The World Series Showdown, a crucial mid-season playoff in the 2021 FIA Certified Gran Turismo Online Championship, will broadcast on August 21 and August 22.
We’ve already seen two events on the World Series in 2021, consisting of the highest-ranked drivers who contested last year’s World Final. The World Series Showdown will see these drivers placed against the top players from the Online Season One series earlier this year.
That means that, in both Nations Cup and Manufacturer Series, we’ll see drivers who’ve never contested a live or online finals event in GT Sport before, as well as several much more familiar names.
The World Series Showdown will fill two different functions in both championships. Firstly, it will act as a selection process to determine the drivers that will head through to the Nations Cup World Series 3 and World Series 4 events later in the year, with the top 16 making the cut.
As important though is the points on offer. Both championships offer 10 World Series points to the winning driver or team, with points running down to one for tenth place. Given that the rest of the World Series only offers 12 points at most for all four events combined, there’s a significant haul for doing well — and a boost heading into the World Final later this year.
There’ll be three races in the Manufacturer Series, with a Gr.3 event at Alsace followed by a Gr.4 race at Lago Maggiore West. That sets up a double-points final race for Gr.3 cars at Dragon Trail Gardens. Each driver in the three-man squads must run one race, and one race only.
Reigning world champion Subaru head into the Showdown with a narrow lead in the Manufacturer Series, with four points so far putting it a point ahead of Porsche. Two of the three winning drivers from 2020, Takuma Miyazono and Daniel Solis, return for the Showdown, with Portugal’s Pedro Vigario taking the third spot.
Toyota looks to have a very strong team, with Igor Fraga, Coque Lopez, and Tomoaki Yamanaka driving for the Japanese team. All three drivers have picked up podium spots in previous World Tour events, with Fraga and Yamanaka in the trio that won the 2019 World Final.
Porsche has had a decent season so far, and Angel Inostroza — the driver in both World Series events — partners with Jose Serrano and Tatsuya Sugawara as the team tries to take the advantage back from Subaru.
Manufacturer Series will be broadcast on August 21, with the stream starting at 1400 UTC.
The Nations Cup also returns to the three-race format, with two shorter events followed by a double-points final. Players will first take charge of the Alpine Vision Gran Turismo for a ten-lap race of Tokyo Expressway South, followed by a 13-lap affair in the Renault RS01 GT3 at Interlagos. The final race will be a serious challenge, with the Ford MkIV racing 17 laps around Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
Hungary’s Patrik Blazsan, perhaps unexpectedly, took the Nations Cup lead after World Series 2. Blaszan is a veteran of the GT Sport championships, and the only driver to have attended every event possible, and won the race at Laguna Seca with a tactical masterstroke.
He’s two points ahead of Valerio Gallo, the form driver right now. Though Gallo came away from WS2 without a point, he won WS1 and is the Olympic champion.
Two of the three world champions will race in the Showdown too, with Igor Fraga qualifying through the online events to accompany Takuma Miyazono. There’s also Manufacturer Series champion Daniel Solis, and two-time tour winner Ryota Kokubun in the mix.
Nations Cup will be broadcast on August 22, with the stream starting at 1400 UTC.
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