Circuit de la Sarthe is a real world circuit featured in Gran Turismo 4, Gran Turismo PSP, Gran Turismo 5, Gran Turismo 6 and Gran Turismo Sport. It is an exact replica of the Circuit des 24 Heures in France, the home of the 24 Heures du Mans motor race.
The circuit is available in 5 layouts/variants, with the 2013 variant featured in GT6. The circuit has gone through several layout changes in its 95-year history, the most notable of which was when chicanes were added to the 6-kilometre long Mulsanne Straight in 1990, when speeds of then-current race cars such as the Peugeot P88 and Sauber C9 started to exceed 400 km/h (250 mph).
The circuit is based on a closed section of the track just south of the town of Le Mans in northern France.
In Gran Turismo Sport, the track initially appeared only through the game's Scapes section. However, the track returned in playable form as part of Update 1.19, released on May 30, 2018.
- 1 Circuit Layouts
- 2 Events
- 3 Layout and Sectors
- 4 Replay Demo
- 5 Easter Eggs
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Notes
Circuit Layouts[edit | edit source]
Circuit I (2005)[edit | edit source]
Circuit de la Sarthe I (labeled as Circuit de la Sarthe 2005 in Gran Turismo 5) is a recreation of the Le Mans Circuit from between 2002 and 2005. The 13.88 km course featured, among its 21 corners, the newly added L'Arche Chicane and Le Florandiere Chicane on the Mulsanne Straight. These chicanes were designed to slow the cars from the 400 km/h+ speeds that were achieved on the old straight section.
The lap record is 3:29.905 set by Rinaldo Capello in 2005 while driving a Audi R8.
There are two versions of the track, internally named "sarthe" (used in GT4 and GTPSP) and "sarthe2005" (used in GT5 and GT6). In GT5, the "sarthe" version of the track is also hidden within the game's files.
Circuit II (2005 No Chicane)[edit | edit source]
Circuit de la Sarthe II (labeled as Circuit de la Sarthe Old in GTPSP and Circuit de la Sarthe 2005 (No Chicane) in Gran Turismo 5) is a replica of the Le Mans Circuit from 2002-2005 but without the roadblocks on the Mulsanne straight. The 13.53 km circuit features a flat-out 6 km section commonly known as the 'Mulsanne Straight' (Ligne Droite des Hunaudieres) where race speeds can reach in excess of 400 km/h. A few select players would use the hidden chicanes here just to take their time racing in this high speed course, especially when they're in the lead.
There are two versions of the track, internally named "sarthe_old" (used in GT4 and GTPSP) and "sarthe2005_old" (used in GT5 and GT6). In GT5, the "sarthe_old" version of the track is also hidden within the game's files.
Circuit de la Sarthe 2009 + No Chicane (GT5)[edit | edit source]
This layout is featured in Gran Turismo 5. It is the 2009 version of Sarthe. Two separate versions of the track (with chicanes) are available, with weather and time-of-day transition enabled, and one without.
The lap record is 3:18:513 set by Stéphane Sarrazin in 2009 while driving a Peugeot 908 HDi FAP.
Circuit de la Sarthe 2013 (GT6)[edit | edit source]
This track layout appears in Gran Turismo 6, based on the 2013 running of the event, including a large live timing screen on the main straight. Unusually, a no-chicane variation was not included for this variant.
Circuit de la Sarthe (GT Sport)[edit | edit source]
This track layout appears in Gran Turismo Sport in May 2018 (version 1.19), with updated advertising banners to reflect the 2016/2017 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans and slightly reprofiled Tertre Rouge after the death of Allan Simonsen during the 2013 race. A no-chicane version of the track is also included.
As of 2017, the lap record for this version of the track is 3:14:791 set by Kobayashi for Toyota Motorsport; ACO considers the lap record for the 2007-2013 and 2013-2017 variations of the track as the same, as the Tertre Rouge reprofiling had minimal effect on the lap times or course distance.
Events[edit | edit source]
Gran Turismo 4[edit | edit source]
Professional Events[edit | edit source]
- Gran Turismo World Championship (Track I); 4 Laps - Race 10
Extreme Events[edit | edit source]
- Dream Car Championship (Track II); 2 Laps - Race 8
- Polyphony Digital Cup (Track I); 2 Laps - Race 7
- World Circuit Tours (Track I); 3 Laps - Race 7
- Gran Turismo All Stars (Track I); 2 Laps - Race 9
- Formula Gran Turismo World Championship (Track I): 23 Laps - Race 6
European Events[edit | edit source]
- Pan-Euro Championship (Track I); 2 Laps - Race 3
- Tous France Championnat (Track I); 1 Lap - Race 2
- 1000 Miles! (Track II); 35 Laps - Race 4
One Make Races[edit | edit source]
- Saleen S7 Club (Track I); 2 Laps - Race 1
Endurance Events[edit | edit source]
Gran Turismo Sport[edit | edit source]
- Vision Gran Turismo Trophy +; Race 5 - 6 laps
- Gr.1 Prototype Endurance Series; Race 2 - 60 minutes
- Porsche Cup; Race 3 - 60 minutes
- X2014 Nations Cup; Race 5 - 3 laps
- Group 1 Cup; Race 4 - 5 laps
- Lamborghini Cup; Race 8 - 2 laps
No Chicane events[edit | edit source]
Gran Turismo 4[edit | edit source]
Gran Turismo Sport[edit | edit source]
- Nostalgic 1979; Race 2 - 2 laps
Layout and Sectors[edit | edit source]
Sectors 1 & 2[edit | edit source]
After clearing turn 1 using the full width of the road, get on the right side, and enter the chicane connecting to the Dunlop Chicane. The first left is especially sharp, so you will need to drop your speed adequately to turn tightly around the curve. For the next right hand corner, go through it in a straight line to gain exit speed.
