The Gran Turismo 2022 World Final kicks off as the Toyota Gazoo Racing GT Cup lifts its curtain today, November 24, starting at 16:00 UTC.
While not part of the World Series itself, the Toyota event is an official Gran Turismo competition, and its final has been held for the past three seasons just before the World Final.
In fact it was a great prediction tool for who will succeed in the next World Finals. The first winner, in 2018 as the GR Supra GT Cup, was Mikail Hizal, followed by the title of Nations Cup champion. That feat was repeated in 2019 when Takuma Miyazono won the Toyota and Nations Cup and the Manufacturers Cup.
Last season it was the turn of Tomoaki Yamanaka, who won the Toyota event and then the Constructors’ Cup as part of the Toyota team, with Igor Fraga and Coque Lopez. This means that all eyes should be on the event again this year.
This year’s race format will see the 24 qualified drivers – 21 from online competition via regional assignment and three from a special event held in Asia – race a variety of Toyota machines.
Following a general qualifying session in the GR Supra Concept Gr.3 at the High Speed Ring, the field will be split into two seeded groups for two semi-finals in the same car/track combination. The top four will qualify for the final proper.
Drivers placing 5th to 10th will participate in a last chance ‘Repechage’, where once again the top four will qualify for the Final. This will increase the speed a bit, with the Toyota Super Formula SF19 car along the Tokyo Expressway South.
With the final 12 places decided, it’s a winner-takes-all 30-lap Fuji Speedway race, with the Le Mans-winning GR010 hybrid hypercar – which will also be a guest at the venue – with tire strategy playing an important role in the race.
It’s a very strong lineup this year, with 13 previous event winners, including seven world titles, including a double world champion who is also a former champion at this event.
Baptiste Beauvois of France was the top online qualifier for Europe and came close to becoming an Olympic champion in 2020, so he will be one to watch. Compatriot Kylian Drumont won the World Series Showdown this season – in both events – and finished second in Europe.
2020 Champion Takuma Miyazono returns and will be one to watch as he regains his title, while 2021 Nations Champion Valerio Gallo is another strong bet. It is the only event that Igor Fraga, 2018 Nations champion and 2019 and 2021 Constructors’ champion with Toyota, has not yet won.
Of the TGR Asia qualifiers, Andika Rama Maulana is a driver to watch; he has been in great form in the GT World Challenge and Lamborghini Real Race this season, and won the GT World Challenge Asia 2019.
You will also need to decide who will win before the broadcast. Choose the winner via the in-game “Bonus Campaign” portal and you will win 1,000,000cr for your GT7 Bank balance.
The race will air at 1600 UTC on Thursday 24 November and should be a good sign of who to watch the Manufacturers Cup and Nations Cup over the weekend.
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