The 'Not So Boring' Tsukuba 9hr Run

Discussion in 'GT5 Race Reports' started by axletramp, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. axletramp

    axletramp Premium

    Messages:
    18,883
    Location:
    Jersey
    So I've finally decided to run the Tsukuba 9hr in an attempt to tick-off what will probably be the longest endurance race I'll get to run as it's unlikely I'll ever get the time for one of the 24 hour slogs. As this will most likely be my one-and-only run at this, I decided to at least make it fun. And by 'fun' I mean a proper race to the flag. I'd rather race hard for 9 hours and lose by two seconds than bore myself stupid and win by two laps any day.

    But this is where it gets difficult as most reports on here are pre the v2.08 and v2.09 updates and therefore will have inaccurate data regarding the opposition and pit stop strategies. So all I can do is go with some of the advice I've been given, the most important of which is that if you have a car that can run consistent 60 second laps then you should be able to win against a grid without the 'rabbit' Amuse S2000 GT1. Sounds good. Also, aim for a 50 to 55 lap pit sequence to match the AI. Great.

    So I had a rummage in my garage and picked an old favourite of mine, the Spoon S2000 '00, which I successfully ran at the Nurb 4hr. I wanted to keep it as stock as possible against these tuner monsters so only added what I deemed necessary. So there's no ricer spoilers and only cheap sports suspension and full transmission so I could have decent ratios for 9 hours. I then dropped the power level so that it came in near the S2000's original level (the car has been broken in and had it's oil changed). I briefly tested her and managed consistent 62 second laps in practice with the odd 61 second flyer. OK, challenge accepted!

    My plan here was that low weight and agility plus better fuel economy should match these big turbo'd machines around such a tight circuit. Let's see…

    [​IMG]

    This is a shot from the Nurb 4Hr run, but it is the same car. :)

    Car: Spoon S2000 '00
    HP: 271
    PP: 450
    Weight: 1100Kg
    Mods: Full Trans, Sports Suspension.
    Power Level: 93%
    Top Speed Setting: 124mph
    Tyres: RH
    All aids off. ABS 1. DFGT wheel.

    Set Up
    Ride Height: -20 / -20
    Spring Rate: 13.2 / 11.2
    Dampers (ext): 2 / 2 (stock)
    Dampers (comp): 1 / 1 (stock)
    Anti-Roll Bars: 3 / 3 (stock)
    Camber Angle (-): 1.0 / 0.5 (stock)
    Toe Angle: 0.00 / 0.20 (stock)
    LSD: (all rear) 7 / 30 / 15 (stock)
    Brake Balance: 6 / 5 - stops the back end stepping out under braking.

    Grid #2:
    Amuse Carbon R (R34) ‘04
    Mine’s BNR34 Skyline GT-R V.spec N1 base ‘00
    Mine’s Lancer Evolution VI ‘00
    Amuse Nismo 380RS Super Leggera
    Amuse/Opera Performance Gran Turismo 350Z RS
    Opera Performance 350Z '04
    Me - Spoon S2000 '00
    Nissan Gran Turismo Skyline GT-R ‘01
    Nismo Skyline GT-R S-tune (R32) ‘00
    Nissan Option Stream Z ‘04
    RE Amemiya FD3S RX-7
    CT230R '08

    I'm labelling the racing between the pitstops as 'stints'. The periods between race suspensions I'm calling 'sessions'.

    Stint One
    Started well and climbed to p3 without too much trouble. Mine's GT-R and Carbon R pull out 0.5 secs a lap. I eventually hold that gap to them by lap 10 at -10 seconds with the pack close on my tail. My lap times around the 1:01 dead mark and consistent. 380RS is constantly in my mirror and keeping me honest and that pressure eventually causes me to spin on lap 20 at the exit of turn 1 when my heavy right foot caught me out. I immediately drop to 5th - ouch.

