Gran Turismo World Series 2024 Begins in April

Polyphony Digital has announced that the Gran Turismo World Series will be returning for 2024, with the first qualification races set to get underway just over a month from today.

It’s something we’ve been expecting for a couple of weeks now, following a pretty dramatic overhaul of the Balance of Performance for the key Gr.3 and Gr.4 categories used in the Manufacturers Cup competition. That came with the 1.43 update right at the end of February and saw the picture in the ongoing Exhibition Season and Daily Races change quite markedly.

However, the announcement of the GTWS’s return is somewhat short on details. At present the only information is that qualification for the showpiece esports series will begin on Wednesday April 17, with nothing more specific on season length or the races that will make up the championships. In fact we’re not even sure if we’ll see both the new team-based Nations Cup and Manufacturers Cup, though it seems likely.

It is worth noting too that this is a pretty early start by recent standards, and indeed the earliest that an official GTWS season has started other than the massive 2019 championship. That could indicate a return to the multi-season format — rather than the single-season of 2023 — and more races than the seven on the calendar last year.

Given the tentative return to live events over the past two years, we’re hopeful that the championship will expand back to where it was in 2019 — and what was planned for 2020 before global events got very firmly in the way. We’ll have to wait for Polyphony to reveal its plans on this front however, and given Sony’s recent belt-trimming it’s somewhat up in the air.

All of 2023’s championship sponsors return too, with Fanatec once again the official wheel provider for the series with the Gran Turismo DD — and probably the Extreme version at live events. BBS, Brembo, and Michelin are all partners once again, as are Genesis, Mazda Spirit Racing, and Toyota Gazoo Racing. That likely means reserved spots in the Manufacturers Cup live events, as well as a return for the Toyota GR GT Cup.

Once more though, FIA branding is currently absent from the championship in this initial announcement as with every GTWS event in GT7’s life so far. Although the FIA’s representatives are in attendance at every live event, it doesn’t appear that the two parties are yet in position to collaborate once again.

We’ll be waiting for more news on the details of the 2024 Gran Turismo World Series as it comes, so watch this space!

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