Discover which Gran Turismo 5 players were driven enough to become territory finalists in the intense GT Academy 2011 contest.
GT Academy 2011 is where your driving dreams can turn into reality, pitting the best Gran Turismo drivers against each other for the prize of becoming a real-life racing driver. And now this groundbreaking initiative has stepped up a gear as it enters the international Race Camp phase, where one driver will eventually graduate to become the 2011 GT Academy champion.
Over 90,000 hopefuls across 10 countries entered the time trial phase of GT Academy 2011, with the leading Gran Turismo 5 gamers taking part in the Territory Finals staged in Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The gruelling challenges included a series of physical contests, media interviews and real-life driving tests in the Nissan 370Z - with 12 European finalists emerging on the winners' podium:
Austria and Germany territory winners:
Sascha Meyenborg, aged 32 (German)
Alexander Welke, aged 18 (German)
UK and Ireland territory winners:
Jann Mardenborough, aged 20 (UK)
James Hudson, aged 29 (UK)
Netherlands territory winners:
Thomas Arends, aged 24
Edwin Bos, aged 20
French and Switzerland territory winners:
Thibault Lacombe, aged 29 (France)
Bastien Bartsch, aged 26 (France)
Italian territory winners:
Federico Pinna, aged 25
Danilo Bordino, aged 27
Spain and Portugal territory winners:
Bruno Ferreira, aged 26 (Portugal)
Carlos Murillo, aged 24 (Spain)
These finalists will now prepare for Race Camp where they'll undergo even more demanding challenges at the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hour race in France, before enduring the final four days of Race Camp at the Silverstone Circuit in the UK. The 2011 GT Academy champion will immediately be entered into a comprehensive driver development programme before racing at the Dubai International 24 Hour race in January 2012, in a full race-spec Nissan 370Z GT4 car.
Who will make it to the front of the pack and become the 2011 GT Academy champion? Make sure you keep track of the action at facebook.com/GTAcademy.