Race Report

After a Flawless Drive, a Familiar Name Rises to the Top

Gran Turismo World Series 2022 Manufacturers Cup - Round 2

STAVELOT, Belgium (September 25, 2022) – The 2022 Gran Turismo World Series continued today with Round 2 of the Manufacturers Cup. Unlike the World Series Showdown where the players traveled from all over the world to participate in the event in person, this round was contested remotely, but that didn’t take away from the intensity of the atmosphere, as the drivers for the twelve manufacturers, including Gran Turismo World Series partners Genesis, Mazda and Toyota, went at each other with tenacity around the historic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

Coming into this event, Subaru held a commanding lead in the series championships with nine points, followed by Mercedes-Benz AMG with five points and Toyota with four, which meant that with only a few races remaining until the World Final, the pressure was on for the other teams to make their move.

Round 2: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

As with Round 1, each team fielded one driver for this 10-lap battle around Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. The drivers were required to run at least one lap on both the medium and soft compound tires, so while race strategy was in play, the race would ultimately be decided on who was fastest on this day. Team Toyota’s Igor Fraga showed great speed in qualifying, claiming pole position with a blistering qualifying run of 2’13.201”. Hot on his heels was Giorgio Mangano (Williams_Gio) in the Mazda RX-Vision GT3, who sat in the No. 2 spot, followed by the BMW M6 GT3 of Erik Cases Vazquez (GG_ErikCases) and rookie sensation Kylian Drumont (PRiMA_Kylian19) of Team Subaru.

As the only driver in the field to start on the soft-compound Michelins, Fraga was intent on building a commanding lead early. And sure enough, the 2019 Nations Cup champion led the field through the first corner, while the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT3 of Baptiste Beauvois (R8G_TSUTSU) got past Drumont’s Subaru BRZ GT300 to claim P4. By the end of Lap 1, the top three cars—the GR Supra of Fraga, Mangano’s RX-Vision and Vazquez’s M6—began to separate themselves from the pack.

Midway through Lap 2, intense battles were brewing in the middle of the running order as the Volkswagen Beetle of Seiya Suzuki (V1_CRV-KRT86), Ádám Tápai’s Jaguar F-Type (TFz_Adam18) and the Porsche 911 of Angel Inostroza (YASHEAT_Loyrot) bumped each other several times in a fight for P6. The start of Lap 3 saw Fraga’s GR Supra extend its lead to more than four seconds, while Beauvois made a nice passing maneuver on Vazquez through Eau Rouge to claim P3.

At the end of Lap 4 and with a 7.0-second lead, Fraga made his one and only pitstop. The question now was could the speedy Brazilian maintain his lead after all the others switched to the faster softer-compound tires. The following two laps saw the rest of the field make their pitstops as everyone watching the broadcast wondered where the drivers would be positioned when they returned to the track.

The answer came on Lap 7, when Fraga’s GR Supra took the top spot, but his 7.0-second lead seemed to be shrinking with each passing moment because Mangano was going all out in his RX-Vision to catch him. Drumont found his BRZ in 3rd place, followed by Suzuki’s Beetle and Vazquez’s M6. By Lap 8, Mangano had cut Fraga’s lead down to 6.2 seconds, but it would be too little too late for the talented Italian driver, as Igor Fraga did not falter in the slightest, never allowing the Mazda to come within striking distance. With his first victory of the season, he scored three valuable points for Team Toyota. Giorgio Mangano drove valiantly, bringing home his Mazda RX-Vision across the finish line in 2nd place, while the ever-impressive Drumont earned Team Subaru one point for his 3rd-place finish. The results of this race kept Subaru in the overall points lead with 10, followed by Toyota at seven and Mazda and Mercedes-Benz tied with five.

“For the race, I actually didn’t know how the car would react to the high fuel consumption and tire wear, but in the end it did very well. It was key to start at the front and establish a good pace at the beginning. It’s getting really close with the other constructors, so these points going into the World Finals are crucial. We still have to keep this momentum and consistency up and get as many points as we can to win it all,” Fraga said after the race.

All of the action can be watched on the official Gran Turismo YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/GranTurismoOfficial/ and more information is available on gran-turismo.com

Gran Turismo World Series 2022 Manufacturers Cup - Round 2
Results

Rank Manufacturer / Drivers Time
1 Toyota Igor Fraga 22:56.242
2 Mazda Giorgio Mangano + 04.478
3 Subaru Kylian Drumont + 08.743
4 BMW Erik Cases Vazquez + 10.553
5 Jaguar Ádám Tápai + 12.560
6 Genesis Nicolas Romero + 13.477
7 Porsche Angel Inostroza + 14.783
8 AMG Baptiste Beauvois + 15.544
9 Chevrolet Adriano Carrazza + 17.071
10 Volkswagen Seiya Suzuki + 18.874
11 Mitsubishi Joss Legrand + 19.171
12 Nissan Harald Walsen + 26.683