The tiny Japanese venue is a favourite among the sim racing community, featuring in the likes of Forza Motorsport, iRacing and Gran Turismo, but is surprisingly less well used in real-world motorsport.
Tsukuba also has Gymkhana and Oval tracks, with the latter being used for the quirky Japanese Auto Race series – primarily a gambling-based sport featuring brake-less motorcycles!
The 1.271-mile long course is best known as the home of Time Attack, where heavily modified cars tackle a course in a single-lap showdown against similar opponents. The circuit hosts several of these types of series; including Battle Evolve, Super Battle, Attack Tsukuba and the now-defunct Battle Evome meetings.
This makes Tsukuba’s appearance in GT7’s Lap Time Challenge quite appropriate, although the Audi TTS Coupe isn’t quite the 900bhp track-honed speed machine that can pull off a sub-50s lap time.
However, with wet conditions in play, the Audi’s modest power output of 306 bhp coupled with total traction is just the ticket, offering enough speed and grip to provide a stern challenge.
At the time of publication, the fastest lap has been set by GT7 player Jeddah Racer with a 1:07.698. The above lap shows Audi’s trademark traction and sure-footedness in inclement weather.
However, the lap isn’t tidy by any means, meaning there’s plenty of time left on the table for players to aim for. The Saudi player opts for a double-apex approach to Tsukuba’s hairpin bends, trail braking past the first apex and getting on the power early to hit the second.
Downshifting early in the TT is a viable option as four-wheel-drive enhances the engine braking effect, increasing stability off-throttle. This helps shave speed before turns, but isn’t an option in real-world driving – unless you have a hefty budget for engine and gearbox repairs…
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.
Recommended car: Audi TTS Coupe ’14 (Brand Central 76,800 Credits or free rental)
Lap Time Challenge
Track: Tsukuba Circuit
Entry Period: 8th – 16th of June 2023
Useable Tyres: Comfort: Soft
Wide body: Prohibited
Bop/Tuning Forbidden: Low-speed (L)
Car Used: Audi TTS Coupe ’14
Car Settings: Specified
Track Limit: Normal
Shortcut Penalty: Light