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Here are our 20 favourite fictional road tracks from Gran Turismo

Searching for a cure to your apex addiction? Polyphony’s finest will provide the fix

Jaguar XJR12
  • Trial Mountain

    Trial Mountain

    Perhaps the most iconic fictional track in the entire series, having featured in every one of the main seven games. Trial Mountain takes drivers deep into the heart of the Sierra Nevada mountain range and stitches together 15 corners, including tight chicanes and full-throttle sweepers. Sadly, the seasoned professionals who cut the final corner can no longer do so, as the open grass has now been replaced with barriers. Cue the troll face.

    Highlight: Hairpin at turn nine as you approach the end of the long tunnel straight

    Ideal car: Toyota Castrol Tom’s Supra

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  • Special Stage Route 5

    Special Stage Route 5

    One of the biggest misses from Gran Turismo (GT) 7, the jaw-droppingly beautiful Special Stage Route 5 is a go-to track for those searching for a bit of nighttime theatre. The skilful art of ‘wall riding’ is possible on most of the 16 corners, which sit on either side of a lengthy main straight.

    Highlight: Three-corner chicane during the track’s final sector

    Ideal car: Dodge Viper GTS-R Team Oreca

  • Special Stage Route 11

    Special Stage Route 11

    How Special Stage Route 11 has appeared in just two games (GT1/GT3) is beyond us. A true blockbuster which challenges drivers with various hairpins and chicanes, you’d do well to clip every one of the 22 apexes here. When all the practice does come together for the first time, though, there is a wonderful sense of fulfilment as you embrace the magic of racing in the dark to within an inch of the fencing. Also… fireworks!

    Highlight: Hairpins combining turns seven and eight 

    Ideal car: Mazda 787B

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  • Deep forest Raceway

    Deep forest Raceway

    Set amidst the backdrop of Switzerland’s thick woodlands, Deep Forest Raceway is another GT original that makes a revamped return in the seventh instalment. Despite generally being considered a high-speed track, drivers still have plenty of banked and undulating corners to deal with. Ultimately, this means Deep Forest Raceway can easily bait drivers into misjudging their pace around certain sections. Eager beavers take caution.

    Highlight: Back straight 

    Ideal car: Mitsubishi FTO LM Edition

     

  • Grand Valley Speedway

    Grand Valley Speedway

    The reimagined Grand Valley Speedway in GT7 looks and feels nothing like its earliest incarnation, but there is common ground: it’s still fast, and it’s still very technical. Every segment feels slightly more magnified now following its revision, and thus the actual scale of the environment with it. The mountainous peaks lining the edges of the track look like skyscrapers carved out of asteroids, while the altitude of the track itself is really felt on the bridges as you stare down into the lakes. The road and scenery work in tandem to create a ribbon of unadulterated driving perfection. Truly magisterial. 

    Highlight: Scenic bridge crossing leading onto turn 14

    Ideal car: Nissan R92CP

  • High Speed Ring

    High Speed Ring

    In the first game, the levels of tilt a car could achieve on the High Speed Ring often defied the laws of physics. This has since been addressed and builds on its reputation for being the perfect beginner track that isn’t simply an oval. It’s not too technical and mostly consists of fast, banked corners that get tighter and slower as you progress. Another positive is that mistakes aren’t anywhere near as costly as on other tracks, so the High Speed Ring is the ideal place to begin exorcising the novice in you.

    Highlight: Banked first corner 

    Ideal car: Mazda LM55 Vision Gran Turismo

  • Mid-Field Raceway

    Mid-Field Raceway

    Another classic that’s sorely missed in GT7, Mid-Field Raceway is one of only a handful of circuits featuring a ‘figure eight’ layout where the track crosses over itself. In this instance, it happens at turn five. Think of Mid-Field Raceway as two parts: the first is practically maximum throttle until you reach the crossover section. The second then knits together a group of six turns in one all-action sequence, including two hairpins and two chicanes. Two Shibuya Crossings couldn’t make this more enjoyable than it already is.

    Highlight: Full-throttle double chicane at corner three

    Ideal car: Chevrolet Camaro LM Race Car

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  • Autumn Ring

    Autumn Ring

    The Autumn Ring is relatively short at 1.83 miles, but what it lacks in length it more than makes up for with 14 corners that come at you in quick succession and force you to prepare well ahead of time. Positioning and a strong comprehension of throttle feathering will yield significant rewards here, and the importance of sticking firmly to the racing line should not be underestimated. So we suggest ignoring Jann Mardenborough’s approach in the Gran Turismo film.

    Highlight: 270-degree overpass bend

    Ideal car: Honda Castrol MUGEN NSX

  • Apricot Hill Raceway

    Apricot Hill Raceway

    Apricot Hill featured between the second and sixth games, but despite its longevity, the 2.4-mile rotated figure of seven saw very few changes. Its first section still comprises a very satisfying triple chicane that allows you to build some big speed ahead of the banked seventh turn. This signals the start of a more compact second and third segment, which then leads you back onto the main straight. And no, they don’t serve apricots in the pit lane.

    Highlight: Undulating section with three chicanes

    Ideal car: Toyota GT-One

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  • Tahiti Road

    Tahiti Road

    Now we get to the tracks which appear exclusively in the earlier games, and therefore it’s tricky to talk too much about the aesthetic appeal. However, Tahiti Road does do a good job of it since it’s based on the islands of French Polynesia. It’s among the less challenging in GT2 despite mimicking a tarmac rally stage, because it’s quick and features only a handful of harsh braking points. It could be troublesome if you stare too long at the seaside views and palm trees, though.

