Trial Mountain Endurance (two-for-one special)

Discussion in 'GT3 Race Reports' started by Bulldozer, May 31, 2007.

  1. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    I just ran the TME last night, then woke up and did it again today. There were also a couple of brief test runs so this thread is really a bargain. :)

    I've been obsessing over which car I should use since I put my 2 cents worth in TrevElvis' thread and kind of wondering if I gave him bad advice. I said if he was having trouble controlling the Viper, he might want to try an Elise. It's got nearly the same power to weight ratio, but a lighter weight which might make it easier to throw around corners.

    But when I read a few race reports, I saw that people had been using NSX's, Vettes, Camaros, even Celica GT-four's with PWR's a lot worse than the Viper. I finally decided to try another Lotus, the Esprit V8 SE. I practiced with it in the Amateur American Championship about 25 times, since the competition is sort of close to what runs in the TME. I also made a little money while I was practicing, as long as I didn't face the C5R.

    So by the time I was ready to run the enduro, I knew every brake point and even where I needed to shift gears, all the way around the track. I decided to run T4's, thinking I might be able to run 8 or 9 laps.

    Entering the race, I got the following line-up:
    1. RX-7 type RZ
    2. Lancer Evo VII
    3. Skyline R32
    4. Skyline R34
    5. Supra RZ
    6. Esprit V8 SE
    That was a lucky break - no NSX.

    The first lap began with a lot of jostling for position. And that's putting it mildly. Those 4WD cars got a pretty good jump off the line. I made it to 2nd by the end of the first lap, and took the lead early in lap 2.

    By lap 4 I was 20 seconds ahead, and the R34 was making its first pit stop. The other skyline pitted on lap 5. This was looking like it would be an easy race. I needed to make a pit stop at lap 8, with conservative driving I maybe could've done 9 laps. On the other hand, that'd only save me one pit stop - probably not worth it.

    Anyway, this wasn't turning out to be any challenge, so I decided to abort. I stuck with it through 14 laps, just to make sure they were no surprises, but I was well ahead of the Supra, and he hadn't even made a pit stop yet. So I quit out.

    My best lap was 1:36.147, which was OK (though I'd run 1:35.xxx in practice.)
     
  2. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    By the way, that doesn't count as one of the two write-ups, it was just a teaser. :D

    So despite all the practice in the Lotus, and the fact that I bought that car just to race it in this event, I decided to pick a different car. But this time I'd scour my garage for something suitable. Trouble is, I usually buy weight reduction for my cars, making most of them ineligible for this "normal car" race. Long story short, I had an RX-8 with 0.0 miles that had a PWR of 4.270, just a little weaker than the Lotus. I'm a little worried about the RX-8, everybody knows that dark blue cars are slower than yellow or red ones. (j/k)

    The line-up was nearly the same, just replace the RX-7 with an Impreza WRX STi, like so:
    1. Lancer EVO VII
    2. Skyline R34
    3. Impreza WRX STi
    4. Supra RZ
    5. Skyline R32
    6. Yours truly in the RX-8

    Again, the first lap started out with a lot of excitement. I think I got some of my blue paint on everybody but the Lancer as I worked my way through the ranks, ending up in third place.

    Not much excitement after that. The Skylines pit on schedule at 4 and 5 laps, meaning that they won't be much of a threat in this race. But then, my lap times are a lot slower in the RX-8, usually around 1:38.xxx, so I might not much of a threat either. :scared:

    Then again, I failed to mention that I was running T2's, so maybe I'd win by pitting less. So how long will my tires last? Turns out I make it to lap 20 before needing new tires, but since I'll have to make two more pit stops in the race, I'll pit at laps 38 and 56.

    And now I find that the Supra is pitting on a 15 lap schedule.

    Not much excitement here. On lap 38 I see taillights off in the distance, and I decide to put off a pit stop to try to lap whoever it is. But my tires are orange and getting oranger and my lap times show it, so I give up and pit. I exit the pit with a 55 second lead.

    I end up lapping the 6th, 5th, 4th and 3rd place cars between laps 40 and 50.

    And on lap 56 I finally lap the 2nd place Supra. At the end of that lap, I see another victim in the distance, and once again I put off a pit stop to chase him. It's the R32 and I catch up to him at that long sweeping turn at the end of the back straight. Oops, I bump him and end up sending both of us into the wall, letting the Supra pass us both. :banghead: Crud. Oh well, time to pit.