    I stay 5th until lap 40 when I manage to catch all the four cars ahead as they bunch up behind the first back markers (Order: Mine's GT-R, Carbon R, Amuse 380RS, Amuse 350Z & Me). I retake 3rd and end up having a 5 lap door-to-door duel with Carbon R which lets both Amuse's catch back up. I really didn't need that fight as the Mine's GT-R is taking full advantage of us fighting and dropping lap time. He opens up a +22 second lead as a result.

    By lap 44 I can feel my tyres wearing and now the Mine's GT-R is opening up the gap at a second a lap. My lap times have dropped into the 1:02s so now I wait for first pit stoppers to blink - I don't what to be the first. As soon as I see a couple pit I dive in myself on lap 55 after a 1:03.541 on lap 54(!). I take new RH tyres and 15 litres fuel - My fuel was down to about 55%, which gives me half a tank per stint as a guide. Tyres were down to around 50% on left hand side and 67% on the right. The gap when pitted was -40 seconds to Mine's GT-R and about +10 seconds back to the Carbon R. Fastest lap so far has been a 1:00.392 on lap 9. Time on the clock at pitstop: 0:56.44.442.

    Stint Two
    I exit the pits in 4th spot just ahead of the leading Mine's GT-R. Push! push! push! I'm desperate to stay ahead of him and not let him lap me. I'm worried he'll just run away after that. By watching a couple of the other stoppers I notice that it takes just over a minute for each car to pit. My stop was about 37 seconds with minimal fuel.

    I drop into 1:00s but only make a 0.25 seconds per lap gain. By lap 65 I start to gain a little more and eventually the Mine's GT-R pits on lap 72 (ouch!) and I take a +26 second lead. The two Amuse Nissans in 3rd and 4th gain on me but they are already lapped. Looks like I'll need to take at least a couple of extra stops compared to the Mine's GT-R, which means upping my pace a bit!

    But… the Mine's GT-R starts catching me at an alarming rate. Out of nowhere I get dumped on the grass by the 380RS which is determined (to say the least) to uncap himself. I end up losing a ton of time and now I'm only +10 seconds ahead. By lap 79 my friend the Mine's GT-R has caught me and passes me. I hang on to his tail but by the time he encounters a train of back markers he's already +7 seconds ahead. This allows me to catch up at using pure cheek and opportunism, I temporarily take the lead on lap 96 at final hairpin… but the Mine's GT-R is just too fast on the straight so I let him go and watch him pull away. I just about stay within 3 seconds of him until the Amemiya RX-7 decides he wants to uncap himself by side-swiping me into the gravel on lap 102. No again! I lose a heap of time and Mine's GT-R is now away and clear of any traffic. So on lap 104 I decide to pit for new tyres rather than go through a huge gaggle of brutal traffic which lies ahead. I take new RH tyres and 25 litres of fuel to give me enough for 60 laps. When I pit I'm -25 secedes down in 2nd. Fastest lap so far has been a 1:00.308 on lap 65. Time on the clock at pitstop: 1:46:43.433.

    Stint Three
    I exit the pits -57 seconds down in 2nd and spend the next ten laps in clear air helping me maintaining that gap. The traffic really helps me out and a eventually get the gap down to -47 seconds before the Mine's GT-R pits on lap 145. No drama this session and I keep constant and much quicker than stint two (not sure what happened there). He exits the pits -27 seconds behind me and quickly brings that down to -20 seconds before traffic once again halts his charge. This keeps the gap around -14 seconds as at this stage I'm very light on fuel and my tyres are lasting a lot better and more evenly that previously. He eventually breaks clear and catches me on lap 165, but I don't give the satisfaction of passing me on-circuit and dive into the pits as my fuel gauge goes red. I take 60 litres of fuel and new RH tyres. Mine's GT-R takes the lead but that was a much more encouraging 61 lap stint. Fastest lap so far has been a 1:00.120 on lap 128. Time on the clock at pitstop: 2:50:40.283.

    Stint Four
    I exit into 2nd place -50 seconds down. I come out flying and manage to hold that gap for about 5 laps. Once again he hits traffic and I start to slowly gain, running around 1:00 dead. Then something odd happens. At first I start to gain a bit, than a bit more, then a bit more… this gives me real incentive so I really knuckled down. Then I gain a bit more and the gap is down to an encouraging -38 seconds by lap 190. The tables have turned now - the hunter becomes hunted!

