Irene Tria | Gogagah
Nissan GT Academy is a programme run by Nissan and PlayStation, which provides an alternative route into mainstream motorsport. GT Academy provides Gran Turismo gamer the chance to go from virtual to reality, from their PlayStation to a real-life professional racing career with Nissan.
It is a competition and reality show in one that invites a group of gamers and trains them to be professional racing drivers. While the seasons are all about five episodes long, the training actually lasts months. The winner then actually competes in races for Nissan.
“The Nissan GT Academy is Nissan’s way of democratizing motorsports, to make it more accessible to the general public. By doing this, we help fast-track the dreams of more potential Filipino racers to reach the international racing area.” said SJ Huh, NPI General Manager for Marketing during the Nissan GT Academy reality show exclusive screening at the Bonifacio High Street Cinema.
There are 6 stages aspiring racers should undergo to become the Nissan GT Academy Asia Champion:
Virtual to Reality – From the 20 fastest Gran Turismo finalist, Luis Cachero, Rafel Lesaguis, Terrence Lallave, Joward Policarpio, Joel Agojo and Daryl Brady were selected to advance and join the Race Camp at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in the United Kingdom last August 2015.
Finding the Zone – Race craft and driving skills are put to the test both on and off the track in the rage buggy rally course and the overtaking challenge. The finalist must find the zone mentally and physically to avoid elimination.
No Man Left Behind – The finalist must work in the teams to survive a grueling obstacle and pit crew challenge in their quest to become a professional race car driver.
Race for your Place – The finalists compete in a Gymkhana-style driving course. They must learn to navigate from the obstacle to win.
The Braking Point – Things heat up as the finalists get behind the wheels of stock cars to test their abilities. Time is closing in on finding who is worthy of becoming a pro racer.
May the Best Man Win – Winner is crowned as on gamer goes from virtual to reality by becoming a professional race car driver for Nissan.
The Philippine team underwent a 9-day competition against finalists from Japan, Thailand, India, and Indonesia to determine the Nissan GT Academy Asia champion. Joward Policarpio bested the rest of the finalists in a qualifying race and named the first Nissan GT Academy Asia Champion.