Lewis and Harry Bates have expanded their virtual racing skills to the circuit world after completing a one-two finish in the opening GR Supra GT Cup round at the digital Fuji International Speedway.
The event was the first of seven qualifying rounds for the international open competition, which puts drivers of all skills from around the world against each other in PlayStation’s popular Gran Turismo game.
With the Bates brothers part of the Australia/New Zealand qualifying region, the duo entered the competition as wildcards and proved they were no easy beats, despite having little experience with the game.
While older brother Harry may be the current RSEA Safety Motorsport Australia Rally Champion, it was 23-year-old Lewis who ultimately enjoyed bragging rights in the series’ opening qualifying round.
Lewis qualified on pole and led the 20-car field for the whole race, while Harry worked his way up from third place to finish behind his younger brother in second.
Following on from the season opener, Lewis was thrilled with the opportunity to be part of the new series and start of the campaign with a win over his older brother.
“I wish it was real life. We don’t take sim racing as serious as real life, but it was really nice to beat him for a change. I just need to turn that into reality,” Lewis said.
“Toyota asked us midway last week to get involved, but we didn’t have the game, so we had to get onto it quickly. I was hopeless at the start, but I used the whole weekend to practice and it obviously helped.
“The fact we both finished in the top two for our group within the region was quite nice. We had purchased a proper sim, but it didn’t arrive in time for the race, so we had to use makeshift sim. Hopefully we get it for the next round.
“I don’t have much circuit racing experience, just one small sprint race at Wakefield, so it was good fun. Who knows, there might be a future in this?”
The brothers have another six rounds to obtain as many good results as they can in order to qualify as Australia and New Zealand representatives in the finals later this year.
The next round of the GR Supra GT Cup round will be on 17 May at the Nürburgring in Germany.