Gran Turismo Boss Enters Car Race, Quietly Uses Video Game To Help

Not many game developers are able to practise what they preach, mostly because a lot of the stuff they preach involves stuff that doesn't actually exist. Gran Turismo series creator Kazunori Yamauchi, however, takes his motor racing seriously. Very seriously. So seriously that, schedule permitting, he sometimes races expensive sports cars.

Over the weekend the Polyphony boss took part in the gruelling Nürburgring 24 hour race, as one of a team of drivers behind the wheel of a very slick Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3.

Before you accuse him of taking a little holiday, he did manage to get some work done at the same time. Indeed, work was - apparently, anyway - kind of the point.

The car was rigged so that performance data could be captured during the race and tested on Gran Turismo 6's engine in real time, letting developers fine-tune the handling and performance of the car to get it as realistic as possible. They could also do things the other way around, simulating "changes in vehicle dynamics due to suspension and aerodynamics" in the game, then if they worked, making the same changes to the actual car.

Sounds awesome in theory, but mechanical problems plagued the team in the actual race, and they limped to a 148th place finish. Not exactly a place on the podium, but it's still an achievement to finish a race like this, especially on a track as gruelling as the Nürburgring.

This is the second time Yamauchi has taken part in the race; last year he finished 36th.

The chances of somebody ever noticing that level of detail while playing the game seem remote, at best, but, hey, half the appeal of Gran Turismo is the fact that stuff is there, whether you notice or not.

Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 Completes the Nürburgring 24 hour race in the SP9 Class May 22, 2013 [GT]


Comments

    For those of you who might want to know about Kaz's achievements for real.. He actually raced in the Nurburgring 24hrs in 2010, 2011, and 2012.

    In 2010 he took a Lexus IS-F to achieve 4th place in his class (as the N24 is a race with around 200 cars, it is obviously split into classes).

    In 2011 and 2012 he joined Schulze Motorsport to take the GT Academy Nissan GT-R to class victory.

    He is certainly not 'carried' by his teams either, in 2010 he set the fastest lap of all drivers in that team.

    People that enjoy racing titles (as much as I obviously do) enough do notice the little things like that, and that's exactly this why this man is a legend up there with the likes of Kojima and Miyamoto. It's not a popular series among core gamers, but damn does he strive for absolute perfection like no other.

      I love a good racing game, I played the hell out of GT2 and 4 and wanted so much to love GT5 but it was all kinds of boring, it didn't innovate imo and to me, it doesn't matter how much accuracy you put into a game, if the game isn't fun in and of itself then it doesn't matter. I get that they have put GT6 in a shiny wrapper, I get that it is all kinds of accurate but something I sincerely hope it is, above all, is fun to play. Do that and I will come back to the series.

        GT5 is probably the most played game out of my library. I think you need a certain passion for motorsport and car culture to fully appreciate the series.

        Perhaps you should try something like Need for Speed, perhaps? Haha, I kid. I wouldn't wish that upon my worst enemy.

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