Subaru Wins Gran Turismo World Series Showdown to Extend Championship Lead

Subaru overcame the absence of its lead driver to take victory at the Gran Turismo World Series Showdown and establish a four-point lead in this season’s championship.

Kylian Drumont and Daniel Solis drove a measured, tactical race to win from Mercedes-AMG by close to four seconds, despite being a man down after 2020 double world champion Takuma Miyazono had to miss the event through illness.

Indeed Miyazono was one of three drivers absent, after returning a positive test before flying out. Nicolas Romero (Genesis) and Arnoldo Daetz (Mazda) both tested positive at the event, with only Romero replaced as Manuel Rodriguez — Europe’s second-ranked Genesis driver — was also at the event for tomorrow’s Nations Cup.

That seemed to leave all three brands struggling for pace in qualifying, which was headed by Baptiste Beauvois for the AMG team. He was nearly four-tenths clear of the BMW of Erik Cases, with Roberto Sternberg making it a German 1-2-3 with Volkswagen.

More drama was to come early on, as what was set to be the longest race in Gran Turismo live event history had to be abandoned after just three laps.

An unspecified technical fault saw cars gradually become subject to more and more lag, with two booted from the lobby entirely. That brought out the red flag, and close to 45 minutes of investigation and reinitialization.

When the race was able to get underway for the second, and final, time it was the soft-shod cars that quickly hit the front. Adriano Carrazza quickly got the Chevrolet past the Volkswagen, before latching onto the back of Cases as he sent the BMW past Kazuki Cho in the AMG.

With each car required to use each tire grade for a minimum of 14 consecutive laps, the wisdom of starting a heavy, fuel-filled car on softs started to evaporate towards the end of the stint. Carrazza had hit the front on lap seven, but the six-second gap the front two had created started to bleed away as the softs wore and Drumont — having passed Cho — kept his pace up on the mediums.

Sure enough, with the Subaru hanging off the back of the BMW at the end of lap 14, the leaders pitted. That promoted Subaru to the lead, by nearly eight seconds over Porsche, as four other cars opted to stop at the same time.

Disaster then struck for Porsche. Having swapped from Angel Inostroza to Connor Healy, the driving rig appeared to experience a hardware failure with the 911 moving violently across the track and taking itself out twice. That ultimately resulted in retirement from the race.

Toyota and Mazda meanwhile were running long on the hard tires, with Nikita Moysov and Giorgio Mangano respectively opting to pit on lap 20 — locking in two 14-lap stints on the soft and medium each.

With that ironed out, Chevrolet resumed the lead from the now hard-clad Subaru of Daniel Solis — building the gap up from six seconds to more than eight. However it was now from Igor Fraga who was carving through the field in the Toyota on soft tires. As Chevrolet pitted on lap 28, Toyota then hit the front.

Subaru then made a surprisingly early final stop for soft tires, with Drumont taking the wheel again in Miyazono’s absence. Emerging in ninth, it looked like he had a lot of work to do but as everyone around him bar Chevrolet needed to pit again — and mostly were on or pitting for less grippy tires — the Subaru soon rocketed back up the order.

With all the final stops completed by lap 34, it was Ryota Kokubun in the Toyota ahead of the Subaru and Lucas Bonelli on the soft-tired AMG, all covered by three seconds.

That wasn’t nearly enough to keep Toyota in the lead, with Subaru overtaking even before the end of the lap, and AMG following just one lap later — setting up a thrilling final battle between Drumont and Bonelli, or the top end of the AMG and the medium-pace cornering prowess of the BRZ.

While Bonelli was able to make some inroads, closing to within a second at times, Drumont was able to manage the pace and wouldn’t surrender it. Indeed as the AMG wore its tires in the chase, the Subaru managed to re-establish a three-second gap by the finish line.

A little further back, Toyota came within half a lap of losing third to Mazda as Mangano caught Kokubun at a second a lap, but couldn’t line up the killing pass.

Remarkably Nissan managed to scoop fifth place after a dreadful 12th place in qualifying and a very quiet race, with Volkswagen taking the final World Series point in sixth as Chevrolet fell away on the final hard tire stint to end in seventh.

The result means Subaru is undefeated this season, and now sits on nine points. Mercedes-AMG’s second place sees it leap into second on five points, while Toyota is tied for third with Nissan on four points. With three points for a World Series online event win, Subaru is guaranteed to lead until at least Round 3.

  1. Subaru – 9 points
  2. Mercedes-AMG – 5 points
  3. Toyota – 4 points
  4. Nissan – 4 points
  5. Mazda – 3 points
  6. Volkswagen – 1 point
  7. Genesis – 1 point

Following all the Manufacturers Cup excitement, the Nations Cup event will take place on Sunday July 31, starting at 1900 UTC.

See more articles on .