Clio Trophy Pro - commentary

Discussion in 'GT3 Race Reports' started by Duke, Jun 27, 2003.

  1. Duke

    Duke Staff Emeritus

    United States
    As I'm approaching 100% I'm trying to intersperse the longer series and enduros with shorter runs. Latest attack was the Pro level Clio Trophy. I have a Clio racer but I want to do it in a street car, so the dealer delivered an Illiad Blue Sport model. I changed the oil and put some spare wheels on it so I could identify myself in the replay.

    For modifications I bought T2s, T3s, and T4s, since I didn't know how it does on tires or what the AI strategy will be. I installed a race intake/exhaust kit and a chip. Other than that the car was stock, though I also kept the stage 1 N/A tuning in the trailer just in case. Off to the races, with no practice or qualifying. ASM and TCS both set to zilch.

    Rome - 10 laps

    I selected T3 tires for my first race, and With the Renault V6 pumping out 292 horsepower behind me, I started from the bottom of the grid. MR makes for decent launches, but with this tuning the AI seems to have a small acceleration advantage over me. I didn't advance my position until the Coliseum on lap 1, when I moved up to 4th. I took 3rd on the sharp right in the Downtown section, then set out after the leaders. I passed for 2nd on the last turn of lap 2, then again made my move at the Coliseum, taking the lead on lap 3.

    Somehow I lost my rhythm on lap 5, and had to scrap with the 2-3 cars throughout the next couple laps, but I re-secured the lead on 7. This was actually kind of fun rather than cruising to a lonely victory. I had a lead of +4.mid" when, true to boneheaded form, all 5 AIs trooped into the pits after lap 9. So I went home alone anyway, finishing out the last lap without pitting. Left front tire was headed toward red, but the others were orange.

    Margin: +21.287" - +23.313", Clio Sports
    Total Time: 16':29.651"
    Fast Lap: 1':36.969"
    Average Lap: 1':38.965"

    Grand Valley - 10 laps

    The tires were a little too far gone last time, and GV is a loooong track, so I switched down to T2s for the next race. Again starting from 6th, I moved through the crowd in the Big Hair Pin, taking 3rd in the uphill esses before the downhill chute on lap 1. They didn't like the uppity guy with the nonconformist wheels, apparently, because I got spun by traffic while looking for daylight in the Little Hairpin. I fell back to about -9.low" out of 1st.

    I caught up some of that time over the next 5 laps, but I was still -4.high" away from the lead when the crowd pitted after lap 7. This let me take the lead for the first time in the race, which I held for the remaining 3 laps. Original tires were orange in front and light orange out back at the finish.

    Margin: +12.824" - +15.952", Clio Sports
    Total Time: 21':52.704"
    Fast Lap: 2':07.646"
    Average Lap: 2':11.270"

    SSR 11 Reverse - 10 laps

    I don't much like this track, so rather than risk having to run it again, I snuck the N/A 1 kit onto the car after it had been through the Tech Shed. This put me up to 325 horsepower, which in retrospect seems to be about what the AI are running, but probably without the chip installed. I stuck with T2 tires and did not qualify.

    The extra parts gave me a small acceleration advantage over the field, and so I made Duke history by actually improving my position through the tight offset at turns 2-3. I made it up to 3rd in that melee, but was promptly knocked back to dead last by multiple shoves in the following carousel.

    I took 5th on lap 2, and 4th a few laps later. I was about -2.high" out of 1st when the pit cycle started after lap 8, giving me the lead. I stayed on course and finished with light orange tires all round.

    Margin: +16.724" - +29.365", Clio Sports
    Total Time: 22':30.117"
    Fast Lap: 2':12.020"
    Average Lap: 2':15.011"

    Deep Forest - 10 laps

    Removing the N/A 1 kit while in transit to the next race, I found that the Clio has begun to wear in and is now pushing 296 hp instead of 292. once again T2 tires and a last-place start are the strategy.

    Once again I quickly moved into 3rd on the first lap, but I was only able to move up to 2nd after two laps of extrememly fun and close dicing. At lap 3 I was in 2nd, about -1.mid" back, but the leader was in the groove this day, and I was not able to pass him for good until the last tunnel on lap 7. I began lap 9 with a lead of 3.000" exactly, but by the end of the lap that had widened to almost 5 seconds. Sure enough, they dutifully pitted on lap 9, leaving me to finish with 3 yellow tires and the right front light orange.

    Margin: +22.256" - +27.327", Clio Sports
    Total Time: 14':24.853"
    Fast Lap: 1':23.952"
    Average Lap: 1':26.485"

    This victory gives me a 40-18 lead in the points race. I don't care which Beetle I get for a prize so I'm going to run straight through at Monaco.

    Cote d'Azure - 15 laps

    After the last few blowouts, I decided to change my strategy. I removed the chip, left the Race I/E, but switched up to T4 tires since I plan to make a pit. Hopefully this will lead to tighter racing and more play time.

    I love this course, and the Renault seemed like it was on home turf. From 6th at the green flag, I survived the usual first-turn cockup and secured 3rd place by the top of the hill at the Casino. I passed for 2nd on the chute, and took the lead at the switchbacks on the first lap. The Clio is a true joy to carve through the back side of this course; an ounce of early braking is worth a pound of late-braking wall slams.

    I began lap 4 with a lead of 4.000" precisely (very odd) and had built that up to 6.high" by the halfway point on lap 8. The tires were still healthy but there was no reason to push them further, so I pitted for a fresh set. The field was pretty tight so I fell to last place despite the relatively quick stops at Monaco. I emerged on lap 9 about 14.mid" off the pace.

    I made the first of my second series of passes on lap 10, gathering up 5th place, then worked my way near the front by lap 12. I was decimal seconds behind the leader and setting up a pass at the blind turn leading onto the front straight when he pitted. From there it was an easy cruise to finish on light orange tires.

    In one other timing coincidence, my last lap was 1':50,150". The Clio turned in extrememly consistent 1':49.high" - 1':50.low" laps throughout.

    Margin: +16.596" - +23.673", Clio Sports
    Total Time: 28':05.561"
    Fast Lap: 1':49.382"
    Average Lap: 1':52.370", with 1 pit

    This gave me a pile o' cash and a red Beetle Cup Car, which I may sell (though I don't need the money) or turn into a rally machine.
  2. RVDNuT374


    United States
    Nice writeup neon duke.;) If only the brainless AI didn't pit on lap 9/10 during the races, they would be more fun.:p