With the coronavirus pandemic causing us to spend more time at home, competitive sim racing has come to the fore as a place for gamers to showcase their skills to the world. Several virtual racing series have sprouted in recent times, including our very own Malaysia Speed Festival with its CyberTurismo and CyberEnduro events.

Porsche has now thrown its hat in the ring with the Gran Turismo Cup Asia Pacific, organised by Porsche Asia Pacific (PAP) in collaboration with the sports car maker’s Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese arms. The online series uses Gran Turismo Sport, a racing simulator available on Sony’s PlayStation 4 and 5 consoles.

As PAP handles the brand’s operations in our region, the esports tournament is open to participants in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines and New Zealand. Players will be able to participate in five rounds (with two time slots each, at 8:00 PM and 9:30 PM local time) to gain points.

The top five scorers at the end of the qualifying rounds will compete against the top five from Japan, South Korea and Taiwan in the semi-finals. From there, the top ten will duke it out in the finals, set to take place in mid-December. The winner will receive the grand prize of an all-expenses-paid trip to Tokyo, which includes a tour of the Porsche Experience Centre Tokyo and other Porsche-related visits.

The tournament kicked off on Sunday with the first round at the Fiji Speedway, using the 911 RSR. The following rounds will be held at Le Mans’ Circuit de la Sarthe (using the race-winning 2016 919 Hybrid) on September 19, Bathurst’s Mount Panorama (using the Cayman GT4 Clubsport) on October 3, the Goodwood Motor Circuit (using the 356 Carrera Speedster) on October 10 and Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps (using the 962 C) on October 31.

To participate in each of the five qualifying rounds, players will need to open GT Sport, select Sport Mode and choose the Porsche Gran Turismo Cup Asia Pacific event. Reception opens 15 minutes before the entry deadline. Participants do not have to be affiliated with Porsche in-game to enter, but they must be aged 18 and older.

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