Gran Turismo World Series 2024 Round 1 Preview: Pump Up the Jam

The first live event in the 2024 Gran Turismo World Series is upon us this weekend as the flagship esports series breaks new ground for a rare visit to North America.

Montreal will make its debut in hosting the GTWS, in a first ever trip to Canada for the series. In total there’ll be three live events — in Montreal, Prague, and Tokyo — leading up to the World Final at a location that’s yet to be properly revealed but which leaked out as being Abu Dhabi.

A format change for this season has seen the Nations Cup revert to its solo championship after a one-year experiment with the teams format that saw Spain take the title in 2023. We’re also going to see an effective return of regional finals, though this only applies to the Manufacturers Cup.

However the finalists for each of the four live events have already been determined following an extremely short and sometimes quite controversial online season earlier this year.

Map data: ©2024 Google

The novel venue for the Montreal event is actually a converted factory in the heart of the city’s Village area — the largest LGBTQ+ community in North America.

Formerly a jam production facility for the Alphonse Raymond brand, Usine C (literally “Factory C”) is now a cultural hub following its transformation by the Carbon 14 collective. As well as hosting exhibitions across the audio-visual spectrum, it also has event spaces — one of which can pack in almost 500 people with the theater-style seating in place.

As with other recent Gran Turismo events, the Montreal stop is open to the public but tickets for the one-day event are already sold out. That means you’ll have to tune into the live streams if you’ve missed out.

There’s set to be a lot going on at the event too, as the latest Gran Turismo 7 game update will be revealed during the streams. It’s a very unusual step and has resulted in a lot of speculation as to what the update could contain to merit such a high-profile reveal; a Gr.1 race car based on the Genesis Vision Gran Turismo car seems likely to be among them given its own announcement on June 27.

As for the racing, we’ll have a first chance to see the 12 qualified finalists for the Nations Cup, as well as the Americas region representatives (for the most part) for the 12 qualified finalist brands in the Manufacturers Cup.

There’s quite a few familiar faces in both camps, with the Nations Cup dozen sharing five titles (and four Manufacturers Cup titles) between them. That includes the only two-time winner Coque Lopez, who defended his solo title in 2022 as part of Team Spain last year, as well as countryman and fellow 2023 champion Jose Serrano. Valerio Gallo and Takuma Miyazono are the other two to hold the famous trophy aloft.

Manufacturers Cup representatives will include triple champion Igor Fraga, racing for Lexus as part of an incredibly strong line-up, and 2021 Nations champion Gallo for Honda. We’ll also get to see Angel Inostroza racing for Porsche once again as his recovery from an accident in 2023 continues. However defending champion Nissan hasn’t qualified at all for the 2024 finals!

As we’ve seen over the past few rounds, there’s rewards for players who tune into the streams and those whose knowledge of the GTWS proves to be on-point.

If you can predict which driver takes the checkered flag first in either of the two final races, you’ll be rewarded with 1,000,000cr for your Gran Turismo 7 piggy bank. Get both right and that’s two million credits — and you’ll have up until the moment the grand final race starts in each event to make your prediction, so keep an eye on the qualifying races.

Simply watching the streams, through the special in-game tile, will also give you bonus rewards by way of roulette tickets. Watching even a moment of the Manufacturers stream awards a rare, valuable Six-Star Roulette (Car) Ticket, and there’s a standard Six-Star Roulette Ticket for the Nations Cup stream.

The events take place back-to-back on the same evening, with the Manufacturers Cup beginning at 2100 UTC and the Nations Cup at 2330 UTC on Saturday July 6.

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