Nissan GT Academy Race Camp Kicks off at Silverstone
Thirty-six of the world’s top motor racing gamers will this week descend on Silverstone to begin competing for the GT Academy crown. Six entrants from Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, North Africa (Algeria, Egypt & Morocco), Thailand and the Philippines will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous GT Academy winners – now motor racing stars – Jann Mardenborough, Lucas Ordóñez and Bryan Heitkotter. The prize is a big one too; to represent Nissan in the Dubai 24 Hours in January 2017.
The finalists have had to show their talent in order to get this far. Over 135,000 entered the competition, setting their lap times on a demo version of the up-coming GT Sport game in shopping malls, dealerships, hotels and exhibitions across the world. The 20 best drivers in each region were then tested physically and mentally, as well as being assessed for their real-world driving skills with only the very best being selected as finalists.
GT Academy in Numbers
Now at the UK’s Grand Prix circuit the recruits will be stretched even further to test their mettle in order to become part of the NISMO line up. And it’s a ticket to a potentially fruitful career. Inaugural winner Lucas Ordóñez was also part of the Blancpain line-up this year after previously competing in Japan. Jann Mardenborough took second place in the Japanese Formula 3 championship and also sits in second place in the Super GT GT300 class with only one race weekend remaining. Former American winner Bryan Heitkotter finished fifth in the Pirelli World Challenge Championship in the U.S., including a dominant weekend in Salt Lake City where he took two victories.
For the very first time in GT Academy’s history, a female finalist is in the mix. Elysse Menorca from The Philippines has proved #SheDares with Nissan and heads to Silverstone with her sights firmly set on the motor racing prize of a drive at the prestigious Dubai 24 hour race.
GT Academy 2016 also welcome its oldest competitor to date, 46-year-old Kanokphan Wathanakitanan from Thailand, who has proved age does not have to be a barrier to entry in a competition that is accessible to all.
As you can see in Nissan’s video, though, it’s very tough work!
GT Academy 2016