Fancy becoming a real-life race driver? PlayStation and Nissan are offering you the chance with the GT Academy.
Drivers of the world, start your engines - the GT Academy has arrived. A pan-European competition, GT Academy sees PlayStation and Nissan unite the worlds of virtual and real-life racing to make the dreams of aspiring race drivers a reality. This ultimate competitive driving test will begin on June 2, 2008 when the GT Academy goes live within Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.
The competition will be split into three stages. The first phase will take place online with a giant Gran Turismo 5 Prologue tournament on PlayStation Network. This competition will run for seven weeks and to enter, players must register their PlayStation Network sign in ID at http://www.gtacademy.eu/. The next time they play GT5 Prologue online they will be able to race in the GT Academy Time Trial where they will compete to be the fastest around the Eiger Nordwand track in a Nissan Fairlady 350Z.
The next stage is the National Finals, to be held in July 2008. The fastest 20 drivers in each country will be invited to a national final to compete head to head on Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.
The final stage is only open to the three fastest drivers from the nationals, who will win a place at the GT Academy at Silverstone at the end of August. The virtual gives way to the tarmac of Silverstone, the home of British motor racing, as the finalists take part in a real-life driving competition on the track itself. Competitors will not only have to prove their driving skills in a Nissan GT-R but will also be tested for their mental and physical skills in a series of tests.
The two fastest drivers from Silverstone then have the chance to enter a four month training programme to earn their racing licenses and take part in a real life race in a fully race prepared Nissan 350Z at the 24 hour endurance event in Dubai in January 2009.
Speaking at Nurburgring 24H race, Kazunori Yamauchi, Head of Polyphony Digital producers of Gran Turismo said: "This is a very exciting day for Gran Turismo. The Gran Turismo story started 10 years ago with the ambition to make a racing game that gives players the ultimate driving simulation experience. The GT Academy is the ultimate realisation of this ambition taking the Gran Turismo experience to the next level."
Stephane Cottin, Vice President, Marketing and Strategy, for Nissan in Europe continued: "GT Academy is a first for the motoring industry. Never before has a competition of this scale been undertaken to unite the worlds of virtual and real-life racing. GT Academy sets the challenge to see if gamers can recreate their performance behind the wheel of a real racing car and on their journey they will be amongst the first in Europe to drive the GT-R on track."For full terms and conditions and more information about GT Academy visit http://www.gtacademy.eu/, and be sure to follow the action on GT TV and the PlayStation Store.