Thursday, February 22, 2024

Nissan ushers in virtual-to-pro racing with first GT Academy in PH

The local unit of Japanese automobile giant Nissan is bringing virtual-to-pro racing competition in the country with launch of the GT Academy in the Philippines.

Nissan PH and GT Academy officials with GT Academy International Champion 2014 Ricardo Sanchez (seated)
Nissan PH and GT Academy officials with GT Academy International Champion 2014 Ricardo Sanchez (seated)

GT Academy has gained prominence since its inception in 2008 and is now on its seventh installment. The global competition has expanded with the formation of new GT Academy Asia, in which Philippines will be pitting against other Asian countries including Japan in the battle to become the GT Academy Champion.

?With the launch of GT Academy in the Philippines, we at Nissan offer an exciting opportunity for Filipinos to emerge as a breakthrough talent in the racing world,” said Antonio Zara, president and managing director of Nissan Philippines.

With GT Academy, any player who can prove their driving skills in the world of video games can compete in a real racetrack.

The GT Academy International Champion 2014 Ricardo Sanchez flew in all the way from UK to attend the launch at the Glorietta mall in Makati City. After winning last year’s competition, Ricardo’s racing career took off after joining Nissan’s elite motor sport team, the Nismo, to run the coveted tracks of the prestigious Dubai 24-Hour race in January 2015.


GT Academy takes skilled Gran Turismo 6 players and turns them into professional racers in five stages.

First Gear: The Recruitment (April – June)

Thousands of hopefuls will be narrowed down to the top 20 gamers to be determined by time trials taking place behind the wheel of GT pods during live racing events.

Second Gear: National Finals (July)

The National Finals will determine top 6 Filipino players who will go to the next round and go bumper-to-bumper with the best Gran Turismo drivers in Asia.

Third Gear: The Race Camp Week (August)

Players will be tested on their strength, stamina, mental agility and driving skills against Asia’s best at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in UK.

Fourth Gear: Driver Development Program

The emerging GT Academy Champion in Asia will join other GT Academy winners in a rigorous training under the wing of professional coaches and racers at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in UK.

Fifth Gear: Graduation

After passing the Driver Development Program, graduates will receive their International C License, allowing them to compete in a prestigious racing event anywhere in the world.

“We are looking forward to discovering even more new stars in 2015. Anyone in the Philippines who thinks they have what it takes should give GT Academy a go. Not everyone can win, but the experience is hugely rewarding at every stage of the competition.? said GTA Global?s managing director Laurence Wiltshire.

For the schedule of live events and updates on the GT Academy Philippines, visit


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