5 tips to win online races in Gran Turismo Sport

© Sony
Written by John Robertson
Compete to win online with these key tips for Sony’s GT Sport.
Gran Turismo Sport represents a new direction for the prestigious racing simulator, the design team at developers Polyphony Digital concentrating their efforts on the world of online competition. This is a PS4 game in which offline, single player elements are secondary and racing against your fellow humans is the main event.
As such, winning is harder than it’s ever been, and it’s never been easy in a sim as hardcore as Gran Turismo. Winning consistently in GT Sport is only attainable by those prepared to constantly work at achieving self-improvement and staying ahead of the chasing pack.
To help you with exactly that we’ve got the key tips and approaches you need; the application of which is going to see you celebrating on the podium. Once you’ve absorbed everything here you’ll be ready to line up on the grid against the very best in GT Sport. Good luck.

Master the ‘Circuit Experience’ before going online

Before even attempting to test yourself in online arenas you should make sure that you’ve achieved gold medals in all of the tracks within the ‘Circuit Experience’ section of career mode. The Circuit Experience breaks down each of GT Sport’s circuits into their constituent sectors, allowing you to gain experience and master the components of a track – the shallow curves of a speedway require a delicate touch on the wheel, for example, whilst Willow Springs needs a heavier, more forceful approach – before committing to mastering the whole thing.
Some of the gold medal times on certain tracks are very challenging to obtain, forcing you to attempt them multiple times before succeeding. This repetition helps you memorise the track, which is an essential tool if you want to win consistently online. A few of the sectors featuring interlinking S-bends on the mammoth Nürburgring Nordschleife, are especially difficult, and even in the cornering master that is the Subura WRX you’ll need plenty of practise to find the perfect racing line.
The less time you’re spending worrying about how to approach the next set of corners, the less time you’re thinking about how to drive faster and overtake opponents.

Adjust your traction control on the fly

Understanding how to keep full control over your car without the assistance of traction control is one of the fastest and most effective ways of very quickly improving your lap times. The loss of traction control makes your car more difficult to handle when turning into and out of corners. As such, it forces you to be more considered regarding when to engage the throttle and how hard to step on it. The plus side is that it allows you to transfer more power through the wheels and push the car to its limits.
GT Sport includes the ability to alter the strength of the traction control system (TCS) from within the cockpit of your car using the D-pad, giving you a great opportunity to experiment with it on and off during practice laps. It might take you a little while to master it, but the initial pain is more than worth it in the long run. Additionally, learning how to drive without traction control is a transferable skill that can help you in all racing games moving forward.
A screenshot of Nürburgring at night from GT Sport
Try not to develop bad habits when racing

Increase downforce to improve cornering, but do so with care

There are a lot of options when it comes to tuning cars in GT Sport, with adjustments to downforce being one of the most impactful. As a general rule, an increase in downforce improves how your car reacts through corners as the increased pressure ‘sticks’ your tyres to the track more readily.
Willow Springs and the Kyoto Driving Park are two tracks that benefit from a higher level of downforce due to their long sequences of interlinking corners, but even in these locations you need to be careful about applying too much downforce.
With an abundance of downforce you’ll find that you can’t achieve your car’s potential top speed, the added friction of a high level of downforce impeding the engine’s relationship with the wheels. Run some test laps with varying levels of downforce before your online race, or during your attempts at qualifying, to find the sweet spot that matches car, track and your racing style.
A screenshot of a Hyundai from GT Sport
Push yourself to drive cars you normally wouldn’t

Perform practise laps in your opponent’s vehicles

Know your enemy. If you’ve got no idea what you’re going up against, then how can you possibly understand how best to approach the situation at hand? In GT Sport this most basic of ideas comes into play with every online race you play, and your average finishing position will improve if you heed it.
Before each race you should take a moment to check the qualifying times of the other competitors, which is easily done from within the menu of the races you’ve entered. What you want to look for is which cars other drivers are using to set their lap times and then drive a few laps in the most popular of those vehicles. The Porsche 911 RSR is popular in the Gr. 3 class, for example, as is the Ferrari 458 Italia in Gr. 4.
This way you’ll get a grip on each car’s strengths and weaknesses and know, for example, at the most basic level, whether you’re going up against machines that prioritise speed over cornering, such as the Corvette C7, or something more delicate with the Nissan GT-R. Information is power, and this kind of information can be invaluable when planning which section of the circuit you might want to attempt an overtaking maneuver.

Drive in all car categories across all tracks

While it might be tempting to set your sights on mastering a single car in a bid to squeeze every last bit of potential out of it, doing so is one sure way to limit your overall racing ability. As a race driver you should be constantly looking to test yourself by learning new skills, and switching cars often is a great and fun way to do that.
GT Sport splits its car list into categories based on their power and performance. For instance, the Gr.4 class contains the likes of the Mercedes SLS AMG and Nissan GT-R racecars – both of which excel on circuits that require a lot of acceleration out of the corners to maintain a smooth line, such as the Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit and Brands Hatch.
Moving up the performance table you have the Gr. 1 vehicles, containing the ferociously powerful Toyota HS050 Le Mans car and the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo 2017 concept car. The performance level is so high in the Gr. 1 category that you’ll be setting great lap times on all tracks once you’ve got their power under control, but ideally you want to race on tracks that contain at least a couple of long straights in order to make the most of their top end speed; the Sukuza and Dragon Tail tracks are good choices in this regard,
Not only are you diversifying your skill set by understanding the different cars and how their performance translates to the track, you’re also understanding to a deep degree any and all cars you might come up against in a race. Plus, if you’re driving all available cars then you’re opening yourself to the possibility that you might stumble upon a new favourite.
For more gaming coverage, follow @RedBullGames on Twitter and Instagram and like us on Facebook.