Some IZOD IndyCar drivers will go to any length to get a competitive advantage over their fellow competitors.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender James Hinchcliffe used the Playstation 3 game Gran Turismo to get his first look at Twin Ring Motegi’s road course.
Of course, he didn’t plan on spending three days to take his first lap around the track.
“Maybe not one of my proudest moments,” said Hinchcliffe, who not only purchased the game and a memory card but borrow a Sony PlayStation 3 before he turned a lap. “Fortunately, I had a couple of teammates – my roommates – who did much of the grunt work. You try and learn a new track any way you can and video games these days are shockingly accurate. You’ll learn more in the first two laps in the actual car, but at least it gave me a little bit of a sense of where to go.”
Hinchcliffe and his roommates “spent three days in the basement” unlocking cars and tracks before finally getting to turn laps on the 14-turn, 2.983-mile road course. But because IndyCars are not in the game, he had to choose a car that is similar in speed.
“Part of the reason it took so long, was a) we had to unlock the tracks and b) I wanted to drive a car that would give me a feel of an IndyCar. I ended up driving the Konica Minolta Nissan Group C sports car. It was worth it.”