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>>> Preview - TK's "Le Mans 2008" - Circuit de la Sarthe

30.01.2010 - Finally the GP2-community has got it's long awaited version of a modern Le Mans 24h circuit. Especially the sportscar-fans have been waiting for this moment to come. The following article shall give you a small review about the new circuit made by TK and also some "background"-information.

You can click on the screenshots to enlarge them!

The track-lenght-problem

The main problem when building the Circuit de la Sarthe for Grand Prix 2 is, that the game has a restriction for the track-length. That means that tracks are not allowed to be longer than 7,3 kilometers (or 4,5 miles). As the real Circuit de la Sarthe has an overall lenght of 13,9 kilometers, the only possibility to get it into GP2 is to shorten it.


History of Le Mans Circuits for GP2
The first release of a Le Mans track was by Sergio Leonardi in December 1998. Later he went on to update it and add a night version, as well as the LM Bugatti circuit. That was in June 1999.

In 2001 Antonia Pessoa released a LM Bugatti circuit as well, with the info that it was not possible to build the LM 24h circuit, due to the restrictions of the track-length.

But three years later, in June 2004, he released a shortened "Le Mans 1969" - Circuit de la Sarthe, based on Otavio Silveira track. Later Andreas Schulz updated this version with new scenery, objects, fences and more.

Based on this track Roberto Remedio released "Le Mans at Night" only a month after the original release.

In 2009 TK released his version of the Le Mans Bugatti circuit, it's the GP2-track that comes closest to the original.

A modern Le Mans Circuit for GP2
After I had released my 1991- and 1992-SWC and 2008-LM carsets, there was no fitting LM Circuit to race on with these cars. The 1969 track is very nice of course, but it's a little bit weird to race on a 60's track with those modern cars.

So I was very happy when TK released his version of the circuit. Although the track is shortened, he was able to keep it's character. A qualifying-lap with a Peugeot 908 in GP2 takes about 2:04.5 minutes, in comparison Stephane Sarrazin needed a 3:18.5 for his pole-position in 2008.

When you install this racetrack for the first time and try it out, you may have probably some spins and crashes, at least when you try to set a good laptime. The track definitely has it's difficulties, but with some exercise you can control them. For Example: After several DNF's I finally made it through a whole 25-lap-race and towards the end I got faster and faster. I was even able to set the 2nd fastest laptime overall with a Epsilon-Euskadi, only 0,5 seconds behind the fastest Peugeot.


What also helps to provide a realistic Le Mans feeling is the scenery. Around the track are several tv-monitors placed which show a Dome S102 and you find the typical adverts of Dunlop, Rolex or Audi. The pitlane complex comes very close to the original, the Dunlop chicane is almost 1:1 and further TK realized the characteristic red asphalt-lines on the Mulsanne-straight in his track.

The only criticism is, that the track is a bit to wide in some parts. Maybe this can be changed in the future.

But this doesn't influence my conclusion, all in all it's a perfect realization of the modern Circuit de la Sarthe for Grand Prix 2. Thank you very much, TK!

CC-Setup
Front Wing: 10
Rear Wing: 7
Gearbox: 27 - 36 - 43 - 49 - 55 - 60
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