Surprising Win

I had a blast on Gran Turismo Sport recently. I had noticed an update and they added a the Toyota Yaris. I bought that and went for a spin around the Dragon Trail circuit and it was a good fun car to drive even if on Group N300. I wanted more and so went to race online. There was a Gr. 2 race on at Alsace and so I entered that, this would be my fourth race at that circuit. The first was in my Mazda and the tendency to oversteer on the exit of a few of the corners made me a little too slow, so I tested a Beetle and it worked well. This video is me actually winning a race, more by luck than skill as everyone else seemed to have problems, but it’s still a win.

Bad Luck Musings

Turns out that today is Friday 13th. Not that I’m bothered by that. I’ve had some bad luck recently but if I linked that to a random date then that would really be pushing the causation correlation fallacy. My recent bad luck is mostly my PC blowing up but also my left leg refusing to work yesterday morning. So far today things have been OK.

Chillblast have sent me a new PSU for the PC and last night I fitted it. The PC powered up and all seemed good, so I powered it down and then cable tied everything in place within the PC cabinet. When I fitted an extra HDD to the PC shortly after it arrived I only had a blue SATA cable and that didn’t match all the other cables so I replaced that for a black one and now the insides of the PC look all lovely. More importantly I have a functioning PC and there doesn’t seem to be any damage from the explosion last week. It all seems to be working well.

Two albums were released today and I purchased them. I expect there were many more albums released that just these two but these were the only ones I cared about. I have, of course, bought the new AC/DC album, Power Up, because. I will listed to that later but I expect it to be full of solid AC/DC songs and definitely not a disappointment. GrooVenoM also released their latest album and I got that too. I like all their music, I do prefer the mix and sound of the first album but the band deserve my support. It’s a nice mix of everything I like and so sounds different and familiar at the same time.

GrooVenoM AC/DC
GrooVenoM AC/DC

Since my Minecraft server runs from my PC I’ve been doing other things on the PS4, which pretty much means I’ve been playing Gran Turismo Sport which I probably would have done anyway. I was racing with my Mazda and noticed that I had driven quite a distance in it!

Mazda Atenza Gr.3
Mazda Atenza Gr.3

If you look at the right hand side lower panel you can see I have driven 3,266 miles in this machine. I think it’s the car I have used most but I could be wrong. Perhaps I should look up the statistics for my Porsche also! I wondered then what my total distance within this one game was and went to my career summary:

GT Sport Progress
GT Sport Progress

21,669 miles in total when I took this screenshot. That’s not too shabby! I’m a little embarrassed of my Sportsmanship Rating because it has been up to a grade B but I’m not sure what happened there. I think I did quit an online race a couple of weeks ago after being forced off the track and ending up in last place but other than that I think my driving is generally OK. I’ll see if I can work to bring that rating back up a little.

In Poor Taste?

Perhaps as I get older I become less tolerant? I honestly don’t think that’s true. The more I learn about people and the world I am more accepting of the differences between us all. Except hate. I think I expect everyone to be as tolerant as me when I know a lot aren’t. For once, the golden rule applies pretty well: be nice. This should be followed by one of my mum’s favourite sayings which was: if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. I do believe you are allowed to think whatever you want but your actions should always follow the golden rule. What I’m trying to say is, this communication might not be as bad as I think, some of you might look at it and shrug, I just found the subject in poor taste.

I was playing Gran Turismo Sport yesterday and racing online. The races this week are GT3 cars around the Red Bull Ring in Austria. It’s a pretty fast track with some corners that really require you to cope with understeer with plenty of downhill braking and off camber. There’s also two corners where early power on the exit will have you over-steering. I’m not sure it’s a favourite but it is a good challenge.

Corners 1 and 2 require gentle power on exit, definitely avoid the kerb on the inside and maybe short-shift to avoid oversteer. Corner 3 has downhill braking and is tighter than you think, everytime!

