Stake your claim for pole position in GT Academy with these top tips from previous winners Lucas Ordóñez and Jordan Tresson.
The prestigious GT Academy returns for its third instalment in 2011 and one lucky winner will realise his or her dream of becoming a certified racing driver. Make sure you're sitting pretty when the Time Trials close on 17 April 2011 with these top tips from previous winners Lucas Ordóñez and Jordan Tresson.
Make yourself comfortable
To be successful in a competitive time trial, prepare yourself mentally to drive for about two hours without a break. Even if you're not feeling up to it on a particular day, drive some laps to stay in touch with the car and track. It's better to put in 15 to 30 minutes every day than leaving it for a couple of days.
Get the right set-up
Lucas suggests driving shoeless and Jordan recommends going barefoot for extra sensitivity when using a steering wheel and pedals. Both drivers prefer the bumper camera too as it provides the clearest, most unobstructed view of the track ahead. It's a good idea to use the driving line aid for the first few laps on a new circuit, before experimenting with using your own.
Find your rhythm
Jordan explains that you have to drive for hours at a time to be competitive, so it's essential to establish a rhythm. Try to complete your lap, even if it's a slow one, so you learn the whole circuit. As tempting as it may be to start over after a mistake early on, you don't want to find yourself on a hot lap only to discover you haven't done the last sector of the track.
It's all about technique
Driving style and technique are very important factors in squeezing out those last few tenths over your rivals. Knowing which gear to use on a particular corner can have a big effect on lap time, so how do you decide what's best?
Lucas says that if you have any doubts, typically the higher gear will be better in order to reduce wheel spin on exit. Jordan adds that it's sometimes worth shifting up a bit earlier, mainly out of tight hairpins and slow chicanes.
Know your line
On the subject of racing lines, Lucas recommends using the whole track, from the outside edge to the apex. Experiment with braking early and smoothly all the way to the apex, then picking up the throttle early and steering in such a way that allows you to get back to full throttle as soon as possible.
Push it to the limit
Both drivers agree that you can never truly reach the limit of what's possible. Initially you may be three to four seconds off the pace, then after a couple of weeks you may be fighting over tenths and hundredths of a second. If you're having difficulty beating your fastest lap after an hour or so of driving, you're probably close to your limit.
Keep it steady
What about those occasions when you are two corners away from the finish and you know you're on a great lap? The nerves start to kick in, the pressure mounts, your heart rate increases and it's easy to throw it all away.
Lucas expresses the importance of staying calm, having complete confidence in your ability and remembering that there will always be another opportunity. Extensive practice will ensure that you build that confidence up beforehand, so it's there when you need it.
Drive fast, learn faster
Throughout the Time Trial stage of GT Academy, the replays of the top drivers will be available for viewing by all competitors in-game via PlayStation Network. By watching these laps, you can learn better racing lines through corners and spot more suitable braking points.
You can download the replays in the form of a ghost car to chase around the track. Switching your ghost on briefly can give you an idea of how well you are doing on a particular lap, while if you manage to stay ahead of the ghost for most of the lap, you can heap unnecessary pressure upon yourself when it starts to get close! Lucas suggests dropping the ghost when your lap times become more competitive.
Put these top tips to good use; fire up your copy of Gran Turismo 5, then access the Seasonal Events mode to take part in the GT Academy Time Trials today. Alternatively if you think that the competition may be just a little bit too fierce then duke it out with your friends by setting up a friends only leaderboard via PlayStation Network and prove to your mates that you're the leader of the pack.
Keep up to date with the latest news and announcements on GT Academy at facebook.com/GTAcademy.