GTPlanet’s Gran Turismo World Series Driver Rankings: December 2021

The 2021 FIA Certified Gran Turismo Championships are almost at an end, with the World Finals coming up this weekend. There’s no time left for second chances, this is it.

Two races stand between each of the 32 qualified drivers — 16 from the mid-season World Series Showdown, and 16 qualifiers from the Online Stage 2 — and the famous trophy. The field will be divided across three different semi-finals, before the top 16 meet for the grand final itself, and it’s sure to be an excellent occasion as usual.

Of course the top drivers have already met on six different occasions this season, with four World Series events, the Showdown, and the Olympic final, and that’s given us a good look at the form.

Using these results, we’ve put together driver rankings for the season — as we have ahead of the previous rounds and across the last two years. It’s proven pretty good at predicting likely race results, though surprises are always a possibility!

Here’s how our final rankings stand ahead of the World Final, and be sure to tune in to see how we did from 1400 UTC on Sunday December 5:

#1 Valerio Gallo 🇮🇹 (Williams_BRacer)

  • Avg. Finishing Position: 2nd
  • Race Wins: 5
  • Best Result: 1st (World Series 1, Olympic Final, Showdown SF, World Series 3, World Series 4)
  • Worst Result: 14th (World Series 2)
  • Previous Ranking: #1 (-)
  • Best Ranking: #1

What can we say about Valerio Gallo at this point? He’s raced nine times and won five — more than everyone else put together — and not only leads the World Series points rankings by a 33% margin over his nearest rival but is the Olympic champion too.

Two races stand between the Italian and what looks like a first world title, having outscored 2020 World Champion Takuma Miyazono in last year’s World Final too but missing out on total World Tour points. He doesn’t even need to win either of them, but the statistics say he probably will.

#2: Igor Fraga 🇧🇷 (IOF_RACING17)
  • Avg. Finishing Position: 3rd
  • Race Wins: 0
  • Best Result: 2nd (Olympic R1, Showdown SF)
  • Worst Result: 6th (Showdown Final)
  • Previous Ranking: #2 (-)
  • Best Ranking: #2

The first GT Sport World Champion, Igor Fraga, is back near the top of the rankings again, following a season in which he only really got started with the World Series Showdown at halfway. He did race in the Olympics, but only managed one race — in which he finished second — before network issues ruled him out.

That’s a problem that’s now been fixed, and although he only sits fifth in the points rankings he can quickly close the nine-point gap to Gallo with the right results at the World Final. In fact Fraga is the only driver in the entire field never to finish lower than sixth.

#3 Jose Serrano 🇪🇸 (PR1_Josete)
  • Avg. Finishing Position: 5th
  • Race Wins: 0
  • Best Result: 2nd (Showdown SF, World Series 3, World Series 4)
  • Worst Result: 12th (World Series 2)
  • Previous Ranking: #4 (▲1)
  • Best Ranking: #3

Jose Serrano has been Gallo’s closest rival on track throughout much of the back end of this season. He’s finished in second behind Gallo in both World Series 3 and World Series 4, and would have beaten him at the Showdown for the want of a liter of fuel.

Serrano has made more trips to the podium than anyone except Gallo, but we haven’t yet seen him win a race in the 2021 Nations Cup. We know he has the speed and the experience of winning in the Manufacturer Series, so it should only be a matter of time.

Although it’s not clear how Polyphony is deciding points ties, it looks as though Serrano can win the title no matter what if he wins both of his races at the finals.

#4 Takuma Miyazono 🇯🇵 (Kerokkuma_ej20)

  • Avg. Finishing Position: 6th
  • Race Wins: 0
  • Best Result: 3rd (Olympic R2)
  • Worst Result: 10th (World Series 2)
  • Previous Ranking: #3 (▼1)
  • Best Ranking: #2

Takuma Miyazono has had, by his own standards, a middling season. He’s one of the most consistent drivers out there — every one of his nine races has been a top ten, though he’s only been on the podium once. It’s not what we were expecting from the man who won almost every time he raced and took the clean sweep of all three titles in 2020.

That means that, on four points right now, he has a lot of work to do if he wants to be the first driver to retain the Nations Cup title, but we wouldn’t be in a hurry to rule it out if he can get through his semi-final. However it’s been races against his countrymen where Miyazono has struggled most this year, so we can’t call it.

#5 Nikita Moysov 🇨🇿 (ERM_Nick)

  • Avg. Finishing Position: 7th
  • Race Wins: 1
  • Best Result: 1st (Showdown SF)
  • Worst Result: 14th (Showdown Final)
  • Previous Ranking: #6 (▲1)
  • Best Ranking: #5

Like Igor Fraga, Nikita Moysov has only really raced the second half of this season, and that means he has relatively few points — just two going into the Finals — but his form has been pretty solid. As well as being one of only five drivers to get a race win this year, in his Showdown semi-final, he’s only been lower than 7th once — though four of his six finishes have been in 6th place.

It’s a long shot for Moysov to come away from the Finals holding the trophy, but he clearly knows how to win a race and being close enough to the front of the field to capitalize on any errors ahead gives him a good chance to score some big points.

#6 Baptiste Beauvois 🇫🇷 (R8G_TSUTSU)
  • Avg. Finishing Position: 5th
  • Race Wins: 2
  • Best Result: 1st (Olympic R1, Olympic R2)
  • Worst Result: 9th (World Series 1, Olympic Final, Showdown SF)
  • Previous Ranking: – (-)
  • Best Ranking: #3

Baptiste Beauvois has been absent from our rankings since he missed out on qualifying for the second half of the season through a poor World Series Showdown. He has qualified for the Finals through the online route, as Europe’s top player, which brings his results back into consideration for the rankings.

