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.