GT Allstars Pro - commentary

Discussion in 'GT3 Race Reports' started by Duke, Jul 2, 2003.

  1. Duke

    Duke Staff Emeritus

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    My last long series beside the Formula GT is the GT All Stars Pro. The preview showed me the usual suspects: TS020, R390, maybe the Esperante. I was considering the Zonda racer, which I've never driven, but seeing the GT One there scared me out of it. I saddled up the worn-but-trusty 787B, shod it with T3s on custom wheels, and headed to California. Turbo 1, pretty much the only available option, is on the transporter as well as a selection of softer tires. Although I have refined it from what I began with, here's the setup I've used pretty much throughout the series:

    Springs: 16.4/14.8
    Ride Ht: 80/80
    Bound: 7/7
    Rebound: 7/7
    Downforce: 0.90/1.15

    Camber: 3.0/1.0
    Toe: 0.0/0.0
    Swaybars: 4/4
    Brakes 11/11

    FD: 3.800
    AS: 34 or 44
    LSD: 10/40/20

    ASM: 0
    TCS: 1

    Laguna Seca - 15 laps

    I really enjoy this course, even though I'm not terribly good at driving it. It's got all the fun of the level changes, without the off-camber turns and hidden ripples found in some other tracks. And no walls lurking right off the pavement.

    The field I drew lost the TS020 (of course) so it looks like I'll be facing off against the R390 and my teammate in the other 787B as my only real competition. The settings were a little different from what's shown above: slightly higher ride height, less downforce, more brakes at both ends. I ran a quick qualifier just to see if the car was in the ballpark setup-wise, and took 2nd spot, around 1.low" behind the R390.

    I dropped a spot on the launch, but held the 3rd position through turns 2-3. The slab cars quickly outpaced the LM cars, which I didn't see again until we started lapping them. I moved to 2nd during that first lap, passing the R390 to the inside at turn 6 before the overpass. I followed my teamate into lap 2, beginning to close pretty tightly. This proved to be a mistake, because he suddenly dropped anchor right in the fairway leading up to the Corkscrew, causing a grinding crash and smokey spinouts for both of us as I rearended him hard. I recovered first, but the R390 had already slipped by and was headed downhill out of the Corkscrew. I caught up to him at the last turn, which he took wide, allowing me to slip by inside and grab the lead before the end of lap 2.

    Once I was out front I was able to extend my lead fairly steadily, wasting some margin when I ran wide on turn 7 once or twice. The R390 fell out of 2nd place for a bit (I saw in the replay that he had spun on the last turn), but took it back within a lap or so. The 787B is very easy on tires and at the halfway point these had plenty of life remaining, so I opted not to pit. The R390 pitted out of 2nd place on lap 9, followed by the other 787B on 10 or 11. The R390 must have spun again on cold tires, because my teammate was hanging on to a distant second. I encountered the backmarkers on laps 13 and 14, passing the 2 LM cars. I cruised to an easy victory despite some sloppy laps in the middle.

    Margin: +39.170", 787B; +1 lap, Altezza LM and S2000 LM
    Total Time: 19':10.646"
    Fast Lap: 1':14.504"
    Average Lap: 1':16.709"

    Deep Forest - 15 laps

    After the big margin of victory at Laguna, I switched up to T4s and scheduled a pit for the halfway mark to make it more interesting. T5s would probably make it 8 laps but I'll go for the gusto instead; settings are the same as Laguna. This time I didn't qualify, taking the green from the back of the grid. I headed into turn 1 in the middle of the pack, with the LM cars dropping off slightly through the off-camber twisties leading into the first tunnel.

