There’s no denying how esports has taken off in the age of social media and livestreaming. And now that many sporting venues have closed, it’s no wonder it’s gotten even bigger. But in the world of sports played on screens, e-racing has really begun to gain steam—and that was proven by the fact that an automotive company took the opportunity to launch its first virtual motorsport showdown.
Through the Philippine leg of the GR Supra GT Cup Asia, e-racers and car enthusiasts alike were able to experience the thrill of the race on a Gran Turismo track—all the while proving that e-motorsports can get your adrenaline pumping the way a race on a real track would.
It’s here that Toyota’s flagship sports car, the GR Supra, also made its digital debut as the race’s featured car.
Auto enthusiast Reph Bangsil, winner of the media/influencer bracket of the GR Supra GT Cup’s local leg, attested to how fun and accessible e-racing is—which says a lot, considering he’s gotten behind the wheel during the Toyota Vios Racing Festival. There are, of course, big adjustments to be made from racing on a track to racing in a pod.
“The moment I got on there, I was so intimidated because I didn’t know what to do,” Bangsil admits. “[Usually, when you’re just playing video games], lagi kang naka-gas at sinasagad mo yung performance ng car… I did that, and every time it happened, naka-ilang rounds ako na umiikot yung kotse, bumabangga. Ang hirap niya talaga.”
The trick, according to Bangsil, is to treat it like a real car. “When I did that, the game started to treat me a little better and we got a really good time… You learn from the coaches, and you start to improve on your own, at nagkaka-sariling diskarte ka.”
Bangsil joined the GR Supra Cup because he always wanted to race as a kid. Now that he had the chance to do so, he didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be part of Toyota’s virtual racing competition.
“E-motorsports, I think, is the future,” Bangsil adds. “I know matagal nang may e-motorsports, but because of the situation we’re in now, more people get to experience what we do. And because of that, I think a lot of people will be introduced to the world of e-motorsports.”
With the success of GR Supra GT Cup Asia’s Philippine leg—and the support of a major auto manufacturer like Toyota—e-racers and car enthusiasts can expect more from this new realm of racing. You can get a taste of it yourself and show your support as national winners Terence Lallave, Lance Padilla, and Jose Altoveros go against other participating countries for the championship title at the GR Supra GT Cup Asia Regional Round 2020 this Sunday.
But beyond the regional round, Toyota definitely seems to have more in store in the world of e-motorsports. Stay tuned to join the excitement in the GR Supra GT Cup Asia's second season!