Much to the excitement of aspiring racers and simulation racing afficionados nationwide, Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) once again launches GT Academy Philippines for its second season. With its official unveiling last June 30, 2016 at the SM Mall Of Asia Atrium, drivers are now poised to challenge a Gran Turismo game they’ve yet to get grips with.
Thanks to Nissan’s partnership with Polyphony Digital, the upcoming Sony Playstation 4 exclusive Gran Turismo Sport will be playable at live recruitment events of the 2016 GT Academy prior to its release. With the use of the yet-to-be-released port of Gran Turismo Sport, contestants of this season’s GT Academy will have an all-new game with unfamiliar physics and quirks to set their fastest lap times upon.
“Through this virtual-to-reality racing competition, we look forward to giving more opportunities for Filipino gamers to realize their dream of becoming professional racecar drivers,” said NPI President and Managing Director Ramesh Narasimhan.
For the competition’s opening, NPI brought along Lucas Ordonez, the inaugural winner of the 2008 Nissan Playstation GT Academy in Europe. Since winning in 2008, Ordonez has become a seasoned competitor in racing events around the globe. Given his transition from racing in game to reality, he serves as an inspiration for gamers and aspiring racers looking to get their big break.
“Last year, the Philippine team competed against other racers in other countries and came out on top. Continuing the competition’s success, we open season 2 with Lucas Ordonez in hopes of motivating the best Filipino talents to enter the competition and make the country the breeding ground for outstanding racing drivers,” added Narasimhan.
During the event, Ordonez implored participants to grab the Nissan GT Academy Season 2 as an opportunity to make their racing dreams a reality. “Back then, I was just studying for my MBA. When I saw an ad for a new competition called ‘GT Academy’, I knew I had to join and take this shot to be the racing driver I dreamed to be. Now, here I am racing on every possible tournament. It felt great to have taken that move. I hope Filipinos will grab this opportunity, too,” said Ordonez.
Last year’s GT Academy saw 13,000 participants join in the hopes of becoming the next racing talent. With six representatives out of that sent to Silverstone in the UK to compete with other countries, our very own Joward Policarpio was crowned as the first champion of GT Academy Asia.
This season, NPI will be holding a nationwide series of Live Events for recruitments from July until August, with the National Finals slated for September. As with last year, the Top 6 contenders will then fly to the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom for the Race Camp to compete against representatives from Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, North Africa, and Thailand to determine the Nissan GT Academy 2016 champion.