Story 2: Behind the Success of Last Year’s Manufacturers Cup Winner, Subaru
Countdown to the Gran Turismo World Series Showdown 2023
The Manufacturers Cup championship last year came down to the final race of the year. Going into the World Finals, Subaru and Toyota were tied for the lead, and even after the final race, they finished the season with an equal number of points; however, because Subaru was victorious in the all-important Grand Final, the championship trophy went to the team of Takuma Miyazono, Daniel Solis, and Kylian Drumont, giving Team Subaru its second championship in three years. The teammates commented on their continued success and what they are looking forward to this season.
“What is important about our team is that although it goes without saying that all the players possess their own unique abilities, we trust each other, and I feel this plays a large part in our success. Oh, and I love Subaru as a brand! So, I think this also plays a vital role in how I perform in the Manufactures Cup because it provides extra motivation to race for a brand you love.
“For this season, we hope to perform well. Our Subaru BRZ race car does have its limitations in various aspects, so I’m sure we can expect tough battles ahead depending on the situation, but I would like to take advantage of the car’s strong points and go for a third Manufacturers Cup title.”
“I feel that a lot of our success relies on our ability to work as a team, listen to and understand each other, and, as Takuma said, trust each other. One of the things that really helped me is that, despite the fact that I’m the No. 3 driver on this team, my teammates still value my input and give me the confidence to drive at my best. Our camaraderie is something I really think sets us apart from others.
“When it comes to my relationship with my teammates, past and present, they are friends that I hope achieve great things in their lives. They’re amazing people and I would always love to spend time with them any time our paths cross. I hope they feel the same way about me!
“Because Subaru isn’t a big manufacturer, some have said that we might be underdogs. Truthfully, I think it would be silly to consider us an underdog since we're tied for the most MC titles with Toyota. I think it would be even sillier to consider a team with a duo like Miyazono-san and Kylian to be an underdog as well. Nobody underestimates what we can do, just as we should never underestimate what any other team can do.”
“Last year was my first season with Subaru and success was immediate. There’s no secret to it, Daniel and Takuma have been working together for a long time and are perfect teammates. They are fast, motivated and, above all, they have the will to win. With all those moments spent with them last year, they have become my friends, and those moments will never be forgotten.
“My outlook on this season? In the Manufacturers Cup, strategy is very important. While it is the most important thing in racing in general, it’s even more important in a team competition. You must address questions like: Who feels most comfortable on which tyres? Who’s the fastest in the rain? All this is prepared before the race, and if we’ve all had a good stint after getting out of the race car, a good result will be there! This season we plan on battling hard, but everything can turn very quickly and sometimes against us, like for example how Toyota came back at the end of the season last year, but I hope that we will still be among the top teams. Whatever our situation, we’ll keep adapting as best we can."