Istanbul Park Track Guide by Omer Kinay
We have the 4Fun Grand Prix coming up on May 17, Monday and all kinds of preparations are currently underway. In the meantime, we present you a GT3 hotlap guide on the track of this single-race event. 4Fun heads for Omer Kinay’s home soil: Istanbul Park, Turkey!
First, it’s important to get familiar with the car. Unlike some other GT3 cars, Audi R8 LMS 2016 has a naturally aspirated mid-engine which is located in the middle of the car. Personally, I am not a fan of turbocharged engines due to highly nonlinear power curve/delivery and turbo lag so I cherish the old-school R8 for this reason. The mid-engine helps distribute the weight evenly to the tyres, which generally improves traction besides providing a somewhat even tyre wear during long stints. The power curve flattens between 7000-9000rpm so it’s ideal to arrange gear ratios to keep the engine running in this range.
R8 has the second best braking performance behind Z4 and third best potential top speed behind Godzilla and Huracán. It is not as strong as the 650s at medium and high speed corners but is follows the orange beast close behind. In terms of tire temperature management and wear, it is not as good as Z4 again but it’s pretty decent. As you can see 2016 R8 is not the best of any particular aspect, but it is the second or third best of many so if you like how it drives, then it will probably serve you well during a long race.
Let’s discuss the track a bit. Istanbul Park stands out with a tricky off-camber Turn 1, a unique 4-apex Turn 8, a decent back straight and, finally, a technical sector that consists of three slow corners. I have tried many GT3 cars on the track and I don’t really see a particular one that could be an obvious choice here. Let’s jump right in a decent hotlap with Audi R8 LMS 2016:
T1: It’s very easy to lose the rear here if you are running a low wing and if you don’t brake early enough. I, personally, don’t believe this is a part of the track to be brave and a safe turn (without touching the apex kerbs) is a better approach. If you are using a high enough TC, you can open up the throttle as soon as you hit the apex to stabilize the rear.
T2: During a 1h race trying to hug the apex every single lap here can take a toll on your tire consumption. Opening up slightly wider with less steering angle might be a part of your tire management strategy.
T3: Tricky braking zone over the crest. Make sure that you do not make any abrupt steering moves here and release the brakes gently to prevent lift-off oversteer. Don’t go too wide at the exit.
T4: Having a wide entry and using the kerbs effectively can be helpful to save some time. Some of the GT3 cars are not very good with kerbs so be wary.
T5-T6: Hitting the T5 apex and opening up the throttle as soon as you can is generally the fastest line here. You’ll probably miss the apex of T6 this way, but that’s okay.
T7: Definitely a late late apex. Having some throttle before hitting the apex can offer some increased stability.
T8: So hard to nail this corner every single time. Have the widest possible approach to the first apex. Where you are going to release the throttle at the first apex is going to determine your line throughout the corner so don’t be too greedy. I generally release right after I hit it. Try to hit the next too apex by taking a tighter line and without changing your steering angle much. As soon as you hit the third apex, flat out -> open up -> aim the fourth apex maintaining full throttle -> hope for the best 🙂 Make sure you don’t tuch the outside kerbs when you are opening up here as these kerbs are sticky and will mess up your approach into the fourth apex.
T9-T10: Like T1, no need to be brave here. Low wing setups can lose the rear easily with very hot right tires that are loaded at T9. In addition, T9 apex kerbs can upset the balance of the car depending on your damper settings so enjoy them responsibly 🙂 Try not to cut T10 too much (it’s easier said than done) as the kerbs can kill your exit speed.
T12-T13-T14: Hug the apex at T12 until the kerbs end. If you car allows, use the kerbs (or even the astro-turf) of T13 without cutting to have a very tight exit as a tighter line would allow a wider entry into T14. These kerbs can behave nicely if you attack them from a certain angle (try not to clip your tires). On the other hand, the apex kerbs of T14 are nastier. It might make your car bounce and cause traction loss, I don’t really recommend using them.
Setup for Audi R8 LMS 2016
Setup for Lamborghini Huracán GT3
Setup for Mclaren 650S