Here we go again, after collecting some new motivation I decided today to start the other 24h enduro at la Sarthe I. As before, I tested some new cars for this race but soon I found out that nothing came close to the BMW McLaren which I used previously in la Sarthe II. Here are the cars I tested: GT40 Race Car '69 - stock version is way too slow even against the weakest lineup. If equipped with some NA/Turbo tuning this race might become possible. Difficult handling in high speeds and quite bad braking power versus the AI cars predicts a very hard race. Proved to be too hard for me. GT40 Race Car '02 - stock version too slow, with tuning possible and should result in a good race against a proper lineup. Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca - stock too slow, with tuning the race becomes possible to win. Very fun car to drive and should provide an interesting race. I decided not to use this one though, because I completed Infineon enduro earlier with this and wanted to try a different car here. Chevrolet C5R Race Car - same thing as above, should be an interesting race if tuned to about 800-900 hp. Ford Falcon XR-8 - stock too slow, with power upgrades can keep up with the AI. This car drives like its on rails but unfortunately it eats up the front tyres very fast which caused me to abandon this car aswell. I finally decided to get back to using BMW McLaren F1 GTR as it was the only car that could win here without any power upgrades. Here is the track which I'll be racing on for 24 hours: Sarthe 24h I - 200pts. race Lineup: 1st Toyota GT-ONE Race Car - pits every 8 laps 2nd Nissan R390 GT1 Race Car - pits every 8 laps 3rd Nissan R89C Race Car - pits every 7 laps 4th BMW V12 LMR Race Car - pits every 8 laps 5th Bentley Speed 8 Race Car - pits every 9 laps 6th BMW McLaren F1 GTR(me) - pits with R3/R2 tyres every 6 laps, R2/R1 every 8 laps and R1's every 9-10 laps(depends on how much fuel left). The car uses about 7,5 units of fuel each lap(less fuel used when slipstreaming). Car Setup: Stock, new oil (642hp) and R3/R2 tyres Hour 1: I started the race from 6th place and with some serious slipstreaming got 1st place when I passed the GT-One after Porsche Curves. I got about 8 seconds lead during the first laps but I lost it to the R89C during lap 6 because of very red front tyres. I had to pit in and changed to R1's all around. I dropped to 4th place after the stop with the R89C, BMW V12 LMR and GT-One in front. The 5th place Bentley was right behind me and because of my cold tyres, he managed to overtake me right before Indianapolis. The leader, Nissan R89C, pitted on lap 7 and he came out right infront of the Bentley and me. On lap 8 I got good draft towards Mulsanne Kink and I managed to briefly overtake them both. Front R1 tyres proved to be quite slow though and I soon dropped back to the 5th place. Couple of laps later the rest of the field made their pitstops and me and the nissan took the 1st and 2nd places. On lap 13 I suddenly saw the GT-One crawling on the s/f straight and I got past him so quickly that I thought he ran out of fuel or something. I didn't expect to lap anyone this early in the race. I wonder what happened there. Anyway on lap 14 the R89C pitted and I took the lead. On lap 16 I made my second pitstop and my fronts were still only yellow after 10 laps, thats why I decided to change to R2/R1. I got out of the pits in 1st place with the nissan in 2nd place +1 second behind and the BMW V12 in 3rd +10 secs behind. At the end of first hour my best lap was 3'31.957 on R3's. Hour 2: Lap 17, the R89C passed me and because of my slight mistakes he got a little too far away for me to get to the slipstream. A few of laps later I was 10 seconds behind but I knew I would take the lead during his pitstop on lap 21. I got the 1st place on Lap 23 with the BMW 2nd +12 secs behind and the R89C 3rd. Lap 30, the BMW has catched up and when the lap started my lead was only +1 secs before the R89C and BMW. This is proving to be a tough race for sure. 22hrs to go... Hour 3: Lap 35, I lap R390 GT1 the first time and the battle for the 1st place continues. The R89C is the fastest of the bunch but me and the other BMW keep slipstreaming him on the straights. Lap 42, me and the R89C both pit in and I once again change my tyre strategy to R2/R1 (R1's on front are just too slow ) . The BMW V12 couldn't quite keep up to our pace but it is still close by about 10 secs behind. I come out of the pits +5 secs behind the Nissan but I manage to catch him because of better driving with cold tyres. In the following stint I tried to shake the R89C off my back but with no success. I can make some gap during the corners but the Nissan accelerates so much faster than me. At the end of the hour on lap 49 the R89C pits in but I keep driving for 1-2 laps more and hopefully increase the gap by a couple of seconds... Hour 4: On lap 51 I pitted in and kept R2/R1 tyres and fueled 72 units. I can run 9 laps with this strategy which is 2 laps more than the R89C. Hopefully this way I can slowly put some distance to him. My lead after the stop was around 10 secs. That didn't last for long and by lap 56 I could see the Nissan in my rearview mirrors.Then when I reached the end of Mulsanne straight and started braking, the damn R89C decided to ram me to the sandtrap. Of course I spun around and lost about 10 seconds there. Lap 66, passed the GT-One and R390 GT1 at the same time and I had a