Gran Turismo Live Events Could Return This Year, Italy Considered to Host

After two years of exclusively virtual competition, Gran Turismo’s showpiece World Tour live events could be returning this season.

World Tour events have been a staple of the Gran Turismo Online Championships since the very first event at the Nurburgring in 2018 — although technically GT Sport launched with a prototype for the World Tour at the Copperbox in London in 2016.

Since then there’s been a further 12 live events on four continents, with top players from the online portion of the game flown in from around the world in spectacular locations. That includes the 2018 and 2019 World Finals, held in Monaco.

However global conditions since then have prevented the live events. Along with the various potential host nations having their own restrictions, the possibility of transporting competitors with travel restrictions in place have meant fair representation wouldn’t be possible. The last World Tour took place in Sydney in February 2020, and all of the events have been online since then.

With much of the world now operating relatively normally, and a new game in Gran Turismo 7 as the platform for the competition, the possibility of live events returning is something that’s been on many minds.

That includes GT series producer Kazunori Yamauchi, who recently communicated an intention to resume live events in a letter to World Series drivers.

Within the letter, Yamauchi states that it was “unfortunate” that 2021’s edition had to be online again, not least for the “lost opportunity to see you all in person”. He adds though that PD plans “on at least having some live events in the 2022 season”.

Where and when those events might be is very much its own question. In previous seasons we have seen annual events in the United States, Austria, Germany, and Japan, along with events in Spain and France, the Monaco World Finals and the first ever southern hemisphere event in Sydney in 2020.

However it seems that Italy may be in line for its first ever World Tour event. Speaking at Napoli ComiCon earlier this week, Yamauchi revealed that there were advanced plans to stage an event at Rome’s Colosseum — which has previously appeared in two different fictional circuits in Gran Turismo games.

That’s a plan we may see revisited in 2022, as Yamauchi commented that “we definitely want to make sure we host an event here in Italy some time”, not least with Rome native Valerio Gallo as the reigning Gran Turismo world champion.

Polyphony Digital hasn’t yet announced firm plans for the 2022 season, and Gran Turismo 7 is still staging “Test Season” events ahead of the full Online Championship calendar. Watch this space for the latest information as we get it!

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