At its rather humble beginning back in 2005, Gran Turismo Polonia was meant to be a low-key meeting for a bunch of friends simply willing to enjoy some racetrack driving. Over the years, it gained loads of popularity to become by far the greatest trackday event in this part of Europe and a headliner for the entire series of Gran Turismo Events. Now, how about the 2017 edition? To make a long story short: it was the best of both worlds.
Practice laps with driving instructors, professional service provided by Ferrari Poland and extended tire assistance in partnership with Michelin – you could clearly see the GTP team have over a decade of experience in organising trackday events. Still, due to the overwhelming popularity of last year's edition, some tweaks just needed to be made. For 2017, the number of participating cars has been limited to 150, which secured pretty convenient hotel parking and quite manageable on-track traffic. Additionally, a more strict schedule was set up, with race cars allowed out on the circuit only during specified sessions.
Ditching all the unnecessary distractors together with the introduction of King of Gran Turismo cup made for a very welcomed improvement over the last couple of editions. The new, optional time- attack formula spiced up the whole experience for those willing to challenge both themselves and the other drivers. Coming from all over Europe, participants hail the demanding, technical layout of Tor Poznań. The racetrack has always attracted those who really want to push the limits. Oh, and they bring some serious tools for that. There were some major eye-catchers, a V8 Indy Car and a Gumpert Apollo – both blasting around the track, sometimes regardless of the torrential rain. A few other actual race cars, such as Ferrari 360 Challenge, Porsche Cayman GT4 Clubsport and Seat Leon Cup, made an appearance, while countless Porsche 911 GT3s and Ferrari 458/488s coloured the pit lane.
The fact that the 2017 edition has been fully booked since January speaks for itself. The participants just love it here in Poznań, with many of them coming back year by year. It was a pleasure meeting all these supercar owners, who prove to be true automotive enthusiasts, and often pretty skilled drivers, from the get-go. Sure enough, with the emphasis placed on performance driving, the very core of the event, this time around it felt much more like the good old Gran Turismo Polonia.