Round of 4 day in the Toyota GR Supra Gran Turismo One-Lap Challenge produced the closest, most nail-biting competition yet. Pelted by rain drops, the remaining quartet of Toyota Racing drivers had to contend with a super-slick Tokyo Expressway Circuit and its unforgiving guardrails and walls. In the end, Formula Drift ace Fredric Aasbo and ARCA young gun Jesse Love made the best of the tricky conditions and will go head to head in Thursday’s final.
In the first semi-final, a showdown between Aasbo and Daniel Suarez (NASCAR Cup Series) looked set to be a super-tight affair. Suarez was a slight favorite going in, having posted the overall fastest time in each of the first two rounds. But the wet track played into Aasbo’s hands, the master of sideways putting in a scintillatingly fast lap to stop the clock at 1m58.820s around the 4.25 miles of wet urban asphalt. At 2m01.145s, Suarez’s best time was impressive, too, but just not enough to edge the drift demon.
The second semi saw Love taking on NHRA star J.R. Todd, who’s been impressive in his ability to go from a fire-breathing, nitromethane Funny Car that shreds 1,000ft of drag strip in under four seconds, to piloting the nimble Toyota GR Supra RZ around the twists and turns of Gran Turismo Sport’s road courses. Todd’s dream run would come to an end when his best effort of 2m18.807s wasn’t a match for the 1m59.583s lap turned in by teen phenom Love, who unleashed the dirt-tracking skills he’d honed in the 2019 POWRi Racing Series to devastating effect.
Suarez and Todd will jointly share third-place honors as attention now turns to Thursday’s final, Aasbo versus Love. Both have been outstandingly quick and consistent throughout the tournament, and both are regular gamers. And each knows how to handle racecars that run fast and loose – which is ideal for the venue chosen for the final.
Tskuba Circuit is an old-school, rough ’n’ tumble race track that demands quick hands and punchy, precise footwork At just 1.27 miles in length, laps will be well under the one-minute mark, so there’s no forgiveness for even the tiniest of mistakes. Aasbo and Love will feel right at home here on a circuit where the nose of the car is hardly ever pointing straight. It’s going to be an epic duel, so make sure to check in tomorrow and find out which Toyota driver will take the spoils in the GR Supra Gran Turismo One-Lap Challenge.
The GR Supra GT Cup Series is back for a second season in 2020, and the first races will kick off in late April. The competition is an official Toyota e-Motorsports activity presented by TOYOTA GAZOO Racing and is open to owners of PlayStation4 consoles and the Gran Turismo Sport game.
Like last year, the GR Supra GT Cup will use Gran Turismo Sport’s Toyota GR Supra RZ, and will feature an online series comprised of seven rounds, beginning April 26 at Fuji Speedway. The top ranked players will take part in a live final in November to determine the series champion.
Find out more here.