The crunch of asphalt under your feet. The dizzying smell of petrol fumes as they seep into your lungs. The tension in the air as a group of the world’s most legendary racers gathered in one final battle, where no prisoners would be taken and no mercy granted, and where only one driver could emerge victorious … it was the RMS Gran Turismo Challenge.
Well thats actually a bit dramatic. The smell was more cigarette smoke and beer, and the crunch was most likely peanuts on the floor as RMS’s finest gathered for the Gran Turismo challenge at McBride’s bar, Comber. The turnout wasn’t great – only 7 out of the initial 30 actually participated, although we had a few spectators as well. Nevertheless, we kicked off the racing at 7:45 with the first of two heats – Midfield Raceway, using any group ‘A’ car you liked. Radius kicked it off with a Skyline GTR R34, setting the standard with 1"25"738. I followed after with a Honda NSX; after a shaky first run where I regretted not picking a 4WD car, I managed to gain pace and set a best of 1"24"944. The other entrants (Big Dog, Cooper, Graham, Carbonka and RMS_Clk) all took their turns shortly after, most of them dismayed to find that there were no warmup laps! Carbonka set a blistering pace in the Corvette with 1"22"688. Special mention goes to our illustrious leader Andy Cooper who proved that just because he has upgraded to a Vtec in real life doesn’t mean he can drive a Skyline any better in the game!
Radius : Skyline GTR R34 : <strong>1"25"738 </strong>
Gaz : Honda NSX : <strong>1"24"944</strong>
Big Dog : Mitsubishi Evo VII : <strong>1"28"778 </strong>
Cooper :Skyline GTR R34 : <strong>1"33"317 </strong>
RMS_Clks : Corvette : <strong>1"24"959 </strong>
Graham : Corvette : <strong>1"27"494 </strong>
Carbonka : Corvette : <strong><font color=”#ff0000″>1"22"688 </font></strong>
We followed up the next heat with something different; the Swiss Alps rally course, using any of the rally cars. Radius again kicked off with a Subaru Impreza, closely followed by myself in the Evo and Big Dog in the 206 WRC. Graham managed to fit in plenty of sideways action despite much taunting (and head-stroking) from Max, setting a time of 1"31"586. RMS_Clk set an impressive 1"26"264 in the Escort Cosworth, while Andy’s stellar performance made up for his earlier outing – but it was yours truly who won this round with a 1"26"206 best.
<u><strong>Swiss Alps </strong></u>
Radius : Subaru Impreza : <strong>1"26"654 </strong>
Gaz : Mitsubishi Evo VII : <strong><font color=”#ff0000″>1"26"206 </font></strong>
Big Dog : Peugot 206 WRC : <strong>1"28"069 </strong>
Cooper : Subaru Impreza : <strong>1"28"402 </strong>
RMS_Clks : Ford Escort Cosworth : <strong>1"26"264 </strong>
Graham : Subaru Impreza : <strong>1"31"586</strong>
Carbonka : Ford Focus WRC : <strong>1"32"086 </strong>
We then had the four best players from each heat (which amounted to 5 players total) take part in the next heat – Laguna Seca, using the insanely fast Polyphony F1 car. This notoriously tricky course demanded full attention and was an excellent means of sorting the men from the boys, with the tail-happy F1 car happy to spin round at every bend if you weren’t 110% focused. I chose an automatic, much to my detriment, and spun off a few times, losing crucial seconds. Big Dog was slightly behind me and Radius slightly in front, but hats off to both RMS_Clk and Carbonka, who set lightning paces through the levels, seemingly without braking or spinning once – and in manual gearshift mode.
<strong><u>Laguna Seca, all using Polyphony F1 Car </u></strong>
Gaz : <strong>1"23"012 </strong>
CarbonKa : <strong>1"05"122 </strong>
Radius : <strong>1"14"298 </strong>
RMS_Clk : <strong><font color=”#ff0000″>1"03"196</font> </strong>
Big Dog : <strong>1"32"634</strong>
With these two guys setting the best times, it was time to move on to the final, with a head-to-head between them in the F1 car again. Tension mounted in the air as everyone gathered round to watch. Unfortunately Carbonka was unable to match his earlier performance and over the course of 5 laps, managed to spin off a few times, costing him valuable seconds. RMS_Clk again set an amazing pace and try as he might, Carbonka was unable to make up the deficit, and at the end of 5 laps it was RMS_Clk who took home the trophy – his £5 entry fee!
Deep Forest Raceway, head-to-head using Polyphony F1 Car
CarbonKa : <strong>1"39"248 </strong>
RMS_Clk : <font color=”#ff0000″><strong>1"06"129 </strong></font>
Thanks to all who came along to participate and take pictures, and special thanks to Graham/McBrides for the use of the venue. The night was excellent fun and we plan to have another one in the near future, possibly with projectors and hopefully better attendance. Get practising!