    I decide to try and get as close as I can to him and pit when he pits so that I can shadow him. I keep clear of trouble and just keep gaining inch-by-inch. I get to within -14 seconds of him (I can see him on the main straight) and then he pits on lap 216. I instantly respond on the next lap for new RH tyres and 30 litres of fuel. This is all getting quite interesting. Fastest lap so far has been a 59.887 on lap 179 - getting faster and more consistent at every stint. Time on the clock at pitstop: 3:43:00.516.

    Stint Five
    For the first time I exit the pits still in the lead but only by +17 seconds. Now the tables turn again and I'm being chased down by nearly a second a lap. Gulp! I concentrate and get my lap times back into the 1:00 dead region and with the help of more traffic (and keeping out of trouble) I stabilise the gap at +10 seconds. A quick count up in my head tells me the Mine's GT-R will pit around lap 280-290 and I want to try and keep with that so I need to stretch these tyres more (I'm on an average of a 60 lap sequence to the Mine's GT-R's 70/75).

    I clear the bunched up traffic cleanly and start to open a gap as soon as he hits the back marker train (they always bunch up which is a help). The gap stabilises around +20 seconds as long as I don't make an mistakes. I don't and by lap 267 I'm +22 seconds ahead. My lap times start to drop and the gap dips a little so I decide that good lap times are better than saving pitstops, so I pit on lap 277 after 60 laps. I take new RH tyres and 66 litres of fuel as I'm dry again. Fastest lap so far has been a 59.309 on lap 229. Time on the clock at pitstop: 4:44:11.033

    RACE SUSPENDED
    22/02/2013: Phew, that's it for today! :D

    Half way review
    Should exit the pits back in 2nd spot behind the Mine's GT-R and 3rd place Amemiya RX-7.

    Really having to keep on it for every single lap to keep that Mine's GT-R at bay. Every second is a fight and every mistake is punished. I'll be absolutely honest here and say that Tsukuba has never been this much fun before! Still not sure what the outcome here will be, but unless the Amemiya RX-7 comes good this is going to be a two horse race. During the first couple of stints things were definitely going the Mine's GT-R's way, what with the back-markers taking me out and the odd dodgy lap from myself. But things have certainly swung back my way now that I'm keeping out of trouble and have found a good rhythm to get my lap times down and consistent.

    The Amemiya RX-7 is very quick on new tyres - in fact he looks faster than the Mine's GT-R - but he can't sustain it over a full stint and appears to drop off severely on worn tyres. Not sure where he is - could be on the same lap as me and the Mine's GT-R, but he looks more likely to be one down.

    Stint Six
    OK, only a five week gap but at least I'm carrying on. :D Thought I'd be a bit rusty and lose where I was but luckily it only took a couple of out laps to get back into the rhythm (around 1:00 dead) and re-reading this thread helped with pit stops, etc.

    I exit the pits in 2nd, -22 seconds behind the Mine's GT-R, and I spend the next few laps slowly gaining on him. I get to within 10 seconds of him before he pits on lap 288 and I retake the lead. He exits 54 seconds behind me but he's in clear air and I'm having to time my passes on backmarkers (it's always worth losing the odd second here and there rather than getting tank slapped onto the grass!). For about 15 laps he brings the gap down to about 42 seconds before it stabilises as he tyres go off their optimum and he encounters traffic. I'm pretty consistent but as soon as I'm into the 1:01 range I decide to get some new rubber to keep him at bay.

    I pit on lap 330 (only a 53 lap stint!) +40 seconds ahead for new rubber and 35 litres of fuel. Fastest lap of that stint was 59.318 on lap 275.

    Stint Seven
    I exit the pits just 3 seconds ahead of the Mine's (really thought he was going to get past) but I actually find it quite easy to gradually pull away from him as I'm on new tyres and he's into the second phase of his. It's 28 laps before he pits on lap 359 but by that time I'm a whopping 50 seconds ahead (lapping in the mid 0:59s).

