The Nissan GT Academy national finals have concluded and six finalists – Abhinav Bhat, Abhinay Bikkani, Prakash Nair, Akshay Gupta, Glen Ivan Suchita and Karl Patel – are headed to Silverstone race camp. These gamers got across challenges that included virtual laps of select F1 tracks on a PlayStation 3, driving around a specifically designed track on the Jaipur Polo grounds, rigorous fitness tasks and even handling media interaction.
The Nissan GT Academy national finals were held in Jaipur across two days. On Day one, 28 finalists started out, which involved virtual laps around the Silverstone F1 track and the Monaco Grand Prix track. The aspiring racers were also put through a media round which had them interact with members of the press and handle their public image. At the end of the day, only 12 made it through for the challenges of Day two.
Day two started out with 12 finalists doing rounds of a track on the Jaipur Polo grounds in Nissan Micras. After that, they headed to fitness challenges which involved doing planks, push-ups, spot jumps and taking a Bleep test. These are all part of the rigorous training professional racing drivers have to undertake.
Finally, the names of the six lucky winners were announced. They will go on to the Silverstone race camp, where they will compete with 18 other finalists from across the globe. Only one will emerge as the Nismo athlete.
Darren Cox, Nissan's global motorsports director, said, "India is extremely enthusiastic about its sports. We reckoned it was time we brought GT Academy to this market. The enthusiasm and response we received, strengthens our commitment to this market. I am confident the Indian finalists will be strong contenders for the ultimate prize at Silverstone."