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The setting up of the cars is probably more technical than it was back in 1967 where cars would often turn up at a circuit with the setup from the last race and build on it, and there are so many set up options that at first, setting a car up to be quick at a circuit is quite daunting, but if you're not sure about setting up your own car then there are tons available for download.

There is a great community built around this and the sharing of setups is encouraged because at the end of the day, even if you use somebody else's setup it may not suit your driving style and you still have to physically drive it around the track. To help still further you can also download people's replays of their laps so you can see things like where they brake and where they are changing gear, where they stray from the racing line where they feather the throttle etc. A handy feature is that a saved replay contains the entire field so you can jump from one car to another and from one view to another

A good source for these setups and replays is a driver called Steve cloyd who is the world record holder on several tracks. His downloads can be found at If you're going to be good though you need to learn the art of setting your chosen car up as well as just driving it quickly.

So what do you need to run the game hardware wise?

The answer my friend is not much, not much at all, but when launched, GPL required what was for the time quite high-end hardware. While a software renderer was available, for smooth gameplay a 3D card was all but essential, and GPL supported only two types: 3dfx and Rendition Verité. GPL's box stated that the minimum CPU required with hardware acceleration was a Pentium 90, and without it a Pentium 166, but in reality both these figures were well short of what was needed for a satisfactory frame rate

Hardware Requirements

Minimum requirements:
  • Pentium 166 or better
  • 32MB of RAM
  • Windows-compliant video card with 2MB or more of video memory
  • 2X or better CD-ROM drive
  • Mouse
  • Pentium II-266 or better
  • 64MB of RAM
  • 3Dfx Voodoo 1 or Voodoo 2, or Rendition v2x00 series video card
  • Joystick or steering wheel and foot pedals
  • Windows-compliant sound card
Let's be honest, most machines you have in your house these days will run this game well enough, and I've even played it on a laptop with a crappy graphics card, it's that easy. Alas Grand Prix Legends did not sell very well, especially in the US, where a Formula One based game was less appealing than in the European market, while the game's hardware requirements meant that it did not run well on many computers at the time of its release. GPL's lack of inbuilt support for 3D accelerator cards other than those produced by 3dfx and Rendition contributed to a decrease in sales when those cards became obsolete, since at the time there was no Direct3D support.

>As of 2004 total sales were around 200,000 units and many of these sales came quite late in the game's life, when increases in CPU power made the game run more smoothly, and after Papyrus had released patches to allow GPL to work with modern graphics accelerators. The addition of Force Feedback support also helped. The release of the game on budget ranges, the inclusion of a demo CD with the Nürburgring in this track's official 1999 season magazine as well as its giveaway in Germany in a 2001 issue of the magazine PC Action, also encouraged newcomers to GPL.

So, how do you get this accurate yet flawed sim running on a modern system and up to date?

Well, you can do it the official way if you like. The official version 1.2 patch adds force feedback, a second patch to add Direct3D and/or OpenGL support and a third patch that gets around a problem that prevented the original game from working on computers with CPUs faster than 1.4 GHz, but the best way is to follow these simple instructions.
  1. Insert your GPL CD and close any windows that pop up.
  2. Run the GPLinstallmax_0.97_UK.exe and install to the default location of C:\Sierra\GPL\
  3. Run the GPL v1.2.0.2 (UK)allinonepatch.exe (2.3)
That will give you an up to date install on Windows but yet again the homebrew scene has brought the best out of this classic game, it even became possible to have GPL running Linux and OS X using Wine and Cider.

These updates also include something called the Bandwidth Patch or bwpatch for short. By default, GPL online will show only 4 cars in front and 1 behind over internet dialup connections so the bandwidth patch increases those numbers to 6 in front and 2 behind or more, and it allows hosting servers to show any combination of cars in front and cars behind instead of the default 75%/25% division. To see what difference the bandwidth patch can make, see these examples.

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