The virtual to reality racing program Nissan GT Academy concluded its final recruitment stage in SM Aura with a celebrity challenge. The event featured a head-to-head challenge between 2 of the most promising young athletes in the country and a team of motoring journalists.
The athletes and journalists were split into 2 teams, Team Green and Team Blue. Former De La Salle Green Archer basketball player Arnold Van Opstal was assigned as the team captain of Team Green while Ateneo De Manila University Blue Eagle standout Von Pessumal headed the Team Blue. The face-off saw Team Green triumph over Team Blue with a total team time of 4:12.408.
On the other hand, Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) also named the top 20 players including the first and only female virtual racer Ellyse Menorca. Those who’ve made the cut will then participate in various physical challenges and driving tests in the upcoming National Finals. This will be held at the Megatent in Libis, Quezon City and at Glorietta, Makati City in September.
Only 6 Filipino players will be chosen, depending on their performance during the National Finals, to go to Silverstone Racing Circuit in UK. The winner will go under the driver development program of Nismo, the in-house motorsports and performance division of Nissan, and be one of the drivers for the Nissan Team participating in the Dubai 24-hour Race.
Last year, there were 6 Filipino drivers that went to the famed circuit and participated in physical and racing challenges. They faced other drivers from Thailand, Indonesia, North Africa, Mexico and Australia in the finals where Filipino Jose Gerard Policarpio won the 2016 Nissan GT Academy Asia.