Before the Gran Turismo World Finals this weekend, we caught up with one of the surprises of the season: World Series Showdown winner Kylian Drumont.
Image credit: Polyphony Digital
The World Finals of the Gran Turismo World Series will take place from 24-27 November. All competitors will be onsite in Monaco to see who will be crowned champions in the Toyota Gazoo Racing GT Cup, the Manufacturers Cup and the Nations Cup.
The PlayStation racing title’s official racing championships are now in their fifth season, and there are many drivers who have established themselves over the years. There’s the likes of 2018 Nations Cup champion Igor Fraga who is also a real world racing driver, and Takuma Miyazono who won everything there was to win on Gran Turismo back in 2020. We made him our January 2021 Hero of the Month.
But come the World Series Showdown back in late July, someone made such an impact that it propelled him from complete unknown to superstar in one weekend.
For the World Series Showdown, drivers gathered at the Red Bull Hangar-7 in Salzburg for their first onsite event since the Sydney World Tour back in February 2020. The Manufacturers Cup was first, with teams of three doing a relay endurance race. Subaru however were one man down, as Takuma Miyazono tested positive for COVID before he could get there.
That left his 2020 Manufacturers Cup champion teammate Daniel Solis and relative unknown Kylian Drumont to race on their own. The Frenchman wasn’t appearing in his first GT event, as he had competed in the Nations Cup EMEA Semi Final in the 2021 World Finals. There, he failed to progress into the grand final.
With each driver driving at least one stint, Drumont was handed the responsibility of doing two. Together with Solis, he claimed an empathic victory. The day after was the Nations Cup, and Drumont held off the intense pressure of Igor Fraga behind him to do the double on his debut in the Gran Turismo World Series.
In the rounds since then, he has not quite been able to repeat that performance. Nevertheless, many are holding him to be the favourite for the Nations Cup championship. So, we reached out to Drumont for an interview in anticipation of the World Finals this week.
OverTake: What has been your background and how you got interested in motorsport?
I have always been in love with motorsport from a young age. I became interested in motorsport because the competition and the speed makes it one of the most beautiful things in the world for me.
OverTake: How were you introduced to Gran Turismo?
Thanks to my father, I played Gran Turismo 4 then Gran Turismo 6 in my youth. In 2020 I bought Gran Turismo Sport.
OverTake: How did it feel to win both the Manufacturers and Nations Cup at the World Series Showdown?
It’s indescribable I have no words. These are moments I will never forget in my life, it’s a feeling of achievement, relief. The hard work paid off. Especially in your first live event, you can’t ask for more.
OverTake: Before the World Series Showdown, you were unknown. Why were you not a big presence in the Gran Turismo championships?
I had already qualified for previous events but I wasn’t old enough to be eligible. But by the time the World Finals came around last year, I was 18 and subsequently was allowed to compete.
OverTake: Since the World Series Showdown, how do you rate your performances in all events since?
I’m quite disappointed because for the Manufacturers Cup our car lost all its speed because of the Balance of Performance from Polyphony Digital. In the Nations Cup, I’m very disappointed because in round 3 I was fighting for a win but an incident ruined all my chances.
OverTake: Finally, what are your expectations and hopes leading into the World Finals in Monaco?
Just to be at the top of my game and be at the top of every race, and hope to win the championship!
Kylian Drumont: In Good Stead
Heading into the World Finals, Drumont in the Nations Cup is only a solitary point behind 2018 champion Igor Fraga. However there will be more points than usual on offer for the World Finals. As such, it’s not just between Fraga and Drumont. Pretty much all competitors stand a mathematical chance of winning.
To follow all the action, stay tuned to Gran Turismo‘s official YouTube channel as well as PlayStation’s official Twitch channel. All broadcasts across the next four days will start at 5pm Central European Time. 24 November is the date for the grand final of the Toyota GAZOO Racing GT Cup with 24 drivers competing. However, last year’s champion Tomoaki Yamanaka will not be attempting a title defence.
The Nations Cup regional finals are set to take place on 25 November. There will be three regional finals for the Asia-Oceania, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Americas drivers to compete for the top three spots in each race. Below them, the next four drivers will go down through the repechage. There, they will try to be among the final three to advance.
The Manufacturers Cup grand final is the following day, which will consist of a long relay race with each manufacturer being represented by one driver in each region doing one stint. Then, saving the best for last, the Nations Cup grand final is on the Sunday. The 12 who made it through from the regional finals and repechage races will duel it out in the Red Bull X2019 Competition on Trial Mountain, the same car and track combination as in the World Series Showdown.
Will you be following the 2022 Gran Turismo World Finals? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!