Take your racing dreams from virtual to reality with GT Academy

John Paul 'JP' Tanchanco - Tha Good Life

Posted at Aug 06 2016 11:29 PM

Nissan's GT Academy opens its season with the latest unreleased Gran Turismo video game from Play Station which takes Filipino gamers' racing dreams from virtual to reality. 

I passed by their formal launch at the Mall of Asia Atrium recently to check out the games and program. 

Nissan GT Academy will have live events nationwide wherein participants from all ages can play Gran Turismo Sport Play Station 4

Nissan GT Academy

GT Academy is an innovative program by Nissan and Sony Play Station. It provides an alternative route into mainstream motorsport. GT Academy provides Gran Turismo gamers the chance to go from virtual to reality.  

According to folks at Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) , GT Academy was launched here in the Philippines as a way to encourage Filipino gamers to believe in their dreams. 

"There have been growth in support of our Nissan products and we are positive with the Philippines economy. We will achieve record sales in the country this year. This program is our way of sharing success with the country. Through this virtual to reality racing competition, we look forward to giving more opportunities for Filipino gamers to realize their dream of becoming professional race car drivers," said NPI President and Managing Director Ramesh Narasimhan. 

NPI's Dax Avenido, NPI President Ramesh Narasimhan, JP Tanchanco

Adding excitement to the tournament, Nissan, in partnership with Polyphony Digital, introduced an upgraded racing video game to the Philippines and the other participating countries ahead of its official release in November 2016.

"Last year, the Philippine team competed against other racers in other countries and came out on top. Continuing the competition's success, we open season 2 with Lucas Ordonez in hopes of motivating the best Filipino talents to enter the competition and make the country the breeding ground for outstanding racing drivers," added Narasimhan. 

I excitedly enjoyed playing the new Play Station 4  Gran Turismo Sport. 

JP on the wheels enjoying Play Station 4's Gran Turismo Sport

The graphics, sound and playability of Gran Turismo Sport are a bit more realistic than the previous game versions. I think the new platform is definitely a good way of promoting love and passion for the sport of driving. The overall play of Gran Turismo Sport is a revolutionary step towards higher quality driving simulation games. 

The highlight of the evening was NPI's special guest Lucas Ordonez, the inaugural winner of the 2008 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy in Europe. Since winning in 2008, Ordonez has emerged as one of the leading contenders in racing competitions around the globe. Now he is an inspiration for all gamers and aspiring racers to get their big break in the new season of Nissan GT Academy. 

Ordonez encouraged the participants to grab the Nissan GT Academy Season 2 as an opportunity to make their race-car dreams a reality. 

"Back then, I was studying for my MBA. When I saw an ad for GT Academy, I knew I had to join. I hope Filipinos will grab this opportunity too," said Ordonez. 

GT Academy Inaugural Winner and international professional race car driver Lucas Ordonez from Madrid, Spain on stage.

This season, NPI will be holding nationwide series of Live Events for its recruitment drive starting July until August, with the National Finals slated for September. The Top 6 contenders will then fly to the Silverstone Circuit in the United Kingdom for the Race Camp to compete against representatives from Australia, Indonesia, Mexico, North Africa, and Thailand to determine the Nissan GT Academy champion. 

The guys at Nissan said anybody can join and play Gran Turismo thru the nationwide recruitment stage. Everyone is invited young, old, tall, tiny. But the top 20 will be based on criteria, which is 18 years old and above with a Philipiine passport. 

GT Academy video game console pods include foot pedals and steering wheels controllers that complement the new Gran Turismo Sport playability and elevate your driving experience.

The recruitment portion will be staged till the end of August. The national finals will be done in September. After the video game portion, there will be a physical activity portion to check out the physical fitness level of the participants. After the physical portion will be a media activity program. The Top 6 out of the top 20 will be chosen to represent the Philippines. 

For more details on the upcoming Nissan GT Academy, visit www.nissan.ph/gtacademy and Nissan Philippines Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NissanPhilippinesInc . 

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John Paul C. Tanchanco is a travel, food, party, film and music aficionado. He is also an economist, businessman, MYX/Awit award-winning media producer and Kala guitarist. 

"ThaGoodLife" is a special feature for news.abs-cbn.com about pop culture, travel, music, entertainment, business, food, luxury, clubbing, shopping and events.

For questions, features and comments, e-mail him at [email protected] or tanchancotrimediap[email protected]