By on August 31, 2012

The winners of Nissan’s GT Academy have been chosen. To nobody’s surprise in particular, their group photograph is completely unsuitable for this site. Turns out that the Internet is a little short on hot girls or street-wise African-American dudes who are totes into racing imaginary cars online. Oh well. Now, the shortlist of digital Sennas is off to try their hand at driving some real cars.

While the Nissan GT Academy doesn’t necessarily prove that being a great video-game race-car driver is equivalent to becoming a great real-world race car driver, the winners of the program have gone on to some considerable success. The 2011 US winner, Bryan Heitkotter, already has a couple of Grand-Am Continental podiums under his belt and took 27th place (of 35) in his Speed World Challenge GT debut this past weekend. (Long-time TTAC readers will be interested to note that your author’s nemesis, Michael Cooper, clinched both the Touring Car win and the season championship this weekend. Congratulations Michael!)

This year’s contenders are pretty much what you’d expect: most of them list their occupation as either “Student” or “Unemployed”. None of them abandoned careers in modeling or powerlifting to pursue their dream of racing in the basement. Still, there’s nothing like a professional career in European sports-car racing to catch some attention from gold-digging ex-prostitutes from the Eastern Bloc the ladies. We wish the competitors the best and will keep all of you posted on the results of the final in-car competition!

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12 Comments on “GT Academy Winners Announced. It’s All Dudes. Mostly Unemployed Dudes....”


  • avatar

    I would have loved to be a street-wise African-American face on that group photo, but my mom said she would slit my throat if I tried to go professional in any racing sport.

  • avatar
    raph

    I’m rooting for the guy named Darwin, if successful ever after he can spell his name with a capital WIN!

  • avatar
    MZ3AUTOXR

    Nick Barbato is an accomplished autocrosser. Last year at SCCA Solo Nationals he missed a National Championship by .002 second. He would have won, but his fastest run he knocked the last cone on course over with his EXHAUST.

    I get to watch him at our local autcrosses and his ability to balance his S2000 CR on the edge is phenomenal.

    Autocrossers jumping to road racing have an advantage over those that have no past experience as they already have the dynamic car control skills needed. While the unemployed basement dwellers are learning what oversteer and understeer really feel like, the rest of the crowd will be pulling away.

    • 0 avatar
      racingmaniac

      Bryan Heitkotter IIRC was also a SCCA competitor turned GT Academy winner. I think this path to going “pro racing” is an interesting one, especially if you have the time and ability to kinda dedicate yourself to it. Its considerably cheaper than actually going racing on your own dime. I think all the winners(US or EU) are all some level of amateur racer to start that really otherwise would have no way to advance to higher level of racing financially….I think the intent for something like this was to find some basement dwelling gamer into real racecar driver. But instead its given some racer another path to climb the ladder….kudos to Nissan and Sony for that I guess…

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    This is a good promotion for racing video games because the only reason I would have become heavily involved in racing video games is if they would have given me a shot at the real thing.

    I am holding out for a video game where I manage gold-digging prostitutes from the Eastern Bloc, and my success in the game gives me a shot at the real thing. Nissan could also sponsor this, through Dacia. It could be a way to bring some life back into the GTA franchise.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Its kind of sad how they are all trying to look tough in that picture, it isn’t working.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    I like how they shaded and darkened the photos to disguise the vitamin D deficiency.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Much to their mothers’ surprise and delight, the plan of using video game proficiency, rather than getting a job, as a means of moving out of the basement has actually worked.

    These, then, are the real Men of Genius.

  • avatar
    Glen.H

    I’m sure every last one of them is a hit with the ladeeze…”It’s not a basement, it’s a make-out pad!”

  • avatar

    Where these guys live? We do not have basements here in state of California. May be in attics? I did not quite get that “Western boys and Eastern girls” thing either.


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