Season three of Nissan GT Academy is already in the books, and the show that turns video gamers into race drivers has crowned another winner.
Nick McMillen, a 20-year-old former motocross rider from Salem, Oregon, was revealed as the winner during the show's season finale on Spike. He was one of 400,000 Gran Turismo online players who entered the competition last summer; the pool was whittled down to 32 finalists who traveled to New York in September for the show.
McMillen had to make a bit of a sacrifice to be on that trip. Since he couldn't get time off for the finals in New York, McMillen quit his auto sales job to go racing. Along with the rest of the top 12, he made it to the second round at Silverstone and, ultimately, victory.
GT Academy pits gamers against each other in online tournaments, with the winners eventually making it to a serious of challenges on a real track in real cars. it's an interesting way to bridge the gap between virtual racing and actual driving.
McMillen will continue training at Silverstone with NISMO and earn his international endurance-racing license. Once he's certified, he'll join a team of past GT Academy winners at the 24 Hours of Dubai in January.
Since it first started in Europe in 2008, GT Academy has produced an impressive cadre of drivers. Past winners Lucas Ordoñez and Jann Mardenborough competed in the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans, while winning drivers from 2012 were excluded from competing in the British GT Championship's Pro-Am class--for being too fast!