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    Tires FAQ by Wolf Feather

    Version: Final | Updated: 11/03/01 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    G       T       3  *    T     I   R  R  E     S
    G  GG   T     333       T     I   RRRRR EEEE  SSSSS
    G   G   T       3  *    T     I   R   R E         S
    GGGGG   T   33333       T   IIIII R   R EEEEE SSSSS
    Wolf Feather/Jamie Stafford
    Version:   FINAL
    Completed: November 3, 2001
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    Spacing and Length
    Tire Selection
    Tire Care
    Two Exceptions
    Input from Others
    Wish List
    For optimum readability, this driving guide should be
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    Check for appropriate font setting by making sure the numbers
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    Permission is granted to download and print one copy for
    personal use.
    Why a guide devoted specifically to tires in one specific
    game?  As a recent Michelin commercial (shown in the States)
    states, the tires are the only safety features on the road
    which actually TOUCH the road.  Implicit in this commercial
    is the message that special care must be given to tires.  In
    the case of Michelin, this means that choosing Michelin tires
    is far safer than choosing any other brand of tires (note
    that this series of commercials has been running since LONG
    before the Firestone/Ford controversy erupted in 2000).
    In the case of Gran Turismo 3, this same implicit message -
    that the tires are the only safety features on the road which
    actually TOUCH the road - means that special care must be
    given to the tires to keep them from wearing out too quickly.
    This is especially important given that the only reason to
    enter Pit Lane in GT3 is to change tires - fuel, damage
    repair, etc., are not at issue in GT3.
    Of course, there are instances where tire wear is never an
    issue.  None of the Arcade Mode races use tire wear, unless
    you specifically induce Professional League races (codes
    available elsewhere).  Similarly, the Beginner races and some
    Amateur races are simply too short for tire wear to become an
    issue.  Tire wear is also not involved in any of the Rally
    races, as - again - those races are too short for tire wear
    to become a factor.  Many Amateur and ALL Professional and
    Endurance races, however, do include tire wear as one of the
    'features' of each race.
    Tire selection is very important.  This is the first variable
    in race performance (if based on tires alone).
    For non-racing cars intended for mundane street use, Normal
    tires are standard issue.  While Normal tires may work well
    on the highway and on city streets, they are virtually
    worthless in an actual racing situation.  Normal tires do not
    provide adequate grip to be effective in racing.  This is
    most noticeable when trying to corner at relatively high
    speeds with a vehicle with Normal tires.
    Simulation tires supposedly give a more accurate feel of what
    it is like to drive a racing-tuned car.
    Sports tires are a little better than Normal tires.  When
    first playing Gran Turismo 3, one of the best things you can
    do to improve your chance of success is to upgrade to Sports
    tires as soon as possible.  This will improve your cornering
    ability, and provide a little more grip for acceleration
    (especially from a standing start).
    Dirt tires are required for dirt-based Rally events.  All
    rally-intended cars come with Dirt tires.  Many non-racing
    cars can also be equipped with Dirt tires.  For example, I
    used a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII GSR(J) equipped with
    Dirt tires - with a lot of money spent on parts and time
    spent in tuning - to compete in and win ALL the dirt-based
    Rally events.  (The same car also won in ALL the wet-based
    Rally events.)
    Racing tires come in an array of 'flavors,' with each tire
    compound giving a varying level of grip countered by an
    inverse level of durability.
       Super-slick    Least grip, maximum durability
       Medium*        Average grip, average durability
       Super-soft     Maximum grip, least durability
    * For F1 cars, Medium tires are the ONLY tire option
    available (likely due to the lack of an FIA license for GT3).
    All F1 cars come equipped with Medium tires.
    A very important issue in tire selection actually involves
    horsepower.  The chosen tires need to have some measure of
    durability, or else you will be stopping in Pit Lane to
    change tires after virtually every lap of the race.  For
    example, a maxed-out Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Version
    (1841HP) will be putting down so much power on the road that
    Super-soft tires will almost instantly become worthless.  In
    other words, don't allow the car's horsepower to overdrive
    the tires' ability to function properly.
    In the event that the chosen tires wear out too much (orange
    or red tire indicators), cornering at any respectable speed
    will be virtually impossible, instead causing a nearly-
    uncontrollable slide into a barrier or into another vehicle.
    Strong acceleration will likely cause the vehicle to spin.  A
    good driver will not let this happen very often; an expert
    driver will NEVER let this happen.
