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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Apricot Hill Raceway

John Marine | 2:36 PM | | | | | |
One of the most competitive and free-flowing original race courses in Gran Turismo is Apricot Hill Raceway. This track features has some inspiration from Suzuka with some of its corners. It debuted in Gran Turismo 2, and has been in GT3, GT4, and Tourist Trophy. Sadly, it was NOT in GT5. This track is great for touring car racing and GT racing. It is a terrible shame (really) this track didn't make it into Gran Turismo 5. This is the track you race in the Gran Turismo 2 Super License final test as well as a Time Trial event in Gran Turismo 3 among other uses. Gran Turismo 2 features a 50-lap endurance around Apricot Hill that puts 200 kilometers on your car. In Gran Turismo 3, you could race with untuned, unmodified Mazda Miatas in an endurance race around Apricot Hill. No matter what kind racing takes place, you're doing it all on a competitive track. Welcome to John's Gran Turismo Space and another blog about one of the best original tracks in any Gran Turismo- Apricot Hill.

--- Apricot Hill Raceway ---

Give Apricot Hill a warm welcome:

Apricot Hill
^ This track should not be taken lightly. A good mix of speed and handling is not bad to consider for a challenging track like Apricot Hill. (picture credit from Gran Turismo 2)

Apricot Hill Raceway debuted in Gran Turismo 2. It has the feel of a proper Grand Prix style racing course all the way around. It has 12 corners and is about 2.4-miles (3.86-kilometers) long. The GT2 version had some city buildings in the distance heading into the chicane that leads onto the Start/Finish straight. GT3 and GT4/TT featured the track looking more like a proper racing facility. The number of technical corners are enough to ignite the competitive fire of a proper Grand Prix race car driver. It also has a host of undulating sections to really throw your car off-balance. If you want to win here, it is very important you don't let your guard down for once. Push your car (or motorcycle) to the limit in all of the corners and don't hold back. Attack the apexes and maintain a solid line especially through the first half of the circuit. In the second half, the most important section to get right is the chicane as you head downhill upon entry. Get ready for a challenge when you come here.

One-Lap Description.

Apricot Hill begins with a nice high-speed romp followed by an abrupt left-hand kink. If you carry too much speed through this kink, you will have thrown off the balance of your car and completely miss your braking point for Turn 2. So slow your car down just enough to properly take on the second corner. The next set of roads are somewhat reminiscent of the Suzuka East circuit. Find a good rhythm through each of these corners until you reach a very long left-hand sweeper. This sweeper leads onto the long backstretch. After crossing the Dunlop Bridge, a very slow right-hand hairpin awaits you. Proper exit out of this section gets you up to speed quickly as a long left followed by a long right awaits. A brief straight follows and leads into a sweeping long left-hand corner. As you go through this, be ready to take on the decisive right-left chicane as you head downhill. You go back uphill to negotiate the final sweeping left that leads onto the Start/Finish straight. Good job. A lap is now complete!

Video Lap.

It is now time to see this track in action. Thanks to the ones who allowed embedding of videos to be possible.

^ Apricot Hill Raceway, Gran Turismo 4

I told you this was a tough track! Agree with me now?

--- Could Apricot Hill Return? ---

I really hope GT5 (or at least GT6) will feature Apricot Hill again. That's even if GT5 has it as downloadable content (DLC). Might as well offer it for free for Gran Turismo fans. At least something to tide over GT veterans and purists. Unless PD wanted to jazz up this track with some rain effects or time cycling, it's sad that a track that seemed like a mainstay for GT would be M.I.A. in GT5.

I'd sure love to see it return.

That concludes this blog post on John's Gran Turismo Space. I have a lot more to share with you all in the future, so make sure you're Followed/Subscribed if you love my work. Take care and thank you for reading!

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