With the World Series Showdown Manufacturers Cup over and done, the Nations Cup will follow today, live from Red Bull Hangar-7 in Salzburg, Austria.
The top 16 drivers from the 2022 Online Season 1 will get their first chance in the World Series this season, joining the 16 best drivers from the 2021 World Final who raced in World Series Round 1 — and there’s a lot riding on it.
Along with offering the largest single points haul before November’s World Final, with six for the winner, a top 12 finish will guarantee players a berth in the online Round 2 and Round 3 events and that final in Monaco.
The racing action this evening will be a little convoluted, with five races in total as well as a qualifying event that will determine starting positions for each of the regional finals that follows.
Each of the three regions — Americas, Asia-Oceania, and Europe/Middle East/Africa — will then have its own regional final, with the top three in each advancing to the grand final.
The Americas region will race the 2018 Ford GT race car at Daytona Road Course over a 16-lap race with a mandatory switch between Racing Medium and Soft tires. For Asia-Oceania it’s a 20-lap race of Fuji (with Dunlop Chicane) in Super Formula cars with the same tire requirements. Europe’s final will run at the reworked Deep Forest for 20 laps in the Aston Martin Vulcan, with Racing Hard and Medium tires required.
Following the finals, there’s a second-chance repechage. Drivers who placed fourth to seventh in the regional events will race off for the last three spots at Watkins Glen Short Course in the Genesis X Gr.3 — the qualifying combination — over 20 laps with the Medium and Soft tires mandatory.
Those 12 drivers, having booked themselves a spot in the rest of the World Series events, will then fight for the points over a 30-lap race of the updated Trial Mountain circuit in the Red Bull X2019 Competition.
All players will be required to use all three grades of tire, but an unusual regulation will see the pit lane closed at the end of lap 25 — preventing any late splash-and-dash runs.
Lucas Bonelli currently leads the championship, having taken the win and three points in World Series Round 1 when Baptiste Beauvois crashed on the final lap. 2018 and 2020 champions Igor Fraga and Takuma Miyazono site second and third.
However Miyazono won’t be able to race in Austria, as illness has prevented him from traveling. That also accounts for top-ranked North American driver Andrew Brooks, who’s found new ways to be unlucky at live events, while top Oceania qualifier Andrew Lee is also absent.
Of the remaining 29 drivers, 14 have previously claimed victory at World Tour, World Series, and Olympic Virtual Series races in Nations and Manufacturers events, making for a rather competitive field. That makes guessing the winner, for which you can win a million in-game credits through the Bonus Campaign, a bit of a challenge.
Aside from those who’ve already got points on the board, Beauvois will be a driver to watch. He didn’t get the result at World Series Round 1, but his pace was immense and only a fluke crash prevented him from taking the points. Meanwhile Kylian Drumont, in his first ever event, was the form driver in Manufacturers Cup yesterday in taking the win for Subaru.
We’d never rule out Ryota Kokubun, and Coque Lopez has gone well in these X2019s previously. And then there’s reigning champion Valerio Gallo to consider…
The livestream gets underway at 1900 UTC on Sunday July 30, and you can watch it in full below:
Alternate Language Streams
- French language stream
- German language stream
- Italian language stream
- Japanese language stream
- Portuguese language stream
- Spanish language stream
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