It was not just Day 2 for our competitors but also the last day for 10 of them as we got closer to finding or Champion of GT Academy 2010. Each of our competitors knew that they had to give their all to catch the Judge’s eyes and stay away from a giant, red ‘X’ next to their name that would see them going home.
Each of the competitors had to show skill, talent, dedication and ability to listen to instruction as they took part in sprints, car control, head-to-head racing, drifting and even a pit stop challenge. If that wasn’t enough, they had their first taste of the Nissan GT-R supercar in horrendously wet conditions.
In the early morning sprinting we saw some spectacular speed and handling on a wet Stowe circuit. Giacomo Cunial from Italy catching everybody’s eye with a phenomenal run that put him only half a second behind the professional Silverstone racing driver. Fellow Italian Luca Lorenzini and Swiss driver Oliver Simon also catching the Judge’s eyes.
Over the day the Judge’s were keeping a keen eye out for who was improving the most, who was taking on all the lessons and putting it into their laps and their car control. Keen stand-out guys who showed real improvement in Day Two were Daniel Collins of Ireland, Jeroen Kesselring on the Netherlands and Oliver Simon again of Switzerland.
As track conditions worsened competitors got a real taste of what is required from them if they are to make it as a professional racing driver and in the late afternoon they got to meet their potential new boss. Bob Neville, The Team Principal of the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy Race Team.
But, sadly after a hugely impressive day for the contestants – we had to send 10 guys home. It took the Judge’s over an hour to make their final decision as they compared, argued and interrogated each and every driver for their speed, skill, attitude a potential to keep making the grade and make it as a professional racing driver.
In front of a crammed GT Academy Base Conference Hall. GT Academy 2010 is proud to announce that the following competitors have made it to Day 3.
FIlipe Barreto – Portugal
Luca Lorenzini – Italy
Giacomo Cunial – Italy
Marco Calvo – Spain
Jordan Tresson – France
Jeroen Kesselring – Netherlands
Oliver Simon – Switzerland
Daniel Collins – Ireland
Sadly it meant we had to say goodbye to Alex Ingram, John Moorby, Daniel Holland, Tony Autridge, Steffen Christein, Christian Giere, Benjamin Peron, Robert Wawrzyniak, Roberto Otero and Marko Moisio. All of these guys are Champions and the decision was extremely close and each and every single one of them should be proud of their performances.
GT Academy 2010 Judge, Johnny Herbert said:
“I would say that the standard is fairly similar to that of GT Academy 2008 at this stage. However, the eight that we have chosen are close, compatible and very competitive. There was probably a bit more of a difference between the last eight in the first Academy. You have the impression that these guys are really going to push each other, but in a positive way.
“Obviously we feel we have got the best eight, but it was a hard decision. There were a couple of guys that were close and we had to weigh up all the factors and make that tough decision based on who can realistically progress to be the full racing package. That means being fast and consistent on the track, but also being able to communicate well with your team and the media. In the end, it may have been some of those ‘softer’ elements that made the difference of one guy over the next.”
Qualifier Jeroen Kesselring said:
“I am really happy to get through to the Top 8. I am so happy. This is the chance of a lifetime.”
Ireland’s Finest, Daniel Collins said:
“It was extremely tense waiting to see if I got through. I have learnt so much from the Judge’s who have been fantastic to me. You see them on the TV and felt they would be hard to talk to but they have been tremendous with me and I hope to keep learning and improving.”
Australia’s Daniel Holland was disappointed not to make the final 8. He said after the decision:
“I’m pretty devastated. My speed was really good and getting the car to work well under the braking. I made a giant mistake by not turning up for the media interviews. I am disappointed in myself and in going out but I really hope to have this chance again in the future where you will see an even faster Daniel Holland.”
Tomorrow sees them take their racing to the next level as well as an assault course where they will be up against Judge Rob Barff. There is no time to stand still, the Judge’s want to see even more improvement from each competitor as we go from 8 to 4 and even closer to GT Academy 2010’s Number One Driver.