Last fall, Ferrari surprised everyone with the release of their excellent, netKar Pro-based, Virtual Academy simulator that allowed players to drive the Ferrari F10 Formula One car on three laser-scanned tracks.
As you may remember, the title came with an online hotlap-competition that would allow the quickest drivers to visit Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters. Over 20.000 drivers submitted laptimes for the competition and five drivers were quick enough to win a trip to Italy as Italians David Greco and Matteo Vecchioni, Spaniard Jon Tanko, German Martin Kronke and Portugal’s Jao Nunes got to enjoy the big prize.
The five driving talents arrived in Maranello where they got to try Ferrari’s professional-grade Formula One simulator before it got even better as they got to prove themselves in a real Formula Abarth open-wheeler at Fiorano.
For all of us less fortunate, the Virtual Academy is still up and running, the complete package including all three tracks now sells for 14.90€. It will be interesting to see how long Ferrari keeps the simulation up and running, since the software connects to the Internet to work buyers won’t be able to drive anymore once Ferrari decides to shut the title down.
In related news, another winner of a high-profile online driving talent search has clinched a great drive as 2010 Nissan GT Academy winner Jordan Tresson gets to drive a GT4 class Nissan 370Z in the 2011 Blancpain Endurance Series. Great job of all these guys, showing off that the virtual racing community consists of lots of great driving talents that just need a chance to prove themselves!