Anyway, when the entry list came up on the screen I was a little [not shocked] bothered by two of the PSN names that people had chosen. Now, I often have to remind myself that it is likely that most players are not as old as me and most haven’t been playing as long as I have. You can tell by my PSN name, Kertz, that I got in early when selecting usernames. It’s like my personal email address which is just my name and zero numbers, being an early adopter has its uses sometimes. Here’s the entry list:

Playstation Network Names
Playstation Network Names

Maybe people think it’s a giggle to have a funny name? I’ve seen plenty with 69 in the number. Qualifying in second place is Jack-T-Ripper1. The addition of the 1 is curious and might mean that Jack-T-Ripper was already taken? I’m not sure it’s a good thing to have your PlayStation identity the same as a serial killer of women, maybe it shows a deep lack of respect? Maybe it’s a laugh and I just don’t get it? If I think about some of the lyrics to songs I like then naming yourself Jack The Ripper isn’t that bad. Oh dear, maybe I’m old.

Then, qualifying in 11th place is a certain Wernher_V2_Braun. For me this is more worrying but again, maybe I’m just being a little sensitive. This Dutch player has taken a name based on a user of slave labour in the second world war. Yes, Von Braun created the technology to launch the American space programme but he also used slave labour in his factories. I do not know whether he had Nazi ideologies but he is a very complex character. For me, the fact that the Dutch player included the V2 as part of their name is the most disturbing part. They could have had F1 which was the engine that took man to the moon, but no, they chose the Nazi ballistic missile called the V2, as though they are paying homage to that programme.

As much as how we present ourselves shouldn’t change the opinions people form of us, it is what they do. The human brain makes judgements really quickly and it’s hard to get away from that. Does it matter whether I wear a suit or not? Does that really affect my ability to perform my job? No. Should I wear a suit? I don’t think so, but the image creates a power. It’s why we have uniforms for those in positions of implied power. So, are these two people assholes? I don’t know. I would like to think they are not, but if you think it’s OK to name yourself after a serial killer or a man responsible for the deaths of thousands with allusions to those deaths then perhaps you shouldn’t be advertising your thoughts. Maybe this is a case of internet-balls. I don’t know. I honestly believe you should be able to think what you want, but externally you should be nice. I think I find these identities distasteful while at the same time thinking I’m wrong for thinking that. Argh, conflicted.

Fastest

It’s been a little while since I wrote on here but in all honesty I’ve been struggling to find things to write about. You see, nothing’s happening. We are in this lockdown and work is odd at the moment. I have been in to work three times since 17 March. Those three times were supervising and not doing my real job but at least it was somewhere else to be. I’m in a couple of times over the next week and that might be more interesting. Working at home places really interesting pressures and thoughts on you. I keep trying to manage engagement with the time that I have. I’ve also spent time in a better world, my Minecraft world. Even though there are creepers and zombies and witches and I died in that world a few days ago, it’s a far more enjoyable place than the real world at the moment.

Each day I try and have two races on Gran Turismo. Sometimes I’m not in the mood but mostly I am. It’s a nice half hour distraction from the world and it can be really enjoyable. The issues with racing online still exist and the idea that you will lose because someone else is entirely incompetent is annoying but normally it’s worth it. Of the current daily races I have enjoyed racing around the Mount Panorama circuit at Bathurst. I’ll probably write a little about my favourite cars sometime soon as I noticed I’d completed over 3000miles in my Mazda! That’s more than some people drive in the real world in a year.

Anyway, in a race yesterday I started in second position. My time of around 2’07” is pretty good but the person on pole had 2’05” and I’ve no idea how they got that. I’m not convinced I’ve really hooked together a complete decent lap but to lose a further two seconds from my time would be hard work. Also, I suspect there are people out there even faster. It looks as though GT matches you with people of a similar ability and time so I don’t know what the fastest time in the world is. Mind you, I guess there are people playing a lot more than me. I know I’ve been playing from 1997 ish but to get loads better at these circuits you just need to get practising.

