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Professional Hall

...so you think you got it huh?


Parnelli's GT4 rating system

These ratings vary from 1 to 4 stars and are an attempt to describe the amount of close-racing you may face, as well as how dramatic each race series is and the amount of skill you may need. They are not a measure of skill (or speed) alone.

For instance, a race in which 2 or more Ai cars battle it out for first place with you will get your blood flowing and your senses focused. How will you tackle corners when all these other cars are fighting with you for track space? This sort of event will rate higher than one in which a single car "jackrabbits" ahead of everyone else, leaving you competing with that single car.

Often in GT4 it is possible to create some challenge if you pay attention to the starting grid (the way the 5 Ai cars are arranged at the start). Sometimes you may need to reset the race to find such a grid but it willl be worth it!

A very uncompetitive, pointless, or boring event.

Typically, a 2 star race is one in which the 5 Ai vehicles follow each other like robots, with no passing and few moments of true drama.

An average GT4 event. A 3-star race often has some unpredictability & drama. Reset starting grid for a mixture of good opponents and maximum playability.

A 4-star race is the best GT4 has to offer. Lots of interplay between you and the Ai. Multiple lead changes, mid-race dueling and pumped adrenaline guaranteed. You may still need to reset the starting grid, though, to create such a race.

Clubman Cup

rating: ***

cars that handle well
Apricot Hill:`
9.41 (2,400) = 255 hp
10.00 (4,150) = 415 hp

Twin Ring East: 
9.06 (2,400) = 265 hp
11.31 (4,150) = 367 hp

Seoul (reverse):
8.11 (2,400) = 296 hp
11.53 (4,150) = 360 hp

Clubman Route 5:
9.30 (2,400) = 258 hp
12.93 (4,150) = 321 hp

Deep Forest:
11.48 (2,400) = 209 hp
14.27 (4,150) = 291 hp

poor-handling cars
Apricot Hill:
8.07 (1,800) = 223 hp
8.49: (3,700) = 436 hp

Twin Ring East:
7.68 (1,800) = 296 hp
9.47 (3,700) = 391 hp

Seoul (reverse):
6.93 (1,800) = 260 hp
8.86 (3,700) = 418 hp

Clubman Route 5:
7.33 (1,800) = 246 hp
10.88 (3,700) = 340 hp

Deep Forest:`
8.78 (1,800) = 205 hp 
12.22 (3,700) = 303 hp

• In the Weight to Power area above, notice how I define some cars you'll be driving as being better at handling than others. If you find yourself braking into corners, and then immediately jumping on the gas with little downtime in between, you've got a good-handling car.

On the other hand, if you find yourself driving into corners in a car that exhibits excessive understeer, sliding, or some other such negative traits, and requires excruciatingly longer moments between braking and acceleration, your car is one that handles poorly. Front-drives and “muscle cars” top this list, but there some "sporty" cars out there that might also be included.

* For the Clubman races, I have categorized the Ai into 2 groups: Group 1 and Group 2 (G1 & G2). The W2P ratios above were created for races in which the Lotus Elise (which is the best Group 1 Ai car) starts downfield with another G1 or G2 car on or near pole position. See details below .


I thought the Clubman was gone in GT4. It took me several weeks to figure out it's not gone; it's simply become a "Professional"-level race intead of a Beginner's. The reason? The Clubman is now classified as a "race for fanatics" according to the info. This assumes that if you're persistent enough to try the Pro league, you're a fanatic. ;-?

....and you'll need to be a bit fanatical with that power. A Lotus Elise 111-R occasionally enters, and it's got a P2W ratio of just 6.34! An Opel Speedster Turbo and '97 Toyota MR2 GTS also make good front-line battling, but they are usually somewhat slower than the Elise. It's possible to start the Opel and/or MR2 on or near pole position, while putting the Lotus in 4th or 5th place for some good racin'

Next down the list? The Renault Clio, Nissan Skyline GTS-t type M, Lotus Carlton, TVR V8S, '85 Peugeot 205 16v, and Hyundai HCD6 form the bulk of Group 2. Sometimes, Mazda RX7s, the TVR V8S, Ford Focus RS, Honda Integra Type R and Dodge Neon SRT can become a threat, especially if they start on pole position. The rest of the competition is a bit average and seldom gets ahead, so we can think of the Ai being split into Groups 1 and 2.

Group 1

Lotus Elise 111R
Toyota MR2
Opel Speedster

Group 2.1

Renault Clio Sport (Phase 2 or 24v)
Lotus Carlton
Hyundai HCD6
Nissan Skyline GTS-t Type M
'85 Peugeot 205 16v

Group 2.2

Mazda RX7 (FC or FD generation)
'84 Ford RS200
Ford Focus RS
Dodge Neon SRT
Honda Integra Type R

Please note that in the Clubman (and many other races in GT4), none of this is set-in-stone. Group 1 or 2 cars don't always win. Sometimes, they don't even come close! But generally, follow the guidelines below.

• If Group 1 (Lotus Elise 111R, '97 Toyota MR2, and/or Opel Speedster) doesn't show up at Apricot Hill, Seoul, or Twin Ring, (and Group 2 is present, starting no higher than 3rd or 4th place {excluding front-drive Ai, which can start in 1st or 2nd}} use anywhere from 25 to 150 hp less (seriously), depending on how much torque your car has, and its layout. A front-drive car with low torque for instance will need alot more power to succeed than a rear-drive or all-wheel drive with lots of torque. 

>These guidelines also apply at Route 5 and Deep Forest, however at these two tracks it's possible to do some races with Group 1 or 2 (except the Lotus Elise) starting on or closer to pole position. Route 5 is five laps (a long time for catching up), while at Deep Forest, ALL of the Ai (even Grp. 1) tends to drive too cautiously.

A good rule (if Grp. 1 is totally absent or not able to catch the leader, and you want to find the closest battles) is to take 25 horsepower steps.

Is your car a front-drive at Apricot Hill? Don't remove any power in most cases. Rare FFs will need some power removed here, but this is an exception.

Is it a front-drive at any other track? Remove 25. Some front-drives with exceptional handing and/or stronger engines may may need more than 25 removed.

Is your car a front engine / rear-drive (FR) that doesn't handle well (poor traction off the line as well as heavy understeer, etc), and has a tepid engine at Ape Hill? Remove 50 to 75.