They’re quite a set of results too. He looked nailed on to win the Olympics, with two wins from two, but a non-fault incident on the opening lap of the final saw him miss out on the gold medal. That means he’s the only driver to finish ahead of Gallo on track twice this season, and although the 17-point gap to the Italian looks almost insurmountable we wouldn’t be surprised to see Beauvois return to the podium this weekend.

#7 Patrik Blazsan 🇭🇺 (RSZe_Fuvaros8)

  • Avg. Finishing Position: 5th
  • Race Wins: 1
  • Best Result: 1st (World Series 2)
  • Worst Result: 13th (Showdown SF)
  • Previous Ranking: – (-)
  • Best Ranking: #1

When championship points leader Patrik Blazsan failed to qualify for the World Series Showdown Final — and thus World Series 3 and 4 — it was a massive shock. Blazsan had, until that point, been the only driver ever to participate in every GT Sport live event held since the first back in 2018.

He’s returning for the World Final courtesy of his Stage 2 European qualifying performances, so his stats come back into consideration for our rankings, and it has to be said that his Showdown result is very much an anomaly, with five points from a possible six in the first two World Series events and good finishes in the Olympics. The 13-point gap to Gallo might be too far, but this ever-present driver might just make it.

#8 Angel Inostroza 🇨🇱 (YASHEAT_Loyrot)
  • Avg. Finishing Position: 8th
  • Race Wins: 0
  • Best Result: 4th (Olympic Final)
  • Worst Result: 13th (World Series 3, World Series 4)
  • Previous Ranking: #7 (▼1)
  • Best Ranking: #6

The extremely popular Chilean driver Angel Inostroza drops a place in our overall rankings thanks to a recent dip in form, with two 13th place finishes in the past two races. They’re his worst results by far this season, with every other race seeing Inostroza finishing between 4th and 8th — in fact he’s finished 8th three times so far!

Although he’s not won yet in Nations Cup, Inostroza has been first across the line in the Manufacturer Series for Porsche, so he does have experience of the pressures of leading in these events. He’s also picked up points where it’s been most important, scoring well in the Showdown, so he’s far from out of contention.

#9 Ryota Kokubun 🇯🇵 (Akagi_1942mi)

  • Avg. Finishing Position: 8th
  • Race Wins: 1
  • Best Result: 1st (Showdown Final)
  • Worst Result: 16th (World Series 3)
  • Previous Ranking: 11 (▲2)
  • Best Ranking: #9

Ryota Kokubun has had a very frustrating season. On the one hand we’ve seen him blow away the field in the biggest event on the World Series so far this season, grabbing the maximum 10 points from the Showdown, but he immediately followed that up with last place in World Series 3.

His huge points haul from the Showdown has him sitting third in the official table, but he hasn’t picked up a single point otherwise. Which version of the two-time World Tour winner shows up for the World Final will determine whether he wins the title — and he has a good chance of it still — or finishes in the lower reaches of the top ten.

#10 Coque Lopez 🇪🇸 (coquelopez14)
  • Avg. Finishing Position: 7th
  • Race Wins: 0
  • Best Result: 3rd (World Series 1, Showdown Final)
  • Worst Result: 11th (World Series 2)
  • Previous Ranking: #5 (▼5)
  • Best Ranking: #4

Just as frustrating has been Coque Lopez. Earlier on this year he was inseperable from countryman Serrano in the rankings, but where Serrano has come into form, Lopez has gone the other way.

A great result at the World Series Showdown still has him in contention on eight points, and if he can recapture that early season promise then an overall podium is not out of the question.

Outside the Top Ten

The return of several drivers who’ve missed WS3 and WS4 has complicated the calculations somewhat, but the rest of the 32-driver field ranks largely as you would expect.

A gaggle of Japanese and Brazilian drivers occupy 11th-14th, with Tomoaki Yamanaka leading from Lucas Bonelli, Adriano Carrazza, and Kanata Kawakami just behind. Yamanaka in particular is often seen in the leading pack, with two podium finishes this season.

Just behind that quartet is the returning Andrew Brooks. A perennial visitor to the World Finals, the Canadian driver is front-row quick, but also wouldn’t have any luck at all if it weren’t for all his bad luck in these races. That was again at the fore in both the Olympics and the Showdown, and we’re hoping this will finally change this year!

Adam Tapai, Andrew Lee, Quinten Jehoul are up next in the rankings, with Lee and Jehoul having only raced since the Showdown back in August. Belgium’s Jehoul has had pretty varied form, with a third place in WS3 just a couple of seconds from a win in a race he’d been leading throughout, followed by dead last in WS4. Tapai has been solid all season long, qualifying for the second half of the season where highly ranked countryman Blazsan couldn’t.

Nicolas Romero and Giorgio Mangano close out the top 20, with the Spanish driver racing the second half of the year and the Italian the first half. Both have shown flashes of speed this year, but face very stiff competition to get into the top six in their semi-final.

We can’t rank the eight newcomers qualifying through Stage 2 of the online season, as they have no races for use to use as a basis, so that leaves Daniel Solis, Jonathan Wong, Randall Haywood, and Matthew McEwen to round out our 24 driver rankings.

The World Final will get underway at 1400 UTC on Sunday December 5, and you’ll be able to catch it live as it’s broadcast here on GTPlanet.

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