WHILE LEWIS Hamilton and co were Down Under last week for the season-opening Formula One grand prix, another set of racers were tearing up the track in an FIA-sanctioned event… on the Gran Turismo Sport video game.
Having proved last year that the world’s fastest Gran Turismo players are pretty handy behind the wheel, the FIA Gran Turismo Championships have returned for 2019, with the opening ‘World Tour Series’ events in Paris setting the stage for what’s to come over the 2019 season.
As if racing on a PlayStation game wasn’t enough to differentiate it from other officially-sanctioned motorsports series, the Gran Turismo Championships comprise two innovative series: a Manufacturers Cup for teams of up-to-three racers representing a chosen car brand and a Nations Cup in which individual drivers represent their country.
Unlike the fairly processional Formula One race in Australia, the two GT Championships series saw plenty of on-track action, with daring overtakes, strong defensive drives and some canny pit strategies coming into play.
The PlayStation-based action will continue throughout the rest of the year, split between other ‘World Tour’ events held at places such as the fearsome Nürburgring and events you can take part in at home in your living room. If the 2018 season was anything to go by, the 2019 Gran Turismo Championships could be worth keeping a close eye on.