It’s time for another Gran Turismo 7 Lap Time Challenge and this fortnight’s edition comes from a track that has made the news this week.
Yes, the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya GP track – let’s just call it Barcelona – has made headlines recently thanks to the FIA approving the deletion of its finickity final chicane complex for the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix.
The move is designed to encourage more overtaking in F1, returning the circuit to its traditional layout in use before the chicane’s implementation in 2007. Ironically, the chicane was added to reduce cornering speeds in the final two turns (Europcar followed by New Holland); something that will surely still be of concern.
F1 levels of speed won’t be a problem with the Gr.3 cars in this Lap Time Challenge, however, but they’ll still require a steady hand to guide them to a clean lap around the notoriously challenging Spanish circuit.
Barcelona was predominantly the test track of choice for the F1 paddock until restrictions limited its use. Its combination of slow-speed turns and high-speed, aero-dependent sweeps make it the perfect place to evaluate a car’s strengths and weaknesses.
The Turn 1 complex is the key to sector 1; slow the car down enough to take all the kerbing you can into Turn 1, then keep your right foot planted until the fearsome Turn 3, again using all the kerb available. This long right-hander is a tyre-killer, but on corner exit keep the car as far to the left as possible before diving into Turn 5 – Repsol.
The next big challenge is the Würth left-hander. This has deceptive camber, so try to hug the left-hand kerbing as much as possible and let the car move out to the exit on the right while avoiding the gravel trap. The key here is to avoid too much tyre scrub.
Breathe on the throttle through the high-speed Campsa corner before entering the slowest part of the track and the recently revised Caixa corner. This complex will lead you onto the final medium-speed corners and the 1km pit straight.
Our car of choice is the fictional Hyundai Genesis Gr.3. The Genesis is a four-door luxury saloon with little-to-no sporting credentials, but the GT7 racing version uses the Korean manufacturer’s Coupe body shape and it certainly packs a punch on track. As an alternative, the Porsche 911 RSR (991) ‘17 is also an effective choice.
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.
At the time of writing, Japanese driver ‘rK1 tired’ holds the top spot in the standings with a very un-tired 1:39.987 in his Genesis Gr.3. Can you get close enough to earn some credits? Best of luck!
Recommended car: Hyundai Genesis Gr.3 (Brand Central, 450,000 Credits or free car rental)
Lap Time Challenge
Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya GP Layout No Chicane
Entry Period: 2nd-16th March 2023
Useable Tyres Racing: Hard, Intermediate, Wet
Wide Body: Prohibited
BoP/Tuning Forbidden: Mid-speed (M)
Car Used: Garage Car, Event-Specified Car
Car Settings: Specified
Track Limit: Normal
Shortcut Penalty: Light