The online phase of the Nissan GT Academy has closed, with over 765,000 entries across the 18 participating European countries, 148,984 in the UK alone.
In addition, more than 1.3 million people downloaded the new Gran Turismo 6 demo, featuring Silverstone and the all-new Nissan Leaf and Nissan 370Z.
The National Final events across Europe will feature a Gran Turismo challenge, before competitors will try their hands at the wheel of a real Nissan Nismo performance car and are tested for fitness and personality. The best candidates will represent their country at a European ‘Race Camp’, held at Silverstone in September.
At Race Camp, the gamers will be put through their paces in a series of tough driving, mental and fitness challenges under the watchful eye of high-profile mentors and judges. The winner of the competition, now in its fifth year, will receive a full season of racing in a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 machine.
Notable graduates of the GT Academy include Lucas Ordonez and Jann Mardenborough, who both have LMP2 Le Mans podiums to their name. Last weekend, Ordonez and Mardenborough, along with Wolfgang Riep and Peter Pyzera, drove to a Pro-Am podium at the 24 Hours of Spa, with Mardenborough also taking second place in a Formula 3 support race.
“GT Academy has been responsible for unearthing some fantastic racing talent and we have the results to prove it,” said Nissan’s Director of Global Motorsport, Darren Cox. “With so many entrants this year and increasing levels of realism from GT6, we are absolutely confident that there will be some huge talent among these gamers. With our experience over the past five years of GT Academy, and increasingly sophisticated and innovative tests developed in conjunction with Nismo, we know how to ensure that the best talent will rise to the top over the coming weeks. There is a lot to play for. We have recently announced that previous champions will be racing or testing in Australia, the USA and Japan, and we had all six Nismo Athletes in action at the Spa 24 Hours just last weekend.”