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I'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time Trial

I'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time Trial 22 photos
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I'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time TrialI'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time Trial
My wife sometimes jokes about my way of life. She pointed out that I only have two speeds: real slow and fast. I usually alternate between the two phases. Living in the middle is not something I'm keen on doing.
Most of my friends can't wait for the weekend, as they work regular jobs. I'm blessed with a flexible schedule, and I enjoy working on Saturdays and Sundays if I enjoy the topic I'm talking about. The one day I've been looking forward to the most recently is Thursday. That's because, on that day, we get a new Online Time Trial in Gran Turismo 7.

Never Stop Challenging

And I'm always curious to see which car/track combo we're getting next. As a big Time Attack fan, I enjoy seeing how I stack up against 100,000+ players worldwide. I'm not as fast as I'd like, but at least I'm not that slow. And one of these days, I just know I'll unlock that gold reward for two million credits. You still have time to do the Scirocco Gr.4 challenge at Laguna Seca, and if you're good enough, it will only take 90 seconds to get there.

A week passed since I last tried it, and my 1:30.868 lap had me sitting in P21,518th. I had a busy week, so I didn't sign in for more game time since. But on Thursday, when I first checked the new Time Trial, I was down in P37,178th. In 72 hours since that first check, I've fallen to P 43,568th. Meanwhile, the AFEELA challenge at Autodromo Lago Maggiore has ended, and being P73,324th overall helped score the Bronze Reward for 250,000 credits.

I knew I couldn't just walk into "Legends Cars" with that kind of money and expect to buy something nice, but I had a look-see anyway. The '88 McLaren MP4/4 F1 car was there for 10 million, but that's way out of my budget. I was even more surprised that the Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe '64 requires twice as many credits. I went back and forth through the menu and discovered that I had forgotten all about the Weekly Challenges, which could be a good source of extra "cash."

I'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time Trial
Photo: autoevolution
Let's get to the point and see what the latest online Time Trial offers. It's an interesting combination: a UK track with a '90s car from Japan. I realized that driving the 1996 Nissan Silvia K's Aero (S14) around Brands Hatch would imply some countersteering, but I didn't know how much. The Grand Prix circuit is 2.45 mile (3,946 meters) long. I have never driven a stock S14 but knew it wouldn't be fast. The SR20DET is good enough for just over 200 horsepower, and the car weighs 2756 lbs (1250 kg).

Who's this girl Silvia?

Five hours into the challenge, I immediately recognized the user with the fastest lap. He stopped the clock at 1:44.070, and I've seen him winning some other Time Trials. With six colors to choose from, I initially opted for Green Pearl but then switched to Pearl White for the authentic Japanese experience. I thought I'd once again give the controller a try, just for the fun of it. The S14 is tailhappy indeed, but it felt quite manageable, given I wasn't that fast.

I needed one minute and 59 seconds to do a full lap and immediately remembered I had driven here before. After doing a photo session with the car for the story, I powered up my Logitech G29 steering wheel and put on my VR2 goggles. Oversteering became a much more noticeable problem once I started going faster. I know I need to work on my weight transfer while driving, and that became especially obvious around the faster corners. I thought about everything I had learned at MyWay Drift School recently, and the anguish quickly turned to pleasure.

I went from going too fast and spinning to going too slow and not recording decent lap times. And then I started tweaking corner after corner, tackling at least three sideways. After just four laps, I was a healthy three seconds faster than when using the controller. Unfortunately, that meant I was still 13 seconds behind user Jeddah_Racing. I went in for another session, and after nine laps, I experienced my first GT7 game crash since I installed it.

I'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time Trial
Photo: autoevolution
Luckily, it had memorized my fast lap of 1:51.713. For a minute there, I was in the Top 8,000 drivers in the world, but I knew that wouldn't last. "Brake early, accelerate early," I told myself to stabilize the car through the turns. It worked like a charm, and I was at 1:50.236 five laps later. You'd think driving a bone stock car wouldn't be fun. But you don't need 1,000 hp to experience racing. There's plenty of body roll, and acceleration isn't fantastic. If you're not smooth enough with your inputs, you'll lose what precious seconds you shaved off by that point.

Gas! Gas! Gas!

Driving the S14, I again realized how much I love RWD cars and decided to buy another "virtual" FC RX-7 for further testing. My highest recorded speed in the S14 was 184 kph, but I had one major problem: I recorded my fastest sectors on four different laps. I could've easily shaved another 1.5 seconds if I had connected them in one go. At this point, I was using 2nd gear for three of the nine turns: Druids, South Bank, and Stirling's (I'm almost always drifting through this one).

I figured I could try Dingle Dell Corner in fourth, but it feels risky. I opted for one more session and was sweating hard after 10 laps. The reward was minimal at 0.027 seconds, and I wanted to stop. Meanwhile, someone else had set the fastest lap, outrunning the former leader by 0.033 seconds. I wanted to try something before giving it a rest for the next 72 hours. "How would other cars from the same era stack up against the S14?" I asked myself. On my first go in the 2002 Mazda RX-7 Spirit R Type A, I could feel a huge difference between the two cars.

And with no practice, the FD was four seconds faster. I was just two seconds faster in the Nissan Silvia spec-R Aero (S15), and you can already see how technology has advanced six years over at Nissan. Interestingly, I was exactly as fast in the Nissan 180SX Type X '96. It was perhaps even more stable than the S14 throughout the corners. But I wanted to go for one more test before calling it a day. With over 300 horsepower on tap and AWD, the R33 GT-R V-Spec had a good chance of outrunning every car I tested that day.

I'm Faster Than Almost 60,000 Drivers in GT7's Newest Time Trial
Photo: autoevolution
I just didn't necessarily expect it would be almost two seconds faster than the RX-7. Ten hours into the latest Time Trial, 23,000 people gave it a go. But I let it rest for 72 hours, that is, until today, for one last attempt. I wasn't going to stop without at least scoring the Silver Reward! By now, more than 85,000 people have signed up, which may as well double within the last 10 days. I also noticed that the Japanese user who took the crown a few days ago is now slower than user Jeddah_Racing, who is back in the lead.

Of everyone who signed up for the challenge, they are the only two to have dipped below the 1:44 mark. With that rather scary information in mind, I set out for one more try. One of my early decisions was to stop shifting into second gear for the Graham Hill Bend. I started braking earlier and accelerating earlier in the third, going all the way to the outside curb. And I immediately noticed my ghost falling behind.

One final adjustment was to go through the Sheene Curve flat out in the third gear, almost jumping through the inside section of the corner. I found myself ahead again but ruined several laps before I could get it all right. In the end, after 30 more minutes of practicing, I am now at 1:49.821, which means I am in the Top 28,000 fastest players for this Time Trial. I'll likely need another go at it in a few days, as everyone else will improve their lap times, too. How did you fare with GT7's latest challenge?
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About the author: Dragos Chitulescu
Dragos Chitulescu profile photo

The things Dragos enjoys the most in life are, in no particular order: cars, motorcycles, diecast cars, and drifting. He's seen (and driven) many vehicles since he started his writing career back in 2009, but his garage currently houses a 1991 Mazda RX-7 FC3S Turbo II and a 1999 Suzuki SV650-S.
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