    He exits the pits just as I go past and put him +2 laps down. 2 laps?! :eek: Could this be the watershed moment in this race? Up until now we have consistently swapped the lead, but now I find myself with a huge buffer, although I'm now on worn tyres to his good ones and he'll be wanting to get past me and away as soon as he can.

    So my job now is to keep him behind me as long as possible otherwise he'll do to me what I did to him before his last stop. And the only way I can do that is to maintain a gap big enough to stop him barrelling past me on the main straight. Everywhere else I can control him. This turns into a mini-epic battle for the best part of 30 laps. There's me, light on fuel but with worn tyres and the Mine's GT-R on good tyres but heavy on fuel. At first I'm able to keep putting back markers between me and him which buys me some laps. Then, when we break free of the traffic, he gains on me a few metres each lap. As the laps go one I'm only managing 1:01 laps as I'm driving defensively with one eye on my mirror. This is holding him up badly (which is great!) and after a while he gets close enough to blast past me on the straight only for me to re-take him through the last turn or into the first corner. This goes on lap after lap until finally on lap 388 he gets past and I get out of shape through the last turn and haven't got enough to hold on to him. Damn! I was hoping to keep him behind me until my scheduled stop on lap 390 - I couldn't go any further anyway because my fuel is in the red.

    I eventually pit about +1:50 ahead on lap 390, but comfortable in the knowledge that I have held him up for almost 30 laps during a period where he would have been at his quickest. I estimate I've just lost him a possible 1.5 seconds a lap, which is almost 45 seconds! Could this have been the final nail in his race? Who knows?

    And where is that Amemiya RX-7 in 3rd place? I haven't seen it at all during this session. :odd:

    Fastest lap of the race so far is 59.254 on lap 336. Time on the clock at pitstop: 6:40:12.649.

    RACE SUSPENDED
    29/03/2013

    Stint Eight
    So, after another huge race suspension I finally get to finish this just in time for the GT6 to be released! ;) I've had plenty of time to work out that I have two pitstops left (as does the Mine's), so I set myself the tyre optimising strategy of three 45 lap stints - which should get me perfectly to the end. So I take on 35 litres of fuel and set off knowing I can be quite aggressive with these tyres.

    I exit the pits 1:15 ahead of the Mine's (just over 1 lap) and the gap remains static as my tyres warm up. I gradually start to pull away and by lap 406 I'm +1:25 ahead.

    This period of the race falls into a bit of a lull as I'm alone for a lot of the time until the Amemiya RX-7 (there he is!) rolls up behind me. I'm running in the high 0:59s, so this just shows how fast he can be when he wants to. By lap 430 I've taken the best out of my tyres and I'm having fun trying to keep the RX-7 behind me (even though he's 2 laps down).

    I just about manage to do it and dip into the pits +2 laps 40 ahead (Mine's must have pitted) for new rubber and 35 litres of fuel. Fastest lap of that stint was 59.536 on lap 395. Time on the clock at pitstop: 7:27:11.333.

    Stint Nine
    I come out the pits +2 laps and about 10 seconds ahead of the Mine's. Nothing else much to report here again as the race has really settled down now. I hit my fastest lap of the stint on lap 443 of 59.288. However, I do manage to have a big off on lap 464 when taking just a little too much grass on the exit of the last turn and manage to cross the line backwards :indiff:. Loses me about 7 seconds - meh. I then gather myself before another minor off on the exit of turn 1 on lap 468 losing me about 4 seconds.

    I hold the gap back to second at a steady 2 laps and 10 seconds and pit on lap 480 for the last time for tyres and 40 litres of fuel - just to make sure I get to the end.

    Stint Ten
    I exit the pits a lap and a half in the lead but know that everyone else still needs to pit - so unless the wheels fall off, I've won. I entertain myself by just hanging it out there and going for the fastest lap and… I end up missing out by 0.003 secs! I hit a 59.256 on lap 491 which was just shy of the ultimate fastest lap of 59.254. Gutted. 2nd and 3rd pit around lap 504 and I go 3 laps up and cruising on dead tyres.

