just to raise my attention to gtr evolution, i’ve started to test different cars on the Nordschleife. in combination with performance tweaking, i’ve spent about 2 hours with different practise sessions and one race. the caterhams are really brutal biests and especially the helmet view is a nice idea. on one side, this view is a really nice feature if you have a head tracking system, on the other side, it’s not really recommended if you’re not owning such a system. to handle the strongest caterham within a field of 24 other cars is almost impossible if you can’t turn your head and even to have a look on the gauges is very limited.
after having a look into the manual i’ve got an understanding of the performance manager. so i’ve started to switch thru the different presets just to check the recommendation by the performance manager. i’m not sure if it is related to the change of the settings itself or whatsoever, but at the end, the performance manager recommended to set the visual settings to max. this was unusable the days before and a quick practise session was showing a kind of fluid game experience. to stay on the safe side, i’ve kept the settings to high and started a race with the spyker and a field of the related group. since i wasn’t really in the mood to put every nerv into the race, i decided to keep the opponent strength at 90% and skipped the qualify. the preset setup for the car and this track is not bad, pretty good balanced and enough performance to handle an ai strength up to 100% or even more. the next nice feature i was interested in was the pitstop profile. this is indeed something i was begging for since GTR and GTR2 and this would be definitely a ‚blown away‘ feature for endurance races. everything can be predefined, fuel, repairs, tires. it is possible to store multiple profiles, so no problems if the weather starts to change or if you are going to change your strategy. especially with this feature, the absence of endurance races is really not logical. anyway, back to the race. my main interest was to see how the ai will perform on this track and if there are major flaws regarding best line, breakpoints and so on. the overall performance is not bad, the ai is doing most of the time a good job. what’s still a problem is this radical approach to put the own car on the best line without paying too much attention if there is another car or not. after the flying start, the field headed for the first corner, scratching and pushing, just to leave a ton of small parts on the start-finish line. after a few bends, the field started to stay in rope of pearls. i was just following the pack until my tires and brakes started to develop some grip. getting more familiar with the car, i’ve started to push a little bit to stay in touch with the pack. and what a surprise, the ai behaves like in former Nordschleife conversions for GTR/GTR2. there are some strong areas, where it is really hard to follow and there are some areas where it is really easy to collect some seconds without any sweat. the ai is significant slower at Flugplatz, Adenauer Forst, Angstkurve, Kleiner Karussel and Schwalbenschwanz. the pack performs very well between Hatzenbach and Hocheichen and the section around Pflanzgarten. on the long Döttinger Höhe, the opponents tend to drive from the left to the right without any respect to other cars. the mentioned behavior is very predictable, so if there is no chance to pass a certain car due to different power or setups, just follow until you have reached the listed section, keep the pedal to the medal and pass. this is very disappointing because every car behaves like this, so it is not related to model, class or whatsoever. using this experience for a conclusion, i haven’t found any major differences to former GTR titles at all.

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