Virtual to Reality - Nissan GT Academy in the Philippines | The City Roamer

Virtual to Reality – Nissan GT Academy in the Philippines

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Ricardo Sanchez seated at the Nissan GT Academy Pod

Nissan GT Academy Playstation logo 2014 cropVirtual to Reality, this is basically what you’ll experience when you become part of the GT Academy where skilled Gran Turismo players get trained to become real race car driver. Now this opportunity has expanded in Asia, and in the Philippines, the Nissan GT Academy was recently launched. This is an opportunity for Filipinos to be trained in UK and compete in a real racetrack.

GT Academy began in 2008. The virtual-to-pro racing competition is considered a global reality TV show. Nissan Philippines, Inc is the newest participant and the chosen candidates will be competing against other Asian countries to become the GT Academy Champion.

Laurence Wiltshire - Managing Director of GTA Global

Laurence Wiltshire – Managing Director of GTA Global

“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.

Antonio Zara - Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director

Antonio Zara – Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director

At GT Academy, any player who can show that they have the driving skills via the Gran Turismo video game can compete in a real car race. Proof to this is the GT Academy International Champion 2014 Ricardo Sanchez who attended the launch all the way from UK. Ricardo is now a part of NISMO, Nissan’s elite motor sport team and competed in the prestigious Dubai 24-Hour race in January 2015.Ricardo Sanchez - GT Academy 2014 Winner

Hailing from Mexico City, Ricardo recalled that he has no means to pursue his dream of becoming a race car driver because of his family’s financial condition. He went through rigorous training and found it challenging to keep pushing the limit and yet not committing any mistakes.  He shared that his life has changed after winning the GT Academy 2014 competition.

Ricardo Sanchez - Photos from DDP 2014

Ricardo Sanchez – GT Academy 2014 Winner

Just like Ricardo, your life can also be in the fast lane through the Nissan GT Academy. Six Filipino Gran Turismo players will be trained to become professional racers. There are five stages in making this happen.

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First Gear: The Recruitment (April – June)Blogger Rey Belen trying out the game

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.

Second 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.

Third 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.

Fourth 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.

Fifth 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.

The Nissan GT Academy Pod Unveiled

L-R: SJ Huh – Nissan Philippines’ General Manager for Marketing; Laurence Wiltshire – Managing Director of GTA Global; Antonio Zara – Nissan Philippines President and Managing Director; and Ricardo Sanchez – GT Academy 2014 Winner

“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.

Ricardo Sanchez seated at the Nissan GT Academy PodDuring the launch, the gaming setup was shown to the media. I say that it’s one expensive configuration. We were able to check it out closer, and some blogger friends were able to give it a try. I’m no gamer, but if you are and you have the skills to prove playing Gran Turismo, I suggest you give it a shot to be part of the Nissan GT Academy. There’s nothing to lose, and everything to gain. For the schedule of live events and updates on the GT Academy Philippines, please visit www.facebook.com/NissanPhilippinesInc.


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