    I actually only manage to lap the Supra when he's in the pits on lap 60. In fact, I passed a lot more cars that were in the pits and only a few on the track. But that's what I get for running T2's.

    So a dozen more laps go by without incident and the end result is:
    RX-8 -- 72 laps in 2:00:53.654
    Supra RZ -- 71 laps in 2:01:12.762
    Skyline R34 -- 71 laps
    WRX -- 70 laps
    Skyline R32 -- 70 laps
    Evo VII -- 69 laps

    And I won a S2000 LM car which looks like a keeper (Well, I keep all my prize cars, but this one might actually get driven ;) )
     
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  3. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    And now for intermission: Aborted attempt number 2.

    Y'know how in the first post I mentioned an Elise might be a good car to use on Trial Mountain? I found some race reports where people had done just that. Someone has also used a Tommy Kaira ZZS (same weight, just a few less hp). They commented that these lightweights can be whipped through some of the corners with little or no braking, carrying a lot of speed around the curves.

    So I had a lapse of sanity and decided to try the exact opposite. What's the heaviest car in GT3? RIGHT, the milk truck. But I can't find the milk truck so I'll have to use the next best thing - an Aston Martin Vanquish!

    The Vanquish weighs in at a whopping two tons - 4004 lbs.

    If I think about this too much I'll probably chicken out, so I just close my eyes and press "Enter". And you know, it's not that bad. It keeps up with the other cars off the line, and it loves that long uphill straight. I just need to watch all that extra weight through the turns. I guess that means brake early and doing almost all of it in a straight line. (Which is something I'm really bad about.)

    At the middele of the second lap I'm in the lead but, uh-oh, my tires are bright orange already!? Oh no. Can I even make it through three laps? Yes, but barely.

    In my haste to start this race before I could talk myself out of it, I neglected to check what tires I was using. They were Normal - straight from the dealer street tires. :rolleyes: At least I changed the oil before the race.

    Anyway, I bet the Vanquish eats tires for breakfast lunch and dinner. And probably nibbles on the spare at tea time. You'd have to be daft (as the Brits put it) to try running this luxury yacht through the canyons at Trial Mountain.

    I did complete TME a second time, but I have to get off the computer now. If you want to find out what car I chose, you'll have to read the next installment. (Ooh, suspense...)
     
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  4. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

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    Very cool! It's good someone reads those older race reports, too...i honestly don't have the time anymore but there's some great info there. I've only done TME once in a Mustang Cobra R. I went up against the NSX. I thiink it was a pretty good race (don't really remember it). According to my notes me and the NSX did a fair amount of battling. Too bad the 4WD cars have to pit so often :tdown:
     
  5. TuneRVisioN

    TuneRVisioN (Banned)

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    I agree. Pretty cool race reports, +REP. I had a fun time reading this, and I usually don't read at all. (-_-) Someday, you should try a Dodge Ram in an endurance race. I want to see how many times you have to go to the pis stop. :)
     
  6. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    Well first, if you're talking about a Dodge Ram, you must mean GT4. I've only played a little GT4, it'll be a while before I do the enduros there.

    Second, OMG pis stop!? :eek: I knew they added fuel to the pit stops in GT4 - I had no idea you had to schedule pee breaks! I guess it makes sense for those 24 hour races, but this time I think they've taken the simulation thing a little too far!






    Just joking and I hope I haven't offended anyone.
     
  7. TuneRVisioN

    TuneRVisioN (Banned)

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    Ahh I spelt pit stop wrong again... :dunce:

    GRRR!!! :mad: lol
     
  8. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    And now for something completely different.

    I never said I wasn't daft. :sly:

    I purchased a set of T4's and returned to the mountain the very next day. I got a few funny looks from other racers and crews as the stylish white Vanquish pulled into the pits for pre-race preparations. Was this some VIP coming to get a behind the scenes view of the race? Was Paul Newman sponsoring one of the racers. (There's a Skyline named after him, you know.)

    Nope, it's a driver and he actually intends to race that limo for 70 freaking laps. He must be daft. I get that a lot.

