Nissan’s GT Academy gives gamers the chance to compete with the best of the best and take their journey from gamer to pro racer. Today Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment Australia have announced the program is coming back to Australia in 2015. To celebrate, Michael Caruso will race the #23 GT Academy Nissan Altima V8 Supercar at Symmons Plains Raceway in Launceston, Tasmania this weekend.
Not only will the Nissan carry the PlayStation GT Academy livery, Caruso’s Altima will carry nissan.com.au/GT15 across its windscreen. If you want in on the action, including 2015 qualification details, go register at this website to be kept up-to-date with the latest GT Academy news.
The unique, world-renowned competition sees gamers qualify for their country’s National Final by posting times in Nissan cars to the Gran Turismo 6 leader board, only possible on PS3 (can we get a PS4 version already). Finalists are then selected from the National Final to compete against the world’s best gamers at Race Camp, where the GT Academy winner is crowned.
Last year Australia was part of the first Nissan PlayStation GT Academy International competition, which saw gamers from ‘down under’ compete against finalists from Mexico, Thailand, India and the Middle East in the GT Academy International Race Camp at the Silverstone F1 circuit in England.
After a hard-fought week of competition, Australia’s best finalist, Joshua Muggleton, narrowly lost out to Mexico’s Ricardo Sanchez. Sanchez has since gone on to complete Nissan’s gruelling Driver Development Program and race a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 to fifth place overall and second in class in the 2015 Dubai 24 Hours.
Earlier this month, Sanchez was announced as an official NISMO Athlete and will to race a GT-R NISMO GT3 in the 2015 Blancpain Endurance Series for Nissan GT Academy Team RJN.
In 2015, GT Academy winners turned NISMO Athletes will compete in racing championships across the globe, including the FIA World Endurance Championship, Super GT, GP3 Series, Japanese F3, the European Le Mans Series, Blancpain Endurance Series, ADAC GT Masters, the Pirelli World Challenge and more.
Racing programs for the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy winners will include iconic races such as the Le Mans 24 Hours, Nurburgring 24 Hours, Spa 24 Hours and Suzuka 1000.
“The success of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy is well documented, but I think that Australians now have an even greater appreciation for it following Nissan’s win at the recent Bathurst 12 Hour,” said Managing Director & CEO, Nissan Motor Co Australia, Richard Emery.
It was at another prestigious race, the 2015 Bathurst 12 Hour in February, where previous GT Academy winners Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss, along with Japanese driver Katsumasa Chiyo, took outright victory aboard a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3, giving the Nissan GT-R its first major win at Mount Panorama since its back-to-back Bathurst 1000 wins in 1991-1992.
A key element of GT Academy is the television series that follows the journey of the finalists as they strive to make their virtual-to-reality dream come true. The 2014 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy series has been screening this month on ONE HD and will soon be available to view online at YouTube.com/NissanAustralia.