Racing/Driving Games and Accessories - Happy Shopping! :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gran Turismo 4 License Tests - National

John Marine | 10:14 PM | |
You know them. You love them. License tests are back and ready to sting you in the bum yet again for another Gran Turismo. You need a license to drive, and you need a license also to race. Without racing licenses, you will NOT be able to have any chance to clear races and championships in Gran Turismo 4. Do you want to win or not? If your answer is yes, then you have no choice but to acquire your license. I can offer you some advice in this blog post.

Because Gran Turismo 4's repertoire of license tests is massive, I will divide this into three parts. When all have been posted to JGTS, you can visit any number of the blog posts to help you in acquiring whatever series of licenses you aspire to earn. Here is my series on GT4's license tests:

PART 1 of 3: Gran Turismo 4 License Tests - National (YOU ARE HERE)
PART 2 of 3: Gran Turismo 4 License Tests - International
PART 3 of 3: Gran Turismo 4 License Tests - Super License

--- Gran Turismo 4 License Tests at a Glance ---
You need a license to go racing in Gran Turismo. Where you can race and what you can race depends on your license. You need to acquire all licenses to be eligible to compete in all events. This remains unchanged since the very first Gran Turismo. You may loathe these license tests, but you have no other choice but to take part in these to clear the game. If you have run out of ideas on how to run each course, follow the included demo runs to get some inspiration as to how to clear each license test. Take notes from the video and apply those techniques to your own driving style. I play with a DualShock, but many recommend racing with a steering wheel to get the most overall bit of performance out of your driving. Racing with a steering wheel assembly can offer you a little extra advantage in your racing. So invest in getting a steering wheel to have a little extra edge and control in your racing.

The best thing about Gran Turismo 4's license tests is that they aren't as difficult to clear each test as long as you drive consistently. This makes the license tests more along the lines of "easy to learn, difficult to master." You will find this to be refreshing in the later license tests because some of these can be very tough to score Silver or better. All you have to do is drive consistently and properly to clear most of the later license tests to pass. It may not sound very rewarding to GT veterans like myself, but consider that not every player of Gran Turismo is of the same caliber of the Gran Turismo elites and veterans. On the other hand, the Bronze scores aren't terribly easy to where you can drive like an idiot and still pass.

New to the variety of license tests are one-lap trials and Coffee Breaks. Every five license tests (excluding for the Super License) for each set of tests is a one-lap guided run around a certain track with a Pace Car. These are meant for you to learn some of the many courses of Gran Turismo 4.

When you reach the Super License tests (get all four licenses), your attention turns from lessons to applied tests. You will be racing various cars on some of Gran Turismo 4's finest tracks.

Now, here is some extra information you need to know about License Tests in Gran Turismo 4:

Info on 1 Lap Guide Runs.

On every five License Tests between National-B and International-A, you will take on a One Lap Guide Run. The 1 Lap Guide Run is a new concept to Gran Turismo license tests. In these tests, you learn every inch/meter of each track with a Pace Car ahead of you. The Pace Car will auto-adjust to your skill depending on how hard you want to take the course. Follow the racing line set by the Pace Car driver to know where to drive on the track. When the Pace Car brakes, you do the same in the area he/she brakes. The point of guided runs is to learn each track. If you hit the Pace Car, you will automatically fail. Almost pretend the Pace Car is not there and just go race the track as competitively as you can. When you complete one of these, you will not have the luxury of following your ghost to try to improve your time. So therefore, you will have to continually adjust your driving style to try to lay down the best lap time. Each license test (except the Super License) category features three of these one-lap guide runs. At least a Bronze for each One Lap Guide Run is certainly attainable as long as you race smart and try to complete each course within the specified par times. Take your time and learn each track as you go around each of them. A prize is easily attainable for just driving consistently enough around the track. If you want to score better marks, be more aggressive and put together a solid driving effort.

Coffee Breaks.

Also new are Coffee Breaks. These are driving mini games meant to provide a little diversion from the intense license tests. Clearing these (for what I know) are not required to clear. Gold and Silver times apply for these, but just finishing the course is more important than trying to lay down a mystifying time around the Coffee Break courses. All of the Coffee Breaks take place on the Gymkhana Course.

Start Types.

