Words and Images by: Dhairya Gupta
Nissan in partnership with PlayStation, launched the Nissan Playstation GT Academy – a platform to discover driving talent all across the country. This, according to Nissan would be a gateway to motorsports for motorsports enthusiasts in the country.
Karun Chandok, who needs no introduction, talked about how the program enables everyone across the country be part of the program at fraction of the cost/ no cost of learning to race on a real track. Talking to Matthew De La Haye, Nissan’s VP Communications, Africa, ME, India and Europe Chandok said “It is not easy or cheap to travel all the way to very few racing arenas of India at Coimbatore, Chennai or Nagpur. Even a young guy sitting in Surat can now be part of a global program and experience racing”.
GT Academy is an innovative platform that offers aspiring racers and gaming enthusiasts to register, compete and potentially win a place in the coveted driver discovery and development programme.
Entered by racing on the Gran Trourismo® 6* video game exclusive to PlayStation® 3, GT Academy is a ‘virtual to reality’ programme that will test the racing acumen of enthusiasts through a time-trial competition on PlayStation GT6 racing simulators. The time trials should be considered as qualifying rounds and will be hosted at shopping malls in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai
Out of the five cities, fourteen contestants who clock the quickest lap times will be elifible to compete in the National Final, the first gateway to GT Academy’s coveted International Race Camp. The 14 contestants who enter the National Final will beed to go through a two-day intensive physical and mental training examination programme which will filter out only six contestants who will be eligible for the International Race Camp at Silverstone in the United Kingdom.
Silverstone International Race Camp and making of the Nismo Athelete
Popular among international contestants as the best one week of their lives, the Silverstone Race Camp will include the six shortlisted Indian Contestants and pit them against 18 qualifies contestants (six each) from other nations that are also new to the programme. Under the Supervision of experts from the world of motorsports all international contestants will undergo and endure exhaustive
training for mental and physical strength. Their driving skills will be tested and honed on the Formula One Silverstone motor racing circuit in Nismo-tuned Nissan 37OZs and GT-Rs. GT Academy’s Silverstone Race Camp will eliminate all but one overall winner, one from any one of the competing nations, who will then move on
to the Driver Development Programme and learn all the skills necessary to compete in an international ‘graduation race’.
Darren Cox, Nissan’s Director of Global Motorspofts said, “For many reasons
having India join the GT Academy programme has been a long held personal objective of mine and I’m proud that it has now come to fruition, GT Academy is getting huge international interest. We know that there are gamers outside of the traditional GT Academy territories that want a shot at winning so in 2014 we have extended the program to India as well. Nissan is an international company with global ambitions and it’s exciting that GT Academy reflects that.”
How can I participate in GT Academy lndia?
Aspiring racers and gaming enthusiasts can register for ‘Live Events’ by walking into any of the below mentioned shopping malls or visit www.nissan.in or www.facebook.com /nissanindia to pre-register for participation in any of these cities: New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai.
GT Academv Live Event schedule
- Feb 7-11,2014: Nissan DisplayArea, Hall 12,lndia Expo Mart, Greater Noida, NCR)
- Feb 20-23,2014:Ambience Mall, Gurgaon, NCR
- March 20-23,2014: R-City Mall, Ghatkopar, Mumbai
- April 17-20,2014: lnorbit Mall, Hyderabad
- May 15-18, 2014:Mantri Mall, Bengaluru
- June 5-8,2014: Express Avenue Mall, Royapettah, Chennai
GT Academv Online Qualification
Participants who have access to Gran Tursimo 6 and PlayStation 3 at home may compete online. These online qualffication rounds will allow players from any place in lndia to register and participate on the PlayStation Network (PSN).
Note: The competition will begin with Live Events. Online participation will be opened at a later stage and will be communicated at a different time and date.
Who can enter?
Full terms and conditions of entry into the online qualification phase will be available on www.nissan.in and/or www.facebook.com/nissanindia and should be read thoroughly by all entrants. The eligibility criteria for Live Events are as follows:
Indian citizens at least 18 years old are eligible to take part in GT Academy lndia2014.
In order to be eligible to win, contestants must have a valid driver’s licence. Those who have an existing competition driving contract, or have previously held a Motor Racing License or equivalent, or competed in a national level karting, or other motor sport, national championship, are not eligible.
Those that make it to the National Finals are required to participate in a mandatory health screening for physical fitness and vision, and be in good general health in accordance with Motor Sports Association medical requirements.
Finally, in order to attend Race Camp contestants will need to have a valid passport and be able to travel within the EU. They will also need to be free to be away from home for approximately one week.
What happens next to the winner of GT Academy?
The winner has to be prepared to make a major commitment to becoming a real racing driver. From the end of the Race Camp, the winner will be based in the UK for approximately three months in order to undertake an intensive race training programme. The winner will be housed close to Silverstone Circuit and will be racing in UK national and club level races most weekends.
The overall winners of GT Academy will be put through an intensive Driver Development Programme, in order to qualify for the main prize.
What if a competitor has never raced a real car in their life?
That’s not a problem. GT Academy is about finding the best of the best Gran Turismo gamer and turning him or her into a professional. As outlined in the rules, people with past professional racing experience are not eligible. As long as the competitor can drive in Gran Turismo, knows how to drive a real car, and meets the other eligibility requirements, all they have to do is try their best.
Where can I find out more?
www.nissan.in | www.facebook.com/nissanindia | www.facebook.com/GTAcademv
www.facebook.com/GTAcademy | www.gran-turismo.com
We encourage our readers to participate in the event. Imagine telling your family and friends that you made a career out of playing video games.
Nissan GT Academy launch event images