Gran Turismo and FIA to launch Online Championship

2014 F1 season

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The FIA has endorsed the creation of an official Online Championship with Gran Turismo series creators Polyphony Digital.

The championship, which will be launched next year will “offer the large number of Gran Turismo players and motor sport fans the opportunity to engage with real motor sport”, according to the FIA.

The governing body of world motorsport has been given its certification for four of the circuits which feature in Gran Turismo 6, which was launched last year. The FIA conducted inspections of the tracks by examining the circuit models used by the game creators and comparing them to their own.

Other tracks which feature in FIA will also be inspected with a view to gaining FIA certification.

Polyphony Digital president and GranTurismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi said the recognation was “the biggest accolade the game has received in its history”.

“Our partnership with the FIA is a further step forward in our continued quest to bring the worlds of virtual and reality racing into a full circle,” he added.

FIA president Jean Todt said the governing body’s co-operation with the game designers will “ensure that millions of Gran Turismo and motor sport fans can race on even more detailed tracks at home”.

“The Gran Turismo series has played an important role in helping to attract a new fan base to motor sport. With the input of FIA in the development of the upcoming FIA Online Championship, Gran Turismo 6 will now offer an experience even closer to the real world of motor sport.

“We are also excited to be working closely with Polyphony Digital and Sony Computer Entertainment in the future to find new ways to continue to make motor sport more accessible to millions of fans that share a passion for racing.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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68 comments on “Gran Turismo and FIA to launch Online Championship”

  1. Why Gran Turismo? It’s an arcade, not real simulation.
    rFactor/iRacing/Assetto Corsa/any other proper simulator

    1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      25th June 2014, 1:00

      Unfortunately it’s the simcade genre that gets the greatest amount of participation.

      And whilst Assetto Corsa and iRacing and rFactor 2 are all vastly superior when it comes to physics and attentional to detail, the simcades will win out in the end. :(

      1. i doubt iracing or any of the modded so called sims are better than Gran Turismo. It’s amateurs to make those game. Set up a tourney then go and win a class at le mans. Iracing is overrated

        1. iRacing isn’t made by amateurs nor is it a modded game like simbin and rFactor. And though modded it’s been said that rFactor software is what’s used in team simulators or simbin variations. Assetto Corsa is also not one and they are all better than GT is. GT was good once but it isn’t now, perhaps this is the rebuilding process, who knows only time will tell.

      2. Not to mention that the GT series is backed by a distributor willing to pay for the privilidge most likely @tophercheese21, @syntezzz

    2. RFactor… love it! Spent a few hours last eve Racing Toyota Atlantics [ my fave ] and 2009 series Formula One. Highly recommend Rfactor.

      Rfactor for the console masses wouldn’t fly imho. It’s a not an arcade sim and too difficult for most people to be able to enjoy it.

      Simcade better choice for Polyphony and investors and would win out in that market.

      Have had RFactor a few years now and lots of friends have tried it.. it’s just too much sim for most people.

      Play Grand Turismo at a buddies’ place.. it’s Fun! That’s all they need.

      Wish RFactor was around when I was racing formula ford. It really would have helped!

    3. Normally I’d agree but the people who’ve graduated from GT academy have gone on to become successful racers and they excelled at the Gran turismo game. I know they attend racing schools / classes eventually but I think the game actually has simulation qualities to it. Some people have it and some people dont, no matter how many hours they log on the game or real life.

  2. Wiiiii, two organizations that struggle to produce good sounding engines partnering together!

    Yes, the world can sound worse !

    1. Haha, that’s a good one

  3. On a serious note, it’s massive news ! a possitive step towards modern times. It brings new fans, more interest, maybe more brands… it’s great from every possible point of view.

  4. So the FIA can now create even crazier rules in the virtual world!

    1. This might have been a joke but you’re actually right. If, in the future, they decide to use a more mod-able game than GT, they could actually try new rules and technical specifications in front of a huge audience safely before using them in the real world.

      1. Maybe someone should point the FIA to rFactor and/or iRacing.

  5. Seems someone at the FIA has finally noticed the Nissan GT Acadamy programme’s success.

    1. I’m going to the national finals next month!

      1. What setup did you use? I’m looking to get a PS3 wheel for next years academy.

  6. Fantastic news for Gran Turismo. I hope this leads to FIA licensed racing series and racing cars.

  7. I thought GT6 was among the worst current generation racing games.

    1. As a game it is, but it’s the best that a console can handle regarding realistic handling

      1. @olliekart I have it, and played it for a while after buying it and really cannot understand what the fuss is all about. In terms of handling, the cars feel heavy and dull. They don’t slide half as much as they should being driven at the very limit.

