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GT6 Novice Series

Sunday Cup
rating: *** 
Opponents: 5
-Modern Class-
High Speed Ring
(2,000) 25.00 -- 80 hp
(3,500) 27.34 -- 128 hp 
Autumn Ring Mini
(2,000) 28.57 -- 70 hp
(3,500) 29.16 -- 120 hp 
-Historic Class-
High Speed Ring
(1,800) 23.08 -- 78 hp
(4,200) 29.58 -- 142 hp
Autumn Ring Mini
(1,800) 30.59 -- 59 hp
(4,200) 30.00 -- 140 hp
The above ratios work with any car starting any position, including Mazda Roadsters. Only the Toyota MR2 should be watched. Sometimes this car jumps ahead of the others, sometimes not. To be safe, start it no higher than 3rd place, or add up to 5 horses per position, especially at High Speed Ring.
The Honda Element in the Modern Class might someday be part of s separate class for trucks, SUVs, and MPVs.    
There are two classes being structured for the GT6 Sunday Cup: Historic Class and Modern Class. Generally, Historics include those older vehicles which do not use ABS braking, while Moderns always do. Older cars also typically have tires & chassis technology which is not as capable as what is to be found from the 1990s into the 2000s.   
Gran Turismo 6 begins, and here I am beginning it, just as its online servers have gone dark. Gran Turismo Sport is now what's new, and guess what? I'm not getting this game. For ... all sorts of reasons. I mean c'mon... less cars??? And, we can only save while online? WTF is the world of gaming coming to? Yeah, so I'm not getting Gran Turismo Sport, mark my words. 
....Then again I'm pretty sure that's what I said about Gran Turismo 6. :-/ Pretty sure I said "I'm not getting that game."  Ha.
Well, for those who are like me, slogging through these older games, there is going to be a GT6 guide on this site. Keep in mind it'll build slowly though. Or maybe not. It doesn't seem like there's very much racing to be done in this game, now that those servers have gone dark. Am I right? Just looking at the two tracks in the Sunday Cup, and a total of just three levels in the Novice Cup (eight races in total) it's looking like GT6 will get done in way less time than GT5 did. 
Oddly though, GT6 does something no other Gran Turismo has ever done before: this game forces us to BUY a car at its very start: a 2010 Honda Fit. Now why could this be?  I believe the game does this to make sure people don't start the game buying something which will be too powerful, or too weak, for the Sunday Cup? *shrugs* And then these gamers get pissed that they either can't enter this very first race, or cannot win it? *shrug* I dunno. It's an odd design decision from a game company which has always allowed us lots of freedom, with only the amount of credits in our bank as a limit.  
Anyway, after we're forced to buy this car, chances are we won't have money to buy the car we really wanted to start the game with, which (in my case) was the 1988 Volvo 240 wagon. But it's okay. The Honda Fit, when driven with absolutely no modifications at all, is actually a very good choice to start the game with.
I really wanted my Volvo wagon though. :D So I used the Fit to do a few races at High Speed Ring to earn some money. Now I could buy my stupid wagon.        
Right off the bat we're starting the main bulk of the game doing the Sunday Cup. Apparently there are no early credits won from karting (as found in GT5) and there are no Family Cups or Track Meets to hone our early skills (GT4). We cannot transfer money from GT5, either. Other than these differences, we do have some freedom.
But there is some bad news: we're now doing just two tracks for the Sunday Cup instead of three (GT5). Or five (GT4). What a bummer. Six cars per race, too. Not ten, as found in GT5's early races.   
Some more drawbacks are: forget qualifying.... we still can't do practice laps to prepare, once we show up at the races. We can only practice if we leave the race, go to our garage, and select a track in its "Test Drive" section.  Or, we can do Time Trials in Arcade Mode. Some other oddities: every car gets a gas gauge, but do these actually work?  And when doing longer races in Arcade Mode, do our tires actually wear out? I haven't noticed so far, and I've done lots of laps in my Volvo. 