How about a FR with a tepid 4 or 6-cylinder engine that does handle well and has decent traction at Apricot Hill? Remove 50 to 75.

What about a FR with a low-torque engine / poor handling at any other track? Remove 25 to 50.

And how about a FR with low-torque engine but good-handling at any track other than Ape Hill? Remove 50 to 75.

Does it have a torquier V6 or V8, or good power-band, but poor handling at any track except Apricot Hill? Remove 50 to 75.

Is it a front engine/rear-drive at any track that handles well and has a strong engine? Remove 100 to 125.

Is the pole-position car a front-drive that isn't Group 2, especially at Apricot Hill? Remove an additional 25 in some cases.

...The above FR minuses can also be applied to all-wheel-drive (AWD) and mid-engine / rear-drive (MR) cars, the main difference is at Apricot Hill. AWDs and MRs can get an early jump on the field here with their flawless traction since there's a standing-start, so remove an additional 25 hp at Ape Hill for these cases.

Have you managed to find one of those rare grids that hasn't got any Group 1 or Group 2s at all? Try removing a final 25 hp.  

.....After applying all these minuses, do the race. If you're struggling to keep up with the 5th place car as Lap 1 comes to a close, you'll obivously need to add power. On the other hand, if you're blowing the entire field away within a single lap (or two), you'll need to remove further power.

• As mentioned above, if you've entered a FF car at Apricot Hill, you might not want to downgrade power at all, since this track has a standing-start. But make sure G1 cars are kept off the grid here, and G2 cars should start no higher than 4th place.

͸ In all cases, if there are no G1 cars present and you want a close race, keep G2 cars away from pole (start them no higher than 3rd or 4th place) unless it's one of the front-drive models (Integra Type R or Neon SRT), and you're doing the Apricot Hill race.

• Use a sports or semi-racing suspension with S2 medium sport tires. Other parts (good drivetrain and racing brake parts {but not the balancer}) are recommended when racing against of the above listed cars.
Some front-drives may need S3 soft sport tires, especially at tracks with standing starts.

Tuning Car Grand Prix

rating: ***(with qualifying) ****(without qualifying)

There are two classifications below. Some cars have excellent handling while stock (zero or minimal understeer, relatively short brake distances + a generally balanced feel, etc.), while others need a bit of help. It is also possible to find something with lackluster handling, and then tune it to the point that it's now handling superbly.

I've divided the ratios into two categories: good-handling, and lesser-handling. It is possible to race muscle cars and other such atrocities via the lesser-handling ratios, while those that are more strongly capable in corners can use the good-handling ratios.. 

In all cases, I used a full-custom suspension, wing kit, and full brake upgrades (including balancer). This is the Tuning Car Grand Prix, after all. Cars with lesser handling traits may need alot more work (far beyond suspension, brake, and wing work), while those with good handling won't need as much attention.

NOTE: The ratios below were derived with qualifying rounds; and assume pole position was gained. If pole position was not gained, power may need to be added.

good-handling vehicles

Apricot Hill II:
7.75 (2,000) = 258 hp
10.61 (3,600) = 339 hp

Fuji Speedway '90s:
8.00 (2,000) = 250 hp
11.69 (3,600) = 308 hp

Tokyo Route 246
7.02 (2,000) = 285 hp
9.93 (3,600) = 362 hp

El Capitan II:
9.48 (2,000) = 211 hp
11.08 (3,600) = 325 hp

9.13 (2,000) = 219 hp
10.71 (3,600) = 336 hp

lesser-handling vehicles

Apricot Hill II
7.67 (2,600) = 339 hp
9.13 (4,200) = 460 hp

Fuji Speedway '90s
7.81 (2,600) = 333 hp
10.50 (4,200) = 400 hp

Tokyo Route 246
7.38 (2,600) = 352 hp
9.15 (4,200) = 459 hp

El Capitan II:
9.15 (2,600) = 284 hp
10.82 (4,200) = 388 hp

Tsukuba Circuit:
9.09 (2,600) = 286 hp
12.17 (4,200) = 345 hp

* The above ratios assume that RUFs, the Opera S2000, and/or BP Falken RX-7 is present, with qualifying placing the driver on pole position... The lesser S2000s and HPA VW Golf can also sometimes do well at some tracks, but generally will not dominate all of them.   

If you choose to race without the Opera, BP Falken RX7, or RUFs, you'll need to remove 20 to 30 horsepower--20 if your car doesn't handle so good, 30 if it does. (see text below for more details).

>>It is possible to do these races without qualifying (starting in 6th place). The Ai will NOT re-arrange itself if you save your game, making it possible to create 3 and 4-star races if the fastest cars start downfield. If you choose not to qualify, and your car is rear-drive, add 25 to 45 horsepower (25 if you car handles well, 45 if it's somewhat clumsy and/or large). 
As the series progresses, you can begin to aim somewhere above 25, or somewhere below 45, if you're unable to keep up, or are simply too fast. Use your judgment, here. 
>>> If you choose not to qualify at standing-start tracks (Apricot Hill, Fuji, Route 246, and El Capitan), and your car is a competent AWD, MR, or RR, these should be given just 25 at these tracks, instead of 25 to 45, since they can get an unfair launch over other drivetrains. Again, this depends how well they handle corners, though.  
>> If you do choose to qualify, and you make (let's say) 2nd place after qualifying, you can add somewhere below 25, because most of the time, whoever is on pole position got there because he's faster than you. So here is a quick guideline...
2nd: +10 hp
3rd: +15 hp
4th: +20 hp
5th: +25 hp

The "Tuner Grand Prix". Sounds intimidating. Don't worry, it's not! Matter of fact, I had a hard time getting a good, close race here since qualifying isn't as predictable as I'd been hoping.

This is a series of 5 events. The entrants range from hot shot drivers being sponsored by tuners such as HGT, Spoon, or Opera, to milionaires who can afford to enter their own RUF-Porsches. The Porsches are the ones to watch for. Matter of fact, I recommend racing without any Porsches present, if you possibly want a good, close race between several other cars.

The ratios for these races assume that you are driving a car that has been bought and heavily modified (like an ordinary RX7 or a Buick GNX) with a wing and other such parts. Concept cars, exotic sport cars (like Porsches) and actual "tuners" may do better when you race them and may therefore need less power than suggested.

