2022 Gran Turismo World Series details announced | FOS Future Lab
Gregor Schill has won the second round of the GT World Challenge America Esports to take his first ever victory in the series.
Schill, driving for BMW Team BS+, qualified in fourth for the hour-long sprint race at Silverstone, while pole position was taken by Silver class driver Chris Harteveld, who already showed his ability to run with the pros during the first round at Zolder.
The pro class leader in qualifying was Tobias Pfeffer in the Unicorns of Love Mercedes, and he made the better start to sweep past Harteveld down Hangar Straight. However, on the very next lap, Pfeffer lost the rear end at high speed through Becketts, and crashed out of the race.
That left the R8G pairing of Harteveld and Luke Whitehead at the front, much as they were throughout the race at Zolder, with Schill joining them as a race-leading trio.
With ten minutes on the clock, Schill managed to split the two Porsches to take the Pro class lead from Whitehead. Whitehead didn’t fall away though, as the three cars continued to pull away from reigning champion Michael Kundakcioglu in fourth.
Schill then made a move for the lead as the race came up on half distance. A better run out of Chapel allowed the BMW to slip to the inside through Stowe and hit the front. Harteveld stuck with it through Vale, but couldn’t make the outside line work and also lost a spot to his Pro class team-mate Whitehead.
All three kept up the pace until their mandatory pit stops – taken as late as possible in the pit window as we’ve seen so often in these events. Schill comfortably made the best stop of the three, but pulled out a more significant advantage when Whitehead nearly lost the Porsche through Becketts and had to take to the grass to save it.
That ultimately allowed Schill to break away, eventually building his advantage – over Harteveld, who re-passed his team-mate – to 4.5 seconds at the finish. Whitehead took second in class despite being third on the road, with Kundakcioglu just fending off William Hendrickson and Chris Severt for the final class podium spot.
With Harteveld second overall, he took a second successive Silver class victory. Luke Southall finished second in class and eighth overall, using the pit lane overcut to take the spot away from Renato Dornelles who rounded out the Silver class podium in 11th place.
The results mean that after two of five rounds, Whitehead has an eight-point lead over Schill at the top of the Pro class, while Harteveld’s unbeaten season so far means he’s 28 points clear of second-place Gabriel Felipe.
Gran Turismo World Series announced
PlayStation has revealed its plans for the official Gran Turismo esports championship this season. The 2022 Gran Turismo World Series will be the fifth year of competition, and this year’s tournament sees the return of its live events.
As usual, there will be an online qualifying phase, which sees players compete against each other in 14 rounds of virtual racing. This season that’s split into two brackets, with the first six races comprising Season 1, and the last eight forming Season 2.
After Season 1, which is now underway, the best players from around the world will qualify for the “World Series Showdown”, joining the top players from 2021. That will be a live, in-person event held at Red Bull’s Hangar-7 exhibition space near Salzburg. The best players from this event will advance to the World Final, along with the top online qualifiers from Season 2.
As with 2018 and 2019, this will be another in-person event held in Monte Carlo, and the overall top points scorers from across the season will be crowned world champions.
The competition retains its two championships, with players racing for themselves, and their country, in the Nations Cup, and as three-driver squads representing brands in the Manufacturers Cup. This latter event will also see a new marque joining the fray, as Genesis has become an official partner of the series.
To take part you only need a copy of Gran Turismo 7, either on PlayStation 4 or 5, be aged 18 or over, and reside in one of the 60 eligible nations worldwide.
Porsche launches its own Esports team
Porsche has revealed the drivers who will make up its first ever official esports team, as it joins forces with pro esports outfit Coanda Simsports.
The five-driver squad of Mack Bakkum, Mitchell deJong, Tommy Ostgaard, Joshua Rogers, and reserve driver Martin Kronke – the five drivers who withdrew from participation in the official Porsche Esports Supercup championship at the beginning of the 2022 season – will be the first factory esports team in Porsche’s history.
For now, Porsche hasn’t revealed its plans for the Porsche Coanda Esports Racing Team, but all five drivers have considerable experience in esports series on iRacing and rFactor 2 platforms, including the official Virtual Le Mans series.
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