Many of us spend hours lapping our favorite racetracks in our favorite video games just imagining some-sort of parallel universe where our racing dreams would come true. Nissan and Gran Turismo’s GT Academy make that dream come true for a few lucky gamers. Those gamers-turned-racecar-drivers will soon be able to add “TV star” to their resumes when Nissan GT Academy debuts tonight on Speed.
We’re pretty familiar with how Gran Turismo’s GT Academy works. The best 16 American Gran Turismo 5 gamers will get a shot to earn a gig as a Nissan factory driver – only in this case (and since we’re talking about reality TV-crazed Americans) there’ll be the compulsory reality show, which is where Nissan GT Academy comes in.
From the trailer we see here, Nissan GT Academy seems to have all the trappings of your stereotypical reality show, except with a bit of racing thrown in at the Silverstone Circuit in the U.K. You’ve got some outlandish characters represented by a slightly-pudgy southern man who giggles as he says he’d be willing to drop his wife, apartment and job for the job as a Nissan factory driver.
Nissan GT Academy rounds things out with some military training (what reality show is complete without it?) and three judges who we can only assume will be in charge of the ever-important eliminations. The three judges are all former racecar drivers with a few victories under their belts. Liz Halliday represents the American Le Mans Series, Tommy Kendall represents SCCA Trans Am and NASCAR, and Danny Sullivan represents both Formula 1 and IndyCar.
While we’re sure Speed’s “Race from Virtual to Reality” would be all the better without the reality show gimmicks, it does look like a promising program. Nissan GT Academy premieres tonight at 10; will you watch it?