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Gran Turismo 4 - Beyond the beginner stages

The first guide only covered the beginner races and some of the other easier races. Once you get passed those, there are more challenges waiting in the Pro Hall. These races are a bit more challenging than the ones in the Beginner Hall. The cars are usually more powerful here, and offer a little better opposition.

Before I get started, there are a couple of things I should point out. At the time I was making the notes that eventually turned into this guide, I was really enjoying driving the Mazda RX-7. It may not be a good car for you, but it should still give you some measure of what you need to have to win the races.

Although I didn't tune the cars much in the previous guides, some tuning will be needed to win races here. In this case, tuning does not just mean adding more power to the car, but also adjusting suspension settings and gear ratios.

And, one last thing. For most of the Pro Hall races and every race hereafter, the term "standard upgrades" refers to the following:

The FC Transmission is rather expensive, so don't go spending the money on it unless you either need it or can afford it.

Race of Turbo Sports

At the start of this game, I purchased a '96 Mazda RX-7 Type RS. For this race, my RX-7 was sporting 405 horses, coming from a Stage 2 Turbo, sports intercooler, racing chip and semi-racing exhaust. In addition to this, I had a clutch upgrade, the carbon driveshaft and soft sports tires. Yes, it is expensive, but oh so fun. With all this extras, the RX-7 will net about 50-70 A-Spec points per race, depending on the competition, and it should not be too hard to win.

One thing about the RX-7, especially if you buy a used one with some miles on it. It tends to get a little unstable at speeds over 120MPH. This is very unfortunate on the long "straight" at Tokoy R246, as there are these little kinks in it, and if you're not careful, that is enough to throw the RX-7 sideways in a heartbeat. The fix is easy, but expensive: Rigidity Refresher Plan...Or, you could add a wing for some extra downforce. That would help keep the car on the ground, but would also hurt your top speed.

Other settings: ASM should be set to 0/0, while traction control should be at 2 or 3. Don't turn it up too high, or you will lose your acceleration, and don't turn it too low, or you'll struggle with spinning wheels.

Clubman Cup

Now, why didn't I start here? Well, the Turbo race looked much more fun, and I was making plans for what car to use here, and it just didn't work out, so I took the RX-7 here as well.

This time, without all those power upgrades. Off with the Turbo, the intercooler and the Exhaust, and that leaves a 276HP RX-7. The trick to win here is knowing who you can beat and who you cannot. You cannot beat the Lotus (there's actually a couple of different Lotus models showing up here), the Opel Speedster, and maybe not the Toyota MR2. If you avoid these cars, you should be able to win with 50-80 A-Spec points in this car.

Other settings: Leave the ASM at 0/0, and traction control on 2 or 3. That just helps prevent the wheels from spinning freely if you lose traction, and may save you from a spinout.

Also try: The Japanese 90's Challenge should be a cakewalk with this car.

Also try: The Mazda Club "RE" One-Make race. Bring your HP back up to around 330 or so, and you should be able to win this race as well.

World Compact Championship

This is one of the frequently asked questions: What car to use for this race. People seem that have a hard time finding a car that fits the restrictions in this race. Well, there are many cars that can do this one, you just have to know what to look for. No, the RX-7 can not compete here, so we'll pick something else; a Peugeot 206.

This car can be found used for a reasonable penny, and this race is just the place to take it. I brought it up to about 150 horses, did a weight reduction on it, as well as the standard drivetrain upgrade (clutch, flywheel), and the car moves pretty well.

Other settings: ASM off (0/0), TCS between 0 and 2.

Also try: French Championship. More upgrades are needed for this race, namely a stage 1 NA upgrade, stage 2 weight reduction and the FC Transmission. Don't race against the Hormel, the Clio Sport Phase 2 or the Renault Turbo 5.

Also try: European Hot Hatch. Add a stage 2 NA upgrade. Try to avoid the Clio Sport and the Peugeot 106. It's a championship, so qualify for each race to make it easier for yourself.

Race of NA Sports

So, what is "NA Sports" anyways. Well, it's essentially "non-turbo". No turbos or superchargers here, thank you very much. The BMW M3 is one of my favorite cars, and this is an excellent race to whip out the ultimate driving machine for some workout. It's a little bit on the expensive side, but if you've managed to get here, you should have enough for this car and then some.

I suggest a couple of upgrades before trying this race; a stage one weight reduction will help on pretty much everything, and if you want to make it a little easier on yourself, get the stage 1 NA Upgrade as well as a couple of other power upgrades (chip + semi-racing muffler). That should give you a little less than 400HP, which should get you somewhere between 30 and 70 points, depending on the competition. The Nissan 350Z is likely to be the toughest competitor.

