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Sim racers all over Singapore are now battling it out to emerge champion of the virtual series locally, as they get behind the wheels of 3 well-loved GR cars.

18 Aug 2022 | Local News : Singapore

Riding an unprecedented level of interest and a boom brought about by the pandemic, the Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) GT Cup has made a grand return to Singapore for its fourth year. 

The virtual series, as its name suggests, is hosted on Gran Turismo 7, the latest iteration of Sony and Polyphony Digital's long-standing simulation racing video game. Qualifiers for the national round are already in motion (they started on 13 August), seeing 36 participants in battle on the virtual world's iconic High Speed Ring for the quickest lap times. Aiding them in this time attack is the latest star to wear the GR badge - the Toyota GR 86 '22.

The selected weapon for the qualifiers around the High Speed Ring: The Toyota GR 86 '22
Thereafter, the 24 fastest racers will move forward and be split into two groups of 12 as they battle in real-time in two Semi-Final rounds. The semis are also where the GR Supra '20, as well as the short track of the real-life Watkin Glens International circuit will be introduced. 

Finally, the six top-placing drivers of each group will progress onto three Final rounds to take on the bends and hairpins of the Suzuka Circuit (Round 1), Circuit de Spa Francorchamps (Round 2), and Daytona Road Course (Round 3). 

Of note is that the elusive GR Yaris '20 will make its sole appearance in the Belgian circuit - meaning that racers will have to hold out to the Finals to get behind the wheel of the hot hatch for this virtual series. Apart from winning $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 in cash, the top three competitors of the Finals rounds will also represent Singapore in the TGR GT Cup ASIA 2022, in early October. The two finalists of the regional round will eventually proceed on to fight other racers on the global stage. 

The appeal of e-motorsports has broadened as gameplay becomes more extensive and realistic
To commemorate the series' return, the media were invited down on Thursday, 18 August 2022, for a first-hand experience of the TGR GT Cup in proper simulation rigs nestled within Borneo Motors' Leng Kee showroom. 

In two groups of five, different members took turns for one-on-one, bumper-to-bumper duels against e-sports presenter Claire Jedrek, and Pro-Racer, Andrew Tang, for the fastest combined group timings. 

Despite a relatively short runway thus far, the GR GT Cup has quickly been recognised as one of the Gazoo Racing division's pillars of activities, through which Toyota says it is aiming to "make motorsports more accessible and enjoyable".

The high-speed virtual racing competition is now held across five continents - Asia, Oceania, Europe & Middle East, North America, Central & South America - although it appears that its home team is still the strongest: Japanese sim racer, Tomoaki Yamanaka, emerged champion last year. 

Mr. Melvin Moh, co-founder of e-sports racing team, Legion of Racers, speaking at the event 
Reinforcing Toyota's vision at the event, Melvin Moh, co-founder of e-sports racing team Legion of Racers, also shared about the incredible realism and extensive hardware options of simulation games like Gran Turismo, and noted the ballooning financial value of the e-motorsports industry.

Those who want to be part of the TGR GT Cup 2022, but don't own Gran Turismo 7 on PlayStation 4/5 (or simply forgot to register themselves) need not fret: They can still bear witness to the action when the Singapore Finals are streamed live online, on 4 September 2022 at 8:00pm Singapore Standard Time. (Psst… if you ever make a visit down to the Leng Kee outlet, the two simulation rigs are right next to the GR Garage.)

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toyota  gazoo racing  gr  yaris  supra  86  sim racing  e-motorsports