The second round, but third race, in Gran Turismo’s 2022 World Series witnessed Angel Inostroza and Chile take the win and three crucial points for the Nations Cup competition.
Held at the 24-hour layout of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, just like the recent Manufacturers event, this time the field used identical Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversions – worth a cool nine million in-game credits.
During the brief qualifying session, it was opening-round victor Lucas Bonelli who took pole position for Brazil, just 0.07s ahead of Inostroza who in turn was just 0.003s ahead of a resurgent Valerio Gallo for Italy.
As the 12-lap race began from a standing start, facing downhill towards Eau Rouge, it was the Chilean who leapt off the line the quickest and into an early lead.
Gallo would follow through on the run up the Kemmel Straight for the first time, but behind a gaggle of cars headed by Spain’s Jose Serrano charged into Les Combes. The Spanish and Italian drivers flew off the road, Gallo visibly frustrated to be pushed down to 10th while Serrano continued in fourth.
The stewards determined that Adriano Carrazza was to blame, dishing out a three-second penalty.
The kerfuffle left Inostroza with a 1.5s lead over Bonelli in second, with Japan’s Kanata Kawakami rounding out the podium in the early stages. The gap up front would stretch to over three seconds by the halfway point.
Gallo, meanwhile was on the fight-back, making his way up to seventh by the start of the third lap, diving by Ryota Kokubun at La Source.
With inclement weather expected, all drivers started the races on soft compound slick tyres, but as the clouds slowly covered the circuit, Serrano and Carrazza made the bold choice of pitting for intermediate rubber before it had even started to rain.
However, seconds later, the heavens did open. In Gran Turismo 7 there is a handy weather radar and a water-level indicator that drivers can use, which was helping deliver several different strategies.
At the end of the seventh lap, Bonelli, Kawakami, Baptiste Beauvois, Igor Fraga, Kylian Drumont and Matthew McEwen also made the switch, with the track visibly damp. Leader Inostroza and the recovering Gallo, however, stayed out on slicks.
Those who stayed out longer before swapping tyre types eventually pitted with just over four laps remaining and it proved to be the right call. Those who visited pitlane earlier had dropped down the order like a stone.
Gallo, on the other hand, by staying out later than the rest of his immediate rivals, had jumped back into second place, with Kokubun in third.
Tomoaki Yamanaka went for the bold call of selecting new slick tyres. Initially, he fell backwards, but with the rain stopping for the final two laps, and a battle between Fraga and Kawakami, the Japanese driver all of a sudden was the quickest on track.
On his way through, he made contact with several competitors, most of which were judged to be fair, apart from a move on Drumont through Blanchimont and was handed a one-second penalty. He still rose to fourth by the chequered flag.
At the top of the field, however, the top three remained constant.
“The start was pretty much perfect,” said Inostroza
“Nobody knew when the rain would come… It was a little bit of a lottery, but I entered the pits when I needed to, and it all worked out perfectly.
“I can finally say that I won a Nations Cup race!”
GRAN TURISMO NATIONS CUP 2022, ROUND 2, RACE RESULTS
- Chile – Angel Inostroza – 12 laps
- Italy – Valerio Gallo +3.055
- Japan – Ryota Kokubun +3.707
- Japan – Tomoaki Yamanaka +4.829
- Brazil – Lucas Bonelli +8.788
- France – Baptiste Beauvois +9.009
- Brazil – Igor Fraga +9.243
- France – Kylian Drumont +11.341
- Japan – Kanata Kawakami +11.805
- Spain – Jose Serrano +14.838
- New Zealand – Matthew McEwen +18.802
- Brazil – Adriano Carrazza +52.017