Our virtual tires and brakes are still cooling down from the end of the official Gran Turismo Sport 2020 FIA Online Championship season, but there’s a chance for some more racing starting next week.
With the official rankings now part of the history books — and any live events that may result from them still pending confirmation — attentions now turn to a new Exhibition Series.
There’s a few changes for this set of races, notably to the scheduling. However, before we get into those details, the full calendar for this season is as follows:
- Round 1 – August 26 – Autodrome Lago Maggiore – GP/Bugatti Veyron Gr.4
- Round 2 – September 2 – Kyoto Driving Park – Yamagiwa II/Mazda Roadster Touring Car
- Round 3 – September 9 – Red Bull Ring/Gr.2
- Round 4 – September 16 – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps/Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R ’15
- Round 5 – September 23 – Dragon Trail – Gardens/BMW M4 Gr.4, Lexus RC F Gr.4
- Round 6 – October 3 – Fuji International Speedway/Audi e-tron Vision Gran Turismo
- Round 7 – October 10 – Autodromo Nazionale Monza/Gr.4
- Round 8 – October 17 – Dragon Trail – Seaside II/Gran Turismo Red Bull X2014 Junior
- Round 9 – October 24 – Circuit de la Sarthe/Gr.1 (Selected)
- Round 10 – October 31 – Nurburgring GP/Gr.3
- Round 1 – August 29 – Dragon Trail – Seaside/Gr.3
- Round 2 – September 5 – Autodromo Nazionale Monza/Gr.4
- Round 3 – September 12 – Tsukuba Circuit/Gr.3
- Round 4 – September 19 – Alsace Village/Gr.4
- Round 5 – September 26 – Fuji International Speedway/Gr.3
- Round 6 – September 30 – Goodwood Motor Circuit/Gr.4
- Round 7 – October 7 – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya/Gr.3
- Round 8 – October 14 – Tokyo Expressway – East Inner Loop/Gr.4
- Round 9 – October 21 – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca/Gr.3
- Round 10 – October 28 – Suzuka Circuit/Gr.4
A quick scan of the list throws up some interesting combinations. The BMW vs. Lexus race at Dragon Trail Gardens in Nations Cup is a little left-field, but the one that grabs our eye is Round 9. That’ll take you to the Circuit de la Sarthe, but you’ll only be able to use specific cars from Gr.1. These will be the old Group C prototypes, covering the Jaguar XJR-9, Mazda 787B, Nissan R92CP, Porsche 962, and Sauber C9.
Players might also note that the races are getting longer too. Only two events come in at under ten laps — the La Sarthe race above, and the Gr.4 event at Tokyo — with most in the 10-20 range and even a 37-lapper at Tsukuba. There’ll be no Top 16 Superstar Races this season however.
The calendar itself has some obvious changes too. To start with, the Nations Cup races take place on a Wednesday and the Manufacturer Series on the following Saturday. They switch over for Round 6, with the Manufacturers on Wednesdays and Nations on Saturdays. There also does not appear to be a gap for any game updates or live events to take place.
The timings have changed too. There’ll be five slots each day, running every 80 minutes as before. Weekday races start at 1600 UTC for the EMEA region, with weekend races two hours earlier at 1400 UTC. North America follows this pattern, with races starting at 1500 PDT on Saturdays and 1700 PDT on Wednesdays, but the other three regions only have an hour’s difference — still with weekend races earlier. They start at 1700/1800 AEST, JST, and BRT in Oceania, Asia, and South America respectively.
As with the last portion of the official season, qualifying is again fixed at ten minutes for all events. 12 of the 20 races — five in Nations, seven in Manufacturers — also have a mandatory tire rule in effect. This means that drivers who do not complete at least one lap on each type of required tire in the race will face a 60-second post-race penalty.
Featured image courtesy of sebmugi.