Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Nissan GT Academy National Finals held at SM Mall of Asia (June 16, 2015)


The night of June 16, 2015 ended with a celebration. Nissan Motors Philippines Inc. proudly announced the winners of the GT Academy Philippines Challenge. The event was held at SM Mall of Asia Atrium on . 15,000 entries were narrowed down to 20 competitors. Out of the 20, only the top 6 were chosen to be sent to Silverstone U.K. for a once in a lifetime opportunity to be trained as a professional racecar driver. All this was done in a three month run where Gran Turismo simulators were sent to different parts of the Philippines. Thousands of hopefuls showed their skills by finishing the virtual Silverstone course in a Nissan GT-R in the fastest time possible.

The Top Twenty finalists are Francisco Adriano, Joel Agojo, Paolo Vittorio Alcance, Daryl Brady, Rabboni John Buenaventura, Luis Raphael Cachero, Kim Jiger Chong, Juan Carlos Eejay de Borja, Ramoncito de Luna, Rodolfo Faustino, Rio Halili, Richard Dean Jose, Jan Millard Lacuna, Terrence Aldrich Lallave, Raphael Miru Lesaguis, Luis Antonio Moreno, Cameron Jordan  Pa-dillo, Jose Gerald Policarpio, Mark Angelo Villamor, and Michael Vincent Yap.

The top six, taken out of the top twenty finalists are: Raphael Miru Lesaguis, Luis Cachero , Terrence Aldrich Lallave, Jose Gerald Policarpio, Daryl Brady and Mr. Joel Agojo.

The twist in selecting the top 6 out of the twenty hopefuls was done through a series a physical, mental and personality challenges in the Mall of Asia and the CCP Parking grounds. They were made to hurdle the sargent jump, push ups, and planking. Apart from that, they were made to drive a real car in a makeshift driving course set up at CCP. The contestants' expertise in playing Gran Turismo was tested again when they were made to finish 3 time attack modes in the best time possible. Lastly, their mental fitness was tested by a select panel of media members who gave them grueling and mind numbing queries.

The six selected drivers will be made to battle the Asian respresentatives of Thailand, India, Japan, and Indonesia in the GT Academy Asia leg in August. The competition will involve the use of virtual and real-world race cars. The venerable F1 race car driver Marlon Stockinger will be there to mentor them every step of the way.

For his part, NPI President and Managing Director Antonio Zara noted that Nissan has democratized the racing circuit by giving gamers and ordinary people the chance to turn their dreams to reality. The competition truly is a first in the field of motorsports. 

Let's all anticipate the conclusion of this novel event. The Nissan GT Academy will air in the ABS CBN Sports and Lifestyle channel as a reality show at the end of the year. The hopes and dreams of these 6 finalists will be seen worldwide and on-air. Cheer for your bet as they compete with others for the ultimate dream of becoming a race car driver.

Photos taken from (Marge Guevarra) with consent.

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