According to an in-game announcement and a post on the official Gran Turismo site, GT Sport’s final official series before the online championships transition to GT7 will start on February 5.
The event is called the “Road to GT7 Series”, and it’s described as a “special championship leading up to the release of Gran Turismo 7 on 4 March”. It’s a short, four-race championship series running across Saturdays in February, with the final round coming on February 26, six days before GT7 lands.
That means that once the checkered flag falls in the final region, GT Sport’s time as the official esports platform will be over — we’d assume the shorter Daily Races will continue for at least one further week, though this hasn’t been confirmed — and GT7 will take over.
The full schedule for the championship is as follows:
- Round 1 – February 5 – N300/Tokyo Expressway South Inner Loop – 10 laps
- Round 2 – February 12 – Gr.3/Suzuka Circuit – 16 laps
- Round 3 – February 19 – GT Racing Kart 125 Shifter/Red Bull Ring Short — 20 laps
- Round 4 – February 26 – Gr.4/Alsace Village – 12 laps
As usual there’ll be a number of entry slots available across each round, with staggered start times, for each of the five regions. The timings for these, with all times in UTC, are:
- Oceania — 0700, 0830, 1000
- Asia — 0900, 1020, 1140, 1300, 1420
- Europe/Middle East/Africa — 1400, 1520, 1640, 1800, 1920
- South America — 1400, 1520, 1640, 1800, 1920
- North & Central America — 2200, 2320, 0040, 0200, 0320
While the format will be familiar to anyone who’s raced in the FIA Certified series across that past four years, there’s one particular regulation that stands out: tuning is enabled.
As things stand we can’t say whether this is full tuning in all four races, or whether some might feature pre-set, non-standard tunes as with a handful of FIA and Daily Race events we’ve seen. However we can confirm that players will be able to fine tune their own vehicles for the first race, so there’s no reason this won’t extend to the other events too.
It remains to be seen whether this is a change of strategy that will persist through to Gran Turismo 7, or if it’s a one-off for this series.
Players will also need to be aware that the Round 2 Gr.3 race has mandatory tire requirements (Racing Hard, Medium, and Soft must be used, with a one-minute penalty for failing to do so) and a grid start with a false start check. Qualifying will be set to five minutes in every race.
Polyphony Digital first announced this series back in December, though without any information on the schedule or name, and a different start date. Notably it lacked any official “FIA” branding, and that’s still the case here — though that could simply be down to the fact it’s a special event.
That said, we wouldn’t take the event lightly. The full schedule for 2022 is yet to be revealed, and we’ve previously seen pre-season events act as qualifiers for the first round of live events in the official championship.