With the finalists chosen for this year's GT Academy, the representatives are now prepping for Race Camp 2016, to be held at the Silverstone Circuit, England. This year, the competition includes Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, North Africa (Algeria, Egypt and Morocco), Thailand and the Philippines.
The 2016 running of the program saw diverse range of 36 finalists. Among them, and for the very first time in Nissan GT Academy's history, a female finalist is in the mix. Our very own Elysse Menorca will be heading to England for a chance to be a Nismo Athlete and compete in the Dubai 24 hour race. Nissan GT Academy also welcomes the oldest competitor to date, 46-year-old Kanokphan Wathanakitanan from Thailand.
Elysse will be representing the Philippines along with five other finalists selected from the second season of GT Academy Philippines. The five other members of the Philippine team consists of Jan Millard Lacuna, Richard Dean D. Jose, Mervin John Mallen, Kim Jiger A. Chong and Francisco F. Adriano IV. This will be the second time the Philippines will be participating in GT Academy.
GT Academy has been running since 2008 with Lucas Ordonez as the program's first champion. Other past winners include Jann Mardenborough, Ricardo Sanchez and Joward Policarpio.
Three mentors for GT Academy 2016 have also been announced. Mentoring the Australian team is Katumasa Chiyo, 2011 Japanese F3 champion, 2015 Blancpain Endurance champion and 2015 Bathurst 12 Hours winner. For Mexico, it will be 2014 GT Academy International champion Ricardo Sanchez. Looking after the North African contingent will be Tamer Bashir. GP3 driver Sandy Stuvik will mentor his home country Thailand. Indonesian female touring car racer Diandra Gautama will mentor her home team. The mentor for the Philippines has yet to be announced.