keep up with their family's travelling to various places all over the US via motorhome, she never longs to leave her home base of Big Sur for longer than a few weeks when this happens.

With her education a mess thanks to her never staying in school, she just grew up with the wisdom of her olders to go on with. By the time she reached her teens, she became involved in the business of the underground racing scenes that started growing traction. Her growth started to develop then, learning skills such as to manage money and work by handling the racing organizations, talk loud by announcing race events and starting them, and eventually learn to race after being a part of these races after a scandal with some organized crime groups rigging races. She would meet various individuals of this scene, including the enigmatic Nirvana, a ravishing Dutch smuggler who she often partners with, and two Americans who would eventually be apart of The Prophecy as its Chosen.

Not willing to go back to school, she settled with being a simple waitress of a racer themed diner placed next to Big Sur's premier racing venue. However, being the face of the family ran V8 Cafe and Grill, she never shies away from the simple American life, looking in the past to determine her future. Recently on the rise within underground racing leagues as The Outrun Queen, she's been eyeing with great passion on infamous crew known as The List, hoping to one day clash with the leader she idolizes (in secret).
 
And here I am trying to figure out if this car can win WTC600 Tokyo 🤣
I managed it second try with a quick tune, despite being spun out at the hairpin on lap 6 by the 911 and R8.

Gran Turismo® 7_20240510160349.png


Max upgrades (with a manual gearbox) on SS tyres, no wide body. Has just enough fuel for a no stop with no fuel saving. Hits 275km/h (171mph) in clean air. FL 2:13.151.

HORRIBLE rear tyre wear as you can tell from the screenshot. Lap times just go off a cliff after lap 10. Lap 12 is properly terrifying, lol.

I'm not the best tuner out there, but give this a try and see if it works for you?

Wheels: 14–Inch front/15–Inch rear (one inch larger than originals)

Gran Turismo® 7_20240510160639.png

Gran Turismo® 7_20240510160655.png


Gran Turismo® 7_20240510160703.png
 
It's often been said that there's only a thin line between genius and insanity, and unfortunately for the radical Renault 5 Turbo, Audi's genius quattro system made sure Renault's pioneering efforts would forever be relegated to automotive asylums. Here in Gran Turismo 7, we pretend racers only get access to the road–going production R5 Turbo that homologates said insane rally car. Can the pedestrian R5 Turbo fare any better on digital tarmac from the safety of living room couches and sim rigs?


If you ask my peers, yes, actually! Too bad I have NO IDEA what they see or feel in this heap of a car. I find its handling to be floaty, vague, and indirect. And yet in spite of this, it's violently allergic to small patches of grass and even minor rumble strips, unhesitating to break its rear end out with little provocation from those slight off–road excursions, not helped at all by the fact that the car is wider at the rear than the front, making it unintuitive to precisely place and punishing to push. Its brakes are barely strong enough to be considered adequate for slowing a 159HP, 970kg (119kW, 2,138lbs) car, and they have absolutely no bite to them whatsoever. Couple this with spitefully thin front tyres and a steering wheel that talks as much as a gagged mute, and it can often feel like there's just no response from the front end whatsoever. More than a few times during this week, I've caught myself wondering if I've somehow managed to puncture my front tyres in a Gran Turismo game, because that's what it often feels like deep into a corner.

Gran%20Turismo%C2%AE%207_20240512135723.png

I don't even think tuning can fix much of this car's problems. Sure, its incredible lightness means it can tango with Gr.4 cars and even rival their fuel efficiency when maxed out, but giving this thing more speed just highlights even more how tall the cg is, making the mirror smooth asphalt of Tokyo wear away at the overly stressed rear tyres of the R5 as though sharp gravel. I don't even want to think about how the rally car handles in tight, walled–in stages.