Standing Starts and Rolling Starts are featured for License Tests in Gran Turismo 4. If a race is part of a Standing Start, it is important to note that getting a strong launch from your starting position can make a great difference in shaving off a few extra seconds. You need not worry about good launches if a test is part of a Rolling Start. If a license test begins with a Rolling Start, you will see the certain launch speed you will go at. They are purely estimates based on what speed you are at by the time you cross the Start gate. I have run every License Test to examine the closest-possible top speed once you start the test.

This said, let's begin!

--- GT4 License Tests: National B-License ---
Gran Turismo 4 National License
^ You've got to be the best on a National level before even considering the International ranks.

"The most basic license that covers the fundamentals of sports driving."

-B License Tests scrolling information in GT4
That quote basically covers what this license is all about. Before you can become any sort of Gran Turismo champion, you must have a B-License. We all have to start at the bottom before rising up to become champions. Gran Turismo 4 is no different. Learn all about Gran Turismo 4 by competing in a series of tests designed to test your understanding of operating cars in sports driving situations. Then, apply your skills in a series of challenging courses.

B-1: Acceleration and Braking 1
B-2: Acceleration and Braking 2
B-3: Basics of Cornering 1
B-4: Basics of Cornering 2
B-5: 1 Lap Guide Run (Tsukuba)
B-6: Acceleration and Braking 3
B-7: Acceleration and Braking 4
B-8: Basics of Cornering 3
Coffee Break: Manuver around the cones
B-9: Basics of Cornering 4
B-10: 1 Lap Guide Run (Laguna Seca)
B-11: Basics of Dirt Driving 1
B-12: Basics of Dirt Driving 2
B-13: Basics of Cornering 5
B-14: Basics of Cornering 6
B-15: 1 Lap Guide Run (Infineon Raceway - Sports Car Course)
B-16: Graduation Test

B-1: Acceleration and Braking 1.

Car: 1999 Mazda Demio (J)
Course: Test Course - 100m

In past Gran Turismo games, you had to go from 0-1000m. Now, you must go from 0-100m to start off. The car is in no way any kind of speed demon. You can afford to brake very late since you're covering such a short distance in a slow car. If you are unfamiliar with these Acceleration and Braking tests, allow me to explain the rules. You are given a car and a straight stretch of road. Your job is to accelerate as best as you can down the track. To complete the test, you must brake to a complete stop in the finish zone. Once your car is completely stopped in the finish zone, the test ends. If you fail to stop finish far enough to where you hit the cones, you will fail.

* GOLD: 10.150
* SILVER: 10.400
* BRONZE: 11.300

B-2: Acceleration and Brakin 2.

Car: 1995 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR-4 Turbo (J)
Course: Test Course - 200m run
Start: Standing Start

100 more meters are added to make for a 0-200m test. Your car is much more powerful than the little Demio you raced earlier. The best place to brake is when you cross after the halfway mark between 100m and 200m. You will know when you are about one or one 1/2 car length past the 100-200 halfway mark. When I did a mock run in preparing this blog post, I braked hard after getting up to almost 73 mph. So before you reach 73 mph (granted you started strong), brake hard.

* GOLD: 11.000
* SILVER: 11.220
* BRONZE: 12.200

B-3: Basics of Cornering 1.

Car: 1992 Honda CR-X del Sol SiR
Course: Deep Forest
Start: Standing Start

Welcome to the first of MANY handling tests. You will be using a Honda Civic del Sol around the first corner of Deep Forest. You may remember this test from Gran Turismo 3 but in a Fiat. Unlike Gran Turismo 3, though, you do not have the luxury of a preferred racing line to help you. If you are new to Deep Forest, it is essentially a race track through a forest. Use the demo video to get hints on how to set your car up for the corner.

* GOLD: 30.900
* SILVER: 31.500
* BRONZE: 33.500

B-4: Basics of Cornering 2.

Car: 1996 Nissan Silvia Q's AERO (S14)
Course: Deep Forest
Start: Standing Start

After racing the course from B-3 in a front-wheel drive car, it's time to do the same test in a rear-wheel drive car. The same rules and principles apply. Just do the same test in a RWD car now. The Silvia is also more powerful than the del Sol from B-3, so take this into consideration as you plan your attack of this course.

