197w ago - GT Academy Commercial Director Andy Reynolds has shared a review this weekend of GT Academy 2010 PS3: day one at Silverstone.
To quote: In December 2009 over 1.4m people attempted to make it to the final event of the ultimate racing prize. After hundreds of virtual laps our competitors beat all-comers to make the final 18 putting it all on the line for real.
Our competitors entered the world-famous Silverstone track full of nerves and excitement - they had no idea what was about to happen to them, but they all knew that they had to be determined, motivated and extremely fast.
On the first morning they received their first briefing from the Judges. Our Judges Eddie Jordan, Johnny Herbert, Sabine Schmitz and Head of Driving, Rob Barff will be putting all of them through their paces. They want to see only the greatest talent make it through each day for the overall prize of GT Academy 2010 Champion and become a professional racing driver.
After the briefing, they were put through a truly punishing fitness test put together by UK Marines and on-track Doctor's. From endurance running, press-up's, chin-up's to sit-up's. This wasn't just proving to the Judge's that you were fit enough to take part but the first competitive event.
The Fitness Test threw up a lot of sweat and even tears as each competitors took their bodies to the limit. Germany's Steffen Christein surprising everyone as King of the Fitness Test.
Sabine Schmitz commented: "For someone so small and slight, he was incredible. He made me tired just watching him do all of those press-ups."
After a deserved drink of water the contestants knew that this was just the beginning. They were going to have their first taste of a race-car on the Silverstone track.
One timed lap in a specially built circuit to test their car control and ability to handle real speed - in the wet weather.
In a track full of spray we had 5 racers set the pace; Luca Lorenzini from Italy, Dan Holland from Australia, Benjamin Peron from Belgium, Giacomo Cunial from Italy and Jordan Tresson from France.
Head of Driving, Rob Barff said: "This is the beginnings of a fantastic opportunity for them. They have to grab it with both hands. A lot of the guys are trying too hard, making too many mistakes by going too fast into the slow corners and too steady into the fast corners."
Johnny Herbert said: "In this weather it is critical they have a real feel for the car under acceleration and braking. In order to really make the grade they have to turn this feeling for the car into real, real speed."
If the contestants liked their first taste of real competitive racing, their next task would require them to love it. Endurance Karting in 70mph beasts in an endurance race for 2 hours on a dark, cold and damp kart track at Silverstone.
Working in teams of two, competitors took turns in their kart to not just win the race but impress the Judge's with their controlled aggression, knowledge of racing lines and determination to succeed.
The competition was fierce as the lead changed several times and as tiredness crept in, so did the mistakes.
The Judge's were watching every corner, every pass and every mistake from the pit wall. The competitors knew that they could not turn off for a second.
After two hard hours the team of Filipe Baretto and Jordan Tresson in Team France/Portugal were victorious followed by Marco Calvo and Roberto Otero in Team Spain and Jeroen Kesselring and Benjamin Peron in Team Benelux.
Jordan and Filipe impressed the Judge's with their hard fought victory but Spain's Marco Calvo took the fastest lap crown by quite some distance
Tired, exhausted and burnt out of adrenaline the contestants went back to the hotel knowing that the Judge's had already made their first impressions.
After a short introduction to the press, the contestants went to bed knowing that tomorrow wasn't just the next day, but potentially the last day at GT Academy 2010 as the Judge's start to make their eliminations based on their racing in what is set to be a truly remarkable day's action.
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