There is a fantastic news for Gran Turismo: Jann Mardenborough will be competing in the world’s fastest touring car race, the Super GT GT500 Class! We haven’t seen a GT Academy graduate in the GT500 since Lucas in 2015, but now Jann has moved up in the ranks after a great season in the GT300 last year. Not only that, he’s racing for none other than legendary TEAM IMPUL! (ReadMore)
Round 5 of the Super GT, the 44th International Suzuka 1000km Race will be held on August 30. And Wolfgang Reip of GT academy (2012 GT Academy European Champion) will be making a spot participation as the 3rd driver for #3NDDP Racing. Everyone knows him by now as “Wolfie”. He’ll be racing against the world’s leading touring car meisters, drivers such as Jörg Müller (BMW), Christian Mamerow (Audi) and Dominik Farnbacher (Lexus). Katsumasa Chiyo, who was a mentor at the GT Academy Asia Finals, will also be participating in the GAINER TANAX GT-R.
Though the GT Academy was held again this year in various parts of the world, it may come as a surprise that this was the first time it was hosted also in Japan, where Gran Turismo was born. With a high level of attention from Japanese media, the Japan Finals of “GT Academy by Nissan x PlayStation® 2015” was covered by top Japanese media including NHK, as well as automotive, racing, and game media. This event was held across two days on Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12. Day 1 was held at the “GRANDRIVE” Nissan Motors test course, where the competitors were tested for physical endurance, media exposure and real cars handling.
At the GT Academy 2015 Live Event Qualifier held at the Nissan Global Headquarters Gallery, many Le Mans cars were on display as the race final of the Le Mans 24 Hours race was happening on the same day. I think the car Gran Turismo players are most familiar with is probably the NISMO GT-R LM, based on the R33 Skyline GT-R?
The victory at the Bathurst 12 hour race on February 8 (local time) was the ultimate result for the GT Academy. As you can tell from the list of drivers in the results, they took the overall win while overcoming battle hardened factory drivers of other manufacturers. It was a dramatic race that is sure to be remembered in motorsports history. The last victory for Nissan on Mount Panorama was in 1992, at the peak of Group A racing. 23 years from that Bathurst 1000 victory brought about by the Skyline GT-R (R32), Japan’s Godzilla is once again king of the Aussie mountain.
Continuing on from Last time, I’d like to introduce some of the national finalists gathered at the Silverstone Racecamp.
Alex Porazinski (Age 36) 2014 British Finalist
Thinking that GT Academy would be the only route that would fulfill his dream of becoming a professional racer, he made his challenge in the GT Academy starting from the first one in 2008, every year until 2012. He was always in the top 10 in the national rankings, but had a difficult time making it into race camp.
Can the best Gran Turismo player become a real life racing driver?
The GT Academy started in Europe in 2008, and the possibilities of this innovative driver discovery program based on a reality TV show was undoubtedly proven by the performance of Lucas Ordonez the winner of the GT Academy who stood on the podium of the Dubai 24H race soon after. He later continued to prove himself, achieving a podium finish at the famed LeMans 24 Hour race. The 2011 winner Jann Mardenborough is currently said to be a driver who may answer the next question of “whether a gamer can become an F1 Driver”.