* GOLD: 29.800
* SILVER: 30.400
* BRONZE: 32.300

B-5: 1 Lap Guide Run (Tsukuba).

Car: 2002 Mini ONE
Course: Tsukuba
Start: Standing Start

If you haven't read the above information regarding the 1 Lap Guide Runs, please review that section. You will be racing Tsukuba- a compact Japanese race course with plenty of depths despite its small size. Follow the Pace Car as the driver shows you the way around the course. You will be racing with a Mini Cooper to try to keep up with the Pace Car. The first turn and the very slow hairpin leading to the backstretch are absolutely crucial to get right.

* GOLD: 1:27.200
* SILVER: 1:29.800
* BRONZE: 1:37.000

B-6: Acceleration and Braking 3.

Car: 2003 Renault Megane 2.0 16V
Course: Test Course 500m course
Start: Standing Start

A return to Test Course is here. You will use the 2003 Renault Megane 2.0 16V down a 500m strip. Think about braking when you get past the 400m gate, but REALLY brake a few 5 or 10 meters before you cross the midway point between the 400 and 500 meter marks.

* GOLD: 22.800
* SILVER: 23.300
* BRONZE: 25.500

B-7: Acceleration and Braking 4.

Car: 1999 Dodge Viper GTS
Course: Test Course 1000m
Start: Standing Start

The classic 0-1000m test is back. This is the exact same test as in Gran Turismo 3's B-2 test. If you want to pass this test without plowing into the cones, start braking somewhere between the 800-meter and 825-meter mark. Remember to get a strong start off the line to shave a few extra seconds.

* GOLD: 27.000
* SILVER: 27.810
* BRONZE: 30.000

B-8: Basics of Cornering 3.

Car: 1991 Mazda MX-5 Miata J-Limited (NA, J)
Course: Twin Ring Motegi - Road Course
Start: Rolling Start at 61 mph

This is the first rolling start License Test, and you will be using Twin Ring Motegi's Road Course. The loop leading to the Start/Finish straight of Motegi's East Short Course will be used. A golden yellow Miata will be used in trying to navigate this loop. The loop is a double-apex corner. Go outwards, attack the inside, and give strong acceleration out of the corner to complete the lap. Only a tenth of a second is the difference between a Gold time and a Silver time.

* GOLD: 15.400
* SILVER: 15.500
* BRONZE: 16.600

B Coffee Break: Knock over the cones laid out in a spiral.

Car: 2002 Daihatsu Copen Active Top
Course: Gymkhana - SPIRAL
Start: Standing Start at 73 mph

A smattering of cones occupy the Gymkhana field. Your job is to maneuver your Daihatsu Copen through the cones without hitting any of them. You will need to try to find the best line through the cones to quickly navigate through the course. When you reach the finish line, you must come to a complete stop in the finish area.

Coffee Breaks are essentially mini games, so do not fret over not getting Gold here. You do need to clear them to advance, though.

* GOLD: 11.800
* SILVER: 13.200
* BRONZE: (just finish)

B-9: Basics of Cornering 4.

Car: 2003 BMW M3 CSL
Course: Twin Ring Motegi - Road Course
Start: Rolling Start at 73 mph

The same course from B-8 is used for B-9, but you will be using a BMW M3 CSL instead of a Miata. Therefore, the performance and speeds will be vastly improved from the other test. The BMW gets up to speed much quicker than the Miata, but its back end is more prone to sliding out than the Miata. So make sure you gather up this car in case you start getting sideways.

* GOLD: 12.550
* SILVER: 12.900
* BRONZE: 13.500

B-10: 1 Lap Guide Run (Laguna Seca).

Car: 2002 Citroen C3
Course: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Start: Standing Start

Get used to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca because you will be racing this track quite a bit in this game. The Citroen C3 is a front-wheel drive hatchback. It handles pretty well and does a decent job of getting up to speed. It shouldn't be too difficult to learn this course using this car. Just follow the Pace Car's lead and try to adjust your driving style to match the Pace Car's line. Take advantage of this test to get a beginner-level approach to the difficult Laguna Seca. That even includes dealing with the world-famous Corkscrew.

* GOLD: 2:14.400
* SILVER: 2:18.000
* BRONZE: 2:28.000

B-11: Basics of Dirt Driving 1.

