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Friday, September 9, 2011

Indy and Champ Cars in Gran Turismo?

John B. Marine | 4:51 PM |
The first Gran Turismo to feature actually licensed series was Gran Turismo 5. Rally cars were nothing new to GT, but the actual featuring of the World Rally Championship was enough to draw some attention. A completely new experience to the Gran Turismo universe was NASCAR. While people would complain that NASCAR's appeal in GT5 wasn't severely intriguing to most racing fans (let alone hardcore NASCAR fans), at least stock car racing finally has a proper mode and arena for which to commence racing battle. And at least there is a way to enjoy stock car racing in Gran Turismo.

Besides the WRC and NASCAR, open-wheel racing has seen its share of action in the Gran Turismo realm. It began with the fantasy Formula 1 cars in Gran Turismo 3. That would be followed by one "spec" Formula 1-type racing car for GT4. Those cars would return for Gran Turismo 5 followed by two actual F1 Ferraris- the first time actual F1 cars have been featured in a GT game. But if there is a kind of formula car that has never been featured (among others), it would have to be Indy cars. While there is an Indy 500, it would have been much more interesting and intriguing if you could race Indy cars to the limit in racing action.

This is an old blog post from John's Blog Space that was originally created on June 3rd, 2009 at 11:17 PM Pacific Time. It has since been completely re-worked and made appropriate for John's Gran Turismo Space.

--- WRC, NASCAR,... IndyCar Next? ---
The World Rally Championship- awesome racing action in some of the world's toughest tarmac roads, gravel roads, snow roads, and more. NASCAR- wheel-to-wheel, take no prisoners, hard-fought racing. Featuring the Indianapolis Motor Speedway offers hints that COULD lead to the IndyCar Series being featured in a future Gran Turismo. I think there's a strong likelihood that the IndyCar Series COULD eventually find its way into Gran Turismo. It would be silly to not to have the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and NOT have Indy cars racing this course.

On average, you're looking at about 18 or 20 cars to a track. With the IndyCar Series, 16 cars is definitely possible. How many cars can race at a time in Gran Turismo 5? Well as we've seen, 12 cars usually fill the grid for races in GT5. The Indianapolis Motor Speedway may not have the allure of 33 cars to a track in GT5, but still being able to enjoy full-on racing in the realm of Gran Turismo is worth the price of admission. And while F1 cars are a nice diversion from sportscar racing, there's still nothing like racing an Indy-type formula racing car. Could we be racing the cars Dario Franchitti, Marco Andretti, Tony Kannan, Will Power, and others in a future GT? Why not? We're racing some of NASCAR Cup's biggest stars, so why not some of IndyCar's biggest stars?

One of the most possible deterrents is the new body styles for the IndyCar Series for the 2012 (or even 2013) seasons. It may just come down to using some of today's machines rather than go years down the road with the newer body styles. I didn't mention Danica Patrick because she'll jump to NASCAR for the 2012 season. However, I still wouldn't mind being Danica in a Gran Turismo title. A neat bonus would be to race the black/teal #7 car Danica Patrick used to win at Motegi on that historic weekend that saw Champ Car's final race at the Long Beach Grand Prix.

Video Insight.

So what do these series have to offer? Here is some real-life insight in these videos. Have a look at these videos and be inspired:

IndyCar Series oval racing:

IndyCar Series road racing:

Champ Car racing (NOTHING beats the sound of these things!):

Champ Car Racing (from the "Champ Car World Series" days):

Insight complete. Let's move on, now!

--- Regardless of Indy Cars, Will (Then) CART/Champ Car World Series Follow? ---
Before becoming an IndyCar Series fan, I was a fan of what used to be called CART. These were the days I'd watch Michael Andretti, Juan Pablo Montoya, Paul Tracy, and drivers thereforth take on a world tour of racing. With the final-ever Champ Car race at Long Beach in 2008, it was farewell for all that made the Champ Car World Series fun- option tires, push-to-pass, and the lovely Panoz DP-01. Or... we could relive those days with some of the classic CART and CCWS machines. It would be an amazing bonus for GT5. I usually think of Champ Car at Laguna Seca as far as enjoying Champ Car racing in the States. And of course, classic venues like Burke Lakefront Airport, Mid-Ohio, Toronto, Vancouver, and Surfer's Paradise among many other venues. I think the Gran Turismo series is in need of courses in Canada and Australasia (mainly Australia and New Zealand, because I don't know of any race tracks in Papua New Guinea, which is also part of Australasia).

While there's nothing wrong with Formula 1-style open-wheel racing, Indy Cars and Champ Cars have an appeal all their own that sets themselves apart from F1. Indy and Champ Cars may lack the ultra-sophisticated appeal of F1 racing, but these cars are still immensely pleasureful to race and race to the limit. Is there any chance these kinds of cars FINALLY get some face time in the GT series? Only time will tell.

Please comment on my post and thank you for reading!

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