- WORLD FINALS
- A One-Two for Brazil! Igor Fraga (IOF_RACING17) Goes Pole-to-Win in Race 1!
- FIA Gran Turismo Championships 2018 World Finals / Nations Cup
Race 1 took place on the Tokyo Expressway South Inner Loop - the track's debut at this tournament.
For the 16 drivers taking part, therefore, the key to victory would be adapting quickly to the unfamiliar track and making the most of the short practice time available in order to try and find a winning strategy.
Pole position was secured by Brazil's Igor Fraga (IOF_RACING17), driving an M4. Another Brazilian, Adriano Carrazza (CRT-Didico15), driving a DB11, overtook the F50 of Japan's Shogo Yoshida (gilles_honda_v12) on the first corner to move into second place.
The second turn of the race was the site of a stunning accident.
Japan's Ryota Kokubun (Akagi_1942mi), the winner of the Asia-Oceania regional final, made a terrible braking error, and his NSX collided with the Amuse S2000 of Canada's Jeffrey Gallan (FT_LLOYDZELITE). Gallan (FT_LLOYDZELITE) had been in fifth, but fell to last place as a result of the accident.
The other drivers who were watching the race in the arena could be heard to gasp at the sight of Kokubun (Akagi_1942mi)'s uncharacteristic mistake.
Kokubun (Akagi_1942mi) was given a time penalty, of course, but he appeared to have been rather shaken by the collision, and the fact that it had impacted negatively on another driver. On the tenth turn, some rather aggressive driving saw him involved in another accident.
The nose of Kokubun (Akagi_1942mi)'s NSX made a very slight contact with the tail of the Ford GT driven by Hong Kong's Jonathan Wong (saika159-), Kokubun (Akagi_1942mi)'s great rival in the online races. It was not a major collision, but the Tokyo Expressway's lack of an escape zone meant that it had disastrous consequences.
After causing two serious accidents in the space of just a few minutes, Kokubun (Akagi_1942mi) would go on to end Race 1 in dead last place.
Japan's Tomoaki Yamanaka (yamado_racing38) had started the race in ninth place, but soon started surging up through the ranks in his F-Type. On the third turn of the second lap, he moved up to fourth place after overtaking the two Chileans, Nicolás Rubilar (FT_NicoR), in his Maserati, and the LC500 of Fabián Portilla (FT_Mcqueen91).
On the fourth lap, Yoshida (gilles_honda_v12) attacked and overtook Carrazza (CRT-Didico15) to move into second place, with Yamanaka (yamado_racing38) also closing in on the pair from behind.
On the fifth lap, Yoshida (gilles_honda_v12) suffered an unfortunate collision with a guard rail. Carrazza (CRT-Didico15) and Yamanaka (yamado_racing38) seized upon this opportunity to move into second and third place respectively.
By this point, however, Fraga (IOF_RACING17) was absolutely cruising, having built up a huge lead over the chasing pack.
On the sixth lap, Australia's Cody Nikola Latkovski (Nik_Makozi) took advantage of a tailslide by Mikail Hizal (TRL_LIGHTNING)'s 996 GT3 to overtake him and move his McLaren F1 into fourth place.
Hizal (TRL_LIGHTNING) would also be overtaken by Coque López (Williams_Coque14)'s Diablo GT, and would eventually fall down to seventh place.
The race entered its final lap. Latkovski (Nik_Makozi) had the bit between his teeth, and was right on the tail of Yoshida (gilles_honda_v12).
He got his nose in front on the 11th turn, but understeered and overran it, allowing Yoshida (gilles_honda_v12) to reclaim his position. Latkovski (Nik_Makozi) had another bite at the cherry on the final corner, however, and this time made no mistake, passing on the inside to seize fourth place.
Despite only having a short time to practise on an unfamiliar circuit, Fraga (IOF_RACING17) made the most of his pole position to seal a first race victory.
His compatriot Carrazza (CRT-Didico15) took second place, with Yamanaka (yamado_racing38) also securing a podium finish and a share of the points.