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I'm wondering if car damage in GTA online races affects vehicle performance. I didn't think it did, but.....

I was in a Hotring race, competitive for half to two thirds of the race. I was up with the lead group of 5 or so cars (out of 18), slipstream and catch up were on so the lead changed hands several times and I took my turns. It was by no means a dirty race, just a little bit of rubbing (rubbing is racing).

Then all of a sudden my car slows down. Not to a complete standstill, I was still moving at a semi-decent speed, so the controller was still connected. Every other car in the race caught and passed me and I couldn't keep up with them or close the gap even with catch up on. I can't remember the name of the track but it had a couple of sections where gaps in the track must be jumped, and my car didn't have enough oomph to get over them, so something had definitely dropped off but I'm just not sure what. The car wasn't handling like I had a flat or anything (and I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone get a puncture in an online race).

Could something have happened to my car to totally scupper my race?

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Short answer: yes.

Long answer: It's rare, but I've seen a damaged car begin to lose acceleration or top speed as it takes damage. It's not that the engine broke, but that something else about the model has. This is common with low-slung supercars that have a bumper that wraps near the wheel well and takes a hard front corner hit. It also can happen if debris gets caught in the wheel well or if the axle bends the wheel upward. The car will slow and the steering can be affected.

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    Thanks. I didn't think anything could go wrong with the engine, and I've smashed cars up much worse than that in races. It makes sense that some piece of debris or bent bodywork was slowing me down instead. – chris_f Apr 3 '18 at 16:38

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