On Friday December 18th, the finals of the GR Supra GT Cup, a one-make race using the PlayStation®4*1（PS4® below）software Gran Turismo SPORT*２ was held, and 24 representatives from around the world gathered at the online circuit. Takuma Miyazono (Japan) was awarded the championship and became the world’s fastest GR Supra GT driver of 2020.
In 2020, e-Motorsports attracted global attention as a motorsport that could still be implemented despite the global spread of the coronavirus. In addition to the GR Supra GT Cup in its second year, in races such as the Virtual 24 Hours of Le Mans which was held after the 24 Hours of Le Mans was postponed as well as in the GR Yaris time trials, real motorsports drivers are now participating in online races as an opportunity to communicate with fans.
Even though the number of rounds of online qualifying for the "GR Supra GT Cup" was reduced by half from last year's 13 rounds to 7 rounds, the total number of participants remained the same as last year at about 27,000 competitors, which in effect means that the number of participants had practically doubled. Also, in response to the strong demand from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and other regions, a TGR competitor slot was newly established, with region finals held locally selecting representatives who would advance to the finals. This also led to an overall increase in the number of participants.
The final was held as part of the FIA Gran Turismo Championship World Finals, a global online race. Some network issues arose, but the unpredictable races created by the racers were very exciting to watch.
On Friday, December 18, Takuma Miyazono (Japan) who finished third last year, won the GR Supra GT Cup final and took the title of the fastest GR Supra driver in the world of 2020, with Lucas Bonelli (Brazil) in second place and Jose Serrano (Spain) coming in third.
The course for the Semi-Final was the Fuji Speedway. A one-make race in equal conditions, it was a tough race where the grid order of the qualifying time attack was everything. Semi-Final group A consisted of drivers from Europe, Africa and the newly established TGR entries (Southeast Asia, Middle East), and Semi-Final group B saw drivers from North America, Latin America, and Asia, with 12 drivers in each group. The top six finishers from each of these groups advanced to the final race at Spa Francorchamps, led by Jose Serrano (Spain) of Group A, and Tomoaki Yamanaka (Japan) of Group B as the respective 1st place semi-finalists.
The Final Race with these top 12 drivers from the Semi-Finals started with a qualifying time attack to determine grid positions, and the top three qualifiers (Serrano, Miyazono, and Bonelli) started the race on soft tires, while the midfielders from Latkovski in 4th place started on medium tires. While these fourth place and lower competitors changed tires on lap 5 or 6, the three cars in the lead stretched their soft tires to 7 laps before pitting at the same time. This is where the strategies of these three cars split. Serrano switched to medium tires and had 53 liters of fuel left, Bonelli switched to medium and had 57 liters left, and Miyazono switched to hard tires and had 59 liters left.
As soon as Miyazono completed his 2nd lap on hard tires on lap 9, he entered the pit and switched to medium tires. Miyazono who still had 45 liters left at this point left the pit without refueling and returned to the track in 6th place, alone and uninterrupted by other cars and of course still aiming for the top. Miyazono's time was not disturbed and he continued to make good laps. On lap 13 the timing of the pits stops moved Miyazono up one position into 4th place, and on lap 14, Bonelli in 2nd and Gallo in 3rd entered the pit, and Miyazono moved up to 2nd place. At the start of the final lap 15, the leader Serrano entered the pit for the last time, but with only 4 liters of fuel remaining he needed to add 4 liters of fuel. This caused him to return to the track in 3rd place and placed Miyazono in the lead. Miyazono then went on to receive the checkered flag with a 4 second lead over Bonelli, who rose back up to 2nd on the last lap.
While the conditions created by the Corona virus pandemic this year resulted in the cancellation and postponement of many motorsports events around the world, e-Motorsports proved itself to be the only motorsport that could still be experienced by large numbers of people under these conditions, and we were able to continue communicating the fascination of motorsports. The allure of e-Motorsports is that anyone, anywhere can participate. It is our hope that more people will continue to participate in 2021 and beyond, to continue to raise its popularity together with all of us.
As a part of these efforts, 310,000 units of the GR Yaris were purchased in the game in just one month from its inclusion in Gran Turismo SPORT on Friday, November 13, and approximately 56,000 players experienced the fun of driving the GR Yaris in the "GR Yaris Time Trial". The top 10 drivers in this event also included Takamoto Katsuta, who is competing in the real world FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) under the WRC Challenge Program.
- *1 “PlayStation” and “PS4” are registered trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
- *2 Sales agency：Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. Number of units purchased in PlayStation®4*1 software Gran Turismo SPORT*2 GR Supra ‘19: approximately 1,170,000 units, GR Supra ‘20: approximately 620,000 units, as of Saturday, December 12. © 2019 Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc. Developed by Polyphony Digital Inc. "Gran Turismo" logos are registered trademarks or trademarks of Sony Interactive Entertainment Inc.
Takuma Miyazono (Japan) comment：
Last year, I finished 3rd, and of course I was happy to be on the podium, but I wasn't satisfied with my result because I didn't win and I wasn't satisfied with the race. I was determined to make it this year, and I am truly happy to have won. In the semi-finals, things didn't go well and I almost lost my concentration, but I changed my mind before the final and my pit strategy worked, so I believe there were many factors that contributed to my victory.
In particular, I built my pit strategy with the idea of separating my strategy from the others. As a result, I was the only one who was able to implement that strategy, and I think that was a big factor in my winning. Although I won the championship, I will not be satisfied with where I am now, and will continue to do my best to become a driver who can control the GR Supra at will! Thank you for your support!
GR Supra GT Cup Final Results：
|C. N. Latkovski
|C. N. Latkovski（Australia）
GR Supra GT CUP Final Overview：
|From 10 p.m. (JST) December 18, 2020
|Premiere at Gran Turismo LIVE
|22 top drivers from the top four points in the online races from Rd.1 to Rd.7 from the five regions defined by the FIA Gran Turismo Championship, plus two newly created TGR slots, for a total of 24 drivers.
|Breakdown of participants
|Europe, Middle East and Africa （10）
|Valerio Gallo(Italy）、Jose Serrano（Spain）、Giorgio Mangano（Spain）、Coque López（Spain）、Ádám Tápai（Hungary）、Rick Kevelham（Netherlands）、Sérgio Fonseca（Portugal）、Samet Özsahin（Turkey）、Luca Lazzari（Italy）
|North America （3）
|Daniel Solis（USA）、Douglas Wilson（Canada）、Mark Pinnell（Canada）
|South and Central America （3）
|Lucas Bonelli (Brazil）、Angel Inostroza（Chile）、Nicolas Martin（Argentina）
|Takuma Miyazono（Japan）、 Tomoaki Yamanaka （Japan）、 Jin Nakamura（Japan）、 Mamoru Okada（Japan）
|Cody Nikola Latkovski（Australia）、Daniel Holland（Australia）
|TGR group （2）
|Abdulaziz Rayes（Kingdom of Saudi Arabia）、Ar Muhammed Aleef（Singapore）
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