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Gran Turismo 4 Endurance races

Endurance races can be so much fun, but only if you are racing with a car that is suited for the race at hand. Entering every endurance race with the Audi R8 might ensure a win, but if you're racing against regular production cars, where's the fun in that? So, I have put together this guide that will tell you all you need to know about each endurance race before you enter it, so you are better prepared with regards to your choice of car.

Grand Valley 300KM

This is a 60 lap race at the Grand Valley Speedway. The cars are all Touring cars or JGTC cars, so pick car accordingly. Plan for 3 pit stops, just about every 15 laps, or you can do 4 stops, with a couple of short but fast stints to get a gap, and then cruise through the rest. This can be risky, especially if you calculate your stops poorly, and end up having to make a fifth stop.

The toughest competitors in this race are the Mazda RX-7 LM Race car, the Nissan Motul Pitworks Z (JGTC), the Mazda RX-8 Concept LM Race car and the Toyota Woodone Tom's Supra (JGTC). These cars all put in fastest laps under 1:55.0, so you need to be able to match that. This does in no way mean that the rest of the competition are pushovers. The Honda Loctite Mugen NSX clocked in only 0.1 second outside of 1.55, and the 2000 Ford Falcon XR8 was only 0.1 seconds behind the Loctite.

Here are a list of likely competitors, the fastest laps, and expected laps between pitting.

# Car Best Laptime Pits every
1 Mazda RX-7 LM Race car 01:53.453 15
2 Nissan Motul Pitwork Z (JGTC) 01:53.772 15
3 Mazda RX-8 Concept LM Race Car 01:54.134 12
4 Toyota Woodone Tom's Supra (JGTC) 01:54.813 14
5 Honda Loctite Mugen NSX (JGTC) 01:55.099 13
6 2000 Ford Falcon XR8 01:55.237 11
7 Abt Audi TT-R Touring Car 01:55.526 14
8 Opel Astra Touring Car 01:55.593 15
9 Toyota au Cerumo Supra (JGTC) 01:55.714  
10 Mercedes CLK Touring Car 01:55.717 15
11 Nissan Pennzoil Zexel GT-R (JGTC) 01:55.766  
12 Nissan Xanavi Hiroto GT-R (JGTC) 01.55.769  
13 Toyota Castrol Tom's Supra (JGTC) 01:55.824 13
14 Honda Takata Dome NSX (JGTC) 01:55.848 13
15 BMW M3 GTR Race Car 01:55.866  

These are the fastest laps I've observed with these cars. There are other cars as well, but those appears to be the fastest 15 cars.

Tire recommendation: Hard racing tires. Keep some super-hard and mediums on hand in case you need some extra speed or you need to run a few extra laps before pitting. The hard racing tires should keep you out for 15 laps or so, unless you are driving really hard.

Other suggestions: Don't take on more fuel than you need for the number of laps you need to go. Also consider using different tires on the front and back if your tire wear is uneven. 

Laguna Seca 200 Miles

This is an American muscle car, 90 lap endurance race at Laguna Seca raceway. You'll probably be pitting in every 15-20 laps, depending on your driving style and choice of tires, so that'll put you at 5 or 6 stops.

The toughest competition in this race will come from the Ford GT '05, the Saleen S7 '02, the Shelby Series 1 Supercharged '03 and the Proto Motors Spirra V8. These cars will do their fastest laps under 1:32; and I've seen the Ford go under 1:30 as well.

It's difficult to pass at Laguna Seca, so cars often gets stuck behind slower cars, so lap times vary tremendously.

# Car Best Laptime Pits every
1 Ford GT '05 01:28.881 16
2 Proto Motors Spirra V8 '04 01:30.328 16
3 Saleen S7 '02 01:30.758 22
4 Shelby Series 1 '03 01:31.081 17
5 Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 01:32.248  
6 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 01:33.508 21
7 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sports '96 01:33.562  
8 Dodge Viper SRT10 '03 01:33.570  
9 Callaway C12 01:33.599  
10 Dodge Viper GTS '99 01:33.776 18

One would think that the Saleen S7 would prevail with its very long stints, but the Ford GT is the probably the biggest threat here. It's only marginally faster than the Saleen, but it drives incredibly fast also on cold and worn tires, and may catch up to the Saleen in the 6 laps between when it pits and the Saleen pits.

Tire recommendation: Hard racing tires should give you 15 laps or so, and good laptimes as well. Super hards will give you longer stints, but your laptimes will drop, and that might move you out of contention.

Car recommendation: If you want to win easily, pick any of the top 3 cars on the list above. If you want more of a challenge, pick one of the bottom 3, the Pontiac GTO or the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra...

Roadster 4h Endurance

This is a Mazda Miata race. You have to pick a Miata to be able to enter. There's really no serious research necessary for this one. All the Miatas will do laps around 1:15 - 1:16, with the occasional dip into 1:14, so there's your target time.

Tire Recommendation: Hard sports tires. No racing tires allowed in this race, and the hard tires should give you enough speed and endurance you'll need to win this race.

Car Recommendation: Pick the Miata with the color you like best. At least it will look good on replay...

If you are afraid that you won't be able to win with a stock Miata, put a racing chip in it. That'll give you a few extra horses, which will bring your car over the top.

Tokyo R246 300KM

Again, a JGTC/Touring Car race. Pick car accordingly.

I'm not going to put out a list of cars for this race. It's the same list as for the Grand Valley 300 KM race at the top of the page. Lap times here are around 1:40 - 1:43, depending on the car. The fastest car list appears to be very similar, with the Nissan Motul Pitwork Z and the Mazda RX-7 and RX-8 putting in the fastest laps. Most cars here go for two stops, with stops between laps 24 and 29, again depending on car. For instance, the Pitwork Z pits on lap 28 and 56, the Toyota au Cerumo Supra pits on lap 27 and 54.

# Car Best Laptime Pits every
1 Nissan Motul Pitwork Z 01:39:837 28
2 Mazda RX-7 LM Race Car 01:39:885 28
3 Mazda RX-8 Concept LM Race Car 01:40:172 22
4 2000 Ford Falcon XR8 01:41.080 22
5 Opel Astra Touring Car 01:41.090 29
6 Toyota au Cerumo Supra 01:41.138 27
7 Honda Loctite Mugen NSX 01:41.281 26
8 Toyota Castrol Tom's Supra 01:41.811  
9 Honda Takata Dome NSX 01:41.848 27
10 Audi A4 Touring Car 01:42.235  
11 Honda Mobil 1 NSX 01:42.247  

Tire recommendation: Super-hard racing tires. These are the only tires with enough endurance to ensure you get only two pit stops. Betting on three stops is very risky, and should only be done if you know your car will make up the time lost on the extra pit stop.

This whole guide is also available as a text file.