Cote D'Azur Guide - Guide for Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec

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Wolf Feather/Jamie Stafford
[email protected]

Version:   1.0
Completed: July 16, 2001


Spacing and Length
The Circuit


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The course and segment names for this circuit include the use
of characters which are not standard to the English language,
on which the Internet and standard text-only documents are
based.  In order to eliminate the potential for 'strange
characters' in a standard, text-only, Internet-distributed
document, these characters have purposely not been used -
much to the consternation of language purists, including


Why a guide specific to a single circuit in Gran Turismo 3?
As those familiar with F1 racing or F1-based games already
know, the Cote d'Azur circuit (better known as the Monaco
street circuit) is a tight and highly-technical course.  In
fact, in many F1-based games, the Cote d'Azur/Monaco circuit
is by far the most difficult to play.

Secondly, I wrote rather detailed driving instructions for
the Monaco circuit in my driving guides for F1 2000 and F1
Championship Season 2000.  The details listed here are taken
from these driving guides, with appropriate modifications.


Most of the races at the Cote d'Azur circuit feature high-
power cars, so a natural inclination is to obtain a car with
as much horsepower as possible (especially the Suzuki Escudo
with Level 4 Turbo, resulting in over 1700HP) and start
racing.  Unfortunately, that tactic backfires instantly at
Turn 1.  The Cote d'Azur circuit is so narrow and has so many
tight corners that all that power is actually
counterproductive; such high-horsepower vehicles are best
suited for courses with many long straightaways, and
especially for the oval Test Course.  Opt for a lower-powered
high-power car instead.

In races for which tire wear is an issue (such as the Cote
d'Azur Endurance Race, which is 78 laps long), the two most
important decisions are: 1.) tires; 2.) pit strategy.
Actually, these two issues are obviously related.  By
choosing lesser-grip tires, your tires will not wear out as
fast, enabling you to stay out on the circuit longer.  This
plays directly into pit strategy, as the longer you can stay
out on one set of tires, the fewer overall pit stops you will
need to make.  In the Cote d'Azur Endurance Race, some cars
change tires every 5-7 laps, while I have had one car change
tires every 13 laps.

Where possible, riding the rails can be very beneficial.
This allows you to keep up your speed in cornering, and also
seems to reduce tire wear since you aren't using the brakes
quite as much - thus enabling you to stay on the circuit one
or more extra laps before pitting to change tires.

If you can change your chosen car's downforce settings, use
high downforce for both the front and rear of the vehicle.
This will allow your car to corner more effectively.
Normally, a high-downforce set-up means a lower top-end
speed, but there is really only one place where your car
MIGHT reach the upper limit of its speedometer (The Tunnel),
so this is really not an issue.

If you have a fully-adjustable racing transmission, use a low
gear ratio for this circuit.  A low gear ratio provides more
power for acceleration, and the number of tight corners and
the lack of long straightaways render a high gear ratio
completely impractical.


'To finish first, first you must finish.'  The Cote d'Azur
circuit is a highly daunting temporary street course,
especially from the Driver View, as the barriers are FAR too
close for comfort, and passing is extremely difficult for
even expert drivers.  If there is a problem with a car, there
are extremely few places to safely pull aside, so all drivers
must be constantly wary of slow cars around the many blind
corners.  The most significant key to simply finishing a race
at Cote d'Azur is SURVIVAL, which means a slow, methodical,
patient race.  While driving this circuit, players may want
to have "I Will Survive" playing on auto-repeat!!!

Pit Straight: Not straight at all, the 'Pit Straight' fades
to the right along its entire length.  Near the end, the Pit
Lane rejoins the main course from the right.

Turn 1 (Sainte Devote): This is a tight right-hand semi-blind
corner; heavy braking is required long before reaching Sainte
Devote.  To the left on entering this corner is one of the
few areas to pull off the course if there is a problem.
Overshooting the corner results in smashing against the
unmoving barrier, but if you slide into the barrier at a good
angle, you can slide along it and around the corner.  The
uphill portion of the course begins here.

Straightaway (Beau Rivage): Not really straight with its
varying-direction fades, the circuit climbs steeply uphill
here.  Because of the fades, this is actually NOT a passing
zone; you may think you have enough room to pass a slower car
and actually pull up alongside it, but then you and the
slower vehicle will end up bumping each other and/or a
barrier because of a fade.  Even worse, the sun is directly
at the top of the hill here, making visibility very difficult
for quite some time until your eyes can adjust to the

Turn 2 (Massanet): This is a sweeping decreasing-radius left-
hand blind corner requiring moderate braking on entry and
light braking as you continue through the turn, unless you
ride the right-side barrier.  The exit of Massanet is the
highest elevation of the circuitŠ which has only just begun,
even if it IS all 'downhill' from here!!!

