Ricardo Sánchez grew up like many young men, dreaming of becoming a racing driver. His father was able to take him go-karting on occasion, but the Sánchez family lacked the means to support him in his dream and so like many, Ricardo’s childhood dream looked set to go unfulfilled.
One day Ricardo’s family was going to the cinema in their home–town and saw a GT Academy Live Event taking place in their local Shopping Mall. Ricardo’s father immediately called him and told him to get to the Mall to enter the GT Academy competition, his only realistic chance of finally achieving his dream to become a professional racing driver.
Ricardo won the Live Event competition and progressed to the two day National Final in Mexico City. There Ricardo was tested on Gran Turismo skills, had his fitness tested, spoke to the media and raced a Nissan 370Z around the Mexican F1 circuit and eventually after two tough days was announced as one of the six finalists heading to Silverstone.
During a challenging Race Camp week in the UK, Ricardo competed against his Gamers from Australia, India, Thailand and the Middle East for the grand prize. After all of the challenges the judges announced Ricardo as the winner of GT Academy International 2014.
Ricardo’s prize was to complete the rigorous GT Academy Driver Development Programme to equip him with the skills to race a Nissan GT-R NISMO GT3 at the 2015 Dubai 24 Hours. After 3 months of intense training Ricardo was ready to race and along with his team-mates achieved the dream start to his career by finishing second in their class in the race and 5th overall, an incredible achievement.
Ricardo has now been given the chance to continue to develop his talents and shine by being given a contract as a NISMO Athlete and a seat racing the GT-R in the prestigious Blancpain Endurance Series alongside some of his Dubai team-mates.
Ricardo epitomises what GT Academy is all about. Take raw talent, nurture it, challenge it and watch it shine.