Around the same time last year, Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) was already busy setting-up their live events for the very first GT Academy Asia. Although they’re not quite there yet as of the moment, they did confirm that there will be a GT Academy Philippines in 2016.
“The Nissan GT Academy is Nissan’s way of democratizing motorsports, to make it more accessible to the general public,” said NPI General Manager for Marketing SJ Huh. “By doing this, we help fast-track the dreams of more potential Filipino racers to reach the international racing arena.”
NPI, however, is quite mum about the upcoming GT Academy season and only said that it will be launched “later this year.” And they’re not the only ones who are ‘delayed’, so to speak. All the other global editions of Nissan’s virtual-to-reality racing competition have also yet to officially start their program. From the looks of things, they’re cooking something big for this year.
But when it does happen, the recruitment process should be fairly similar to 2015. Starting from Live Events, the fastest 20 drivers from the country will advance into the National Finals. There, the list will be trimmed down to the Top 6 who will fly to Silverstone, UK for the Race Camp Week. These once-video game players will then go head-to-head with the best Gran Turismo drivers from the region to become the GT Academy Champion Asia.
The Philippines was represented last year by Luis Cachero, Rafael Lesaguis, Terence Lallave, Joel Agojo, Daryl Brady, and Joward Policarpio who ultimately walked away as the very first Asian champion. If the team’s performance is any indication, then it shouldn’t be a surprise if we win the title again.
To give you an idea on how to join, check out the 2015 Nissan GT Academy Mechanics.