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Race Report – Super Speedway 150 Miles (GT4) – Attempt 1, August 2007

This dates back to August 2007, and is pretty much my first ever attempt at endurance race reporting from Gran Turismo 4 – it still astonishes me just how basic some of it sounds nowadays, but I suppose we all have to start somewhere, don’t we? ūüôā

Super Speedway 150 Miles
Date: August 22nd 2007
Car Used: 1991 Mazda 787B

Ok…first proper A-spec¬†endurance¬†race (all my previous ones were B-spec¬†) so now Im doing it¬†for real. Fresh off of winning the GT All Stars in my now-beloved Mazda 787B, I fancy an endurance race. One I haven’t done yet due to B-spec Bob’s habit of throwing the car into the wall was Super¬†Speedway150 miles. My 787B has recently had an¬†oil change¬†but has not had a chassis strengthen since I bought it, which was before I did the GT All Stars…as in GTAS, R1 tires on¬†the rear, R2s on the front. I made sure I have a strong lineup to race against, and with potential of 43 A-spec points here is the lineup.

1. AMG-Mercedes CLK GTR
2. Jaguar XJR-9
3. Sauber C9
4. Toyota GT-One ’99¬†
5. Peugeout 905
6. Mazda 787B (me)

Now Ill start by admitting Im no great A-spec driver, but I hope to improve. So, over the course of the 100 laps I shall update every 20 or so laps.

1st segment – laps 1 – 20
Blew by the 905 and Gt-one in the first 2 laps, but then ran into a slight problem with the Jaguar XJR-9 and Merc CLK-GTR, in the way the Jaguar seemed to form a rolling roadblock trying to get round the Mercedes. Once I’d got round them, it was lap 7 and the Sauber, the scourge of many an endurance race, was leading to the tune of about 3.5 seconds. I cut this lead down in about 3 laps, but passing prooved more difficult – whatever I did in the corners, he still managed to squeeze back in front coming off. I finally nailed it past him on lap 12, but shaking him off was even harder. Turn 1 was ok, I could normally gain a couple of tenths on him, but turn 2 would see my mirrors full of a big silver shape, especially as my right front tire started to turn yellow from lap 15 onwards. In fact, since I passed him I haven’t been able to get over a second lead on him, its that tight. Whether that will change come the first pitstops, we shall see. Lapped the Mercedes CLK-GTR at lap 18, Sauber slipped by on the first turn of that lap but I snatched a draft on him and blew back by on the exit. Nearly slammed into the slowed Jaguar on lap 20, he’d obviously hit the wall and slowed right down in turn 1, and completed lap 20 with a 0.600 second lead on the Sauber, right front tire going orange, left front yellow, and rear tires bright green.

2nd segment – lap 21-40
Looking bad…I grossely misinterpreted the wear rate on the R2s on the front, and after dropping to over a second behind the Sauber, I decided I couldn’t take it any longer and dived into the pits on lap 23. Put R1s on all round, topped up with fuel and reemerged 5th, soon 4th after¬†the Jag¬†again piled himself into the wall at turn 1. Unfortunatly I was now a whole lap behind the Sauber¬†¬†Sauber himself pits on lap 29, leaving the¬†Peugeot¬†905 out front by about 18 seconds. Having R1s on all around meant that I lost a substantial amount of grip, which meant for a few laps I was running 30.xxx laps and it took a while before a change of lane in turn 1 and 2 meant i was back down running 29.xxx laps again. Others started peeling off into the pits at various intervals and by lap 38 I had repassed the Sauber and was up into
2nd, with the 905 15 seconds ahead. Finished lap 40 scrapping again with the Sauber and the Pegeout 14.066 seconds ahead.

Segment 3 – lap 41-60
The Peugeout’s tyres are wearing thin – the gap decreases from 14 to 12 then again to 9 seconds in the space of 5 laps. Meanwhile my new line is enabling me to gain the upper hand on the Sauber and I’m beginning to pull away…but will my early pitstop for tires cost me later?¬†¬†A hard bump into the wall on lap 49 and a small altercation with that damn Mercedes means the gap doesn’t decrease any further until he pits on lap 52 – theoretically that means he can go the rest of the race without another stop…¬†for the rest of this segment I manage to stay a comfortable 2 seconds or more ahead of the Sauber, but once again that orange right front tire is appearing again. Ended lap 60 with a 3.052 second lead on the Sauber, whose stuck behind the Mercedes whom Ive just lapped (again). Right side tires turning dark orange, left side tires light orange, 3 units of fuel left on the gauge. I’ll push as hard as I can to get as much as I can out of this, then it should be straightforward run to the finish – I think…

Segment 4 – lap 61-80
Sauber pits on lap 62 РIve outlasted him! I finally pit on lap 66/67 with only one unit left on the fuel gauge. Only topped up to about 65 units of fuel, Im hoping i wont need the full 80 for the final 34 or so laps. Re-emerge with a 1.5 second lead over the Sauber, and to my surprise, mr Peugeout 905 man is nowhere  by this point the race is getting a lot easier, and as the laps reel off im gradually getting away from the Sauber. A quick draft from the Jaguar XJR-9 on lap 78 enables me to put in my new fastest lap, 28.561. Finished lap 80 with a 7.015 second lead on the Sauber, tires warmed up nicely.

Segment 5 – lap 81 – 100 (finish)
Sadly this looked to be the most boring segment so far. Lap 80-90 was simply me stretching my lead further, and it wasn’t until lap 92 – when i looked at my fuel gauge – that anything interesting happened. The fact I was already on only 3 bars left scared me initially, but then I realised that the 8 laps remaining in the race was barely anything. Even so, I had an 11-second¬†cushion¬†back to the Sauber, so I stopped changing down to 4th coming off the corners, thus saving RPMs and hopefully fuel. Even that wasn’t nessecery – the Sauber required¬†another¬†pitstop on lap 93, which left me pretty much in the clear to the finish. My initial¬†prediction¬†that the Peugeot 905 would only have to pit once was correct, but the fact he was so much behind myself and the Sauber interms of speed meant he passed the Sauber, but not me – by lap 96 i had a good 24 second lead on the 905. Sorry, it didn’t show the final gaps back to my rivals, so Ive had to guess.

Final results
1. Mazda 787B – 50’40.370
2. Pegeout 905 – 27 seconds behind roughly
3. Sauber C9 – 1 lap
4. Toyota GT-One – 3 laps
5. Jaguar XJR-9 – 4/5 laps
6. AMG Mercedes CLK-GTR – 7/8/9 laps (i passed him a hell of a lot of times!)

Good first half of the race but IMO after lap 66 and my second pitstop the race kidn of trailed off. Might re-attempt it at a later date in a BMW Mclaren F1 GTR or something once Ive improved my driving a bit more.

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