Hello everyone. This week will be a big one for a group of Gran Turismo gamers, as we see the GT Academy Race camp get underway – the incredible competition where we select one lucky gamer to go from GT player to real-life racing driver with Nissan.
It’s amazing to think that it’s more than a year ago since Wolfgang Reip from Belgium – affectionately known as Wolfie – was announced as the fourth European GT Academy champion. Since then, he has gone on to race to a class podium in the Dubai 24 hours in a Nissan 370Z and then, as a Nismo Athlete, he has raced the Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 car in both the FIA GT and Blancpain Endurance Series.
At the Spa 24 Hours, one of the toughest endurance races in the world, the all-GT-gamer line-up of Wolfie, Lucas Ordoñez, Jann Mardenborough and Peter Pyzera took seventh overall – a third-place podium finish in the Pro-Am class that was littered with vastly more experienced drivers.
From this week Wolfie will be back at Silverstone where he will switch from pupil to mentor for the latest crop of super-fast GT racers who are looking to make the switch from virtual to real racing via the GT Academy Race Camp.
This will be the biggest Race Camp in the five-year history of GT Academy. A total of 42 PlayStation gamers from 16 countries will gather at Silverstone with another big prize at stake – an intensive Driver Development Programme and the chance to become a real Nissan racing driver competing in a GT3 Championship in 2014.
These guys have won their chance to get to Race Camp from over 765,000 who took part in the GT6 qualifying demo and then a series of highly-competitive national finals. Split into seven territory groups, they will have an amazing experience at Silverstone driving some fantastic Nissan cars and learning a huge amount as they transfer their skills to the real track.
And to those 42 taking part – the very best of luck. Whatever happens, enjoy the experience.