Are you an expert video gamer? Ever wish you could turn it into a career? Nissan’s GT Academy does just that. Nissan and Playstation together run the virtual-to-reality contest GT Academy which provides Gran Turismo players the opportunity to become a real life race car driver. The contest was created in 2008 and is comprised of four phases. Let’s explore what it takes to make dreams come true!
Phase one Qualification: Players qualify for GT Academy through Playstation’s game Gran Turismo 6. There are different ways to enter the competition. Players can sign into Playstation with their PSN ID and enter through a free automatic update on the game. If a player doesn’t have their own Playstation or the Gran Turismo 6 game, no need to worry. Nissan and Playstation host qualifying rounds at events in participating areas. Players run four different tracks with four different Nissan vehicles and post their fastest lap time possible. The fastest gamers move on to phase two. Not the easiest task as over 400,000 players try to qualify.
Phase two National Finals: This is where competitors with real life racing potential are separated from the everyday gamers. Contestants participate in Gran Turismo time trials, personality test, and physical fitness and health assessments. In addition, competitors climb behind the wheel of some of the hottest Nissan race cars and complete on track testing. Winners move on to phase three.
Phase three Race Camp: Race Camp is a week-long process held at Silverstone raceway in England. The elite group of competitors that have made it this far are assessed on and off the track. Each player is assigned to a group and a judge who mentors them. They take part in challenges such as pit stops, stock car racing, traffic challenge, written test, interviews and more. Throughout the week the judge eliminates all but one competitor in their group. The sole remaining competitors from each group compete in a race against each other on the last day. The winner is determined based on the race results and their progression throughout the week long Race Camp.
Phase four Driver Development Program: GT Academy winners are invited to participate in Nissan’s Driver Development Program. This program is a fast forward way for drivers to qualify for an International Racing License which typically is a three-year long process. The Driver Development Program condenses this process into two to four months of training and racing with the GT Academy Nissan RJN Motorsport Team. The most sought after end result? An everyday gamer has been transformed into a real life race car driver.
Since the contest started in 2008, there have been 20 winners that have completed the Driver Development Program. Many of these winners have made a career of racing and have been successful. In 2014, the GT Academy team won their division in the prestigous Dubai 24 Hours. Do you have what it takes to be the next Nissan GT Academy winner? Go to http://www.nissanusa.com/gtacademyshow/ to learn more.