My Le Mans 24 Hours

Discussion in 'GT5 Race Reports' started by ccaranna, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. cjr3559

    cjr3559 Premium

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    Ever since GT4 I've wanted to run the 24 Hours of Le Mans but with day/night changes and variable weather. Well, it's 7 years later and I've finally made it through enough of GT5 to attempt my run.

    I reached level 35 about six weeks ago but postponed the Le Mans endurance until I completed all of the other endurance events leading up to it. In my experience I've found that when I've played events out of sequence they are more difficult, and usually one of those rabbit AI cars shows that is impossible to beat. Determined to get to Le Mans, I plugged through the stale 9-hour Tsukuba race with a victory. My next step was to try out some cars at Sarthe in practice mode for the big 24 hour event.

    I have a limited selection of cars in my garage that are competitive, so the choice seemed easy. But it wasn't. I wanted to use a premium car without blowing away the competition. So here was my list of options:

    Mazda 787B
    Jaguar XJR-9

    Yep, that's all I had.

    I had the Minolta 88C-V, but it's performance points were higher than most of the competition listed in the 'typical opponents' preview of the event so it was out. Plus it's a standard car. So I did some test runs with the Mazda and the Jaguar.

    The Mazda seemed like an obvious choice, however I wasn't sold on it. I couldn't imagine driving it for 24 hours mainly because the engine sound is loud and grating to me, plus it always seems heavy and twitchy when I drive it. Maybe if I played around with the settings I could tame it, but I wasn't interested in messing around the settings to find a balance I wanted.

    Next was the Jaguar. It seemed to be a good choice compared to the Mazda for my driving style. I also like the interior view with the analog tachometer compared to the digital of the Mazda. It was a smooth driver, and compared to the loud engine noise of the Mazda, it seemed like a strong possibility. Surely there had to be other premium cars out there that would work however.

    So with over 13 million credits in the bank, I went shopping in the premium garage to see if there was anything else I could try. But not really.

    First up was the Peugeot 908 HDi FAP. I picked up the Team Total version mainly because I preferred the paint scheme. Upon taking to the track I immediately liked it. It was giving the Jaguar a run for it's money. I just wasn't confident it had the power to make a strong leader, though.

    Next was the Audi R10 TDI. I never got around to purchasing it, mainly because I learned it's a prize car for winning the Nurburgring 24 hour. Being cheap and not one to purchase cars I'll probably win later, I held off. Plus I remembered there was one more car in my arsenal that I forgot about, the Pescarolo Courage C60.

    I picked up the Courage on a whim a some time back while shopping in the used car dealership. It seemed like a good car to have around, or at least try out. I recall it being a formidable car in GT4, on par with the GT-One and the Bentley Speed 8. Interestingly, the one in the UCD had around 3,000 miles on it, which makes me believe it had already ran the 24 hours at Le Mans so it should be broken in. I took it for a test run around Sarthe and decided I much preferred the open cockpit rather than the enclosed for a 24 hour race. Even though it's only a standard in GT5, it has a decent in-car cockpit view even though the instruments don't light up at night. And the one thing I prefer with the open cockpit is not having the windshield wiper obstruct my vision.

    And so, with my car selection complete, I was ready to tackle the race. Here's the lineup the AI gave me (not necessarily in grid order):

    McLaren F1 GTR
    Bentley Speed 8
    Nissan R390
    Toyota GT-ONE
    Dodge Viper GTS-R (2 of them)
    Pescarolo Courage C60 (must be a teammate)
    BMW V12 LMR
    Audi R10 TDI
    Mercedes CLK-LM
    Pescarolo C60 Hybride

    Decent competition for my Courage C60. My biggest concerns are the C60 Hybride and the Bentley Speed 8.

    The race started with rain. Track conditions were 93% wet and increased to 100% within the first 10-15 minutes. Conditions remained completely wet well into the dark and until around hour 6 when it finally stopped. At this point I found myself in 1st place with a minute or two lead depending on pit sequences and handily beating the competition with intermediate tires.

    Once the rain stopped however, things became challenging. Once it stopped raining, it took around one pit sequence (or around an hour) for the track to dry out. Still running on intermediates, they wore quickly and I found myself severely struggling and losing ground. By the time the conditions dried, I realized I may have waited too long to change to slick tires and found myself a lap down dropping positions. This was around the 7 hour mark.

    Starting around hour 7 it began raining again, however the track conditions remained dry for a while. In dry conditions I find myself getting killed by the competition. By hour 8, the track conditions started getting wet again, but to only about 10-15%. By the end of hour 8, I'm two laps down in 4th place.

    So far it seems that I'm chasing the weather and track conditions and haven't made the best tire choices. I still have about 16 hours to go, so hopefully I can make up for the time lost. If conditions remain wet, I feel confident I can pull out a win. If it's dry, I'm in trouble. Stay tuned for more entries.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013
  2. hatfield

    hatfield

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    Use Racing Softs in the wet and if it keeps raining you may be able to win.
     
