Friday, May 13, 2011

Races of Gran Turismo 4 - Endurance Events

John Marine | 5:01 PM | | |
Gran Turismo 4 boasts a good amount of endurance races. These races all test the ability of a racer to last for extended periods of time much longer than most average races. The fourth iteration features some races that last for much longer periods of time than the endurances of Gran Turismo 3 provide. In a series of blog posts regarding races of Gran Turismo 4, this blog post pertains to the endurances of GT4.


GT4 Race Series.

When the series is complete, you can link to each post in the series through this post. Here is the list of posts to be made on JGTS about GT4's races:

* Races of Gran Turismo 4 - Official Events
* Races of Gran Turismo 4 - Regional Events
* Races of Gran Turismo 4 - Endurance Events (YOU ARE HERE)

* Races of Gran Turismo 4 - Special Condition Events (POSSIBLE)
* Races of Gran Turismo 4 - Driving Missions (POSSIBLE)


I am NOT planning on doing one involving the One-Make races.





--- Races of Gran Turismo 4 at a Glance ---
Gran Turismo 4 Endurance Event Races
^ Welcome to my blog post on Gran Turismo 4's Endurance Events!

Gran Turismo 4's massive map of items in Gran Turismo Mode features many items. Among the most important are the races (and the other stuff like car dealers, of course). Gran Turismo 4 follows the model set by Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec with different levels of racing based on difficulty and length. GT3's model, however, was severely convoluted with certain races appearing in different levels of GT3. There were three levels of certain championships and series, such as the drivetrain-limited races. In GT4, the drivetrain-limited races are all part of one championship rather than spread across multiple difficulty levels.


B-Spec.

A big factor in Gran Turismo 4 is that of B-Spec. B-Spec is your AI racing counterpart that you can hire to do races you don't want to do in A-Spec. Many people call the B-Spec racer as (and I personally think this name sounds stupid) "B-Spec Bob." I personally call the B-Spec racer as my teammate. Whether you like the B-Spec racer or not, B-Spec may give you the best chance at winning races if you can't win them on your own. Some feel it is the game playing itself for you. If anything, B-Spec comes in handy, especially in the Endurance races, and especially when you can not make time to compete in these on your own.


Restrictions.

Many of the races are sorted specifically by certain determining factors such as car type, model year, models themselves, and more. Races that do not have any restrictions on car type automatically means you can bring any car to any championship that has no restrictions on car type.

* Typically, a race that has no restriction on car type means you can bring almost any car to any race. Certain races are restricted to Production cars. Any car rated as Normal is a Production car. Unlike in previous Gran Turismo games (namely GT1 and GT3), Normal doesn't mean a factory-stock car. Normal means "Production" car. So in races that are restricted to Production cars, no Concept, Tuner, or Racing cars are allowed. Concept cars do not qualify as Production cars. Tuner cars, even those that look completely normal, are NOT qualified as Production cars. And certainly, Racing cars are NOT Normal cars. Normal means Normal. In this blog post, "Normal/Production" will be used to denote Normal (or Production) cars. They mean the same thing. There are no real requirements for production cars in this lineup of races, so don't worry about this restriction.

* Any race that specially allows for Standard or Sports tires automatically assumes that you will be racing against street cars and that only street cars are allowed. A race with no tire restrictions usually means the race features race cars or tuner cars.

* Races restricted by model year allow only for cars created in a certain year or within a certain decade be raced. So if a race calls for cars up to 1970, that means that only cars created in 1970 or earlier are qualified to enter.

* There are also races restricted to a certain model or models. If only certain cars are allowed into a championship, then pay close attention to the featured models to get an idea of what cars are allowed for a race. These may also include races restricted to a certain nationality or nationalities of car. Don't worry about nationality for this series of races.

* Some races have other restrictions, like engine aspiration. Pay attention to all requirements and make sure to meet those requirements before entering a race.

Now a look at the series of races...


The Event Types.

The Official events feature races broken up by difficulty and by complexity. The Beginner Events are your gateway to Gran Turismo. These events are characterized on car type for the most part. In the Professional Events, the racing is more based on hard-fought racing with some of the toughest events you'll take part in. It, unlike the Beginner Events, features championships. Clearing all the races and winning all the championships in the first two Event halls unlocks the Extreme Events. The longest and most difficult races are in the Extreme Events including the championship with the most number of races- the returning Formula GT. This is where you establish yourself as a legend (not just a champion) after having cleared the Beginner and Professional Events.

In addition to the various Official races, there are a smattering of region-based events specializing only on cars from certain regions. You can race against cars from America, Europe, and Japan in these races. Many of the races are fairly strict on what kinds of cars you can race with and against. Only two championships don't require cars of the region-based nationality of the events.

