Before rFactor, "Sports Car GT" was the ultimate racing experience for gamers. This game was released in 1999 and captured the unrelenting fury of GT racing. Sports Car GT was the game that delivered the ultimate experience. I can say that I've played both the PC version and the PlayStation 1 version. I am willing to give you my own thoughts about both games (I initially wanted this to just be about the PC version). So please feel free to have a good read!
Here is how the box art looks:
^ from: g2shop.com - Sports Car GT box (PC box)
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--- "Sports Car GT" at a Glance ---Sports Car GT was a game released by Electronic Arts and made by Image Space Incorporated. The PlayStation 1 version allowed you to race a variety of GT race cars. You competed on a number of different race tracks as well as race a number of real-world race cars from many manufacturers. The PC version added an extra element of patching to include more cars and tracks. What made Sports Car GT so fun (especially the PC version) was that this game delivered a solid racing experience for no matter what cars or tracks were in the game. Mod makers had some extra fun by making more cars and tracks available for this hot game.
The cars comprised lots of cars from European makes as well as a few American cars. Tracks are a mix of fictional circuits and real circuits. Real tracks like Laguna Seca, Hockenheim, and two major sportscar racing tracks are included- Road Atlanta and Sebring. At least in the PC version, you have a preference as to whether to run laps, time, or laps and time. It was possible to have your own long-distance races. The real meat of the game is with the Season Mode. Make sure to buy a car to tune up and work on. As you progress, you can purchase faster cars or upgrade your current car. There are also damage options as well as tire wear and fuel degradation options.
Cars of Sports Car GT.
--- GTQ ---
Porsche 911 GTQ, Panoz Esperante, BMW M3
--- GT3 ---
BMW M3, Saleen Mustang
--- GT2 ---
Vector M12, Porsche 911 GT2, Saleen Mustang,
--- GT1 ---
Porsche 911 GT1, Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR, McLaren F1 GTR, Lister Storm, Callaway C12, Mosler Raptor, Panoz Esperante GTR-1, Panoz Q9
Tracks of Sports Car GT.Here is a look at all of the tracks:
• Chatham (fantasy course) - A short fantasy course that is rather short with a few really challenging corners. Really fast cars can clear this course in less than 40 seconds.
• Sardian Park (fantasy course) - a fantasy course with a few undulating corners and intense racing.
• Lime Rock Park - A 1.5+ mile course in Connecticut which feels more like a park than a proper racing circuit.
• North Point (fantasy course) - ???
• Desert Speedway (fantasy course, but based on a real course) - A road course configuration on an oval. Though its name isn't used, it's the road course around Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
• Laguna Seca - America's most heralded and most difficult race course, contend with various intense corners, including the judgmental Laguna Seca Corkscrew.
• Donnington Park - A tricky British road course. It has short and long variations. The hairpin on Donnington Park's long course is VERY slow.
• Hockenheim - Before Herman Tilke screwed up today's Hockenheim, there was this course. Enjoy high speeds and intense racing through the course shaped like knife.
• Sebring - This track has long been an intense racing challenge. Best known for the 12 Hours of Sebring, this track in central Florida is over three miles of racing insanity.
• Road Atlanta - an intense racing challenge awaits you on this competitive course miles north of Atlanta
• Mosport - This is a fast and undulating race track around Toronto.
• Eiffel Tour (PS1 only) - ???
This game holds a special place in my heart. Why so? Read the next section!
--- Why Sports Car GT Holds a Special Place in my Heart ---A big reason why I care about this game is that it has shown me a time of sportscar racing which I loved to have seen had I got into racing earlier and had a chance to see these cars on TV more back then. There is no debate- I love almost all of the cars and races in this game. It was a forgotten era for me.
If you liked this section, I will have you know that I'm working on a special blog entry encapsulating more of what I've missed so much about the mid-late 1990s in sportscar racing. Stay tuned to John's Blog Space for that blog entry!
--- Sports Car GT (PlayStation 1 Version) ---This was a game I was eagerly awaiting to play. I didn't think I'd have the PC requirements then, so I went with the PlayStation 1 version. I was actually disappointed with this version. I did love the little lens flare effects and such. The racing seemed pretty okay. But really, I wasn't very pleased with this version. I had even sold this game as I just wasn't very impressed with it. I couldn't stay with it long enough to really enjoy this game to its entirety.
But... that's just me. Despite my disappointment, the game features some tough tracks and some great cars. This game, however, just didn't excite me as I had initially hoped.
If you want to get this game, click on the graphic below for more information and to order your copy of this game:
--- Sports Car GT (PC Version) ---I was most impressed and excited to play the PC version of this game. The PC version of "Sports Car GT" features a wide variety of cars and tracks. You begin with the GTQ cars and work your way up to GT1. Laps and time can be adjusted. This game has no Traction Control, ABS, or anything like that. This is sportscar racing at its most unforgiving. Cars come from American, British, and German makes in this game. You are able to upgrade your cars and even purchase faster cars in higher classes. Those are also the nationalities of tracks in this game, including the Mosport track in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada. Tracks can be raced in dry conditions and in wet conditions. Races can happen in the daytime or at night. There are no time cycles for this game unlike its successor, rFactor.
The real joy of this game, however, is in making mods for SCGT. This game is now ten years and change old. Most of the mods for this game are almost nonexistant now. Lots of tracks and cars can be downloaded for SCGT to make the experience even more exciting. The extra cars even include F1 racing, sportscar racing with prototypes, rally cars, stock cars... even motorcycle and snowmobile mods. Modders have even made drag racing courses and off-road races with this game. Simply put, the modding community for Sports Car GT basically made rFactor become the hit that it has become among modders. I've personally downloaded a handful of tracks and cars to use in Sports Car GT. I even took some blank cars people made and dress them up into my own custom-designed cars. These were just fun times. Even for a game that's now ten years and some months old, it's still an epic classic. Perhaps one of the greatest racing games of the 1990s.
To help you decide whether to get this game or not, here is a YouTube video featuring factual and true gameplay footage:
Love what you see? Here are two options for you...
1.) Download the demo to this game here: "Sports Car GT" PC Demo
2.) Buy this game from Amazon:
(works for Win 95, Win 98, and Win ME. I've TRIED to get this to work in XP, but to not much success.)
The best available SCGT resource online these days is on racecarsim.com. So if you want some SCGT resources, please visit this site: RaceCarSim.com. It is great that someone decided to keep SCGT alive rather than let it die off into obscurity.
Tough to believe this game is more than 10 years old. Had it not been for the support of modders for SCGT, rFactor wouldn't have been so great. Sports Car GT was really the game that would set the ground work for rFactor. There is no denying it- Sports Car GT is a must-have racing game.
Thank you so much for reading!
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