Tahiti Maze is known for its high difficulty, requiring a great deal of skill and concentration to drive well. This course is based on trails and roads found on the island of Moorea, part of the Tahiti island group in French Polynesia. The defining features of this course are the two switchback-type consecutive hairpins in Sector 1 and Sector 3, and the tight unequal-radius S-bends in Sector 2, with a view of the ocean beach.
Sector 1 starts on tarmac and quickly shifts to dirt after the first left turn, so care must be taken due to the change in traction. Next comes the first set of consecutive hairpins, called a "switchback". Stay close to the inside barriers, and use delicate throttle control so the vehicle does not swing wide and collide with the fencing. After completing the right-left-right series of turns, an uphill left can be taken with a dab of brakes. Here is the end of Sector 1.
A large, sweeping, decreasing-radius left turn is encountered at the beginning of this sector, running over a cliff edge, providing another view of the ocean. At the end of this sweeper is a downhill straight leading to the tight right-left S-bends. Again, stay close to the inside edge of the course and use gentle throttle control to avoid lift-off oversteer. Once through here, a short uphill drive leads to an undulating gentle sweeper section, containing four gradually tighter turns, in a left-right-left-right pattern. At the end of these curves is the end of Sector 2.
Starting at the top of the second switchback section, this group of hairpins is notable for having four turns instead of the previous three, in a left-right-left-right fashion, and being downhill as opposed to uphill. The same careful accelerator input must be taken through this section, and the faster speed carried through the last sector will require a longer braking period to prepare for the first left at the top of the hill. As always, stay close to the inside edge and go for maximum exit speed to improve your time. Sector 3 ends mid-way through the third hairpin.
The last Sector begins before the last right hairpin at the end of the switchback. Brake firmly, stick to the inside edge of the course, and once this corner is completed a high-speed left-right kink connects back to the tarmac section of the course. Keep a constant speed through the left-handed sweeper while being careful not to understeer into the barrier. More breathtaking scenery of the ocean coast comes into view here, the road then curves gently right and a small left kink is all the remains as the finish line comes into view. This completes the lap.
Events Featuring Tahiti Maze
Gran Turismo 2
This track is featured in one rally event, of which there are three races, increasing in difficulty as they are completed. Each race is only one lap long. It is also featured in the Special License test S-8, where the player must complete a time trial in a limited amount of time.
Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec
- Tahiti Maze; 2 Laps - Race 1, 3 Laps - Race 2 and 5 Laps - Race 3
- Tahiti Maze II; 2 Laps - Race 1, 3 Laps - Race 2 and 5 Laps - Race 3
The course is now featured twice in this game, due to the addition of a reverse variant. There are three races on each, again increasing in difficulty as they are completed. It also appears in the Time Trial area of Arcade Mode, and is the location for the final three Rally License tests.
Gran Turismo 4
- Like Smokey Mountain in Gran Turismo 2, this track is entirely raced on dirt, whereas in Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, a tarmac section was added.
- This course remains as a leftover from GT4 / GT PSP(?) in the game files of Gran Turismo 5, PlayStation 3.