Nissan GT Academy has crowned a U.S. winner for its third season. In the final 60-minute episode of the popular TV show on Spike TV, 20-year-old Nick McMillen outraced the remaining three competitors with a dramatic last lap pass to earn the coveted red helmet, signifying the crowning achievement in the gamer-to-racer quest. A former motocross rider from Salem, Oregon, McMillen worked in auto sales before quitting his job to embark on his quest for a career in motorsports with Nissan.
“I asked my bosses if I could get some time off to go to the finals in New York, and they said they didn’t want me to be gone that long, so I quit,” said McMillen. “That’s how much having a chance to race means to me.”
Nearly 400,000 Gran Turismo online players entered the competition last summer, with the top 32 traveling to the U.S. finals in New York in September. The top 12 survived to travel to Silverstone in the UK to battle each other through extreme physical, psychological and on-track racing challenges over the span of six episodes. Watch full episodes online here.
Since taping of Season 3 wrapped in early October, McMillen has been training with other NISMO athletes at Silverstone, earning his International endurance racing license. Below is a clip of Nick as he works to obtain his license.
Once McMillen receives certification, he will join a team of GT Academy champions from around the world to compete in Nissan 370Z NISMOs at the Dubai 24 Hours in January.