... and there's no more used car lot (though I'm probably the only gamer complaining about this). No more hunting for that rare gem. All cars start with zero mileage, too. 
But then there's the cool stuff, and there's lots of it. The game keeps track on how much money we spend on tuning our cars. Completely useless feature, but cool to have, anyway. Also, odometers work in any race or driving situation, including Arcade Mode.  Meaning all those miles of hot laps and free-form races will finally count toward our total. That used to bug me in GT5. I'd do a few dozen laps in Arcade mode, only to find the mileage from those laps did not count.   
Races are also back to being restricted again!   At best, we can only use hard sport tires for the Sunday Cup, for instance, and each car's power is now limited to 430 pp or less. This may not seem like such a big deal, in fact I assume these measures have annoyed more gamers than they've pleased. But restrictions such as these are important in my opinion. Too many videogames are getting dumbed-down with hand-holding measures, so it's nice to see Polyphony Digital taking a stance against this, no matter how small and weak the attempt.
As it turns out, hard tires and 430 pp both happen to be overkill for us. For me, anyway. So here is my attempt to make Gran Turismo 6 predictably challenging.      
I have done dozens of Sunday Cups already, in preparation of this guide, taking .... .like.... notes, and stuff. A lot of the same faces we've seen at this level of racing (such as the Opel Tigra, Mazda MX-5, Volkswagen Lupo, an assortment of Peugeot compacts, and so on), still make an appearance. In general, none of these cars really destroys anybody else, with one exception: the Toyota MR2, but only If it starts any higher than 3rd place. And even if it starts on Pole, it doesn't always kill.
To be safe though, if the MR2 starts in first place, keep in mind this is as challenging as it gets, this early in the game.  
On the other end of the spectrum, there are a few laggards who show up, as well. The Toyota Voltz. Honda Element. Scion xB, and so on. These doofuses can immediately be counted out as competition, just as they were in earlier games. Ironically, it's these laggards that might make the best autos for us to drive!   
Amongst the rest of the crowd, there is a decent amount of competition, which is good because it means the Sunday Cup is fairly unpredictable. For instance, I saw a race in which a Mazda Eunos Roadster started second at High Speed Ring. A lot of us would expect this rear-drive would simply slay all the front-drives, yet the Roadster competed on the front lines for awhile, and finally lost to a Honda Fit and Fiat Punto. I saw another race in which a Toyota Prius won against a group of lighter, less-dorky models.
This is one thing I liked a lot about the previous game, this level of uncertainty, so it's good to see PD has kept this going. Now let's talk about the two tracks we'll be racing at.  
High Speed Ring: 2 laps here. Our competition still has that odd habit of taking the final turn too slow, and too low, which is a habit PD has been programming into the game since GT4. They should be driving into this final turn (which is banked) with full throttle. Instead, they always drop their fuel somewhere mid-turn, or they'll even use their brakes. This makes it easy to get high up on that bank, keeping our gas pedal mostly flat-out, and get some faster exit speed onto the main straight.  
Autumn Ring Mini: 3 laps. This track is all about cornering, of course. Cornering, and wondering if the marshals who run this track ever consider doing races during any other season but fall. If you're new to Autumn Ring, the track's constant bends can seem daunting, so do some practice laps to really learn it well. Keep in mind that nearly half the time, you won't be accelerating at all, you'll be gritting your teeth, slipping past some idiot driver by mere millimeters.
One thing I have noticed about Autumn Ring in this game is that it's time-of-day sequences do change. And also, sometimes I have done races in which the sun was out, other times it'll be overcast. I have yet to see any rain / wet track-action though.       
Soft Comfort tires at High Speed Ring.
Medium Comfort tires at Autumn Ring.
Sport Suspension (either kit) for Historics, if needed. Modern cars should be on standard parts, though.  
Close-ratio transmission for some in either class (especially at Autumn Ring Mini).
