Bored at home? Stay-at-home measures enforced both here and around the world have pretty much grounded the entire 2020 racing calendar. It’s bad news for motorsports enthusiasts like us, but the Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) – itself affected by the coronavirus pandemic – is looking to satiate at least some of your appetite by introducing the CyberTurismo Series, a new esports championship that kicked off this week.

Utilising the Gran Turismo Sport racing game on the PlayStation 4, the CyberTurismo Series aims to bring MSF’s door-to-door action to the virtual realm. The championship is running in a league format, with three points-paying rounds and a final round where only the five top-scoring drivers in each category get to compete for ultimate honours.

The series is split into two categories – CyberTurismo Open (which, as the name suggests, is open to all) and SuperTurismo Racers that is exclusive to those that race in the real-world SuperTurismo series. Both categories have received a positive response with a total of 100 participants across the country, including those from the MSF Superbikes series.

To ensure a level playing field, car selection is limited to the in-game N200 category – this comprises of cars that typically race in the actual MSF, such as the EK9 Honda Civic Type R. Racers are also not allowed to tune their cars, and to test their skill and stop them from relying on driver aids, all assists are banned, including ABS. The CyberTurismo Series also borrows the racing rulebook from SuperTurismo to ensure clean and fair racing, with stewards on hand to mete out penalties if required.

You’ll be able to catch both this author and our very own Harvinder Singh racing live

Over the past two days, the first round was held successfully at the Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, despite some connection issues due to the high level of Internet usage. The races will continue on another five circuits, with tonight’s Round 2 being held on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit in the United Kingdom.

As an added bonus, you can catch both yours truly and our very own Harvinder Singh racing in the first series, in the CyberTurismo Open and SuperTurismo Racers categories respectively. Round 2 will kick off in just a few minutes, and you can watch the action live on the official MSF Facebook page. See you there!