>>>Try and find a grid with these members on it<<<


any Honda S2000
(the Opera tends to dominate others though) 

any RUFs

BP Falken RX-7

This can take a bit of searching, but it'll be worth it. Make sure once you find a good grid that you save your game. You do this by pressing triangle when you're in the pre-race screen, navigating to your garage, and saving.  
Oftentimes, the Opera S2000, some RUFs (older ones, especially), or the BP Falken RX-7 become  jackrabbits in every race, which is annoying, but sometimes they won't. If you choose to search further, so that there are no RUFs, no RX-7, and no Opera S2000, you'll sometimes need to remove even more power after calculating ratios than what I've got posted above. Certain cars do better at certain tracks. The HPA Golf, for instance, can sometimes kill the purer sports cars at Apricot Hill, El Capitan, and Tsukuba but will lag at other tracks.
One final tip: The AI drives better during the race than they do in qualifying...so if you qualify up to 2 seconds faster than them (sometimes more, sometimes less), you won't necessarily have an easy time in the race. Don't change your power.

• Use full-racing or semi-racing suspension, R3 medium tires, and downforce (wings).  

>> Since none of the Ai has wing settings higher than 0.13 {front} and 0.18 {rear}, it's only fair that you choose settings no higher than 13 and 18.

͸  Some cars (particularly heavy all-wheel drives) may need R2 (hard racing tires) at Tsukuba to combat early tire wear, since the race at this track is 5 laps.

>>> Some cars may need other heavy-duty parts  including: full-custom transmission, brakes (hardware and balancer system), and full-custom or fixed limted-slip. If you consider your car to be from the 'good handling' list of ratios, it might not need all of these parts. Others that qualify too well may need some handicaps, such as minimal downforce or sports tires instead of racing tires.

͸ ͸ Don't forget to buy a chassis refresher service for high-mileage/ older cars. Not all of them absolutely need it, though.  

* A '99 Hommell Berlinette R/S: Lightweight Division (2,000 lbs.) good-handling.

* A Ford Mustang SVT Cobra-R: Heavyweight Division (3,600) good-handling.

* An '85 Mazda RX7: Middleweight Division (2,600 pound) lesser-handling vehicles.

* uh..not sure what I uesd for ultra-heavyweight (4,200). Probably a Mercedes Benz or Audi of some sort.

Race of NA Sports

rating: ***

Infineon Raceway:
8.40 (1,600) 190 hp
9.07 (3,100) 342 hp
9.57 (3,500) 368 hp 
10.58 (4,150) 392 hp

9.67 (4,475) 463 hp

Apricot Hill II:
6.92 (1,600) 231 hp
7.02 (3,100) 441 hp 
7.46 (3,500) 469 hp
8.64 (4,150) 480 hp

8.76 (4,475) 514 hp

Twin Ring/Road Course:
7.20 (1,600) 222 hp
7.98 (3,100) 388 hp
8.55 (3,500) 409 hp
9.56 (4,150) 434 hp

Trucks: 7.96 (4,475) 562 hp

S.S. Route 5 II:
6.76 (1,600) 237 hp
7.08 (3,100) 437 hp
7.56 (3,500) 462 hp 
8.70 (4,150) 477 hp

7.96 (4,475) 562 hp

Trail Mountain:
8.79? (1,600) 182 hp
8.79 (3,100) 353 hp
9.52 (3,500) 368 hp
10.48 (4,150) 396 hp

9.67 (4,475) 463 hp
• Add 10 to 15 horsepower to musclecars and other poor-handling beasts.

• Add 75 or more horsepower
to front-drive cars and make sure you include only Group 2 opponents in the starting grid (see lists below).

* Subtract 10 to 50 horses
if you're driving a rear-drive or all-wheel drive with acceptable handling, and are competing against cars from Group 2 only (see below).

* Subtract 20 horsepower or more, when driving a car with exceptional handling. Modern 2-seat sports cars top this list. Clio Sports. Elises. Shelby Series 1, etc. If you choose to race against Group 2, further subtract 10 to 50 horsepower in addition to the 20 horses or more you've already subtracted.

At first I thought this series sucked...but it is possible to get a good challenge if you look for it (hence the 3 star rating above). An occasional race even rates at 4 stars.

The Ai tends to be powered with about 400 hp, but you can enter a very wide range of vehicles to combat them on many different levels (everything from sports cars to sedans to coupes to wagons.. even trucks, SUV's, and minivans!) The races themselves also feature a refreshing variety of machines when compared to GT3. You never know what's gonna show up next.

• Use S2 or S1 sport tires (or a combo) with a semi-racing suspension. Any other parts depend on what you're driving and what advantages you need to downplay or exalt. Cars with exceptional handling shouldn't need that semi-racing suspension, for instance, in many cases they can go with stock parts.  

• Front-drive cars do poorly at this level, so use S3 soft sport tires with semi-racing suspension. Full-custom transmission and limited-slip are other good buys because you'll need to get all you can out of a front-drive layout.

• Try to start the Acura NSX, Zonda C12, ProtoMotor SPIRRA, and any TVR away from pole postion. These cars I like to call "Group 1". Use the following guideline at the 5 different tracks:

Infineon: Start Group 1 cars no higher than 3rd place.

Hill: Start Group 1 no higher than 4th place.

Twin Ring
: ...Group 1 no higher than 2nd place.

Route 5 & T. Mountain
: " " " ....3rd place.

Get it?

• Secondary cars (Group 2) are slower than Group 1. You can have these sitting on or near pole position, while Group 1 starts downfield. Or you can start Group 2 downfield (no Group 1 present), which works well if you're racing a front-drive or something with lesser capability. Group 2 includes the Pontiac GTO, Nissan 350Z, '04 Mustang GT, '00 Mustang Cobra R, Audi S4, BMW M3 and any Corvette. This list is incomplete but you get the picture. The BMWs, Corvette Z/06 and '00 Mustang Cobra occasionally put on a good show and take an early lead over Group 1 autos, though this happens rarely.

The confusing lists above are not set in stone. The NA Sports can occasionally surprise. If a TVR enters against a bunch of lesser cars, it won't always win, even if it starts in 2nd place. If a Camaro is downfield, that doesn't mean it won't wind up challenging you for first. Chances are it won't...but it's best to never assume.

• Also keep in mind that at tracks which feature a standing start (Apricot Hill), mid-engine (MR) Ai cars will get a huge advantage if they're near pole position and rush ahead earlier. These include the Pagani Zonda, Acura NSX, and Promotors Spirra.

