Filipino gamer earns GT Academy Asia crown

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Filipino gamer-turned-racer Joward Policarpio gives a thumbs-up after topping the Asia Nissan GT Academy-Asia race camp.

Filipino gamer-turned-racer Joward Policarpio gives a thumbs-up after topping the Asia Nissan GT Academy-Asia race camp.

Filipino gamer-turned-racer Joward Policarpio brought pride to the Philippines after winning the Asia Nissan GT Academy-Asia race camp held last week at the Silverstone racetrack in the United Kingdom.

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The 26-year old racing enthusiast bested 29 other competitors from India, Indonesia, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines after a grueling five-day competition in driving as well as physical and mental challenges at the historic racing facility.

The last race went down to the wire as Policarpio and his Indonesian opponent raced toward the chequered flag neck-to-neck. Displaying his racing prowess, the Filipino crossed the finish line first, with a gap of less than a second from the Indonesian racer.

For his feat, Policarpio was awarded a $1-million racing contract with Nissan as well as a seat at the Dubai 24-hour race with the GT Academy team where he will race alongside fellow GT Academy graduates and professional drivers.

Joward Policarpio (right) beat his Indonesian opponent with a gap of less than a second at the finish line.

Joward Policarpio (right) beat his Indonesian opponent with a gap of less than a second at the finish line.

Policarpio is one of six Filipinos to be sent by Nissan to the GT Academy. The Philippine contingent was formed through a selection process that transpired from March to July. From a total of 15,000 racing wannabes, the top six finalists were selected and made to compete with other Asian challengers. The other Filipino racers includes Joel Agojo, Daryl Brady, Terence Lallave and Rafel Lesaguis.

The Nissan GT Academy was first held in 2008 through a partnership between Sony Computer Entertainment and Polyphony Digital Inc. The contest aims to get the top Gran Turismo gamers to train under Nissan’s racing arm, NISMO, and give them the opportunity to become real-life professional racecar drivers.

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