Gran Turismo Sport FIA 2021/22 Exhibition Series Starts October 20

The official Gran Turismo Sport FIA Exhibition Series will be starting up again on October 20, allowing players to build their Driver and Sportsmanship ratings and get more experience with the FIA format which looks set to continue into Gran Turismo 7.

As usual, the Exhibition Series will consist of ten races in each of the two categories — Nations Cup and Manufacturer Series — which will run across a total of eight weeks, accounting for most Wednesdays and Saturdays through into January 2022.

Typically the Exhibition Series takes the usual FIA format, but has no official standing in terms of qualification for the live finals events. That said, we have seen Polyphony Digital select players for events from their Exhibition rankings in previous years, so we can’t say for sure that there’s nothing riding on it at this point in time.

The full calendar for this upcoming season is as follows:

Nations Cup

  • Round 1 – October 23 – Special Stage Route X/N400
  • Round 2 – October 30 – Autopolis International Raceway Short Circuit/Gr.4
  • Round 3 – November 13 – Autodromo de Interlagos/Super Formula
  • Round 4 – November 20 – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps/Gr.3 Selection
  • Round 5 – November 27 – Fishermans Ranch/Gr.B
  • Round 6 – December 8 – Mount Panorama/Mazda Roadster Touring Car
  • Round 7 – December 15 – Circuit de la Sarthe/Gr.1
  • Round 8 – December 22 – Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya/Gr.2
  • Round 9 – December 29 – Fuji International Speedway/Gr.3
  • Round 10 – January 5 – Goodwood Motor Circuit/Mini Cooper ’65

Manufacturer Series

  • Round 1 – October 20 – Dragon Trail Seaside/Gr.3
  • Round 2 – October 27 – Suzuka Circuit/Gr.4
  • Round 3 – November 10 – Sardegna Road Track C II/Gr.3
  • Round 4 – November 17 – Nurburgring Nordschleife/Gr.4
  • Round 5 – November 24 – Blue Moon Bay Speedway/Gr.4
  • Round 6 – December 4 – Autodrome Lago Maggiore GP II/Gr.3
  • Round 7 – December 18 – Willow Springs Big Willow/Gr.3
  • Round 8 – December 25 – Autodromo de Interlagos/Gr.4
  • Round 9 – January 1 – Kyoto Driving Park Miyabi/Gr.4
  • Round 10 – January 8 – Sardegna Road Track B/Gr.3

There’s a few highlights in among the selection which might be easy to miss at first glance. One that you won’t miss though is the first stage of Nations, which uses the 18.85-mile Special Stage Route X oval. A fan favorite since its introduction in 2020, players will be racing a selection of N400 cars with preset BOP and tuning in a two-lap slipstream battle.

Another event that will jump out at you is the rare appearance of a rally race in Nations Cup Round 5. This will put you in the Gr.B cars for a five-lap race around the very challenging Fishermans Ranch off-road course. Meanwhile R4 will see you driving one of four German Gr.3 cars as you race a mini-Spa 24 Hours with Audi, BMW, Mercedes, or Porsche.

Three other races are a little peculiar. The Gr.2 event in Nations R8, along with Manufacturer Series R7 and R9 feature adjustable settings. Whether this relates to pre-set, course-specific settings or full player control of vehicle settings remains to be seen, but either way it is a first for the Manufacturer Series.

You’ll find a mandatory tire rule in effect in two Nations Cup races (R3, R9) and five Manufacturer Series races (R1, R2, R6, R7, R10), so players will need to be careful to complete at least one lap on each type of required tire in the race. Those that don’t will face a 60-second post-race penalty.

One further item of note will likely attract another announcement from PD later, but according to this schedule it looks like the Americas region has been split again for the Manufacturer Series. There are now two separate timings, with one for North America and another for Central & South America. This follows complaints about disconnections affecting drivers depending on whether the Virginia or Sao Paulo server was hosting.

Speaking of timings, they will remain just as players are used to. Those in Europe/EMEA will see five races, one every 80 minutes, starting at 1600 UTC on Wednesdays and 1400 UTC on Sundays. For North American players the same intervals apply with races starting at 2000 EDT and 1800 EDT respectively, with South American players racing at 1300 BRT and 1100 BRT.

Asia-Oceania is complicated by the regions running combined in Manufacturer Series (starting at 2100/2000 AEDT) and split in Nations. There’s five races in Manufacturers, starting at 1900/1800 JST (or 2100/2000 AEDT) and for Asia in Nations at the same times, with only three races starting every 90 minutes for Oceania in Nations (1100/1000 AEDT).

Qualifying sessions remain as they have been for the past few series, with five minutes for each event except the Fishermans Ranch (six minutes), SSRX (nine minutes), and Nordschleife (13 minutes) races.

Featured image courtesy of Stephan.

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