on 01-03-2012 06:11 PM
As its name suggests, Ville de Caque isn't as fine a place as it once was. Back in the day it rivalled Nice and Cannes as the place to catch both the sun and the admiring glances of the jet set. Now, sadly, it's more like modern day Nice and Cannes. It's rubbish.
Tragically, this may have been caused by the town's resistance to modern development - it wanted to retain its old charm and that included some pretty awful roads which were (and remain) narrow, dusty and uneven.
So look out for tight corners, often unannounced - chevron signs are expensive and Ville de Caque hasn't got money to play with. Look out for many narrow stretches of track (back in the 60s cars were much thinner for some obscure and unlikely reason). And the bumps in the road should have big 'Look Out, Bumps in Road' signs, but they don't.
On the plus side, there are comparatively few hazards. The odd flamer here and there, a couple of pop-up blockers. Mind you, there are two pesky barrel launchers to look out for.
Boost pads? OK, there are probably enough to keep most drivers happy, but don't go looking for a generous glut of item pods. Due to costs, these have been used sparingly.
Our photographer visited the track recently and sent these snaps:
The few alternative routes appear shortly after the start. Shortcut left to cross the residential moorings, shortcut right (by the boat) to take a jaunt along the beach. Or, follow the promenade street's left or right lane - if you want an item pod there is a tricky little gap between the flowerbeds.
These various routes converge again on the other side of the town, which is also the location of the first barrel launcher.
The old warehouses are deserted (apart from a few flamers, that is) but Ville de Caque is trying to invest by building a plethora - a plethora, I tell you - of office buildings. You sense it's doomed, but... So that's a shortcut. If you used the rat run over the residential moorings you'll probably have to go this way - look out for the ladning on the old jetty as it's easy to get wrong. And wet. The main track asks you to jump onto an old twisting bridge - without boost you might not make it.
The old warehouse complex demands a couple of 90 degree corners but only the first is protected by flamers.
The main track skirts to the left of the warehouses and heads towards the old town. As you reach it you'll be able to shortcut left - it is possible to take this shortcut out of the warehouses but, to be honest, it would slow you down.
The old town. It's quite well-kept, considering. But from a racer's point of view its nicely tended trees may be something of a nuisance as they're easy to hit. That shortcut to the left, by the way, saves a second or so but look out - it's bumpy ground and you could end up taking a swim. The exit of the old town features a roundabout; the shorter route, left, has a blocker, but you can pick up an item pod and a speed boost if you head right.
And we head for the hills - although there's very little climbing to do. Typically of southern France and northern Italy, they tunnel through mountains rather than struggle up and down them. This first tunnel has left and right lanes, both with flamers for the reckless.
This bridge, exiting the first tunnel, is nasty. Something happened to the wood and it's all twisted and buckled and very hard to get right without banging into the sides.
Climbing up to the next tunnel, look out for the small barrel launcher. The paths of the rolling barrels is unpredictable, so you need to concentrate on them as well as on the need to get a really good approach into the tunnel.
As you exit the tunnel it's a very sharp right to hit the mega jump. If you go wide there is (just out of shot) a directional speed boost to help you. If you can manage to stay tight there is another of the all-too-rare item pods. If you dare to head left as you make the jump, there is another item pod, but it's risky - you may well wreck on the old fishing boat. After that it's a gentle weave through the final tunnel which finishes with a boost ramp to take you to the finish.
Ville de Caque
Remix - yes please!!! I'm an inexperienced designer so your tips and improvements are very welcome.
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