    Once again, I get a line-up without the dreaded NSX. Four times in a row is pretty lucky. It's actually the same line-up I got when I ran the RX-8, a couple positions swapped:
    1. Lancer EVO VII
    2. Skyline R34
    3. Impreza WRX STi
    4. Supra RZ
    5. Skyline R32
    6. Vanquish

    First lap and once again I see that the Aston-Martin is not only fast, it's not nearly as unwieldy as I thought it would be. And of course now I'm on race tires, not street tires.

    Lap two I run a 1:35.449. Sweet! :) My best lap in the RX-8 was only 1:36.6xx. (The RX-8 is actually capable of much better, but I'm kind of slow.) But the front tires are just starting to turn yellow at the beginning of the second lap. By the end of the lap the fronts have just a hint of orange, and the rears are still completely green.

    Lap 3 I run a 1:39 :(
    Lap 4 was 1:38 - a little better on orange front tires, but still :(
    Lap 5, well, I pitted because the front right tire was completely red, but it probably would've been 1:40 or worse. Still, even with some slow laps I'm 20 seconds ahead when I enter the pits. But I'd better have more 1:35's and fewer 1:39's if I'm going to pit every 5 laps.

    And as I pull out of the pits the Supra zooms past me. I can tell there's going to be a lot more overtaking in this race compared to last time. :tup:

    My outlap was a 1:41.something. The Supra is long gone.
    Lap 7 - 1:36.686 - not great
    Lap 8 - 1:37.904 - pretty bad
    Lap 9 - 1:37.141 - not terrible, considering the orange tires

    I decide to set goals for my lap times; 1:40 for the outlap, 1:35 on the good tires, then 1:36, 1:37, 1:38, and then it's time to pit again. It's achievable if I settle down and drive smart, and I think it'll actually give me a chance to win.

    On lap 9 I catch sight of the Supra up ahead. On lap 10 I'm breathing down his neck on the back straightaway, but my tires are hurting and I can't pass him before I need to pit.

    Laps 11-15: I almost make my goal (1:40, 1:35, 1:36, 1:37, pit), but not quite. And better, I pass the Supra on lap 14 and regain first place. And best of all, while I'm in the pits I see words I'm going to learn to love during this race, "Supra RZ pitting in"!

    Laps 16-20: I stay in first through this 5 lap, but I'm not lapping anyone yet. I didn't keep track of my lap times, but I know I didn't meet my goal here.

    Laps 20-25: Does this happen to anyone else. You think you know what a good lap is, 1:35.500 in this case, and then you drive a lap where everything just comes together and you blow away your old record by a healthy margin. I didn't even realize until the lap was over that it was anything special, but I ran a 1:34.074. One and a half secs better than my previous 'good' lap.

    Of course, the next lap after that magic lap was garbage, so I didn't meet my time goals.

    Laps 30-35: finally made that goal. :)

    Laps 35-40: On lap 39 and 40 I was chasing somebody that I saw in the distance. I pushed a little too hard on the one red tire and hit a wall hard. And this race it won't be possible to skip a pit stop to chase down and lap anybody. (I guess there's an advantage to running T2's.)

    Laps 41-45: Spent 2 laps chasing an R34, and while I was closing on him, he passed the WRX. I managed to pass the WRX as it bounced off a canyon wall. (I could see it coming, so I was ready to pass him on the left instead of the right. :sly: ) But we still swapped places 3 more times, which let the R34 get away. With the battling, I didn't get great lap times, but I had a lot of fun.

    Laps 46-50: Hey, deja vu. I see the WRX and the R34 up ahead. This time I get by the WRX cleanly, and I would've gotten the R34 but he took refuge in pit lane.

    Laps 51-55: Don't think I lapped anyone else on the track, probably passed a few people who were pitting.

    Lap 65: I'm catching up to the Supra RZ, the last guy I haven't lapped yet. But I can't catch him before I pit. Maybe I'll catch him on lap 70. He has no pit stops left.

    Lap 68: I finally lap the Supra. :)

    Lap 70: Do I pit or do I run two laps on red tires? I may be daft, but I ain't stupid. This yacht won't do anything on red tires, so I pit.

    Final results:
    Me; a very luxurious 72 laps in 2:01'20.684
    Supra: 71 laps
    R34: 70 laps
    WRX: 69 laps
    R32: 68 laps
    Evo VII: 68 laps

    I won the Lister V12, they can see I like British cars.

