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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tourist Trophy: Endurance Speculation

John B. Marine | 11:41 AM | |
While Tourist Trophy doesn't have pit stops (since pit stops are uncommon in most forms of motorcycle circuit racing), it leaves to speculation that a Tourist Trophy sequel would have to have endurance racing as part of the deal. Whether we get a TT sequel or not, I am using this time to speculate on what it would be like if a Tourist Trophy sequel offered up endurance races. Endurance racing, while not as common in motorcycle racing, is still every bit as challenging as with endurance racing in cars. The bike and its riding team all have to endure and survive to win in these races. Two of the most popular endurance motorcycle races are the 8 Hours of Suzuka and the 24 Hours of Le Mans Moto. It takes a lot to win these races, but it's all worth it in the end. This blog post was taken from "John's Blog Space" and edited substantially for "John's Gran Turismo Space."

Originally posted May 6, 2010 on John's Blog Space; added and updated here on John's Gran Turismo Space on the date of this post on JGTS.

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--- Tourist Trophy: Endurance Speculation ---

Tourist Trophy gave you the chance to unlock five motorcycles that raced in the 2005 8 Hours of Suzuka. These motorcycles are the only racing bikes that have lights on them. They also have their own racing gear exclusive to these bikes. So by the time you select those bikes, you can ONLY race with the certain riding gear specific to that motorcycle. When you select any motorcycle that isn't one of the five Suzuka bikes, you go back to your regular riding gear. The bikes in question are the following (order set in descending order by where they placed in the 2005 8 Hours of Suzuka):

• #5 Kawasaki ZX-10R (TrickStar Suzuka 8H) '05 (finished 42nd in the 2005 Eight Hours of Suzuka)
• #19 Moriwaki CBR1000RR (Motul Tiger Suzuka 8H) '05 (finished 15th in the 2005 Eight Hours of Suzuka)
• #21 Yamaha YZF-R1 (YSP and Presto Suzuka 8H) '05 (finished 15th in the 2005 Eight Hours of Suzuka)
• #12 Yoshimura GSX-R 1000 (Jomo Suzuka 8H) '05 (finished 15th in the 2005 Eight Hours of Suzuka)
• #7 Honda CBR1000RRW (7 Honda Suzuka 8H) '05 (won the 2005 Eight Hours of Suzuka)

A big part of long races are pit stops. Pit stops are usually rare in Grand Prix motorcycle racing, but there are times where you have to make pit stops. You obviously need to make pit stops in endurance races. Assuming there will be a second Tourist Trophy in the future, one thing to speculate on is pit stops. So here is a look at endurance racing for if Tourist Trophy gets a sequel.

--- Tourist Trophy Speculation: Endurance Racing ---

The endurance racing being discussed pertains to sport bikes tuned for endurance racing. While the Le Mans running starts at the 24 Hours of Le Mans may have been away for a long time, they are really alive and well in endurance racing (at least in the FIM Endurance World Championship). Riders stand in these circles marked on the far outside of the front stretch. Then, when it's time to start your bike, the riders run as fast as they can to their motorcycles and get them started. The riders all leave the front straight and begin the race. Most endurance races last in length between either six or eight hours to a full 24 hours. You have rider changes and pit stops throughout the race. This is basically the motorcycle equivalent of sportscar racing.

Here are some pictures and videos to set the mood (some of these pictures were the best ones I could find. These or nothing. Contact me if I am unable to use these because of copyright issues, and I will try to find replacement images):

endurance racing superbike
^ from: - An example of an endurance racing superbike. Note the lights at the front of this Honda.

Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART)
^ from: - Yamaha Austria Racing Team, perhaps one of the best teams in the FIM Endurance World Championship

And since I've been talking about Suzuka so much, why not I show you a video on the 8 Hours of Suzuka? Here is a YouTube video with highlights of the 2009 Coca-Cola Zero 8 Hours of Suzuka. Watch this video and get yourself some inspiration on Tourist Trophy having some endurance racing like what you see below:

^ highlights of the 2009 8 Hours of Suzuka

Look at things like the running start and the pit stops. Also note the lights on the bikes to see better through rainy and/or dark conditions. The Suzuka bikes were really meant for endurance racing, so why not feature some of these endurance races? Here is another YouTube video featuring the 24 Hours of Le Mans Moto:

^ 2009 24 Hours of Le Mans Moto, raced around the Bugatti Circuit.

Now that you have the inspiration, let's look for some things to help fuel speculation on if (hypothetical title) "Tourist Trophy 2" features endurance racing.

--- How Would You Execute Endurance Racing? ---

Here are ways I think this can be implemented. A big key to implementing this is to have pit stops as well as driver changes. Rather than staying on your bike for a very long time (like staying in your car for a very long time in the Gran Turismo games, you'll need to change riders. Let me try to set up what endurance racing should be like in the Tourist Trophy sequel:

1.) First off, there should be qualifying. There are a lot of races (especially the Single Race events) where it is near impossible to win.

2.) The Le Mans-style start is next. This can be its own mini-game. I think it would be more fun to have this as a mini-game rather than have the game automatically run to the bike and start it. I think when you get to the bike, the next thing to do is to try to press a button (perhaps the Accelerate button) to start the bike up and start riding.

3.) Pit stops are the key part. When you come in to pit, you should be able to choose different tire compounds, how much fuel to put into the bike, and do a rider change. I would love for Gran Turismo and Tourist Trophy games to be more about teamwork rather than one person doing all the work.

4.) Another important aspect lies in how many bikes do you put on the track at once. A number between 16 to 24 would be perfect for all modes of Tourist Trophy.

5.) You'll need to turn on the lights for darkness and even for potentially rainy weather.

In addition, there needs to be either more endurance racing motorcycles or be able to tune road bikes to have lights and be used for endurance racing.

If there is a sequel for Tourist Trophy, what would YOU look for in endurance racing? Comment away! Thank you for reading!

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