        And yes, G27 and no assists… yet, it’s plain boring and completely easy.

        I love the series because of the game that shaped my childhood: GT2. And GT2, in comparision, used to be a lot more challenging…

        1. If you think all the cars in GT6 feel heavy, easy, and dull – you weren’t driving the right cars. The force feedback isn’t the most detailed when using the G27 but it’s not as bad as people say. The FFB is different from car to car.

          The LCC Rocket, the RUF Yellowbird, the Peugeot 205 Turbo16, are all difficult cars. Even the honda beat, a little MR kei car is difficult because of it’s short wheelbase and soft suspension… The 370z is a bit of a handful, but it has enough push that you can keep it pointing the right way. There are too many difficult cars to list… There are a lot of cars that really are heavy and dull, like their real life counterparts, but there are others that are lively, twitchy, wayward, or unstable. Sometimes all of those…

          If you want a challenge in GT6, let me know how you do in the Yellowbird, 7:38 time to beat on the Nordschleife… The car’s time in real life is 8:05, (a long time ago) but the tires the car has in GT6 are better, and there is less danger in using a lot of curbing. ( to be honest, this car is almost certainly more difficult than it is in real life, even with the better modern tires. Have… fun. )

          PSN: ConnorWolf

          GT also has easily the most realistic GT-R, which came in handy when I was practicing for a track-day I did in a ’10 GT-R.

      2. @oliekart Haha, you got to be kidding me right? GT6 is just an updated GT5 so the fans would be happy. Everyone however knows it still is an unfinished game. For example my own cars don’t handle anywhere near how they do in the game.

        1. Yes, I sold the game as proof I didn’t like it. But the handling is the best on console as most other racing gaming are arcade. Easy doesn’t necessarily mean unrealistic. Until P.C.A.R.S comes out the Gran Turismo franchise is the best on offer for realism.

          1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
            25th June 2014, 1:01

            Even then, pCARS is a long way from having realstic handling.
            It’s basically still NFS shift with a fancy frock.

          2. Forza is by far the best on console.

          3. @kirk What makes you say that? (Curious to know)

      3. Yeah – that’s about it. What this partnership will do is lay the groundwork for GT7 on PS4. There should be _a lot_ more detail in the driving experience then. A good example is the RB ring, which GT6 just added. In the game the track is as smooth as but on the telly you could tell how much the cars struggled over bumps unsettling them through corners.

        1. I think that is because the tracks are not laser scanned which also makes me wonder why the FIA certified them. Iracing and Forza (lately and some of them) have laser scanned the tracks and they do include every bump on the road.

    2. Probably… but it makes sense for them to a) partner with the biggest video game series and b) it has some legitimacy from the Nissan GT Academy showing the winners can participate in real world racing at a decent level (better than the pay drivers!).

    3. It’s certainly amongst the worst selling console racing game – the sales figures that have been released for GT6 suggest that sales have been barely a fifth of what GT5 racked up, and GT5 itself was not the strongest selling version of the GT series either.
      It’s one reason why development of a port to the PS4 is being brought forward and GT7 is being rushed into production (Polyphony are looking at possibly bringing the game out as early as next year) – they are desperately trying to liven up their sales at a time when Sony is in dire financial straights.

      All in all, it feels like part of a sales strategy from Sony and Polyphony to create more of a buzz around the franchise and to try to revive their flagging sales on the back of the success of the Nissan GT Academy program.

    4. I have the opposite view, I think GT6 is the best of its kind (Sim-cade as there called) on PS3 & think its the best game in the GT series.

      People say its an updated GT5 & in areas that is true, But it has improvements in the handling/physics etc… as well as an improved single player structure which are vastly superior to GT5 & others in the series.

      Its not a super realistic sim like you get on PC but its fun & thats all I want from a GT title & I had more fun driving around in GT6 than I have any other GT game hence why I keep going back to do the seasonal events there constantly adding.

    5. It does indeed lack in a lot of areas, but it also excels in many others. So why do you think it is so bad?

  8. First step in Bernie and the FIA’s secret evil plan to make F1 an online series by 2025….but still charge circuits the same race fees of course

  9. Too bad they didn’t choose iRacing or Assetto Corsa instead…

    1. I agree. iRacing I think would be the way to go.

      But it’s probably more of a Poly money > FIA > Status situation.