For whatever reason at the start of the race yesterday the person in pole didn’t accelerate at the start and I zoomed past them. I was in the lead from the first corner and didn’t look back. Well, I did, I used my mirrors to see what was behind me but you know what I mean. The thing about being in the lead is that there’s a lot more to lose if you stack it going into a corner so it does make me more hesitant and cautious on corner entrances and exits. This can cost time and so I have to monitor the gap to the car behind. For this race it was around 1.8 seconds for the whole race and only moved by a few tenths. I sometimes get an adrenaline build up on the last lap as I get excited about winning. This time I calmed that and kept telling myself to keep a clean lap and remember where I tend to oversteer on the exit of corners when I put the power down early. Mount Panorama is a glorious circuit and very tricky, the section at the top of the mountain is horrible and fantastic at the same time.

Below is a screen video clip of the final positions along with my “win” celebrations and the delivery of my daily workout car. If you complete 26.6 miles in a day you get a free car. Most of these I don’t use. There are around 500 cars in the garage and I’m not fussed by them.

I’m pretty sure this was my first ever fastest lap in a race. I’m very happy with that. I don’t know what lap times other people got but it doesn’t matter. I was out in front with a clear road and that does make it a lot easier. You don’t have to judge what other people are going to do and brake slightly early because of the concertina effect. You can pretty much put down qualifying laps, just while hoping that you don’t get nudged or whacked by someone forgetting to break, or by someone who is just an asshole.

I am quite convinced that the physics of the car is different in the race compared to qualifying and I’m not sure why. I get a little more understeer during races and I suspect, but do not know, that it’s due to the air modelling the game does. Driving a car through mostly still air is very different to driving through disturbed air and I have noticed a very minor difference in steering and braking while racing in the pack with other cars around. There is a definite effect and the car doesn’t behave as it does on qualifying. It’s something I think I need to investigate.

45 and Birthday

My first day of self isolation was one month ago. On the 17th March. The night before the government had announced that people whose household had someone with CV-19 symptoms had to self-isolate for two weeks. So, given my contact with my family I had to self-isolate. I was actually kinda happy to do this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, my mental health was starting to suffer with the inaction of our government over the previous three weeks – it was starting to feel as though senior members of the government didn’t understand how much people moved around and things like six degrees of separation along with incubation periods. Secondly, I can’t remember my second reason for happily being at home, probably because it would get me out of the hotbed of transmission which is a school where 1400 people gather and mix every day. Oh well. Time at home was probably needed to be honest.

As any fule know Gran Turismo gives you a bonus car on your birthday. I’ve a communication from 2014 for you. This year I waited with anticipation as I opened the game [after I had done my proper job work thing you understand]. I was happy! The game gave me a McLaren F1!

Pretty Cool Birthday Car
Pretty Cool Birthday Car

Not only that but the game also gave me a fireworks show to impress me a little more!

McLaren F1 for my b/d
McLaren F1 for my b/d

Around the same time I also passed into Level 45 territory. This is quite an achievement I think. I remember tweeting something about getting to level 40 before and then my save-game got corrupted and I lost all my cars. I had to start again. I now regularly backup my save-game files to a USB stick after checking how many cars are in my garage. It doesn’t seem like much I guess but I’ve got quite a time investment in this game and I would be sad if I lost everything again. I’d just start again but some of the challenges are quite hard work.

I made level 45!
I made level 45!

I also have a screen shot of my current game progress to share with you. This gives a rundown of all my statistics. Let’s give you the rundown:

Current GT Status
Current GT Status

Some things I am proud of [I think]:

  • 18,600 miles driven!
  • Campaign 100%
  • Level 45
  • Days logged on 353

This is not to do with President of the USA number 45 because he’s a lying bullying racist cunt.

Frustration

I love Gran Turismo. I have done since I lived in Chicago Avenue in Gillingham. My landlord borrowed a PlayStation from his brother and it had Gran Turismo. He and I would play this game and slowly over time I have gotten more and more into this particular game. I’ve owned every version.

