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GT3 car choices over time at RD events

640er

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Being stuck at home and looking for something to do (except Simracing) I was wondering, which GT3 car is the most frequently used here at RD. I am fairly new to Simracing and have little knowledge about racing and GT3 but after taking part in my first GT3 races, I was wondering which GT3 car is the most used? I already had a feeling which one would come out on top after participating in a few races, but it's always a good idea to look at the data to support a suspicion.

Therefore, I build a little tool which analyzed all threads in the AC-Racing Club forum which where GT3 related and featured more than one type of GT3 car (GT3 and multi-class races). The only prerequisite to get valid data out of a thread was, that there has to be a list of participants which also includes the car chosen. Unfortunately, that was not always the case, especially in older threads so there is some data missing.

For example, if the thread had a post with a list like this:
data was gathered. Otherwise the data is missing. Because it is about users choice/preferences, it is not important if a race finally took place or not. If a starting list only contained, for example, three entries and the race was cancelled, the data was gathered.

The cars:
Some information about the cars. I could distinguish between the two McLarens, but I had to put the different versions of Mercedes and Porsche's into one overall brand category. For Plot1, I also added an overall category for the McLaren, which takes both types into account.

The data:
  • 62 months - 05/2014 until Sun 15-03 (GT3 @ Spa)
  • GT3 Threads with data: 304
  • GT3 Threads without data: 229
  • Total GT3 Threads: 533
  • Total number of valid registrations: 4176
  • Structure (example):

DateMcLaren650sFerrari 488BMW Z4...
2015-04321...
2015-05452...
Results:


Due to the limitation that one is not allowed to embed working code I just post a picture of the plots. But if you want to get more insights you can access the interactive version following these two links: Plot1 and Plot2

Plot 1 - cumulative sum: (Link: Plot1)
Here you see the cumulative sum. For every car and month the number was added to the previous result. This is, I think, the best way of representing user choices over time. Because of the vanishing of the McLaren MP4 around 2016, I added an overall class for the McLarens (lighter green).
Development of GT3 car choices as cumulative sum.png


Plot 2 - distribution for every month: (Link: Plot2)
This plot shows the distribution for every month I could gather data. That means, every bar represents a specific month and every color the total number for every car. It also gives a feeling of how "busy" a month in terms of GT3 racing was. There are some months missing, in which no race took place or no data could be gathered.
GT3 - car choice over time.png


  1. 635 Audi R8
  2. 599 BMW Z4
  3. 597 McLarens (MP4: 169 650S: 428)
  4. 551 Porsche 911
  5. 537 Ferrari 488
  6. 455 Mercedes AMG
  7. 366 Lambo
  8. 289 Nissan GT-R
  9. 141 SCG-03
Conclusion:
Those two plots summarize the gathered data and do indeed prove what I already expected. The McLaren is very popular, especially shows the biggest gains in recent times, but surprisingly is not the number one in absolute numbers. The BMW wins by tenths of a second. Actually, it's the Audi which takes P1 :roflmao:

Of course, data is missing and therefore don't take it too serious and have fun discussing why your favourite GT3 car is the best ;)
 
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Chris Down

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Nice analysis! I actually was doing something similar recently to work out what tracks we should be racing to improve AC GT3 attendance, although since the cars are the same each time, I didn't do any analysis of those :)

One bias in the data is probably the people who are part of the furniture: eg. I for a long time only drove the 650s, now I drive the 650s and am learning to drive the 488. @Aksu and @JoelK generally race in the GT-R. @Medilloni also generally exclusively drives the 650s I think.

Having driven most of the cars at one time or the other, I would say all cars are viable options depending on the track, with just two notable exceptions: the MP4-12C and AMG, on which no amount of setup tuning can remedy the fact that they are just too slow.

Every single other car on the list is, depending on the track, a perfectly valid potential option for pole/race win (from your most to least popular, and with the disclaimer that I mostly have experience with the 650s):
  • The Z4 is an unsurprisingly popular car: it's very fast even for an average driver. Very hard to master though and drive quick at the limit.
  • The 650s takes some getting used to. It also requires a longer than average amount of time doing setup tuning to adjust to your personal preferences, because driving it is super raw and you have to work out which parts of that you're ok with and which you're willing to compromise to tune out.