    Choose your pitting strategy so that your tires never become
    too worn.  A set of tires needs to last AT LEAST 5 laps in
    order to give you a chance of winning a race.  Of course, the
    greater the durability of a set of tires, the longer you can
    stay out of Pit Lane, thereby reducing your number of Pit
    Stops in a race; however, greater durability means less grip,
    which in turn means that you are quite likely to slide more
    often unless you take VERY good care of the tires.
    At the beginning of a race and immediately after a Pit Stop,
    the tires are brand new ('stickers') and need to be brought
    up to temperature as quickly as possible so that they can
    provide the best possible grip.  This is noted by dark blue
    tire indicators.  During this period, sharp turns or
    extremely-fast cornering will almost certainly cause the car
    to slide, and perhaps even spin.  However, slides and spins
    will bring the tires up to optimum temperature even faster,
    so you may wish to purposely induce slides when entering
    corners, IF the tire indicators are dark blue.
    Once the tire indicators are green, the tires have reached
    their optimum performance temperature, thus providing you
    with the best possible grip for that set of tires.  The
    amount of time the tire indicators remain in the green color
    range depends on your driving style, the amount of time off-
    course (in the grass or sand) or banging the barriers (or
    other cars), and the initial selection of tire compound.
    As the tire indicators switch to yellow, you need to start
    taking better care of your tires.  You may experience slides
    when cornering.
    Orange tire indicators are a warning to get to Pit Lane to
    change tires as soon as you possibly can.  You will be
    sliding around a lot more.
    Red tire indicators are effectively Game Over.  Unless you
    have a HUGE (multi-lap) lead or a significant horsepower
    advantage over your competitors, you will not have a chance
    of winning the race, especially if you stop to change tires.
    Essentially, you are driving on pure ice, and the only way to
    'reliably' get around the circuit is to ride the rails -
    which is inherently more difficult with the open-wheel F1
    Note that not all four tire indicators will not be the same
    color at all times.  If even ONE tire shows a red indicator,
    you need to limp back to Pit Lane to change tires as soon as
    Traction Control affects tire durability.  With a low
    Traction Control setting, the tires will spin for a while
    (especially on a standing start or when under strong
    acceleration) before they actually grip the pavement; the
    friction of the pre-grip spinning wears away at the tires.
    With a high Traction Control setting, wheel spin is reduced
    or even eliminated, thus extending the durability of the
    One of the best ways to reduce the durability of the tires is
    to corner at high speeds.  The GT3 manual gives an excellent,
    detailed description of what occurs with the tires when
    cornering.  In short, cornering at high speeds causes a high
    percentage of the tire to be used for speed, and a low
    percentage to be used for the actual cornering.  To combat
    this and thus extend the durability of the tires, try to
    brake in a STRAIGHT line before reaching a turn, thus
    reducing overall speed and providing a lower percentage of
    the tires to be used for speed, and a greater percentage used
    for cornering.
    Note that if the percentage of the tires used for speed is
    too high compared to the percentage used for cornering, the
    car will slide and/or spin.
    Perhaps one of the best things to do to learn to take care of
    the tires is to play a racing game (such as the recently-
    released F1 2001) in which vehicle damage of available.
    Playing with the damage option on will certainly make the
    effects of worn tires quite visual.  As tire grip wears away
    (due to a long run, multiple off-track excursions, etc.),
    your car may begin sliding around, potentially resulting in
    car damage (broken and missing parts), which REALLY makes
    driving a nightmare at high speeds.  The Gran Turismo series
    does not make this visibly clear, so it is easy to
    underestimate the condition of the tires; similarly, without
    any car damage (due to licensing concerns), cars in the Gran
    Turismo series can simply "ride the rails" around corners
    when tire conditions are less than optimal.
    However, all of this CAN be thrown out the window, and you
    CAN win even an Endurance Race with red tire indicators and
    never stopping to change tires.  I myself did this is the
    Trial Mountain 2 Hours Endurance Race using a Zonda C12S and
    Normal (street) tires.  The only reason I won, however, was
    that I had superior horsepower to the other cars in the race.
    While it CAN be done, I very strongly suggest AGAINST
    attempting such a feat!!!!!
    There are two circuits where tire wear need not be an issue:
    Test Course and Super Speedway.  For both circuits, the car
    should be tuned for maximum speed, which usually means a high
    gear ratio, and low downforce and ride height.  If you can
    select the tires you want (which means you are not driving an
    F1 car), you may as well go with Super-slick tires, as they
    will last the longest.