Car: 1986 Toyota Celica 2000GT-FOUR (ST165)
Course: Grand Canyon
Start: Standing Start

Racing off-road has NEVER been offered as a non-International level License Test until now. You will use a Toyota Celica to navigate through a long right-hand corner followed by a sharp left-hand hairpin. The road to the Finish gate is broken up by a brief right-hand kink after the left hairpin. Get up to speed quickly by going through the sweeping right. Then when faced with the left-handed hairpin, brake hard and aggressively drift through the corner. All that remains is a solid exit to land a great time.

* GOLD: 17.650
* SILVER: 18.000
* BRONZE: 19.400

B-12: Basics of Dirt Driving 2.

Car: 1985 Peugeot 205 turbo 16
Course: Swiss Alps
Start: Rolling Start at 58 mph

Take on a swift right-hand turn at Swiss Alps in a Peugeot 205. If you think you can take this corner at full speed, you will be in line to fail instantly. Instead, do either some light braking or just let off the throttle. All you really need to do is either brake or let off the throttle while turning hard right to get a good run to the finish.

* GOLD: 17.500
* SILVER: 18.000
* BRONZE: 19.500

B-13: Bascis of Cornering 5.

Car: 2000 Fiat Barchetta Giovane Due
Course: Tsukuba Circuit
Start: Rolling Start at 48 mph

Utilizing the final corner leading to the Start/Finish line, you will be in a Fiat going full speed down the backstretch of Tsukuba Circuit. The final corner is a very long right-hand corner. A good racing line and careful throttle use will mean the difference between pass and fail. Note that the Fiat is front-wheel drive. So not only will you have to keep the Fiat between the white lines, you need to counterattack against FWD understeer.

* GOLD: 22.650
* SILVER: 23.100
* BRONZE: 25.000

B-14: Basics of Cornering 6.

Car: 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe
Course: El Capitan
Start: Rolling Start at 60 mph

El Capitan is a brilliant course. I personally use it like a test course. You, however, will be using this as a lesson in handling. Brake semi-hard into the turn and use this RWD coupe's power to aggressively attack the very inside of this long left-hand corner. Power out of the corner straight to the finish line to deliver a solid time.

* GOLD: 18.100
* SILVER: 18.800
* BRONZE: 20.200

B-15: 1 Lap Guide Run (Infineon Raceway - Sports Car Course).

Car: 2000 Chrysler PT-Cruiser
Course: Infineon Raceway - Sports Car Course
Start: Standing Start

Located in Sonoma, California, USA; you will be racing in the Bay Area of California at Infineon Raceway. This Northern California course you will race on is the Sports Car course. There are no real straightaways on this course. What you will be doing around here is racing around a twisty and competitive course in a fairly good FWD car. Try to keep the PT Cruiser on the track while having to adjust and adapt to the many elevation changes and twisty bits. Remember- you can push a FWD car only so much until you eventually reach its breaking point. You might learn that the hard way (if you haven't in any of the other tests) here.

* GOLD: 2:19.000
* SILVER: 2:22.600
* BRONZE: 2:35.000

B-16: Graduation Test.

Car: 2004 BMW 120d
Course: Tsukuba Circuit
Start: Rolling Start at 57 mph

This is the first Graduation Test. Essentially, this is your final for each section. The final here is on Tsukuba Circuit in a BMW 1-Series hatchback. The test begins after the second hairpin and ends coming out of the third (and final) hairpin. You first need to keep the BMW on the track and away from the grass when you start. Braking is not required at the first corner- just let off the throttle. Power the rest of the way through, but be ready to brake hard to take on the awaiting final hairpin. This test is not as easy as it seems. A lot is required on your behalf to make the most of these critical corners.

* GOLD: 23.700
* SILVER: 24.200
* BRONZE: 25.680

You now have your B-License if you did everything correctly. You have also won a new car for your efforts. Not a bad way to move on to the next license! If you all-Silver or even all-Gold the license tests, you win new cars this way as well. Re-do the License Tests and try to go for all-Silver or all-Gold to acquire more cars!

That concludes the B-License. Read on to see my A-License advice.

--- GT4: National A-License ---
"This is a license that practices composite and blind corners as well as various other techniques that are applicable to real races."

