It seems there is a problem with the second season of Nissan GT Academy in the Philippines.

In order to qualify for the next leg of the Nissan GT Academy, players have to compete for a spot among the top 20 fastest times over several legs of the event. This year, Nissan GT Academy is centered around a prototype version of an upcoming game, Gran Turismo Sport.

As the local events proceded however, players have noticed a disparity in times wherein nobody was able to match the laps set during the first two events at SM Mall of Asia (June 30, 2016) and at Trinoma (July 1-3, 2016).

Nissan Philippines, Inc. have recently released a statement regarding the issue on time disparities over their past few events of GT Academy Philippines. In their release, they claim that the first two events in question used Playstation 4 (PS4) console ‘Test Kits’ provided by Sony Interactive Entertainment Asia (SIEA) whereas the following events used “standard PS4s from any shopping mall”. Apart from the PS4 consoles themselves, the conditions from all events were supposedly identical in terms of the game, the settings, and the equipment used.

Granted while there is a statement regarding the issue, yet any further details as to why this disparty happened has yet to be disclosed. Various sources indicate that it was not the actual PS4 units that were at fault but the software, being still in pre-production phase. An update which might have improved driving physics and realism may have been introduced to the PS4 units for the succeeding events. This was where the disparities appeared, as the "new" PS4s allegedly came with an updated version of GT Sport that somehow altered the car’s behavior despite having similar settings.

The "updated" version used in latter events appear to have "weakened" the Nissan GT-R used in the game in many aspects through the introduction of more realistic car dynamics. Players have identified various characteristics such as weaker braking, slightly altered suspension physics, and even going as far as likening grip characteristics of the GT-R to that of ‘Sport Soft’ tires despite being set to ‘Racing Soft’ in the settings. These traits of the latter version of the software yielded lap times that were roughly 2 seconds slower from drivers that participated in the first two legs of the event.

Given this, the organizers of GT Academy Philippines made the call to invalidate all the laps that were clocked during the first two events in MOA and Trinoma. While this is a rather opinion-splitting call especially for already-qualified contestants, their next event over this coming weekend (August 19-21) at SM Makati may be a chance for players to once again break into the overall Top 20 fastest times.