Gran Turismo World Series Manufacturers Cup: Fraga wins in Montréal

Thomas Harrison-Lord
Gran Turismo 7’s main competitions are back for another year but with an expanded in-person event calendar. Igor Fraga struck first to score important Manufacturers Cup points.
Gran Turismo World Series Manufacturers Cup - Fraga wins in Montréal

Igor Fraga has taken the lead in the 2024 Gran Turismo World Series Manufacturers Cup competition for Lexus following a risky strategy call.

After a spate of Gran Turismo 7 online qualifying sessions earlier in 2024, Montréal, Canada, was the venue for the first of four live events. Each of the 12 car manufacturers has three drivers, although only one will represent the entries in the first three rounds. They will combine for a multi-driver affair at the World Finals later this year.

Qualifying

Autódromo José Carlos Pace, aka Interlagos, was the venue for the opening stoush, with Igor Fraga taking the initiative. The Brazilian, who resides in Japan, took pole position for the 30-lap race in his Lexus RC F GT3 – a car he uses to compete in the real-world Super GT GT300 championship.

He would line up ahead of Porsche’s Takuma Sasaki, AMG’s Guy Barbara and Honda’s Valerio Gallo.

Igor Fraga, Gran Turismo 7 2024

Race

Following a rolling start, the top five on the grid would all plump for the soft compound tyre, the remaining seven on hards. Each driver was required to use each of the two available tyre types at least once during the encounter.

That leading quintet would be the main focus of the race, with the lower part of the field embroiled in their own in-fighting and alternative strategy calls that ultimately didn’t work out. Only Adriano Carrazza would make any inroads.

Having qualified last, the Brazilian Toyota driver would pit at the end of the first lap, jettisoning the hard tyres and crossing the line sixth at the end.

At the head of the field, Gallo was making moves. First, up to third, passing Barbara into S do Senna on the third lap. He would be followed by the Mazda of Robert Heck soon after, but AMG’s Australian would fight back two laps later.

Valerio Gallo Takuma Sasaki battle, 2024 Gran Turismo 7 World Series Manufactuers Cup
Valerio Gallo and Takuma Sasaki battle

Onto the sixth tour and Gallo latched onto the back of Sasaki. A staunch defence would ensue, allowing Fraga to create a 1.3s gap out front.

The leader made his first pitstop with nearly a third of the race complete, showing heavily worn front tyres compared to rivals. Sasaki waited until two laps later, rejoining down in fifth – three places dropped but with fresher rubber for later on. The Japanese driver chipped away, passing Heck, then Barbara, by two-thirds distance.

With just over 10 laps remaining, Gallo was shadowing Fraga’s every move, well aware that a battle could see Porsche catch the leading duo. They both pitted at the end of lap 19, Gallo selecting the mandatory hards, but Fraga going onto a third set of softs.

Igora Fraga, Lexus, wins 2024 round 1 Gran Turismo Manufactuers Cup

Sasaki would select the harder compound with five laps remaining. Honda and Porsche in third and fourth respectively, tried to make it to the end without another pitlane visit. Meanwhile, Fraga was aiming to build up a pitstop-sized gap to fit the slower rubber for the closing stages.

The seven-time Gran Turismo World Series finalist managed it, exciting pitlane on the final lap with a 2.5s lead. The bold strategy had paid off.

Fraga crossed the line to take six points for Lexus, with Gallo’s Honda in second, just 0.031 ahead of Sasaki’s Porsche. Barbara and Heck would round out the top five. The next round is in Prague, Czechia, 10th August.

Gran Turismo World Series 2024, Round 1, Montréal, Manufacturers Cup race results

  1. Igora Fraga – Lexus – 30 laps
  2. Valerio Gallo – Honda +2.592
  3. Takuma Sasaki – Porsche +2.623
  4. Guy Barbara – AMG +6.419
  5. Robert Heck – Mazda +8.46
  6. Adriano Carrazza – Toyota +11.145
  7. Angel Inostroza – Subaru +14.622
  8. Calen Roach – BMW +17.199
  9. Alonso Regalado – Ferrari +19.631
  10. Dean Heldt – Genesis +32.668
  11. Donovan Parker – Chevrolet +42.047
  12. Nicolás Arriagada – Audi +58.342

Gran Turismo World Series 2024, Manufacturers Cup standings after Round 1

  1. Lexus – 6 points
  2. Honda – 5 points
  3. Porsche – 4 points
  4. AMG – 3 points
  5. Mazda – 2 points
  6. Toyota – 1 point
  7. Subaru – 0 points
  8. BMW – 0 points
  9. Ferrari – 0 points
  10. Genesis – 0 points
  11. Chevrolet – 0 points
  12. Audi – 0 points
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