The midway point of the 2021 FIA Certified Gran Turismo Online Championship is coming this weekend, starting with Saturday’s Manufacturer Series event.
It’s a pivotal moment which will set the stage for the second half of the season and rewards leading squads with almost as many points as the rest of the season put together. That will set up the World Final at the end of the year.
Unlike the previous two stages of the World Series, drivers and brands in the Showdown have qualified through online performances in Season One across the first half of the year. This means we’ll get to see some familiar names, but also drivers who’ve never taken part in any live finals event.
For the Manufacturer Series we’ll see three-driver squads representing their brands, with each taking part in one of Saturday’s races. The teams will have to decide among them who is the strongest driver, as the three races aren’t entirely equal; as is Gran Turismo tradition, the final race confers double points.
There’ll also be a mixture of Gr.3 and Gr.4 races, which has its own tactical consequences. Thanks to the highly varied nature of Gr.4, some of the qualified marques have front- or four-wheel drive cars which chew through tires but can be very fast over a lap, while others have tire-friendly rear-drive cars which might prove faster at the end of a set of rubber.
Among the qualified teams is reigning world champion Subaru. The team currently leads the way on five World Series points, and reunites champion drivers Takuma Miyazono and Daniel Solis, with Portugal’s Pedro Vigario in the third seat.
Porsche is next in the table, after winning WS1, and with Angel Inostroza, Jose Serrano, and Tatsuya Sugawara it has a squad strong enough that all three drivers are also in the Showdown’s Nations Cup event on Sunday. 2019 World Champion Toyota hasn’t registered a World Series point yet, but the squad of Igor Fraga, Coque Lopez, and Tomoaki Yamanaka looks pretty terrifying — and has taken pole position for the first race.
Manufacturer Series will be broadcast on August 21, with the stream starting at 1400 UTC, and you can catch it in full below:
- Race 1: Alsace Village, 10 laps – Gr.3 – Racing Medium/Soft
- Race 2: Autodrome Lago Maggiore West, 13 laps – Gr.4 – Racing Medium
- Race 3: Dragon Trail Gardens, 25 laps – Gr.3 – Racing Hard/Medium/Soft
- French language stream
- German language stream
- Italian language stream
- Portuguese language stream
- Spanish language stream
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