With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic continuing to put a damper on the global motorsports scene, more and more race series have turned to esports to keep fans engaged. Locally, the Malaysia Speed Festival (MSF) has been doing the same thing, having launched its CyberTurismo Series back in April.

For the second series, MSF is broadcasting it on Astro Arena on channel 801, bringing CyberTurismo to a broader audience. The series utilises Gran Turismo Sport on the PlayStation 4; in fact, MSF CyberTurismo is officially endorsed by the racing game’s developer, Polyphony Digital.

The broadcast runs from 10:00 pm to 11:30 pm from Monday to Thursday and features commentary from several motorsports personalities, including superbike racer Yulina Tan Jade, ex-Super Taikyu champion Farique Hairuman, MSF founder and principal Adian Yein, and Super GT commentator Faisal Asri. The championship continues to run in a league format, with three points-paying rounds, one playoff round and a final round where only the five top-scoring drivers in each category get to compete for ultimate honours.

A number of changes have been made since the opening series. The CyberTurismo Open category has been split into two – Advanced for novice players and Expert for highly-skilled drivers, including notable local esports personalities. This keeps the racing closer and tighter across all three categories, including the SuperTurismo Racers category for real-world MSF racers, which remains unchanged.

As before, 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. CyberTurismo Advanced racers are also not allowed to tune their cars (tuning is now permitted for the CyberTurismo Expert and SuperTurismo Racers categories).

To test the drivers’ skills and stop them from relying on driver aids, MSF continues to ban all assists, 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.

Circuits run the gamut from real-life tracks such as the Red Bull Ring in Austria and Interlagos in Brazil to originals like the fictional Croatian track Dragon Trail. As an added bonus, you can catch both yours truly and our very own Harvinder Singh, racing in CyberTurismo Advanced and SuperTurismo Racers respectively.

Round 2 of CyberTurismo Advanced will be happening at Interlagos tonight, and you can watch the action live both on the official MSF CyberTurismo Facebook page and, of course, Astro Arena on channel 801. See you there!