GT Sport FIA Exhibition Series Returns December 31 With New Schedule and Format

Gran Turismo Sport 2394 December 30, 2019 by

We’ve only just closed out the second season of GT Sport‘s 2019/20 FIA Exhibition Series, but the third is already upon us. It’s a little sooner than you might think as well, so be sure to read on so you don’t end up getting caught out.

Season 3 officially gets underway on December 31 — New Year’s Eve — and the alert among you will spot that this is a Tuesday rather than a Wednesday. That’s because the entire schedule has changed for the events, with the Nations Cup now held on Tuesdays and Saturdays and the Manufacturer Series on Wednesdays and Sundays.

The move allows players to practice for one event and race exclusively on it for an evening, without having to switch between tracks and cars (and strategies) every 80 minutes. With a potential World Tour place at stake for this stage — the schedule runs through to the start of February, and last year’s season opener took place in Paris in March — that’s a good thing for players around the sharp end of the field.

The full calendar for both events in season two is below:

Nations Cup

  • Round 1 – December 31 – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps/Gr.4; 11 laps
  • Round 2 – January 4 – Fuji International Speedway – Short/N200; 11 laps
  • Round 3 – January 7 – Circuit de la Sarthe/Gr.1; 7 laps
  • Round 4 – January 11 – Sardegna – Road Track C/Gr.3; 25 laps
  • Round 5 – January 14 – Autodrome Lago Maggiore – East/RE Amemiya FD3S; 14 laps
  • Round 6 – January 18 – Brands Hatch – Grand Prix Circuit/Gr.4; 17 laps
  • Round 7 – January 21 – Dragon Trail – Gardens/Gr.2; 18 laps
  • Round 8 – January 25 – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca/Porsche 911 (993) Carrera RS CS ’95; 14 laps
  • Round 9 – February 1 – Nurburgring – 24h/Gr.3; 3 laps
  • Round 10 – February 8 – Tokyo Expressway – South Inner Loop/Gr.1; 11 laps*

Manufacturer Series

  • Round 1 – January 1 – Suzuka Circuit/Gr.3; 12 laps
  • Round 2 – January 5 – Dragon Trail – Gardens II/Gr.3; 13 laps
  • Round 3 – January 8 – Tokyo Expressway – East Outer Loop/Gr.4; 12 laps
  • Round 4 – January 12 – Circuit de Sainte-Croix B/Gr.4; 9 laps
  • Round 5 – January 15 – Blue Moon Bay Speedway/Gr.3; 23 laps
  • Round 6 – January 19 – Autodromo de Interlagos/Gr.4; 12 laps
  • Round 7 – January 22 – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya/Gr.3; 14 laps
  • Round 8 – January 26 – Red Bull Ring/Gr.4; 16 laps
  • Round 9 – February 2 – Mount Panorama/Gr.4; 10 laps
  • Round 10 – February 9 – WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca/Gr.3; 17 laps*

Each schedule contains a Star Player race for Round 10. Unlike Season 2, you won’t find many gaps, but there is a curious one at the end of January with no races on 28/29. This probably indicates an update during that week, although we also note there’s no “TBA” markers in the schedule for potential new content.

The change to the calendar has also meant a change to the timings, and the number of entries that players may make. For Season 3, there’s now five spots per night, giving you plenty of chances to get a decent score on the board. Be aware that only your last entry counts though. The timings are as follows:

  • Oceania Region – 1800, 1920, 2040, 2200, 2320 AEDT
  • Asia Region – 1900, 2020, 2140, 2300, 0020 JST
  • EMEA Region – 1600, 1720, 1840, 2000, 2120 UTC
  • North America Region – 1600, 1720, 1840, 2000, 2120 CST
  • Central & South America Region – 2000, 2120, 2240, 0000, 0120 BRST

You’ll find your own country’s time slots both on the official game website and in Sport Mode within the game itself.

One exception to the above timings is during Round 10. The central spot in each region becomes the Top 16 Superstars race — for the top S-ranked players — and the regular race will start ten minutes later.

There’s a couple of other changes too. Qualifying sessions are now much shorter, with around five minutes available in most cases. Only the races at the Nurburgring 24h (13 minutes), Circuit de la Sarthe (10), Sainte-Croix (10), Spa (10), Laguna Seca (6), Mount Panorama (6), and Tokyo East (6) are longer. Tire wear is faster than last season too, at up to 15x in the Manufacturer Series race at Red Bull Ring. That may reduce the competitiveness of the FWD/4WD Gr.4 cars in the Manufacturer Series particularly, so choose your brand carefully.

The mandatory tire requirement will carry over from Season 2, so be aware of your tire choices in each race. Failure to run the required grade — or grades — of tire will result in a 20-second post-race penalty. The new points system also carries over from before, and your best five rounds will count towards your total score.

Featured image courtesy of NoStopN.

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