GT Academy 2015 European Race Camp - Day 5
After four full days of action in Abu Dhabi, day five of the NISMO PlayStation GT Academy European Race Camp was a quieter affair. Benelux, Iberia and the Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary group had their chance to sample the luxury yacht and the Street Race elimination on the ‘bridge to nowhere’.
After the agony and ecstasy of the elimination for those countries on the scorching bridge, it was back to the Yas Marina Circuit base camp for another class room session. Head Judge Rob Barff talked the competitors through race procedure and, in particular, what will happen on the final day of Race Camp should they be lucky enough to make it through.
It was then free time to enjoy the Yas Viceroy Hotel and an early night before the action begins again in earnest tomorrow.
For Belgian competitor Emile de Dryver, it was a nervous day that ended well: “It was a very difficult race. I lost the first race against the Dutch guy. In the second I made a very bad start and was 10 metres behind. I pushed very hard to keep in and I managed to win with a very small margin. It was really fun and the Nissan GT-R is great, very powerful. The landscape was just amazing. We’re staying in a beautiful hotel, the track is great and I’m really enjoying the challenges. I’m very happy to be here.”
Balázs Szenpéteri Horváth from Hungary is also enjoying his Race Camp experience: “Today I drove the GT-R on the bridge. It was amazing. The acceleration is incredible. That was the first time I’ve sat in a GT-R and I love it, just love it. The beginning of Race Camp was tough with the physical challenge at Wadi Adventure, but I won and I’m very happy with how Race Camp is going.”
Iberia Mentor Dani Clos had to see one competitor eliminated today, leaving him with two Spanish and one Portuguese competitor. “It was an interesting day,” said the 26-year-old former GP2 and F1 test driver. “The guys had a lot of pressure in this activity and it was interesting because the tarmac was quite dirty, because this bridge has no activity usually. This made it hard for them because the GT-R has so much power and on a slippery surface, it was tough. The guys that I thought were the quickest did their job and passed the test. Overall, I think we’ve got a strong group and the guys can be really good.”
With only three competitors left in each territory group, the tension is rising at Race Camp. Only one competitor will win the amazing, life-changing experience of the GT Academy Driver Development Programme leading to potential career racing for Nissan as a NISMO Athlete.
An interesting day awaits the competitors tomorrow, along with a complete change of scenery.