Wednesday, January 22, 2014

How I became the finalist of Nissan GT Academy powered by G-Drive.

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.

So, how it all began. At the beginning of July 2013, the new demo version of GRAN TURISMO 6 was released on SONY Playstation and the new qualification for Nissan GT Academy powered by G-Drive was announced. I decided to take part in the competition. The rules were simple: you must be in the first 24 people in Russia in online, or win one of offline competitions, that were held in Moscow, Novosibirsk, Tumen and Omsk. I had not been playing for 7 years, but I decided to take part in this competition.  After the first day in online, I was the 6 in Russia. My father did not believe in me, he said that only professional racing drivers will be in final and so on. So I decided to show him, that I will be in Final! 19-21 July there was a Moscow City Racing and Nissan made an offline qualification here. I won that competition and, as a result, was invited to the National Final in Ekaterinburg. I was very happy that I prove. I am a finalist of Nissan GT Academy powered by G-Drive in 2013. My father was surprised, but he said me, that I will not pass fitness test (As a result I won the running). When I studied in school and was a student I did sport a lot and I like it (I did wrestling (sambo, judo), ballroom dancing, play football, hockey). But since that time, I lost all my good conditions. So I started training hard. I lost 12 kilos for one month, I run 7-9 km every day, I did push-ups (increased the number from 45 to 90). You can find my training program here.

On 26 of August all the 28 competitors arrived in Ekaterinburg. I decided to see here computer gamers, but I was really surprised, that there were real racing drivers, some of them with a professional history. That time I thought, that it will be very difficult to be in 12(who will go to Silverstone then), because I am not a professional racing driver, just some amateur races in karting. Also before the final I visited two extreme driving courses. They helped me a lot. The first part of competition was in GRAN TURISMO 5 simulator. The instructors asked us to do 3 exercises (best lap of 5 laps, summary of 10 laps and 1 fast lap). I think this is  a very nervous exercise and it check how you can manage your stress. I decided not to drive very fast (not to be nervous), I did not want to be the first. I must be in first 12 people. I saw how people make mistakes, because of a stress. After this competition only 20 people continued to compete, Nissan GT Academy powered by G-Drive was ended for 8 of us. I was happy to be in 20. 
Then there was a fitness test. It was really very difficult, I tried to show my best and tried to be the first in fitness test, but the other participants were also very strong, they were really good. The first exercise was a plank. I did it at home, and my best result was 4:30. It started to rain and I showed only 3 minutes and took the last, 20th place. I was upset, because I trained hard, but shown a very bad result. I really hate plank, I cannot understand how people can stay 6 minutes. Then there were push-ups. At home my best result was 90 times, but on competition when I did 48, one of the instructors disqualified me. I was not the last, but I did not won the second exercise. Then it was going to be beep test. I like running, so I decided, that I will die here, but I will show the best result of all. When I trained at home, my best result was 11,9 level. So we started running. When there was 10th level, there were two of us running. Suddenly the instructor stopped me. I thought, that this is another disqualification, but he said me, that I showed an extraordinary result and it is not necessary to run futher. I will write an article later about my training program, about my diet. Hope it will help you to be in fit in your Nissan GT Academy.

It was a media test then. It was not difficult for me, because I speak English, so the people asked me a couple of questions and I asked in English. I hope that they liked my answers. After the media test we moved to a Nissan Juke driving test. There was a track built of cones. The distance between cones was nice (on driving extreme courses I trained with a smaller distance), so it was not really difficult for me to drive fast and to show a good result and do not touch cones. The instructor even said me perfect. This was the last competition and British instructors might choose 12 of us, who will be in Silverstone. I was happy, when they said my sir name. I call home and said, that they chosed me. My parents were really happy, and I showed for my father, that I can.

1 comment:

  1. Man your father is a negative person, I guess you find that a source for motivation. Were you always fast in GT? Did you learn driving techniques? How did you get so good?