With Gran Turismo 5 being released today, auto writer Dan Lyons tells the story of his experience racing with Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi at this year’s Nürburgring 24h race, and how their laptimes compared in GT5:
…while Yamauchi was playing out one of his dreams – to drive in a real Nürburgring 24-hour race – he also wanted to prove that his game is as close to reality as you can get.
He stresses that you are racing against real cars at speeds clearing 162mph with real hazards and real guard rails [in GT5]. Then, on his second qualifying lap at 95 per cent, he drove as if he was qualifying for the real 24-hour race, and posted a time of 9 minutes 48 seconds.
During the 24-hour race on the following day, behind the wheel of the World Car Awards’ Lexus IS-F race car, Yamauchi posted a fastest lap time of, you guessed it, 9 minutes 48 seconds, an unbelievable feat that had us all doing a double-take.
For the record, this writer, who co-drove with Yamauchi and cut his Nürburgring teeth on GT4, posted a game lap time of 9 minutes 55 seconds, and got within five seconds of that time in the real race…
Considering the advanced simulators that exist, it’s not unheard for someone to train using virtual reality, but how amazing that this mass-produced videogame can mimic reality so closely. Great story.