GT ACADEMY UPDATE
22 October 2016
Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy 2016 International Race Camp [DAY 4]
Day 4 | Pendine Sands, Wales
For the second morning in succession, the remaining Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy 2016 International Race Camp finalists awoke on their bus one person lighter, after yesterday’s eliminations at Cottesmore saw six further gamers leave the competition.
Yesterday evening following the eliminations, the finalists embarked on a mammoth 200 plus mile drive to Pendine Sands in Wales, a seven-mile long beach that gained notoriety in the early 20th century as a location for the setting of numerous land speed records.
This was to be the location for Saturday’s activity, with the remaining four competitors from each territory being split into two to take part in the head-to-head races. Again, an unfamiliar car would greet them, with the beach races being contested in the mighty Nissan GT-R NISMO.
Driving on alternative terrains isn’t unfamiliar to GT Academy, with previous Race Camps including racing on the sand in dune buggies. However being on the sand behind the wheel of these stunning and powerful supercars presented an altogether different challenge, providing an incredible experience for the 24 remaining contestants.
While the one-on-one races weren’t eliminators, the pressure was still on with the two losing competitors from each territory returning to Cottesmore on Monday to fight for their Race Camp survival.
Rob Barff, 2016 Nissan PlayStation GT Academy International Head Judge: “Today was all about finding out the competitors’ adaptability and how to find grip on a rapidly changing surface. It was a huge challenge for them as they were in unfamiliar cars on a terrain that they would have never driven on before. However we’re reaching the business end of the competition now and only one can become a NISMO Athlete, so it’s tests like this where we really find out our strongest competitors and who has what it takes to be a professional racing driver.”
Johnny Guindi Hamui, Mexico competitor (won his beach race): “It was a great relief to win through my race. It was so cool driving the GT-Rs out there and I was glad to keep my cool. The key was to be really light and smooth with your handling to make time on the slalom bit of the course and to not apply full power or you get bogged down in the sand. It was an amazing experience and I’m delighted to continue my journey in GT Academy.”
Tamer Bashir, North Africa team judge: “This was such a fun challenge, it’s not often you find GT-Rs on a beach! This was not easy at all though; having over 500bhp to handle on a loose surface is very difficult. The key here was to not go full throttle off the start line and then be delicate with the steering as it’ll be very light and smooth. I thought the guys did well today and adapted fantastically.”