Full-Custom transmission for those that over-rev at High Speed Ring.
Assorted drivetrain parts, especially for those in the Historic Class. Twin-clutch + flywheel, and carbon driveshaft. Limited-slip device for some historics (like the super-slippery Karmann-Ghia).
Most Modern Class won't need any help with drivetrain, braking, etc.   
No ABS braking for Historic Class, maybe a few Moderns out there, too. I am not entirely convinced that lack of ABS actually makes a difference, though. But just turn this off.  
Cars Used
'66 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia Coupe (1,800 pounds, Historic Class)
'88 Volvo 240 GLT Estate (4,200 pounds, Historic Class) 
'03 Scion xA            (2,000 pounds, Modern Class
'03 Honda Odyssey (3,500 pounds, Modern Class)

Amateur Cup
Opponents: 5
-Modern Class-
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
(2,000) 28.57 -- 70 hp
(3,500) 27.55 -- 127 hp
Grand Valley East
(2,000) 22.72 -- 88 hp
(3,500) 23.97 -- 146 hp
Willow Springs international
(2,000) 24.35 -- 82 hp
(3,500) 25.36 -- 138 hp
-Historic Class-
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
(1,800) 28.12 -- 64 hp
(4,200) 27.09 -- 155 hp
Grand Valley East
(1,800) 21.18 -- 85 hp
(4,200) 25.30 -- 166 hp
Willow Springs international
(1,800) 24.00 -- 75 hp
(4,200) 24.70 -- 170 hp
We immediately get a new track during the second stretch of the Novice Cup, and then we get a track we're all familiar with, and then another new track!
The racing is slightly faster now, yet the competition is still somewhat sleepy. Take the time to learn the two newer tracks, of course.   
There isn't much difference from the Sunday Cup, other than a few new faces. Everybody is pretty much on the same page (except heavier, dorkier models), and if the Toyota MR2 shows up, that's the car that'll maybe jackrabbit far ahead of the pack. Although even this possibility cannot be counted on 100%. I've won several races with an MR2 starting on Pole or 2nd place.  
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit is a classic short British track with sweeping curves, two tight hairpins, and rather strict passing areas. It can take about an hour to really learn Brands Hatch, and then another hour to figure out its passing zones. I try not to clamber all over the apron coming out of turn 3, but sometimes it's inevitable to get on there; it makes such a perfect area to get by!
Grand Valley East, a track most of us are well-familiar with. This track (unlike Brands Hatch) has some strict passing zones, but also some areas where passes come easier. In general though, it seems there's always somebody in my way just as I'm leaving the tunnel, moving toward that final tight right. Argh. Getting by that final car or two, without sacrificing speed, can become incredibly aggravating into this post-tunnel area.
Willow Springs - Big Willow: Now this is one tricky track, mostly because it's so vague. Its braking zones aren't very well defined; it's not like you can just look at some marker (or even a tree growing by the side of the track) and go "okay, braking starts NOW!" ... No, Big Willow's main difficulty is the way it doesn't give us many real clues. However, this track is also like Brands Hatch. Give yourself an hour to learn it, and another hour to really learn it, and by then you'll be better than the competition which shows up here.
They tend to take the first half of Big Willow a little too cautiously, so here is the main area to make some passes. By the time they're exiting Omega though, all the sudden they'll pick up lots of speed, all throughout that huge, final loop. By the time they're at the end of this loop however, they really slow down too much while getting onto the main straight, so here's another great area to pass a car or two, if you can keep yourself out of the sand, of course.   
Soft Comfort Tires
Sport Suspension (hard or soft, depending...) for Historics. Modern Class vehicles usually won't need these parts.
Close-ratio gearing for many. Some cars with super-tall / short / awkward gearing can opt for Full-Customizable Transmission at some tracks.   
Clutch / Flywheel Kit + carbon driveshaft for those that need it. Again, this is usually the Historics.
Racing Brake Package for those that need it.