comfortable 18 second lead to the R89C which was on 2nd place. Things start to look better. Hour 5: Lap 69 I pitted in with a 9 second lead over the R89C. He did his stop a lap later and when I passed him again my lead had diminished to a couple of seconds. Soon I lost the 1st place to him but I kept driving in his slipstream until my next pitstop (lap 78). On lap 82 me and the R89C lapped the Bentley during his pitstop. I followed my laptimes closely during this hour and noticed that without any drafting my laps were around 3'35 mins. That is about 2 seconds slower than my main opponent's laps. When I drafted the R89C, my laps were around 3'32 minutes. I'm gonna have some serious problems keeping up as my hp starts to drop later on in the race. Hour 6: Tough race with Nissan R89C continued, and when I came out of the pits on lap 88 he passed me before the Dunlop Curves. I barely catched his slipstream and had troubles keeping up as I had cold tyres for couple of laps. Lap 91, the Nissan had a good draft and overtook me right before Porsche Curves. His corner entry speed was way too high though, and he drifted to the sand and spun around. Probably because of the spinning he decided to pit already after 6 laps and because of that the gap increased to extraordinary 48 seconds! As the hour ended I was on lap 99 and 25 secs ahead of the R89C. Hours 7-11: During this period (laps 100-180) the gap between me and the R89C stayed as close as before. Because of the pitstops the gaps were sometimes +35/-35 secs but I never managed to increase it further more. My 2 lap longer stints didn't bring any decisive advantage to me as the Nissan eventually always catched up. I became really tired in the ninth hour and lost my concentration. Because of that I spun around many times but luckily I managed to stay with the Nissan. After an overnight break I returned back behind the wheel but my race didn't continue too good. On lap 159 was my time for a pitstop but I had my thoughts somewhere else and drove past the pits . After starting a new lap I realized my mistake and I had to make a U-turn because I didn't have enough fuel to do a another lap. I had to change R3/R2 tyres because I was +15 seconds behind the Nissan after I came out and he just did his own pitstop. With the grippier tyres I began to catch him and when the 11th hour came to its end, we were on lap 180 only one second apart. Hours 12-15: The handling of the car is terrible because of the now completely twisted chassis and almost every lap I had trouble keeping the car on the track. After a couple of hours I was still looking for a good driving rhythm and the Nissan was in the lead most of the time. When the 15th hour came to end, I was on 2nd place +3 secs behind the R89C. Not the most enjoyable hours of the race. Hour 16: I catched a flu 3 days ago and I haven't updated the report since. Today I have no fever and feeling better overall so I decided to continue the race. My PS2 has been on over a week now! I didn't want to shut it down because I was already over halfway through the race. Lap 250, I lapped the BMW V12 LMR for the first time and by the end of the lap we both pitted in. I decided to change R3/R2 tyres and 50 units of fuel as I wanted some improvement to the car's handling. After 6 laps my front tyres were completely shot but the change was totally worth it. Due to much better grip the car's handling improved substantially and my laptimes were almost 3 secs faster than with R2 tyres on front. I quickly found a fast pace and I could put down some consistent laptimes around 3'32. After the pitstop on lap 256, my lead over the Nissan R89C was 11 seconds. 6 laps later I increased the cap to 16 seconds. Also during this hour the R89C had some trouble overtaking the Bentley and BMW which slowed down his laptimes thus the bigger gap between us. Hour 17: I increased the gap steadily and when I pitted on lap 268, my lead was 26 seconds before the R89C. I was very happy with my pace considering the fact that I had to stop one lap earlier than the Nissan. I also finally found out the fastest pit strategy for me: 6 laps with R3/R2 and 47 units of fuel. The R3 tyres made the handling considerably easier and I could push the car much more without losing control on the highspeed sections. And because I fueled only a little over half tank each stop, I spent much less time on the pits than the R89C. The hour ended on lap 279 and I was 36 seconds ahead of my main rival, the Nissan R89C. The three day break seemed to help quite a bit. Hour 18: Very very uneventful hour. The reason was that I didn't see any AI cars during these 60 minutes. I had just recently lapped some of the AI drivers and I had about 2/3 of the track empty ahead of me. When I was approaching L'Arche chicane, rest of the field were bunched up between s/f line and Tertre Rouge. After my pitstop on lap 292, I came out 21 seconds ahead of the 2nd place R89C. As the hour ended on lap 295, the Nissan had pitted in and my lead increased to a very satisfying 54 seconds. As there are "only" 6 hours left of the race, I'm going to set myself a new objective which is to lap the R89C once. I found the R3 tyres on front to be very successful in Sarthe II and thats why I can't understand why I didn't keep the R3's all the time. That would have saved me from ALOT of troubles. I had to catch a cold before I realized what was the right choice. Hour 19: Lap 298 before pitting in, my