  10. Finally! I get a chance to show the world that I am really a world-class racer…

    1. If that’s the case, you need to pick up a better simulator… not that any of the GT academy winners are complaining :P

    2. You might need to get round to buying a copy of the game first…

  11. so wait, will this be a championship with players racing each other online and stewards etc? i dont get it

  12. First GT Academy, than this. Always PS3, always Gran Turismo.
    Do something on PC, with a real driving simulator.
    Some serious talents could emerge.

    1. Amen to that. The greatest skill sets will come from rFactor and iRacing and other sims like GPL

      1. Indeed.. Norbert Michelisz went from GPL to winning races in WTCC. Richie Stanaway won the iRacing Pro Series while recovering from his back injury sustained in Formula Renault 3.5.. very interesting to see a pro driver come in and absolutely whoop the online competition.. highlights what a level these guys are at in the real world.

        On sim to real world… it seems the best adapters are those that already have real world experience.. in effect they then replace real world mileage with sim mileage for cost reasons and then transfer the skill sets back into their knowledge of real world racing.

      2. GT Academy winner Bryan Heitkotter was also an iRacing WDC driver that did GT Academy to get his big break.

  13. That’s sounds really interesting. Hope they can make it work, but I have my doubts.

  14. But… But… Gran Turismo doesn’t have double points at the final round of events!?

    1. @craig-o Oh no, but how is the final round going to be interesting then?

      1. *zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

        TURN ON THE RAIN !

        Wait…. It all makes sense…. sprinklers!

  15. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    24th June 2014, 21:41

    I thought that with the way the FIA were going they’d be teaming up with the creators of Mario Kart.

    1. Nah not enough done to improve the “show”

  16. Good for publicity, but as far as racing simulators go, on PC beats Gran Turismo any day. Among many features that make it way more realistic is all their tracks are laser scanned.

    1. Aren’t Gran Turismo’s too?

      1. Some of them are, not sure about all of them. Obviously the fictional ones aren’t :)

        1. And I’d imagine the ones which are will be the ones that are accurate enough for the FIA to certify them

    2. @mtlracer What about Speed Dreams?

  17. While it is nice to see gaming enter the real world, I doubt a console racer is the best platform for this kind of thing. Unless the aim is to go for maximum number of participants instead of highest level of realism, any number of PC sims would be a much better choice.

  18. Nice idea, but with so many people willing to spend thousands on wheels, seats and set ups to gain an advantage and hackers, cheats etc etc, this will never work.

  19. PMccarthy_is_a_legend (@pmccarthy_is_a_legend)
    24th June 2014, 23:28

    What is the actual news in this article, I don’t get it. I’m an adult, I don’t play video games

    1. Are you trying to tell everyone that you don’t sharpen your skills on simulators during the off season? **gasps

    2. I’m an adult, I don’t play video games

      A lot of adults play games. Not sure how old that data is, but there’s photos of last-gen hardware, so it can’t be that old.

    3. Im an adult too but money wise and time (kid) i cannot race anywhere now, so how a guy like me feeds his rush on racing? i need a honest answer. I play rfactor when i have time with F1 offcourse but some times i use a mod with GT cars on rFactor because its fun online.
      Either way i like the idea.. mainly because if FIA is doing this there will be i suppose Real Prise money which will end up in an explosion in the participants which is good.

    4. Adults play video games. Maybe you are a senior citizen…?

    5. Not a particularly mature comment though.

    6. Do you also not have a TV, and are you desperate to tell us all so that we know how much better than us you are?

  20. Francorchamps (@francorchamps17)
    25th June 2014, 0:01

    What’s the point of this partnership?
    “The FIA conducted inspections of the tracks by examining the circuit models used by the game creators and comparing them to their own.”

  21. Would’ve been better off teaming up with iracing. More accurate tracks and cars, better infrastructure and have proven successful when teaming with real world racing organizations already.

  22. Why not Speed Dreams, FIA?

  23. Jack (@jackisthestig)
    25th June 2014, 9:24

    Nice one! Those top 20 fastest laps are ridiculously fast.

  24. Mudit Grover
    26th June 2014, 14:39

    If this was not about money / some weird marketing ploy then the FIA would be doing this for LFS,i racing, RFactor2, Asetto Corsa not a game primarily designed to be played with a joystick.

    Sim racers and gamers in general are probably better off without real world racing getting involved as real world racing is 99% about wealth rather than raw talent.

    Clearly by the fact that the FIA has partnered with GT they have already demonstrated that they are utterly clueless, if they honestly cared about E-sports side of Sim racing or they had done some research maybe they would have looked at sanctioning and promoting a league in a proper simulator.

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