Race of Turbo Sports

rating: **

Fuji Speedway 80's:
5.98 (1,600) 267 hp
6.79 (2,700) 398 hp 
7.20 (3,600) 486 hp

Tokyo Rte 246 II:
6.18 (1,600) 259 hp
6.40 (2,700) 422 hp
6.94 (3,600) 518 hp

High Speed Ring:
8.70 (1,600) 184 hp 
8.44 (2,700) 320 hp
6.73 (3,600) 535 hp

New York II:
6.81 (1,600) 235 hp
7.06 (2,700) 382 hp
6.77 (3,600) 531 hp

Mid-field Rcwy II:
7.39 (1,600) 216 hp
7.32 (2,700) 369 hp
6.70 (3,600) 537 hp

When driving an all-wheel drive (AWD) or mid-engine (MR) car, deduct 40 to 50 hp at Fuji, Tokyo R246, and High-Speed Ring.
These tracks feature standing-starts in which MRs and AWDs can get an unfair boost at.

As you can see..all events are held at "horsepower" tracks with long straight sections. I'm so glad the Test Curse is not one of them.

The first 2 races at Fuji and Route 246 are high-paced and intense; the Ai drives well, too. Since both begin with a standing-start, the resulting melee between front, rear, and all-wheel drive cars at these tracks is comical but short-lived. At High Speed Ring (on the other hand) most of the Ai seem to be suffering from a hangover as they really start to screw up their cornering (and oddly, this is the only close-matched race between several cars). New York is (again) an intense race. The Ford Focus RS becomes a surprising sleeper here if it's sitting on pole position!

What ruins these events? Too much spread between the Ai. Usually by the time Lap 1 is over, each car has settled into its place, and there are rarely any further surprises, unless an accident happens or something. Otherwise, these are (as I said) high-paced and require our full attention. Many Ai cars can wind up being Top Dog so I won't make a list this time. It doesn't matter that much since you'll rarely find anything more than one other car battling with you for the gold, anyways..

Watch for the Peugeot 205; at times this guy will spin fully after a bad turn. I've done races where the Peugeot was several seconds ahead...only to lose badly! If the Pug spins, try not to be too close behind or you'll smack it!

• Recommended: S2 medium sport tires and semi-racing suspension, brake upgrades, and other such goodies as you need.

Boxer Spirit
rating: ***


Hong Kong: ```````6.47 (2,755) = 426 hp
Infineon Raceway: 6.88 (2,755) = 400 hp
Deep Forest II: ````7.83 (2,755) = 352 hp

RUF Porsches (3400S)

all tracks: 9.24 (2,865) = 310 hp

B-Spec: Add @50 hp

I thought these would suck, a bunch of RUF Porsches blowing everyone else away; but actually they are cool because both Subarus and Porsches are matched with power. The Porsches (of course) have better torque, a superior drivetrain, and over 50 years of racing experience under the sheetmetal, so keep to races in which they are not near pole position if you want a good, close match.

If you don't own an actual flat-engine car, be prepared to spend at least 50 to $60,000 make a used Subaru worthwhile. That's the cheapest. Things get more and more expensive if you want a newer car or a Por-sche. I've only found one RUF/Porsche that can competitively run these without overkilling them: the 3400S. Any other model will just walk all over the Ai, unless you use the crappiest tires available, and even then, these can still wind up being walkovers.

And be careful! You may get ahead in the first lap only to have a persistent Porsche creep up on you in that last lap. I've seen it happen more than once.

• S2 sport tires with semi-racing suspension in any thing that's not a Porsche. Close gears with an assortment of light drivetrain parts also recommended for most of these.

͸  If you enter a RUF 3400S, run it almost-stock. The only change you'll need to make is to replace the S3 soft sport tires that come with the car with S2s. And shut off the Driving Aids! No oil change, no tuning, no nothing, if you want to play fair.

World Classic Car Series

rating: ***

Class A

Fuji 80's: ````` 7.59 (3,150) = 415 hp // 7.88 (3,700) = 469 hp
El Capitan II: 8.82 (3,150) = 357 hp // 8.90 (3,700) = 415 hp
Nürburgring: 7.36 (3,150) = 428 hp // 7.70 (3,700) = 480 hp
Côte d'Azur: 8.29 (3,150) = 380 hp // 8.92 (3,700) = 415 hp
Laguna Seca: 8.29 (3,150) = 380 hp // 8.70 (3,700) = 425 hp

Class B
Fuji '80s: ```````9.21 (2,100) = 228 hp ,
El Capitan II: 11.05 (2,100) = 190 hp
Nürburgring: 9.13 (2,100) = 230 hp
Côte d'Azur: 10.40 (2,100) = 202 hp
Laguna Seca: 10.19 (2,100) = 206 hp 

Class C 
Fuji '80s:        19.23 (2,500) = 130 hp
El Capitan II: 20.00 (2,500) = 125 hp
Nürburgring: 19.23 (2,500) = 130 hp
Cote d'Azur: 20.00 (2,500) = 125 hp
Laguna Seca: 19.23 (2,500) = 130 hp

Class D

Fuji 80's: ```````````18.47 (2,000) = 109 hp
All other tracks: 19.12 (2,000) = 105 hp

Ratios above assume the driver placed on Pole position during qualifying. If you choose not to qualify for a Class C or D set of races, add 10 to 15 horsepower (10 if your car handles well, 15 if it doesn't).

In some cases, it's possible to qualify multiple seconds ahead of the Ai (up to 8 when competing against Class A! ), especially at El Capitan, yet still have a tough race ahead of you. So power won't necessarily need to be changed.

I haven't tried not qualifying for Class A and B events. I'm not even sure this would be a good idea unless the car being driven is competent. .

When saving the game between races, the fastest Ai will wind up sitting on pole-position.

Note 2: For the ratios above (especially Class A), I'm including "pony car" types (Camaros, Challengers, etc), some vintage sports cars (Corvettes, Jag E-type, etc) or those that feature better-than-usual handling from these times. For some other Classics that feature Titanic-like understeer (like the Pontiac GTO) or other massive handling faults, power will need to be exaggerated higher than those ratios suggest.

These can be the most disappointing events of GT4, or they can be some of the best, it all depends on how patient you are when looking for that perfect set of cars to compete against. And I'll warn you: it can take a LOT of searching....

