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GPL Training by Ian Parker
This article is aimed new racers so please excuse me if you feel it starts a bit slowly.

A slow lap of Monza

Before we begin

The first thing we need to do in GPL is to be able to make the car go in roughly the right direction, this is not as easy as you would initially think!

Many people would suggest using the G3 trainer and progressing through G2 advanced trainer and on to the GP cars to learn GPL, while this is undoubtedly the easiest method to learn to drive the cars, I feel that going through the classes will ultimately mean learning the GP cars again once you have got to grips with the trainers, I also feel that using the driving aids (throttle (gas), braking and shifting) will also adversely affect your ability to drive the GP cars to their fullest potential. If however you find the GP cars a bit too much without any driving aids then you may wish to consider using just 1 or 2 of the available aids, probably auto shifting and throttle (gas) help.

The important thing to remember with GPL is that you change direction with the steering wheel, brakes and throttle (gas), not just with the steering wheel alone. You also slow down using the brakes but also to a lesser extent with the steering wheel.

When first leaving the pits in a driving game most people want to drive flat out trying to set new records straight away. If you take that approach to GPL you will find yourself visiting the scenery with great regularity!

Moving Off

We will use Monza as our training track as it is relatively easy to learn. Pick a car which is easy to drive, the Coventry or Ferrari would be a good choice. You now need to select a setup, probably use the default but lower the fuel level to about 5 gallons, then save it as a name of your choice. When you have selected the setup to use click on the green button to join the track which places you in PitLane.

Start out slowly, select 1st gear and gradually depress the gas pedal just enough to get the car moving, keep the revs low until you exit pit lane gently steering onto the track, when you are pointing in the right direction you can gently depress the gas to build up speed, if the car starts to wheelspin you are pushing too hard so back off the gas slightly. When you reach approximately half of full engine speed you should release the gas, select next gear up then when in 2nd gently depress the gas again, repeating the above until you get into 3rd gear. This is fast enough to start with and you should now be approaching turn 1 which is a fast right hander which you will be able to gently steer through on a neutral throttle.

On The Track

For now you should be concentrating on keeping a steady line through the corner keeping towards the left hand side on the approach and gradually bringing the car across to the right hand side towards the center (or apex) of the turn, when you pass the apex you can let the car run back towards the center of the track for the exit of the turn.

Apex: The point at which your car is at its nearest point to the inside of a corner. The apex of a corner can vary, some corners can have more than one.

The next turn is to the left so you will be on the correct line as you approach it. Keep the speed steady again through the turn but aim for a late apex at the left of the track on exit to be in the correct position for the tight right hander which follows. When you exit the turn with the car pointed straight ease gently off the gas then gently apply the brakes to reduce speed and shift down to 2nd gear in time to take the tight right hand turn (Lesmo 1). Try to brake progressively while pointing in a straight line and don't shift gears down until the car is slowed. You should be at low revs in 2nd gear and on the LHS of the track when you turn in aiming for the right hand side at the apex and LHS at the exit of Lesmo 1, accelerate gently towards Lesmo 2 reaching about half maximum engine speed at half distance between the turns at which point ease off gently in time to take the turn which is a slightly faster right hander than Lesmo 1. When you exit that turn gently accelerate again upto 3rd gear, you can then follow the next two left hand corners comfortably in 3rd gear which then leads you onto the long back straight leading into the Parabolica, this corner is very tricky to find a good braking point for at racing speed, we will be approaching it at a fairly low speed though and will need to drop into 2nd gear at lowish revs to get around it. Once again this is a right hand corner so approach on the LHS of the track but this time try to stay towards the center of the track through the first half of the turn, then go towards the RHS during the final section where you can pick a line to exit the corner and gradually accelerate back up into 3rd gear. You are now approaching the pitlane on the RHS which is just before the start/finish line. You have completed a lap at Monza!

If you felt comfortable with that lap you can try going around again but this time slightly faster maybe using 4th gear on the long straights.

Good luck!

If you find you are struggling with the GP car then you may want to try the G2 advanced trainer, I would not use the G3 trainer because it handles completely differently to the GP car.

Copyright © 1999 Ian Parker, UKGPL League

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