The number of Endurance races is the most in Gran Turismo history (even more than in Gran Turismo 5) with sixteen endurance races. Thanks to the B-Spec racer, more people have an opportunity to compete in and complete many of the longer races, especially those who can't make time to complete each event. B-Spec will allow you to run races at faster speeds. This can be helpful with the longer endurances. For instance, you can speed up the B-Spec racer's progress through a 24-hour race. What takes 24 hours in real time can take up to 10 hours in one play-through with B-Spec speed at 3x. You can not race in any Endurances until you have completed at least 25% of the Gran Turismo 4.


About This Post...

If you can't make time to compete in these races, then you will stand no chance of completing GT4. These races last anywhere from over 90 minutes to 24 hours. Thankfully, you can use your B-Spec racer to handle some of the tougher and longer races. Endurance racing is a big part of Gran Turismo as it tests your ability to withstand the rigors of racing for longer periods of time than most average races. You will need to employ proper pit strategy to give yourself the best chance of winning. For the first time in the Gran Turismo series, you can now change options as you pit. You may elect to have the car fueled, change tires, and even change to B-Spec racing (or A-Spec if starting off in B-Spec).

This is how each series will be featured:


Endurance [LICENSE].

"Text Description."
Introduction

Duration: (laps or time)
Restrictions (if any)

Prize Money: {1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th}


A Side Note (and a dirty trick)...

The assumption in tire discussion is that all series requiring Standard/Sports tires assumes that you will be racing against street cars. This restriction is severely misleading because you assume that your opposition will all be street cars. However, there are a number of series where there are no restrictions on tires, and you either bring a car too weak to contend or too powerful to contend in a series/championship. You will know the difference when you bring a high-powered GT car to a championship against mid-level and high-level sports cars. If you see that a championship does not require Normal/Production cars, you can bring Concept, Tuner, and Racing cars to the series. So you can equip a Concept, Tuner, or Racing car with Standard/Sports tires to gain an unfair advantage in series that do not require cars be Normal/Production.

It doesn't help much that you have to have a qualifying car to be able to even see a preview of a certain race. So all I can do is show you what races there are in the game.


So let's begin!





--- GT4: Endurance Events ---
"Strategy is as important as speed. Be patient and aim for the win!"

-in-game text
Endurance racing encompasses the abilities of racing hard while doing so for a longer period of time. There are a total of 16 endurances in Gran Turismo 4. They last anywhere in length from over 90 minutes to 24 hours. If you don't have the time to run these races in A-Spec (you are not required to), then just let your B-Spec racer take the driving duties.


Grand Valley 300km [IB].

"A punishing 60 lap race that will test your overall driving skills to the limit."
You can not have an Endurance lineup of races without GT's signature endurance- the Grand Valley 300km. This classic 60-lap race around GT's signature race track showcases some of the finest and most hard-fought racing in Gran Turismo. It is no different in Gran Turismo 4 as this challenge comes calling again. Victory on this long race track and long race depends on your ability to properly tackle each of the corners with precision while also staying cool under pressure. The majority of your opposition will be mostly high-powered touring cars and Super GT (formerly the JGTC) GT500 cars. I find this the least bit disparaging because I think a race like this on a track like this should feature the fastest cars in the game. But, this is still a challenging race no matter what cars are out on the track.

Duration: 60 laps
Prize Money: {400000, 100000, 85000, 65000, 40000, 11000}


Laguna Seca 200 Miles [A].

"This is a single race, facing the formidable challenge of the legendary 'corkscrew' of Laguna Seca."
Laguna Seca is a truly formidable race track. Its challenge and intrigue will be showcased with this 90-lap challenge around the California race track. Your opposition will be against American sports cars. This track is both punishing and difficult. If you expect to win this endurance, you'll need to keep your mind in check as you go down the Corkscrew 90 times. It will be one wild ride for sure, and I'm not just talking about going down the Corkscrew.

Duration: 90 laps
Prize Money: {200000, 80000, 65000, 50000, 25000, 9500}


Roadster 4h Endurance.

"A four hour race for Mazda fans where successive generations of Roadsters compete for speed."
For the first time in Gran Turismo history, this is the first race that does NOT require a license to run. The Roadster challenge limited to the Mazda Miata is the only endurance in Gran Turismo 4 limited to one make and one model series. You race only Mazda Miatas around the compact Tsukuba Circuit. This track has so much depth in such small space. That's why its challenge is so formidable in Japan. Question is... will you be leaving the track in Japan's Ibaraki Prefecture with a victory? You can if you solve the mystery that is known as the Tsukuba Circuit.

Only Mazda Miata models can compete. Standard/Sports tires are required.

Duration: 4 hours
Prize Money: {100000, 60000, 45000, 35000, 15000, 8000}


Tokyo R246 300km [IB].

