PlayStation® and Nissan’s GT Academy

to air on ‘Dave’

Sony Computer Entertainment today announced that TV channel Dave will be broadcasting a series   of   five   programmes   featuring   the   GT   Academy.   GT   Academy   was   devised   by PlayStation® and Nissan to unite the worlds of virtual and reality by turning the ultimate gamer into a real-life racing driver.

The series of programmes will be aired on Dave across the next five weeks, each airing on a Saturday at 7.00pm, with the first programme featured this Saturday, 4th April.  The  shows  will  be  repeated  on  Wednesdays  at  7.30pm  and  then  again  the  following Saturday morning at 11.00am. The show will chart an incredible, ‘every-boy’s dream’ journey that started with gamers from 11 European countries posting times via the online version of PlayStation’s stunning Gran Turismo driving game.

The fastest 20 drivers in each country were invited to a national final to compete head-to-head on Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. The UK National Final was hosted at the beginning of August 2008 at the topical surrounding of the spectacular GT-R display on Nissan’s stand at the British International Motor Show. 

The event proved a tense showdown which saw the UK’s three top gamers qualify for an uncompromising week-long training camp at Silverstone Circuit, the epicentre of British motorsport. National finalists from France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Spain, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and the UK arrived at Silverstone at the end of August 2008 as the world of ultra-realistic virtual racing broke through into reality.

The GT Academy rolled onto Silverstone’s starting  grid  and  was  not  for  the  fainthearted.  Gruelling  fitness  and  mental  attitude  training started  the  process  of  unearthing  those  with  a  real  desire  to  win.  The  intense  and  rigorous driving programme saw the finalists take the wheel of some stunning hardware, but also piled on the pressure to see who would crack. Dave’s coverage of GT Academy really will reveal the old cliché of ‘the agony and the ecstasy’ as the 20 finalists are gradually whittled down to two winners in a tense, knockout format judged by a panel of experts.

The prize at stake was the incredible opportunity to undergo an intensive training and racing programme to qualify for an international racing license. After nine months of hard work, challenges and successes the PlayStation / Nissan race team achieved  what  some  motorsport  pundits  said  would  be  impossible. 

Supported  by  team  mate Johnny   Herbert,   the   former   British   Formula   One   driver,   the   overall   winner   went   on   to successfully  race  as  a  key  member  of  the  team  in  a fully-prepared Nissan 350z  at the Dubai 24hr endurance race.  This marked the first time a racing driver has ever been found in this way. GT Academy proved to be an inspired and stunning experiment to bridge the gap between the virtual and real worlds.

The TV series that charts the success of the programme contains high drama and memorable moments and is a must see for any aspiring racing driver or keen gamer

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