    The back side of this track is totally manic at these speeds. I don't think I ever felt in control throughout the Bus Stop section. At the exit to the last tunnel of lap 1 I was able to hang back, then punch it to duck inside both the R390 and the 787B to take the lead. My driving never warmed up that well, and my laps were fairly sloppy, leading to less margin than last race. I pitted after lap 8, falling back to 2nd after the R390. He pitted after the next lap, but I don't recall if I passed him on track or in the pits to regain the lead. The 787B pitted on 10 and must have encountered trouble, because his margin got big and stayed big. We encountered lap traffic on 13 and 14, putting all three backmarkers off the lead lap.

    Margin: +15.615", R390; +44.021", 787B; +1 lap, Altezza LM and S2000 LM, and GT40
    Total Time: 17':24.597"
    Fast Lap: 1':05.972"
    Average Lap: 1':09.639" with 1 pit

    Teams had a short break at this time for rest and maintenance.

    Midfield Raceway Reverse - 15 laps

    Good old Midfield. Because of the smoother level transitions, I dropped the ride height to 80mm all round, though I left spring rates where they were rather than stiffening them as usual. I'm sticking with the T4s/1-pit strategy, and declining to qualify.

    I'm always amazed at how fast you can take the turn 1-2 combination leading into the first real tunnel on this track, and always disappointed at how slow you have to take the 3rd turn coming out of it. For some reason I have a very difficult time getting an efficient line through the tight one. I exited there a lagging 3rd place, and promptly stole the lead when the R390 and my teammate both ran wide in turn 6, the long right sweeper leading into the second tunnel. I extended this lead for another 7 consistent, clean laps. The R390 would gain on me in the straights, but could not handle the turns well at all. I saw later that he put it into the kitty litter at the runout for turn 6 on every freaking lap. For a surprise, I lapped the GT40 on lap 7; he must have spun at some point.

    I pitted after lap 8 on healthy tires, dropping from +14.mid" ahead to -4.low" behind. Though he had a huge top speed advantage, the R390's tires were about dead, making his cornering worse than usual, and I was able to pass him before he pitted after 9. My teammate was hanging back, and pitted out of 3rd after lap 10. After the pit cycle, I simply kept running, lapping the two LM cars on 12. Most of my laps in this race were cleaner and more consistent than I can usually manage.

    Margin: +28.915", R390; +57.326", 787B; +1 lap, Altezza LM and S2000 LM, and GT40
    Total Time: 16':42.959"
    Fast Lap: 1':03.221"
    Average Lap: 1':06.863" with 1 pit

    Test Course - 15 laps

    I actually don't hate this track, and I've had some very exciting slipstreaming battles here. However, tonight I wasn't too interested, so the techs fitted the bigger turbo, boosting power from 710 hp to 946 (cheez, talk about a bargain at 5 kilocredits). I minimized downforce, switched to T2s, and spun the spring perches down to 55mm. I ran most of a qualifying lap to set my transmission A/S at 44, but started from 6th, as if that mattered.

    Running clean and smooth towards the beginning of the race, I was clocking 263 mph on the straights with the needle a couple hundred revs shy of the limiter. Not even the mighty R390 could keep anywhere near me. After I saw him pit (fire that crew chief), I began to play around, running a lap or two looking in the rearview and steering backwards. This led to a nasty collision with the outside wall, which I saw from the replay stood the car up on its butt, about a carlength above the rail, before slamming down and wobbling all over the track. That almost caused me to make an unintended pit stop, but I got it stabilized and back up to speed.

    Shortly after that I saw my top end start sagging to around 257 mph, and right on cue the oil light popped on. I played some backmarker tag, boosting the GT40 up towards 220 mph, and spending half a lap trying to spin the Altezza and S2000, who were locked in a deadly battle for 4th place. Some time later I crossed the finish line, then went to relieve myself while the pack caught up.

    Margin: +1':13.367", R390; +1'.???", 787B; +2 laps, Altezza LM, S2000 LM, and GT40
    Total Time: 23':57.328"
    Fast Lap: 1':32.141"
    Average Lap: 1':35.821"

    After this there was another break in the schedule for rest and refit.
     
