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    Laguna Seca Guide by Wolf Feather

    Version: Final | Updated: 05/11/02 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Jamie Stafford/Wolf Feather
    Version: FINAL
    Initial version completed: January 4, 2002
    Final version completed:   May 11, 2002
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    Circuit Overview
    Sample Lap Times
    Circuit Details
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    Permission is granted to download and print one copy for
    personal use.
    Why a guide specific to a single circuit in Gran Turismo 3?
    The Laguna Seca circuit can be a bit tricky; those who have
    raced the circuit in other games (such as Newman-Haas Racing)
    are already quite familiar with the technical expertise
    required to be successful at this venue.  Laguna Seca is
    certainly not as difficult as Cote d'Azur/Mistral, the ultra-
    technical street circuit based on the real-world Monaco Grand
    Prix circuit used for F1 racing, but Laguna Seca is still
    likely to be a challenge for newcomers to the Gran Turismo
    Located in Monterey, California, USA, Laguna Seca Raceway
    hosts many events every year, including the Grand Prix of
    Monterey featuring the Shell 300 (part of the CART/FedEx
    Championship Series), the International Superbike Classic
    (SBK/AMA Superbike Series), Rolex Monterey Historic Races,
    and Monterey Sports Car Championships (the American Le Mans
    Series).  Laguna Seca is the home circuit of Mazda, and is
    also used by Skip Barber Racing School, Freddie Spencer M/C
    School, Sea Otter Class Bicycle Races, California Superbike
    School, TracQuest Driving School, and the S.C.C.A. Regional
    In terms of aesthetics, Laguna Seca is itself not a really
    beautiful circuit, unlike Deep Forest or Grand Valley.  On
    the other hand, races here are at dusk, and the orange light
    of the setting sun certainly helps the with visual impact of
    the venue.  However, the angle of the sun and the extensive
    orange glow cast some rather long shadows in some areas of
    the circuit, rendering those areas rather dark; trying to
    spot a dark-colored car in these shadowed areas can be rather
    There is generally ample recovery room along both sides of
    the pavement.  However, there is a lot of sand just along the
    pavement around much of the circuit, so dropping the right-
    side or left-side wheels off the pavement can both slow the
    car, and kick up a lot of dust to obscure the vision of
    trailing vehicles.  Drivers must be especially wary -
    especially in an Endurance Race - of the final corner, as
    cars often spin out in the sand and throw a large cloud of
    dirt into the air.
    Without question, the most famous and most difficult section
    of the circuit is the Corkscrew, a moderate left-right
    chicane on a nasty downhill mini-mountain just meters beyond
    the crest of the circuit.  Also difficult is the final
    corner, a tight left-hand perpendicular corner with a
    concrete barrier almost flush up against the pavement to
    block any attempts at shortcutting the corner.  Mastering
    these two areas is key to successfully obtaining a Super
    License, as one of the license tests is to complete a full
    lap at Laguna Seca within the time allotted.
    To give readers an idea of the lap times possible at Laguna
    Seca, twenty-two sample lap times for twenty different cars
    are given here.  Except the F090/S (one of the F1 cars, which
    can only use Medium Tires), Super-soft Tires were used for
    all vehicles listed here.  Virtually all the cars listed here
    were used in their stock configurations.
    Acura NSX                                276 HP      1:40.889
    Aston Martin V8 Vantage                  550 HP      1:30.495
    Castrol Tom's Supra                      450 HP      1:20.137
    Chevrolet Camaro SS                      324 HP      1:33.000
    Chevrolet Corvette C5R                   610 HP      1:21.904
    Chevrolet Corvette Z06                   379 HP      1:39.925
    Citroen Xsara Rally Car                  286 HP      1:32.390
    Daihatsu Mira TR-XK Avanzato R(J)        169 HP      1:40.155
    F090/S                                   725 HP      1:09.864
    F687/S                                   888 HP      1:07.984
    Falcon XR8 Race Car                      881 HP      1:18.382
    Ford Focus rally Car                     299 HP      1:33.254
    Gillet Vertigo Race Car                  419 HP*     1:20.529
    Gillet Vertigo Race Car                  724 HP**    1:14.961
    Honda S2000                              246 HP      1:35.955
    Honda S2000 LM Race Car                  586 HP      1:18.835
    Honda S2000 Type-V                       246 HP      1:39.112
    Jaguar XJ200 Road Car                    516 HP*     1:25.017
    Jaguar XJ200 Road Car                    970 HP**    1:19.874
    Jaguar XKR Coupe                         369 HP      1:38.292
    Lancia Delta HF Integrale Rally Car      295 HP      1:29.550
    Lister Motor Sport Elise                 200 HP      1:36.381
    Mazda 787B                               937 HP      1:18.635
    Mazda Demio GL-X                         98  HP      1:53.759
    Mazda RX-8                               281 HP      1:38.022
    Mazda Savanna RX-7 Infiniti III (FC.J)   209 HP      1:38.891
    Mine's Lancer Evolution VI (J)           394 HP      1:28.525
    Mini Cooper 1.3i                         61 HP       2:05.836
    Mitsubishi FTO GP Version R(J)           373 HP      1:29.579
    Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI GSR(J)    544 HP      1:24.200
    Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VI           301 HP      1:30.214
       Rally Car
    Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII GSR(J)   305 HP      1:35.254
    Nissan 240SX Fastback Type X (J)         197 HP      1:40.460
    Nissan Silvia Ks (S13 1000cc.J)          172 HP      1:42.097
    Nissan Z Concept                         572 HP      1:23.007
    Opel Astra Touring Car                   454 HP      1:21.942
    Pagani Zonda S                           1042 HP     1:19.763
    Panoz Esperante GTR-1                    588 HP      1:17.144
    Renault Clio Sport Race Car              474 HP      1:23.053
    Subaru Imprezza Rally Car                299 HP      1:30.883
    Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Version         981 HP*     1:22.380
    Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Version         1825 HP**   1:25.256
    Toyota GT-One Road Car                   600 HP*     1:14.283
    Toyota GT-One Road Car                   1068 HP**   1:09.744
    Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-Apex           207 HP*     1:33.701
    Toyota Sprinter Trueno GT-Apex           369 HP**    1:24.639
    TVR Griffith 500                         340 HP      1:24.435
    Volkswagon New Beetle 2.0                115 HP      1:57.068
    * Stock
    ** Maxxed
    To put these times in perspective, the fastest real-world lap
    time of the current circuit configuration was set by CART's
    Marlboro Team Penske driver Helio Castroneves at 1:07.722
    Given the many corners and moderate-length straightaways,
    high-horsepower cars would likely be best served to use a
    somewhat low-medium gear ratio to make use of powerful
    acceleration.  Depending on driving style, a high brake
    balance (20+) can be very useful as well, especially to pass
    on approaching the Corkscrew.