Once past the Dunlop bridge, the surface becomes a descending slope into the S de la foret. Stick to the inside on the first left. On the following blind right hand corner, set your apex far into the corner and exit on the right side. Brake in the short straight, and keep to the inside with partial throttle on the next left. Give it full throttle for the final right corner, meanwhile be careful not to creep out onto the gravel on the left side.
Sectors 3-5[edit | edit source]
Tertre Rouge is an important high speed corner leading up to the Les Hunaudières straight. Decelerate momentarily, and make sure to hit the out-in-out line. Les Hunaudières is a long straight with two chicanes in between. For the L'Arche Chicane, braking is started from around the break in the guardrails. Approach the first right while decelerating, take a straight line towards the apex of the next left corner. Be wary of losing exit speed by breaking the car's balance while switching back for the final right corner.
For the Le Floradiere Chicane, start braking using the blue 100m marker sign as your cue. Entering the short left corner while decelerating, keep to the inside for a while. Switching to the right, set your apex using the green pole on the inside, and gradually open the throttle. Exit in a straight line towards the start of the kerbstones on the left side.
Once past the long Les Hunaudières, you come upon the tight 90 degree Mulsanne Corner. This corner is followed by a long straight, requiring high exit speed. Where the centerline ends, brake while slightly getting on the left. Make sure to hit the apex, and exit quickly.
Sectors 6-8[edit | edit source]
After accelerating to top speed again on the loose right, a series of low speed corners awaits. Let off of the throttle prior to the high speed right turn, and apply full brakes to enter the Indianapolis Corner. Apply partial throttle, and get on the bank on the inside to clear. Ahead of the short straight is the slowest point on this track, Arnage. Drop your speed adequately just before the blue 50m marker sign.
Porsche Corner is the first in a series of high speed corners. Brake slightly at the entry, and exit on a central line. Take the following left corner at full throttle, and prepare to decelerate for the Virage du Pont.
Sectors 9 & 10[edit | edit source]
Brake at around the mid-point between the two corners and keep to the inside at partial throttle. Let off of the throttle to switch back and clear the final left corner. Passing through Maison Blanche at full throttle, the next corner is the Ford Chicane. Ford the first chicane, start braking using the pit entry to the right as your mark. Exiting the corner with a central line, brake and enter the slower second chicane. Make sure you do not ride up on top of the high kerbstones and lose traction.
Replay Demo[edit | edit source]
Easter Eggs[edit | edit source]
- In GT4, at the start during replay (when your car crosses the start/finish line at the start of the race), you can see three jet fighter planes on the top left corner spewing colored smoke forming the colors of the French flag (the left plane spews blue smoke, the middle spews white, while the right spews red).
- This easter egg also appears in Sport Mode Championship races in Circuit de la Sarthe in GT Sport.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, if the player goes into the Special Settings menu and set Course Limit to Off (On by default), then an incomplete version of this course will appear at the Track Select screen for both Arcade and 2-Player modes. The course is most-likely present in the game data due to the ongoing development of Gran Turismo 5 at the time, with the course presumably being worked on during development at the time of release of GT5 Prologue. Attempting to enter this course in any game mode will result in the game attempting to load the track indefinitely, thus requiring the player to quit and restart the game.
- A build of the game featuring the circuit was shown on an episode of Best MOTORing.
- The track, along with other French tracks, did not appear in Tourist Trophy.
- This track has 24 Heures du Mans logos in the pit road and just before starting line in Gran Turismo 5. However, these logos do not appear on any Le Mans car for unknown reasons.
- From Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec to Gran Turismo 4 Prologue (and some demo builds of GT4), Le Mans race cars do carry the logo there. In GT6, the Le Mans logos return on selected Premium cars, namely the Bentley Speed 8 '03, McLaren F1 GTR - BMW (Kokusai Kaihatsu UK Racing) '95, Toyota TS030 Hybrid '12, Nissan Zytek Z11SN Greaves Motorsport '13, and Nissan GT-R LM NISMO '15.
- In GT Sport's Circuit Experience mode, this track is the only one that uses a Gr.1 car (Porsche 919 Hybrid (Porsche Team) '16) in the mode's challenges.