Here’s a question: can you turn a gamer into a racer?
The answer is an unequivocal yes if the results of the Nissan GT Academy are anything to go by. Started back in 2008, the Academy invited gamers playing special versions of popular racing game Gran Turismo to get online and get racing, with the best invited to turn their virtual skills into real ones at the GT Academy Boot Camp.
Champions of the Academy get the offer of a lifetime, the chance to work as a pro driver for the Nissan race team. It’s led to big success, too, with two former GT Academy winners driving in Le Mans next month.
It’s a perfect example of turning skills learnt through the virtual world into real world talent – but can anyone do it?
To celebrate the launch of Gran Turismo 6, and a new season of the Nissan GT Race Academy at Silverstone, I was invited to pit my best virtual lap time of the International Circuit against a real-world equivalent.
In the game I managed a fairly respectable 1:32 lap time. On my best attempt I was beginning to learn each corner of the circuit, ready to anticipate braking zones and where to accelerate. Could I replicate that knowledge on the track?