What is now the Tuners Pit Racing Association started out before GT5P was even released in North America. A group of Playstation Underground GT racers were exploring the Japanese version of the game and on February 04 2008 Erik Olsen put up a VOIP server on his home computer for the members of the PSN to coordinate start times and explore the limitations of this incredible new addition to the Gran Turismo series. They pioneered many of the discoveries that we still use today.
In April of 2008 the game was released here in North America and the drivers of GT5P started making their way to the PSN and participating in the racing that was and still is available there to any PSN member that agrees to participate in a sportsman like manner. On the morning of April 18th 2 days after I started playing GT5P I found the PSN and realized I was not alone in my desire to compete with like minded individuals and explore the limitations of this wonderful game. I quickly found the VOIP server that Erik had set up and met a group of drivers that were getting more out of the game than I had imagined possible with the limited nature of its online play.
Being a host of online flight simulations as far back as 1991 I quickly realized that this online racing community could benefit from much of what I had learned during those years. I started making notes and researching web sites that were currently providing content for this game and found the number of sites to be a bit discouraging. What I noticed was that almost all of them catered exclusively to the members of their particular sites only and most of those catered to the PAL version of the game. This practice was quite common in the flight simulation world as well when I started but from my experiences there I found that it was possible to promote an organization that was open to all the simulation enthusiasts no matter what team affiliations they had. I dug up some of my old web sites and looked at the possibility of implementing as much content as possible into a web site for GT5P that catered to every driver that had a NTSC copy of the game and a desire to race simulation style events.
I quickly realized that unless I knew more about the game I would just be wasting my time so I went racing every night for a couple of months and learned as much as I could about what could and could not be done within the limitations of GT5P. I then popped the question one night to an administrator on Erik's VOIP server. “So do you guys do any club style racing ?” he gave me a pretty simple reply of “naaaah but maybe in the future”. At that time Jayz606 was well into the Sukka Free Sunday series and Ilbloom and MastrGT were posting discussions on implementing what they had learned in the TOCA series into this GT Prolouge. Jayz’s format was simple use the power of numbers to over come the limitations of the game and improve the racing experience for all that wished to participate. At that time there simply wasn’t enough simulation oriented drivers to fill the rooms and interlopers ruined many a race for those trying to race clean and fair. The first Tuner’s Pit race was held on Wednesday June 4th 2008 despite the fact that many felt it wasn’t feasible to do at that time given the number of drivers I wanted to include and the limited nature of GT5P.
We have overcome many obstacles and experienced many growing pains in that time, but the racers of the Tuner’s Pit Online Racing League and the PSN have shown that if you put your mind to it and stay the course anything is possible. We now host four nights of weekly online content for the NTSC version of this game that includes over 50 drivers a month including independents and team drivers from organizations all across the NTSC GT world.