25,000 race online to qualify

  for the GT Academy National Finals

Gran Turismo 5 Prologue™ gamers set their fastest lap in a bid to turn their driving dreams into a reality courtesy of Playstation® and Nissan 28 July 2008: Last week, after  an action-packed seven weeks of virtual racing, the chequered flag fell on the first stage of GT Academy, the international driving competition brought to life by PlayStation®   and   Nissan.  

The   eight-month   competition,   which   is   merging   the   worlds   of videogames and motorsport, is now moving into its second phase. The first stage of GT Academy ran on PlayStation® Network and required entrants to record their fastest online lap in Gran Turismo 5 Prologue™ for PLAYSTATION®3. The stage saw nearly a staggering 25,000 entrants across 12 European countries battle for a chance to turn their racing dreams into reality and become part of the Nissan racing team in next year’s 24h Dubai.

The  top  20  drivers  from  each  country  will  now  be  selected  and  move  onto  the  GT  Academy National Finals to participate in time trials and head to head races against one another on Gran Turismo 5 Prologue.

From there just three of the fastest virtual racers from each country will be given the chance to prove themselves on a real circuit as they compete in Nissan GT-Rs at the UK’s iconic Silverstone racetrack. The GT Academy National Finals began this weekend in Spain and finish in Scandinavia on 15th August. 

The  Silverstone  stage  of  GT  Academy  will  run  from  27th–31st  August,  and  will  see competitors prove their real driving skills in a variety of vehicles including the Nissan GT-R. Each participant will undergo a series of mental and physical aptitude tests in a bid to become one of just two drivers joining the Nissan racing team next year.

Mark Bowles, Gran Turismo Brand Manager from SCEE commented: ‘We  are  overwhelmed  with  the  success  of  the  online  element  of  the  competition.  There  is obviously an enormous Gran Turismo fan base out there and it’s fantastic that PlayStation and Nissan are able to work together to deliver this experience of a lifetime to those fans.’

Darren Cox, European Interactive Marketing Manager for Nissan Europe, said: “The  GT  Academy  has  given  those  with  a  genuine  passion  for  motorsports  the  chance  to  turn their  driving  dreams  into  a  reality.  The  response  to  the  competition  has been phenomenal and we’re  confident  that  out  of  the  thousands  of  applicants  we  will  find  some  real  gems  of  driving talent that can compete for Nissan on an international level next year.” Running  over  eight  months,  GT  Academy  captures  the  spirit  and  ethos  of  both  Nissan  and PlayStation  brands  and  aims  to  unite  the  worlds  of  videogames  and  motorsport  through  ultra- realistic competition.

To find out more, visit gtacademy.eu.