Keeping A Record

I made up an example for a lesson where we needed to approximate the Poisson distribution using the Gaussian distribution. I told the class that the average number of attempts I need to complete a Gran Turismo 6 Seasonal Event Time Trial was 20 [I needed a number greater than 10 because Poisson tables go up to a parameter of 10].

20 attempts seemed a reasonable value. I find the newer challenges on GT6 pretty hard and I’m not sure if they are meant to be or whether I am getting worse at the game. So, this is a record of my attempts to get a Gold Time on a seasonal event.

I chose to do the latest seasonal event using a Lotus Elise Race Car around the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit. The required times were:

  • Gold 1:30:00
  • Silver 1:33:00
  • Bronze 1:40:00

I bought the Lotus Elise Racing Version tuned by Gran Turismo.


I will state here that I don’t like racing the normal Elise. The car is light and mid-engined which means I have big problems with oversteer braking for corners and accelerating leaving corners. I find the standard Elise very “twitchy”, I can clear some of this behaviour by change the suspension settings but it is a challenging car to drive fast. I was quite careful on my first few laps as I learnt how stable this car is.

Here’s a map of the GP circuit at Brands Hatch so you can see where the corners are, note that Dingle Dell corner was straightened slightly in 1999 and so it’s not quite as severe as it looks here, more a sweeping right turn at the top of a hill.

brands hatch map

Here’s my progress.

Lap 1 – off at Clark Curve coming to the finish line.
Lap 2 – 1:39:6 Bronze Time secured. Car doesn’t oversteer as much as the standard Elise. It’s slightly twitchy under braking but accelerates well. No changes to set up yet. Quite a lot of downforce and it squirms through the corners.
Lap 3 – 1:35:1
Lap 4 – 1:32:28 Silver Award secured. Good increase in speed, but now all the low hanging fruit has been taken. Need to find a 2.5 second decrease of time.
Lap 5 – Off at Dingle Dell Corner, outside on exit.
Lap 6 – Off at Hawthorn’s, cut too tight a lost rear on grass.
Lap 7 – 1:33:3 no increase in speed.
Lap 8 – Off at Druids, cut too tight and tyres on inside grass.

Perform some setting changes. Lower car by 50mm front and rear.

Lap 9 – Off at Hawthorn’s on exit, too wide.
Lap 10 – Off Paddock Hill Bend, outside exit, lost car and went across track to RHS.
Lap 11 – Off Paddock Hill Bend, cut corner too much, spun car.
Lap 12 – Off Druids, late braking, didn’t make corner.
Lap 13 – 1:32:199
Lap 14 – Off at Dingle Dell Corner, too wide on exit of corner and spun [lots].
Lap 15 – Off at Paddock Hill Bend, turning while braking, ended up cutting corner too much.
Lap 16 – Off at Surtees. this corner is key to a fast lap as there is a long straight after it. It is also off camber and nearly a blind entrance. I spun after the steering gripped while braking.
Lap 17 – Off at Stirling’s, too wide on exit and lost rear on grass.
Lap 18 – Off at Druids, on inside.

Perform some setting changes, stiffen the spring settings.

Lap 19 – Off at Hawthorn’s after being 0.5 seconds ahead of ghost lap. Too wide on exit, taking the corner at high revs in 4th.
Lap 20 – Off at Clark Curve, annoyed.
Lap 21 – 1:31:531
Lap 22 – Off at Stirling’s. This corner is key.
Lap 23 – Off at Paddock Hill, too wide on exit.
Lap 24 – 1:30:773
Lap 25 – 1:30:643
Lap 26 – Off at Dingle Dell Corner, lost rear on inside of corner, ended up in RHS barrier.
Lap 27 – Off at Druids.
Lap 28 – 1:30:563
Lap 29 – Off at Graham Hill corner, too wide on exit.

Looked to see if settings for power could be changed. Tuned engine to 200 b.h.p. with stage one tuning. Performance Points still below limit.

Lap 30 – Off at Hawthorn’s while ahead by 0.4 seconds.
Lap 31 – Off at Paddock Hill Bend. New power means faster and I haven’t adjusted braking point into Paddock, just going too fast.
Lap 32 – Off at Paddock (again, same problem).
Lap 33 – Off at Surtees, while ahead by 0.5 seconds.
Lap 34 – 1:29:939 GOLD time.

I have finally beaten the GOLD required time by 0.061 seconds. This is perfectly good. I’ve won.

If I left the track near the start of the lap I would restart the lap unless I had just changed some settings in which case I carried on with the lap to see how the car behaved in the corners, it would effectively be a free tuning lap. I think this challenge took around 80 minutes for me to complete, including time for writing down my progress.

Now, if I knew more about suspension and had the time to gradually play with the settings and see how to improve the handling of the car (power is limited) then I should be able to find another two seconds (I like to think). I just don’t have the time to do this.

The online time record is a good 6 seconds faster than me. I had a look at the replay video of the person in first place and they are using more of the track than me (I am too safe in corners) and they also slide the car a little more than me. I like to think that with more practice I could get there, but I have other things to do. As much as I love the game, I also enjoy spending some of my time doing other things.

Some Extra Thoughts – 6/3/2014

I described the Lotus Elise Race Car as “squirmy” in the corners. By this I mean that the tyres grip too much and I think I’m losing time in the corners through the tyres not wanting to turn the car. I *think* I could resolve this by adding some toe-in to the wheels and maybe a little extra camber. I am not going to test this remedy I am just mentioning it because that would be the next adjustment I would make to the suspension settings if I wanted to improve my time further.

This picture is me taking Paddock Hill Corner in the Lotus Elise Race Car tuned by Gran Turismo. This photo was taken using the photo feature in recorded replays. This was the start of Lap 14.

Gran Turismo 6 - Paddock Hill

This photo is me a little later in Lap 14 where I didn’t get the exit of Dingle Dell Corner correct and lost the rear of the car on the grass. I spun wildly. I haven’t counted how many times I span but it’s around 10.

Gran Turismo 6 Spinning Smoke

It looks as though I am still in control but I am not. There were still a few more complete turns to go after this photograph was taken.