  3. cjr3559

    cjr3559 Premium

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    Thanks for the tip, I may try it.

    In the meantime, hour 9 started at 14% wet conditions. I decided to put on racing mediums in the front and racing hards in the back. The weather continued to rain for the next hour. By the time the hour was up and I was ready to pit, I found myself slumping into 5th and 6th place, however I was still only 2 laps behind. As I enter the pits to suspend the race until next time, the conditions were 60% wet. I've decided to use intermediates for the next stint, as it looks like the conditions are going to go full 100% wet again.
     
  4. cjr3559

    cjr3559 Premium

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    Hour 10.

    Track conditions started at 60% with rain. Still 3 laps down, I chose intermediate tires for the next run. It continued to rain, and by the end of the hour it was 100% wet.

    The competition still seems very slow in full wet conditions. I continued to pass some back markers as well as some of the cars that are laps ahead of me. I picked up a position, but by the next pit stop I'm still 3 laps down in 5th place.
     
  5. cjr3559

    cjr3559 Premium

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    Hour 11.

    Conditions started 100% wet with rain. I left the pit with intermediate tires.

    Overall a decent run for the hour. Still 3 laps down, but I managed to pick up a position (4th). Conditions remained rainy and 100% wet by the next pit.

    Incidentally my lap times are around 4:10-4:15 running intermediate tires in the full wet. Not sure if this is good or not. I'm now wondering if I set my car up properly for the long runs down the Mulsanne straights. Top speed is around 205-210 before reaching the red line. I usually get passed along the straights, but I can usually out corner everyone in the bends.

    Meanwhile I'm trying to keep the revs down under the limit to help preserve engine performance. Hopefully the competition will slow down by the end of the race, but that's to be determined.
     
  6. cjr3559

    cjr3559 Premium

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    Hour 12-13:30.

    I started the halfway mark in 4th place, still 3 laps down. Track conditions were 100% wet, however about 30 minutes into the 12th hour, the rain finally ceased. By about hour 12:45 it had dried to around 50%. I decided to pit early and change tire compounds to soft/front, medium/rear.

    As the sun started to rise, I put up some of my best laps of the race. By about hour 13:15 the track conditions dried completely. Still, I hadn't moved up any positions. Despite this I posted my fastest lap, a 3:40.00.

    As I started to run out of fuel around the 13:35 mark, the 2nd place Bentley went around me. This was not a good sign. If the second place car lapped me, then my chances of pulling out a victory in this race my not happen. The best I can hope for is a bronze, but I'll be happy if I can maintain my 4th position for the remainder of the race.
     
  7. TF GT1 01

    TF GT1 01

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    Interesting so far:tup:
     
  8. cjr3559

    cjr3559 Premium

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    Thanks, glad someone is reading with all of the GT6 hype going on :)

    I'm taking a break tonight, as I'm planning on getting at least 4 hours done Monday when I have some uninterrupted time to race. :tup:

    A couple things to note; during all of the runs with intermediate tires I'm able to complete 15 laps before running out of fuel. This seems much longer than what I've been reading from other's experiences. I'm also driving cleanly as possible, meaning taking it easy on the AI, allowing them to pass without intentional bumping or blocking. I'm also fully taking the chicanes without any cuts (the Ford, Dunlop, and Tertre Rouge are prime examples of getting an edge by severely cutting them).

    I'm also using the DFGT in cockpit mode without any assists other than ABS '1' and TCS at '2'. I think I know my way around Sarthe well enough to win, but maybe I'm not as fast as I think I am (or need to be)...

    We'll see. I'm hoping for some late race heroics, but the main thing was to experience the full race in all it's glory. I guess at this point I'm just "happy to participate". :cool:
     
  9. TF GT1 01

    TF GT1 01

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    Okay, sounds cool.
    Good luck!:tup:

    -Tom.
     
  10. cjr3559

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    Hour 13:30-15:15.

    I started this run as the conditions continued to be dry with the sun rising. I left the pits 3 laps behind in 4th place. Here were the top standings as I resumed:

    1. Pescarolo C60 - Hybride
    2. Bentley Speed 8
    3. BMW V12 LMR Race Car
    4. Me - (Pescarolo C60 Courage)
    5. Toyota GT-ONE
    6. Pescarolo C60 Courage (AI)
    With the conditions dry and the sun slowly rising, I decided to see if I could move up some positions by pushing myself and the car and turn some fast laps. I equipped soft tires on the front, and mediums on the rear as I did in my previous pit. Alas, this experiment didn't accomplish much as far as the standings were concerned. I remained in competition for 4th place with the GT-ONE, as we are running about equal and on the same lap. I managed to hold my position, though my tires were wearing much more quickly versus having the medium/hard setup I tried overnight when the track dried for a brief spell.

