“I am an artist. The track is my canvas and the car is my brush”.
So goes double Formula 1 World Champion Graham Hill’s famous (and dubious) quotation. The artistic angle of this quote is appropriate on this occasion as the latest Gran Turismo 7 Lap Time Challenge is set at the Autpolis International Racing Course.
Once owned by eccentric Tomonori Tsurumaki, the investment banker displayed a genuine Picasso painting on-site. It’s a bit like hanging the Bayeux Tapestry from Knockhill’s Beatson’s Building Supplies bridge…
Anyway, Hill’s words also highlight the sheer artistry of driving; the combination of Autopolis’ challenging layout and the high-downforce Dallara SF23 single-seater is a true driver-versus-track test of skill.
The Dallara is the current-gen of open-wheeler used in Japan’s Super Formula series, featuring Formula 2 levels of performance with an eye on sustainable production methods.
It was added to GT7 with the game’s April update, joining the older-spec SF19. Honda and Toyota both contribute engines to the series so the car is available from Brand Central in either configuration. However, engines aside, both cars are identical.
In terms of driving talent, the Super Formula grid is normally stacked with talent, with this year’s roster including 24 Hours of Le Mans winner and ex-Formula 1 driver Kamui Kobayashi and Red Bull protégé Liam Lawson.
The Dallara SF23 Super Formula cars feature a push-to-pass system controlled by GT7’s nitrous system, so remember to map this in your controller settings for an extra power boost. Short-shifting to third and fourth gear is recommended for best traction, with lots of commitment required. Be wary of track limits, though, as only thin strips of grass separate you from the barriers. Autopolis takes no prisoners.
Located in the sparsely-populated Aso Kujū National Park, Autopolis was eventually purchased by motorcycle giant Kawasaki in 2005 after Tsurumaki-san met some financial difficulties…
At the time of publication, the fastest laptime has been set by Australian player Andrew Lee with a 1:22.425 – check out his insanely quick lap above and try to follow his lead! Autopolis hosts the latest round of Super Formula this weekend (19th-21st May 2023), so let’s see if the field can get into the 22’s.
GT7‘s Lap Time Challenge is a time trial mode where you compete against other players to set the fastest time on the leaderboard. However, there’s a caveat: setting a lap within three per cent of the fastest time nets players 2,000,000 Credits.
If you aren’t quite quick enough, then lapping within five per cent gains you 1,000,000 Credits, while a time inside 10 per cent of the fastest results in a 250,000 Credit payout.
Lap Time Challenge
Track: Autopolis International Racing Course
Entry Period: 18th May-1st June 2023
Useable Tyres: Racing: Soft, Intermediate, Wet
Wide body: Prohibited
Bop/Tuning Forbidden: On
Car Used: SF23 Super Formula: Toyota ’23 / Honda ’23
Car Settings: Specified
Track Limit: Normal
Shortcut Penalty: Light