In 2010, Bryan Heitkotter found himself laid-off from his job, closing in on his 30th birthday, and looking for something new. He'd always dreamed of racing cars, so, with what must have been the most wildly optimistic attitude of any participant, he entered the GT Academy competition thinking of it as “an opportunity for a career change”.
That optimism paid off.
After besting more than 53,000 online competitors and 16 other finalists, Bryan and the other 15 gamers that would make up GT Academy Season 1 went to Silverstone.
Once there, he out-drove the best of the best and took the checkered flag in the final race, making him the first GT Academy winner from the USA.
Next up was an intensive five month “Driver Development Program”. He learned racing physics and mechanics, physical and psychological fitness — even proper nutrition. He participated in real races and worked towards internationally recognized racing licenses.
The program culminated with a 1st-in-class/5th overall finish at the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship in November.
And then it was time to really get to work.
2012 — Podium finish at Dubai 24 Hours in ‘All-Gamer' Nissan 370Z®
2011 — Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge with team best qualifying time
2011 — Britcar Endurance Series at Brands Hatch 1st-in-class, 4th overall