Car-racing sims don’t come tougher than gran turismo! With gt5 just around the corner, tony autridge offers some tips that’ll see you first to the chequered flag!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Tony Autridge is New Zealand’s first-ever representative at the international GT Academy in Silverstone, UK. Earlier this year he competed against 19 other competitors from around the world for the chance to become a real-world professional race car driver. Unfortunately, Tony was unsuccessful at Silverstone, but he’s cemented his position as New Zealand’s best Gran Turismo racer.
- Understand what type of car you are driving and what characteristics it has while driving. Ask yourself, "Is the engine in the back, middle or front? How much grip do my tyres have? How stiff is my suspension set-up? How heavy is my car? How much horsepower is under my foot (or thumb)?” All of these things play a huge part in what your car will be like to drive, and you need to consider them to get the fastest lap times.
- The set-up of your car can mean the difference between first place and last place. Different driving styles need different set-ups, so use the in-game GT guidelines and a bit of trial-and-error to match your driving style and the track you’re racing on.
- When buying a car new or used, be sure to shop around! Some cars have great performance figures but are very difficult to drive. For your first car, try to find one that has lots of horsepower and not much weight. Compare all the cars within your price range and then take it for a test drive to ensure it matches your driving style.
- If you have never raced on a particular track, use the driving line to help you learn the track. This will teach you where the racing line is on the track, which is the fastest possible way to navigate it. In particular, you need to learn the braking points for the corners. Note that the braking point will differ slightly depending on which car you’re using. The most common mistake I see with beginner GT players is that they never slow down enough for the corners. Take it easy when you are learning a track and slowly build up your speed. If you are playing online, download the replays from the online leaderboard to see how the fast guys are doing it.
- If you want to get serious about racing you need a steering wheel controller. While it is possible to get fast times with the handheld controller, you will always be faster with a steering wheel. Not to mention how much more realistic it feels when playing the game!
- When you are racing with other cars online, race clean. Everyone can see who you are and what country you are from, and they will not hesitate to blacklist you. Accidents happen, but you must try your hardest not to make contact with the other players. Be careful when following another car; other players may have different braking points to you, so brake earlier to ensure you don’t crash into them. If you want to smash up your car, save it for offline.
- Just like in real life, you have to be careful how you upgrade your car. If you increase your horsepower, you have to upgrade the brakes and suspension to match. On the track, power is useless without a good handling chassis. The best approach is to spend money on the car's handling first and then increase the power. Remember that each upgrade will change the car’s characteristics, so learn to adapt to each change.
- Don't be put off if you are struggling to get quick. It can take weeks or even months to get up to speed, but eventually going fast will feel natural.
- Gran Turismo is a playground for car enthusiasts. It's not all serious, so go out and buy your dream car and race it like you stole it. GT lets you buy cars you may never own and takes you to places you have never been.