The last few versions have had online gaming and I have a love hate relationship with the online version. Gran Turismo Sport has a vibrant online gaming community and I suspect there are people who race online all the time. I don’t get to see them often because my qualifying times aren’t that great.

Online racing is frustrating at times because I could get knocked off at a corner (or straight) and then I am pretty much in last place. The person who did the knocking will probably get a time penalty but my race is pretty much over. Also, there are times when I get knocked or hit into but then I receive the time penalty. This is what happened in the following clip. I was on the outside of the last corner of the Blue Moon Speedway when a black car rammed the car on the outside of him, then that second car rammed into me and I got a 1 second penalty. On a fast track like this 1s is a disaster and I can only pray for the whole front pack to take each other out to get any decent level of points.

In this clip my car is the dirty orange looking colour. I was racing closely with 9th place “YOUR-INFERIOR”, spelling please, I gave him room in the penultimate corner and then feathered the throttle going into the last corner. You will see 11th place “Golf_RalleyG60” come up the inside too fast and “lean” on “YOUR-INFERIOR” causing them to drift outwards and smack into me. In the second view you can see things from ” Golf_RalleyG60″‘s point of view with a reverse look to see me get my penalty.

Sometimes the racing is really good and there’s an unspoken gentlemen’s agreement as people race. Sometimes the race is full of assholes.

It’s Still A Win

Here’s a win. Me racing my Porsche around Brands Hatch. Started in 5th and ended in first. I was pretty happy. This also means I don’t have the child rapist cabal that is the catholic church as my last communication.

Long Gearing

I recently finished all of the Gran Turismo Sport races that exist in Campaign mode. It’s taken quite a while but I am done. It was a little sad to finish but now it means that to get my fix I’ll need to start using the online racing mode a bit more. I’ve not enjoyed this in the past as some drivers out there are dicks. However, my recent experiences show that if you pick the longer / harder races you tend to get people who are quite good at racing and it seems to work quite well. I won my second race ever recently and it was a good feeling but I forgot to save the replay and I was gutted about that.

I did however recently complete a race and made a decent run of it to gain about seven places. Only a couple of these were overtakes, the rest was gaining places when other driver ran wide! I was racing in my Porsche which I like but for this race the gearing is set quite low so I only use about four gears and many of the corners are done in low revs, which is good for reducing over steer and makes getting the torque on a little easier.

Yes, that’s my gloriously bright and shiny green Porsche. It probably has an advert for this website on it!

Current Gran Turismo Sport profile

Race Face

Gran Turismo Sport recently updated and added the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium to the roster of tracks. I’m looking forward to some of the originals coming back such as:

  • High Speed Ring
  • Grand Valley Speedway
  • Autumn Ring
  • Trial Mountain
  • Deep Forest Raceway

All of these circuits were great fun and hopefully they’ll appear. I’d even play them in low-definition just to have the opportunity to race those corners again.

I was shaky at Spa at first, but I’m getting the hang of the circuit and I think I’ll keep improving bit by bit. I’ve played a few time trials using my favourite cars and then I uploaded the saved video to my YouTube channel.

The following is in my shiny Porsche.

Here are the times I’ve got for Spa so far along with my “branded” cars.

Nissan GT-R
Nissan GT-R
Porsche Cayman GT4
Porsche Cayman GT4

I’ve been to Spa twice. My first time was in October 2003 about a month after I bought my third motorbike, called Steph. There were/are rules about naming of motorcycles which may or may not have been explained in these communications. Here’s a photograph of Steph loaded up in full touring gear on the Eurotunnel train heading under the channel.

Steph on the Eurotunnel train
Steph on the Eurotunnel train

And here’s photographic proof of her at Spa.

Steph at Spa
Steph at Spa

An Avatar

I’ll probably mess around and update this one soon, but this is my current Gran Turismo driver:

Kertz
Kertz

I think you can just see two decals for this website as advertising. Pretty poor placement by me and perhaps I should change the colour.