Event Report

An Amazing Display of Speed and Strategy

Olympic Esports Series 2023 Motor Sport Finals

SINGAPORE (June 25, 2023) – The International Olympic Committee (IOC), Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), and Polyphony Digital Inc. have teamed up to bring motorsports back into the Olympic Esports Series mix, after a successful debut in 2021. Time trials for the racing event began back in April on Gran Turismo 7. More than 150,000 participants took part in a 10-day online time trial qualifier event, in which only 11 drivers secured a slot to attend the Olympic Esports Week 2023 at Singapore’s Suntec Convention and Exhibition Center. These 11 drivers were joined by 20 others selected by local motorsports clubs for a Pre-Qualifiers round. Ultimately, only 12 drivers, including a guaranteed spot for the driver from Singapore, advanced to the final race of the Olympic Esports Series Motor Sport Finals 2023.

(Photo: IOC. Lionel Ng)
(Photo: IOC. Lionel Ng)

Noticeably absent from the group was 2021 winner Valerio Gallo of Italy, so it was anyone’s race to win. Before the final contest, a qualifying session was held where the players fought for starting position on the tricky Deep Forest Raceway. The following was the starting grid for the big race:

Rank Driver Time
1 Angel Inostroza YASHEAT_Loyrot 1:14.700
2 Kylian Drumont R8G_Kylian19 1:14.781
3 William Murdoch WiIIMurdoch 1:14.998
4 Adriano Carrazza Didico15 1:15.149
5 José Serrano TDG_JOSETE 1:15.156
6 Kaj de Bruin R8G_Kajracer 1:15.179
7 Karl Etyemezian YASHEAT_PREZ 1:15.261
8 Iñigo Anton 1:15.299
9 Yusuke Goto ttg-usk_ 1:15.365
10 Giorgio Mangano LUA_Gio 1:15.392
11 Benjámin Hencsei IGTSH_Szotyi42x 1:15.429
12 Ar Muhammad Aleef FL_AleefHamilton 1:15.482

The Race

The 12 players took to the center stage for a mega 42-lap contest around the Gran Turismo-exclusive Deep Forest Raceway. Each driver was required to make at least two pitstops, using two sets of either soft-, medium- or hard-compound tires on their Toyota GR010 Hybrid, the same machine that dominated the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021.

Pole sitter Angel Inostroza (Chile) opted to start the race on soft-compound tires, while nearly everyone else chose the mediums. When the race began, Inostroza led the field through the first corner, but he would need to extend that lead because his soft-compound tires would last four to five laps less than the mediums, requiring him to make an earlier pitstop.

Through the first ten laps, Inostroza’s strategy seemed to be paying off as he built up nearly a four-second lead on 2nd-place Kylian Drumont (France). While the first laps of the race saw a fair share of bumping and light contact in the middle of the running order, every driver remained in contention. On lap 11, Inostroza made his first pitstop, exchanging his soft-compound tires for the mediums. He returned to the track in 10th place, handing the race lead to Drumont, followed by William Murdoch (UK).

On lap 14, Drumont, Benjámin Hencsei (Hungary) and Kaj de Bruin (the Netherlands) were the first ones on medium-compound tires to make their pitstops. The Frenchman and Dutchman opted to go another stint with the mediums, while the Hungarian decided to charge hard with the soft-compound tires. The next few laps saw the rest of the field come in, and after most of the drivers made their first pitstops on lap 19, Inostroza once again claimed the lead, with a 5.7-second cushion over Drumont, who, in turn, had a 3.1-second lead on Murdoch.

(Photo: IOC. Lionel Ng)
(Photo: IOC. Lionel Ng)

At the midway point of the race, the running order was Inostroza, Drumont, Murdoch, Hencsei, and Giorgio Mangano (Italy), who had worked his way up from P10. The order changed just two laps later when Adriano Carrazza (Brazil) began to show his prowess, passing both Mangano and Hencsei to grab P4, his sights squarely set on a podium finish.

Inostroza made his second and final pitstop on lap 27, going again with the medium-compound tires. This gave Drumont a clear track to build up his lead before coming into the pits. Inostroza returned to the track in traffic and struggled to overtake de Bruin, which slowed his pace considerably.

On lap 30, Drumont made his final pitstop, going with the soft-compound tires. He returned to the track 3.2 seconds behind Inostroza, but with the faster, softer tires, the Frenchman looked to be in an ideal position to hunt the Chilean down before the end of the race.

With race leader Jose Serrano (Spain) on hard-compound tires, viciously defending his line, Inostroza’s had trouble making the pass, allowing Drumont to close the gap considerably. On lap 35, after reaching 320 km/h (198 mph) on the front straight, the Frenchman went in for the kill. He ended up taking Inostroza and Serrano on the inside through Turn 1, claiming the race lead.

Could Drumont make his soft-compound tires last until the end of the race? The answer was never in question, as he built up 4.0-second lead in the blink of an eye and took that lead all the way to the finish line. A late, brilliant overtaking maneuver handed William Murdoch of the UK 2nd place, while Angel Inostroza of Chile grabbed the final spot on the podium.

Said Drumont after the race: “During practice, I found that the soft-compound tires wore so much, and when I saw Inostroza start the race on the softs, I thought it was perfect for me. So, I went with two stints on the mediums, and I knew that for the last stint the soft-compound tires were the best. And it worked out for me.”

(Photo: IOC. Lionel Ng)
(Photo: IOC. Lionel Ng)

Olympic Esports Series 2023 Motor Sport Finals Results

Rank Driver Time
1 Kylian Drumont R8G_Kylian19 54:04.181
2 William Murdoch WiIIMurdoch +05.624
3 Angel Inostroza YASHEAT_Loyrot +07.876
4 Adriano Carrazza Didico15 +12.701
5 José Serrano TDG_JOSETE +13.777
6 Kaj de Bruin R8G_Kajracer +14.808
7 Karl Etyemezian YASHEAT_PREZ +18.711
8 Iñigo Anton +19.678
9 Yusuke Goto ttg-usk_ +21.326
10 Giorgio Mangano LUA_Gio +31.210
11 Benjámin Hencsei IGTSH_Szotyi42x +44.460
12 Ar Muhammad Aleef FL_AleefHamilton 1LAP