Giving Gran Turismo®6 virtual racers the opportunity to realise their dreams of becoming a real-life professional racing driver, the 2014 season of the Nissan PlayStation® GT Academy competition is now live in Australia.
GT Academy has successfully challenged the traditional and costly route into professional motorsport since 2008. Anyone in a participating country with Gran Turismo 6 and a PlayStation®3 will be able to enter the free qualifying rounds within the game’s automatic online update. Racing driver hopefuls can also get involved via a series of live events.
Kazunori Yamauchi, President of Polyphony Digital, is excited to see qualifying begin across the globe for GT Academy 2014.
“I am very happy that qualifying has now begun for a sixth season of GT Academy, kick starting our world-wide search to unearth another gamer with the talent to become a real life racer,” said Yamauchi.
“Every GT6™ gamer will have the chance to develop their skills in a series of stunning Nissan Nismo vehicles and compare lap times with their friends while competing for a coveted spot at the next stage of the competition.”
The successful PlayStation gamers from Australia, India, Mexico, Middle East and Thailand will win a place at a National Final event held in their country. From there, the six leading Australian competitors will qualify for the International Race Camp at the world-famous Silverstone Circuit, an established week-long boot-camp where the finalists will be put through their paces on and off the track, to unearth this year’s GT Academy champion.
The overall International winner will receive three months’ intensive training to prepare them for taking to the track with Nissan at the Dubai 24 Hour race in January 2015. In Dubai they’ll go wheel-to-wheel with experienced racing drivers and have the chance to prove themselves worthy of becoming a Nismo Athlete, one of the elite racing drivers competing for Nissan under the banner of its motorsport arm, Nismo.
With qualifying now open, this is the chance for today’s GT6 gamers to follow in the footsteps of previous GT Academy winners who have gone from sofa to pro thanks to this innovative collaboration between Nissan and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. Last year’s GT Academy champions are competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series this season, and Lucas Ordoñez (2008 champion) will be racing alongside Wolfgang Reip (2012 champion) in the mould-breaking Nissan ZEOD RC at the Le Mans 24 Hours. Meanwhile, Jann Mardenborough (2011 champion) now has an eye on a career in Formula One®, having secured a GP3 drive in 2014 with Arden International and being selected to take part in a bespoke Red Bull Racing Driver Development Programme.
“Everyone should enter GT Academy,” said Nismo Athlete Mardenborough, who is about to start competing in a Formula One feeder series less than three years after winning the competition.
“It’s open for anyone to enter. If you have a PlayStation 3 and a copy of Gran Turismo 6, just see how you go against everyone – that’s all I had in mind the year I won. If being a racing driver was your childhood dream, then GT Academy is your perfect opportunity to live it!”
The GT Academy qualifying update is available to access now on GT6 and can be played until 16:59 Australian Eastern Standard Time on Monday 16 June 2014. It is available to anyone with a PSN (PlayStation®Network) ID and a copy of Gran Turismo 6. Entry details can be found on: http://gran-turismo.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/NismoAUS and http://www.facebook.com/PlayStationAU.
About GT Academy 2014
GT Academy is a collaboration between PlayStation® and Nissan that uses the virtual world of the Gran Turismo®6 game to unearth real-world racing talent. Now in its sixth year, GT Academy includes separate competitions for Europe (France, Italy, UK, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Russia, Sweden, Poland and Czech Republic), Germany, USA, and a new International group (Australia, India, Middle East, Mexico and Thailand).
The GT Academy qualification round will be part of a free Gran Turismo®6 update on PlayStation®3 (terms and conditions apply). The fastest gamers in each participating territory gain access to their region’s National Final event. A number of competitors can also gain access via a series of Live Gran Turismo events organised locally. The National Finals add driving, fitness and a media element to the gaming.
From National Finals, the action moves to Silverstone for the legendary Race Camp, where the competitors are put through their paces on track in Nissan sports cars under the watchful eyes of high profile judges and mentors. One winner from each competition will be invited to take part in the intensive Driver Development Programme. They could qualify for an international race license and race for Nissan at the Dubai 24 Hours in January 2015, before potentially joining Nissan’s elite NISMO Athletes.
Previous winners of GT Academy are now regular racing drivers. In 2014, Jann Mardenborough (UK, winner in 2011) will be racing in GP3, a feeder series to Formula One, with the championship-winning Arden International team. Lucas Ordoñez (Spain, winner in 2008) will be racing in the Le Mans 24 Hours this year in the innovative Nisan ZEOD RC, alongside Wolfgang Reip (Belgium, winner in 2012). In 2013, Lucas won the Pro-Am Drivers Championship in the Blancpain Endurance Series. The 2013 Champions, Stanislav Aksenov (Russia), Miguel Faisca (Europe), Nick McMillen (USA) and Florian Strauss (Germany) are competing in the Blancpain Endurance Series with the Nissan GT Academy Team RJN.
News and views on GT Academy 2014 and the progress of all the GT Academy drivers can be followed on various platforms including: www.facebook.com/GTAcademy and www.twitter.com/GTAcademy
About Nissan Motor Company
Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., Japan’s second-largest automotive company, is headquartered in Yokohama, Japan, and is part of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Operating with approximately 236,000 employees globally, Nissan sold more than 4.9 million vehicles and generated revenue of 9.6 trillion yen (USD 116.16 billion) in fiscal 2012.
Nissan delivers a comprehensive range of more than 60 models under the Nissan and Infiniti brands. In 2010, Nissan introduced the Nissan LEAF, and continues to lead in zero-emission mobility. The LEAF, the first mass-market, pure-electric vehicle launched globally, is now the best-selling EV in history.
For more information on our products, services and commitment to sustainable mobility, visit our website at http://www.nissan-global.com/EN