    Highlight: Turn three exit which crests onto a hill

    Ideal car: Venturi Atlantique 600 LM

  • Grindelwald

    Grindelwald

    A recreation of a Swiss town that places drivers in the canyons of the Eiger Nordwand mountain trails, Grindelwald brings together 22 corners in just 2.2 miles. We’ll let you do the maths there, but you can imagine how difficult this road becomes when you’re averaging Maverick Mitchell speeds. It also features plenty of elevation changes which, despite GT2’s dated physics, still act as a big handicap for those with less power than the competition.

    Highlight: All of section two

    Ideal car: TVR Cerbera LM Edition

  • Red Rock Valley Speedway

    Red Rock Valley Speedway

    The third and final GT2-only track, and boy is it special. Red Rock Valley has been created entirely with speed in mind and features eight long, sweeping bends that can almost always be attacked at full-throttle provided you have a good understanding of starting wide before moving in to meet the apex. Very few tracks will force you to have the sort of average speed which Red Rock Valley does, and this isn’t always a comfortable feeling. It’s also perpetually cloaked in a fiery sunset, so this is the perfect place for a virtual date.

    Highlight: Crossover at turn five 

    Ideal car: Suzuki V6 ESCUDO Pikes Peak Special

  • Complex String

    Complex String

    Tight, technical and capable of inducing optical illusions if you go around it enough times, the Complex String is less a track and more the equivalent of downing a bottle of tequila, except in this instance it's flooding you with apexes and not alcohol. Agility will be your biggest asset here, so controlling body roll and learning how to combat oversteer will be pivotal in achieving the cleanest laps. To make things even zestier, the Complex String comes in at a whopping seven miles in length. 

    Highlight: Triumvirate of cumulative S-shaped bends

    Ideal car: Lotus Motor Sport Elise

  • Cape Ring

    Cape Ring

    Cape Ring stakes a claim for being the highest track in Gran Turismo and is, in essence, a road network which bridges a gap between various mountains. Despite the long stretches, it’s littered with challenging bends and connected by a pair of hairpins at each end of the circuit. Inspiration for it has been drawn from the twisty Japanese roads associated with late-night ‘touge’ runs, and has a total of 28 turns spread out across 4.4 miles of fabulous road design.

    Highlight: Full 360-degree spiral bridge

    Ideal car: Ford GT LM Race Car Spec II

  • Tokyo Expressway

    Tokyo Expressway

    With as many as six layouts, the Tokyo Expressway can take drivers on both a simple Daytona-like oval with a few extra bends, or a full 4.5-mile road course with long straights, high-speed corners, and a very sudden switchback. This can all be very problematic, given that none of the notable acceleration points are the same length so it’s easy to build too much speed or brake too early. Egos will be checked here.

    Highlight: Switchback that unfolds the main straight

    Ideal car: BMW McLaren F1 GTR Race Car

  • Eiger Nordwand

    Eiger Nordwand

    Based on real hiking tracks and considered to be the natural successor to Grindelwald, Eiger Nordwand featured in the fifth and sixth games as a short but technical course which elevates as much as 246ft. For some perspective, that's comparable in height to Edinburgh Castle. The crown jewel is a four-hairpin switchback section, which requires extreme precision given that the other drivers will likely force you to carry speed.

    Highlight: Four-hairpin switchback

    Ideal car: Ferrari 330 P

  • Autodrome Lago Maggiore

    Autodrome Lago Maggiore

    Found beside one of Italy’s most famous lakes, Lago Maggiore is intended to be a Grand Prix track, and it’s telling since the map bears some resemblance to the Nürburgring short circuit. You even get two straights which try to impersonate DRS zones, and while this isn’t a function in the game, it does provide plenty of opportunity for GT’s equivalent: slipstreaming. 

    Highlight: Complex turn two, which is banked at the outer edge 

    Ideal car: Opel Calibra Touring Ca

  • Dragon Trail

    Dragon Trail

    Presumably named after the map’s similarities with the shape of a mythical flying creature’s head, this Croatian coastal track is a 3.2-mile triangle that’s connected by a hairpin at the end of each of the three segments. The elevation changes give you plenty to think about, and it’s not helped by the various corner types which force you to think on your feet. It’s tricky, but equally satisfying when you do get it right. So much so that you may just scream Dracarys.

    Highlight: Delicious double chicane leading towards the tunnel 

    Ideal car: Audi R8 LMS Evo

  • Alsace Village

    Alsace Village

    Alsace Village may seem tricky at face value, but nerves are calmed quite quickly when you realise the amount of tarmac present. It features several corner types and could well be the best track to use to transition from ‘amateur’ to ‘professional’ racing in GT. Alsace is also a great place to practice mid-corner braking and accelerating since this will be necessary to post the very best times.

    Highlight: Right angle at turn five 

    Ideal car: Alfa Romeo 155 2.5 V6 T

  • Sardegna

    Sardegna

    We’re capping off our list with a fourth consecutive track introduced by GT Sport in Sardegna. Straight-line speed can be properly exploited here, but a bias towards punchy, instant acceleration as opposed to high-end speed is critical. The reason for this? Sardegna is a street circuit comprised of closed-off public roads, and this is obvious with the precariously sudden corners. But just like any of the other tracks here, practice will put a massive grin on your face. 

    Highlight: Sweeping bend at turn six

    Ideal car: Jaguar XJR-9

    Happy racing, readers, and let us know if there’s any track you feel should be on this list by commenting below and telling us why.

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