Gran Turismo 5: 24 Hour Race At The Motor Show

We’ve had some high-pressure hands on in our time, but this was as intense as it gets. We had a 60-minute slot in the 24 hour long Gran Turismo 5 race at the Australian International Motor Show, and we were sitting on the sidelines itching to grab the baton.

But then we hit the changeover, and immediately slammed it up the straight. We maxed out at over 240 km/hour before the slightest left dogleg sent us spinning, careening into the barrier at full speed. This was not Mario Kart, this was Gran Turismo 5 and it sure as hell isn’t forgiving - but stick with it and you’ll unlock one of the most rewarding racing games on the planet.

We jumped in halfway through lap 174 - the 9am slot. And after 17 hours of racing there wasn’t more than three minutes between the two races competing side-by-side – so the pressure was on, We were driving the FT-86 G Sports concept, a car that won’t hit the streets until 2012, in the 22km at Nürburgring.

As someone who plays Gran Turismo at the lowest, most casual level, we went into this hour-long endurance race fully expecting to cramp up or, at the very least, degenerate into some zen-induced karmic boredom – but we were surprised to find ourselves not only engaged, but riveted by the whole experience.

“Great graphics, eh?” said the Toyota assistant overseeing the race, providing enough of a distraction to send us spinning for what seemed like the 37th time – but it wasn’t the visuals that had us enthralled. For the first time in donkey’s years, we actually found ourselves simply enjoying the act of driving in a video game. Maybe it was the occasion, maybe it was the race environment, or the fact that the race kinda meant something, but we found the Gran Turismo 5 experience a very satisfying one – and we have a renewed excitement for the game.

If it ever gets released!

The Australian International Motor Show runs until the 24th of October at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre.


    can you confirm about the day/night cycles? was the 24hr race you played with have them turned on?

    Did they day/night cycle change at all over the course of the event do you know?

    Was weather stormy/snowy/active at all?

    Also were pit-stops included for fuel/tyres/driver-stopovers? If so, were they animated pit crews, or something else?

    (I'm not hanging out for new GT5 info... not at all... ;) )

    Cheers :)

    Brilliantly informative article! I love how Mark manages to convey his experience so clearly to the reader, sharing countless insights into how the game plays, handles and feels.

    Of all the people that could have been chosen, he was obviously the best choice, with his deep love of driving games and unrivaled experience with them shining through.

    His analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the game is fair and balanced and the way he masterfully compares it to Prologue and other previous entries in the series, as well as competition such as Forza makes for fascinating reading. I can't wait to experience the AI, the handling, the graphics, the damage model, the dynamic weather and changing times of day when I get the game, but I feel like I already know what to expect from the thorough descriptions and analysis.

    Overall, a great report that made the most of the rare opportunity to play this game. More of this please!

      Geeze dude - it wasn't a proper hands on, it was part of a 24 hour race, where we basically ran through one race for an hour. It's obviously going to be light on details.

      We'll have more soon. Just thought I'd give a quick write up on what I managed to check out today in between a crazy schedule. Sorry it wasn't in-depth enough for you.

      You sir, are a douche.

      See? Only takes few words to get your point across, not 3 paragraphs. Build a bridge and read the next article if you dont like this one, sunshine.

      Totally agree with you. This article was a waste of time. Unless the author signed a non-disclosure agreement with Sony, I'd suggest never having him test another game.

        This was more about the race than the game itself. I wouldn't send myself to do a detailed hands on with Gran Turismo - it's simply not my thing. I was asked to participate in the race, I did, and I reported on it. It's as simple as that.

        Not having me test another game - hilarious! I wasn't even 'testing' this one.

    "Geeze dude – it wasn’t a proper hands on".

    "Gran Turismo 5: HANDS ON At The Motor Show"

    Sorry your schedule is so hectic. But "I went to a motor show and played GT5 and I enjoyed it" is a shit post.

    There's lots of good stuff on Kotaku, lots, but this post needed an editor.

      I disagree. It was just a quick post to report on the race, which we ran a comp for and some of the community was there, so in between rushing to appointments I thought I'd rattle up something quickly just to make people aware of Gran Turismo at the motorshow and the race itself.

      It wasn't meant to be the in-depth hands on you wanted, nor could it have been.

      But it's a fair point - and noted. I probably could have changed the headline, but there was no need to post a three paragraph long sarcastic reply.


        Fair enough. On both points in your final sentence.

        Anyways, how did you go in the race?

        In addition to the questions from Gobbo:

        Did you have damage model on?
        Did you drive with clutch and H box?
        How was the driver AI (the Achilles heal of the entire GT series)?

          Yeah, will prob change the headline, because it was a fair point you made.

          - Damage model was on and looked awesome.
          - Didn't drive with the clutch and H box, I'm a bit of a noob in that regard.
          - It was such a long race that there was very little interaction with the AI, so nothing to report on that really.

            Leave Mark ALONE!!!!

            (Off to post this comment as a video on youtube and become a viral sensation.)

            Saw you racing Mark but forgot to say hello... any idea which team won on the day?

    Bjorn... Bjorn... Bjorn...
    You are obviously suffering from another Grand Turismo 5 delay. Mark said in the piece that he was a casual GT player, not a die hard player like you seem to be. I'm also a casual GT player, so I could identify with the piece and it made me more keen to play it. It's not like it was a review or something. It was just an interest piece. A pity about your over use of sarcasm. I think Mark is doing a great job so far. Go Mark!

    Out of curiosity, did you get a look at the FT-86 itself (i.e. the real one, not the GT version of it)?

    Guys, december are coming... and all the questions will be answered.

      Just for that... they're going to delay it until February.

    Hey Mark,

    I got to drive on the White team between 9 and 10pm. From the look of the photo you were in the White team racing pod.

    The only thing I cant figure out is when did the White team loose their lead of well over a lap and a half?? I left around 12:20am but did they say who was letting us down??

    Also what was your best time?? My best time was 7 min 52 secs.

      Sounds like you almost beat the lap record (was roughly about 7 mins 30 when I left.

      Don't know what happened with the race, my best lap time was 9 mins 30!

      Like I said, not a huge Gran Turismo guy, but it was a cool event.

    Hey Mark - your words (and pic!) made the front page of GTPlanet (

    ...any chance of addressing my questions above too, puhleease?

    Winner was team red, fastest lap was 7:27s set by Motor Magazine editor Andrew MacLean on the very last lap (lap 161). To put this into perspective the actual race in Germany was won by BMW with 153 laps, pole time was 8:24s. The actual lap record for a production car is a Nissan GT-R at 7:26s for the 22.8k Nordschleife circuit

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