    I have come to the conclusion that being a lone-wolf driver in an endurance race is difficult not having a crew advise the best strategy. Thinking and making calculations on the fly is difficult. I thought going to softer tires might help my lap times decrease, but my laps were not much faster than the medium/hard setup. It's not clear to me if I should use softer compounds/lighter fuel and pit more frequently, or stay on track as long as possible with harder compounds and pit less. Either way, at this point it's doubtful I can pull out a victory.

    As I head to the pits for the second time during this period, I'm at lap 220 and my spirit sunk as the GT-ONE just lapped me. I have now slipped to 5th place 4 laps behind the leader and stand directly above my sister car in the race. It is my belief that the car cannot compete or I have not set it up properly for enough speed. I do not think my driving is indicative of my standing. :indiff:
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
    Parnelli Bone likes this.
  11. cjr3559

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    Hour 15:15-16:00.

    Treading water. Not much occurred during this period. I am still 4 laps down in 5th place. It is not entirely clear if the GT-ONE actually lapped me, or if we keep jockeying for position through pit stops. All I know is I was passed by the leading Pescarolo Hybride twice during this hour, as well as passed once by the BMW V12 LMR. There's been no sign whatsoever of the other Pescarolo like mine, nor the McLaren, Nissan, Audi, or Mercedes. I've passed the Dodge Viper GT cars a few times, but nobody else.
     
  12. cjr3559

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    Hour 16:00-18:20.

    The only good news is the weather is perfect. The sun is shining brightly. The only thing *not* shining brightly is my position in the race. On top of dropping to 5 laps behind, I've been passed by the other Courage C60 on the grid. This puts me in 6th place struggling to stay in 5th, and when the leaders catch me they really blow past me, almost always on the Mulsanne straight where it seems like I'm standing still when they pass. I definitely didn't set the car properly to maximize its top speed.

    My only bright spot in this stint (other than the sun), was an episode while keeping up with the 4th place GT-One. Although he passed me along the Mulsanne, I managed to keep him in my sights for several laps before catching him at the Ford chicanes. After the battle, I managed to get a lap back from him at Dunlop.

    The other positive note is my laps have been the fastest of the race; they seem to be averaging 3:40-3:45 with my front/medium - rear/hard tire setup. I also set my personal fastest lap, a 3:39. This was on lap 260 while I was chasing the Toyota and drafted him to hit a top speed of 225 mph. I'm still hoping that engine conservation will play a role as the final hours of the race approach. Regardless, the reality is I'm 5 laps down and have a lot of ground to regain.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  13. cjr3559

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    Hour 18:20-20:00.

    I have decided this race is a lost cause. No matter, I am going to play out the remaining several hours and chalk it up to a practice run.

    The sun continues to shine brightly during this period, though the sky to the south is a glaring white haze. Meanwhile I've fallen to 7 laps off the pace in 6th place. Not much else noteworthy to mention. I should have this race wrapped up in the next couple of days.
     
  14. cjr3559

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    Hour 20:00-21:30.

    Weather conditions are still dry, though it's been clouding up. By Hour 21 it started to rain again but without measurable precipitation. At my lowest point I was 8 laps behind, but through pit stops I finished this session 7 laps down, still in 6th place.
     
  15. GTsail

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    Challenging race you're running ccaranna!:eek::banghead:

    What you need is 3 hours of snow!:lol:

    That would give you a chance to make up a few laps.

    How does your Pescarolo Courage handle at this point?

    GTsail
     
  16. cjr3559

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    The car still handles well with fresh tires, but it gets kind of squirrely once they wear down. Snow would be welcome, along with some chained and studded snow tires!
     
  17. cjr3559

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    Hour 21:30-23:10.

    Almost finished. This run started with rain and dry track conditions. By around the 22:20 mark I needed to pit. As soon as I left the pits with my slick tires the track conditions showed 1% wet. For the remainder of this run the conditions continued to become increasingly wet. By the time I was out of fuel, it was up to 50%. Looks like the final run to the checkers will be just as the race started. Wet.

    Meanwhile I'm still in 6th place, now 8 laps behind.
     
  18. cjr3559

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    Race complete.

    6th place, 8 laps down. Rain the entire last hour with conditions at 100% wet.

    This was fun but not very rewarding. I'm a little disappointed my experience level did not increase at all. Still at level 38.

    I'll probably do the race again sometime, but not for a little while. Got my copy of GT6 so that should keep me busy for a bit.

    The main thing I learned was I need a faster car, or a faster setup. Likely I'll use the Mazda 787B the next time around.
     
    GBO Possum likes this.
  19. MrF1

    MrF1

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    Good read CCARANNA


    Im currently 4 hours in on my LeMan 24 hour experience and running 1st place and 1 lap up.

    What controller/ steering set up are you using?

    To have complete 24 hours and finish
    In 6th I take my hat off to you. That's a big effort for little reward.

    Im driving the Peugot 908 HDI with a GTForce steering wheel. Its so far been a great combination. First 2 hours I was only seconds ahead of the competition. The Bentleigh mostly. But ive managed to inch away as I found more speed through the corners and corrected slight oversteer thru the slow turns. Dry track