The name’s Bond, James Bond. And thanks to government cutbacks, MI5 has put me on secondment to a sim racing news website to write about Gran Turismo 7.
Not really. This week’s new Gran Turismo 7 Lap Time Challenge features Jimmy B’s iconic (a word that’s often over-used) Aston Martin DB5 around the iconic (damn) Goodwood Motor Circuit. It’s a timely combination too, as the Goodwood Revival festival takes place this weekend.
It’s an iconic event (you’re fired – Ed).
The Revival is a long weekend choc-full of historic racing where the finest classic cars from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s (with select events for pre-war cars and motorcycles) race as they did in period; their drivers replete with flat caps, tweed jackets and a myriad of excuses for catastrophic engine detonations.
Unfortunately, there are no DB5s on the entry list for this year’s event (William Garrett’s DB4 is the closest we’ll get), but considering clean examples fetch £1million these days it’s no surprise owners would prefer not to have them biffed up on the racetrack. Tally-ho!
Even today, the Aston packs a punch, with a syrupy-smooth straight-six engine outputting just under 300bhp. Don’t expect modern sportscar performance, however, as the 0-60mph sprint takes a laggardly eight seconds. Blast.
Its steering wheel is more wooden than Madonna’s performance in Die Another Day, while its coachbuilt bodywork is classier than Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer playing croquet on Buckingham Palace’s back lawn.
The DB5’s beauty is undeniable, and prompted Bond producers to use a prototype version of it in the 1964 blockbuster Goldfinger, complete with an ejector seat, machine guns and smoke dispensers. These never made it to the production model, however.
Gran Turismo 7 Goodwood Motor Circuit track guide
The Goodwood Motor Circuit was built on the access roads surrounding its airfield. Although the track is relatively flat, it has some fantastically challenging corners – most of which are taken at pace.
The double-apex Madgwick Corner is first up and can be taken in fourth gear in the DB5. The hard compound sports tyres you’re forced to use make cornering a long, drawn-out affair but the car’s soft suspension set-up is predictable at least. Q Branch clearly skimped on the aftermarket coilover and damper kit, then.
The next right-hander (Fordwater) can be taken flat-out, but the entry to the quick right-left of St Mary’s Corner needs special attention. Now pay attention 007: brake and turn in early, dropping to fourth gear. Stay over to the right mid-corner as this will allow a shallower angle of attack for the following left.
The road drops down slightly into the tricky, double-apex Lavant Corner where you need to be on the power early to carry as much speed as possible for the following Lavant Straight. After reaching speeds north of 130mph, brake in the middle of the road for Woodcote Corner, making sure to hit the second apex to nail the run into the final chicane.
Lightly caress the brake pedal on entry and float through the right-left combination to the start-finish straight, leaving plenty of time for a Vodka Martini later. Moneypenny would be proud.
Gran Turismo 7’s Lap Time Challenges explained
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.
Gran Turismo 7 Lap Time Challenge video guide
The second fastest lap at the time of publication has been set by Malaysian player DannyR_3967, with a 1:24.238 lap time as shown below (the fastest lap replay was unavailable, unfortunately). They manoeuvre the lumbering DB5 around Goodwood’s high-speed corners in tidy fashion, turning in early to avoid understeer.
Recommended car: Aston Martin DB5 (Legend Cars 970,000 Credits or free rental)
Lap Time Challenge
Track: Goodwood Motor Circuit
Entry Period: 7th-21st September 2023
Useable Tyres: Sports: Hard
Wide body: Prohibited
Bop/Tuning Forbidden: Mid-speed
Car used: Aston Martin DB5 ’64
Car Settings: Specified
Track Limit: Normal
Shortcut Penalty: Light