Ever seen an opponent in a campaign race on GT7 with a face next to their name and wondered who they were? Allow us to introduce the AI drivers Gran Turismo 7 .
Image credit: Polyphony Digital
Players have been grinding through the Gran Turismo 7 campaign and undoubtedly have come across the many drivers with faces next to their names when on track. For those unaware, these are actually competitors in the Gran Turismo championships, competing in the World Tour events since 2018.
For those players who have never watched any of the FIA-certified Gran Turismo championships events, here are some of the drivers whose faces players can become accustomed to seeing when they participate in campaign races. Everyone from GT World Tour regulars, to champions and even a couple of real-life racing drivers.
Nations Cup Champions
First up is the driver who sealed the first ever Nations Cup championship in 2018, . The Japanese-Brazilian racer is also a name people may recognise from real world racing, as he finished third in the Formula Regional European Championship in 2019 and beat Formula 2 race winner to the New Zealand Toyota Racing Series winter championship in early 2020.
Also in 2020, he participated in FIA F3 alongside F1 Grand Prix but despite his promise, he could only manage a single point that season and unfortunately hasn’t competed in real racing since then. But that didn’t stop him from continuing his Gran Turismo success as he’s won the Manufacturers Series championship for Toyota twice in 2019 and 2021. Players can find Igor typically racing a Toyota and also tutoring the International B-License tests along with a couple of other competitors.
One of which is one of Fraga’s 2021 Manufacturers Series teammates who tutors players in the National A-Licence tests. The Spaniard was 2020 Nations Cup EMEA Regional champion and has also competed in other major esports racing championships such as the V10 R-League for the likes of and .
IT’S A MIKAIL MASTERCLASS 👏👏👏 @HizalMikail books his place in the World Finals after a sensational victory in Salzburg #FIAGTC— Gran Turismo (@thegranturismo) September 14, 2019
Get all the reaction to the Nations Cup final here https://t.co/Znz26Pf1Bc pic.twitter.com/AL45w1wM2Z
In the International A-License tests, players can expect to be tutored by Mikail Hizal. The German-Turkish racer is a member of , the same team as and is also a mechanical engineering student. Hizal won the 2019 Nations Cup, as well as the one-make Toyota GR Supra Cup that same year and in 2020, the Manufacturers Series for Subaru.
His two teammates from his Manufacturers Series glory also are licence test tutors, including Daniel Solis from America who does the National B-License. Outside of the official GT events, he actually competes with a controller, so players without wheels need not discount their ability.
But at the top of that is the Super Licence tests, taught by Japanese racer who in 2020, won all that could be won in the world of Gran Turismo. In February 2020, Miyazono just held off Kodi Nikola Latkovski to the line in Sydney by 0.03 seconds, making it the closest finish in GTC history!
But that was only the start as Miyazono went on to win the online season, the Asia-Oceania Regional Final, the Toyota GR Supra Cup, Manufacturers Series with Subaru and the Nations Cup. For all of this, we made Miyazono our Hero of the Month for January 2021.
For the Nations Cup, Miyazono just held off the advances of new quick kid on the scene, that being Italian who has featured in a recent episode of Nitro Nights over on our YouTube channel. Gallo was pretty much dominant in the Nations Cup in 2021, winning three of the five World Series rounds and then the World Finals to join Fraga, Hizal and Miyazono as the four Nations Cup champions.
Not only that, but Valerio Gallo also won a gold medal in the Olympic Virtual Series Motor Sport event – which was held on Gran Turismo Sport – in the leadup to the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games. Hizal got the silver medal and the bronze medal went the way of racer .
There are just so many noteworthy names from the Gran Turismo esports scene that it’s impossible to talk about all of them. There’s the likes of 2019 Paris World Tour Nations Cup winner , and fellow Chilean who races for Porsche in the Manufacturers Series and performed a mighty comeback in the 2019 Tokyo World Tour Manufacturers Series final to win.
Popular YouTube content creator Martin ‘Tidgney’ Grady also makes an appearance in the game, having been a consistent presence in many of the Gran Turismo events. His channel houses just short of 30,000 subscribers and he makes wonderful content on several racing games, and also is a member of the gaming organisation .
Can’t go without mentioning Ryota Kokubun, who was Asia-Oceania Regional champion in 2018 alongside Hizal and Fraga who won the EMEA and Americas regional finals. They also all competed for Nissan in the 2018 Manufacturers Series final, a stroke of luck by Nissan that they all signed in-game and then went on to become the champions in their respective regions.
Next up is Adam Suswillo, another Brit like Grady who actually came very close to becoming a real racing driver when he participated in GT Academy, just missing out right at the end. Speaking of GT Academy, Lucas Ordóñez appears in the game too! Ordóñez being the first ever winner of GT Academy back in 2008, which launched him into real motorsport.
Some of the highlights of his career include finishing second in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, becoming Blancpain Endurance Series Pro-Am Driver’s Champion and also winning in class at the 24 hours of Nürburgring in a car he shared with Polyphony Digital CEO and Gran Turismo series producer Kazunori Yamauchi. Infact in the World GT Series championship on GT7, Ordóñez is driving the same car that he shared with Yamauchi-san.
If people tune in to the Gran Turismo championships’ Spanish language broadcast, they will hear Ordóñez commentating. Which does leave us wondering, why didn’t English language broadcast commentator and OverTake Dream Team Series competitor get put into the game?
Same goes for fellow OverTake Dream Team Series competitor , who competed in the 2020 World Finals and even assisted in the development of the new advanced Sony Polyphony AI alongside the likes of Igor Fraga and Valerio Gallo.
With Emily being a member of and a lot of the drivers competing in a majority of campaign races with cars from their one designated manufacturer, it would have been great to compete against Emily who could drive a range of McLaren cars.
Also, why not Steve Alvarez Brown aka Super GT? Perhaps the leading Gran Turismo content creator who joined Jimmy Broadbent, fellow commentator Tom Brooks and host Julia Hardy on the broadcast of the 2020 regional and world finals.
In any case, the faces of Gran Turismo championship competitors are sure to bring a level of familiarity to the game as players continue to make the grind through the campaign, it’s certainly way cooler than just interchangeable AI.
Who is your favourite Gran Turismo championship driver you can find in GT7? Tell us on Twitter at @OverTake_gg or in the comments down below!