Spain dominates Gran Turismo Nations Cup Showdown 2023

Thomas Harrison-Lord
The reigning Nations Cup champions used an alternate strategy to its advantage, with Jose Serrano winning two events back-to-back on consecutive days.
Spain dominates Gran Turismo Nations Cup Showdown 2023

The journey through the Amsterdam weekend had been testing to this point, with teams setting qualifying times in the Ferrari Vision GT, which then set the order for a road car draft pick. This in turn formed the grid for a qualifying race for the debut of a new team-based Nations Cup format.

12 teams – each with three drivers to utilise across the evening – lined up at the recently reimagined Grand Valley Highway. France’s Kylian Drumont headed into the opening corner ahead of the battling pack and it remained that way until the end.

Italy’s Valerio Gallo, Spain’s Jose Serrano and Japan’s Rikuto Kobayashi battled for second throughout, costing each other time, but putting on a spectacle. Spain prevailed. Further back, both the Netherlands and Brazil received penalties for egregious manoeuvres.

Gran Turismo 2023 Showdown qualifying race Nations

Onto the final 30-lap decider using identical X2019s – a hypothetical racing car designed in collaboration with Red Bull Racing – and Spain’s latest addition, Pol Urra, opted for the soft tyre, launching into the lead ahead of pole-sitters France.

Each team was required to switch between three drivers – a first for this event – and use all three tyre compounds at least once throughout the race, so it wasn’t clear until the final stint who was really in contention.

But, the medium-shod Giorgio Mangano for Italy and Japan’s Seiya Suzuki went side-by-side early on, meanwhile, the Netherlands’ Simmerman was forced wide by New Zealand’s Matthew McEwan. The result was a penalty for the Antipodeans.

On lap nine, the back half of the field pitted simultaneously, ditching the slower hard tyre apart from Malaysia who mistakenly took the same type again, having to visit pitlane the next lap once more.

The next batch of stops was France, Japan and Italy to swap from mediums to hards. Meanwhile up front Urra waited until the end of the 11th lap to rid the soft tyres, longer into the race than most expected.

In the middle of the Autodrome Lago Maggiore-held finale, Takuma Sasaki and Baptiste Beauvois fiercely fought for third, with illegal blocking warnings, penalties and panel rubbing. It simply let Canada’s Ethan Lim through, although they were running the softer rubber, followed by Italy’s Marco Busnelli. Beauvois tried to fight back, but all that did was allow four-time World Series champion Igor Fraga to close in.

Brazil’s Fraga pitted to fit the quickest tyres with 10 laps remaining – the hunt was on.

Once again, Spain was last to swap tyres, switching to the slowest hard option for the final seven laps. Serrano, who won the Manufacturers Cup Showdown just a day earlier, had a 25-second lead.

Jose Serano Gran Turismo

Two laps later, both Japan and Brazil had made it past the struggling Canadians, who by now dropped down the order from second on the hard compound tyres.

In the end, the gap to the lead was too big for the shoft-shod Japan and Brazil to surmount with Spain ultimately cruising to a crushing victory. The next event will be a homecoming for the team, the World Finals this December in Barcelona.

Gran Turismo World Series Showdown Nations Cup 2023 results

  1. Spain
  2. Japan
  3. Brazil
  4. Italy
  5. Netherlands
  6. Belgium
  7. France
  8. Canada
  9. Chile
  10. USA
  11. New Zealand
  12. Malaysia
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