AUTOBACS JeGT GRAND PRIX 2020 Series ( hereinafter referred to as " JeGT"), Japan's largest e-motorsports tournament, will be held in September 2019, organized by NGM Corporation and sponsored by Autobacs Seven Co.
The "ROUND 01 INDIVIDUAL MATCH (individual competition)" will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2020, and the "ROUND 01 TEAM BATTLE (team competition)" on Sunday, December 20, 2020, on the official JeGT channel on YouTube.
The top-level heated battle between 29 individual players and 18 team players for the total prize money of 5 million yen has finally begun.
ROUND 01 INDIVIDUAL MATCH
In the ROUND 01 INDIVIDUAL MATCH, which is an individual competition, the finals will be held after the preliminary round.
A total of 29 contestants participated in the qualifying round, and weredivided into three groups (A to C).
The top three finishers in each group advance to the finals, and those who do not place in the top three will still be eligible to advance to the finals if their race times are in the top three.
A total of 12 competitors will compete in the finals.
The INDIVIDUAL MATCH is based on a point system, with points awarded for each round of competition.
Each player will receive 30 points for 1st place, 25 points for 2nd place, 21 points for 3rd place, 18 points for 4th place, 15 points for 5th place, 12 points for 6th place, 10 points for 7th place, 8 points for 8th place, 7 points for 9th place, 6 points for 10th place, 5 points for 11th place, 4 points for 12th place, 2 points for 13th to 16th place, and 1 point for 17th to 20th place.
No points will be awarded for 21st place and below.
The qualifying round will be held at the " Nürburgring GP," a 5.1 km long technical circuit with a combination of low-speed and high-speed corners.
The race will be a 10-lap race, and the cars will be selected from category Gr. 3.
Racing soft or racing medium tires are used, and racing medium tires must be used at least once during the race.
The tire wear ratio is six times and the fuel consumption ratio is four times, making it difficult to complete 10 laps without a pit stop.
The pit strategy adopted by each driver will be the key to victory or defeat.
The JeGT will be played by Manabu Suzuki, a.k.a. " Manapi," who has served as the MC for the All Japan Professional Drift Championship and other events, while the commentary for the ROUND 1 INDIVIDUAL MATCH will be provided by Takuya Takahashi(@calsonic1223), a member of the e-sports team "Shininism Gaming," was invited to commentate the ROUND 1 INDIVIDUAL MATCH.
ROUND 1 INDIVIDUAL MATCH Qualifying Round Group A
The top three finishers in Group A to advance to the finals were Takuma Miyazono, Ayumu Takita, and Ken Ota.
Takita took pole position, but when Miyazono, who started in 2nd place, took the lead on the opening lap, he switched to a strategy of running after him and aiming for 2nd place.
Miyazono commented that the race went exactly as he had hoped.
ROUND 1 INDIVIDUAL MATCH Qualifying Round Group B
Tomoei Yamanaka, Kanateru Nabetani, and Tatsuhiko Kato were the top three finishers in Group B and advanced to the finals.
Yamanaka, who made a good start from 3rd place and finished the qualifying in 1st place, commented that he had expected to be able to line up at the first corner if he could start from the top 4 positions.
ROUND 1 INDIVIDUAL MATCH Qualifying Round Group C
The top three finishers in Group C to advance to the finals were Soma Iceri, Shotaro Ryu, and Kanade Kawakami.
On the first corner of the opening lap, Iceri misjudged the braking point and all the following cars came rushing in.
The first through third positions were the same as their starting positions at the end of the race.
JeGT also held the " JeGT CHALLENGERS " at the same time, in which professional drivers and JeGT-certified drivers were not required to participate.
In the "JeGT CHALLENGERS 2020 SERIES ROUND 01," 11 contestants, all of whom must be at least 40 years old, participated.
The course will be " Autopolis " with a total length of approximately 4.7km, and as in the JeGT, the competitors will be free to choose any vehicle from category Gr. 3.
The drivers who were able to make it to the podium were Akihiro Kobayashi, Yasuhisa Ishida, and Tatsuyuki Hiroshima.
Yuichi Moriyoshi, who started from pole position, suffered a painful half-spin on lap 5 in the middle of the race.
This dropped him all the way down to 4th place.
After the race, Kobayashi, the winner, commented, "It was a close race, but I was blessed with the turn of events. My heart was racing. My heart was racing," he said joyfully.
ROUND 01 INDIVIDUAL MATCH Final
The final race was held at the highly popular Japanese circuit, Suzuka Circuit.
