After two days of competition, the first ever India qualifiers for GT Academy concluded over the weekend in Jaipur, with six Gran Turismo 6 players getting the opportunity to compete against others from around the world at the world-famous Silverstone circuit in the hopes of becoming a professional race driver.
Day one of the two-day final competition consisted purely of simulator tests, where the 28 all-India finalists were put through time-trials in Logitech G27-equppied cockpits.
These 28 finalists were picked from over 5,000 entries from the various live events across the country, with thousands others qualifying over PSN.
This list was narrowed down to 18, and eventually to the 12 that would make it to day two of the competition. These 12 also went through a media interaction test, where auto and games journalists interviewed them to gauge their ability to face the press – an ability that, Nissan says, every pro racer must possess.
Day two placed the final 12 in a real car, and while that car was the diminutive Nissan Micra, the test was held at the polo grounds in Jaipur, over a technical circuit on the slippery grass surface. Contestants were not only scored for being the quickest but also for being the smoothest and the most consistent.
Following the driving test, the finalists were put through rigorous fitness tests that included planking, push-ups, a jump test, and the gruelling bleep test.
At the end of all these tests, six winners were picked, who will now head to Silverstone to compete against winners from Mexico, Australia and the Middle East, where they will race on performance cars like the Nissan GTR.
Only one of those competitors will receive an international racing license and the opportunity to race against the best pro race drivers in the world.
And here they are – the winners of the first ever GT Academy India:
- Abhinav Bhatt - New Delhi
- Abhinay Bikkani - Bangalore
- Prakash Nair - Trivandrum
- Akshay Gupta - Mumbai
- Glen Ivan Suchitha - Bangalore
- Karl Patel – Mumbai
Here are some pictures from the GT Academy India finals.
Left to right: Kenichiro Yomura, President – Nissan India; Abhinav Bhatt; Abhinay Bikkani; Prakash Nair; Akshay Gupta; Glen Ivan Suchitha; Karl Patel; Darren Cox, Global Director, Nissan Motorsports (NISMO)