"Racing in German Touring Cars and JGTC cars through the heart of the city."
Downtown Tokyo is available for you to race around for 300 kilometers of intense racing action. As the in-game text describes, your opposition will be DTM and JGTC cars, so bringing something much faster wouldn't be too fair. Can you rule the streets of Tokyo and take home winning honors?

Duration: 60 laps
Prize Money: {200000, 80000, 65000, 50000, 25000, 9500}


Super Speedway 150 Miles [IB].

"Experience the tactical aspects of slip-streaming in this challenge..."
Twin Ring Motegi's superspeedway is the battleground as it's all about high-speed battle. The cars you will race against are all some of the fastest race cars in the game, namely the GT Prototypes and Le Mans Prototypes. So you'd better bring a very fast car to keep pace in this championship.

Duration: 100 laps
Prize Money: {200000, 80000, 65000, 50000, 25000, 9500}


Nürburgring 24h Endurance [IB].

"A legendary 24-hour race where you run continuously on the most grueling circuit in the world."
Gran Turismo endurances have NEVER been this long in length until GT4. While I personally loathe racing the Nürburgring Nordschleife (or "North Course"), I greatly respect the 24 Hours at the Nürburgring. And while the real 24-hour madness takes place on both this track and on the Nürburgring Grand Prix course, you will only be racing the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Victory here is seriously earned. Your opposition will mostly be high-end touring cars, JGTC GT300-class cars, and low-powered GT-spec race cars. Be realistic- you don't need a high-powered and super-fast race car. When I did this race, I won by racing the Ford Falcon XR8 Australian V8 Supercar. Prepare to endure like never before! There is a reason why this track is nicknamed "Green Hell." You'll find out why as you race for 24 hours on this German purgatory.

Duration: 24 hours
Prize Money: {1200000, 500000, 300000, 150000, 120000, 100000}


Nürburgring 4h Endurance [IB].

"This is an entry-level race at Nürburgring that you can race in an everyday car."
Consider this race as a tune-up for the 24 Hours at the Nürburgring. This race was designed for everyday cars to contest the 12+ miles of fury that make up the Nürburgring Nordschleife. You will have a chance to bring out your fastest street cars to take on every length of the Nürburgring Nordschleife. You don't need a viciously fast car- just find a fairly decent, yet fairly capable street car. Stay away from high-speed superexotics. If this track teaches you anything, it helps you to appreciate that you don't always need super-fast cars to win races. This track is just too twisty and too complex for seriously fast cars to win at. I'm not saying to avoid really fast street cars, but just don't go for the overkill here with a much too powerful car.

Standard/Sports tires are required.

Duration: 4 hours
Prize Money: {200000, 80000, 65000, 50000, 25000, 9500}


Suzuka 1000km [IB].

"Japan is well known for this endurance, race where sparks fly from the Japanese and American racing cars."
One of my personal favorite circuits in the world, Suzuka Circuit is raced on for a very long endurance race. The world's most famous Figure-8 (or Figure-of-8) course lends you a 1000 kliometer challenge. This race is more than three times the length of when Formula 1 races at Suzuka for the Japanese Grand Prix. Formula 1 races this track for about 53 or so laps laps, and you'll be racing this track for 172 laps. The ability to endure as well as consistently clock in solid laps around this tough circuit will be rewarded with victory. Take on infamous sections such as Degner, 130R, Spoon Curve, the crossover, and of course... the dreaded Casio Triangle. Are you ready to endure on Japan's greatest motor racing circuit (and arguably the Asia-Pacific's greatest race track)? Your opposition will mostly be JGTC racing machines and maybe some high-powered touring cars.

Duration: 172 laps
Prize Money: {350000, 130000, 70000, 60000, 30000, 10000}


Motegi 8h Endurance [A].

"This is a competitive 8-hour race to decide the best of the tuned cars."
If you have one of the Tuner cars (or if you have a tuned road-going yourself, bring that car to this endurance. You will be racing Twin Ring Motegi again, but this time, at the tough road course. This track will be raced on for eight hours featuring the game's Tuner cars. The Tuner cars include the Full Model cars offered by the manufacturers themselves as well as cars offered in the Tuning Village. Twin Ring Motegi itself is a difficult track to race with minimal elevation changes. You need to make your moves quickly to have a winning chance. You can't afford to behind too far here on this track to have any chance at winning this one.

Standard/Sports tires are required.

Duration: 8 hours
Prize Money: {120000, 60000, 50000, 40000, 15000, 7000}


Tsukuba 9h Endurance [B].

"This is a famous event at Tsukuba that is like a beginner's version of an endurance."
Return to Tsukuba for a nine-hour endurance race around the compact racing facility. In this endurance, various mid-level sports cars are your opposition in this race. These include mid-level European sports cars and high-level Japanese sports cars. Victory here requires you to make the most of every lap on this short race track.