-A License Tests scrolling text in GT4
With an A-License, you will demonstrate your abilities to enhance your B-License skills and apply them to tougher challenges. This is your next license to knock down after picking up your National-B license. The cars will be faster, the courses will be tougher, and the margin for error will be thinner. You will learn more advanced techniques to help you become a better racer in Gran Turismo 4 here.

A-1: Complex Corners Beginner 1
A-2: Complex Corners Beginner 2
A-3: Tackling High Speed Corners 1
A-4: Tackling High Speed Corners 2
A-5: 1 Lap Guide Run (Grand Valley East)
A-6: Complex Corners Intermediate 1
A-7: Complex Corners Intermediate 2
A-8: Applied Cornering 1
Coffee Break: Knock over the cones laid out in a spiral
A-9: Applied Cornering 2
A-10: 1 Lap Guide Run (Suzuka)
A-11: Applied Dirt Driving 1
A-12: Applied Dirt Driving 2
A-13: Tackling Blind Corners 1
A-14: Tackling Blind Corners 2
A-15: 1 Lap Guide Run (Trial Mountain)
A-16: Graduation Test

A-1: Complex Corners Beginner 1.

Car: Mitsubishi FTO GPX 1994
Course: High Speed Ring
Start: Rolling Start at 59 mph

Two identical corners at High Speed Ring await you. You will take them on in a Mitsubishi FTO. This front-wheel drive sports compact coupe is speedy and capable. Go far outside heading into the first corner and work your way inside. Do the same for the second corner while also maintaining a decent line. With the proper line, you can power through the tunnel effectively to the finish line to land a solid time.

* GOLD: 30.750
* SILVER: 31.100
* BRONZE: 33.080

A-2: Complex Corners Beginner 2.

Car: Lotus Elise 111R
Course: High Speed Ring
Start: Rolling Start at 63 mph

Rather than a peppy FWD car, you are racing a very athletic mid-engined car with rear-wheel drive on the same course as A-1. The performance and handling differences are vast in comparing these two cars. Apply what you have learned in A-1 to a more powerful and faster car to clear A-2. Remember that you can push the Elise further to the limit than you could with the FTO. Just don't push the Elise TOO far, though.

* GOLD: 28.000
* SILVER: 28.400
* BRONZE: 30.290

A-3: Tackling High Speed Corners 1.

Car: 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GTS
Course: Deep Forest Raceway
Start: Rolling start at 75 mph

Your 2003 Mitsubishi Eclipse will take on the final portion of Deep Forest Raceway en route to the front stretch. The magical thing about this section is that with the right racing line, you can take this corner at full speed or by just letting off the throttle. You can even do this while still staying on the race track. With this Eclipse, however, don't try this. The Eclipse's front-wheel drive nature will not allow you to aggressively take this final turn at full speed or reduced speed. You will need to brake moderately and then accelerate away driving into the turn. All the while, try to gather up the car as much as you can as you go through Deep Forest's final corner. You don't want to go too wide to where all four tires are off the track. You don't want to attack the inside too hard, however, to where (again) all four tires leave the track. Find a proper balance to get the best time.

* GOLD: 12.000
* SILVER: 12.300
* BRONZE: 12.700

A-4: Tackling High Speed Corners 2.

Car: 2003 Subaru Legacy B4 3.0R
Course: Suzuka Circuit
Start: Rolling Start at 80 mph

The beautiful 2003 Subaru Legacy will be taken around the deceptive 130R of Suzuka in this test. While your car is beautiful (at least I love this car), 130R is a deceptive corner. Formula 1 cars take this pretty much at full speed or just off the throttle. With all due respect, your Subaru is NOT an F1 car. The runoff road is marked off by cones. And as you know, taking out any on-track pylon automatically results in disqualification. So you need to try to keep the Subaru on the track and away from the outside cones. Don't let the Legacy swing too far outside to where you fly off course. A good racing line and careful throttle control will help you immensely in passing this test.

* GOLD: 22.050
* SILVER: 22.500
* BRONZE: 23.700

A-5: 1 Lap Guide Run (Grand Valley East).

