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Nissan GT Academy 2014 Launches Monday

The sixth installment of Nissan’s GT Academy is launching next Monday, once again giving virtual racers the chance to make it big in racing.

The sixth installment of Nissan’s GT Academy is launching next Monday, once again giving virtual racers the chance to make it big in racing.

When the GT Academy was first held in 2008, their promise of taking a race gamer all the way from Gran Turismo to the racing world seemed like not much more than a clever publicity stunt to many.

Six years later, the programe has worked up a very impressive track record of helping young drivers make their mark in racing. From inaugural champion Lucas Ordonez who has become a stalwart sports car racer and Nissan works driver to Jann Mardenborough and countless others – GT Academy champions have all made their marks in real racing, reaching competition in some of the world’s most prestigious events like the Le Mans 24 Hours.

The growth of the Nissan GT Academy concept is also visible in the increased national competitions. While the first GT Academy was only open to players from certain European countries, 2014 will see national championships in various territories including the United States, Germany, Europe as well as a new international competition that includes countries like Thailand, Australia, India as well as the Middle East.

As usual, the entry requirements for the competition’s first stage couldn’t be much lower as only a Playstation 3 and Gran Turismo 6 are required to enter. The quickest drivers from the first stage will progress to the latter stages, all the way to the real-life Nissan training events for the best of the best.

While the winners are edging one step closer to a professional racing driver career, having a guaranteed seat in the 2015 Dubai 24 Hours, the less skilled will be rewarded with free Gran Turismo 6 in-game credits as an incentive to keep on practicing.

  • Lachlan Salter

    aw yiisss! Im keen, I hope Australia is back in the competition

  • Markus Ott

    Imho being a fast (sim) racer doesn’t make you a fast real racer. GT Academy could also take some random guys from the competition and form them to good racing drivers, therefore obviously it is a marketing thing in the first hand. But at least it one for us virtual racers.

    • Chaco

      This is why I can never be really fast in a sim or a game because I have had too much training in real life. I have to drive only as I would in real life since the gigantic consequences of crashing overrides my abilities from driving to the limits of a fictional abstract world.

  • EZehnder

    They seem to be getting almost exponentially worse drivers and worse competitions to vet them. They had one asian driver who couldn’t drive stick show up the last season. They spend all this time in the Nissan 370Z (because that’s a car gamers can afford) instead of putting them in actual race cars and the open wheelers to properly test them. They may not race open wheelers when/if they win, but the feel of those small, fairly underpowered open wheelers on slicks is far closer to what they’ll actually end up driving.

    I was glad when Sean Johnston (2nd place in his season) ended up outperforming the winner by taking the American Porsche Cup championship. Unfortunately, he went to Germany to race Porsches with the big boys and is found wanting.

    In any case, this feels like it has run its course. Instead of honing proper talent it feels like they’re trying to find the person who’s the least bad.