GT Academy planned countries

Malaysians, you may have a real shot of becoming an international professional racing driver soon – and you will only need a PlayStation and a copy of Gran Turismo to be eligible.

That’s right – the GT Academy driver development competition, held in collaboration with Nissan, is set to expand into Malaysia as well as Indonesia and Japan next year (and Brazil in 2016) if a file hosted on FIA’s official website is believed. If so, these countries will join the 10 regions/countries already participating in the programme, including Europe, North America, Australia, India and Thailand.

GT Academy pits gamers against each other, first through online qualifiers held in Gran Turismo itself, with the top scorers invited to the National Finals held in their respective countries. The fastest drivers from each country will then be sent to Race Camp at the Silverstone Circuit in the UK to battle it out in a series of real-life physical and driving challenges.

The overall champion undergoes a rigorous Nissan Driver Development Program to train and licence them to become a professional racer, and will participate in races around the world under Nismo’s wing. Past winners including Lucas Ordoñez and Jann Mardenborough have already gone on to compete in top-flight international racing, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).