Cars Used.
'03 Scion xA        (2,000 pounds, Modern Class)
'03 Honda Odyssey (3,500 pounds, Modern Class)
'68 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia (1,800 pounds, Historic Class)
'88 Volvo 240 GLT Estate (4,200 pounds, Historic Class)

Novice Championship
Opponents: 5 
-Modern Class- 
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
(2,000) 25.64 -- 78 hp
(3,500) 25.92 -- 135 hp   
Autumn Ring
(2,000) 24.10 -- 83 hp
(3,500) 25.00 -- 140 hp
Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit
(2,000) 27.02 -- 74 hp
(3,500) 26.31 -- 133 hp 
-Historic Class- 
Brands Hatch Indy Circuit
(1,800) 25.37 -- 77 hp
(4,200) 25.92 -- 162 hp   
Autumn Ring
(1,800) 22.22 -- 81 hp
(4,200) 24.70 -- 170 hp
Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit
(1,800) 24.00 -- 75 hp
(4,200) 26.31 -- 133 hp 
The ratios set above were made with typically faster cars starting no higher than 2nd place, with a slower car starting on Pole. So add +5 horsepower if a traditionally faster car starts on first place. See Opponents section for more detail.  
Gran Turismo 6 lets us now do our very first championship, which is three races long, and then the Novice Cup is over.  Kinda sad, but I'm having fun anyways. The few races we get to participate in do present some challenge, as long as power is kept super-low, and so far the experience of GT6 has been downright addictive for me. I only wish there were more races, more tracks, just .... more!
The good news is two of the tracks are new to us, in this game. What I mean is, yes, many of us have raced at the full Autumn Ring track since the '90s, but this will be our first instance to try Autumn Ring's full course in this game.  
And though it might seem like "hey, we just raced at Brands Hatch Indy Circuit!" and some might wonder why we're here again, this time, the cars do seem to be moving slightly faster. Or maybe they're spaced further apart at the beginning of the race. Because we need a little bit more power now.
The third track (Brands Hatch Grand Prix) is a longer version of the Indy Circuit. So unless you've raced this track in some other game, go ahead and take the time to practice in Arcade Mode, since we still can't do any practicing once we enter this series.    
There really is nothing new going on here. The same cars we've raced against during earlier portions of the Novice hall are back again: Honda Fit, Mazda MX-5, Pontiac Vibe, Honda Element, Peugeot 1 and 2-series hatches, etc.
I have noticed that 2-seater sports cars (such as the Mazda Roadster), which were typically faster in earlier games, finally do show more aggression sometimes. They are still well-matched against most front-drive hot hatches and coupes though, so it's still uncertain who we'll be trying to beat, race after race.
For the most drama, it's a good idea to start somebody slower on Pole position. Those which are known to be laggards can be started on first, which is the best way to ensure some in-fighting between various vehicles as these events commence. Here is a short list of slower cars to shove up there. 
'91 Honda Civic SiR-II
Mazda Atenza
'83 Mitsubishi Lancer
Pontiac Vibe
Renault Avantime
Toyota Celica
Toyota Voltz 
Try to avoid grids which have one of these cars starting on both first AND second!  Such a race won't offer much challenge, after all.    
Soft Comfort tires
Sport Suspension (hard or soft) for some members of the Historic Class. Modern Class cars will mostly be on default parts, of course.
Close-ratio gearing for many, at all three tracks. This will be the most popular gearbox choice of all. Some others will require factory gearing. Full-customized gearing is the rarest choice of all.
Assorted drivetrain parts, mostly for those in the Historic Class, including limited-slip differential for some with slippery traction. Modern Class cars mostly won't require any help here.
No ABS brakes for Historic Class.     
'03 Scion xA             (2,000 / Modern)
'03 Honda Element (3,500 / Modern)
'68 Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia (1,800 / Historic)
'88 Volvo 240 GLT Estate         (4,200 / Historic)

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