  2. ving

    ving

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    good racing there dood :)
     
  3. Super-Supra

    Super-Supra (Banned)

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    Nice one.
     
  4. RVDNuT374

    RVDNuT374

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    Nice writeup as usual!;)
     
  5. miata13B

    miata13B

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    Besutiful, sniff sniff :D
     
  6. Duke

    Duke Staff Emeritus

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    I returned the car to road course settings, but this time I decided to take better advantage of the available downforce. I cranked both front and rear up a bit to the settings posted at the top. This made an immediate improvement in lap times. I removed the extra turbo power, but to counteract the loss of power from worn oil, I opted for T5s this time, since I had been underusing the T4s just to keep the races closer. With the car down 40 hp or so, I need the advantage of better tires.

    Apricot Hill - 15 laps

    This is one of my favorite courses in the game; long and flowing but with some tricky bits and no stupid tunnels. You can drive hard all the way around it, though the valley portion following the fist big sweeper benefits from patience and restraint. Slower through here equals faster through the next big sweeper and all the way down the back straight to the hairpin. AH definitely rewards a tight, crisp racing line all the way through.

    I started from 6th place, moving up through traffic in turn 2 and going through the valley in 3rd place. I knocked off my teammate in the 787B on turn 3 of the second lap, and set about chasing down the R390, who was 4-5 seconds out by this time. That thing flies and here at AH the driver seemed to be driving instead of tuning the radio. I slowly gathered him in as the halfway point approached, but I was expecting him to pit after I did and I wasn't sure if I would get around him before I went in.

    At the end of lap 8 I was about -1.low" behind him, but I was surprised when he slowed and turned into pit lane, with me zooming right up behind him, which always makes for an interesting pit duel. Luckily my bay was in front of his and the autodrive managed to clear him before turning in. I watched in the rearview as his car dropped off the jacks, then nosed into the back of my car - yes! This let me out of pit lane in front of him, though the other 787B had passed us both while we freshened up. I came out of the pits about -2.mid" off the pace.

    I finally took the lead at the hairpin on lap 9, after which my teammate made his pit stop (crew chiefs are getting better, I guess). The R390 was not quite all over me, but had been pressuring me ever since we left the pits thanks to his higher top speed. He was never more than 3 seconds behind me throughout this stretch, and I could usually hear his engine noise at the end of each straight. We ran across lap cars on 11 and 12; then around 13 the R390 fell off the pace a bit and by 14 he was no longer a real threat. The margin of victory doesn't really do justice to the closeness of the racing, though; both before and after the pitstop it was a very close race with lots of dicing and little room for mistakes. This is one of the most enjoyable races I've run in recent memory.

    Margin: +8.412", R390; +36.575", 787B; +1 lap, Altezza LM, S2000 LM, and GT40
    Total Time: 18':44.822"
    Fast Lap: 1':10.875"
    Average Lap: 1':14.988" with one pit

    Rome - 15 laps

    No change in settings, tires, or start position from above race. Pretty similar results, too - once again, I moved past the backmarkers right away, and edged into 2nd place a few seconds behind the R390 on turn three of the second lap. The R390 gained a bit of lead on me, but once again I was around 1 seond down when he pitted after lap 8. I didn't want to press my luck, so I stayed out another lap, pitting out of a 14.mid" lead and coming back on course about 2.mid" down. Coming out of the last turn on lap 12, I saw the R390 right behind the GT40, and for some reason, he didn't pass right away. This let me cut by on he inside and take the lead again. I worked it out again, crossing the finish line with a comfortable lead.

    This track definitely rewards early braking for high-strung cars like this. Times through the downtown section are better when you brake early and stay in control as you accelerate through. Don't do more than kiss the inside curbing, though, because it's usually too unsettling for the stiff, lowrider racecars. The continuous walls make mistakes costly, since anything worse than a brush usually means some pinballing back and forth.

