Sony Computer Entertainment America and Polyphony Digital Inc., in collaboration with Nissan North America, announced on November 16th the opportunity of a lifetime for gaming and racing enthusiasts – GT Academy. Starting December 20th, fans can compete in Gran Turismo® 5 exclusively on the PlayStation®3 (PS3™) for a chance to make dreams of becoming a race driver with a professional team a reality.
GT Academy will challenge gamers and racing fans alike across the U.S. to compete in a series of online time trials in pre-selected Nissan vehicles in Gran Turismo 5. Throughout the course of the competition, participants will earn free digital content just for playing, as well as have an opportunity to win prizes for winning regional time trials. The top 32 virtual racers in the country will compete in the live national finals event scheduled for March 2011 to become one of 16 GT Academy finalists. The 16 finalists will compete against each other in a series of challenges, including behind the wheel of real Nissan race cars, for a chance to become a professional race car driver as the GT Academy winner for the U.S. The winner will have the opportunity to train with elite race car drivers at international tracks and race as part of a professional team.
“With the upcoming launch of Gran Turismo 5, it’s a very exciting time to team with Nissan to announce GT Academy,” said Scott A. Steinberg, VP of Product Marketing, SCEA. “With the realistic racing experience that only Gran Turismo 5 provides, GT Academy will identify someone who truly has the skills to become a pro race car driver, providing the chance of a lifetime to win the ultimate prize.”
“This is a great opportunity for Nissan to bring GT Academy to the U.S. and support the launch of Gran Turismo 5” said Jon Brancheau, Vice President Marketing, Nissan. “Gran Turismo 5 provides an amazingly realistic racing experience and we’re taking that to the next level by putting 16 finalists behind the wheel of a Nissan race car with the chance to become a race driver with a professional team. Nissan vehicles are known for innovation and performance, so this is a perfect way to demonstrate and deliver on that promise.”
The competitors’ road to victory will be documented in a multi-episode reality show airing exclusively on SPEED channel. The reality show series will start filming in March 2011 from the GT Academy finals through training as a pro race driver.
And just so you know these guys aren’t joking, GT Academy is a standard in Europe. Last year, PlayStation and Nissan’s GT Academy transformed the life of Spanish student Lucas Ordoñez, who entered the GT Academy and emerged a fully fledged member of the Nissan race team, winning his spurs at the Dubai 24H.
Good Luck Racing