Turn 3 (Casino): Hard braking will be needed for the right-
hand Casino.  This corner almost immediately follows
Massanet, and begins the long downward trajectory of the
course.  This corner is actually wider than most, to the
extent that a car in trouble may be running slowly along the
barrier on the outside of the corner.  Be careful not to
scrape the left-side barrier while exiting Turn 3; similarly,
do not overcompensate and scrape the right-side barrier at
the apex of Casino, or ram into barrier of the tiny pull-off
section to the right on exiting Casino.

Turn 4 (Mirabeau): Following a long downhill straightaway,
heavy braking is needed for this right-hand blind 'J' turn.
A small pull-off area is provided on the left on entry.  If
you miss the braking zone, your front end will be banging
against yet another barrier. This corner continues the
course's downhill slope, which adds to the difficulty of the

Turn 5 (Great Curve): Following an extremely short
straightaway, this left-hand hairpin is one of the slowest in
Gran Turismo 3.  If you have excellent braking ability, you
can actually PASS (a rarity!!!) by taking the tight inside
line, or you can pass by riding the right-side rail around
Great Curve; otherwise, it would be best to drive through the
Great Curve single-file.

Turns 6 and 7 (Portier): This pair of right-hand corners form
a 'U' shape, but neither can be taken at any respectable
speed without riding the left-hand rails.  Between these two
corners is a pull-off area on the left.  Turn 7 is the
slowest of the two corners, and is the most difficult in
terms of the almost-nonexistent view of the track.  If you
can accelerate strongly coming out of Portier, you can pass
one or two cars entering and driving through The Tunnel.

Straightaway (The Tunnel): This 'straightaway' is actually a
very long right-hand decreasing-radius fade in a semi-tunnel
(the left side provides a clear view of the water).  Unlike
the REAL Tunnel (or its versions in F1-based games),
visibility here is excellent.  Start braking for Nouveau
Chicane shortly after entering back into the sunlight.

Chicane (Nouveau Chicane): The course narrows as you come
around the chicane, but then 'widens' back to 'normal' at the
exit.  Unfortunately, there is a barrier here to force you to
keep to the official circuit; short-cutting is not possible.
If your tires are very worn (tire indicators orange or red),
Nouveau Chicane will cause you A LOT of headaches.

Turn 8 (Tobacco): This left-hand corner is best taken with
moderate braking.

Turns 9-12 (Swimming Pool): This is essentially a double
chicane around the swimming pool in the classic 'bus stop'
configuration.  Turns 9 and 10 form a tight left-right
combination, for which moderate braking is required.  After
an extremely brief straightaway, Turns 11 and 12 form the
opposite configuration (right-left), but are even tighter.
This opens out onto a short straightaway where you MIGHT be
able to pass ONE car.

Turns 13 and 14 (La Rascasse): This is a tight left-right
chicane requiring heavy braking for Turn 13 and VERY heavy
braking for Turn 14.  Even worse, Turn 14 is a 'J' turn, so
the racing line is also very important here.  The Pit Lane
begins to the right at the exit of this La Rascasse.  If you
have very worn tires, La Rascasse will also cause you
significant amounts of frustration.

Turns 15 and 16 (Anthony Hoges): A tight right-left chicane,
these are the final corners of the Monaco circuit.  The
course narrows here through the chicane, then 'widens' to
'normal' for the Pit Straight.  Moderate or heavy braking is
required entering Turn 15.

Pit Entry: The entrance to the Pit Lane is to the right
immediately after clearing La Rascasse.  Given that La
Rascasse is a blind corner, on every lap, expect a slower car
here headed for the pits.  Keep hard to the right to avoid
the barrier on the left when entering Pit Lane.


For rants, raves, etc., contact me at [email protected]

To find the latest version of this and all my other PSX/PS2
game guides, visit FeatherGuides at


                   Wolf Feather    Jamie Stafford
Just as there are many parts needed to make a human a human, there's a
remarkable number of things needed to make an individual what they are.
                - Major Kusinagi, _Ghost in the Shell_

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