    One final and amusing incident was when the Amemiya RX-7 passed the Mine's on their penultimate lap. That poor Mine's driver had been in 2nd for 521 laps only to have it cruelly stolen at the last minute. :lol:

    I finished 3 laps and 35 seconds ahead (although the final table has me down as winning by 4 laps) having completed 526 laps in total.

    [​IMG]

    Now that's over I can look forward to whatever endurance fun GT6 has to offer when it comes out. Perhaps 9 hours of Nissan Leaf racing at the Kart track. You never know… ;)
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2013
  2. DK

    DK Premium

    Messages:
    13,445
    Location:
    Ireland
    One does not simply enjoy the Tsukuba 9 Hours.
     
  3. thekidj

    thekidj

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    United States
    Keep it up, I think you're doing pretty good, and I like the thought behind getting a car with a lower PP rating too
     
  4. stevenk27

    stevenk27

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    South Africa
    @axletramp, nice race report so far. Looks like you have a close race on your hands.
    Have you managed to get around to finishing this race yet???
     
  5. axletramp

    axletramp Premium

    Messages:
    18,883
    Location:
    Jersey
    I will get back to this, I promise - just been too busy. I'm going to have to anyway because it's suspended and I can't use GT5 again until it's finished.
     
  6. stevenk27

    stevenk27

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    South Africa
    One of the disadvantages of the suspend function. They should at least let you play the seasonals as that doesn't really affect the A-spec races at all. Also might be nice to be able to run a few practice laps to get up to speed seeing as it could be weeks since you last raced.
    Best of luck with the finish, will look out for the report.
     
  7. GTsail

    GTsail Premium

    Messages:
    2,456
    Location:
    United States
    Too bad PD hasn't yet figured out a way to allow PSN "friends" to share the driving of a car during an on-line endurance race.

    During the pit-stops it would be great if you could have a PSN "friend" take over the driving.

    What car are you using, a Spoon S2000? I'd volunteer to run a few laps for you. Maybe 50 laps.

    Some of the lap times might match up, so you would be risking a Twilight Zone lap.:mischievous::D

    Good luck!
    GTsail
     
  8. priesty_lfc

    priesty_lfc

    Messages:
    3,589
    Location:
    England
    I've just started this as well (same grid as you), not been on GT since xmas and i've been putting off and putting off the last 3 enduro's for about 2 years now.

    Anyway decided to easy my way back in i'd get the 9hour out the way, I hate this track and racing here is soooo boring but I had to make sure I can win 1st time as there is no way i'm sitting through this again.

    I haven't gone OTT in the car i've seceleted (380RS Super Leggera) but I have put some parts on it to give me that slight edge (thing i'm around 560/575pp) I assume the other cars are running on SS so I am also running SS's but I did buy RS just in case I needed to bust out some super quick laps to catch up (altho these haven't been needed and looks like they wont have to)

    2hours in and I have a lap lead with my PB at 58.2 but i'm normally around the 59 mark and I have been pitting every 30 laps, i'm thinking of running SH on my next stint just to close the back back up but so far have to say it hasn't been as bad as I thought it would be but I am restricting it to 1 hour stints.
     
  9. axletramp

    axletramp Premium

    Messages:
    18,883
    Location:
    Jersey
    Well there you go. Never actually thought it would happen, did you? Yep, I've managed to rattle off a couple more stints in this race. :D

    Updated OP.
     
  10. axletramp

    axletramp Premium

    Messages:
    18,883
    Location:
    Jersey
    OK, that's it I'm finally done. If the competition hadn't faded away in the second half of the race and performed as they had in the first, then things would have turned out a little more exciting. Ultimately my middle stint where I managed to gain a good 45 seconds by holding up second placed killed off any challenge and I was always able to maintain a steady and very comfortable gap.

    This was far more enjoyable than I would have imagined and even with a relatively lowly powered car this really is a giant killer's track. The only place these big turbo'd monsters can catch and pass you is on the main straight or possibly into turn 1. But ultimately agility, grip and tyre management wins this every time. And the Spoon S2000 was the perfect tool for this - could even drop the PP level against this field... perhaps that's for someone else to try.