The 5.8-km-long course was used for the 10-lap race.
The tires used for the race were changed from the qualifying rounds to either racing mediums or racing hards, with the race cars required to use the racing hards at least once during the race.
Since the tire wear factor is 10 times higher than in the qualifying round, more severe tire management is required than in the qualifying round.
In the time attack, Yamanaka recorded a good time of 1 minute 57.01 seconds to take pole position.
Takita was second, and the front row was dominated by the " Dodge Viper SRT GT3-R ".
Six of the 11 cars entered in the race were Vipers, and their high traction performance was highly evaluated.
In the final race, Ryu, who started 3rd, went off the course at the first corner on the second lap.
This dropped him down the order, and Miyazono moved up to 3rd place. After that, a clean race unfolded between the top Gran Turismo SPORT drivers.
The winner of the Porsche Esports Racing Japan Season 2, which will be reported on funglr Games, was Yamanaka.
Takita came in second, and Miyazono, who started in fourth place, finished the race in third.
Post-race interview with Miyazono
My failure in the qualifying round was a setback for me.
In the final, I was able to do everything I could, so I am satisfied.
I am looking forward to the next two rounds, round 2 and round 3, where I will be aiming for another win.
Post-race interview with Takita
I couldn't pass Yamanaka even though I thought I could.
Even though I was close to Yamanaka, I couldn't get past him. I had to settle for second place, but I am satisfied because I was able to break into the middle of Miyazono and Yamanaka, who are world-class racers.
Post-race interview with Yamanaka
It was a long race, so I knew that keeping my concentration would lead to a good chance.
I am happy that we were able to celebrate this memorable opening round with a win.
We will keep this momentum going and give it our all until we win the Grand Final.
ROUND 01 TEAM BATTLE
Like the INDIVIDUAL MATCH, the ROUND 01 TEAM BATTLE is a team competition, with the qualifying round followed by the final.
The racing teams include professional racing drivers, while the corporate teams include employees and " JeGT certified drivers ".
In the qualifying round, the 18 teams are divided into two groups, Group A and Group B, and compete in a two-race group qualifying round.
The top four entrants with the lowest total number of positions in the two races will advance to the finals.
If the total number of positions is the same, priority will be given to the entrant with the fastest total time in the two races, and if the times are also the same, priority will be given to the entrant with the highest first-place finish in race 1.
The top four finishers from each of the two groups, plus the top four finishers from the Loosers, for a total of 12 entrants, will advance to the finals.
Like the INDIVIDUAL MATCH, the TEAM BATTLE is based on a point system, but the breakdown of points is different.
The points awarded for each round are: 25 points for 1st place, 18 points for 2nd place, 15 points for 3rd place, 12 points for 4th place, 10 points for 5th place, 8 points for 6th place, 6 points for 7th place, 5 points for 8th place, 4 points for 9th place, 3 points for 10th place, 2 points for 11th place, and 1 point for 12th place.
The qualifying round will take place at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, a 3.6 km long circuit famous for its " Corkscrew " chicane with a large drop-off.
In addition to the "corkscrews," which can cause erratic behavior, the curbs at each corner are called " sausage curbs," and if the driver cuts in too far, he or she will bounce off the curbs and lose time.
The course also has blind corners, so the skill of the drivers will be tested.
The race consists of 5 laps, and drivers can choose any vehicle from category Gr. 3. Racing hard tires are used, and the tire wear factor is set at 8 times, while the fuel consumption factor is set at 3 times.
The commentary for the ROUND 1 TEAM BATTLE will be provided by racing driver Akira Kato, the representative of TCR JAPAN Co.
ROUND 1 TEAM BATTLE Qualifying Round Group A
In race 1, Riou Ogata of " HKS e-MotorSport " started from pole position and won pole-to-win.
In race 2, Hiroaki Nakai of " HKS e-MotorSport " started first, but on the second lap of the race, he was passed by Toshiya Nojima of " D'station Racing " at the 2nd corner and surrendered the 1st position.
Nojima continued on to take first place.
As a result of these two races, the entrants who qualified for the final were "D'station Racing," "HKS e-MotorSport," "EVANGELION e-RACING," "TC CORSE Esports MAZDA".
ROUND 1 TEAM BATTLE Qualifying Round Group B
Tatsuya Sugawara of " Beatrush by LAILE " started the first race in pole position. He maintained his 1st place lead with a solid performance.
