It’s time to mark your calendars and start your virtual engines, the GT Sport World Tour is back!
While we may have had a sneak preview of where and when the event would take place, Polyphony Digital has now confirmed the details. For its third year, the World Tour will start in Sydney, Australia, over the weekend of February 15-16.
A trip to Australia marks new ground for the World Tour. It’s the first time that a GT Sport live event has taken place in Australia, or anywhere in the Oceania region. Previously, the nearest the competitors from the region have got to home is the two events in Tokyo, putting them at something of a disadvantage when it comes to jet lag. With it, the World Tour will have visited four of the game’s five regions.
The format ought to be pretty familiar by now. All the action on the Saturday will be about the Manufacturer Series, where teams of three represent their chosen manufacturers in a series of races. On Sunday it’ll be down to individual performance, as the players fight for their own name — and country — in the Nations Cup.
2019 World Tour champion Mikail Hizal won’t be able to attend the Sydney event. The German driver has a tightly packed schedule for the final year of his college course, which put some pressure on him to perform well in Monaco last year (not that you’d have noticed). Joining him on the sidelines is 2018 champion Igor Fraga, who’s also unable to attend.
The absence of perhaps the two biggest names on the grid means there’s a good chance of another name on the top step in Sydney. Local driver and FIA Motorsport Games Digital Cup champion Cody Latkovski is probably the firm favorite — and the highest ranked 2019 driver aside from Hizal and Fraga. Nicolas Rubilar and Ryota Kokubun both also won World Tour events in 2019, and Takuma Miyazono, while yet to take an event victory, will also likely be in the mix.
Sydney’s World Tour event will take place within the Luna Park amusement park. It’s a slightly madcap location, as you can see above, consisting of a preserved, 85-year old amusement park, with all the rides you’d expect of a 1930s-era funfair. The Big Top — because of course there’s a Big Top — will play host to the weekend’s racing. We’re not sure how much attention the racers will be paying to the park’s slogan of “Just for Fun” though.
That does mean that it is open to the public. Australian residents can claim free tickets via EventBrite, but for those outside Australia there’s also a chance to win a VIP experience through partner brand TAG Heuer.
The Swiss timepiece manufacturer is holding a draw on its website to win a four-day, behind-the-scenes experience at the World Tour. Entrants can win return, business class flights to Sydney, four nights (February 13-17) in a hotel, transfers, and meals for two people. The prize also includes a meet and greet event with Polyphony Digital studio head and Gran Turismo founder Kazunori Yamauchi, and one entry to the Pro-Am race.
For all those who cannot attend, there’ll be live streams of both races:
As the Sydney World Tour event will act as a curtain-raiser for the 2020 season, doubtless Polyphony Digital will share its plans and calendar for the year ahead just as it did in Paris in 2019.
We’ll bring you more on this, and any other information around the event, as we get it.