The WCCS is similar to the Euro-league 1000 Miles! races only because alot of the same Ai that are found in the 1000 Miles! races are also here. There are some new faces like the '67 Toyota 2000GT, '62 Buick Special, and '67 Mercury Cougar as well. The main difference?  Instead of racing 25 laps or more, we'll only be doing 2 or 3. 

You can either do high-paced races or slower ones, but it is also possible to create a "middle-ground" group of Ai cars. In any case, build your car appropriately for any of these scenarios. I have discovered five classes of Ai cars below, with Group A being the fastest, Group B, C, and D being mid-classes, and Group E as slowest. You can use the above W2P ratios and tuning guide below to prepare. Try and find grids that contain as many Ai in a class as possible, and keep in mind that just because a car is in a faster class doesn't mean it'll overtake one in a slower class. Class A cars are the one exception to this rule, and will always dominate others.


AC 427 S/C
'62 Buick Special


'67 Mercury Cougar
'63 Corvette Coupe C2
'64 Ginetta G4


Lotus Elan S1
'64 Toyota 2000GT
'54 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe


'66 Alfa Spider Duetto
'65 Alfa Giulia Sprint GTA
'63 Alfa Giulia Sprint Speciale
'53 Corvette Convertible C1


any Honda Sports cars
any Nissan Skylines
any Nissan Silvias
'70 Mini Marcos

The Citroën 2CV, as we expect, is in a class of its own and poses no threat to anyone. It's under 'Class F' for Fail, lol. Faster Ai cars have a stupid habit of smashing into the poor 2CV instead of just going around it, unfortunately.

So far, I've found it rare (but possible) to find only Class B or D cars present as Ai, while Class C is extremely rare, but also possible. I've never seen a full Class E grid...so don't bother searching for one. A full grid of just class A is far easier to locate, class A being the Cobra and Buick Special.

Also note that the Ginetta G4 is by far the worst driver of the pack. Even though it is in the B class and faster than some cars with more than twice its power, it often screws up and loses its place.

Now, here is a good guide to prepare racing against the various classes.

CLASS A : use semi-racing suspension, S2 medium tires, and other appropriate parts. At Nürburgring you may want to use S1 (hard sports) if your car is heavy and eats tires quickly. Or try using S1s during qualifying but switch to S2s before the race.

• CLASS B or C:
use sport or semi-racing suspension with S2 medium tires, or a combo of S2s and S1s. Again, hard tires (front and rear) may be needed at Nürburgring, especially if your car is somewhat heavy.

use sport or semi-racing suspension with S2 medium tires (or a combo of S2s and S1s) for sedans and other questionably-handling cars. Since class D & E cars are typically lightweight, S1s shouldn't be necessary at Nürburgring to fight tire wear. If you're racing a 2-seater sports car that handles itself well (Lotus Elan, Alfa Spider, etc) against the D class, you may want to try using its stock suspension and/or N3 tires if the ratios above don't work and you find yourself zipping ahead of the pack.

Racing brakes recommended (but no controller) for all cars. Many will also need 1-way, 1.5, or 2-way differentials, unless you're going super-slow with the class system and don't truely need them.

• Any other parts for any of these classes depend on what you need to exalt, downplay, or what you need to keep up with the Ai. Many older models will need a full-custom transmission; for instance, at Fuji and
Nürburgring--to keep them going down their longer straights.

Cars used for ratios:

Class A:
Mercury Cougar (3,100), and Dodge Charger with stock weight (3,625 pound).

Class B: '70 Mitsubishi Galant GTO (2,100)
Class C: 67 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-B (2,500) 

World Compact Car Cup
rating: ***
The ratios below assume qualifying placed you on Pole Position.
The rations for A-spec Compacts includes only front-drive models. If a rear or AWD is used, some power is going to need to be subtracted. Kei cars and classics, however, can include either front, rear, or all-wheel drives.  
A-spec compacts (post 1980):


15.46 (1,500) 97 hp
17.87 (1,750) 98 hp
20.01 (2,500) 125 hp

15.00 (1,500) 100 hp
15.93 (1,750) 110 hp
19.42 (2,500) 129 hp

Grand Valley East II:
12.00 (1,500) 125 hp
13.56 (1,750) 129 hp 
19.75 (2,500) 153 hp

Hong Kong II:
15.96 (1,500) 94 hp
16.22 (1,750) 108 hp
20.69 (2,500) 120 hp

Twin Ring East:
15.00 (1,500) 100 hp
15.37 (1,750) 114 hp 
20.69 (2,500) 120 hp

A-spec kei cars & classic economobiles:
14.14 (1,400) 99 hp
15.07 (1,800) 119 hp

13.21 (1,400) 106 hp 
16.36 (1,800) 110 hp

G. Valley East II:
12.50 (1,400) 112 hp 
15.07 (1,800) 119 hp

Hong Kong II:
13.21 (1,400) 106 hp
16.07 (1,800) 112 hp

Twin Ring East:
14.00 (1,400) 100 hp 
16.15 (1,800) 111 hp

B-spec (no qualifying involved)
Seattle, G. Valley II, Tsukuba, TR Motegi East:
10.05 (1,500) 149 hp
12.82 (2,500) 195 hp

Hong Kong II:
8.27 (1,500) 181 hp 
10.46 (2,500) 239 hp 

Oddly these are classified as requiring an I-B license... Uh....why??? We aren't going super-slow here (the competition isn't a bunch of kei cars like in the Beginner's League K-Cup) but on the other hand, never will the speed blister. To win here, you only need a B-license...with mostly bronzes in your portfolio!

....But that doesn't mean some exciting "pocket rocket" battles aren't possible. These races can be challenging (and very fun!) with limits in place.

All that is needed to enter the World Compact Car Cup (WCCC) is a car less than 4,000 mm in length, which makes it possible to use a rear-drive Miata or MR2, or even a Cobra, to blow away the entire series. Therefore, all the ratios above have been created for front-drives only.

You may find that all-wheel or rear-drive kei cars, or occasional weakling classics are the only exception to this rule, so use the first set of ratios for typical newer FF compact cars (like the Opel Corsa, VW Lupo, MINI Cooper, etc) and the second set of ratios for keis & classics like the Suzuki Wagon R, Honda Beat, older '60s-era Skylines, etc.