Gran%20Turismo%C2%AE%207_20240512135709.png

It genuinely baffles me to hear the boundless praise heaped onto the R5 Turbo from my friends over the course of the week's lobbies, because I can't see much to like about it at all. Look, I get it: the R5 is a historically significant car that deserves to be immortalised in Gran Turismo. It's born from a sorely missed and much beloved time in rallying, and it's rare to see a French manufacturer go balls out insane like this. It's the very first of the very exclusive club of RMR hatchbacks, and every car it inspired to adopt that layout become historic beacons themselves. Hell, they even inspired Audi of all people to follow that formula decades later. Take it from a guy who ardently refuses to have a TikTok account and think touchscreens in cars are stupid, though: a modern day hatch, even an unassuming one, is much better than the R5 Turbo in every aspect. A 2007 Suzuki Swift Sport has much more stable and direct handling, costs a ninth of what the R5 goes for, and is readily available for purchase in any stock colour in the Brand Central. Around Streets of Willow, the Suzuki would even edge out the Renault despite the Swift weighing more, having less power, being FF, and undercutting the R5 by some 10PP when both are bone stock on their default tyres (CS for the Swift, CM for the R5).

Gran%20Turismo%C2%AE%207_20240512135702.png

That is to say that, you'd have to really appreciate the R5's historical significance to want one. Or just be insane like the car.
 
It's often been said that there's only a thin line between genius and insanity, and unfortunately for the radical Renault 5 Turbo, Audi's genius quattro system made sure Renault's pioneering efforts would forever be relegated to automotive asylums. Here in Gran Turismo 7, we pretend racers only get access to the road–going production R5 Turbo that homologates said insane rally car. Can the pedestrian R5 Turbo fare any better on digital tarmac from the safety of living room couches and sim rigs?


If you ask my peers, yes, actually! Too bad I have NO IDEA what they see or feel in this heap of a car. I find its handling to be floaty, vague, and indirect. And yet in spite of this, it's violently allergic to small patches of grass and even minor rumble strips, unhesitating to break its rear end out with little provocation from those slight off–road excursions, not helped at all by the fact that the car is wider at the rear than the front, making it unintuitive to precisely place and punishing to push. Its brakes are barely strong enough to be considered adequate for slowing a 159HP, 970kg (119kW, 2,138lbs) car, and they have absolutely no bite to them whatsoever. Couple this with spitefully thin front tyres and a steering wheel that talks as much as a gagged mute, and it can often feel like there's just no response from the front end whatsoever. More than a few times during this week, I've caught myself wondering if I've somehow managed to puncture my front tyres in a Gran Turismo game, because that's what it often feels like deep into a corner.

Gran%20Turismo%C2%AE%207_20240512135723.png

I don't even think tuning can fix much of this car's problems. Sure, its incredible lightness means it can tango with Gr.4 cars and even rival their fuel efficiency when maxed out, but giving this thing more speed just highlights even more how tall the cg is, making the mirror smooth asphalt of Tokyo wear away at the overly stressed rear tyres of the R5 as though sharp gravel. I don't even want to think about how the rally car handles in tight, walled–in stages.

Gran%20Turismo%C2%AE%207_20240512135709.png

It genuinely baffles me to hear the boundless praise heaped onto the R5 Turbo from my friends over the course of the week's lobbies, because I can't see much to like about it at all. Look, I get it: the R5 is a historically significant car that deserves to be immortalised in Gran Turismo. It's born from a sorely missed and much beloved time in rallying, and it's rare to see a French manufacturer go balls out insane like this. It's the very first of the very exclusive club of RMR hatchbacks, and every car it inspired to adopt that layout become historic beacons themselves. Hell, they even inspired Audi of all people to follow that formula decades later. Take it from a guy who ardently refuses to have a TikTok account and think touchscreens in cars are stupid, though: a modern day hatch, even an unassuming one, is much better than the R5 Turbo in every aspect. A 2007 Suzuki Swift Sport has much more stable and direct handling, costs a ninth of what the R5 goes for, and is readily available for purchase in any stock colour in the Brand Central. Around Streets of Willow, the Suzuki would even edge out the Renault despite the Swift weighing more, having less power, being FF, and undercutting the R5 by some 10PP when both are bone stock on their default tyres (CS for the Swift, CM for the R5).

Gran%20Turismo%C2%AE%207_20240512135702.png

That is to say that, you'd have to really appreciate the R5's historical significance to want one. Or just be insane like the car.

I guess I'm insane then, 'cause I love this car!

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