To explain the first part, it's a wheel and I always use manual. Was I under-prepared? Probably but again, driving actual cars was something new for GT Academy this year. Even if I had known in advance, it would've been me with maybe a month of experience going against others that have spent countless years not only using manual but perfecting its use on an actual track. That's a massive disadvantage to narrow down in such little time and there were others on the same boat. In fact, I knew at least one person that knew cars well enough but had scant experience with a kart and they had to go compete in that race. It's a bad hand to deal with but you play it anyways. We all have our areas of weaknesses and there's only so much you can do to fix them. I'd say I would need two years just to have a legitimate shot considering the talent I went up against; all I had was three minutes. I found it too predictable, actually. I really wanted something that would say "Here comes James May!" Very possible I'll see you, then. It will be a while before I could afford what I want to buy as both a practice car and a daily driver, a used manual 370Z. Something I learned about the NISMO Z is that my knees doesn't bang the rim like with most other sport cars. Big plus! There's one major point I do want to raise for anyone going to future Finals. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they become closer to the European counterpart.