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Calling all Pinoy GAMERS and RACERS, here’s your chance to turn virtual to reality as Nissan and Playstation brings to the Philippines for the very first time, GT Academy!

That’s right, Nissan Philippines is the newest participant of GT Academy.  Originally launched in Europe in 2008, it aims to find the best Gran Turismo players from across the participating countries by testing their skills in both online gaming qualification and live events. They will then compete against each other in live National Finals before the winners switch to driving real Nissan cars at the now-famous Silverstone ‘Race Camp’.

You heard it right folks, REAL CARS as in real Nissan racing cars!

From This!
From This!
To This!
To This!

The overall winner of GT Academy is then trained in the multiple areas required to become a professional racing driver, if the winner makes the grade they will compete in the Dubai 24 Hour race for Nissan and have the chance to be considered for a future career with Nissan as a ‘NISMO Athlete’.

All that from playing a Playstation Game!

Nissan Philippines figured that Pinoys might get skeptical about this, so they flew in straight from the UK the 2014 GT Academy International Winner fresh from driving the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 at the 2015 Dubai 24 Hours race last January – Mexican born, RICARDO SANCHEZ.

Ricardo Sanchez
Ricardo Sanchez

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Ricardo epitomises what GT Academy is all about.  Take raw talent, nurture it, challenge it and watch it shine.

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Antonio Zara

“With the launch of GT Academy in the Philippines, we at Nissan offer an exciting opportunity for Filipinos to emerge as a breakthrough talent in the racing world,” said Antonio Zara, President and Managing Director of Nissan Philippines, Inc.

With GT Academy, any gamer who can prove their driving skills in the world of video games can have the opportunity to compete in a real racetrack.  Making the dreams of aspiring race drivers all over the world become a reality.

Antonio Zara with Ricardo Sanchez
Antonio Zara with Ricardo Sanchez
Ricardo Sanchez with SJ Huh, Antonio Zara and Laurence Wiltshire
Ricardo Sanchez with SJ Huh, Antonio Zara and Laurence Wiltshire

Here’s How:

GT Academy takes skilled Gran Turismo 6 gamers and turns them into professional racers in five stages and in less than a year.

1st Gear: The Recruitment (April – June)

Thousands of hopefuls will be narrowed down to the top 20 gamers to be determined by time trials taking place behind the wheel of GT pods during live racing events.

2nd Gear: National Finals (July)

The National Finals will determine top 6 Filipino players who will go to the next round and go bumper-to-bumper with the best Gran Turismo drivers in Asia.

3rd Gear: The Race Camp Week (August)

Players will be tested on their strength, stamina, mental agility and driving skills against Asia’s best at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in UK.

4th Gear: Driver Development Program

The emerging GT Academy Champion in Asia will join other GT Academy winners in a rigorous training under the wing of professional coaches and racers at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in UK.

5th Gear: Graduation

After passing the Driver Development Program, graduates will receive their International C License, allowing them to compete in a prestigious racing event anywhere in the world.

Also present during the grand Philippine launch of the Nissan GT Academy are GTA Global Managing Director Laurence Wiltshire and Nissan Philippines Marketing Director SJ Huh.

SJ Huh
SJ Huh
Laurence Wiltshire
Laurence Wiltshire

“We are looking forward to discovering even more new stars in 2015. Anyone in the Philippines who thinks they have what it takes should give GT Academy a go. Not everyone can win, but the experience is hugely rewarding at every stage of the competition.” said GTA Global’s Managing Director Laurence Wiltshire.

CAN THE WORLD OF VIRTUAL RACING UNEARTH A REAL RACING TALENT?

The success of the competition’s previous GT Academy winners has demonstrated that this answer is a resounding “YES”.  It was clearly demonstrated when Lucas Ordoñez, the Spanish winner of the first installment in 2008, who went on to finish 2nd in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 2011 and won the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup for Nissan.

Therefore, the NEXT world racing champion could come from the Philippines!  We have dominated the world boxing arena through Manny Paquiao, who’s to say that we can’t do the same in the world of racing.  I believe that we have a lot of brave and talented racers here in the Philippines, and the Nissan GT Academy is here now presenting an opportunity – I just hope our best racers are awesome gamers as well!

For the schedule of live events and updates on the GT Academy Philippines, GO TO www.facebook.com/NissanPhilippinesInc.

MORE EVENT PHOTOS:


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raindeocampo

Writer, Wanderer, Child of God

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