All ai cars are loaded with about 142 horsepower, give or take a horse. Depending where you're at, you may find lighter models like the Nissan Micra and Toyota Vitzes do well at some races, but the Audi A2 1.4 and Mercedes Avantgarde will challenge you at others. Then there's the heavier Honda Fit W and Mitsubishi Colt 1.5 Sport X-version. These 2 models have constant-variable transmissions (CVT), are able to keep their power near-peak at all times, and may compete with an edge at corner-heavy Tsukuba, Twin Ring Motegi, and Hong Kong over cars with conventional trannys. Sometimes...sometimes not.

Anyways, try and get two or three of the above competitors to show up. The more, the merrier.

When we add it all up, there is a virtual soup of possible competitors, which varies with certain strengths and weaknesses from track to track, so it is best never to assume one Ai will dominate the entire series.

͸ AVOID having the Clio Sport Phase 2 in the race. It will kill the entire series, leaving you with a one-sided battle against the Clio Sport at all times. If you choose to race against it, you'll need alot more power than I'm suggesting.  

͸ When qualifying, apply parts so that you wind up going no faster than -1 second against the competition. Faster qualifying than this may result in you getting way ahead of others during the actual race.

• Use S2 sports tires (S3s for B-spec), sports or semi-racing suspension recommended, and some cars should have close, super-close, or racing gears as well, depending on which track you're at.. If you are doing A-spec and qualifying well, try and limit some of your advantages (make suspension stock, remove drivetrain parts, etc.).

• Even though these are low-powered, for some cars (older ones, for instance) a 1-way differential will be a great buy to limit wheelspin out of corners. Others may need a 1.5-way diff if they have a habit of getting too swivelly during braking & cornering.

͸ Most modern front-drives won't need brake work. For older classics (and those with poor braking ability), use the Racing Brake kit.

