Nissan GT PlayStation Academy India: Six finalists shortlisted for Silverstone Circuit UK
We covered the two days national finale of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy India held at Jaipur; a Nissan’s initiative to find an aspiring virtual gamer to become a race driver to compete worldwide, they say good gamers can become good racer and they say with the #GamerToPro. Nissan introduced the GT Academy at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, with qualifying rounds at five major cities, namely, Delhi (NCR), Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Chennai. Nissan encountered over 5000 entries for the Indian GT Academy.
The national finale took place at the Fairmont Hotel, Jaipur where 28 finalists competed against each other. Out of the 28, 14 were selected through the live events held at the five cities, while the rest 14 were qualified through online. At the end of the two days event six finalists were shortlisted, Abhinav Bhatt (New Delhi), Abhinay Bikkani (Banglore), Prakash Nair (Trivandrum), Akshay Gupta (Mumbai), Glen Ivan Suchitha (Banglore), Karl Patel (Mumbai)
On day one, 28 finalists pitted against each other on virtual gaming event on PS3 which lead to the elimination of 10 gamers. Now, the rest 18 went for a demanding 10 lap qualifying drive of the Monaco Grand Prix race circuit in the Gran Tourismo 6 on PS3. Furthermore, six were eliminated in this qualifying round, which leaves us to 12 contestants for the day two events.
On day two came the actual driving part away from the virtual world, the remaining 12 competitors faced the driving challenge at the Polo ground, Shiv Las Resort, Jaipur. The driving challenge was with the new Nissan Micra Active.
The challenge was monitored by Nissan GT professional driver - to test the maneuverability and driving skills of the racers apart from the timing to complete the tricky track. Initially, there was the training session before the final round for the contestants as they were for the first time out of the virtual gaming world.
The final challenge of the day two was the fitness challenge held back at the Fairmont. The 12 finalists went through gruelling rounds. Finally, Darren Cox, Director, Nissan Motorsports (NISMO) announced the six lucky guys who will be enjoying a week in the United Kingdom at Silverstone race circuit. All the contestants received certificate from the Nissan India president Mr. Kenichiro Yomura along with others.
“I was delighted to witness the fervour among the contestants at the GT Academy India National Final. India has plenty of promising motor racing talent. The competitiveness of the national finalists was impressive and I am confident that the Indian winners will be strong contenders for the ultimate prize at Silverstone,” stated, Mr. Darren Cox, Global Director, Nissan Motorsports (NISMO).
At the Silverstone, the six Indian contestants will compete against other six contestants each from Australia,Thailand, Mexico, and the Middle East. But only one guy will go further from each nation for the three-month Nissan’s 'Driver Development Programme'. The finalists will get to drive a NISMO tuned Nissan GT-R, 500+ bhp all-wheel-drive supercar along with the other Nissan products like Juke, Leaf, 370Z, etc. The prize will be an International Racing Licence and to compete in a professional ‘Graduation Race’. Getting Jealous? Then start gaming because Nissan PlayStation GT Academy will enter India next year also.
Nissan started the PlayStation GT Academy in 2008 and since then 4 million people have entered, both through online and at events. It ventured USA in 2011, Russia in 2012, South Africa and Middle East in 2013, and finally India in 2014. Until now, Nissan has nurtured 15 NISMO athletes; the first athlete was Lucas Ordonez in 2008. The ultimate goal behind this event is the Endurance race – Le Mans.
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