GT Academy Live Recruitment Event at SM North Edsa Sky Dome with Sam Pinto

8:31:00 PM

The search is ongoing for the gamer who can apply his or her video racing skills to real-life circuit driving. 

Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) recently introduced the GT Academy to the country, opening doors to Filipinos wanting to break into the racing profession. 


With the GT Academy, any player who can prove their driving skills in the world of video games can compete in a real racetrack. From the time trials in the recruitment stage that will run until June, the 20 fastest gamers will advance to the National Finals in July, where they will shift to real race cars. The top 6 drivers will join Asia’s best at the Race Camp in August at the prestigious Silverstone Racing Circuit in the UK where they will be tested on their strength, stamina, mental agility and of course, driving skills. The emerging winner will join others from the different regions in a series of rigorous training under the Driver Development Program. 


I also got the chance to try it first hand and I was a bit hesitant at first to try it since I don't have any experience on playing it just on arcades and I'm not a driver in real life but when I tried it, it was really fun. You'll get the hang of it once you try it several times. For me, it was like driving a car in real life but this time it was in virtual reality.


Since its launch in 2008, the 2015 GT Academy season will be the biggest year yet. Gamers from up to 24 countries around the world are expected to join, with GT Academy International and Asia reaching a staggering 2.2 billion potential entrants. Nissan and PlayStation are looking for the finest to progress from virtual racing to the real world of racing for Nissan.


To date, the fastest lap time recorded in the Philippines is 1:02:762 and the slowest in the top 20 is 1:03:671.  So far, 3,005 attempts have been recorded in the live recruitment events which started last April 10 and will run at various venues until June 28. 


Last April 24-26, the Nissan GT Academy was at the SM Sky Dome in SM North EDSA. Joining the hopefuls was gorgeous celebrity, Sam Pinto who exuded girl power behind the wheel. Despite being unfamiliar with the video game, she confidently slid into the driver seat of the simulator pod and revved through the virtual track. 


Sam learned to drive when she was 16 years old and figured that with a little practice, she can clock a decent lap time and compete with the other gamers. “This is the closest I can get to being a race car driver, they told me it’s open to women too, so I thought I’d give it a shot,”Sam explained. “Driving on the simulator was a nice escape from traffic, it was fun to be able to just floor it!”she continued. 

With the GT Academy, any player who can prove their driving skills in the world of video games can compete in a real racetrack. From the time trials in the recruitment stage that will run until June, the 20 fastest gamers will advance to the National Finals in July, where they will shift to real cars. The top 6 drivers will join Asia’s best at the Race Camp Week in August at the prestigious Silverstone Racing Circuit in the UK where they will be tested on their strength, stamina, mental agility and of course, driving skills. The emerging winner will join others from the different regions in a series of rigorous training under the Driver Development Program. 


“I actually love driving. I feel free and in control at the same time,”Sam related. “My mom’s driver taught me how to drive when I was about 16. I would drive myself to high school secretly and park really far so no one would see me driving. But I let my friends go on a ride with me after school hours,”she chuckled before adding that her school was only 15 minutes away from her house. 

“I think of myself as a relaxed driver. Better safe than sorry, I don’t want any accidents. But in the Nissan GT Academy pods, I can drive as fast as I want, the rush is quite addictive,”shared the two-time winner of FHM’s Philippine Sexiest Woman in the World title and former housemate of the reality series Pinoy Big Brother. Sam started her career as a commercial model. Many recognize her for her role as Neneng B in the comedy TV show 'Bubble Gang' where she starred in the segment 'Pick-Up Lines Battle' which became a widespread hit and was adapted into the big screen.

Check out her interview here:

For GT Academy updates and Live Event schedules, please visit NPI’s Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/NissanPhilippinesInc.
www.nissan.ph

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