    I think at this point I'm infamous inside AC GT3 for running what @Medilloni once affectionately termed "instant death setup" -- usually 0/1, 0/0, or 1/1 wing depending on track. That requires a certain driving style. The 650s is like a blank canvas, the car is super responsive to setup changes and you can make it drive how you want with some experience. For this reason I wouldn't recommend it if you just intend to run default setup.
  • The 911 can be really quick, but I can't provide many thoughts on it since I'm dog slow in it. Definitely requires some getting used to since it has a totally different weight distribution than most other GT3 cars. Handling is nothing like some of the other 911s like the GT3 Cup, despite the name.
  • The 488 is a good choice: not great at anything in particular, but a solid all rounder. Useful and easily controllable setup-independent tendency towards lift-off oversteer on some tracks.
  • The Huracan is a beast in a straight line, although a bit of a pig in low speed corners, only matched by its friend...
  • The GT-R is an underrated masterpiece. Wide as hell, amazing traction off corners, super fast in a straight line. On the downside, requires quite extensive setup tuning, and in my experience it's like driving a brick in the corners. It feels slow as balls, but then you look at the timesheet ;)

    Really great come race day since it's super hard to overtake these things. Just look at this instructional video of me desperately trying to overtake @JoelK from about the 36 minute mark...


  • The SCG can be quick, although it's not really great at anything. Think the 488, but even more stable and not as fast in a straight line -- a great car to start out with, though. It's possible to drive it fast with the right track and some setup work, although if someone fast is in the GT-R or 650s, you're probably toast. Its high points are probably the least high of the "fast-enough GT3 cars".
 
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HF2000

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As I may add something to Chris his post although I'm far from his experience and skill: When I started I tried every car but without being good in setup I found the 911 the fastest with my driving style. But it's a tricky car and therefore I went off track at least once per race. I shifted to the R8 to be more consisted though with slower lap times. I find the R8 a good compromise in speed, agility and handling. My goal now is to finish without going off and improve in speed step by step and learning to make good setups. I'm now at a point that I have similar laptimes as with the 911 but with a more consistent race pace. Progress is slowly though. But it's not the car that makes the difference. I bet that the aliens with some practice in other cars also will be 2 to 3 seconds faster.
 

Chris Down

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As I may add something to Chris his post although I'm far from his experience and skill: When I started I tried every car but without being good in setup I found the 911 the fastest with my driving style. But it's a tricky car and therefore I went off track at least once per race. I shifted to the R8 to be more consisted though with slower lap times. I find the R8 a good compromise in speed, agility and handling. My goal now is to finish without going off and improve in speed step by step and learning to make good setups. I'm now at a point that I have similar laptimes as with the 911 but with a more consistent race pace. Progress is slowly though. But it's not the car that makes the difference. I bet that the aliens with some practice in other cars also will be 2 to 3 seconds faster.

Oh, I just noticed somehow the Audi is missing from both my post and the original post :coffee:

I personally haven't driven it much, but it's certainly fast (and sounds good!). I always found the oversteer to sudden understeer behaviour pretty hard to control, though.

Learning how the car behaves and working out how to get the most out of it is a really gratifying process week after week. As I said in another thread a few weeks back, 500-600 hours or so in the 650s and I'm still learning how to extract more from it every single race. Always great to see others also going the distance :thumbsup:
 

640er

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@Chris Down of course you are right with the bias. But I have the feeling that there is some truth in the "ranking" and every car has his position for a good reason. Funny that you also use the term "furniture" in this way for people who were always there. And yes, the Audi is missing :confused::confused: but I'm sure the data for the Audi was gathered, just forgot to put it into the diagram. Will change that tomorrow.

It would be more interesting to split the data by track instead of month. Problem was, that filtering the track out of the threads is a bit more tricky. Maybe I find a neat way other then kind of "brute forcing" it out of the initial post.

Thanks for sharing you thoughts about the cars, always a good and very welcomed read.

Edit: Added the Audi.. barely makes a difference :rolleyes: :whistling::roflmao:
 
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