lead was for the first time over one minute. For the next 6 laps I played a lot of catch up and on lap 304 I had three AI cars (R390, GT-One and Bentley) about 10-20 secs ahead of me. This was of course a magnificent chance to improve my bestlap record because of the possible draft from the AI cars. But much to my aggravation, I couldn't pull together any flawless laps and I had to pit in at the end of lap 310. Despite this setback, I'm confident that I can break the 3'30 barrier if I get a good draft during the straights. After the pitstop my gap to the 2nd place R89C was decreased to 52 seconds, but I knew that was going to happen as I had now an earlier pit schedule (6laps) compared to him (7laps). The hour ended on lap 312, 54 seconds ahead the R89C. Hour 20: I'm still amazed how much faster the R3's proved to be. I would've probably lost the race if I sticked with the R2's on front for the rest of the race. Unfortunately this hour was pretty boring but the end is getting nearer and nearer. The 200 A-spec points is also a nice reward. I completed 15 more laps, pitted three times and the gap to the 2nd place R89C increased to 1'18 mins. As I drove without any draft assistance whatsoever my laps were between 3'32's and 3'34's. Hopefully I'll get a chance during the next hour to break the fastest lap record as I'm getting quite close to the BMW V12 LMR which will be a nice source for some slipstreaming... Hour 21: As the hour begun I had just started lap 329 with fresh tyres and 46 units of fuel, the lead to the 2nd place R89C was over one minute. 6 laps later, I passed during his pitstop what I thought was the other BMW and cursed the fact that I got no draft from his car and thus no chance to make a new best lap. Couple of laps later I started to wonder why the BMW V12 was so slow and when his car approached the s/f line I saw a pit in message. The car turned out to be the Nissan R390 and after a quick look on the track map I realized that the right BMW was still about one minute ahead of me. The hour ended when I was on lap 345 leading the race with 1'38 minutes. Here are the standings 3 hours before the finish: 1st BMW McLaren F1 GTR - Time:21:00'00.000 2nd Nissan R89C +1'38 minutes 3rd BMW V12 LMR +1 laps 4th Bentley Speed 8? +more than 1 laps 5th Toyota GT-ONE? +more than 1 laps 6th Nissan R390 +more than 1 laps Hour 22: The hour started off nicely and when I made my second pitstop on lap 352, my lead over the Nissan R89C was 1'20 mins. Soon after that came lap 354 when everything changed... Lap 354, I had just passed T4 and approached Indianapolis when the phone rang. I of course paused the game and answered the phone which was in another room. After I was finished with the call, I returned back and to my great horror I found the game running unpaused!!! I found out later that my friend had accidentally dropped the controller onto the floor which caused the race to continue. I quickly paused the game again and saw that I had dropped to 2nd place and my car was in the leftside sandtrap of the Indianapolis corner. Next I glanced the track map and saw that the AI car positions had flipped around. After the initial shock, I decided to continue the race and when I reached the nearby T5, the 1st place Nissan R89C was 20 seconds ahead of me. My T5 time was 4'42 which was 2'10 mins slower than my regular times on that sector. Man was I reliefed though, because I knew that the victory was still within my grasp and the +21 hours spent on the race weren't flushed down the toilet. On the following laps I managed to keep my wits with me and I steadily reduced the gap to the leading Nissan. The hour ended on lap 361 and the R89C's lead was now only 4 seconds because of pitstops and my fast laps. Hour 23: Lap 363, I finally beated my previous fastest lap and recorded a new one: 3'31.605. That was without any draft though so there was still much room for improvement. On lap 364 I pitted in and came out one second ahead of the Nissan R89C. During the next 6 lap stint I battled with the Nissan but always messed up my laps when I tried to slipstream him because of the lost downforce. The hour ended on lap 377 and after my pitstop I was +20 seconds behind the R89C. Hour 24: After pitstops on lap 383, I was trailing the R89C by 5 seconds but I knew would take the lead when he pitted the next time. There was 28 minutes left of the race when the R89C pitted in(lap 385) and thats when I took the lead. When he reached T1, my lead was 28 seconds. Three laps later on lap 388 I made my last pitstop and came out +2 secs behind the Nissan. Time was running out and I was still on second place. I thought; no mistakes now! When lap 392 started I had the R89C and GT-ONE ahead of me and I got very good draft from both of them which resulted in a new fastest lap of 3'29.991. It took me almost 24 hours to break the 3'30 laptime barrier. With only 3 three minutes left of the race the clever Nissan R89C driver decided to pit in one more time and because of that I could cruise my way to victory with "relative" ease. Final Results: 1st BMW McLaren F1 GTR - laps completed: 393 - racetime 24:00'23.884 2nd Nissan R89C Race Car -30 secs behind 3rd BMW V12 LMR Race Car -1 lap 4th Bentley Speed 8 Race Car -7 Laps 5th Toyota GT-ONE Race Car -8 Laps 6th Nissan R390 GT1 Race Car -10 laps For winning the race I was rewarded with 1,200 000 credits, Aude R8 Race Car and 200 A-spec points! 10 more endurances to go now.