If you’ve not managed to nab a qualification spot for the 2019 FIA Online Championship World Final yet, then we have some bad news for you. The final races for the year took place shortly before the recent World Tour event in Austria, and the season is over.
The good news is that the Exhibition Series leading into the 2020 season is getting underway on Wednesday September 18, and it looks like there’s some changes on the way.
Up until now each race in both the Manufacturer Series and Nations Cup have had a one-hour slot. This has covered free practice, a ten-minute qualification session, and the race itself — taking up around 40 minutes across the event. With the races scheduled at the top of the hour, alternating between the two series, this has booked out six hours each Wednesday and Saturday for keen players.
Starting this week, it’s going to look a little different. Polyphony Digital is adding 20 minutes to the time allotted to each race, and although it’s not clear how much of this time will go to each component of the event it’ll likely allow for longer — and more strategy dependent — races.
In order to allow players to still compete in all six events on race day, the start time for the races will also change. For example the Europe/Middle East/Africa region (EMEA) race day will now look as follows:
- 1700 UTC – Nations Cup
- 1820 UTC – Manufacturer Series
- 1940 UTC – Nations Cup
- 2100 UTC – Manufacturer Series
- 2220 UTC – Nations Cup
- 2340 UTC – Manufacturer Series
You’ll find your own region’s time slots both on the official game website and in Sport Mode within the game itself.
Meanwhile, PD has also revealed the calendar for Season 1 of the 2019/20 Exhibition Series. This runs from Wednesday September 18 to Saturday November 2, with a gap in late October to accommodate the final World Tour event of 2019, in Tokyo. The full event breakdown is:
- Round 1 – September 18 – Nurburgring GP/Gr.3
- Round 2 – September 21 – Blue Moon Bay Speedway – Infield A/Gr.2
- Round 3 – September 25 – Autodrome Lago Maggiore – East/N300
- Round 4 – September 28 – Dragon Trail – Seaside/Gr.1
- Round 5 – October 9 – Red Bull Ring (Wet)/Gr.B
- Round 6 – October 12 – Suzuka Circuit/Gr.X
- Round 7 – October 16 – Tokyo Expressway – East Outer Loop (Wet)/One-Make
- Round 8 – October 19 – Brands Hatch Grand Prix Circuit/Gr.4
- Round 9 – October 30 – Mount Panorama Motor Racing Circuit/Gr.3
- Round 10 – November 2 – Kyoto Driving Park – Yamagiwa+Miyabi/Gr.1*
- Round 1 – September 18 – Red Bull Ring (Wet)/Gr.3
- Round 2 – September 21 – Autodromo de Interlagos/Gr.3
- Round 3 – September 25 – Fuji International Speedway (Short)/Gr.4
- Round 4 – September 28 – Nurburgring 24h/Gr.3
- Round 5 – October 9 – Autodrome Lago Maggiore – Centre II/Gr.3
- Round 6 – October 12 – Tokyo Expressway – East Outer Loop (Wet)/Gr.3
- Round 7 – October 16 – Dragon Trail – Seaside II/Gr.4
- Round 8 – October 19 – Brands Hatch Indy Circuit/Gr.4
- Round 9 – October 30 – Kyoto Driving Park – Yamagiwa+Miyabi/Gr.3
- Round 10 – November 2 – Autodrome Nazionale Monza/Gr.3*
Each has a “Top 16 Superstars” race scheduled for the final round, and the recent trend for this has been to use the middle race slot of the three available, bumping the race for non-superstars by ten minutes.
To further enhance the strategy aspect, there’ll be a new tire requirement rule in some races. In these, just like in the World Tour events, drivers will be required to use all available tire compounds during the race. Failing to do so will attract a time penalty, although it’s not specified how large that penalty will be.
Although at the moment the Exhibition Series doesn’t appear to have any official weight, we have previously seen an Exhibition Series used to determine live event participation. That was the case with the Paris World Tour event. It seems too far away from any possible 2020 live events to be the case this time, however.
Featured image courtesy of Stephan.