Toyota Motor Philippines invited members of the media to participate in a special round of the GR Supra GT Cup Asia racing series. There, the media would go head to head against one another to see who could come out on top. The winner of the time attack elimination-style round would, later on, face the winner of the celebrity class and duke it out to be a representative of the Philippines on the international stage.
Health and safety were the number one priority
As the chosen participant of Autodeal, I was impressed with how Toyota Philippines handled its safety protocols. All participants were giving a swab test prior to competing in order to make sure everyone was safe and healthy enough to participate. On the day itself all participants were again required to go through an examination in order to make sure that they were still safe to join the event. Social distancing, face masks, face shields, and regular disinfections of the sim racing rigs were also put into place, to make sure that the environment was clean and safe for all participants. Overall when it comes to safety Toyota Philippines did an excellent job of making the event happen with respect to health protocols put into place by the government.
Adapting the senses to sim driving
When it came to the sim racing itself, we were given some time to acclimatize ourselves to driving on the sim rigs with practice laps. This gave all participants time to adapt their senses to the world of sim racing. Unlike in real-world racing, there are a few factors that aren’t present in the virtual world.
An example of this would be “feeling out the car” or the communication of the car to the driver. While the steering wheel did give some feedback as to what the car was doing, it was initially difficult to make sense of the information it was giving to you. After a while, however, the participants were able to acclimate themselves and began to put down faster times.
Another example is braking. In the real world, when you hit the brakes you feel the vehicle slow down, and the weight of the car shift towards the front. In the virtual world, it was harder to “feel” this out as only visual and only a couple of auditory cues were present. The Toyota Supra would dip under braking, however, it was difficult to determine where the weight of the vehicle was to maximize grip and speed throughout corners. For those of us in the media that weren’t used to this virtual playground, it was a learning curve that we were able to quickly conquer. As we all slowly learned to harness the powerful sports car in the virtual world all of our times began to improve.
Learning the track
While some of us were already familiar with the track, for others it was a completely new experience. The chosen time attack was the virtual version of the Fuji Speedway in Japan. Luckily for all of us present, Toyota put on the ideal guidelines when we were doing our time attack sessions. This gave all of us a line to follow throughout our practice sessions. The track also had cones present to show us where we should aim for in relation to where we should brake. Cones were also present at the apexs of each corner giving us a guide of where we should place the car in order to maximize our speed throughout the track. These guides all in all helped make learning the track easier and was a great opportunity to learn the Fuji Speedway with the Toyota Supra.
An experience definitely worth doing again
The overall experience of the GR Supra GT Cup Asia was a fun and enlightening one. It gave not only me but other members of the media the time to explore the characteristics of the Toyota Supra in a safe environment. We could push the car to its absolute virtual driving limits without the worry of crashing and spinning out. It also gave us a chance to learn how the world of sim racing works and how to adapt to fast driving in the virtual realm. It was an experience that, if you were given the chance to do, will keep you coming back for more.
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