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Monday, November 22, 2010

Karting in Gran Turismo 5

John Marine | 2:56 AM | | |
Kart racing in Gran Turismo 5 is one of a few different styles of racing showcased in GT5. The Gran Turismo PDI GT100 (I'm pretty sure the "PDI" stands for "Polyphony Digital Inc.") will be your kart for which to go racing with. Enjoy the thrill of going full speed in a purpose-built racing machine with no suspension, no trick driver aids, no fenders, and no excuses. It's just go-fast goodness. Allow me to explain through the course of this blog post.

Why should you care for kart racing in Gran Turismo 5? Well for many people, kart racing usually conjures images of being at family fun centers. Almost as if karts are only for arcade racers. However, there is a much more serious side of karting. While kart racing is fun, it is also a major stepping stone in the lives of many prospective racing talents. Many professional racers started out in karting. Considering this, kart racing is a thrill ride that easily will fuel the racing career of any prospective racer.

While there is kart racing at family fun centers and in various racing games (like I'm a huge fan of the Mario Kart series), the kart racing here will be very real. Racer José Guillermo Gidley (better known as Memo Gidley) noted that you learn everything about racing a Champ Car (back in the days of CART) by racing a go-kart. This gives you the idea that you can win with ANY car in any race by simply learning from kart racing. You go so fast in such short space in karting. For those who dislike racing with Kei/mini cars and very slow cars, most people would dislike racing karts since they don't go very fast. However, you are extremely missing the point. Kart racing is great fun no matter what any haters think. Look at it this way- you wouldn't know a thing about racing that Ferrari F2007 had you not hone your driving skills behind the wheel of a go-kart. Karts are immensely fun. For me, personally, I never got to appreciate the physical endurance it takes to race a car had I not did some go-karting myself. Five minutes on a go-kart track is punishing enough to the body. If you can't take five minutes in a kart race, how can you endure races in real cars much faster and much longer than some kart races?

The first step in showing commitment to a more concentrated racing model is in offering kart racing. Think about it- these karts are the most basic pure racing machines. They don't go very fast or have lots of power. They don't have things like rollcages or side-view mirrors. Some racing karts even have transmissions. Long story short- if you want to become a racing champion, you NEED to race go-karts. The news of Gran Turismo 5 featuring kart racing came to the surprise of many people (myself included). With its inclusion, however, it has sparked interest in racing lots of courses. I've done some karting myself. I sometimes watch kart racing on TV and on YouTube. I LOVE kart racing! Perhaps Gran Turismo karting won't be to the level of real kart racing in every inconceivable aspect. However, its inclusion will mean loads of fun for all racers. Imagine the online racing element of kart racing. Oh... and the karts are Premium.

I don't have a PS3 or have done any karting in GT5, but I do think kart racing will be absolutely fun for Gran Turismo 5. I want to help you get excited for kart racing by showing you a few videos. Here are two videos previewing kart racing in Gran Turismo 5. The first video was the trailer from GamesCom 2010, and the second video is a kart race using a course generated in Course Maker:

^ from GamesCom 2010

^ kart racing on a generated track (Tokyo Bay environment)

Sadly, it is the only kart available for GT5. Part of me wants to imagine more karts being featured in a future Gran Turismo. Imagine racing shifter karts, 250cc karts, even the almighty superkarts. It is great to ponder about for the future. For now, though, enjoy karting in GT5. I hope the YouTube videos above help you in getting excited for kart racing in GT5.

So get excited for karting if you haven't already! There is already a suite totally dedicated to kart racing in Gran Turismo 5 among the racing events. Make sure to get your fill of kart racing when GT5 is released proper and enjoy karting to the max!

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