On the last lap, Kenta Shibata of " Niwaka Games " and Kazuki Fukada of " WEB OPTION RACING " took the checkered flag after bumping into each other, but commentator Mr. Kato said that this might have been a line problem.
This kind of laughable happening is only possible online.
In the second race, Mao Tabe of "Beatrush by LAILE" and Ayumu Takita of " ARTA " battled it out until the end.
Takita took the checkered flag in first place, but due to a penalty, Tabe took first place.
"Beatrush by LAILE" won races 1 and 2.
As a result of these two races, the entrants who qualified for the final were "Beatrush by LAILE", "ARTA", "NISSAN x TRUST Racing", and "Team EMC x sti".
ROUND 1 TEAM BATTLE ROUGHERS
There was only one race for the Loosers, in which a top-four finish would give the teams a chance to win the championship.
Pole position went to KOSHIDO Jr. RACING 's Yokoi, with KOSHIDO RACING 's Kurohata Ryo starting second.
In the early laps, the KOSHIDO teams were immediately engaged in a battle, with Kurohata taking the top position. Kurohata took the lead and ran away to take first place.
Yokoi took the checkered flag in second place, but Takumi Furukawa of Niwaka Games took second place in the results, and Yokoi came in third.
In 4th place, the borderline for advancing to the finals, Takao Onishi of " TEAM AUTOBACS @ G-7 AUTOSERVICE " slipped into 4th place.
Yamanaka of " AKUA RACING With PAK ", the winner of the ROUND 01 INDIVIDUAL MATCH held the previous day, started from 10th place and came within one step of Onishi on the last lap, but was unable to catch him and was eliminated.
The entrants who qualified for the final were "KOSHIDO RACING", "Niwaka Games", "KOSHIDO Jr. RACING Yokoi Sou", and "TEAM AUTOBACS @ G-7 AUTOSERVICE".
ROUND 1 TEAM BATTLE Final Round
The final round was held at Fuji Speedway, which has a 1.5 km long home straight.
The race was held over 12 laps on this 4.7km course with many overtaking points such as the first corner, hairpin, and Dunlop chicane.
The drivers have a choice of racing soft or racing medium tires, and are required to use the racing medium tires at least once during the race.
In the final race, Yusuke Tomibayashi of D'Station Racing and Ogata of HKS e-MotorSport were battling for first place from the beginning of the race until the checkered flag.
Tomibayashi, who was under pressure from Ogata, managed the race without any fuss, and took the checkered flag in first place. Ogata finished the race in 2nd place.
In 3rd place was Yoshiharu Imai of " EVANGELION e-RACING " and in 4th place was Tadato Sasaki of " TC CORSE Esports MAZDA ".
At the end of the race, "Team EMC x sti" was in 5th, "ARTA" in 6th, and "Beatrush by LAILE" in 7th, but "Team EMC x sti" and "ARTA" Beatrush by LAILE" was ranked 5th.
Beatrush by LAILE" was able to take advantage of the fact that no time was added to their time due to penalties.
The characteristics of JeGT, which also requires the competitors to behave in a manner similar to that of a real race, were truly evident.
Post-race interview with "EVANGELION e-RACING" Imai
Naga and Otaki were able to pass the baton to me at the top, so I am glad that I did not let their efforts go to waste.
We got off to a good start as a team, and I hope we can continue to accumulate points and advance to the round finals.
Post-race interview with HKS e-MotorSport driver Ogata
Tomibayashi and the Aston Martin were fast, and I was able to keep up with them and pull away from the rest of the pack.
For the upcoming rounds, we will fight hard not to lose any points and advance to the finals.
Post-race interview with "D'Station Racing" driver Tomibayashi
I am relieved to have achieved a solid result in the first round.
I know Ogata well, so I was able to drive at my own pace, knowing that he would not try to push me too hard.
In the latter half of the race, the tires started to go against me, and it was a close call, but I was able to stay calm and deal with the situation.
ROUND 2 will be held from January 9, 2021
JeGT will be held for a total of 5 rounds, and the total points from rounds 1 to 4 will determine who will advance to the final round.
The winner of the final round will become the series champion.
The next round, ROUND 2, is scheduled to be shown on YouTube on January 9 (Sat) and 10 (Sun), 2021.
During the off-season of Super GT, those who want to enjoy Japan's largest scale race can enjoy watching the race on JeGT.
As more and more people will be spending their year-end and New Year holidays at home, those who have never been interested in e-sports and motorsports are encouraged to watch the event.
For more information on JeGT, please visit the official JeGT website or the official YouTube channel.