    Notes: the Aston-Martin was surprisingly nimble for a 2 ton behemoth. However, if you don't enjoy understeer (Hi, Duke!) you wouldn't like running an enduro in this car. I felt like I spent 90% of the time running on orange fronts and green rears, and had to force myself to brake early and turn slow.
     
    Der Alta likes this.
  9. KAMKA-Z

    KAMKA-Z

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    Makes me want to call in sick to work tomorrow! Sounds like we're in for some rain this weekend. Maybe I can fit in the Trial Mountain Enduro. You've convinced me to stay with the RX-7.
     
  10. spymaster

    spymaster

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    Thanks for providing some good read Bulldozer. I've always enjoyed reading these race reports and wanted to share my own race stories too in more detail, though I never bothered to do the prep work for that (e.g. taking note of lap times, passes, pit schedules, etc. in the middle of the race). So you have my utmost respect! :tup:

    I remember when I did the TME I chose the Clio Sport on T3. Initially I was taking 8 or 7 lap pits but that totally threw me off the NSX's pit cycle, and I couldn't guage whether I was gaining or losing. Afterwards I started taking 10-lap pits while the NSX did his usual 5. It was also by that time that I got into *the rhythm* of the car+track. 1 hour into the race and I still wasn't sure if I was able to win, as the NSX was still leading by quite a bit, but every pit I take with the NSX I saw our gap closing up by a few seconds every time. All I remember is my margin of win at the end of this 2 hr race is 5.x seconds :scared:
     
  11. Duke

    Duke Staff Emeritus

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    Sounds like a good close race, spymaster!

    And Bulldozer, it sounds like you're really getting into the spirit of GT3 and having fun with it. Excellent writeup!
     
  12. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    Thanks everybody, I'm glad you enjoy reading these.

    I'm getting a little better, but when I hear about someone doing this race in a GT-four or a Clio or something else with about 240 hp I realize I've got a ways to go. Good race, spymaster!

    And I think that might be the thing I like best about GT3 - you don't master it right away. It's a matter of gradual improvement. But it's fun even when you're starting out.

    And the GtPlanet forums are pretty great. I know that winning TME in an RX-8 isn't especially impressive, but nobody says, "Pffft, NO0b! Anybody can do that! Don't post another race report uintil you can beat the PD cup in a stock Vitz!" So thanks for the encouragement. :tup:
     
  13. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

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    Uh. NOOBster! Like i sooooo did TME in a pink Vitz.

    Ha ha kidding dude.
     
  14. Zero-Offset

    Zero-Offset

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    wow, props to you for completing 70+ laps!
    what time do you usually fit these two hours in your day? late at night, or in the evening?

    i find that i do my best racing at 1 or 2 AM :p
     
  15. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    Mostly I race late at night, after my wife goes to bed. Especially the 2 hour races. I usually start around 11 pm.

    I tried taking breaks during a race once. I had the house mostly to myself one afternoon, but people were coming in and out and I paused the game several times. Anywhere from a few minutes to about an hour. It was a nuisance to try and get my head back into the game and it threw off my rhythm. Parnelli Bone lost a race that way once. (Sorry Parnelli.) I still won, but only because I had more car than I really needed.
     
  16. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

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    Heh heh, yeah...that was my first major "loss"! How embarassing!
     
  17. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    Well, I didn't mean to embarass you PB. If it'll make you feel better I'll tell you how I lost at Rome last week. Will I get yelled at for being off-topic in a thread I started?

    Better Idea - I'll append it to the "Passage to Collosseo" thread and post a link here when I'm done.
     
  18. KAMKA-Z

    KAMKA-Z

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    All this talk about the Trial Mountain Enduro got me fired up and ready to go.

    from the "What Car?" thread
    Sunday night I found a time slot. I was fighting a cold, but I was determined to get it in. Poured myself a tall drink with ice, fired up the playstation and made myself comfortable. I already had the RX-7 so I went for fresh oil and a wash before heading to the track. As I set out to qualify on T3s I caught a glimpse of the competition. They were:

    NSX Type S Zero Blue
    RX-7 RZ White
    Supra RZ (what do you suppose RZ stands for?) Yellow
    Skyline GTR R32 Silver
    Lancer EVO VII White

