GT Academy 2012: Car Games

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Fourways and Menlyn bring out Gauteng’s best gamers

Steven Pelser

With the Nissan GT Academy’s Live Activations already having taken place in Durban and Cape Town, Gauteng’s best virtual racers have been waiting eagerly for the GT Academy to move inland. At Fourways Crossing in Johannesburg and Menlyn Mall in Pretoria on 17 and 18 November respectively, two avid racers stood out from the large crowds, shaking up the current standings and producing fine results.

Having already attended the KZN Activation with his brother Jacobus, Conrad Volschenk attended the Fourways event having spent the two weeks between the Johannesburg and Durban events feverishly practising, he set the fourth-fastest time in KZN, where Jacobus emerged as the then leader in the standings. Conrad’s time of 1:31.866 is not only 0.96 seconds faster than his time set in KZN, but also places him second overall.

Conrad Volschenk

“I could feel the excitement in the air at Fourways Crossing and the stand looked amazing, with friendly and helpful staff. Amongst many other hopefuls, I sat down and immediately beat their times. As the clock ticked closer to the end of the day, I knew I had secured my spot, all the hard work and dedication have paid off. I am very happy to have qualified and it’s great to be going with my brother through to the regional finals of the GT Academy. My hard work and dedication will continue to the very end to ensure my spot in the Top 8!” said Volschenk.

Not to be outdone by Johannesburg gamers, Pretoria’s activation also produced stellar results with Steven Pelser arising as the day’s fastest gamer. Setting the fastest time of 1:32.308, Pelser currently occupies fourth place overall. Having competed online before (even participating in the European GT Academy despite being unable to qualify) and being a passionate GT racer since the original GranTurismo® game hit the market, Pelser decided he had to make it to local national finals no matter what, after the surprise of the GT Academy finally coming to South Africa was announced on a fan forum in October.

“Despite setting a faster time on my rig at home, quickly adapting to the arcade feel of the Live Activation and getting into the right mindset meant I was on form in Menlyn. After posting my fastest lap after lunch, the one-second gap between myself and the other quick drivers was narrowed down somewhat as the day progressed, but I ultimately took the day’s honours. I don’t know exactly when and what I had achieved really sunk in, but I was elated by the reality of it all. At that point, I was king!” commented Pelser.

Pelser has seen good fortune related to GranTurismo® before, having regionally won the GT5 Signature Edition Competition, with the prize of meeting David Coulthard and Bernd Schneider at the Red Bull Ring in Austria.

The GT Academy continues to hot up and has so far shown immense support from enthusiastic virtual gamers from all over the country. With Live Activation entrants as well as online qualifiers (who have access to a PlayStation®3 console) competing for glory, the GT Academy is quickly discovering South Africa’s best virtual racing drivers who will move on to Race Camp at Silverstone in England, early in 2013. Becoming a real-world professional Nissan racing driver is the ultimate grand prize.



City Date Venue Time
Johannesburg 23rd November 2012 Sandton City 09:00 – 20:00
Johannesburg 24th November 2012 Sandton City 09:00 – 18:00
Johannesburg 25th November 2012 Sandton City 09:00 – 18:00
Pretoria 1st December 2012 Mall @ Reeds 11:00 – 15:00
Johannesburg 2nd December 2012 Maponya Mall 11:00 – 15:00

Details of how to enter GT Academy 2012 can be found on various platforms, including: facebook.com/GTAcademy, gran-turismo.com and twitter.com/GTAcademy.

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