GT Academy 2013 European Race Camp - Day 3
With the 2013 Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy European Race Camp now in full swing, the 35 remaining competitors were back under pressure today. With no eliminations taking place on day two, the competitors stepped up the action knowing that one from each of the seven regions would be leaving the competition at the end of the day.
The GT Academy selection process has moved on considerably since the first race camp took place in 2008 – won by Iberia head judge and two-time Le Mans class-podium finisher Lucas Ordoñez.
A special telemetry challenge, using cutting-edge technology, was designed for the judges and mentors to be able to analyse their competitors’ performances around the Stowe Circuit in the new new Nissan 370Z Nismo. As well as the usual telemetry readings, which provide race engineers with vital data about what is happening with the car, each competitor was also fitted with a bio-harness to provide information about how they were performing. The bio-harness technology gives heart rate readings, among other things, to show how the drivers react to stressful driving conditions.
After understanding what information was being gathered, the competitors completed their laps before returning to the garage to review the data with the instructors around the specially adapted Nissan Juke Ride car – fitted with computers and screens. Using the data collected from the car, the mentors discussed the telemetry readings with their competitors, helping them to identify areas for improvement in their laps. With this advice fresh in their minds, the finalists took to the track again in the 3.7 litre 344ps V6 370Z Nismo with the instructors looking on.
The rain and drizzle of the previous day made way for clear sunshine on Day 3 at Silverstone, but the competitors awoke to a cool, crisp morning. There was no time for cold limbs though as the finalists needed to be sharp for today’s fitness activity. A crucial skill for any racing driver is quick reaction times, especially on the starting grid. The competitors were tested on their reactions inside the darkened pit garages at the Silverstone Wing. Starting at one gate and sprinting through another, the competitors had to react quickly to a flashing light to exit through the correct gate before it went out.
For the Nordic, French and Italian groups, there was a trip to the former US air base to complete the auto assault course in the Nissan 370Z that the other groups completed on Day 2. Having learnt car control and drifting techniques on Day 2, the competitors needed to draw on all these skills to navigate their way through the obstacles located in the hangers.
The judges and mentors for each region gathered after the day’s activities for decision time, deliberating over which of the five competitors from their region would be leaving the competition. Having closely watched and assessed the Gran Turismo® gamers drivers in action over a number of tasks during the first three days of Race Camp, the judges were armed with plenty of data to assist them with a difficult decision.
|FRANCE||René Arnoux (judge)
|Geoffrey Belloeil – eliminated day 1
Adrien De Monte
Arnaud de Crepy – eliminated day 3
|ITALY||Vitantonio Liuzzi (judge)
|Alessandro Zedda – eliminated day 3
Michele Radicioni – eliminated day 1
Minh Tuan Nguyen
|UK||Paul O’Neill (judge)
Martin Hefferon – eliminated day 3
Shane Ward – eliminated day 1
|Lucas Ordoñez (judge)
|Daniel Aparicio – eliminated day 1
Francisco Pereira – eliminated day 3
|Tim Coronel (judge)
Nicola Saponari – eliminated day 3
Stefan de Groot
Mario Gankema – eliminated day 1
Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden
|Stefan Johansson (judge)
Timo Koskela – eliminated day 3
Milan Pokrajac – eliminated day 1
Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia
|Josef Král (judge)
Martin Hudy – eliminated day 1
Daniel Sinka – eliminated day 3
QUOTES OF THE DAY
Stefan Johannsson, Nordics Mentor
“I hope with my experience that I can nudge my drivers in the right direction and help them improve, but mostly the ones that improve are the ones that come to us for help. They’re so green that we can almost hand them a manual and teach them from scratch, but what is so impressive is that some of them have really excellent natural car control even though they have no experience at all. That must come from their experience on the Gran Turismo game.”
Wolfgang Reip, GT Academy 2012 winner and Benelux Mentor
“It’s awesome to be teaching these guys. I never expected to be here to be honest, GT Academy called me and asked if I would support the Benelux team along with Tim which has been really special. I was really happy because I like helping the competitors. I feel really invested in my job and with the competitors and I’m really happy to be here with them. I think the standard gets better and better every year. The entries are even higher than last year and the competitors seem excellent again. The addition of the Nordics as a new region has helped raise the level again. I’m really impressed and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves as well.”
Tim Coronel, Benelux Mentor
“We still have four days to go and my guys still have a lot to prove, I haven’t seen what the other teams are like so I don’t know where we stand as the Benelux team. But I know one thing for sure, and that is that we are strong. The first time I was contacted by GT Academy I was dismissive. I thought turning a gamer to a racer wasn’t possible and was crazy to try. But Gran Turismo really does give a really nice basis to learning how to race. They learn co-ordination, the ideal lines and situational awareness without ever going on a real track. So now I understand that a gamer really can be a professional racing driver and a top quality one at that.”