Focus on Endurance
It’s the dead of night and the illumination of the starting straight fades into the background, track lighting is at a minimum and the headlights from your competitors shine into the night. The brake lights in front appear, a set of red eyes staring your headlights down. Then they vanish. The car in front runs wide and finds itself in the gravel runoff, you’re in first place and now you’re all alone.
…aware that every wrong move is causing your tyres to slowly lose more and more grip.
You carve your way around the track, aware that every wrong move is causing your tyres to slowly lose more and more grip. The movement of lights behind you indicate a battle is going on, and you’re next in line for the overtake.
The grandstand is lit up, giving you a rare bit of visibility, causing you to lose concentration for a split second. That’s when they make the move, three cars pass and you find yourself in fourth.
It’s your mistake. But the pack has been involved in wheel-to-wheel, aggressive racing all race long whilst you’ve picking your line, trading places with first and carving your way around the circuit. The battles they’ve been fighting – every attempt to out brake their rivals, each run off the track trying to squeeze by – will have affected their tyres. You’ve been racing clean and precisely… “just stay close and I’ll rein them in,” you think to yourself.
Laps lose meaning, they become a blur, the only thing that matters is the clock steadily ticking down. With every movement of the minute dial you’re 60 seconds closer to finishing, now’s the time to make your move.
Your tyres are in the green, they’ve not only got the grip to get you home but they’ve got just enough in them to push that little bit harder. The cars in front aren’t so lucky, they’re showing the scars from earlier in the race, putting their cars under extra stress jostling for position, gaining places but loosing grip.
You pass third place easy enough, up the inside as they struggle to hold their line. A lap passes and you’re right on the tail of second place, they brake but their tyres have gone, the little grip they have barely keeps them on the track and you make the pass.
Just five minutes to go in the race and the chase for the podium is on. You push harder but are overzealous into a corner, you run wide of the apex and your front and back left tyres get a taste of grass and you instantly feel a loss of grip.
You continue on, the gap is close and getting smaller. Just three minutes remain and there’s your chance, the car in front loses it going into the corner and they run wide, you move up the inside, fighting your left hand side for grip.
You can’t win an Endurance race on the first corner, but you can lose it on the last.
You make the pass and retake the lead position, holding your line and easing the car through the last remaining minutes of the race. No more mistakes. You can’t win an Endurance race on the first corner, but you can lose it on the last.
Your extra grip lets you maintain the gap whilst your rivals wrestle their way around the circuit in pursuit. The tyres bring you home and the victory is yours.
So what makes an Endurance race special?
- Large grid sizes (up to 16 cars offline, 12 players online)
- Long, high speed races featuring tyre wear (up to 40 minutes long)
- AI run multiple strategies
- Cars of similar or pre-defined specification
- Sports tuned vehicles with lots of grip
- Practice, Qualifying and Race format
- Rolling Starts
- Focus on night time races
So what about the cars?
The Endurance discipline has a great selection of cars on offer and there’s guaranteed something for everyone. Fans of Race Driver: GRID will be pleased to see the Mazda 787B making an appearance, while those for an eye for classics will no doubt be drawn towards the Ford GT40 MK1. Here’s a list of what awaits you:
- AUDI R8 LMS Ultra
- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT3
- Aston Martin N24 V12 Zagato
- McLaren 12C GT3
- Nissan 2008 (R35) GT-R Nismo GT500
- Honda HSV-010 GT
- Lola B12/80
- Shelby Cobra “Daytona” Coupe
- Ford GT40 MK1
- Mazda 787B
For a little more insight on how the Endurance cars handle, we caught up with Luke Stephenson, one of our resident Superstar Car Handling Designers:
“Whether you’re racing a classic GT40 or a modern Prototype, expect a lot of mechanical grip at low speeds and a car that likes a smooth turn in and requires a careful application of the throttle. The GT cars are relatively heavy but have good downforce, so drivers will find more grip and confidence at higher speeds.
Be careful not to overstep the boundaries though, as tyres wear over the course of a race. Expect to start under steering if you wear the fronts by locking your brakes, or a tail happy machine if you spin up the rears.
Endurance cars tone down the urgency of a car built for a sprint to the finish, but these are thinking drivers’ machines built for a world where patience and planning is just as important as raw pace.”
We’ve all heard of the expression “things that go bump in the night” but in this case, it’s “things that go vroooom in the night!” Strap yourself in and get ready for a different kind of racing – incredible cars, dramatic night settings and races where you need the long game to win.