Standard/Sports tires are required.

Duration: 9 hours
Prize Money: {150000, 70000, 55000, 45000, 20000, 9000}


Circuit de la Sarthe 24h I [IA].

"The endurance race that every sports car maker around the world dreams of."
Welcome to the 24 Hours of Le Mans! While it may not be called that in this game (for licensing reasons), you are basically running the world-renowned 24-hour endurance racing classic in Le Mans, France. This race basically requires you have a high-powered prototype to win. This is the world stage for which the world's finest marques and finest racing teams battle for victory for 24 straight hours. It is Gran Turismo's version of the great day-to-night-to-day endurance racing classic. While there may not be time changes in GT4, 24 hours is still 24 hours. So give it your absolute best and battle for the win!

Duration: 24 hours
Prize Money: {1200000, 500000, 300000, 150000, 120000, 100000}


Circuit de la Sarthe 24h II [IA].

"Realize the dream of maximum speed: the old Sarthe circuit has a straight of 6 km in length to push your car to the max."
If you fancy old school Le Mans, then this race is for you. This configuration does away with the two chicanes down the Hunaudières (popularly called the Mulsanne Straight) that were initially designed to slow down the cars down the very long straight. See what it was like for old Le Mans race cars to blast down the super-long straight at full speed. Just like the other event, bring your fastest race car to this one, preferably a GT Prototype or a Le Mans Prototype.

Duration: 24 hours
Prize Money: {1000000, 400000, 250000, 120000, 100000, 80000}


Fuji 1000 km [IA].

"This is a decisive sports car race that is held at the base of the magnificent Mt. Fuji."
Fuji International Speedway provides this old school endurance race. You will be racing the '90s configuration of Fuji here against some of the fastest race cars in GT4. The opposition consists of a few prototypes and some of the fastest GT cars.

Duration: 228 laps
Prize Money: {750000, 250000, 120000, 100000, 80000, 40000}


Infineon World Sports [IA].

"A fierce endurance race set on a popular Californian race circuit."
When you come to Infineon Raceway, be ready to race on a tricky and challenging circuit that hosts a variety of racing events. You will be racing on the Sports Car Configuration of Infineon Raceway. The cars you will race against are all prototype race cars (and maybe a few powerful GT cars). Henceforth, bring a prototype to stand the best chance of winning. As for the track itself, it will test you consistently. This track doesn't have any true straightaway, so you will have to have to be alert and active at all times as the laps wind down on this great racing facility. You can somewhat think of this endurance more like an American Le Mans Series sprint race because of its 2:45:00 length.

Duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes
Prize Money: {500000, 120000, 100000, 80000, 50000, 12000}


El Capitan 200 Miles [A].

"Race through the greenery of forests and huge rock cliffs, a sports car race through the grandeur of nature."
The beauty of games- you know an endurance race, let alone any sort of racing, around a place like Yosemite National Park would never happen in real life at such a location. This endurance is a beautiful natural setting on a very competitive temporary road course. You will go for 200 miles around this great venue. Your ability to win here will be based on your ability to take on the many tricky corners and speedy sections, and it also pertains to how you handle the many elevation changes. Your opposition mostly includes high-level American sports cars and maybe a few mid-level and high-level sports cars of other nationalities.

Standard/Sports tires are required.

Duration: 66 laps
Prize Money: {250000, 100000, 85000, 65000, 40000, 11000}


New York 200 Miles [A].

"This is a high-speed event where you run full throttle through Broadway and Seventh Avenue."
The final endurance racing challenge in the Endurance Events takes place on the streets of New York City. Your tour through Lower Manhattan takes you around Times Square and Central Park. This track is dominated by its high-speed romps that make up the first half of this course coupled with the technical sections which comprise the second half of the course. The opposition consists of mostly high-level American sports cars and a few mid-level and high-level non-American sports cars. As you weave your way through this urban jungle, try to properly race around the tough and technical corners that make up this course. Can you prove your street smarts in the Big Apple?

Standard/Sports tires are required.

Duration: 76 laps
Prize Money: {250000, 100000, 85000, 65000, 40000, 11000}


Trust me- these races last MUCH longer than the time it took for you to read this blog post and all of the entries! Thanks for reading! Go do your absolute best in these races.





I did not include the prize cars that you win for clearing each series or championship. If you want to learn what prize cars you win for clearing each specific event, please visit the database by my friends at GTPlanet at the GT4 Prize Car database on GTPlanet.net, and click on the database appropriate to your region, whether NA, PAL, or JPN.

The endurance races will surely put you on the edge. Make the most of all of your skills and opportunities to win these races. Please read my other blog posts regarding other races of Gran Turismo 4. Also, please subscribe to this blog if you enjoy my work. Thank you for reading!

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