At the culmination dinner for the all-new 2015 Nissan NP300 Navara drive in Ilocos Norte, Mr. Toti Zara, Nissan Philippines, Inc. president, declared that the company will be venturing into motorsport by launching the Nissan GT Academy on March 25, 2015.

“Let the virtual race begin,” said Mr. Antonio “Toti” Zara, NPI president.

For the unfamiliar, Nissan's GT Academy is a comprehensive virtual motorsport program that aims to find the best driver through Polyphony Digital's Gran Turismo racing simulator on the Sony PlayStation. The program culminates in an international competition that opens doors to

Graduates of international editions of Nissan GT Academy have gone on to fruitful racing careers. GT Academy graduates have been so competitive in international motorsport that Nissan is fielding an all-alumnus team at the 2015 Le Mans 24 hours, including the most successful graduate to date: Jann Mardenborough.

Locally, the Nissan Philippines, Inc.'s GT Academy 2015 program aims take the best Filipino drivers on Gran Turismo and bring them to the world stage.

According the NPI General Manager SJ Huh, the local program encourages all aspiring Filipino GT drivers to participate in the qualifiers. The top drivers in the qualifying rounds will then be elevated to take part in the national finals, the winners of which will then be sent to the international finals.

This isn't all virtual, as the program will then progress to actual racing in actual cars. Fitness is a must, given that there is actually a “boot camp” style training regimen for international legs of GT Academy.

NPI is still keeping mum about this year-long GT Academy program, but needless to say we will be keenly awaiting more developments from this story.