Since 2008 Sony and Nissan have made it possible for sim-racers to pursuit a real-world racing career. The only thing they needed to do, was win what they called GT Academy. For the once who don’t know the competition, it is a online based time trail in the game Gran Turismo which is a driving simulator. This year GT Academy took place from July 2 – July 28.
Apex Racing UK’s Jesper Pedersen, took place in this years event. Jesper have in the past been a very strong driver in the Gran Turismo series. Jesper was danish Gran Turismo champion 3 years in a row, and had several time trail world records on his hands before he stopped and changed to iRacing. He also qualified to a GT Academy national final 3 years ago, but at the time he wasn’t old enough to move on to the national finals.
This year Jesper, decided to try GT Academy again, because this time he is old enough to progress in the competition. After being away from Gran Turismo and console racing for over two years. He did a amazing job, after only 5 laps at a Silverstone layout he have never driven, he was already in the top 4 in Denmark who will move on in the competition. He later on went on to better the time, with massively 3 seconds.
“Before the competition I was a bid nervous, since I had not been competing in Gran Turismo for over two years. But luckily I had not forgotten everything about it, and was pretty fast on pace. The hardest part, was you had too be a little rough on your inputs vs. how you race in iRacing. Where being smooth and precise is key.” -Pedersen
Jesper finished in 2nd place overall in Denmark, where a total of 4 drivers qualified through the online event. So for the 2nd time Jesper have qualified to the National Finals, but this time he is old enough. So in August he will travel to Sweden to the Nordic Final where 24 drivers from Norway, Sweden, Findland and Denmark will compete for 6 spots for the famous Silverstone Final.
“This is only one step on hopefully a long journey. If I can move on from the Nordic Final it will already be a win for me, going to Silverstone and getting teached by famous racing drivers. Is already a big prize for me!” – Pedersen