GT Academy Debuts Tonight: Will You Watch?

The premise is simple: take the 16 fastest virtual drivers from Gran Turismo 5, then see if racing a car on a gaming system can translate into racing a car in real life. Along the way, there’s plenty of drama, including a military style obstacle course in the mud, and enough conflicting personalities to keep the show interesting.

Just by watching the 2:00 trailer below, I can tell you that these guys are in for a rude awakening, and not one of them seems to know what being a professional racer is all about. One contestant comments, “To be a professional race car driver, you never work another day in your life;” try telling that to guys like Dan Wheldon and Nick Heidfeld. When your doing promotional appearances in strange cities for days on end, or hustling a new sponsor so you can afford a ride next year, that looks suspiciously like work to me.

Being a racer at a professional level today takes a combination of skill, marketability and the ability to charm sponsors out of millions of dollars to fund your racing career. Being good behind the wheel of a car is only one component of the total skill set required to make it in racing, and another big element is luck. As with rock and roll, you can only get so good, then you need to get lucky to make the big time.

I was going to pass on this series, but the trailer looks interesting enough that I’ll give it a shot. The show debuts on Speed at 10:00 ET tonight. What’s your take? Are you watching it?

Source: You Tube