Gran Turismo World Series Online Season 1 Begins Today

The official esports championship of Gran Turismo 7, the GT World Series, gets underway with its first online qualifying rounds today.

Players of any ability and in countries around the world can participate in the World Series, so long as they have access to a copy of GT7 — whether on PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5.

Now in its fifth season, the GT World Series should be familiar to most. However with the transition to a new title, it’s likely a lot of players will be coming to the event for the first time too.

The series consists of a pair of championships, which places you against other drivers of similar ability according to your Driver Rating. Players represent themselves in the Nations Cup or a specific car marque in the Manufacturers Cup, and you can race in either or both if you wish.

For Manufacturers Cup you will sign a contract with a brand which runs through to the end of the current season. Your chosen brand will supply you with the Gr.4 car and Gr.3 car required for the championship — so you don’t have to buy them in order to race — and you can keep them and use them in other races too until the next time you sign a contract for a new season. You cannot switch manufacturers mid-season though.

In both cases, each race you take part in will see you gain points towards your ranking. How many points depends on your finishing position and the ratings of your opponents are. That means you’ll score more by racing against A-rated drivers is than against D-rated drivers.

In order to keep drivers in the same skill brackets, you’ll be assigned to a “League” in each series which depends on your Driver Rating when you enter the championship. GT1 League is for drivers at DR A or better, GT2 for DR B drivers, and GT3 for those at DR C or below. Although your DR might change during the season, you’ll remain in the same League until the season ends.

Each round of the championship will give you five chances to enter each race, with scheduled start times every hour once the round begins. However only your last finish counts, even if you fail to score or are disconnected. Your worst scores won’t be counted towards your total, with only your best three rounds counted in each event.

The full calendar for the event is as follows:

Manufacturers Cup

  • Round 1 – May 27 – Nurburgring 24h – 4 laps – Gr.3
  • Round 2 – June 3 – Sardegna Road Track C – 20 laps – Gr.4
  • Round 3 – June 10 – Brands Hatch Indy – 25 laps – Gr.3
  • Round 4 – June 18 – Monza – 10 laps – Gr.4
  • Round 5 – June 25 – Daytona Road Course – 18 laps – Gr.3
  • Round 6 – July 2 – Suzuka Circuit – 12 laps – Gr.4

Nations Cup

  • Round 1 – May 28 – Suzuka Circuit – 8 laps – Honda Civic Touring Car
  • Round 2 – June 4 – Autopolis International – 13 laps – Gr.2
  • Round 3 – June 11 – 24h du Mans Circuit – 7 laps – Specific Gr.1 Selection
  • Round 4 – June 17 – Sardegna Road Track A – 15 laps – Suzuki Vision GT
  • Round 5 – June 24 – Alsace Test Course – 15 laps – Gr.B
  • Round 6 – July 1 – Watkins Glen Long Course – 16 laps – Gr.3

At the moment, only the final Nations Cup round is unknown. That could hint at content that has yet to come to the game, and it could be either a car or a track. Until the v1.15 update there was also a gap for Round 4 in Nations, with the Suzuki Vision GT arriving to fill in the space.

For the most part, vehicle selection is self-explanatory. However the third round of Nations Cup will see a very odd Gr.1 battle between the Le Mans Hypercar class Toyota GR010, the LMP1-H category Porsche 919 Hybrid and Audi R18 2016, and the rather outclassed Nissan GT-R LM NISMO. You’ll need to pick which of the four you’ll want to race (we’d avoid the Nissan).

Most of the races have a ten-minute qualifying window, with only the longer circuits — N24 and LM24 — having more time, and only eight minutes at Rounds 2 and 3 of the Manufacturers Cup.

Balance of Performance (BOP) is turned on for all races too, so you will be locked into a specific power and weight for car, and vehicle settings cannot be adjusted. That includes brake bias, which in GT7 is considered an upgrade part.

Mandatory tire requirements are in effect for four of the Manufacturers Cup rounds, so you will need to take care to plan your strategy. Failing to use a mandatory tire for at least one race lap will result in a one-minute penalty applied to your time after the race.

The timings for the race entry slots in Nations Cup are different depending on whether the race is run on a Friday (rounds 4-6) or a Saturday (rounds 1-3) in some regions, but the times by the UTC zone are:

  • Oceania (Fridays): 0800, 0900, 1000, 1100, 1200
  • Oceania (Saturdays): 0700, 0800, 0900, 1000, 1100
  • Asia: 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (Fridays): 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, 2200
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (Saturdays): 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800
  • North America: 2300, 0000 (+1), 0100 (+1), 0200 (+1), 0300 (+1)
  • Latin America: 0000 (+1), 0100 (+1), 0200 (+1), 0300 (+1), 0400 (+1)

Manufacturer Series once again sees Asia and Oceania become one region, as will the Americas. The timings for races are slightly different as a result:

  • Asia/Oceania (Fridays): 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500, 1600
  • Asia/Oceania (Saturdays): 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (Fridays): 1800, 1900, 2000, 2100, 2200
  • Europe, Middle East, Africa (Saturdays): 1400, 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800
  • Americas: 2300, 0000 (+1), 0100 (+1), 0200 (+1), 0300 (+1)

When the season ends on July 1/2, the best 16 drivers (split by regional distribution and national limits) and the best ranked representatives in each region for the top 9 manufacturers (plus series partners Toyota, Mazda, and Genesis) will qualify for the World Series Showdown, at Red Bull Hangar-7 in Austria.

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