Reclaim The Throne - Trial Mountain 2 Hours Race Report (Lotus Motor Sport Elise)

Discussion in 'GT3 Race Reports' started by Falcon787B, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Falcon787B


    United Kingdom
    Back again on GTPlanet, and back at it once again with the race reports. Some things never change, eh? ;)

    But for most of my time on this forum, I've stayed in the GT2, GT4, GT5 and GT Sport sections. GT3 has been left largely unloved. Why? Not sure - it still is one of my favourite games in the series, but I never got that urge to revisit it and deep-dive into those old races like I have done over and over again with GT2 and GT4 in particular. Now, that changes - mainly as I'm streaming a 100% Completes run on my Twitch channel, Armbar Arcade. But inbetween streams I'm doing some races to make sure the series doesn't stretch on forever waiting exclusively to do events on-stream.

    And one such event? The Trial Mountain 2 Hours.

    Trial Mountain 2 Hours Endurance Race

    'Reclaim The Throne'


    My gratitude for AMG.'s track maps will never cease :)

    2 Hour Timed Race. Pit Window: 5-8 Laps

    Yes, you did read that right. Things have changed around here since Gran Turismo 2 - in that game, the Trial Mountain enduro was the starter enduro in the game, one that could be entered and usually won in an upgraded starter car. And who was the king of the AI cars in that race? The Lotus Elise. Either the 111S, or especially the 190 - I still have nightmares about both looming up in my mirrors sometimes :nervous:

    However, for Gran Turismo 3, things are very different. A 30-lap race distance becomes a 2-hour time-certain distance, and suddenly cars like the Elise have been pushed aside in favour of what I like to call Gran Turismo's 'bread and butter' cars - JDM sports cars like the Honda NSX, Toyota Supra, Mitsubishi Evo and Nissan Skyline GTR. That pit window isn't a typo either - speed is the name of the game here, racing flat-out from pitstop to pitstop. Is it possible to go longer on tires and out-strategy? Maybe, but you'll likely burn up your tires trying to keep up with the AI anyway - one in particular. The Honda NSX Type S Zero.

    In short, this car was my NEMESIS during testing. Always just fast enough to stay ahead of whatever car I used, or somehow sneak time in the pitstops, or just straight-up put me in the wall if I did manage to get in front for half a femtosecond. Suffice to say I was getting a bit frustrated with this one :mad::mad::mad:

    However, despite being told to just overkill this race and move on, you know me by now - I like a good challenge. And eventually I found one - with a nice narrative twist, too. Remember when I said earlier that the Lotus Elise used to rule the mountain? Well, it's time for the little MR British sportscar to reclaim its throne.

    I did try testing a 190 for this race, but it just wasn't quite strong enough against the sheer might of the NSX. So instead, I got the 190's roidy, shredded cousin...

    Car: 1999 Lotus Motor Sport Elise
    Bought: New for Cr.100,000
    Engine: 1.8L Inline-4
    Horsepower: 205hp
    Weight: 700kg
    Tires: Racing - Medium Hard
    Color: British Racing Green (obvs)
    Modifications: None

    That last part is very important; the rules for this race specifically state that tuned cars are forbidden. Building a car with upgrades to take on the mountain was not an option. The only thing we could change was the tires - and after testing suggested sports or racing super-hard tires wouldn't be enough, I eventually plumped for Racing Medium-Hards (a compound that only appears in GT3, iirc?) and rolled out onto this grid:

    1. Honda NSX S Zero
    2. Nissan Skyline GT-R Vspec III (R32)
    3. Mazda RX-7 Type RZ
    4. Toyota Supra RZ
    5. Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII RS

    This is definitely one of those classic Gran Turismo races, where the battle will be with one 'hare' car - that being the NSX. Despite the short pit window, no other cars can hold a candle to it on pace - except maybe my little green Lotus. :mischievous:

    Revs rise, the flag drops and away we go for two hours of mountain driving!

    Hour 1

    As we roar off the grid, I immediately see the NSX take off from pole. Unfortunately, there's four other cars between me and them, which have to be disposed off ASAP! I tackle the Evo up the inside into the first Tunnel Turn (T4) and get scrapping with the Supra, who is in turn having a heated side-by-side battle with the RX-7! Gears grind and panels crunch, but through the Second and Third Tunnel Turns (T7 and T8) my car is unbelievably strong, sticking to the apexes no matter how hard I send it - and that's very hard to get through the midfield pack! Having slipped past both the RX-7 and Supra in one turn, the R32 is next - and luckily I get such a great run out of T8, I get right into the tow and slipstream up behind, looking to the inside into the long banked corner after the back straight (T9), and we go side-by-side back up the hill! Thrilling stuff early on, and finally I switch back going into right-hander at T12 and get the move done!!

    And immediately, I see them. The NSX. Trying to make their getaway.

    Not if I can help it.

    The chase is ON.