Car: 2003 Audi A3 3.2 quattro
Course: Grand Valley East
Start: Standing Start

If you want to master Grand Valley East, take a one-lap trial. The Audi A3 is your car for this one-lap trial. There is a One-Make Series which requires the Audi A3, so this is a chance for you to test drive this car before using it in the Audi A3 One-Make races. This car packs about 240 horsepower with four-wheel drive. As for Grand Valley East, this track utilizes only the first tunnel of the three-tunnel track. Stay straight from the start. The Pace Car will even go from its starting position to veer to the right. Pick up a little draft from the Pace Car down the speedy sections. However, be warned that the A3 can have a bad case of understeer and can get pretty unstable around the twisty roads of this course. Gather up the car from going wildly off course if you sense you're going to fly off the road. The first hairpin, the turn heading into the tunnel, and the chicanes coming out of the tunnel are the critical points in passing or failing this test.

* GOLD: 1:30.500
* SILVER: 1:32.000
* BRONZE: 1:36.800

A-6: Complex Corners Intermediate 1.

Car: 1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor
Course: Twin Ring Motegi - Road Course
Start: Rolling Start at 85 mph

Drop the top on your Mercedes-Benz convertible for some open-air driving. But rather than savor a coastal drive or going through a winding mountain road, you are taking on some of the roads on Motegi's East Short Course leading to the hairpin of the East Short Course. Twin Ring Motegi's mostly flat nature makes this course difficult to take on successfully. Three sharp corners will come your way as you navigate your Benz roadster around these corners. Attack the first one hard while steering to the left as you approach the second turn. Let off the throttle momentarily to keep the car stable as you exit Turn 2. While on the far outside of Turn 2, slowly head to the outside of Turn 3 with hard braking. Get a good enough exit out of the corner to get a good sense of speed as you cross the Finish gate. Don't be overaggressive with this car and this track. Just try to race the course without overstepping the performance limits of the car and this track.

* GOLD: 30.800
* SILVER: 31.900
* BRONZE: 33:500

A-7: Complex Corners Intermediate 2.

Car: 2005 Volkswagen Golf V GTI
Course: Nürburgring Nordschleife
Start: Rolling Start at 79 mph

A-7 takes you around the Nürburgring Nordschleife with a Volkswagen Golf GTI. You will be racing in the northwestern quadrant of the massive 12+ mile course. This course is not as easy as it looks with this track's narrow roads. The road slowly progresses to the left as you enter the only turn you need to brake at. During this progression, you will note some curbing on the left. Let that be your cue to let off the throttle briefly to prevent the car from going off-road. As you head into the real corner of this track, brake hard enough to ensure that the car remains stable as you enter this corner. A proper exit through this corner will set you up for the test's only right-hand section, and through to the Finish gate.

* GOLD: 17.200
* SILVER: 17.400
* BRONZE: 18.600

A-8: Applied Cornering 1.

Car: 2003 Mazda RX-8 Type S (J)
Course: El Capitan
Start: Rolling Start at 50 mph

On a beautiful day in a beautiful car on a beautiful track, El Capitan's southern section will be raced on. This part of the track is like a hammer head in design. The biggest key to passing this test with gold is proper car control and throttle usage. It is possible to just let off the throttle while maintain a solid racing line rather than have to apply any brake. A good racing line and great throttle control will help keep your four-door Mazda on the road and through to the finish line. In my demo run preparing this blog post, I pulled a 15.656 by simply controlling my throttle input while making sure to keep the RX-8 on the track.

* GOLD: 15.880
* SILVER: 16.400
* BRONZE: 17.150

Coffee Break: Knock over the cones laid out in a spiral.

Car: 2001 Peugeot 205cc
Course: Gymkhana - SPIRAL
Start: Standing Start

Knocking over ones automatically disqualifies you, except for tests like these. There are 100 cones laid out, and you must take your Peugeot convertible and knock out all 100. Since you are going in a spiral, car control is obviously important as you try to keep your front-wheel drive Peugeot properly within the white line spiral. Allow yourself a certain speed limit that gets progressively greater as you go through the outer portions of the spiral. Try to keep the car within the spiral line while progressively increasing your speed to eventually knock out all 100 cones.

* GOLD: 28.150
* SILVER: 29.919
* BRONZE: (just finish)

A-9: Applied Cornering 2.

