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Gran Turismo 6: Willow Springs International Raceway Track Tips

Master the infamous Willow Springs track with some help.
This article is over 10 years old and may contain outdated information

Gran Turismo 6 has a number of tracks and events included for your racing pleasure, and over the next week, we’ll pick some of the better ones and break down strategies that’ll help net you first place victories – provided you aren’t a little hesitant to put the pedal to the metal.

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This time, we tackled the Willow Springs International Motorsports Park, the third race in the Amateur Cup series. The track is located in Willow Springs near Rosamond and Lancaster, California. The 2.46-mile course may look like a breeze, especially with its nearly half-mile straightaway, but its corners shouldn’t be taken lightly. In fact, unless you’re completely prepared, you could wind up careening off the road. Thankfully, we’re here to help.

When you first get started, it’ll be in a “rolling start,” which means your opponents will have a slight lead ahead of you. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to catch up. In fact, if you maintain a good amount of speed leading into each turn, you should have no trouble passing them one at a time, eventually moving into the first place spot.

The key is to not be impatient. If for some reason an opponent pulls right in front of you, or you can’t quite find the space needed to get around them on the outside, don’t get too aggressive. Bumping into them or losing speed could very well cost you the opportunity to pass these opponents later in the race. Considering you have two laps in the event, you have every chance to catch up. Play it cool and maintain your speed.

Coming into the first corner, which is dubbed the “Castrol corner,” you’ll want a good, aggressive speed. If you’ve got driving aids turned on (the light up arrows that appear on the road), you’ll see if you’re at the right pace, as they’re colored blue if you’re just right, or red (with a sharp red line) if you’re coming in too hot. This is a good first corner to introduce you to a fairly casual yet solid speed, enough to get you a good pass.

The next turn, the “Rabbits Ear”, is a double apex, which means it’s a tighter turn than the first. Take it casually, at around 80 MPH or so, and slow down when necessary. For this, we recommend the analog stick control set-up, with your left stick controlling steering and the right maintaining your accelerator and brake. Tap the right stick lightly to make sure you stay at a strong, tight speed, but don’t forget to maintain control of the car. Follow the line on the road if you’ve got it turned on.

From there, turns get a little trickier with “the Omega,” an uphill and downhill section with even tighter turns that come in succession. It’s here where your balance of speed is most crucial. You want to make sure you keep going, but not to the point where you wind up going off-road into the desert. Try to stay on a good middle speed as you go into the turns, and adjust your brakes so that you keep momentum. After taking the first turn, the second will come easier, though again, you’ll want to balance your steering so you don’t fly off the road.

After that, you’ll take a left hand turn that leads you to the faster portion of the track. Take this with a good pace, then gun the accelerator as you lead into the long stretch tying into the rest of the track. This is a good opportunity to take your vehicle to maximum potential, but don’t forget about the wide turn that leads into the home stretch for the starting gate. You can take this at a good, proper speed, like 90 MPH or so, but you might want to brake a little if you see red appear on the track. Pay attention to the turn and try to stay in the middle as often as you can.

One thing to watch out for is aggressive drivers who will try to catch up from behind on this part of the track. If they’ve got a vehicle with a better engine, there’s a chance they could pass you. For this, we recommend a cockpit view, so you can keep an eye on them in your rearview while you still have the road ahead. This way, you can shift over into a lane if you think they’re going to try and take a pass.

They may even get to the point when they try to bump you. Use your steering to maintain position, and don’t take your foot off the accelerator. Keep at it, and victory will be yours by the second lap.

Good luck, and we’ll see you on the track!

Gran Turismo 6 is available now for PlayStation 3.

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