Do you remember when Nissan launched its GT Academy back in 2008? If not, the idea was to find professional racers from a computer game. Gaming enthusiasts all over the world submitted their times on a unique race track on Gran Turismo 5, then the fastest 22 were invited to Silverstone to compete for a chance to race professional for Nissan.
Great, now that you’re ‘up to speed’ (sorry) here’s what’s happened since then…
Nissan’s GT Academy has become a genuine recruiting tool for the world of motorsport. This back door into racing is ever popular with gaming hopefuls. However there is still a huge gap between playing the game and racing a real car.
Above all else, the largest difference is fear. As you can imagine squeezing the ‘X’ button and holding full throttle in Gran Turismo is a lot easier than keeping your foot flat to the floor in a real car travelling at 100mph plus. Keeping committed to a corner in a game is easy, but in real life, you know a mistake will hurt.
Also in Gran Turismo a gear change is as quick as tapping a button – but in real life, every gear shift will lose you time. You are also usually slower to react on the brakes and accelerator, as well as being incredibly heavy-handed with the steering, as demonstrated in this video: