Is it a credit to your driving school when the British GT Championship refuses to allow them to race because they’re “too fast?” Ask Nissan’s Nismo GT Academy Team because that’s exactly what happened to them.
“I have a lot of admiration for GT Academy,” said British GT Championship Manager Benjamin Franassovici with typical British aplomb. “It has shown itself to be a great way to source raw talent and turn that into real racing talent as we saw in British GT last year with Jann Mardenborough. However Nissan’s ability to find such amazing raw talent means that we cannot accept their full season entry for British GT in 2013. Their new recruits have very little racing experience so they have to be on the lowest performance grade. Their talent, going on Jann’s speed last year, doesn’t reflect this lack of experience so it is not fair to put them up against our Pro/Gentleman grid, the basis of British GT3. Hats off to Nissan though and I should point out that there are no closed doors here.”
This problem surfaced last year when Jann Mardenborough, mentioned by the manager, was not just beating, but slaughtering the opposition in the entry-level class and was given a time penalty in order to make the race seem more even. In his first full season, Jann was given the Rising Star award from the British Racing Driver’s Club and a place in the MSA Academy.
This year, four new graduates of the GT Academy are ready to race – Wolfgang Reip (Belgium), Mark Shulzhitskiy (Russia), Peter Pyzera (Germany), and Steve Doherty (U.S.A.).
But they won’t be racing in the British GT.
Funny enough, the GT Academy is actually a British reality show where competitors must fight through the ranks of wannabes to be named champion. All of them are raw talent with only street-level racing experience – usually far less talent than the average entrant into a beginner’s racing school.
If only talent shows in the U.S. were that cool.