Car: 2004 Honda Civic Type-R (EP)
Course: Suzuka Circuit
Start: Rolling Start at 58 mph

Try the Esses of Suzuka Circuit in a 2004 Honda Civic hatchback. The Esses of Suzuka are one of many exciting parts of this great circuit. They can also, unfortunately, be frustrating if you don't navigate this section properly. Start progressing to the right as you enter the first of the three corners. No braking is needed- just let off the throttle. If you have a good line heading into Turn 2, just try to keep the Civic stable with good throttle input and precise steering. An important thing to note is that the course slowly progresses uphill after Turn 1. Take these subtle elevation changes into consideration as you plan your attack of this course. I pulled a 17.439 in my demo run, which was my best run overall here. My previous best was a 17.474 I had set back in 2005 when I first played this game.

* GOLD: 17.200
* SILVER: 17.617
* BRONZE: 18.900

A-10: 1 Lap Guide Run (Suzuka).

Car: 2003 Honda Integra Type R (DC5)
Course: Suzuka Circuit
Start: Standing Start

Learn how to race Suzuka by going from one Honda to another. Suzuka is one of the most exciting race courses in the world for good reason. It boasts a great array of challenging corners as well as a unique Figure-8 (or Figure-of-8 layout). You will race the full Suzuka course as raced by many automobile series, including Formula 1. The biggest challenge through this entire course is to try to keep the limit the amount of understeer from the FWD Integra as you challenge each corner. Get up to about 45 to 50 mph, and then start to trail the Pace Car. This will set you up for the first corner. No braking is really needed, but you do need to keep the car stable to prevent from overshooting any corners. Because of this car being front-wheel drive and relatively underpowered (compared to the bigger sports cars), there is a limit to its performance that you must respect and work around. The Esses all require a good amount of car control to make the most of this FWD Honda's performance capabilities. Degner requires some early braking as well as the following sharp corner heading under the overpass. Hard braking heading into the hairpin (after the kink) is required. Go full speed while progressively going to the right in preparation for Spoon Curve. Find the two braking points to get a good entry onto the backstretch. The right amount of braking through 130R will give you enough speed to take on the deceptive Casio Triangle. Get it right, and you'll head onto the front stretch with enough speed to deliver a great lap time.

* GOLD: 2:48.000
* SILVER: 2:51.000
* BRONZE: 3:00.000

A-11: Applied Dirt Driving 1.

Car: 1991 Lancia Delta HF Integrale Evoluzione
Course: Grand Canyon
Start: Rolling Start at 38 mph

As you get ready for this test, remember that you can not fly off the Grand Canyon. I mention this because the section of Grand Canyon you will navigate is done at an area where you get a death-defying view of the Grand Canyon's massive ravine. The key is to maintain a consistent drift while attacking the far inside of this massive corner. If you can get and maintain a consistent drift, you will do just enough to clear this challenge easily.

* GOLD: 12.800
* SILVER: 13.100
* BRONZE: 14.000

A-12: Applied Dirt Driving 2.

Car: 2002 Subaru Impreza Sedan WRX STi (GD, Type-II)
Course: Tahiti Maze
Start: Rolling Start at 48 mph

This test uses Tahiti Maze in a 2002 Subaru Impreza in a test similar to Gran Turismo 3's R-7 test, but in the normal direction and in a street version Impreza on Dirt tires. My demo run in preparing this blog post yielded a personal best-ever time at 29.669. My previous best was 30.438 from my play back in 2005.

* GOLD: 29.500
* SILVER: 30.600
* BRONZE: 32.770

A-13: Tackling Blind Corners 1.

Car: 1994 Nissan Skyline GT-R Vspec II (R32)
Course: Trial Mountain
Start: Standing Start

A classic license test returns- race a Skyline around Trial Mountain. Gran Turismo 4 boasts a different driving model than any GT past. This is the same test as A-4 from GT1 and the B-License final from Gran Turismo 3. If this is your first GT, let me explain this one. Trial Mountain is a fictional road course that has characteristics of both a rally course and a temporary street course. You are asked to navigate through part of this course ranging from the area heading into the first tunnel to the high-speed forest section. Here's a description of what's ahead. You head into a tunnel at somewhat full speed. No need to brake at all here. Exiting the tunnel is a snaking road dominated on either side by large rock faces. You will need to find the proper braking points and find a good racing line. Once you enter the second tunnel, you'll need to attack the far inside to get enough speed to vault yourself past the Finish gate atop a crest. The challenge here is in finding and attacking the blind corners. Fortunately, you are on a permanent race track as opposed to a temporary street course (where the blind corner challenge is much greater). It takes a lot of practice to get this section done absolutely right.

