Toyota Wins Gran Turismo World Series Manufacturers Cup Round 2

Igor Fraga has taken a comfortable win in the latest stage of the Gran Turismo World Series, closing up the gap to Subaru at the top of the championship table.

The 2018 Nations Cup champion and defending 2021 Manufacturer Series champion continued his excellent qualifying form this season to put the Toyota onto pole position for the third successive time.

However the previous races, at Watkins Glen and Trial Mountain, saw the team drop down the order during the race as the drivers managed the car’s tire wear and fuel consumption. While Spa-Francorchamps and its long full throttle zones would play to the Supra’s strengths, there was uncertainty how it would handle fuel and tires again.

That didn’t stop Fraga from making a bold strategy choice of starting on the Soft tires though, as every single other car in the field opted for the Medium tire first.

With the tire advantage on what was already the quickest car in the field, it wasn’t long before Fraga built up a significant gap ahead of Giorgio Mangano in the Mazda behind.

Meanwhile Kylian Drumont, the rising star of the World Series Showdown, was moving backwards from his fourth place qualifying slot as the Subaru struggled for straight-line speed. Countryman Baptiste Beauvois simply cruised past in the Mercedes-AMG on the Kemmel Straight.

Fraga took a surprisingly early pit stop at the end of lap four to switch to the more durable medium tires, which saw him briefly drop to the back of the field before the half of the drivers stopped a lap later.

Beauvois had assumed the lead by opting for a further lap on mediums, but briefly cut the pitlane exit and picked up a three-second penalty that dropped him to eighth and ruled him out of contention. Drumont though used the undercut from a lap five stop to get past Erik Cases Vasquez in the BMW, promoting him to third after the penalty for Beauvois.

At the front Mangano was gaining on Fraga, but couldn’t make up the time he needed to overturn the entire seven second advantage. Despite being more than four seconds clear of Drumont in third, Mangano was in turn four seconds adrift of the race-winning Toyota of Fraga.

The result means that, no matter what happens in Round 3, Subaru will head into the World Final in November as at least the joint-championship leader. With ten points, the marque can only be equalled by Toyota.

Mazda leaps up to third place, tied on five points with Mercedes-AMG but ahead by virtue of more points finishes — with Mercedes slipping to fourth. Nissan, Genesis, and Volkswagen remain in the last three positions after failing to score here, but ahead of all other brands that have yet to score or qualify.

  1. Subaru – 10 points
  2. Toyota – 7 points
  3. Mazda – 5 points
  4. Mercedes-AMG – 5 points
  5. Nissan – 3 points
  6. Genesis – 2 points
  7. Volkswagen – 1 point

The next round of the Manufacturers Cup will be broadcast on Sunday October 23, while Round 2 of the Nations Cup is coming up on Sunday October 9.

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