    Turn 1: This is actually just a slight 'kink' to the left
    just underneath the pedestrian bridge at the Start/Finish
    Line.  On exiting this 'corner,' Pit Exit rejoins the main
    circuit from the left.  From here, the circuit slopes gently
    downhill to Andretti Hairpin.
    Turn 2 (Andretti Hairpin): This hairpin is actually a little
    more than the standard 180 degrees.  Moderate or heavy
    braking will be required on approach, especially for cars
    with an extremely high horsepower output (700+ HP).  The best
    racing line is to approach from far-right, roll the left-side
    tires on the rumble strip at the apex, then drift back to the
    right on exit.  The cones here block the old Pit Exit, which
    used to rejoin the main circuit at the exit of Andretti
    Hairpin.  Cars which overshoot Andretti Hairpin will find
    themselves beached in the vast expanse of kitty litter to the
    outside of the hairpin.
    Turn 3: This right-hand corner will require moderate braking
    for most vehicles in the game.  Beware of sliding outward on
    exit, as the barrier is not very far off the pavement.
    Turn 4: Another right-hand corner, this turn can be taken
    with either slight braking for high-power vehicles, or flat-
    out by all other cars; both alternatives depend upon a solid
    racing line.  Again, beware of drifting off the pavement on
    exit, as the barrier is not very far off the pavement.
    Straightaway: About two-thirds of the way along this
    straightaway (just past the end of the grandstands), the
    circuit bends very gently to the right.  This can be a good
    place to judge the braking zone for Turn 5.
    Turn 5: Moderate braking will definitely be required here for
    this left-hand corner, unless you really want to slide out
    into the sand on the outside of the corner and into the
    nearby concrete and tires.
    Turn 6: A bridge marks the entry of Turn 6, which is a good
    reference point in case the distance-to-corner markers are
    knocked down or out of position during a race.  Except for
    the highest-power vehicles, the left-hand Turn 6 can be taken
    flat out by experts by using the rumble strips at the apex
    and exit, IF a pristine racing line can be held at full
    throttle.  On both sides of the pavement on exit, sand awaits
    those who slide off the circuit or misjudge this corner.  A
    long uphill climb begins here.
    Turn 7: Literally a few meters from the highest point of the
    circuit, this extremely gentle right-hand 'kink' could be
    taken flat-out if not for the upcoming Corkscrew.  For most
    cars, braking must begin no later than Turn 7 to avoid
    colliding with the barrier entering the Corkscrew.
    Turns 8 and 8A (Corkscrew): This is the world-famous
    Corkscrew, one of the trickiest sections of racetrack on the
    planet.  There is little run-off room through the Corkscrew,
    which is a moderate left-right chicane on a steep downhill
    mini-mountain which takes cars from the highest to the lowest
    point on the circuit.  Cars with moderate or high horsepower
    output are likely to have plenty of trouble here, whereas
    low-power cars will not have the speed to cheat gravity
    (without even trying).  If the tires are worn, expect plenty
    of trouble here.
    Turn 9 (Rainey Curve): This left-hand corner at first appears
    to be only a perpendicular corner, but continues on beyond
    the pedestrian bridge, making this corner trickier than one
    might assume.  A solid racing line is key here, but may be
    hard to set up at high speeds coming off the Corkscrew.
    Those who overrun Rainey Curve will be in the grass, but the
    barrier is not very far away.
    Turn 10: After a brief straightaway, this right-hand turn is
    bounded by a barrier, obscuring a clear view of traffic
    around the corner and blocking any shortcutting.  Moderate
    braking is required here for most cars, although plenty of
    sand-infested recovery room is available to the outside of
    the pavement.  If heading to Pit Lane, it is possible to keep
    up a rather fast speed to Pit Entry by purposely swinging out
    into the sand and passing slower cars keeping to the
    Turn 11: This 125-degree left-hand corner is bounded on the
    inside by a concrete barrier.  Those who overshoot this tight
    turn will be in the sand to the outside of the corner, then
    banging the barrier beyond.  Strong acceleration out of Turn
    11 will allow for good passing opportunities along Pit
    Straight and down to the entry of Andretti Hairpin.
    Pit Entry: This begins to the left just before the entry to
    Turn 11.  However, there is virtually no deceleration room
    before Pit Entry has its own nasty tight left-hand corner, so
    adequate deceleration is a MUST while still on the main
    circuit or else the vehicle WILL ram the barrier in Pit Lane.
    For questions, rants, raves, comments of appreciation, etc.,
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