* GOLD: 44.600
* SILVER: 45.800
* BRONZE: 48.300

A-14: Tackling Blind Corners 2.

Car: 2000 Audi TT Coupe 1.8T quattro
Course: Nürburgring Nordschleife
Start: Rolling Start at 67 mph

Somewhat after the point you raced on in A-7 with the Volkswagen, you will be piloting an Audi TT in the northwestern quadrant of the Nürburgring Nordschleife. You will be asked to race around a set of blind corners on another permanent race course. Keep the Audi between the white lines as much as possible. That means making sure not to go too fast to where you go off the narrow, snaking road. Proper car control is a must as you head towards the only real braking area. The undulating and shifty roads will upset the Audi's balance. When you eventually reach the first of two critical corners, the first part of this section is essentially a sharp kink followed by a sharp hairpin. All the while, you need to properly gauge the proper braking points for both parts of the critical section. Get up to speed quickly as the road turns right and through the Finish gate.

* GOLD: 32.850
* SILVER: 33.000
* BRONZE: 36.490

A-15: 1 Lap Guide Run (Trial Mountain).

Car: 2003 Mazda 6 5-door
Course: Trial Mountain
Start: Standing Start

You will return to Trial Mountain in the exciting Mazda 6 (or the Mazda Atenza as it's called in Japan). This front-wheel drive sedan offers up a more exciting drive than the Integra (as far as FWD cars are concerned) you raced at Suzuka in the Suzuka 1-lap trial. The Mazda 6 gets up to speed greatly and has wonderful handling. Begin entering the Pace Car's slipstream once you reach about 50 mph. Start trailing the Pace Car as you enter the undulating roads. The Mazda drives greatly around Trial Mountain, so you can throw the car around a bit through the corners without much consequence. Remember that is a front-wheel drive car, so don't push its handling abilities too far. It gets up to speed very well. You'll see how much so once you enter the backstretch. Aggressively follow the Pace Car through the final sections while not overtaking or hitting the Pace Car.

* GOLD: 2:05.000
* SILVER: 2:07.000
* BRONZE: 2:16.000

A-16: Graduation Test.

Car: 2002 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type A (FD)
Course: Nürburgring Nordschleife
Start: Rolling Start at 85 mph

For the final test, you will be racing the northeastern quadrant of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which feels more like a rally course than any dedicated racing facility. You will be asked to navigate the Carousel section of this track. This part of the track actually encompasses most of the first half of the northwestern part of the circuit. The RX-7 can (and will) get unstable if you don't keep the car under control. Many of the corners in this run have some banking to them, which only makes the RX-7 even more unstable through the corners. You can, though, take advantage of the curbing in some of the corners to craft a solid line. You need to do lots of countersteering and throttle input adjustments to make sure the RX-7 remains stable. No braking is needed for the first two turns. It is very easy to lose control of this otherwise great-handling car on these winding narrow roads. Keep her in one piece, and you can easily score with a bronze. To get silver or better, much better driving out of you is required.

* GOLD: 54.150
* SILVER: 56.000
* BRONZE: 1:02.700

Enjoy your A-License (and your new car(s))!

This concludes the National license tests. The next post in this series concerns the International-B and International-A licenses. I broke these up to decrease my workload and also to improve the performance of my blog. So stay tuned for my next post in the series of GT4 License Test posts. Thank you for reading!

Become a Fan (or Like) my Facebook Fan Page and subscribe this blog (and my others) via FeedBurner (or any other aggregator in the sidebar)! Visit (or subscribe):
* Subscribe to John's Blog Space! (
* Subscribe to John's Shop Space! (
* Subscribe to John's Gran Turismo Space!
Share this article


Copyright © 2015 John's Race Space • All Rights Reserved.
Template Design by BTDesigner • Powered by Blogger