Has anyone ever harassed you to stop playing games, that it’s a waste of time. That adults should not play games.
Well tell them to check again. As Nissan is recruiting a new crop of race drivers from a crop of gamers. And the selected few will make loads of money from their passion.
|Gamers in action. Image courtesy of Carstories.|
Carstories reports that in Nashville, Tennessee, the top-20 US GT Academy competitors battled side by side in Sony virtual challenge where contestants who have already defeated nearly 30,000 fellow online gamers in the past three months will go through fitness challenge, skill testing and actual on-track racing in Nissan 370Z NISMOs at the Nashville Motor Speedway.
After which the six top performers will move on to the global finals at the legendary Silverstone Raceway in the United Kingdom next month for an intense weeklong competition to crown the next GT Academy winner. The GT Academy has produced several successful professional race car drivers in years past, and this year is poised to be no different.
Former GT Academy winners and now-professional racers Bryan Heitkotter (2011 U.S. Champion) and Nicolas Hamman (2014 U.S. Champion) were among those in attendance for today’s virtual challenges, offering advice to contestants and even participating in a special race to conclude the day.
“It’s a really high-pressure environment,” said Heitkotter. “There are cameras here, which some people might not be used to – I wasn’t during my year. It’s do-or-die right now. You have to be able to handle that pressure as a racing driver, so this is a good simulation of racing in the real world because you only get one shot at each round. In my opinion, it’s unparalleled in the racing world.”
With temperatures expected to climb near 100 degrees at Nashville Motor Speedway Wednesday, an already grueling day filled with on-track racing and fitness challenges such as the “bleep test,” “planking challenge,” and push up competition will become even more difficult for the 20 contestants chasing their dreams.
But for a once-in-a-lifetime shot of becoming the next gamer-turned-professional racer, it’s more than worth it.
“There’s no way that myself, Bryan (Heitkotter) or others would have been able to race professionally if it wasn’t for Nissan GT Academy,” said Hamman. “It’s all about how you take a hold of that opportunity and how you make the most of it.”
The U.S. 2015 GT Academy Finals conclude Wednesday at Nashville Motor Speedway.
Hey, where are my game consoles?