Supercar Festival

rating: ** (Seoul, Fuji, New York)
```````````**** (Mid-Field & Infineon)
All ratios assume Group 1 cars are present and start at least 3rd or 4th place (see classification lists below). In some cases it's possible to start 'em higher than this, and still win. This is truest at tracks with standing-starts, assuming your car has near-flawless traction off-the-line.  

Seoul Central
6.42 (2,300) 360 hp 
7.71 (3,000) 389 hp

Fuji '90s:
6.87 (2,300) 335 hp 
7.94 (3,000) 378 hp

New York:
5.88 (2,300) 391 hp 
7.21 (3,000) 416 hp

Mid-Field Rcway II:
6.21 (2,300) 370 hp 
7.71 (3,000) 389 hp

Infineon Raceway:
6.51 (2,300) 306 hp
8.20 (3,000) 366 hp

* Cars with good handling feel balanced, undifficult to pilot, and don't have lots of downtime in corners.

poor handling
Seoul Central
6.00 (3,000) 500 hp
7.48 (4,300) 575 hp

Fuji '90s:
6.28 (3,000) 478 hp
7.61 (4,300) 565 hp

New York:
5.60 (3,000) 536 hp 
6.49 (4,300) 662 hp

Mid-field Raceway II
6.16 (3,000) 487 hp
6.66 (4,300) 646 hp

Infineon Raceway:
5.97 (3,000) 502 hp 
6.54 (4,300) 657 hp

* A car with poor handling will be one that typically understeers excessively, or gets fishtaily, and/or just plain maneuvers with issues thru corners, even after massive retuning.
** If there is any confusion about what group of ratios should be used, try starting with good-handling numbers. If you can't keep up, switch to poor-handling. Sometimes, a car which we think handles amazingly isn't quite what we think it is.   

**Some cars have poor aerodynamics and lack speed down straights (like the Subaru Impreza 22B I drove at a few races). Give these a boost of power at tracks that are mostly straights (Seoul, Fuji, and New York in particular). Add anywhere from 20 to 30 horsepower.  

When racing against Group 2 (see lists below) remove 30 to 50 horsepower after calculating. Factor aerodynamics and handling into this subtraction...in effect, a car with great handling and aerodynamics will need 50 removed, while one with great handling but boxy aerodynamics will need 40. Finally those with boxy aerodynamics and lesser-handling will need just 30 subtracted.

Now it's time to hop in the cars we've all been drooling over. Ferraris and Lamborghinis are absent, but just about everything else is here for us to play with. And the main rule? You gotta have over 493 horsepower to enter! HA HA!!

But once we've entered, it becomes possible to limit power below 493, raising those A-spec points if we dare. This is great because some of these races would be walkovers if 493 was the actual minimum we could use. There is a very wide range of Ai (including exotic sports cars, concepts, coupes, and prototypes) who badly want to win. What are we waiting for?!?

Despite this, I found the Supercar Festival to sometimes be a letdown. Half the Ai drives poorly at Seoul and New York, for instance; braking too early (or not enough) and slamming walls like a bunch of amateurs, and then slamming into YOU if they get mad. At other tracks, the opponents gladly take a turn too wide and wind up in some grass. Some supercars. Each race is anywhere from 6 to 8 laps long, and by the end, sometimes the Ai is driving even worse than they were at the start. Why is this? you might wonder.

I don't know. I thought maybe it's because they're all on S3 tires, and by the end of each race those tires are red? But even the best, lightest cars sometimes drive like total klutzes in the Supercar Festival, so my tire theory can't be true.

Another complaint? A typical one from me: too much spread between the Ai. Usually by the end of lap 2, most of the drama is over, and there will be a half a mile or more between each driver by the end of the race. This is true unless you really search for a good grid. Mid-Field and Infineon are the two exceptions here--the Ai will sometimes run a closer race if you include alot of Group 1 and/or 2 cars (see below).

In any event, it doesn't take much power to win. I was expecting to need 5 or 600 horsepower to tackle these, not the 330 to 425 I wound up using in my Shelby Series 1. Heavier cars with bad handling (like the Mercedes 600 CL I drove for the overweight {4,300 pound} class) will need this sort of power, however.

Watch for these (which I'll call Group 1):

Cadillac Cien
VW W12 Nardo Concept
Saleen S7
Ford GT
Pagani Zonda C12S 7.3 
Tommykaira ZZ-II

.....And here, Group 2:

Audi Nuvolari Quattro
Cizetta V16T
Mercedes SLR McLaren

Group 2 occasionally makes a good showing here and there; but most often they can't keep up with Group 1.

The rest of the Ai not mentioned above (even the famous Nissan R390 GT1) rarely matter. They only make a difference as faster cars bottleneck behind them. Exceptions to this rule happen (again) at Mid-Field and Infineon if Group 1 cars are kept off the grid, but Group 2 is present. I've seen the R390 and a couple others with great aerodynamics keep up all the sudden.

.....The Cadillac Cien becomes a major playa at New York, Mid-field, and Infineon Raceway, even if it starts in 5th place. In some cases it'll jackrabbit so far, it's useless to try and use the weight/power ratios I've got posted. You'll need alot more power to keep up with the Caddy.

...In the above Group 1 list, you may find that only the Tommykaira ZZ-II (which is lighter than the others) will pull from 4th or 5th all the way to 1st place in some of these races. But during some other races (New York and Infineon in particular), the Tommy sometimes drives well and sometimes poorly, so start it in 3rd at New York, and in any position at Infineon.

The rest of the Group 1 Ai should generally start no higher than 3rd place, although this is not a set in stone rule...I've placed Group 1 cars on or near pole postion at times, especially at tracks that they can't drive well.

• If the Tommykaira shows up at any track except New York or Infineon, add 10-25 hp.

• If the Cadillac Cien shows up at New York and Infineon and starts in 1st or 2nd place (with no other cars from the Group 1 or 2 list in front of it) add 50 horsepower or more.

Recommended parts & settings:
͸ Cars that handle well can be on a semi-racing suspension and S3 (soft sport) tires, and may not need limited-slip parts.

͸ ͸ It is also possible to bring a car which has mediocre handling (like the Mustang Cobra R I drove), and vastly improve it via use of a full-racing suspension and fixed or fully-tuneable limited-slip. If you do this, you can now use the 'Good Handling' set of ratios.

͸ ͸ ͸ Some cars handle poorly no matter how they're tuned. Use the 'Poor Handling' set of ratios for these. This group can use full-custom suspension with fixed limited slip if you absolutely need these parts.

⊸ ͸ ͸ ͸ Some heavyweights and all-wheel drives will also need S2 (medium sport) tires at some tracks to combat excessive tire wear.

͸ Use full brake upgrades on all cars (balancer and hardware kit). Rare cars with ultra-stellar braking ability might not need a brake-balancer system.

͸ Your transmission may vary, but most cars should have stock, close, or super-close gearboxes. There is no absolute need for full-custom gearing unless you've found a car that has gearing too short for some of the long straights you'll plunder.

• Ultra-lite (racing) flywheel with twin-plate clutch, and carbon shafts (if your car accepts them) are useful to assist with the quick changes from braking to acceleration each car should have. Depends on the track, the car, and the situation though. Sometimes, lesser parts are needed. Other times, the best parts are needed.

Cars used to get ratios:

Good-Handling/Middleweight (2,300): Shelby Series 1

Good Handling/Heavyweight (3,000): Ford Mustang Cobra R, Subaru Impreza 22B STi

Poor-Handling/Heavyweight (3,000): '69 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, '91 Nissan Skyline GT-R N1

Poor-Handling/UltraHeavy (4,300): Mercedes Benz CL600

Gran Turismo World Champion

rating: ***
Many have said these are the hardest races of GT4. Well, some of them are tough, but some definately are not! It all depends what car is used, as well as how skillful the driver (you) is.

There are a variety of cars that show up as Ai including: FIA/GT1 regulation Le Mans Prototypes (LMPs) like the Pescarolo C60, Toyota TSO20, and Nissan R390. There are also FIA/Group Cs like the Jaguar XJR-9, Mazda 787B, and Minolta Toyota 88C-V. We also have FIA/GT2 autos like the Gillet Vertigo and BMW/McLaren F1-GTR. There are a few Polyphony Digital fantasy cars like the Ford GT LM and Chevy Camaro LM. Finally, there are even some classics from the Can Am era: Chaparral 2D, Chaparral 2J, and Toyota 7. Well actually the Toyota 7 never participated in the international Can Am. It raced in Japan's Grand Prix, and I think Toyota had plans to get the 7 involved in the Can Am. Unfortunately this never happened. But you get the picture. 

...Generally, the only ones to worry about are the Group C and GT1s, although lighter cars like the Toyota 7 and Chaparral 2J can be surprising spoilers at tighter tracks like Hong Kong and Paris.  

In a way, the GT4 World Cup feels a bit similar to the GT3 World Cup. The Ai is wildly mismatched in some cases. They're all running on R3 tires, so some of them have to take pit-stops during some races, wheras some of them won't. 

