Grand Prix Circuit (video game)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Grand Prix Circuit
Developer(s)Distinctive Software
Random Access (CPC, Spectrum)
Producer(s)Shelley Day
Designer(s)Brad Gour
Don Mattrick
Programmer(s)Frank Barchard
Rick Friesen
Brad Gour
Amory Wong
Artist(s)John Boechler
Tony Lee
Composer(s)Krisjan Hatlelid
Platform(s)Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple IIGS, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum

Grand Prix Circuit is a racing video game developed by Distinctive Software and published by Accolade for MS-DOS compatible operating systems in 1988. It was ported to the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Apple IIGS, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum.


Qualification screenshot

Players can choose from three different cars in the game. They are:

  1. McLaren MP4/4 (Honda 1.5L V6 turbo - 790 bhp (589 kW; 801 PS))
  2. Williams FW12C (Renault 3.5L V10 - 735 bhp (548 kW; 745 PS))
  3. Ferrari F1/87/88C (Ferrari 3.5L V12 - 680 bhp (507 kW; 689 PS))

The McLaren-Honda turbo is the most powerful car in the game but is also the most difficult car to control. This is the 1988 combination that won 15 out of 16 Grands Prix (along with 15 pole positions) in the hands of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

The Williams-Renault is the next most powerful and the car is relatively neutral to control. It is the 1989 combination. The FW12C was driven by Thierry Boutsen and Riccardo Patrese in 1989.

The Ferrari is actually the 1988 turbo car's chassis with the V12 engine. This version did appear in public in 1988, but only as the test mule for Ferrari's 1989 engine and was never raced. As the slowest of the three the Ferrari is also the easiest to control. The test car was driven by the team's 1988 drivers Michele Alboreto and Gerhard Berger, as well as Ferrari test driver Roberto Moreno.

There are five difficulty levels and three playing modes: practice, single event and championship circuit and the game is accompanied by music written for the Commodore 64 by Kris Hatlelid. The high score/end of game music is based on "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" from 1969 by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer.


A Computer Gaming World review had mixed feelings about the game, noting the controls, which governed steering, acceleration, and shifting all at the same time, took so long to get used to that the reviewer ended up asking a friend to do shifting for him. The review did note the game was quite good after getting used to the controls.[1]

By 1991, the game had sold 100,000 units.[2]

In an interview with Top Gear in 2010, Kazunori Yamauchi, the creator of the Gran Turismo racing franchise for the PlayStation, named Grand Prix Circuit one of his favorite racing games.[3]


  1. ^ Ardai, Charles; Werger, Barry (March 1989), "Once Around The Block", Computer Gaming World, no. 57, pp. 45–46
  2. ^ "Investment in home computer helped turn teen into a tycoon". Edmonton Journal. June 24, 1991. p. 10. Retrieved November 28, 2021 – via
  3. ^ Pattni, Vijay (2010-11-25). "Gran Turismo 5 is out now! Honestly". Top Gear. Retrieved 2 December 2011.

External links[edit]