A diverse range of 36 finalists—six from each region (Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, North Africa, Thailand, and the Philippines)—are now heading to Silverstone in the United Kingdom for the 2016 Nissan GT Academy race camp. In the end, one winner will be crowned as Nissan GT Academy Champion 2016 and with it, a drive at the prestigious Dubai 24-hour race.
For the first time in Nissan GT Academy history, a female finalist is in the mix. The Philippines’s own Elysse Menorca proved that she dares with Nissan. This year, the oldest competitor to date, 46-year old Kanokphan Wathanakitanan from Thailand, proves that age doesn’t have to be a barrier to entry in this “democratization of motorsports”.
In the course of the elimination legs, over 135,000 entrants were offered something unique for the first time: all were able to enter by competing on a unique demo version of Sony’s flagship GT Sport video game—a game that’s not yet available to anyone else in the world.
Previous winners of GT Academy have gone on to win in the real world at the highest level. Most recently, Jann Mardenborough came in second in this year’s Japanese Formula 3 championship.
Previous winners currently race in Canada, the U.S., Europe, Japan, and Australia.