Those motoring fans amongst the PlayStation Blog audience may recall that the fourth GT Academy competition kicked off earlier this year and I am delighted to announce that from a field of over 830,000 Gran Turismo gamers, a challenging National Finals stage and one gruelling week at the Silverstone Race Camp last week, a winner has now emerged victorious.
Step forward Wolfgang Reip, a 25-year-old student from Belgium. Wolfgang triumphed at the grand finale of this year’s event, a head to head duel that took place at Silverstone during the World Endurance Championships this weekend.
Our winner has earned a once in a lifetime opportunity to drive for real at the Dubai 24H race in January 2013.
Here’s what Wolfgang had to say:
“This is the most amazing day of my life. It is incredible, just incredible. I cried on the podium because there was so much emotion. It has been such a long week. There were so many different challenges and so much to learn and experience. To come out at the end of it as the winner, out of so many people who took part on Gran Turismo is just unbelievable.”
As a quick re-cap for the uninitiated, GT Academy is a unique competition where we try to unearth a real racing driver from amongst the massed ranks of PlayStation gamers – taking them on a journey from the living room to a real racetrack in conjunction with our partners at Nissan.
The programme is in its fourth year and previous winners have gone on to enjoy impressive success in the world of motorsports, most notably Spain’s Lucas Ordonez, the winner of our inaugural competition who last year clinched a place on the podium (at his first attempt no less!) at the world famous Le Mans 24 hour race.
Our two subsequent winners, Jordan Tresson and Jann Mardenborough, have not been too shabby either with Jordan (France, winner in 2010) racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship and Le Mans 24 Hours in the Signatech Nissan LMP2 car, whilst Jann (UK, winner in 2011) is racing a Nissan GT-R Nismo GT3 in the Blancpain Endurance Series.
This year’s Race Camp also saw the presence of a very special guest, none other than Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of the Gran Turismo series. Check out the video below to find out just what Kazunori had to say about GT Academy when he dropped in last week at Race Camp to surprise the finalists.
Wolfgang will shortly return to Silverstone to begin an intensive training regime known as the Driver Development Programme. News on Wolfgang’s progress will be here on PlayStation Blog, gran-turismo.com and Gran Turismo social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr, so please keep checking back.
In the meantime have a look at the links below to see the journey last week that saw Wolfgang become one very lucky young man!
- Day 1, pt. 1
- Day 1, pt. 2
- Day 1, pt. 3
- Day 2, pt. 1
- Day 2, pt. 2
- Day 3
- Day 4
- Day 6
- Day 8, The Final Race
- General Race Camp, Film 1
- General Race Camp, Film 2