    Updated OP with final report.
     
  11. surge9000

    surge9000

    Messages:
    37
    Did you just say you deliberately held up a car? That's a black flag for you, and a loss of at least 1 position. In any racing organizations view.

    Of course this game doesn't know what flags are, so you wouldn't know.
     
  12. stevenk27

    stevenk27

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    South Africa
    Been off for a while, glad to see you managed to finish off the race. Pity it ended up the way it did, seems you broke the AI's spirit and they decided to just cruise home.
    Want to do the same race in a standard '08 Dunlop Cusco Subaru Impreza. 377BHP, 1100kg standard so will probably run it at about 280BHP. Might be heavier on tyres considering it's 4WD though. Will run a few test laps tonight and see how it goes.

    @ Surge, you will probably find he rode defensively and it wasn't intentional blocking per se.
     
  13. axletramp

    axletramp Premium

    Messages:
    18,883
    Location:
    Jersey
    Haha, I hope not. Basically this:
    I didn't need to do any blocking, just hold my lines and watch him weave around. When I say 'held him up', it was basically down to the AI backing off too much when they catch you rather than anything deliberate.

    Indeed. Good luck with your run. The Cusco Impreza is a beautiful drive and with it's race car set up you'll get away with minimising the power all the way probably. Testing is a good idea, I'd try RH tyres and some ballast as well so you don't completely overwhelm the field. A good test lap time would be around the 60 second mark, but bear in mind that you'll be taking at least a second off that during the race once your rhythm is up. Have fun. :D
     
  14. stevenk27

    stevenk27

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    South Africa
    So I ran a few test laps with the Cusco Subaru and it is too fast. First lap out after not touching GT5 for at least 2 months and I put in a 60sec lap, managed to get it down to 58 within 5 laps and thats with a brand new car out of the dealership as I din't know whether my one in the garage was modded or not.
    I did try out another car this morning though, '04 Honda Integra Type R(DC5) RM, Its at 277BHP and 950kg with a few mods and tweaks to get it there. I did a 10 lap race this morning and did between a 1:00.177 and 1:00.935 so the pace is good it seems. Might just knock it down to 260BHP, this is all on RH. I beat the field which consisted on mostly standard car, Fairlady Z, S2000RZ, etc by about 10sec so thats a second a lap. With the stiffer competition in the 9hr should be a good race.

    What do you think given your experience, race the Honda or downtune the Subaru rather?
     
  15. axletramp

    axletramp Premium

    Messages:
    18,883
    Location:
    Jersey
    I'd go with the Integra as you'll soon be able to get those lap times down below 1:00 with it. It would be interesting to see how the tyre wear of the FF layout would work, but it's light and if you squeeze the throttle rather than stamp on it out of the hairpins it should be OK. If you can keep it fairly clean and consistent over the 9 hours then I can see the 260bhp option working for you too.

    My finally piece of advice would be not to fight the back markers too hard and pick your passing points. The AI are far too willing to barge you off when being lapped, and it's far better to be patient and lose a second or two through traffic than go for it and risk spinning and losing 10.
     
  16. stevenk27

    stevenk27

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    South Africa
    Thanks man. I will go with the integra, also have a RM Silvis which I want to test out as I like it. I drive with a controller so the throttle is pretty much open or closed, I try and modulate it but doesn't always work out. I do ride with TCS on 1 though.

    Thanks man, will definately let you know how it goes, hope you don't mind me hijacking your thread like this.
     
  17. axletramp

    axletramp Premium

    Messages:
    18,883
    Location:
    Jersey
    No problem, this is what it's for. :)
     
  18. stevenk27

    stevenk27

    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    South Africa
    So I have started my race, you might be interested in what I decided to run.
    I was hoping for a close race like yours but seems I got more than I bargained for:nervous:.
    You can read all about it here:
    https://www.gtplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?p=8657704#post8657704

    Enjoy and let me know what you think either here or on my thread.