GT Academy Finalist Wins INDYCAR Academy Shootout

February 5th, 2013 by Andrew Evans

Last year GTPlanet reported on the successes of non-winning GT Academy finalists and this week we’ve got another name to add to the list.

Andre Gomes was a GT Academy USA finalist in 2011, the event won by Bryan Heitkotter and kickstarting Sean Johnston’s racing career. Though unsuccessful at Silverstone, Andre has kept his interest in racing and has capped this off with a victory at the inaugural INDYCAR Academy event.

The event was application only, with 33 drivers selected from a field of 84 applicants, all of whom qualified by graduating the three day Skip Barber Formula Car Racing School. Amongst Andre’s competitors was 2012 Olympic gold medal winning US swimmer Tyler Clary.

Andre’s prize includes an all-expenses trip to the Indianapolis 500 courtesy of Bryan Herta and a sponsored seat in one of 2013’s Skip Barber Regional Race Series.

Meanwhile in the UK, gamers have been getting an insight into the challenges that face Silverstone finalists with the start of a six episode broadcast of the 2012 GT Academy. The series follows the UK & Ireland finalists Des, Thomas, Dan, Jack, David and István over the duration of the final and, though GTPlanet’s readership will be well aware of their fates, shows those hoping to experience the 2013 finals exactly what’s expected of them.

In New Zealand, past Academy winner Jann Mardenborough has been getting to grips with open wheeled racing the only way he knows how – at the sharp end. Though he’s yet to score an outright podium, Jann is by some considerable distance the highest-placed rookie driver in the series with four of the six rounds completed – even putting his car on the front row for qualifying behind GP2 driver Mitch Evans.

It’s not quite been trouble-free for Jann though, as this video shows:

Andre Gomes tip courtesy of Joel Hader.

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  1. Feb. 11, 6:40pm

    shows how iffy the GTAcadamy is to finding the best actual drivers instead of the best gamers…which is what it really does…..congrats to Andre, and all…..but when I did this event in ’08 (when Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden were doing it), I was turning quicker lap times than Andre was with no experience in the car or on the track. he had a two day advanced course at Sebring on top of his basic 3 day…I only had a 3 day at Road ATL before the big event…I still managed to turn quicker laps in my first session than Andre managed at the end of the weekend.

    • Mar. 30, 10:47am

      You got the wrong Andre there. buddy.

      My first 3 day was in late 2012. Before that I had never been to a skip barber event.

  2. Feb. 7, 12:22pm

    Actually there was quite a good showing from all our US silverstone guys that went to the Indy academy. Connor and Sabastian also placed 2nd and 6th. Congrats to all 3!

  3. Feb. 6, 1:53pm

    I thought Andre did well in the 2011 event and glad he’s keeping it up. Congrats!

  4. Feb. 6, 12:13pm


  5. Feb. 5, 8:13pm


  6. Feb. 5, 7:41pm

    Jann had bad luck he qualified 2nd for race 2 but got rear ended, the race got red flagged and there was a full restart, It took to long for the team to change his rear wing so he had to start from the pits…. came trough the field t place to 6th so the results do really show how good he was…ps i got him to sign my copy of GT5

  7. Feb. 5, 7:18pm

    Good job.
    Was going to go home a relax tonight now I must finish my testing.

  8. Feb. 5, 6:34pm

    Congrats to him, going from one academy to another. It can only get better.

  9. Feb. 5, 6:25pm

    It’s good to hear about these guys finding another way to continue their racing careers. :)

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