    I managed a solid second in qualifying with a 1:38 something. Not wanting to waste any time I went quickly to the race after installing T2s. As I expected the NSX checked out right from the start. My Mazda brethren snuck by on the right and I wasn't going to press the issue on cold tires. I got a good run on the RX7 coming out of the hairpin after the long straight and I was back into second. I was eager to get away from the traffic and get into "my groove". But, my tires were still cold and I was braking early for the first tunnel when the skyline socked me in the side causing me to graze the rocks coming out of the tunnel. I drafted and passed him on the back straight and didn't see much of him till later. The NSX was "way gone" and I was beginning to have my doubts. I settled into making clean laps and trying to drive my own race. My times were pretty slow, a couple of 1:40s, lots of 1:39s and a couple of 1:38s. The tires were finally good and warm when the NSX made his first stop on lap 5 and I was encouraged that I was still close enough to briefly take the lead. He caught me and passed me before the first tunnel and put me in "my place". I figured if I could keep catching him by a little more when he stops I might be able to do it. Around lap 9 a June Bug flew onto the windscreen and my co-pilot Fat Cat Matt sprang to life and dispatched the annoyance.

    Have you seen in "Talledega Nights" where Ricky's driving rehabilitation is aided by him driving with a cougar (Karen) in the car so he can "feel the fear"? Fat Cat Matt is frequently seated beside me so I can "feel his sloth"

    "Wait a minute! that's not a June Bug, It's a Wasp and it's on the steering wheel! I'm feeling the fear!"

    Pause - grab shoe - slowly - SMACK - Continue

    1:42 Ooooh that lap stunk!

    Lap 10 briefly took lead when NSX pitted This time I held him off till the rock canyons.

    Lap 15 briefly took lead when NSX pitted This time I held him off till the entrance of the back straight.

    Back into the groove 1:38s and 1:37s finally. The tires are getting worn but are good till lap 20, that's what I was hoping for.

    Pitted on lap 20 after the NSX

    Lap 25 briefly took lead when NSX pitted This time I held him off till the hairpin.

    Around lap 30 I caught up to the EVO for the second time. "Whitey" shows awesome bursts of speed and but can be quite a "Moving Chicane". Despite his annoyance I pulled some fast laps, Fortuneately, the NSX gets held up behind him after his pit stop. A couple of laps later I notice an unexpected extra 8 seconds to my margin over the NSX. Lucky me I guess. I managed to hold the lead through my next stop on lap 40. Around lap 43 the NSX caught and passed me again but after he pitted on 45 I was back in first.
    Somewhere around lap 50 the oil light came on. I was expecting to see my times drop, but I think I just psyched myself into slower lap times. Soon I was back into 1:37s and 1:38s. I caught my Mazda buddy again in the rock canyons. He was all over the place sloppy and almost took me out.

    Lap 60 I pitted for fresh meats. I was almost to the first tunnel when i saw that the NSX was pitting. Woo Hoo.

    Note to self: I must remember to re-program the music before Enduros as much as I like "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult, Twice in one race is too much.

    Lap 65-70 I'm getting tired, I have to get up to go to work tomorrow. Must Drive.

    Lap 70 the NSX closes within 10 seconds of me before pitting.

    Lap 71 What's that Yellow car way up ahead? I don't remember it. I don't think I've seen it yet in this race. I'm huntin' it down.
    In my haste I get sloppy and whack a rock. I never get close enough to get a good look.

    Lap 72 I cross the line before 120:00 , so I get one more.

    Lap 73 Done.

    Final Result

    1. RX-7 Type RS 73 laps 121:20.255 (Wait a minute, I thought I had a "Type RZ")
    2. NSX Type S Zero 73 laps (about 35 seconds back AIRC)
    3. RX-7 Type RZ 72 laps
    4. Supra RZ 72 laps
    5. Skyline GTR R32 68 laps
    6. Lancer EVO VII 68 laps


    Prize Car: Mines Skyline
     
  19. Parnelli Bone

    Parnelli Bone Premium

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    Very cool! Taladega Nights was awful by the way!! :yuck: Not that i expected it to be great or anything.
     
  20. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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  21. Smallhorses

    Smallhorses Staff Emeritus

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  22. Bulldozer

    Bulldozer

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    Smallhorses! Thanks for the +rep. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I've read several of your race reports and they're inspiring. Though a little bit daunting at the same time - I don't know how you do it.

    I like the part where the RX-7 driver paid off the WRX driver (in ...AI part 2). :lol:

    Good idea to make a compendium post with links. I'm looking forward to reading more.