Gran Turismo FIA Online Championship Timings and Regions Change for 2021

Gran Turismo Sport 3726 February 12, 2021 by

Polyphony Digital has released more information on the scheduling for the 2021 season of the Gran Turismo FIA Online Championship. Although we don’t have a full race calendar yet — and we’ll bring you that when it’s available — there are nonetheless important changes to how players will participate in the races.

First and foremost is the number and timings of event slots, which affects both championships. As we had suspected, the 2021 season will retain the Wednesday/Saturday format for racing. Without a full calendar we can’t say for sure, but this looks like it will be the same as the late-2020 seasons, where Nations Cup and Manufacturer Series would alternate days rather than taking place on the same day.

The series will also retain the timings for each entry slot, though cut from six slots down to five in each region — with the exception of Oceania which has only three slots in Nations Cup. There’s no additional slot currently scheduled for a “Top 16 Superstars” race, but we’d anticipate this to be the middle time slot of each relevant round, with the public entry slot delayed by 20 minutes for that round. Timings for the first slot of each race day varies by region, but each subsequent slot is 80 minutes after the previous one:

Nations Cup Entry Slots

  • Oceania Region
    • Wednesdays – 0700 UTC
    • Saturdays – 0600 UTC
  • Asia Region
    • Wednesdays – 1000 UTC
    • Saturdays – 0900 UTC
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa Region
    • Wednesdays – 1600 UTC
    • Saturdays – 1400 UTC
  • Central and South America Region
    • Wednesdays – 2100 UTC
    • Saturdays – 2000 UTC
  • North America Region
    • Wednesdays – 1+0100 UTC
    • Saturdays – 2300 UTC

A major change to the Manufacturer Series will also take place. In 2020 there was an additional layer of complexity, as players from all five regions contributed points towards the manufacturer standings, but only the top players from three regions attended finals. For 2021, the number of regions will revert back to three, with the two Americas regions unified, and Asia-Oceania becoming one region, much as they did for the online regional finals last season.

That necessitates some changes to the entry times to account for the different time zones involved, so there’s a slightly different schedule for Manufacturer Series:

Manufacturer Series Entry Slots

  • Asia-Oceania Region
    • Wednesdays – 0900 UTC
    • Saturdays – 0800 UTC
  • Europe, Middle East, and Africa Region
    • Wednesdays – 1600 UTC
    • Saturdays – 1400 UTC
  • Americas Region
    • Wednesdays – 2300 UTC
    • Saturdays – 2100 UTC

As yet we don’t have a full calendar for the upcoming Exhibition Series, which will be the first to test these changes, but we do know it will start on Saturday February 27. We’ll bring you all the information as we get it.

Featured image courtesy of 05XR8.

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