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Gran Turismo 4 Endurance races

This is part three of the Endurance race guide, and it covers the next 4 endurance races, starting with the Motegi 8 hour Endurance.

Due to the enormous amount of research going into this (hundreds of laps raced, dozens of cars to test out), this is very much a work in progress.

Motegi 8 hour Endurance

The Motegi Endurace race is a race of tuner cars. The list below is, as far as I can tell, the only competition you will see in this race. The various incarnations of the Honda S2000 are probably going to be the toughest competition. The Amuse S2000 R1 goes 32 laps between pitting, and that might be difficult to top.

Here's a little table showing some of the faster cars and their fastest laptimes.

# Car Best Laptime Pits every
1 Opera Performance S2000 02:12.683 29
2 Amuse S2000 R1 02:13.657 32
3 Opera Performance 350Z 02:14.545 21
4 Spoon S2000 02:16.291 22
5 Nismo Fairlady Z S-Tune Concept 02:16.811 23
6 Mugen S2000 02:17.623 22
7 Tom's X540 Chaser 02:19.656 19
8 Nismo GT-R LM Road Going Version 02:20.371 26
9 Trial Celica SS-II 02:21.133 14
10 Spoon Civic Type R 02:22.110 12
11 Spoon Integra Type R 02:25.965 11

Tire Recommendations: Hard sports tires will keep you out on the track for a long time, but grip may be an issue. For a challenge, try N2 tires. My B-Spec driver (you didn't think I was A-Spec'ing all these races to collect this info, did you?) did 40 laps in the Opera Performance S2000. He wasn't winning, but once I turned the speed up, he was keeping up with the best of them.

Tsukuba 9 hour Endurance

Finally a regular car race. This is a short track with some surprises. It appears that some cars are having some trouble passing, while others are hard to pass. Because of this, the order may change quickly after some cars starts to pit, and the car to look out for may not be the one you first thought.

# Car Best Laptime Pits every
1 Lotus Elise 111R '04 01:02.003 33
2 Honda NSX Type R '02 01:03.682 33
3 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type A '02 01:04.183 36
4 Clio Renault Sport V6 Phase 2 '03 01:04.281 22
5 Nissan 350Z '03 01:04.422 31
6 Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec II '00 01:05.455 24
7 Toyota Supra RZ '97 01:05.741 28
8 Subaru Impreza Sedan WRX STi '02 01:05.799 21
9 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII '03 01:05.823 22
10 Subaru Legacy B4 2.0GT '03 01:05.913 20
11 Mazda RX-8 Type S 01:05.994 30
12 Audi A3 3.2 Quattro '03 01:06.194 23
13 Alfa Romeo GT 3.2 V6 24V '04 01:06.669 16
14 BMW 330i '05 01:06.746 26
15 Alfa Romeo 147 GTA '02 01:08.900 15

As far as I can tell, that is the complete line up for this race. I'd suggest trying to avoid racing the Elise and the NSX. Their consistent fast laps makes it almost impossible to keep up with them. Bring hard and medium sports tires. Start with the hard tires, and change to medium if you need a little extra speed.

Circuit de la Sarthe I 24 hour Endurance

The second of three 24 hour Endurance races, and this on the infamous Le Mans circuit. The cars are all (with a few exceptions) LMP1 race cars, which are the fastest cars in Gran Turismo 4. I don't know why they sometimes would include the Corvette C5R and Panoz Esperante GTR-1, as they are not LMP1 cars, they compete in the LM-GT1 class. Along with the Nissan R390, these poses no threat at all, and are just obstacles that have to be passed every 10-12 laps.

The (almost) complete list of cars along with fastest observed laptimes follows:

# Car Best Laptime Pits every
1 Sauber Mercedes C 9 Race Car '89 3:26.140 7
2 Nissan R92CP Race Car '92 3:26.984 7
3 Nissan R89C Race Car '89 3:28.172 7
4 Mazda 787B Race Car '91 3:28.808 8
5 BMW V12 LMR Race Car '99 3:30.747 8
6 Audi R8 Race Car '01 3:30.942 8
7 Playstation Pescarolo C60 Race Car '04 3:31.867 8
8 Toyota GT-One Race Car '99 3:32.285 9
9 Bentley Speed 8 Race Car '03 3:33.430 9
10 Nissan R390 GT1 Race Car '98 3:38.647 8
11 Panoz Esperante GTR 1 Race Car 3:47.831 8
12 Chevrolet Corvette C5R '00 3:58.300 9

Recommendations: Any car in the top 7 will do, with a little tuning. The Pescarolo, with the proper tuning can give the Sauber a run for its money, and it's not just because it runs a lap longer before pitting. All of these cars in the hands of a decent a-spec or b-spec driver can do laps under 3:26. Bring along both Super-Hard and Hard tires, as you may need to make some changes unless you have done some preliminary testing. The Pescarolo will do 8 full laps on Hard tires, so there shouldn't be necessary to use the Super Hard tires. It has to stop every 8 laps to refuel anyways... 

No Minolta Toyota? That's right. In all the test runs I did, the Minolta never showed. The above are all the cars that showed up in 15 line ups. However, the Minolta will show in the ...

Circuit de la Sarthe II 24 hr Endurance

More or less the same track as above, but there are no chicanes on the back straight, which makes the track about 15 seconds faster. The track is very bumpy, especially towards the end of the long straight, so make sure there's room in your suspension to absorb it.

And, everyone's favorite race car, the Minolta Toyota, is here.

Here's the list of cars and observed best laptimes.

# Car Best Laptime Pits every
1 Sauber Mercedes C 9 Race Car '89 3:11.728 8
2 Minolta Toyota 88C-V Race Car '89 3:12.342 8
3 Nissan R92CP Race Car '92 3:12.487 8
4 Nissan R89C Race Car '89 3:13.963 8
5 Mazda 787B Race Car '91 3:15.139 9
6 Jaguar XJR-9 Race Car '88 3:15.244 8
7 Peugeot 905 Race Car '92 3:16.067 9
8 Ford GT40 Race Car '69 3:53.291  

That's all the cars that I've observed. Any of these cars can win the race (with the possible exception of the Ford...). You can also use the cars from the other Sarthe race, and they'll have a good shot at winning too.

The lack of a chicane on the back straight reduces fuel consumption and tire wear, so most cars will last one extra lap. Bring Super Hard and Hard racing tires and maybe even some mediums. Do a rigidity refresher before starting, if necessary, and consider installing the as well. This is an extreme race, and your car will go "soft" if you don't have the extra cage.

This whole guide is also available as a text file.