Other settings: ASM to 0, TCS to 1 or 2 to keep them wheels from spinning. If you got the sports suspension, lower the rideheight to about 5 above the bottom.

Also Try: BMW Club "M" should be fairly easy with this car. Take the stage 1 NA Upgrade off for a more competitive race. Watch out for the M5, it's wicked fast on the straights. This race will earn you back all the money you spend getting the M3...

Tuning Car Grand Prix

Tuning Cars are those cars that are bought in the Tuning Shop. Since these are still a little expensive, I recommend a car you already have: The Mazda BP Falken RX-7 (D1GP) that you won in the Turbo Sports race. You didn't sell it, did you?

The car is a drifting car, so in order to tame the beast, replace the suspension, and just lower the ride a bit. It's not going to score you a lot of points, but it'll get the job done. Add some ballast if you feel adventurous. The hardest competition here is probable the Opera Performance S2000 and the Ruf BTR. Watch out of the S2000 at Tokyo.

Other settings: Again, turn ASM off (or at least down to 1/1), and leave just a hint of TCS. Lower the ride height down to +5 front and +7 rear. Make sure downforce is set at full.

Also try: Tsukuba Wet Special Condition (Normal). Take the ballast off (if you put some on), and try your skills on the slippery wet Tsukuba. I faced a Saleen S7, and I'm not sure if that's the only competition, but it's not all that easy...

World Classic Championship

The problem with this race (as with many of the "classic car" races) is that there's a wide range of cars entering, so it's almost impossible to pick a car that'll make you any points.

If you've done the Japanese 70's Classic race, then the Nissan Skyline 2000GT-R that you won there will take care of this race without any problems.

Other settings: Seriously? I have to repeat this: Lower ASM and TCS

Also Try: Japanese 70's Classic: Most Japanese cars from the 70'ies will work here. The competition isn't anything spectacular. I used the Mitsubishi Galant GTO '70 for this race, with a FC Transmission upgrade (it's a must!)

Boxer Spirit

This actually is one of my least favorite races. I haven't found a boxer car I like to drive. Your choices are Subaru and Ruf, with the Impreza WRX STi probably being the better choice. Make sure you get a boxer version!

This car still needed some upgrades; a stage 1 turbo, intercooler, racing brakes and brake controller. Keep trying until you get all Subaru's in the lineup. It's still about 80 points per race, but very winnable once you figure out how to handle this 4WD car. The trick here is very much cornering; slow in, fast out. Any other way, and you're dead meat.

I would suggest doing some practice laps with the Subaru before you enter into the Boxer Spirit race. Take the car for a spin at Deep Forrest, and keep going until you've got it. It doesn't help if you're fast on the straights if you cannot get through those S curves without losing all your speed.

This is pretty much the end. Wait, you say, there's two more races? Yes, there are two more races, but I strongly suggest you move onto some other races before trying the next two races. Finish the Japanes races, the Euro races and the American Races. Also do away with some of the Special Condition races and Driving missions. Anything you can do to gain racing experience and money. Lots of money!

This is not going to be a comprehensive Special Conditions race guide, but I'll touch on some of the races, and make a couple of recommendations. There are 4 types of races in the Special Conditions races: Asphalt rally, gravel rally, snow rally and wet rally, and they come in three difficulties: Easy, Normal and Hard. One really annoying feature here is the 5 second penalty. It's not just because you get the penalty for some bumps but not others, but because the AI car doesn't get the penalty even if he clearly slams into you. So, he can rear-end you and slam you into something, which gives you a penalty, while he is speeding away... So, be careful.

Capri Rally (Easy)

This is probably the easiest of all the rallies. It has a couple of hairpin turns that you need to be very careful in. Go too fast, and you won't make it without almost stopping; slow down too much, and the AI car might ram you into the wall anyways...

Car suggestions: Options are plentiful. The Toyota MR2 1600 G-Limited Super Charger '86 will give you a bit of a challenge. It's about 100 points against the Lancia Delta. I did best with TCS off on this car. If you just want to win, take the RX-7 or if you just don't care, take the M3... For some fun, get the Spoon Fit Racecar...

The prize car here is a real money maker. The Toyota RSC Rally Raid car will net you about 270K when you sell it.

George V. Paris (Easy)

This race is only slightly more difficult than then Capri Rally. Most of the corners here are hard, ninety degree turns (give or take a few degrees. The competition isn't too difficult, but err on the side of caution, and bring something that moves...

Umbria Rally (Easy)

Although it is listed on top, it is not the easiest of the rallies. The track is rather difficult, going through an old Italian town with narrow streets, sharp corner and some blind corners as well. Know your car before you bring it here. You simply must have something that handles well to get around in these streets. But, the competition isn't too hard.