    Margin: +5.034", R390; +42.816", 787B; +1 lap, Altezza LM, S2000 LM, and GT40
    Total Time: 19':23.196"
    Fast Lap: 1':14.428"
    Average Lap: 1':17.546" with one pit

    After this race the teams took another short break.

    Seattle - 15 laps

    I normally like this track quite a bit and took my place at the back of the grid with confidence, using the stock 787B and T5s. The confidence was misplaced, though, because I was brutalized and left for dead in the first offset at the end of the front straight; nailed into the lefthand wall by the R390 and then countersunk and spackled over by the Altezza and S2000 LM cars. So I reloaded and hung back through the first couple turns, then suffered through four laps of trying to keep up with the leaders before giving up at 9.mid" out. I re-reloaded, and this time added the Turbo 1 for 918 hp - man, the oil and the mileage are taking their toll on this thing.

    Taking the green from the last row, I held back through the first couple turns, making my move to 3rd spot in the Canyon. There was dicing all through the back side of the track with the S2000, but I permanently secured 3rd on the toboggan ride of lap 1 and set off after the R390. He was back to lousy driving again, hitting the outside wall on trackout nearly every turn, and sometimes the apex walls too, making him difficult to pass almost everywhere. Unfortunately he had enough power to hurl himself in front of me again on most straights, so I spent a lot of time getting clobbered in the door while trying to squeak past him on the twisty parts, using every inch of street and lots of sidewalk too.

    We both worked our way past the other 787B on lap 6, and the R390 gave up his 1.low" lead by pitting on lap 8. I had intended to pit on 8 also, but I figured I should reap hay while the sun shone, and stayed out another lap. I pulled in after lap 9, with a +3.mid" margin over my teammate's 787B. I fell to 3rd and about -12.mid", but thanks to the track layout I came out of the exit like a bullet, nipping by the R390 as he slammed the wall at the offset yet again. With fresh tires and traffic out of the way, it wasn't hard to keep the R390 out of my butt, and I inherited a +7.low" lead when my partner pitted from decimal seconds in front of me. I would have passed him at about the S/F line on 12 had he not finally decided to pit. The R390, who had set a fairly tough pace in the first half, continued to fall behind at a surprisingly rapid rate for teh remaining laps.

    Despite the big margin, this was a tough race. At Rome the curbs were risky; here they were downright poisonous, particularly the inside rumblers. The car itself was not being cooperative either, with obstinant mid-corner understeer that's not normally a problem. Traction in general was not what I'm used to, even for Seattle. you can see by the big difference between my fast lap and average lap that I was having trouble. I'm not looking forward to R11.

    Margin: +21.480", R390; +32.652", 787B; +1 lap, Altezza LM, S2000 LM, and GT40
    Total Time: 21':51.750"
    Fast Lap: 1':22.719"
    Average Lap: 1':27.450" with one pit
     
  7. Der Alta

    Der Alta Staff Emeritus

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    Ahhh! My Seattle Curse begins to creep into other racers... :D

    Nice style on the write-up.

    AO
     
  8. Sage

    Sage Staff Emeritus

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    Can you say, ditto? :D I had a ball in that race, going at it with the R390 against my 787B... ah, memories...
     
  9. ving

    ving

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    hate hate hate...
     
  10. RVDNuT374

    RVDNuT374

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    I haven't caught the Seattle curse......... yet.:p
     
  11. Sage

    Sage Staff Emeritus

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    I use to have it (I had major troubles early on in the game with those stupid hills and a few tricky corners), but I've been cured since then. :D

    I have issues with the last corner at Laguna Seca though, and the Tahiti Maze has never been too nice on me.
     
  12. RVDNuT374

    RVDNuT374

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    Where's the rest of the series gone to?;)
     
  13. ving

    ving

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    for a challenge some1 should try this in the Esperante :p
     
  14. RVDNuT374

    RVDNuT374

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    I won the Pro World Championship with it.:p