    For Test Course, the two banked turns are so extremely gentle
    that if you slide at all, the banking will usually prevent
    you from sliding up into the outer barrier.  Even if you do
    hit the outer barrier, simply ride the rails until you can
    regain control of the car.
    For Super Speedway, simply ride the rails if necessary.  In
    the Endurance race at Super Speedway (100 laps), you may wish
    to stop once or twice to change tires, but with a really fast
    and powerful car (such as a maxed-out Suzuki Escudo Pikes
    Peak Version), you will EASILY win - in my case (two
    Endurance races, one with the Suzuki Escudo, one with an F1
    car), I won by more than 30 laps over the second-place car.
    For both circuits, change parts to gain maximum horsepower
    output and speed off.  In my own experience, virtually any
    car above 650HP will either be in contention to win the race,
    or will simply leave everyone else in the choking on exhaust
    based on horsepower alone.
    I received a pair of e-mails from PJ (e-mail address
    withheld) concerning tires and braking.  His information is
    rather technical, but is definitely useful to know:
       From: "pj"
       Subject: gt3 braking & ford racing
       Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 06:31:23 -0400
       enjoy all of your writings which i've read thus far.
       most recently read your gt3 tires faq.  good stuff.
       having had some road racing experience (decades ago when
       it was less expensive to race), i would like to share some
       info on braking with you.
       haven't read the skip barber portion of the gt3 manual yet
       so don't know if what i'm about to say is included in it.
       perhaps i read your tire faq too fast & didn't notice it
       there.  if so, please excuse me.
       if gt3 is a real sim, then braking should be performed
       just as an actual road racer would.
       typically, for most turns, approximately 85% of your
       braking is performed in a straight line.  obviously, this
       % varies depending upon the unique characteristics of each
       turn.  the remaining approx. 15% is performed while
       entering the turn, before apexing the turn.  this is known
       as "trail braking".  its purpose is to continue to
       transfer weight to the front tires, thus increasing the
       tire's contact patch which results in greater cornering
       ability.  get on the gas too soon and weight transfers to
       the rear wheels resulting in the car "pushing" (under-
       steering) off-line and perhaps off the course as well or
       into a barrier.
       i've found that proper "trail braking" allows for carrying
       higher speed through the corners, just as it would in real
       life.  this is a very difficult skill to master.
       braking technique & tire management are perhaps, in my
       humble opinion, two of the most important aspects of gt3
       racing (as they are in real life).  Car setup while
       extremely important in real road racing, does not seem to
       be as important in gt3.  it certainly helps, and can help
       a great deal, but it is not necessary to winning a race
       even with an under powered car.  besides, if one doesn't
       know what they're doing, they can sure mess up the
       handling of a car.  the "stock" or standard suspension
       settings seem to work just fine with few exceptions.
       proper braking allows for carrying higher exit speeds
       out of corners and for the most prevalent passing maneuver
       in real racing (and in gt3 also), viz. "overtaking under
       while this rarely happens unless i don't select a good pit
       strategy, if it's late in a race & pitting might cause me
       to lose or i don't want to run 2 laps on super-slick cold
       (blue) tires, then i just finish the last lap or two on
       orange or red tires.  just as in real life, this increases
       the braking distance, so the driver (player) must adjust
       the braking points accordingly.  with care and somewhat
       slower lap times (usually 3-4 seconds per lap for most
       courses), one can run several laps on red tires.  Handling
       is very mushy and it's easy to exceed the worn tire's
       limits, and the car is twitchy at high speed, but it can
       be done.
       From: "pj"
       To: "Wolf Feather" <feather7@ix.netcom.com>
       Subject: Re: gt3 braking & ford racing
       Date: Mon, 6 Aug 2001 03:26:18 -0400
       forgot to mention that with a close ratio gear-box,
       downshifting and pulling high revs can produce "engine
       braking" which can be used for "trail braking".  this is
       especially easy to do in GT3 with a manual transmission
       especially since there is no risk of over-revving the
       engine and "blowing" or "grenading" it, and since
       repeatedly bouncing the engine off of the rev-limiter does
       NOT produce the real-world vibrations that can, over time,
       damage an engine or crack headers.
    There is really only one thing I would like to see changed
    about the Gran Turismo series in relation to tires: more
    realistic tire wear.  The current method of tire wear (with
    tires lasting 5-10 laps on average) is just fine for
    relatively short races, but for longer races (such as the
    Endurance Races), the need to stop for tires so often is a
    very unrealistic aspect of this 'driving simulation' series.
    For the typical two-hour race, tire wear should occur at a
    rate requiring only 2-3 pit stops during the race.
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