Swiss Alps (Easy)

This is probably the easiest of the gravel rallies. Traction here is fairly good, and there's no complex corners to speak of. If you haven't tried gravel rally before, this is probably the best place to start, at least until you get a real rally car. 4WD cars are recommended for the gravel rallies, so if you have a Subaru or Mitsubishi Lancer in your garage, you should take it to a test drive on this track before entering...

Capri Rally (Normal)

What's this doing here? Well, it's the best way to win a decent rally car! The prize car here is the Subaru Imprezza Rally Car Prototype '01, and also 20K in prize money. Yes, it's a tad more difficult than the easy race, and it's three laps, but it can also be fun if you have a car that you really like... Do this race, and the rest of the gravel rallies will be a cakewalk. The Subaru rally car might be overkill on the easy ones, but who's counting?

Now that you have a good rally car (hint: check www.gtvault.com for a good setup for it), you can do the rest of the rallies. Do the rallies in this order (easy to hard): Swiss Alps, Cathedral Rocks, Tsukuba Wet, Tahiti, Grand Canyon, Ice Arena, Chamonix.

Driving missions can be very frustrating. You don't get to pick a car, and you don't get to adjust ASM and TCS or anything else. I guess that's the challenge... Anyways, always do the first driving mission first! There's a bug in the NTSC version, and if you do any mission before the first, then the first mission will not be marked as completed, and you'll end up with only 99.8% completion despite the fact that you finished the first driving mission.

I definitively recommend you try most of the driving missions before going back to finish the Pro Hall. After you've done the first two, try some of the three-lap draft battles. The Nissan Skyline battle can be frustrating until you figure out the trick: leapfrog! Draft and pass the cars, then pull in right in front so that they can draft you. Once one or two cars pass you, pull in behind then, and draft them to get your speed up and pass again. Repeat until you eventually catch up to the front running. You should be able draft him in the last turn on the last lap, giving you enough speed to pass him before crossing the finish line.

Have you hit 25% yet? If so, you may want to try some of the Endurance Races. A good place to start would be the El Capitan 200 Miles, or the Roadster 4 hour race. For the El Capitan, try a BMW M3 GTR with a full drivetrain upgrade (See top of page) and a couple of power upgrades (sports muffler, chip). This should give you a little over 400HP. Try to get a lineup without the Pagani Zonda C12, Proto Motors Spirra and Lotus Elise '99. Check my Endurance Guide for some more insights. The El Capitan race will win you the Minolta Toyota race car.

The Roadster race is a real test of patience. A bunch of Mazda MX-5 Miatas at Tsukuba gets rather repetitive, but you certainly get practice racing. The prize car is sweet, too.

Time to get back to it? Ok.

Supercar Festival

Ok, this is a race! Really. Until now, it's been all fun and game, but now it's for real. You need to bring your best game here, or you'll eating pie. I would suggest the BMW M5 for this race. It packs about 500 HP, but that's not enough. The M5 have great stock suspension, but you should still consider upgrading to the full racing suspension, and a full drivetrain replacement (racing flywheel, triple-plate clutch, carbon driveshaft, FC Transmission), and soft sports tires as well. This is still not going to be a cakewalk. You have to know the competition, who you can beat and who you can't.

Keep restarting until you find a lineup that you think you can beat and give it a try. There's no substitute for experience here. You must know how to drive to win this race. The other cars have plenty power as well, and adding more power is likely to make the car more difficult to handly. If you are having trouble, try reducing the weight rather than adding power. And, make the ride height as low as you dare. You really need to be hugging the ground going around Infineon.

Gran Turismo World Championship

This is the first race where you'll be needing a real race car. That means a Group C or LMP1 car. There's no substitute. Yes, the Toyota GT-One is fast, but for most people, it's not going to cut it here. The LM Race cars won't do it, nor will the Panoz or the Viper GTS-R.

The best cars for this race are as follows:

The Toyota is in there for two reasons: It's the easiest car of this caliber to win. The El Capitan 200 Miles race will get you this car. The second reason is that it is a capable car. However, it has a tendency to wear out the rear tires very quickly, so be sure to put some TCS on there to prevent any kind of wheel spin. The others have to be purchased for a good chunk of money. The Mazda is 3.5 Million credits, while the others are 4.5 Million.

Whichever car you pick, make sure you check out www.gtvault.com for a good setup for your car. Just "throwing it out there" isn't going to cut it. These cars are all fast, and one little mistake may lose you the race. You need every advantage you can get, and having a great setup for the car will help you immensely around the track. 18 laps at high speed around Hong Kong in a car with 1000HP is scary.

Or, you can B-Spec it.