We went to the class, where Roman Rusinov and Vitaly Petrov gave some instructions. The full contact was allowed. When Diana (one of the organizers) heard about the rules, she asked referees “Do they have an ambulance here?”. They said that it is not necessary, because in the previous Nissan GT Academies (Europe, German, America) there was only one contact with the spin and it was not dangerous. Then she said that this is crazy Russians and they will destroy all the cars and there will be a lot of crashes. At that time they did not believe her.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
On the second day at 7-30 we had a breakfast. Then at 8-30 the instructors came in and divided us in 3 groups. One group moved for interview with general manager of Nissan GT Academy, the other people went to drive Nissan GT-R on International part of Silverstone, another group went to Stowe circuit to drive Nissan 370z. I was in first group and was interviewed at first. There was nothing special, just ordinary questions. Then I drove Nissan GT-R. It was really amazing. I have never even been the passenger of such a fast car. First three laps instructor showed me the breaking points and the right trajectory. Then he said me: “It is your time, man”. My instructor was Rob. He is really good and friendly man. When I sat to the car and start driving, I was excited. The acceleration, breaking, turning are amazing. However the weight of a car is big, about 2 tones. At that moment I felt a difference between computer game and real driving. First laps I made a lot of mistakes, sometimes I was too quick in the entrance, sometimes too slow, sometimes I missed the apex. It was really difficult, in game you see all the apexes, because the screen is small and the camera is higher. However in real life the size of a track is huge, the distance between corners is big and it is very important how and where you see. Sometimes the speed reached 250 km/h. Then the instructors were changed and Max Snegirev sat into the car. I started to drive and Max quickly described me the mistakes that I did. He helped to improve my skills. Thanks a lot, Max.
On 28 of September all the finalist moved to Silverstone. There were 11 of us. Unfortunatelly, Kair Sabiev did not get the VISA. I was very upset of this fact, because this was the second Kair’s participation in GT Academy. Hope he will be in final in 2014, I can just say “Good luck, Kair”. We arrived in the afternoon. Three years ago I was here I watched Formula-1 racing. At that time I did not believe that I will compete here soon. The winner of Nissan GT Academy 2012 Mark Shulzhitsky was waiting us together with the instructors. All the instructors in GT Academy are high qualified professional racing drivers. Some of them for example took part in Le Mans 24 hours. Also these guys tested Nissan GT-R in Nordschleife before it was presented to customers. The instructors are really good guys, I worked closely with Alex, Gonzalo, Rob, Bobby, Charlie. Thanks a lot guys, you helped me a lot. Mark presented the instructors for us and then we moved to the room, where we lived. Everybody chose the bed. There was a funny coincidence, but I chose the Mark’s bed (where he slept, when he was a participant of GT Academy in 2012). After this we had lunch and then went to the medical center.
Hello my friends. My name is Alex Sirotkin. I am happy to see you visiting my blog. In 2013 in September I took part in Nissan GT Academy powered by G-Drive. I would like to share my emotions with you.
At the begining I would like to say a couple of words about the history of the project. The first season of Nissan GT Academy was in 2008 and the champion of that competition was a Spaniard, Lucas Ordonez. Those times the F1 budgets were seriously decreased and the tests during the season were declined. The Formula 1 teams started to develop the professional racing simulators, that are used now by pilots for trainings. All this simulators are built on hardcore computer simulators like rFactor, iRacing etc. As a result in year 2008 Nissan together with SONY Playstation decided to create a professional race driver out of computer gamer, GRAN TURISMO was used as s computer simulator. When the Lucas won that Nissan GT Academy and took part in first real races and won some of them, then it meant that idea works. The people understood, that it is possible to create a high level professional pilot in a short period of time this way. Then Nissan GT Academy became more and more popular and in year 2012 the first Russian Nissan GT Academy powered by G-Drive was organized. It was a pity, but in 2012 I did not know about this project in Russia, so I did not take part in competition in 2012. The first time I saw the Academy on TV and in that time I even did not assume, that I will be the finalist of this project in year 2013.