Barely a year into the experiment, digital racing appears to be paying off for fans, and race teams. It gives teams a new source of revenue, gives sponsors another avenue of marketing and has attracted a new set of audience that traditional motorsports has struggled to attract.
Due to COVID-19 and strict orders to shelter at home, 2020 was a year in which people paid more attention to e-Motorsports than ever, as exemplified by thousands of players from all over the world participating in virtual tournaments like the GR Supra GT Cup and the GR Yaris Time Trial, hosted by Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR). Interestingly, after being featured in Gran Turismo SPORT, approximately 1.30 million GR Supra and 530,000 GR Yaris vehicles were purchased, indicating that many players all over the world enjoy the GR models.
TGR plans to continue an active engagement in e-Motorsports and here in the Philippines, the GR GT Cup Philippines 2021 e-Motorsport tournament has just announced the start of the first round of races to be held on April 30, 2021, for the leaderboard qualifiers with over 200 players participating.
Organized by TGR and hosted by Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP), this leg will be followed by the semi-final and heat race happening on May 1, 2021.
“The GR GT Cup is really our way to continuously give a thrilling driving experience even with our limited physical movement. We cannot wait to find out who will be dominating the e-motorsports arena this year,” said TMP VP for Marketing Services Elijah Marcial.
Since launching its e-Motorsport program last year, TMP’s quest for the fastest driver in the Philippines found its way into the e-sports scene where more and more Filipino gamers and fans gather, paving way for the success of many virtual battleground champions. This 2021, Toyota opens the tracks again to gather the gaming community into a heart-racing e-sports event.
Players can compete in any of the eligible classes. Starters with no professional e-Sports background and affinity can join the Promotional Class. While those who have competed professionally in and out of the country can join the Sporting Class. The young ones can also join the Junior Class for everyone, ages 17 and below.
Members of the media and some celebrities will be joining in the Celebrity/Media class which will be announced soon.
Participants will be going through several stages of qualifying rounds which awards them points. The top 24 who will finish the leaderboard challenge will advance to the semi-final heat where they will receive points based on their finishing position. The top 3 winners from the semi-finals will push to the weekend’s final heat.
Multipliers are set to make the competition even more interesting. Points are then multiplied up to two times as they progress towards the final round. Racers are encouraged to join and re-qualify to earn more points and to get a chance to win their share of up to 1 million Pesos worth of prizes at stake. Champions get to take home cash prizes plus exciting gadgets and gears—from gaming peripherals to coveted digital devices that are just worth every throttle and turn.
The over-all victor of the final heat from each class will be hailed as the fastest in the Philippines and the ultimate champion of 2021 GR GT Cup.
Check out the full competition mechanics and sign-up by visiting the official Toyota Motor Philippines GR Supra GT Cup website: https://toyota.com.ph/gtcup. Details on schedules and prizes may change without immediate notice so be sure to hit refresh on the official website or by visiting the social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.
Charles E. Buban is an old timer in the Philippine automotive journalism scene. He first started covering the automotive beat in 2003, writing news and reviews of new models and car tech, among other car-related stuff. When not writing about cars, he could often be seen riding his mountain bike or doing long walks in the hope of catching a couple of legendary Pokemons.