IMSA’s president John Doonan has rather surprisingly announced that the motorsports organizing body has added Gran Turismo to its list of esports partners, during a special “State of the Sport” live stream. His comments were discovered by GTPlanet user “PSN offapple” and shared in our forums.
The stream, with Doonan and host John Hindhaugh, was effectively an overview of IMSA’s operations as things stand and looking forward to events in 2022 and 2023.
As the organizing body for sports car racing in the USA, IMSA — the International Motor Sports Association — manages a wide selection of some of the most famous races in the world including the 24 Hours of Daytona.
Like many other organizers, IMSA was thrust into esports by the events of 2020, partnering with iRacing for virtual events while physical ones were not possible. Since then it’s expanded into other platforms too and Doonan announced that “we’ve just added Gran Turismo… to the list”.
It comes as something of surprise as this partnership hasn’t yet been announced elsewhere by either IMSA or Gran Turismo. That means that, as yet, we don’t know exactly what the partnership will entail.
Of the titles listed on the IMSA Esports slide, most only contain cars and tracks used by various IMSA series. That includes Gran Turismo, which added Daytona and Watkins Glen — both used by IMSA championships — to the list of circuits in Gran Turismo 7 as compared to GT Sport.
However, IMSA has recently announced a major expansion to its esports plans with its first ever official esports series. The IMSA Esports Global Championship, which will run on iRacing later this year, will be based on GT3 and TCR cars, with multi-driver teams racing 160-minute endurance events.
Exactly how Gran Turismo fits into IMSA plans going forward remains to be seen then. You can catch the entire State of the Sport stream below: