When asked if he had ever even seen a stock car race, Cole Trickle, Tom Cruise’s character in Days of Thunder responded that he had seen it television. “ESPN. The coverage is excellent, you’d be surprised at how much you can pick up.”
As ridiculous as it sounds, that isn’t too far off what Nissan and Sony did with their joint GT Academy program. GT Academy was a contest that pitted gamers around the world against each other in a bid to become actual racing drivers. Some critics scoffed at the notion that playing video games could lay the groundwork for any real driving talent, but surely the performance of the first batch has more than proven that the program had merit.
The team’s most recent success came as GT Academy winners Wolfgang Reip and Florian Strauss, along with Japanese hot shoe Katsumasa Chiyo, won the 2015 Bathurst 12 hour race at the wheel of a Nissan GT-R.
Today, NISMO and Playstation have announced the return of GT Academy to contestants in 23 countries. Sadly, Canada is not one of them.
To learn more, visit the GT Academy Facebook page.