For the qualifiers of the 3rd round of the Super Gran Turismo Championship, the fastest ranked players of Japan gathered from across the nation. Gamers who proved their worth in the past in the BMW Z4 challenge and Shell V-Power Exciting Championship came to test their skill against Super GT Drivers. The selection of the track and car for the qualifier was what you would expect in tune with the Auto Salon, being held on the Tsukuba Circuit using the RE Amemiya FD3S RX-7. (Tires set to Sports/Hard).
The order of the ranking boards shuffles rapidly as the crowds watched!
Because participants were allowed to retry as many time as they wanted, there was a fierce battle for first place. It sort of reminded me of the power laps in Top Gear. Time trials were held right up to the closing hours of the venue, and the ultimate winner in the end was “Honda”, who was also a finalist in the Red Bull 5G tournament.
In the final round held after the second day of the Tokyo Auto Salon, many real life racing drivers gathered, headed by Juichi Wakisaka.
Footage from the final race was introduced on the motorsports information site, AUTO SPORT WEB CHANNEL!
Racing driver Juichi Wakisaka
For the qualifier held on the Monza circuit, F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi navigated and lectured drivers on the track. What was actually seen by a real life F1 driver, was being projected into the world of Gran Turismo. Those receiving the lecture were racing drivers themselves, and the announcer hosting the scene is the professional race announcer Pierre Kitagawa. This was quite a scene to watch!
People watching the Niconico live broadcast were probably surprised at seeing this man!
F1 Driver Kamui Kobayashi
Kamui Kobayashi who participated in F1 from Caterham appeared as a special guest at the event. He won the Samba bus race, as well as the Super Gran Turismo Championships. He took it all!
Racing Driver Satoshi Motoyama
Motoyama san actually didn’t make it to the final this time… though he’s always been in the finals when professional drivers participate in a Gran Turismo event! He himself said “I’m pretty shocked”. I think he’ll be back to take revenge!
Racing Driver Takashi Kogure
Kogure san often gets drawn into accidents in real and virtual… during the time trials, Sekiguchi san “rammed him head on from behind”….
Racing Driver Masataka Yanagida
In the fully tuned Samba Bus race, he chased Kamui san in the lead until the very end. In the Push-Push race where he partnered with the Drift King Tsuchiya san, he had the lead for a while, but Tsuchiya san’s mystery tour brought him down to last place….
Racing Driver Koudai Tsukakoshi
As a child, he used to drive against his brother in Gran Turismo, where the loser would get the chore of washing dishes. He made it to the final in his first time in the Super Gran Turismo Championships!
Racing Driver Yuhi Sekiguchi
In real life, he’s partner with Juichi Wakisaka. Even in the virtual world, he didn’t let down the crowd. Though it was his first time participating, he progressed with no issues to the final round.
D1 Driver Yoichi Imamura
D1GP Professional Drift Driver Yoichi Imamura participated in the event for the first time. From before the D1GP was established, he was a top driver in Japan’s drifting scene. Making people laugh with his comment : “I drive sideways all the time, I don’t know how to drive straight!”, he’ll be driving the Lexus LFA in the D1GP this year.
Racing Driver Takayuki Kinoshita
Well known as a Nürburgring meister, he even drove a full Nürburgring 24 hour endurance race on the A-Spec mode of Gran Turismo 5 after its release, like a true endurance race specialist. However the fashionable boots he wore didn’t work out in the race… Maybe next time!
ARTA Executive Advisor Keiichi Tsuchiya was monitoring for rough racing as the Driving Standard Observer,…
But of course he couldn’t resist driving! He was supposed to regulate manners on the track but his rampage really got the crowd going.
As for the two fastest players of Japan…
Always driving clean races, Yam and Honda were overwhelmed by the chaos and were not able to beat the professional drivers. Yam commented regrettably later; “I had the unique opportunity to beat an F1 driver and I couldn’t do it!!”. An ultra-premium virtual race with professional drivers; It’d be great if we could do this on an international scale one of these days.
Those with a niconico live broadcast premium membership will be able to see the entire video coverage of the event until April 10.