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Nissan Launches First 'GT Academy' in the ASEAN Region

2014-03-19 15:00

- Virtual racers in Thailand invited to compete for an opportunity to turn Pro NISMO Athlete -

BANGKOK, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Nissan, in collaboration with Sony Thai Co., Ltd., today introduced Nissan GT Academy in Thailand to encourage virtual racers to win an opportunity to turn Pro NISMO Athlete. Through Nissan GT Academy, Nissan seeks to create opportunities for Thais to gain motorsport experience at an international level.

"Since its conception, Nissan GT Academy has been defying both common sense and motorsports tradition. The program takes gamers who excel at PlayStation®3 Gran Turismo®6 (GT6™) and turns them into professional drivers in a matter of months," said Hiroyuki Yoshimoto, president of Nissan Motor (Thailand) Co., Ltd. "With the launch of GT Academy in Thailand, Nissan encourages Thais to unlock their potential and achieve more by joining this exciting and innovative program."

In the first round of competition, Nissan GT Academy will recruit the top 28 Thai gamers from two channels: 14 from Nissan GT6™ Simulators and 14 from the PlayStation® Network. Individuals can enter the competition by getting behind the wheel of a Nissan GT6™ Simulator at a "Nissan GT Academy Live Event", to be held for the first time at the Nissan booth at the Bangkok International Motor Show, IMPACT Muang Thong Thani, from March 26 to April 6, 2014.

After the motor show, Nissan GT Academy will go on a road show to Khon Kaen, Surat Thani, Bangkok and Chiang Mai from April 24 to June 15, 2014. The top 14 contestants who clock the fastest lap times from these four cities will be eligible to compete in the National Final, the first gateway to GT Academy's International Race Camp.

Alternatively, to earn their grid position via the PlayStation® Network (PSNSM) from the comfort of their own homes, virtual racers need to demonstrate their skill and determination to keep their names at the top of the GT Academy leader board, only possible by playing a special addition of Gran Turismo®6 on PlayStation®3 (PS3™). The nation's top 14 virtual racers will be identified through a series of online time trials. A special version of the game will be available for free download to GT6™ owners on a date to be announced soon.

The top 28 gamers will be invited to compete at a live, two-day National Final on June 25-26, 2014 at the Bira Circuit International Pattaya, where they will battle in the Nissan GT6™ Simulators, as well as completing driving skill challenges in the high-performance Nissan Pulsar DIG Turbo, a fitness challenge and a media test. The top six performers from these National Finals will then be invited to take part in the Final Selection Round - an intense Race Camp competition held at the famous Silverstone Circuit in the U.K.

At the International Race Camp, the six Thai finalists will compete against 24 international hopefuls. Their driving skills will be tested on the Formula One Silverstone motor racing circuit in NISMO-tuned Nissan 370Zs and GT-Rs. Only one finalist out of six from Thailand will be chosen to go head to head against their peers from other countries, competing to be the GT Academy International winner.

The GT Academy 2014 International winner will then get a chance to become a professional NISMO Athlete as they go through an intensive Driver Development Program to prepare to compete for Nissan at the Dubai 24 hours in January 2015.

"Nissan is proud to launch GT Academy in Thailand, our first country for the program in the ASEAN region," said Darren Cox, Nissan Motor Corporation global motorsport director. "Now in its sixth year, the innovative GT Academy is getting a large international following since its successful execution in Europe, Russia, the USA, Middle East and South Africa."

"With the addition of GT Academy International - of which Thailand will be one of five markets - we have expanded the program for 2014. This is a great endorsement of GT Academy's increasing popularity worldwide. Nissan is an international company with global ambitions, and GT Academy reflects that."

Nissan GT Academy is also joined by Tor Sriachavanon Graves, a Thai professional racing driver, the second Thai driver in history to race at Le Mans 24 hours. He will play an important role as a mentor for the Thai contestants, as well as a judge at the International Race Camp.

"Nissan GT Academy is a great program that offers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for racing advocates to fulfill their dreams, racing the virtual track to win a chance to become a professional race car driver. The dream was realized for the winners of GT Academy in previous years, so you can do it too," said Graves.

For more information about Nissan GT Academy, please visit:

Source: Nissan Motor (Thailand) Co., Ltd.
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