Well the day has come, it’s time take your place on the starting grid. Yes GT Academy 2011 is now live!
For the benefit of those not in the know, GT Academy is a virtual to reality competition where we, along with Nissan, seek to answer the question – can you take a Gran Turismo gamer and turn them into a real-life racing driver?
If the stories of the two previous Academy winners, Lucas Ordoñez and Jordan Tresson, are anything to go by then the answer is a resounding yes. Both are now fully-fledged international racing drivers – you may have seen Lucas’ story yesterday.
This time around the Academy will take place in the countries below, organised into the following groups:
UK & Ireland
France & Switzerland
Germany & Austria
Spain & Portugal
More news will follow shortly on the start of GT Academy in Italy, the final country that will join the ranks of eligible markets.
And don’t worry if your country is not listed amongst those above, news will be incoming very soon of a special GT5 Time Trial Challenge for non-Academy countries so that they can play for fun; keep an eye on PlayStation.Blog for details.
So just what’s standing between you and a life of champagne corks and podium finishes? Here is the rundown of the stages for this year’s GT Academy.
Stage One – record flying laps on a time trial-based track available in Gran Turismo 5. A leaderboard for each participating territory group will show competitors’ lap times.
Stage Two – the holders of the twenty fastest online lap times from each European territory group will qualify for their National Final event, along with a possible four wildcard entries chosen through other events.
Stage Three - twelve finalists, two chosen from each of the National Finals events, will head to the world famous Silverstone circuit for the GT Academy Race Camp, a comprehensive race driver training school.
Stage Four – The overall 2011 winner will embark on a UK-based intensive driving and racing programme in preparation to qualify for an international racing license.
Stage Five – If the winner obtains a racing licence, they may get to race in the prestigious Dubai 24 Hour International race in a fully-supported Nissan 370Z GT4 car.
So there you have it – five very exciting stages that, for one of you out there, will culminate in what is sure to be a life changing chance to drive a racing car – as your job!
The in-game time trial stage is, of course, the first step in this process. It is currently live and will be open until 17th April, so lots of time to polish those lap times.
Even if you’re not destined to be a national champ then take the opportunity to set up a friends-only leader board and leave your mates chewing on your exhaust.
Next steps? If you are in one of the eligible markets then all you have to do is log onto gran-turismo.com and register your details, then load Gran Turismo 5 (making sure that you are signed into PSN and that you have downloaded all updates including 1.07) and you will see a new special event which is GT Academy 2011.
As a special extra treat for those taking part in GT Academy, you will find a nice surprise in your garage once you have completed the registration process – a brand spanking new Nissan GT-R with a special livery design.
There is more news of GT Academy 2011 on gran-turismo.com and there is more to come here on PlayStation.Blog. And don’t forget to click ‘like’ on www.facebook.com/GTAcademy for all the latest news, tips, photos and videos.
So get a grip on your control pad, wheel or, if you’re posh, race seat set-up and let battle commence!
To participate in GT Academy you must be aged 18 years or over, be resident in a participating country and hold a full driving licence. Other eligibility criteria apply. Full terms and conditions are available at www.gran-turismo.com