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March 27, 2015

Nissan Brings GT Academy to the Philippines

Nissan is looking for the next big racing star with the launch of famous virtual-to-pro racing competition, GT Academy. Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) officially joins the newly formed GT Academy Asia which pits the best Philippine “couch racer” against other countries including Japan.

GT Academy aims to prove that any player with superior driving skills in the world of the Gran Turismo 6 video game can compete in a real world racetrack. The GT Academy International Champion 2014 Ricardo Sanchez from Mexico flew all the way from the United Kingdom to attend the official launch in the Philippines. After winning last year’s competition, Ricardo’s racing career took off after he joined Nissan’s elite motorsports team, NISMO. He raced in the prestigious Dubai 24-Hour endurance race last January.

“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,” says Antonio ‘Toti’ Zara, President and Managing Director of Nissan Philippines, Inc.

GT Academy is a competition created by Nissan and PlayStation that unites the virtual and real-life racing worlds to make the dreams of aspiring race drivers come true. The competition, which launched in Europe in 2008, finds the best Gran Turismo players across participating countries by testing their skills in live events. They’ll then compete against each other in live National Finals before winners from each final switch to driving real Nissan cars at ‘Race Camp’ in Silverstone.

Aspiring racers can participate in Live Events using GT Academy pods. The pods will make its way across the Philippines from April to June. The Top 20 gamers determined by Time Trials will then move to the National Finals in July where the Top 6 players go bumper-to-bumper with the best Gran Turismo players across Asia. By August, players will be pitted with the world’s best at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in the United Kingdom.

The eventual winner in the GT Academy program will receive an International C License allowing him or her to participate in prestigious racing events anywhere in the world.

GT Academy participants must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license to participate. Those who have existing competition driving contracts or have precious held a National A or superior AAP (Automobile Association of the Philippines) license or equivalent, or competed in a national level karting, or other motor sport, are not eligible. Any contestant who made it Race Camp in any of the previous GT Academy competitions is also not able to progress.

In addition, players who make it the National Finals are required to participate in a mandatory health screening for physical fitness and vision, and must be in good general health in accordance with the AAP medical requirements.

Finally, attendees to the Race Camp must have a valid passport and must be able to travel internationally. They will also need to be free to be away from home or work for approximately one week.

“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 a full schedule of the live events and updates to the GT Academy Philippines, you can follow Nissan Philippines’s Facebook page.

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