Nissan Philippines Inc. (NPI) has officially launched Nissan GT Academy last night at the Glorietta 2 Activity Center in Makati City.

Nissan's GT Academy is Nissan's virtual motorsport program that started in 2008. It aims to find the best drivers through Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo racing simulator on the Sony PlayStation in an international virtual-to-reality contest that allows the best Gran Turismo gamers to become a real-life professional race car driver.

As previously reported, the top Gran Turismo virtual racers are chosen in a series of time trials using pre-selected Nissan vehicles. From there, the qualified virtual racers are invited to the National Finals which takes place in each participating country. Then, the top six drivers from the National Finals will advance in the final stage which would be held at the Silverstone Racing Circuit in England.

For the launch, Nissan Philippines flew in 2014 GT Academy Champion Ricardo Sanchez. The 24-year old Mexican bested drivers from GT Academy all over the world. Sanchez is currently a works driver for Nissan and is set to participate in the Blancplain Endurance Series.

There will not be an online time trial or online qualification for Nissan GT Academy Philippines as there is no PlayStation network dedicated to the country. As such, the national GT Academy will only be held through a series of live events.

With this, NPI has confirmed that the first phase of the GT Academy in the Philippines will take place at malls nationwide starting April 10, 2015. However, the company has yet to disclose the venue of the said event.

According to NPI, they will announce the venue on their Facebook page soon.