The usual approach many gamers take to become GT4 World Champion involves simply using one of the high-powered FIA/GT1 or Group C autos which appear in the series. There are many ways to win one of these autos for free (50% game completion means we get a free '88 Jaguar XJR-9, for instance), and there is nothing wrong with these cars. Driving one of them isn't necessarily always overkill, despite their high power. They take a lot of mastery! But for more experienced gamers, perhaps more challenge might be needed, and this means driving a lesser car.

At this writing, it's hard to recommend a way to tackle the Ai in each race fairly via a set of mathematical calculations. I've driven lightweights like the Chapparal 2J, heavier cars like the Oreca Dodge Viper and '04 Motul Pitwork Nissan Z, and those which fall somewhere in between ('98 AMG-Benz CLK-GTR) to overall success. I didn't win every single race, perhaps, but I did win the overall championship. Creating a list of ratios using these cars was simply not possible for the entire set of tracks. In some cases, my car got engulfed with a major loss. In others, I wound becoming a jackrabbit myself. Actual race cars don't usually have as many power-options as tuned street cars, since there's usually 3 or 4 kits to swap between (rather than 10 or 11 or 12 or even more possible power configurations in a tuned street vehicle). This means it was hard to me to zero in on an exact horsepower amount when I've used those four cars.  

Instead of power-to-weight, here's a helpful guide for each race.

Tokyo Route 246--10 Laps
The World Cup starts off at Route 246. This first race is extremely tough. It will take alot of practice beforehand, unless you're already a pro driving this track. The sim cars are predictably agro, too. Heavier cars (like the Viper and Pitwork Z I drove) will definately need R2s (hard racing slicks) to survive all 10 laps, but lighter ones might go with R3s.

* This is important! Finding a car which can last all ten laps of Tokyo without excessive tire wear is necessary to World Cup survival. Cars which can't make this first event without losing massive amounts of traction and grip towards the end of the race should be avoided. Perfect example: I once entered a Mobil 1 Honda NSX into the GTWC. No matter how it was tuned, by Lap 9 its rear tires were toast and the car couldn't make better than 3rd or 4th place, if that!

The fastest Ai (those 900+ horsepower Group C demons) will need pit stops here as they go into Lap 9 into 10. Assuming you've been able to keep up with everybody, it's very possible to NOT take a pit and win this first race. 

Twin Motegi: Super Speedway--21 Laps
"Stupor Seedway" is next to impossible without a GT1 or Group C type of vehicle...if you've got anything less, settle for 3rd or 4th or 5th place! But there are times when the fastest Ai screws up royally at Super Speedway. I did a race once where I made 3rd place because the leading Sauber Mercedes and Nissan R92CP spun out harshly in the 2nd turn, and then couldn't make it into the pits for a couple of my laps because their tires were so toasty!

So after possibly getting whupped at R246 and Super Speedway, you'd think the rest of the races will be just as hard, and you may dread the hours ahead. Well don't. After these first two events, things cool off dramatically. The next FIVE races suddenly don't feel like "World Cup" material. 

Hong Kong--18 Laps
This one is difficult to drive at high speed, as many many gamers have complained. Fortunately, there are several key areas (especially where the streets get tight and tangled) where the Ai doesn't corner as fast. They brake too much, drive directly over those curbs (BOUNCE!), and have trouble launching out of some corners. Drivers who are well-rehearsed at Hong Kong will be able to kill time in these tricky areas. 

Also, all Ai cars take a pitstop here at Hong Kong, so we have a choice whether or not we want to take one as well. R2 tires are recommended for those who don't want to pit (heavier cars may need R1s), while R3 tires can be used for those who want to make a pitstop.

Some cars (especially MRs) which will be taking pit stops can benefit from an odd combo of R3 up front but R2 in the rear, or some other such match. This is necessary because Hong Kong features a lot of stop & go action, and the rear tires on these mid-engine vehicles will get toasted up a lot faster than the fronts. R2/R1 can also be tried if you're not wanting to take a pitstop, although this gets tricky because some MR cars will understeer too heavily with this combo and lose the race, even if they haven't needed a pit.

Seoul--19 Laps
Lots of horsepower can be used here with minimal consequences for an easy win. It's also possible to limit horsepower and find more challenge. Pitstops will only be taken by some of those high-horsepower Group C vehicles, but most lighter, lesser-powered GT1s won't need one. I've found that R2 tires work best on all cars (light, heavy, or somewhere in between).  

El Capitan--11 Laps
El Capitan can be tricky due to all those bumps, which can upset many full-racing cars. Pitstops aren't needed here if the right tires are used, although this depends. When I drove my AMG Benz here, it couldn't go the distance on R2 tires. R1s proved way too slippery, meaning I couldn't keep ahead of the Ai effectively. So I went with medium racing tires (R3) and took a pitstop.   

Bottom line is: Those who know this track well will have little problem, as the Ai doesn't drive Yosemite as hard as they did at Route 246 or Hong Kong.

New York--15 Laps
Okay, I get it now...all the city courses. We're supposed to be doing races all over the world, and what better way to showcase a race than in a city packed with millions of people?

Down those straights the Ai can be brutal, as they'll sometimes slam into us or even try to skew us sideways. Helpful tip: sometimes it's better to just let them pass. They don't do so well with the mutitude of New York's 90 degree corners, which means it's possible to pass them again before rolling by Central Park. All opponents take a pitstop at New York. Run R1 or R2 tires, and you may not need one at all. Again, R1s will be needed for heavier cars, while R2s can be used for lighter ones.

Paris/Opera district--18 Laps
This track is like Hong Kong; always challenging the driver. The difference is small mistakes (really small) can make or break a win here. All it takes is a bump that skews your car sideways, a wall-rub, or a missed braking point. But if we manage to run near-flawless laps, there should be no problems. It's even possible to drastically cut horsepower by 100 or 200. Most cars will need a pitstop at Paris, so run R2 or R3 tires. Super-lightweights (like the Chaparral) can just go on R1s and last all 18 laps without a pit!

** Okay, that was the easy part! Hong Kong, Paris, Seoul, New York, Paris...any skilled driver can possibly blow the Ai away over and over here, despite what you may have read. Some preparation is needed: the right tires, the right settings, good driving. Otherwise, these five races aren't super-tough. Something completely unexpected might happen: one may start getting bored! Well go ahead and collect those easy points as they come....

Suzuka (full circuit)--9 Laps
Race #8 picks up where #2 left off. Suddenly we need all our skill back, as the Group C and GT1s have more opportunity to take turns at higher speeds. Be warned, because not all these opponents take a pitstop! On the other hand, I've seen some drivers start screwing up at Suzuka. Some may wind up spinning off-course after taking a turn too hot. Just try and make sure YOU don't.

Grand Valley (reversed)--11 Laps 
Another easy race. Little more than a guaranteed paycheck, really. It is (again) mostly a matter of staying on the track. All opponents take a pit, even lightweight GT1s, so it's possible to use R1 or R2 tires and keep ahead of the enemy by simply not pitting. It's also possible to use hard or medium-grade tires and take a pit along with the Ai. We have a choice here. I've made mistakes at GV, fallen up to 25 seconds behind the leader, and still wound up winning with a somewhat comfortable margin.  

Circuit de Sarthe--4 Laps 
A toughie, but what else should we expect of the final race of the World Championship? If you've got some championship points squirreled away from those easier events, it's possible to make a so-so attempt here, collect the World Cup, and then come back to Sarthe (rather than doing the entire championship over again) as a single race. The LMPs and Group C monsters really take off at Sarthe, now that they're not burdened with all those technical corners. They will not take a pit here.

Parts needed: Obviously, all the best parts are going to be needed. Most of these parts are already installed on the cars we'll be using. But a full supply of tires (R1 thru R4) are recommended. Don't just use the R3s that your car is installed with, even if it's got 900 horses or more.

Driving Aids may also be needed. The Ai definitly is using at least TCS at all tracks except Super Speedway. I used a dab of TCS at some tracks when I drove the AMG and Pitwork Z, but didn't need at other tracks.  

Once the Gran Turismo World Championship has been won, an entire new hall opens up (Extreme!)

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